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01-28-2011, 03:22 AM   #1
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Honeymoon in Rome, what Lenses do I need?


Relatively new to photography so here goes , I got a Pentax KX with 18-55 kit lens in August last year but due to work and studies iv barely been able to use it, now that studying is over I'm looking to really start taking my camera everywhere like my dad used to.
But to the question. I'm going to Rome for my honeymoon in July and I really want to take take advantage of the grandness of this old city. I was just wondering what lenses i would need for a trip like this? The obvious photos will be of the architecture, landscape etc, but i would also love to take advantage and get close ups of the sculptural detail and textures on the buildings etc and of some of the street artists and performers. Budget isnt very high, i cant afford to pay £300-400 on a lens.

Any help would be appreciated.

01-28-2011, 03:33 AM   #2
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I suggest a Wide Angle (sigma 10-20 is a good choice)
A telephoto is very useful too. Considering the hot temperature in Rome during July, I suggest you a VERY light equipment.
01-28-2011, 03:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikiresty Quote
I suggest a Wide Angle (sigma 10-20 is a good choice)
A telephoto is very useful too. Considering the hot temperature in Rome during July, I suggest you a VERY light equipment.
DO you mean in weight, so i dont have to carry around heavy equipment?
01-28-2011, 04:35 AM   #4
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Who has time to take pictures when on a honeymoon??

01-28-2011, 05:21 AM   #5
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A wide angle would be your first priority. And they sadly don't come cheap. Maybe a Samyang 14mm would be an option if buying new? But it's not really that wide on an APS body. Or then to keep an eye on the used market for anything of interest.

I don't think weight is an issue, with one body and two or three lenses it's not going to be a lot to carry even if you get heavy stuff.
01-28-2011, 06:36 AM   #6
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Travel lens

A Pentax DA 18-250mm is a very good travel lens, or the Tamron 18-250mm, same lens really. The extra range will allow you to get detail shots of buildings, and other things that you will miss with the kit lens and a wide angle. You can stitch frames together afterward for panoramas (ultrawide look). This lens will do close up shots too. IMHO, the IQ is very good for a big range zoom. I find the IQ is better than the kit lens. A fast prime like the new 35mm f/2.4 would be nice for indoor shots in low light. These two lenses would make for a very small and light kit, easy to carry in one small bag.
01-28-2011, 06:38 AM   #7
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I would suggest the Sigma 10-20 is great for Roman streets but since you want to keep it light and just two lenses (depends on your budget of course) then :

Tamron 17-50/2.8 (go used)
Pentax 55-300 (plenty around - not the L version - and amazing value and sharpness for the money) and if you want to add a low light prime then maybe a manual 50 of a 1.2/1.4/1.7 variety (not expensive).

If you have more to spend then how about :

Pentax DA*16-50/2.8 & a Pentax DA* 50-135/2.8 plus a FA 50/1.4 or 43/1.9 Ltd or even 31/1.8 Ltd ?
Ignore that bit - just noticed your bit about graduating student etc. !

..... and for the sake of marital harmony .... keep your lenses focused on the Roman architecture and not the ladies ! Photography had better (for your sake) be taking up a very minor role in this honeymoon though

Roma is also well known (as in many major cities) for it's pick-pockets and thieves too ... so keep your valuables (including your camera gear and your wife) well protected !

Last edited by Frogfish; 01-28-2011 at 06:43 AM.
01-28-2011, 07:05 AM   #8
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I just got back from our 10th anniversary trip to Italy (Venice, Florence, Sorrento and Rome). You definitely need a wider lens! The 16-45 F4 comes to mind if you are looking at a lightweight zoom. The 55-300 would also be a good match, as it is also relatively light and a good range.

All that said, I travelled with several primes, the 15mm, 43mm, 70mm and sigma 30mm f1.4 (and the kit lens, of which I have the weather resistant version). I took 2500 shots, and of those, 80% were with the 15mm - it is a great travel lens! It might sound crazy, but personally I would recommend your kit lens and the 15mm. Feel free to check out my gallery link, it is loaded with photos from the trip.

