Europe with One Lens

Started May 4, 2013 | Discussions
MrJamela
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Europe with One Lens
May 4, 2013

I'm going to Europe soon and I'm toying with the idea of bringing my NEX 6 and only one lens -- the Zeiss 24mm 1.8.

I also have the 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens available to me.

I'm expecting to be walking around a lot, and every extra ounce seems like it will add up quickly. And I love the pics I get with this lens. I feel like if I have both lenses I will constantly be thinking about what to use rather than just chilling out and taking pics.

Is this a terrible idea? Do I need that extra bit of range for museums, etc.? Should I be looking at options to go wider or um, zoomier?

And then on a similar note, has anyone tried the Black Rapid Metro ? I like the idea of just wearing my camera when we are walking about instead of constantly fidgeting with my bag. Am I asking for undo attention if I have my camera across my body like this when I am sightseeing in London and Paris?

Thanks,

Jaime

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dark13star
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

Europe is a big place. Where will you go, what will you do?

I travel in Europe often and for my last couple of trips, I replaced my DSLR with my Nex-7 and on the last trip to the UK, I only used the 24mm. I actually bought the 16-50 to have in my pocket and I never once put it on. I love shooting prime and that lens works well inside and out.

Here are the photos from my long weekend in London last month, if you would like to see how it did: http://richcaccavale.smugmug.com/Travel/London-2013/28915858_NSh4R8#!i=2457128137&k=CdsQJx8

I also did just fine climbing Kilimanjaro and traveling around Tanzania with the 18-55.

Cheers
rich

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clail
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

You may find E24 is not wide enough as space is tight in Europe. I did most of my shots with the E16&UWA! The new 12mm Zeiss will be great but at times too wide. The E1018 will be very handy. USA is very spacious compared to Europe where streets are narrow and monuments are big, in cathedrals the E24 might only get you half the details/view.

I also intend to get the Metro as you can slip it under your coat and just slide it up to shoot.

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Jefenator
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

The SEL24 is definitely the one I would take if I had to do just one. I did Europe back in the day with a 24mm, 35mm and 50mm - didn't use the shorter and longer primes that much. I did a trip last month with just the SEL24 and found it to be pretty photographically fruitful.

OTOH these modern e-mount lenses are a lot smaller and lighter than my old Nikkors, so why not bring one or two extra?

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blue_skies
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

MrJamela wrote:

I'm going to Europe soon and I'm toying with the idea of bringing my NEX 6 and only one lens -- the Zeiss 24mm 1.8.

I also have the 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens available to me.

I'm expecting to be walking around a lot, and every extra ounce seems like it will add up quickly. And I love the pics I get with this lens. I feel like if I have both lenses I will constantly be thinking about what to use rather than just chilling out and taking pics.

Is this a terrible idea? Do I need that extra bit of range for museums, etc.? Should I be looking at options to go wider or um, zoomier?

And then on a similar note, has anyone tried the Black Rapid Metro ? I like the idea of just wearing my camera when we are walking about instead of constantly fidgeting with my bag. Am I asking for undo attention if I have my camera across my body like this when I am sightseeing in London and Paris?

Thanks,

Jaime

You are the photographer - you see what you see and record it the way you deem best. That's the artist in you.

With a single lens, you will 'think through the lens' more than with multiple, or with a zoom lens.

For Europe, you need a fast and wide lens, and the E24Z is an easy lens to go traveling with in Europe. You may find it even to be too narrow at times. Take the E16, or one of the zoom kits if you can.

For the shots that you won't get - who cares? They are mostly tourist snapshots in the end.

But the shots that you do get - they will be more interesting if it is your only lens.

You draw more attention in Europe with a camera dangling on your body than with a camera bag, imho. Especially in churches, etc. But cameras, and tourist, are very common, so don't be shy.

If you travel in a group, I would consider taking more lenses, just for the group shots, individual shots, etc. - the E24Z may not be your preferred lens then. The E50 is a nice alternative to have.

Lastly, the E24Z is an expensive lens - I would carry it in a small bag, even if you have a 'quick strap' to hang it from. You can combine the two, can't you?

Instead of a camera bag - consider a lens jacket? Hang it on your belt?

