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camera question

I am really into photography so it is natural I would bring my Canon 70D. My question is what lenses do avid photography enthusiasts bring to Europe? We will be on the 21 day RS tour. I have the 24-105 mm lens as my walk around and a 10-20mm lens I am thinking about leaving at home......I think I need a faster wide angle lens for use in lower lit churches and museums and am considering the purchase of such a lens now. Any experience as to which lens I should purchase?

Posted by
1068 posts

Well, I have gone a slightly different route, so I'll see how it works out (just got a Lumix DMC-FZ-1000.) Of course, everything I say is prefaced by: depends on what you want to shoot. My walk around lens is an 18-250 and, in the past, I have usually taken 1 other lens. You sound like a photography person, so you know you will get decent low light performance from the sensor in the 70D. but recognize in the interiors of a museum or church you will get some noise at higher ISOs without a tripod. I have traveled with some 1.4 primes for indoor shots but my widest prime is 30mm. Yes, they help, especially in museums, but the 30 or 50 I have traveled with don't give you the biggest perspective on things like the interior of a cathedral. Unless you plan to print pretty large, the 105 will give some decent telephoto range, but catching that gargoyle or zooming in on that street scene will be a little limited. I have also traveled with my 10-20 zoom but it isn't all that fast. Wide angle is often useful in Europe where you can't back up much because of a narrow street or you are trying to catch an expansive view, such as the inside of a cathedral. I don't know if the 70D has a panorama feature, but I have used that at times. I found myself using my 18-250 almost exclusively when I traveled. In Russia last year, I took the 50mm f1.4 and only used it twice. A couple of years before that, I took the 10-20mm to Spain and did use it several times, but I decided not enough to justify taking the second lens (hence trying the Lumix.) I found that, especially on tours, it is a pain to change lenses, so I only did it when I had "free time" which made it less than helpful. When talking to fellow photo buffs on other RS tours, they often just took their kit lens and did fine. One other option is to buy a small super telephoto point and shoot. Why? Well, it is nice not to lug your camera around when strolling in a park or going out to dinner. And with a small superzoom you can get close to that gargoyle (again with the caveat you are not printing large) and many have a 24 or 25mm wide end. I take a point and shoot for that reason. One other point you may know is learn the basics of steadying your shots.....hold the camera properly, think of the old string on the floor trick, rest your camera on the back of a pew or hold it against the side of a column. That has worked for me a number of times. Good luck with the pics.

Posted by
2081 posts

kathy ,

Im in the process of getting rid of my SLRs and darkroom since i dont use them anymore.

I bought two (2) Point N Shoot (PnS) camera that have overlapping zoom lens.

I would say what you bring would depend on what type of shooting you plan on doing. On my travels most of my interests are located indoors or the enclosures those things are housed in. So, I find that 90% of the time I'm using my PnS with a wide to mild telephoto. Sometimes the wide isn't wide enough and the tele isn't tele enough but that will be the case with any camera/lens combo you choose. If my wide to mid tele isn't good enough, i just bring out my mid to extreme tele and have at it. I can carry two (2) PnS cameras since they are smaller and they are both at hand.

If it was me i would bring the 24~105 since you have some mid zoom on it. the other lens you are just stuck to a wide. when i was using my SLRs, i had two (2) zoom lenses. 28~80 and 70~210. I used the 28~80 90% of the time and if that 28~80 went to ~200, i would have used it more. Thats why i had to SLRs and one on each lens.

just a comment. considering you have just one other wide angle lens and since it doesnt take up 1/2 of your luggage, i would just bring it. worse case you lug it around Europe and not use it. Best case, you learned something. One other comment. If you dont plan on having it "on" you when you need it, no use bringing it.

happy trails.

Posted by
71 posts

I normally shoot with a Canon 60D, which shares the same APS-C sized sensor as the 70D. A few years ago I picked up the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, mostly because it offered a constant f/2.8 across its zoom range. Since you're noting that your wide angle lens isn't very fast, I'm assuming you have the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 rather than the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5. The performance of the Tokina has really impressed me.

It may be worth the upgrade to f/2.8 if you really need that extra stop or two of lens. Otherwise, pump up your ISO and you'll probably be okay.

Posted by
5789 posts

With the 70D's APS-C sensor your 24-105 is an almost normal to short tele in equivalent 35mm. Given Europe's small streets, bring the WA zoom.

If details are important to you having midrange tele (200to 300 in 35 mm equiv) capacity has its advantages. You can't climb up the Astronomical Clock tower to get closer. That or shoot at max res and crop.

But cropping doesn't help if you have too long a lens. (I suppose you could stitch when back home.). Bring the WA, its compact.

Also helps in low light to have image stabalized capability. If you have room a bean bag helps. A lot of interior in no flash, no tripod.

And bring extra chips.

Posted by
725 posts

Yes, Nikky, I have the slower Sigma 10-20pm lens. I rarely use it! I was truthfully thinking of getting either the Sigma 16-35 f/1.8 or the Canon 17-55 mm f/2.8. I'm guessing if I had the 17-55 mm that just might live on my camera the most.....I do have 50 mm f/1.8 prime that is good and super light-weight..... I just really don't look forward to having to swap out lenses that often and while I will probably bring it, I'm not sure how often I would USE it.....

