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Just Another ‘What Lens/s Should I Take To Europe’ Question

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Oct 28th, 2017, 02:38 AM
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Just Another ‘What Lens/s Should I Take To Europe’ Question

Hi All,

Just another ‘I’m off to Europe, what lens/s are good’ thread.

I have a Canon 70D
(which I’m considering switching to the Canon EOS M6 - thoughts on that too please)

I currently have the 10-18mm and the 50mm f/1.4.
I do have the 18-135 kit lens and a 70-300mm - but these wouldn’t be ideal!

I’m looking for wide I guess - architecture and all that good stuff so the combos I’m looking at,
(and need a good point of direction/ experience) is either:

1) 10-18mm with a 24mm f/2.8
2) 17-55mm f/2.8 with a 50 f/1.4

Or some combination with those lenses.

I just feel the 50mm is just a bit narrow for my little crop camera.. but the f/1.4 is wonderful hahaha.

Open to recommendations though.
I like the idea of the 17-55 f/2.8 over the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 .. even though it has less range.
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Oct 28th, 2017, 03:06 AM
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What are you intending to photograph?
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Oct 28th, 2017, 04:25 AM
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Short answer in many of the Italian cities your 10-18 will handle most of what you need. At times it won't be wide enough.

Short answer it depends on your vision . Go to for example Flickr and look at the various images. Many have the EXIF data with focal length and exposure. You can get an idea of what's needed.

https://www.flickr.com/people/rocket_italia/

That's mine. But millions of others have uploaded photos. Almost certainly the cities you're going to have been covered . Put in the research and see.
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Oct 28th, 2017, 06:40 AM
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First rule of travel photography-whatever lens you take will be wrong.

You never know how close or far you will be form the detail you wish to shoot. You never know where you will need to crawl or the best available light or angle. If you look at most travel shots, they are shot dead on and offer little intrigue or interest.

I would simply take the most versatile lens. I always found the shorter focal length lenses the least used.
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Oct 28th, 2017, 12:12 PM
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I have a Canon 5D Mark II and a bunch of lenses that I took to Europe for years. This last May, I switched to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000, a "bridge camera" but a decent one (big sensor, 20MP) with a 25mm-400mm lens. I doubt I'll ever take the DSLR to Europe again - it was a joy not having to lug all the gear around, and I got most of what I wanted. In fact, I've largely switched to it for almost everything even when not traveling.

On my last trip, occasionally I missed my 17-40mm wide angle (my camera is full frame so that's roughly equivalent to your 10-18mm on the 7D). But I don't have any regrets. 25mm was usually wide enough. On the other hand, I'd say I got more pictures with this camera than I would have with the DSLR setup. Partly that's because I could shoot anything easily without needing to change lenses. Some shots where I thought, "Is it worth it to stop and change lenses then change back for this one shot?" turned out pretty good - but you can't always tell at the time.

I've never had a 400mm-equivalent zoom before, and I found I used it a whole lot more in Europe than expected. I do tend to shoot wide more often than zoomed, but I zoomed quite a lot too. And this camera is surprisingly sharp even at 400mm - not perfect, mind you, but not bad. The image stabilization system built into the camera is very good, and I've found I can shoot handheld even at 1/125 sec at 400mm (if I'm careful), which is astounding.

The Lumix isn't perfect. Battery life on this particular model is terrible. I needed a second battery every day I was in Europe and occasionally even the third battery - but I usually shoot a lot. And the FZ1000's stops down only to f/8, which many pros would skoff at, but it works most of the time. The camera is a few years old now - newer models may be superior. Sony's RX10 line is a superior camera in many ways (even it uses probably the same sensors internally as the Lumixes) but they cost quite a lot more too.

I'm not sure what Canon's equivalent bridge camera is - but I have probably given up on Canon, so I don't really care. I've fought various issues with Canon for years and am just tired of it. Both the 5D and 5D Mark II were dust magnets, and even the Mark II's built in sensor cleaner is sometimes not good enough, so I've had to have it cleaned (or clean it myself) more than once - or live with dust in my pictures, a huge PITA to clean up if you have a lot of pictures.
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Oct 28th, 2017, 12:15 PM
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In any case, to address your original question: I now know I could live without the super wide lens. So you might be just fine with only the 18-55mm. The fast 50mm isn't that big or heavy - so I'd probably take that too, and it sure is nice to use in low light without needing high/noisy ISO or a flash (e.g. inside a church). 55mm on a crop camera is about 70mm equivalent to non-crop. Personally I would want more of a zoom than that though. I think I'd also take my 70-200mm too if going back to Europe - I used that a lot in the past and once didn't have it and really missed it, plus it's a fantastic, sharp lens even at 200mm. Can't speak to the 70-300mm.
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Oct 28th, 2017, 12:45 PM
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After decades of producing gallery quality medium format B&W photography and now color digital for my blogs, the lens you should use is the one you're most comfortable with and has given you the best results historically. If you don't know which that might be, take a pair of shoes out of your luggage and bring more lenses. Until you spend time finding out how you "see" best, it'll just be hit & miss.

