Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Gerry Winterbourne
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,695
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to HappyTailz, 2 months ago

HappyTailz wrote:

I am going to Italy in 6 weeks and could use some suggestions as to which lens and/or camera would help me produce some great pictures.

Two aspects of greatness: the scene/image itself and its technical quality.

Scenes first: they depend on your eye and the FOV the camera-lens offers. Your eye is what it is; the FOV depends on the lens. The widest FOV you'll get without fisheye is from either the Sigma 12-24 on FF or Sigma 8-16 on crop (~12.8-25.6). With money to spend before going on holiday one these would be my first item.

Technical quality. All other factors being equal, you'll get better output from kit you're familiar with. It's true that FF cameras have the potential for better IQ than crop cameras, but you need excellent technique and excellent lenses to realise that potential.

I have the Canon T2i, the kit 18-55, and a 24-105. I have found that the 24-105 does not give me a wide enough angle for many pictures, and oftentimes I cannot move far enough back to get all that I want in the shot.

... which is why I suggest the Sigma lenses. It's true that there are other UWA lenses from Canon and others but most start at 10mm (crop) and there's a big difference in FOV.

The kit lens is decent, but does have some significant chromatic aberration and some vignetting (most of which can be remedied in LR5).

The T2i tends to overexpose shots in the evaluative metering mode, plus any shots with IOS400 (or more) are horribly grainy. I'm wondering if I should consider renting the 6D for the trip (of course I'd try it out beforehand), and bring my 24-105, plus maybe rent a mid-range lens, such as the 70-200/300.

If you are unhappy with your camera's exposure it's worth changing. But, bearing in mind what I said about familiarity, the latest Rebel seems more sensible. Remember, too, the extra size and weight of FF body and lenses. Do you really want to be humping more than you need around a hot country full of crowds of tourists?

Shooting in RAW produces about 3 fps. I am hoping to upgrade to sometime better in 5-6 months.

Others have questioned faster frame rate. In high-contrast lighting, either outdoors in strong sun or indoors with bright windows, HDR is often the best way to control tonal range. For this I find that a high frame rate is great for avoiding subject movement between shots.

Or, should I take my T2i, rent a better wide angle lens (such as the 15-85) and a mid-range lens. I don't mind changing lenses, but I don't want to do it four or five times a day.

Here you need to do some deep thinking. The places you are going offer wide, normal and tele views within a couple of paces. Your choices are (1) ignore any views wider than 18(~24)mm and carry a superzoom lens, which is slow and not high IQ (2) reduce your FOV range even more and use a high-IQ wide-medium zoom (3) change lenses as and when needed (4) take several walks around, each with just one lens (5) carry a second camera.

I adopt (3), (4) and (5). Changing lenses takes only a few seconds so if I'm on a fairly quick tour I just change as needed - that's every few shots, so as many as 30 changes a day. But given reasonable time I stick to one lens - either one lens on the way out and a different one on the reciprocal return route, or after one walk with my wife I do a second on my own with a different lens. And my Pentax Q (or some equivalent for you) is always there for a decent-but-not-perfect shot that doesn't suit the lens on my DSLR.

And, finally --- I know that on a crop camera the 24-105 is about 39-168. if I rent a FF, will the 24-105 actually be a 24-105 lens?

It will.  That means learning a new way of using the same lens, of course.

I do not want to take more than two lenses, though.

I've ignored this. If spending a lot of money on a holiday that offers lots of great photo opportunities, why throw a big proportion of those opportunities away? Remember that just because you take three lenses with you, you don't have to carry all of them all the time.

In your place I'd probably add the Canon 10-18/4-5.6 (cheaper than the Sigma 8-16) and then carry pairs of lenses depending on how long I expect to need. 10-18 plus 24-105 is a good combination. Don't fret about the gap from 18-24 - that's only 25% difference in width of FOV so the worst that happens is cropping 1/4 from a shot at 18mm.

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Gerry
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First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006
http://www.pbase.com/gerrywinterbourne
gerry.winterbourne@ntlworld.com

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