I do have a Canon Power shot PD as well and it can zoom out to 300+mm. I think i'll make hubby use that one :)

Posted by
725 posts

Sound advise, Edgar. I did recently purchase the heavy duty gorillapod that I expect may come in handy although I'm not positive there will be places for me to wrap the legs around to anchor it. Hopefully?

Posted by
4535 posts

I have a Canon Rebel and use an 18-200 lens. I find it gives me maximum flexibility between a wide angle and zoom. I use the zoom a lot as I like to get details on buildings. While sometimes it's hard to get everything in a shot, I personally don't feel I need anything wider than what I have, and certainly not worth carrying around.

Your camera will almost certainly work well in lower lighting. I've never had an issue and rarely have to rest it on anything for stability.

For ordinary shots of people or food (I'm one of THOSE people), I just use my iPhone. I would never want to carry around a second camera.

Posted by
31519 posts

kathy,

I always travel with a DSLR and these days that's a 7D. I've found on numerous trips that I tend to use only two lenses about 99% of the time.....

  • Canon EF 24-105L - if my memory is correct, because that's an EF lens there will be a 1.6 crop factor which means the actual focal length will be ~38-168. It's not an especially "fast" lens but it provides f4 across the entire range, which is nice.
  • Canon EF-S 10-22 - as this is an EF-S lens, the focal length will be as specified. This is also not a "fast" lens but f3.5-4.5 isn't too bad, and I've had some great results with it. I've found that having the wide angle capability is really useful in some situations.

Regarding having a "faster wide angle lens for use in lower lit churches and museums", I don't find that to be a problem as the lower light can be compensated for with ISO speed, shutter speed, etc. I'm often photographing stationary objects so long shutter speeds aren't a problem.

Don't forget to pack at least one spare battery and of course lots of memory cards.

Have a wonderful time on your tour!

Posted by
456 posts

Definitely take your 10-20mm lens. You won't use it every day, but you will be glad you have it in some of the churches. On my last trip, i opted for a p&s and left my dSLR at home. The only thing I missed about the dSLR was my 11-16mm lens. On the next trip, I will most likely take my dSLR solely for the ultra wide angle option.

Posted by
1068 posts

Wow, (mostly) some great advice. I find (in Europe) the WA is more useful than telephoto and most of my shots with my walkaround 18-250 are at the 18-30 range. I do like that occasional mid range shot (I kind of semi-collect gargoyles at cathedrals..... so it is helpful to have some sort of telephoto---okay, drop the semi---I love gargoyles at cathedrals.) I think a fast WA would be great in lots of circumstances and I like the sound of the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. Hard to say, but the Canon 17-55 mm f/2.8 doesn't sound like that much of an upgrade to me. I took my 50mm and also (on different trips) my 30mm f/1.4 and (IMHO) didn't think the light savings would outweigh the WA aspect if I would do it again. Anyway, here in Bridgetown, we have places that will rent you lenses. Why don't you think about giving yourself an "assignment" of trying out a lens for a day (if you can find a place that will rent it to you locally.) I found out the hard way I don't care to take the f/1.4s although I am glad I have them at home. I also find out that given how I usually print and display my photos, the smaller sensor in something like the Lumix is probably enough (although I do worry.... what if I accidentally take that National Geographic Shot!) IMHO, the noise reduction ability of software is improving remarkably. I just took some 100, 200, 800 and 1600 shots with my Lumix and I'm guessing they will all look fine for how I display my photos. So, if you can.... try some lenses and see what you think! As a total aside, although it is difficult to use indoors, I take a light travel tripod. It helps for HDR, night shots etc. and does almost everything except dark interiors (where most places don't let you use a tripod.) Happy Snapping.

Posted by
5789 posts

Wide angle lenses diminish apparent shake all things being equal while teles magnify shake. Having a faster big aperture tele is more needed than a fast WA in terms of shutter speed selection. A WA is also more compact giving you no excuse for leaving it behind.

While I find my tele useful, with a max pixel camera like your 70D you can fake a tele shot by cropping if you can hold against shake.

The great advantages of your 70D over the P&S is almost absence off shutter delay and sports predictive focusing. For some strange reason a lot of P&S images are of the horses butt.

Posted by
725 posts

Today I went to our wonderful art museum and took lots of photos with my 24-105 mm f/4 L lens and surprisingly they were all pretty good. Afterwards I went to my local camera shop and tried out the Sigma 16-35 mm f/1.8 and the Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8. I like the idea of having a bit more zoom with the 17-50mm and that lens has OS..... Honestly, my Sigma 10-20 mm is slow and has terrible barrel distortion, especially at 10mm. I'm thinking about trading it in and getting one of the lenses I tried today or possibly the Canon 17-55 f/2.8. Does anyone have any experience with either of those lenses?

Posted by
31519 posts

kathy,

IMO, the Canon 17-55, f2.8 is an excellent Lens. I sometimes wish I could pack it along. Unfortunately I have to put a limit on the Camera gear, and that range is covered by the two Lenses I do bring.

The 10-22 is also an excellent Lens, and I've seen a few comments from photographers who feel it should have been designated as an "L" lens.