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Cheers,
Henry

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Craig Gillette
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

Don't know if one lens would be "right" for  you.  I'm considering the idea of a small camera - RX100 or NEX with kit zoom - but not having been to Europe, worry some about not having the tele capability to maybe get some smallish but distant exquisite detail of some sort.  The alternative is kit creep and I'll be back with a dslr and three lenses to schlep around.

OTOH, I don't see the need for the Black Rapid type strap on a small camera like an Nex or RX100, etc.  They aren't so heavy as to need more exotic weight control measures nor are you going to be swapping cameras around quickly.  Nor  am I sure that allowing the camera to swing free at the hip is necessarily the right approach as a casual tourist assuming one doesn't want to stand out.

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MrJamela
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to Craig Gillette, May 4, 2013

Heh. Yeah....by Europe I mean that I will be travelling to London, Bruges, and Paris. How many major cities do you have to hit before you can generalize?

I figure the Metro would be for when I am in shooting mode at locations. I just hate wearing the neck strap...maybe for walking around, but when I'm travelling and not shooting it will be in a bag or backpack (still trying to sort that as well).

I figure if I really want to go wider I can shoot panorama.

If I need to get closer the 50 might be enough.

I don't own a long zoom, but if I can find the money I'd consider one of the longer zooms.

I feel like I will learn more if I focus on one lens and make it more of an extension of myself.

Jaime

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Jerry R
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Did Switzerland & France last June with the Zeiss 24mm and the C3. The Zeiss
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

Did Switzerland & France last June with the Zeiss 24mm and the C3. The Zeiss is fantastic allowing crops down to 1/2 a mega pixel.

0.5 meg crop

1 meg crop

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John Knuhtsen
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

Have a nice trip ! Well, tourist are recognized by wearing a camera. It has been so for a long time. Beware on pickpocketers on museums etc. (Louvre in Paris per example). We have a split up Europe today, rich contra poors, that is some kind of terrorism that we have to live with. Romans invade, and they are organized. Well, it seems to be worse in South America. Excuse me for telling.

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wblink
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Re: Did Switzerland & France last June with the Zeiss 24mm and the C3. The Zeiss
In reply to Jerry R, May 4, 2013

It took me 12 years "to do France" and there is very much I haven't done, seen, tasted.

It only took me 2 weeks "to do USA AND Latin Am", so go figure.

Europe is no different than any other place to viisit, so I would choose my lens(es) like that.

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Ray Maines
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The Kit Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

MrJamela wrote:

I'm going to Europe soon and I'm toying with the idea of bringing my NEX 6 and only one lens -- the Zeiss 24mm 1.8.

I also have the 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens available to me.

It sounds like this is your first trip to Europe and you'll mostly be in cities. I'll suggest the 16-50 mm kit lens for your NEX-6 as it's much more versatile, the IQ isn't bad, and it's no heavier or larger than the CZ-24.

A lot of times I find that I can't get far enough from something I want to shoot and the wide end of the zoom works well for me. And panorama really isn't the same as wide angle.

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rogatsby
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

I think a trip with just the Zeiss 24mm would be fine. You will have to improvise, but the 24 is an awesome lens, and will be great for street photography. When I go on trips, I usually just take 2 lenses: the Sigma 19 and either the SEL35, Sigma 30, or SEL50. I always take the Sigma 19 because of its great landscape capabilities, and I'll choose among the latter three I mentioned. I find that to be a very compact and perfectly capable solution for me.

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JohnAC
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

I am about to do Europe with the Nex-7. Did it also last year and took the Zeiss 24 and the SEL-18200 18-200. I found this to be a useful combination, often leaving the 18-200 on the camera, but when light became poor, or I wanted the superb quality of the Zeiss for a special shot, or I was just doing street shooting or wanted to be less conspicuous I just took the Zeiss. The Zeiss is a great walk-around lens but I found that it was sometimes a bit wide, and lack of OSS was a bit restrictive. I have just acquired the SEL3518 OSS and love it, so will take that with me this trip along with the others and see what works best. Personally I would not want to rely only on a 24mm prime for the varying scenes you might be be faced with in Europe.

