Lens suggestion for China

Started Aug 16, 2010 | Discussions thread
damoclesnz
Regular MemberPosts: 404
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Re: Lens suggestion for China
In reply to valleyman, Aug 26, 2010

I live in Beijing

Don't carry too much but carry it with you all the time (some of the best shots you get in China come out of nowhere). As has been stated, people are usually your best subjects. In China you can generally photograph children (in fact I am often asked to take photographs and email the parents the pictures).

Wandering around Beijing I tend to use my 70-200mm a lot (for people shots) and my 50mm 1.4 at night. It gets dark early but people still hang out outside so a fast lens is essential. Check out the street vendors - lamb kebabs (yang rou chuar) and stinky tofu (chou dofu) are great. Beijing duck (Beijing Kao ya) is a must (i am not that fond of it but when in Beijing...)

You will probably end up going to some markets (one is enough), hutongs, the 'Wall' (Badaling is most popular but consider going to one of the other locations too), the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. For these you will want some wide angle capacity. I think 24mm would be enough.

Head into a park early in the evening and watch Chinese people enjoying themselves (dancing, singing chatting etc). The 798 Art District is a bit cheesy but can be a fun way to spend a couple of hours (lots of galleries and cafes). It is an old factory zone filled with photo ops (many of which are designed for that purpose). You will also see locals carrying a boggling array of camera gear.

Best local camera shop if you need anything is http://www.rayi.cn

I think the 24-105 +50mm would be sufficient for Beijing. There will always be times when you wish you had a wider or longer lens but you want to spend most of your time enjoying China rather than trying to document it (a mistake I have made in the past)

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