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03-14-2016, 01:26 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by yucatanPentax Quote
Just to note, that 9.7mm is on a Canon PowerShot Pro1 with a 2/3 sensor, so the 9.7mm is roughly 36-38mm at full frame equivalent. The 17-70 @ 70 (or 105 equiv) would put you roughly 3x closer than the image linked (which is this one). Only you can determine if that is close enough, but I suspect the ferry is approaching Liberty in the image.
Yes, and I assume that 70mm on K3 will be more than enough, and the ferry from that picture did not get closer yet.

03-14-2016, 02:39 PM   #17
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Being a native New Yorker, but now living in Delaware and a frequent visitor back to NY, here is my two cents worth of advice. Think lightweight and think wide angle. You won't need a long telephoto and anything more than 70 mm. Be sure the SDM on your DA 17 - 70 is working properly and with your DA 12-24, you should be covered for just about everything. I would think that you will get the most use out of the 12-24. You will not need the 70 - 200. The K-3 and your two zooms in the smallest shoulder bag you have would be all you need. Like in any big city, be careful but the dangers of walking around with a camera in NYC, except perhaps for a very overcrowded Times Square are very much overrated. I never feel at risk using common sense with my gear and around popular spots like the World Trade Center area and the Battery and Central Park, it seems almost everyone is taking pictures.
Last but not least if you are looking to get a new camera bag a waterproof bag may be a good idea. NYC weather can get nasty very quickly with temperatures in the sunshine around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) one day and snowing the next day. You may want to check out B&H while you are there, lots of good things on display, its on 33rd street and 9th avenue. You can't miss it.

Last edited by jddwoods; 03-14-2016 at 02:47 PM.
03-14-2016, 02:48 PM   #18

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I prefer traveling lightly and would bring just the 17-70 and 12-24. That can fit into a very small bag. You'll probably use the 12-24 most of the time.

I work 3 buildings away from the Ferry terminal. PM me if you want a free walking tour of lower Manhattan.

QuoteOriginally posted by jonlg Quote
...having not been there for over 10 years...
NYC has changed a lot in 20 years and it's one of the safest US cities. Theft is a risk but your cell phone and wallet are more attractive targets than a camera. Keep that stuff in your front pocket not a back pocket.

I often photograph NYC at night. My main camera bag is a Lowepro Slingshot 100 series that can rotate in front of me when walking/standing in crowds. It's also handy for sitting down in a cafe; a loose bag on a chair is a tempting target while a bag on your lap and strapped to you is well protected.

Note that even that small bag gets attention at places that say "no backpacks". I've always gotten through security with it but my luck may run out one day.

QuoteOriginally posted by jonlg Quote
...Gorillapod (because I hear tripods are banned on top of the empire state etc)...
Some guards will not let gorillapods through. They see 3 legs and call it a small tripod, or they don't know what it is and fear it's a weapon. (See "Security Theater")

QuoteOriginally posted by jonlg Quote
...Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 - but only on the day we get the Staten Island ferry to shoot Statue of LIberty (will I even need to take it for that or does the ferry get close?)...
Leave the 70-200 at home. The 17-70 has enough reach from the Ferry.

The SI Ferry is free; don't be tricked by a huckster selling "tickets". The ferries directly to the Statue cost money, require an airport style security check, and take most of a day just to see the inside of the Statue. The SI Ferry is a smart choice.

Last edited by DeadJohn; 03-14-2016 at 03:10 PM.
03-14-2016, 02:48 PM   #19
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Original Poster
Thanks guys,

Some great replies here and I will investigate your camera bag suggestions - it seems like none of you think the pouches on a waist belt are a particularly good idea. I'm also open to suggestions on any 'must shoot' locations. I'm particularly interested in capturing the Manhattan skyline from a high vantage point and also ground level near the Broolklin bridge. Is Greenwich village worth a visit?

One of the things I love most about America is that of all the places in the world I have visited it's the place where I have received the warmest welcome. I just think there's something inherently compatible between Brits and Americans - we might differ in many ways but that's probably what makes the relationship work so well!!

So far I'm planning to see:
Times square
Top of Empire State
Ground Zero
Staten Island Ferry
Statue of Liberty

Looking forward to it. It will be my 11 year old's first taste of America, I hope it blows her mind as much as my first taste of America did me back in 1978!!

That mountainsmith sling bag looks amazing and I plan to visit B&H to buy one! Many thanks for the tip!