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willk48
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to JohnAC, May 4, 2013

I'm also about to leave for Europe. I will be going to London, Paris and Rome. Additionally, I will be taking a one week Med. cruise. I have a new:-D 5R with the 17-50 lens. I would like a faster lens for interior/portrait shots (inside the cruise ship). Would the Sigma 30 2.8 make much of a difference in low light. Can't afford the Sony 30 1.8 now (my wife is going to flip when she sees what I spent on the 5R).:-D

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HeavyDuty
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

I've traditionally done vacations with just one prime lens (either a 35 or a 50 on film), but I doubt I'll be doing that any more.  IMO I would do better with a typical zoom, especially if it has OSS.  That's why I've kept the kit 18-55 for my NEX-7 - family shooting and vacations.

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dark13star
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What's your goal?
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

That is really the question. Do you want to be able to capture as many scenes as possible? In that case, they are memory photos and it doesn't really matter if they are sharp corner to corner, etc. Or is there a certain kind of photography you like to do and you want to take advantage of a new location to do it in? In that case, bring the lens that supports the way you like to shoot. Otherwise, you won't enjoy yourself or be happy with the results.

I mentioned above that I travel in Europe often and many times I'm on a mix of business and pleasure. I bring the Nex-7 with the 24mm because I use my free time to do the type of photography I enjoy doing. However, when I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro last year, I brought the 18-55 kit lens because I knew I would probably never do that climb again and I wanted to capture as many memories as possible. People see my photos from that trip and are amazed by the experience we had. No one looks at the corners and says they aren't sharp.

That's really how I would make the call.

Good Luck
Rich

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HeavyDuty
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Re: What's your goal?
In reply to dark13star, May 4, 2013

That's a great description I've never heard before - "memory photos".

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wblink
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Re: What's your goal?
In reply to dark13star, May 4, 2013

I read a lot of you telling |"I am doing Europe".

Do you hvae ANY idea about Europe? Do you know it is MUCH more different from USA as you thinnk? You CANNOT DO EUROPE. You have to experience it.

I have met a lot of USA-people that say "i have seen "The Netherlands in Europe, I have been in Amsterdam".

Please "Do South America" first. THEN we are taling .....

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Clayton1985
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Re: Europe with One Lens
In reply to MrJamela, May 4, 2013

MrJamela wrote:

I'm going to Europe soon and I'm toying with the idea of bringing my NEX 6 and only one lens -- the Zeiss 24mm 1.8.

I also have the 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens available to me.

I'm expecting to be walking around a lot, and every extra ounce seems like it will add up quickly. And I love the pics I get with this lens. I feel like if I have both lenses I will constantly be thinking about what to use rather than just chilling out and taking pics.

Is this a terrible idea? Do I need that extra bit of range for museums, etc.? Should I be looking at options to go wider or um, zoomier?

I don't think it's a terrible idea since you really can't go wrong with the 24 f1.8 as long as you are satisfied with the focal length.  But IMO extra weight is not a great reason to go with one lens.   There are quite a few lens choices that weigh next to nothing - PZ 16-50, 35 f1.8, 16 f2.8, etc and even the 50 f1.8, 10-18 f4 and 18-55 kit lens.   You can also leave a lens behind in your hotel depending on your plans.

Personally, If I had to make the trip with one lens I would probably buy the Sony RX100 or the Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55 f2.8-4.  Otherwise, I would take all three of the lenses you own and decide when/if I wanted to carry the others on a day by day/activity by activity basis.  You really aren't risking much by taking the 18-55 and 50 f1.8 even if they stay in the hotel room most of the time.

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dark13star
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Re: What's your goal?
In reply to wblink, May 4, 2013

wblink wrote:

I read a lot of you telling |"I am doing Europe".

Do you hvae ANY idea about Europe? Do you know it is MUCH more different from USA as you thinnk? You CANNOT DO EUROPE. You have to experience it.

Where did I use such language? I said I travel often in Europe on business and pleasure. I agree with your sentiment, but I just didn't say "do Europe." Because I've my work, I've gotten to spend time in small villages in Africa, Asia, and South America, living with the people. I agree you can't just do continents. In fact, on pleasure trips, I rarely schedule more than two cities because I like to hang out with the locals and experience the place, not see the sights.

I've also been in every state in the US. You cannot "do" any country, continent, or even state, but I don't think anyone said you could.

Rich

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