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03-02-2014, 02:31 PM   #1
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Visiting Rome

Heading off to Rome for a short visit at the end of April and will be cramming in as much as possible. I have a selection of lenses to pick from so, for those who have visited before, which focal lengths did you find most useful?

03-02-2014, 02:48 PM   #2
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Take a single 18-200mm or similar lens.

Otherwise, take a DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, and a longer range lens to cover the same range.
But if you want to save your back after a long day of walking, and you don't want to look like a tourist with $5000+ around your neck... the lighter option is better. You'll also enjoy your trip if your'e not changing lenses every 30 seconds.

If you have specific photographs in mind and you are going to print very large (24"+ prints), the higher quality lenses may become a necessity.


By the way, beware the "cardboard kids". Every big city has its crime. I've just never heard of this particular game before. We noticed them a few times (and were able to avoid them easily by crossing the street).
03-02-2014, 02:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by W412ren Quote
Visiting Rome
For me it would be wide and fast, enjoy your visit it's a magical city.
03-02-2014, 03:07 PM   #4
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CKs

QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote

By the way, beware the "cardboard kids". Every big city has its crime. I've just never heard of this particular game before. We noticed them a few times (and were able to avoid them easily by crossing the street).
Thanks for the tip

I have the DA18-135 as an all-round, am I likely to need the extra reach often - or more on the wide end?

---------- Post added 2nd Mar 2014 at 22:11 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
For me it would be wide and fast, enjoy your visit it's a magical city.
Thanks, looking forward to it.
Lots of choice for wide - was thinking of DA10-17 (Colosseum?), DA15 and/or the A24.

03-02-2014, 04:00 PM   #5
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My minimum kit for a European city ins a sigma z10-20 and a tamron 28-75

If I have more space I take my 8mm fisheye and either my K135/2.5 or my vivitar 85/1.4 and SMC-F 1.7x AF converter

Nothing longer than 150mm

Never seem to need it
03-02-2014, 04:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote

Nothing longer than 150mm

Never seem to need it
Thanks Lowell; that sort of confirms my suspicions. When in London I rarely seem to get past 100mm.
The 18-135 gets a lot of use but I always have to take a couple of primes for the low light stuff. Perhaps I should be looking at the Tamron for travel.
03-02-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by W412ren Quote
Lots of choice for wide - was thinking of DA10-17 (Colosseum?), DA15 and/or the A24
I only use primes, I travel light on pleasure trips, either SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 or SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8 for wide, SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2 for normal and for long SMC Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8, this combo has always covered all I've needed.
03-02-2014, 04:30 PM   #8
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You should be able to do most shooting with the DA18-135. If this is not wide enough take some stitched panorama shots. A longer lens can be handy for that Pope on the balcony shot. Something more discreet such as the DA21 is also useful.

Whatever you do do not carry it all in a big bag that shouts 'expensive, steal me'. Also take a small point-and-shoot or a mobile with a good camera 'just in case' and for those evening drinking and eating forays

03-02-2014, 04:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
I only use primes, I travel light on pleasure trips, either SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 or SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8 for wide, SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2 for normal and for long SMC Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8, this combo has always covered all I've needed.
Ah yes. Light. I like light, but always worry about missing stuff ;-)
Time constraints normally - and not having the luxury to stop and think as much as I'd like to.
Most useful for me in this case is probably the 15, 50, 100 combo I would think.

---------- Post added 2nd Mar 2014 at 23:42 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
You should be able to do most shooting with the DA18-135. If this is not wide enough take some stitched panorama shots. A longer lens can be handy for that Pope on the balcony shot. Something more discreet such as the DA21 is also useful.

Whatever you do do not carry it all in a big bag that shouts 'expensive, steal me'. Also take a small point-and-shoot or a mobile with a good camera 'just in case' and for those evening drinking and eating forays
I like the 18-135 but I always end up with a couple of primes for the evening and so figure I should just take three primes and be done with it. P&S backup may be a wise idea though. I agree, definitely no big bags:-)
03-02-2014, 05:11 PM   #10
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Wider is better. The End :-)
03-02-2014, 06:46 PM   #11
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Everywhere you look in Rome there is an architectural or sculptural detail to be shot. On my last trip I used my M150/3.5 quite a lot (that's quite long enough, my M100/2.8 might have done just as well most of the time). My DA15 came in useful, but I used it surprisingly little. Maybe the DA21 would have been more useful. My M28/3.5 was probably the most used, followed by the DA70. I might have been just as happy with a fast 50 (good for odds and ends inside dark churches) rather than the 70. I used catch-in-focus most of the time for the manual lenses. Worked fine (on K5).

I appreciate the arguments for a wide-range zoom. Personally I find that a zoom tempts me to whack off vast numbers of shots without much consideration, and anyway I hate walking around with a heavy lens on the front of the camera. I would rather keep the weight in the camera bag as far as possible. Changing lenses is a pain, but you do tend to think a bit more, and you will probably get better results technically. There's no final answer to that dilemma - entirely personal preference and even mood. On some days I would have just as soon had the FA24-90 on the camera and left it at that. But you can't travel with your entire arsenal.

