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03-10-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
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Advice on Lens for NY trip

First trip to the Big Apple and wanted to get some opinions on lens choice. Going to be there this week and there is rain and snow in the forecast so of my lenses listed below I'm leaning towards the DA18-135 WR, DA15 and maybe the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye for fun. Also, would you carry a tripod - I'm thinking yes if I want to try some night shots - just not sure how safe it is to be carrying around this equipment in NY (using the subway and buses as means of transportation) and using it on a tripod at night.

Lenses I own (in case you can't see my signature): DA15, FA31, DFA 100 WR, DA 18-55 WR, DA 18-135 WR and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye..

I'm new to DSLR photography and definitely never really taken pictures in any large cites. Plan on taking pictures of architecture around the city and most likely inside of buildings where allowed. Do the museums allow photography?

Any opinions would be appreciated.

03-10-2014, 07:21 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by azrickster Quote
Lenses I own (in case you can't see my signature): DA15, FA31, DFA 100 WR, DA 18-55 WR, DA 18-135 WR and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye..

.
I went for eight days - took the 10-17 fisheye, 12-24 and 17-70. Only a handful of times did I wish I had a longer lens.

I would recommend the 8, 15 and 18-135. No tripod. I had to check in my little 6'' minipod at the Empire State building, though my complete bag of stuff was otherwise OK :-(

If you want to see about 1,300 NYC photos, here they are...

SpecialK's Gallery - SlickPic
03-10-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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I don't even use my FA31 that much, but I'd take it to NYC. The character of that lens' images fit the character of the city, IMO. You especially may want it in Central Park, if you're going there. Good both in daylight and in the evening. Also the FA31 is your only choice inside of museums (don't remember exactly which ones allowed it, but some sure did). When indoors you'll want to shoot it between f/1.8 and f/2.2 much of the time. Turn SR on and keep your shutter speed faster than 1/10s (preferably faster than 1/20s).

EDIT: on the K-5 II, you may be able to get away with only 1/6s or faster at times (at least I can on my K-5 IIs, unlike any previous Pentax bodies I've owned).



18-135 WR and FA31. Other lenses are optional.

The DFA 100 WR and 8mm FE would probably look the most interesting to the casual observer. They won't even think your other lenses are valuable. I would (and did, IIRC) make the DA15 my third choice. Fits nicely in its pouch in my pocket, if need be.

Last edited by DSims; 03-10-2014 at 08:13 PM.
03-10-2014, 07:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by azrickster Quote
I'm new to DSLR photography and definitely never really taken pictures in any large cites. Plan on taking pictures of architecture around the city and most likely inside of buildings where allowed. Do the museums allow photography?
Museums do allow photography as long as there's no flash or tripod. Twenty years ago, I took my girlfriend to the top of the Empire State Building to take photos. I brought my Bogen 3000 series, and I needed the full weight of that thing to counteract the wind gusts. Sorry to read that SpecialK had to leave his minipod downstairs.

Regarding safety, your equipment isn't the target for theft, but you are. It's important to keep your attention on your surroundings, and less on your equipment.

And get yourself an unlimited ride Metrocard if possible.

---
Larry

03-10-2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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@SpecialK: Really awesome shots! I love all the super-wide stuff - you really bring the size of the city to light!

@azrickster: I just moved from NYC last year, and looking back through all my photos, they were almost all taken with either the 12-24, the DA 70mm, or the D-FA 100mm. So based on your lens selection, I'd say the DA 15, the DA 18-135WR, and either the fisheye or your macro, depending on which one you use more in real life. I would totally skip the tripod and just throw a small beanbag or something in your camera bag. Stormy weather makes for awesome ominous skies - you're in luck since you have WR lenses!

And because we're throwing them out there, here's my flickr set of NYC: New York - a set on Flickr
03-10-2014, 08:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I don't even use my FA31 that much, but I'd take it to NYC. The character of that lens' images fit the character of the city, IMO. You especially may want it in Central Park, if you're going there. Good both in daylight and in the evening. Also the FA31 is your only choice inside of museums (don't remember exactly which ones allowed it, but some sure did). When indoors you'll want to shoot it between f/1.8 and f/2.2 much of the time. Turn SR on and keep your shutter speed faster than 1/10s (preferably faster than 1/20s).