For instance, I see best using a square format, had the most success with my Rolleiflex. I'm still coming to terms with a rectangle and have recently bought myself a square format digital. But until I've used it for a while I'll stick to what I'm currently most comfortable with for pictures I take while traveling. I believe one's equipment should be second nature, no attention need be spent other than on the image. That applies to your quest for the right lens as well.

Regarding a different camera, I once said to a friend who was a veteran professional photographer, "This camera takes great photos". His response was "No, you take great photos". Equipment isn't where the magic lies, it's who's pushing the buttons. So I recommend you stick with the equipment you know best, a new more expensive camera may just get in your way. Unless the hardware is what you really love.
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Oct 28th, 2017, 07:38 PM
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I used to exhibit photos and the most annoying question was, "What type of camera do you use?" As if you had nothing to do with the shot. The best answer is, "A Nikon XXXX. Are you a good cook? Because I want to what type of oven do you use."
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Oct 28th, 2017, 07:42 PM
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While interesting I really don't see the point of some of the responses. There are artistic questions and there are technical questions.

Standing in front of the Trevi fountain and wanting to get the whole fountain in one image using a full frame camera you're looking at 18mm or wider. You can't back up enough to go longer. Even 18mm means standing in the shop doorway. If you tilt up you end up keystoning.

In other spots the crowds mean you need to get close to avoid a crowd shot. The fountain in front of the Spanish steps is a good example of this.

The idea you can't research this doesn't make sense. It's not that hard to come up with a shot list .
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Oct 28th, 2017, 08:50 PM
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The OP seems to lean in favor of a fast lens instead of long range. I'd chose the versatility long range instead, and have been happy going that route for my travel photos.
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Oct 28th, 2017, 10:36 PM
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I'm grappling with the same problem, for Russia (st petersburg and Moscow) , camera is d7000. I don't print but do enjoy some slow shutter work around landmarks to show how people are moving. Another subject is detail of artworks seen and general street photography. Just reading the discussion here rather than starting a fresh thread.
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Oct 29th, 2017, 02:37 AM
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How do you know what you are going to shoot before you get there? How do you know from what distance or angle you will be allowed to shot? What will be the ambient light? Do you want details? Do you want a panoramic view?

Many telephoto lens, except for the really expensive ones, have specific focal lengths are crisper than others. Look for reviews to see this information.

Are these shots for you or for an exhibition or sale?

Are going to shoot the same shots that have been thousands of times?
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Oct 29th, 2017, 06:28 AM
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IMDonehere, sure, one should ask all those questions. Which is why I have chosen long range versatility lenses. On my last trip I had two lenses: a 35 mm equiv of 18-36mm f/4-5.6, and 28-300mmm also f/4-5.6. I used mid-quality lenses, more than adequate for my purposes.

The full zoom range was used somewhere during the trip and I was glad to have the coverage. While a faster lens would be nice, most of the time I was probably shooting f/8 or so anyway.

I tend to favor wide angle since it was largely a landscape trip, but wide is also good for interiors and architectural photos. With a wide angle you have a better chance of keeping the camera level so you don't get converging vertical lines on buildings (unless you want them of course). Crop out the elements you don't need, usually a distracting foreground, when you get home.

Anyway, to answer the OP's question my $0.02 is go for the longer range and err on the side of wide.
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Oct 29th, 2017, 08:37 AM
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10-18 and the 24mm

but I'm a short lens guy. 70D has crop, so that needs to be accounted for
and bring the 50mm, because it's such a small lens.

and learn to zoom with your feet. closer is better.
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Oct 29th, 2017, 08:52 AM
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Sometimes I photo a big mountain
Sometimes a distant magpie
Sometimes I gets a great notion
To lie down and shoot at the sky


[with many apologies to Lead Belly and Ken Kesey]
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