I took the Fuji X20 as a backup and for lazy days.
03-02-2014, 10:46 PM   #12
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From what you currently have, I would take DA15, F28 and DFA100. If you want convenience, replace the latter by the 18-135.
03-02-2014, 11:04 PM   #13
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I travelled there three years ago with a swag of lenses, and found that most of the time I needed very wide (the DA14/2.8 - that extra stop over the DA15/4 is handy in dim interiors, but it is heavier and the hood is a monster) or moderate wide to normal (the FA31/1.8). Since that time, I've bought the DA18-135 and find that, stopped down a little, it's more than adequate for most travelling needs, and it's light for what it is. I've also added the DA15/4 for exactly the same reason. Very rarely, I've wished that I had something longer than the 135, but not enough to be worried, and I wouldn't want to carry the extra weight. I do take the FA31/1.8, FA43/1.9 and FA77/1.8 for use when I'm staying in one spot for a while, and want to photograph detail with the best possible lenses, but carrying everything while sight-seeing is more than my back likes, these days.
03-03-2014, 03:22 AM   #14
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rome is great! you will enjoy taking photos.last year when i went i just took my 18-135 which was mounted 95% of the time and only used my 50mm f1.4 for night time when i wanted to walk around light and would be much better in low light.
03-03-2014, 05:54 AM   #15
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Thank you to all for the replies

QuoteOriginally posted by schnitzer79 Quote
rome is great! you will enjoy taking photos.last year when i went i just took my 18-135 which was mounted 95% of the time and only used my 50mm f1.4 for night time when i wanted to walk around light and would be much better in low light.
Thats useful to know

QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
My M28/3.5 was probably the most used,

I appreciate the arguments for a wide-range zoom. Personally I find that a zoom tempts me to whack off vast numbers of shots without much consideration, and anyway I hate walking around with a heavy lens on the front of the camera.
I like the 28-30 fov on aps-c so I will probably end up with the F28
Hopefully I'm quite restrained with the 18-135 - I find I continually remind myself that shooting loads entails processing loads!

---------- Post added 3rd Mar 2014 at 13:02 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Seems doubtful you will be after portfolio quality stuff this go around, so pairing your K-5 to your 10-17, F28 and 18-135... you should be good to go.

BEFORE you head-out, I suggest you take some time (say) a couple of weekends and practice photographing local settings (Hampshire, UK... eh?) similar to what you may encounter in Rome. If you plan to shoot church interiors, ask permission to practice in your local parish church (offer to give your photos free to your host, if anything turns out OK... how could they say 'No'?)... Winchester Cathedral, perhaps. Ruins...? Consider local Roman and pre-Roman stuff... Large open-air structures like the Coliseum...? Consider doing some panoramas of Fratton Park. You get the idea. Being able to 'work the setting' with confidence using what you know will be much more rewarding than trying to do justice with a new piece of kit.


Rome is HUGE and so diverse that it's easy to become lost/overwhelmed... In order to narrow things a bit, it might make sense to focus on one theme and plan to return, again. I've visited to Rome several times. For my first, the focus was ancient Rome; the second, Religion; the third, Renaissance; the fourth, Gardens; the fifth, just people/fashion/street life and food. You are fortunate to live so close... well, follow-up visits should be quite easy to plan once you know what to expect.


Anyway... my two cents...


Ciao...
10-17, F28 and 18-135:
I like this combo; I took very similar to Jordan.

Off to London soon so will be trying out a few ideas there - fratton park is a good idea though.

focus on one theme:
a great idea, too obvious for me to think of!
Only problem is that it commits me to going back again - not that my wife will mind

---------- Post added 3rd Mar 2014 at 13:15 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
I travelled there three years ago with a swag of lenses, and found that most of the time I needed very wide (the DA14/2.8 - that extra stop over the DA15/4 is handy in dim interiors, but it is heavier and the hood is a monster) or moderate wide to normal (the FA31/1.8). Since that time, I've bought the DA18-135 and find that, stopped down a little, it's more than adequate for most travelling needs, and it's light for what it is. I've also added the DA15/4 for exactly the same reason. Very rarely, I've wished that I had something longer than the 135, but not enough to be worried, and I wouldn't want to carry the extra weight. I do take the FA31/1.8, FA43/1.9 and FA77/1.8 for use when I'm staying in one spot for a while, and want to photograph detail with the best possible lenses, but carrying everything while sight-seeing is more than my back likes, these days.
I found the 15 and the 18-135 really useful in Jordan a few years ago. I felt that the 18-135 struggled in Iceland last year - the weather was continuously damp and cloudy. I know Rome should be better in this regard but I'll be in and out of a lot of buildings I imagine.
Choices...
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