EDIT: on the K-5 II, you may be able to get away with only 1/6s or faster at times (at least I can on my K-5 IIs, unlike any previous Pentax bodies I've owned).



18-135 WR and FA31. Other lenses are optional.

The DFA 100 WR and 8mm FE would probably look the most interesting to the casual observer. They won't even think your other lenses are valuable. I would (and did, IIRC) make the DA15 my third choice. Fits nicely in its pouch in my pocket, if need be.
Agree 100% with this. 31mm for nearly everything and the 18-135 for anything else. Thrre is a lot of shade in NYC because of the high rises, so the f1.8 will be needed in some cases.
03-10-2014, 09:27 PM   #7
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15, 31 and 100mm. Leave the rest at the hotel and enjoy the city!
03-10-2014, 09:32 PM   #8
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The ideal kit for a big city, of the lenses I own: DA15, FA35, DA 18-135 WR and DA 10-17mm Fisheye.

You have almost the same kit:

> DA15, FA31, DA 18-135 WR and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye
  • The 18-135 is an obvious all-purpose, weather-resistant, walk-around choice.
  • I never go anywhere without a fast normal. I used the FA 35mm exclusively in the Louvre Museum. It's also great for just showing what you saw; zero perspective distortion.
  • The 15mm is very wide, with ultra low barrel distortion. Great for buildings, interiors and exteriors.
  • Sometimes even 15mm is not wide enough, that's where the fisheye comes in. Also of course, the fishy view can add interest to an otherwise mundane scene.

I don't travel with a tripod.

03-10-2014, 09:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice everyone and nice pics SpecialK and McCall.

Good point on needing fast glass. I'm gonna stick with the DA15, DA18-135 and 8mm FE and toss in the FA31. A little more than I wanted to carry, but I'll just leave behind certain lenses depending on what I plan for the day:-).
03-10-2014, 09:52 PM   #10
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Check museum websites before going. Most (all?) museums won't allow a tripod because it gets in the way of other guests but will allow non-flash photos. Some museums ban all photography.

Nighttime photography: Times Square and other gathering places have enough lighting for handheld high ISO exposures. Bring a gorillapod for long exposures of the skyline, bridges, etc.

I would bring your 18-135 for general walkaround, FA31 low light and when you want narrower DOF, and finally the 15 or 8mm because you'll have many wide angle opportunities.

As for personal safety, NYC is safer than many smaller USA cities. Regardless, it's always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. Don't get so distracted by your camera that you become an easy mark for theft, or step into traffic, or twist your ankle on something.
03-10-2014, 10:18 PM   #11
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The Met museum (world's best IMO) does allow tripods--forgot if they allow on weekends. They have a form to fill out at the main desk. I never use monopod but presume it falls under same rules as tripod. I have not checked this in years so it could have changed. More useful would be the tripod at the Cloisters which is part of the Met. Check their site/call them.

But having said this I think a tripod is a nuisance and not needed if you have a dslr w/SR capable of iso 1600. My personnel choice is a 24 or 28 mm and a 50mm macro, and possibly a fast (f1.4~f/2) 35mm/50mm. But if you prefer a zoom, then I suggest one that covers similar range. But of course we all have our favourite FL range. But I think a big city is not the place to carry lots of big lenses/equipment.

If you haven't tried it and want more camera support--I suggest (in the future) you learn to use a "string tripod."

---------- Post added 03-10-14 at 10:21 PM ----------

Oh--and yes the museums allow photography of their own holdings--but not material on loan--and generally only if the pictures are not for commercial use. (Anyway the Met, Moma, and Whitney, and NOT the Guggenheim.)

Last edited by dms; 03-10-2014 at 10:42 PM.
03-11-2014, 07:16 AM   #12
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I've only bring 18-135 during my winter vacation in new york; although i only visited limited places, i'm quiet happy with the lens/result.
(Capture Lights l Pictures from new york with 18-135)
03-11-2014, 08:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by azrickster Quote
Advice on Lens for NY trip
I was going to suggest fast and wide, a tripod probably not, just lean or find seats or rails for stability.
03-11-2014, 09:32 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
The Met museum (world's best IMO)
Well behind the Louvre, IMO, having been to both. Not quite top 5, according to most sources. https://www.google.ca/#q=world's+best+museums&safe=off
Americans!
03-11-2014, 09:35 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Guggenheim.
You can only shoot in the lobby :-( You must check your bag.
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