Thanks for all your suggestions so far


Last edited by jonlg; 03-14-2016 at 03:02 PM.
03-14-2016, 02:52 PM   #20
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it's no worse than any big city in Europe probably less so as there are fewer pick pockets and the team approach seen in some European cities using kids is very rare here. It is probably because our police take that kind of thing much more seriously than in Europe (I'm not necessarily referring to London).
03-14-2016, 02:54 PM   #21
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For keeping my gear secure I prefer messenger style bags and a sling attached to the camera. Like WPRESTO said, wear it diagonally across your chest and you have it wrapped around you at all times, even when you swing it onto your lap to sit down. This way you can easily grab the strap and hold on if somebody were to try to grab it. (If you wear it over one shoulder like a purse it would be easier to snag if you're not paying attention.)

In my opinion, nothing screams camera gear like an odd shaped black bag that's in impeccable shape and has a LowePro, Canon, or Nikon logo. People might be less likely to suspect you have expensive gear in a bag that looks a little worn. I really like the Tamrac Rally series bags, and the logo isn't as well known as LowePro. The Rally 5 / Rally 6 looks like a large laptop messenger, and in brown it doesn't stand out as high tech.

I have a brown Rally 4 that easily holds my K-3, DA 18-135, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, DA 50 f/1.8, DA 35 f/2.4, 4 batteries and a charger, a pouch of circular polarizers, spare SD cards, SD card reader, white balance card, and a couple other things. My Rally 6 can hold all that plus an extra lens or two and a pair of large flash units in the side pockets. (The Rally 5 is basically a Rally 6 with a netbook/tablet slot on the inside pocket.)

When I have my camera out I have it attached to a shoulder sling so I don't have to keep opening the bag to take it out and put it back in all the time. I still keep one hand on the camera at all times in a busy place, but it keeps me from having to worry about someone snagging or bumping it out of my hand, or me being a clutz and dropping it. It also allows me to let go if I need two hands for something else. (Just like messenger bags, if it's across your chest, you have a good chance of being able to hang onto it if someone tries to grab it.) There are plenty of types, some more secure than others.


As for lenses, you don't want to do much switching where you might risk dropping your 77, so I'd say the 17-70 and 12-24 would cover almost everything. I would imagine you would use the 17-70 most while walking around and possibly the 12-24 for some landscapes on the top of the Empire State Building or in Central Park. I doubt you would get much use of the 70-200.

You didn't mention it, but if you have a 17-50 f/2.8 or another large aperture lens in the 'normal' range (DA 35 or DA 50) you might want it for night-time pictures when it's darker.
Attached Images

Last edited by TheOneAndOnlyJH; 03-14-2016 at 03:00 PM.
03-14-2016, 03:02 PM   #22

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I generally cut logos off bags with a razor.
For several reasons.
Your mileage may vary.
03-14-2016, 05:23 PM   #23
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Like the other native New Yorkers I am confident you will be quite safe in all the tourist spots mentioned.
Like any place where you may encounter many others simple "street smarts" must of course be applied.

A backpack is silly and impractical - you will look the fool and might be mistaken for a terrorist bomber.


03-14-2016, 05:59 PM   #24

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In case you are interested in something to carry your equipment in on the plane and for location to location, the Flipside 400 AW is really accomodating. The zipper that closes the backpack is positioned so that it is not accessible from the back of the pack. If you are carrying your camera in your hand when shooting at populated locations and otherwise just keeping it in your pack when not shooting/heading home, that would be a domestic way to do it. Normal awareness and not straying too far from your equipment is fine anywhere you go. Have a wonderful trip.
03-15-2016, 02:00 AM   #25

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Easy option:
Ricoh GR II + SD cards + spare battery.
03-15-2016, 07:47 AM   #26
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My wife and I spent a week in NYC two years ago. I went with only two lenses, my 18-135 and my Tamron 10-24 mm. I used that Tamron lens most of the time. With all the buildings, wider is better. If I went now, I'd probably just bring a few primes (didn't have them then). You'll be fine with 70 mm max. It's definitely worth travelling light and small. It isn't so much safety but convenience. I had a small bag that was kept in a small messenger bag. It made travel around the city easy, and allowed my camera to be accessible on a whim.
03-15-2016, 09:09 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
The SI Ferry is free; don't be tricked by a huckster selling "tickets". The ferries directly to the Statue cost money, require an airport style security check, and take most of a day just to see the inside of the Statue. The SI Ferry is a smart choice.
Yes, stay away from those rude and annoying guys around ferry area. Hope they are not there any more.
Security check to Liberty Island is not like to the airport, more like cruising style security, a bit a pain, but not much.
03-16-2016, 06:59 PM   #28
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jonlg -

Staten Island Ferry Info:

A - The Staten Island ferry is free. Don't let anyone tell you anything different.
B - The ferry leaves every 30 minutes at the top and the bottom of the hour.
C - The boat ride is about 30 minutes long- one way.
D - When you arrive at Staten Island you will have to get off of the boat and get on different one which is heading back to Manhattan

Have fun while your in NYC


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