01-28-2011, 07:16 AM   #9
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Rome is my second city as I feel I am there almost as much as I am in Athens over the last 6 years. I am going to go against the others a little here and suggest you forgo a wide prime or wide zoom and just stick with your 18-55 and use it happily. The wide angle will be fine as the city is very spacious and getting your subject in the shot will be no problem. At times, I use only my FA35/2 and still get the shots I want in most cases. Most of the time when I am there, I use my Tamron 17-50 and cant ever recall wishing I had something even wider.

If I was you, I'd be spending my money on other things than on a new lens just for that trip.

Enjoy and congratulations!


Last edited by Jasvox; 01-28-2011 at 07:24 AM.
01-28-2011, 07:21 AM   #10
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A used 12-24 will set you back about $600. That is all you need in a city, though you can take the 18-55 for the short telephoto stuff.
01-28-2011, 07:25 AM   #11
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Another on the wide, really most of what you want will need a wide angle
The Sigma 10-20 would be ideal
for close ups you could look for a manual focus prime like an m 100 f4.0 macro. and then take the kit lens to fill in the space between. the 100 will get you about as close as you will need and allow macro close ups

mostly in Rome I shot with my bronica 645 and used almost exclusively the 50 (30 mm equivalent on 35mm or 20mm on apsc) wished I had brought my Pentax for the use of the DA14 more than once (I've since filled the hole for medium format with a 40) had my wife's Olympus with the kit lenses but that was really no wider than the Pentax kit or the 50 on the bronica.

The DA15 as recommended above would also be an excellent alternative

both the 10-20 and the DA15 should leave you with some cash left over to buy a good used longer lens (manual focus primes will give you best quality old manual focus zooms are cheap as chips)
01-28-2011, 07:33 AM   #12
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Having been there, you can't get wide enough... Get something like the DA15 to complement your kit. And if you can justify it, replace your kit with the DA 17-70 or Sigma 17-70.

Then, consider a fast low light lens, like the FA50 f1,4 or something similar. A tele is not mandatory, that will depend on your style.

Make sure you know your gear before leaving, and negociate BEFOREHAND with your significant other as to the amount of time you're allowed to take pictures. I discussed it with my wife before leaving for Hawaii, and avoided unpleasant discussions when on-site. And take plenty of pictures of her along the way.

Congratulations on your wedding, by the way!
01-28-2011, 07:39 AM   #13
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from my experience, when in any european city, I need only from 10mm to 75mm.

Since you have a kit lens already, the best option would be a sigma 10-20 or similar.

18mm is not wide enough, and since you dont need over really 70mm a super zoom like an 18-250 is useless. it really does nothing more than the kit lens.
01-28-2011, 07:42 AM   #14
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Funny how the opinions and advice are all over the map here. Just goes to show you, everyone has a different approach and style.

01-28-2011, 08:14 AM   #15
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Yes, we are not much the same, are we?

I've not been to Rome, but I've spent time in Naples and the Amalfi coast. I've also spent time in Mexican and Central American towns and cities that structurally aren't so different from Italian places I've visited. My first kit, bought especially for such places, were:

DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4

Those have served me well across North and Central America. My lens accumulation has grown a bit since then. Of what I now have, my absolute minimal kit for such places would be:

Zenitar 16/2.8; DA18-250; FA50/1.4; Nikkor 85/2 and/or Tak-B135/2.5; Raynox DCR-250

The Zenitar, FA50, Nikkor and Tak-B for lower light in appropriate spaces. The 18-250 for everything else. The Raynox can fit on any of those except the Zenitar. And expanding that kit a bit, I'd include my new Tamron 10-24, and my Bellowscope with a few tiny enlarger lenses.

But on a honeymoon, why use a camera outdoors?

Last edited by RioRico; 01-28-2011 at 08:20 AM.

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