Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy

Started 3 months ago | Questions
HappyTailz
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Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
3 months ago

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.

I am an intermediate photographer and usually shoot wildlife/nature, but have recently discovered the awe and joy of street photography and architectural buildings, etc.

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

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.

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.

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?

Feel free to offer other suggestions as to what combo to take.  I do not want to take more than two lenses, though.

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darklamp
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to HappyTailz, 3 months ago

Lens choice. Well I'd go with the 18-55 and 55-250 as you seem to have them.

The T2i tends to overexpose shots in the evaluative metering mode

Actually it does not - you do that.

The camera does not know your priorities for what is over and under exposure in a shot. You're supposed to control that using exposure compensation or a different metering mode or both.

Your remark does suggest a lack of basic technique. I'd address that first with a book on basic technique. That really will improve your photos.

plus any shots with IOS400 (or more) are horribly grainy

Clearly you pixel peep. Stop doing that, it's pure folly. Think image as a whole, not pixels.

In fact at ISO 400 it's practically indistinguishable from the Canon 6D full frame. Just checked them in the DPR studio test.

So whatever problem you think you have it's not going to be fixed by getting a new camera.

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

What do you need more than 3 fps for ?

I've found that generally learning to time one shot is better than relying on the machine gun burst approach. YMMV.

Like I said, I think your problem is nothing to do with the camera.

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Alphoid
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to HappyTailz, 3 months ago

I agree with most of what darklamp said, except for the metering bit (a few Rebels of that generation had seriously inaccurate metering), so I won't repeat it. Well, much of it; maybe two sentences: 3fps is fine for everything sensible except sports if you know what you're doing (and it's not bad for sports either). T2i isn't grainy at ISO400 unless you've got a defect.

However, I would recommend renting a 6D, and using the 24-105. Why?

  1. Even knowing nothing about photography, you'll get better photos.
  2. You'll have a useful all-purpose lens (24-105mm).
  3. You'll learn the difference between the cameras. Especially the controls and the viewfinder will be much better, and generally, it will be more pleasant to use.

If you do rent the 70-200mm, get the f/4. The f/2.8 is too unwieldy to be practical. Personally, I much prefer something smaller than that even. I'm not sure in Canon, but Minolta had a 135mm f/2.8 which was 2.5"x3.26", 366 grams, and optically very good. That, and crops, makes for a very nice mild telephoto.

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HappyTailz
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to darklamp, 3 months ago

darklamp wrote:

Lens choice. Well I'd go with the 18-55 and 55-250 as you seem to have them.

The T2i tends to overexpose shots in the evaluative metering mode

Actually it does not - you do that.

Yes, it does overexpose. It is a known anomaly of this camera. I have had it long enough to know that the over-exposure is not a factor of what I do or don't do.

plus any shots with IOS400 (or more) are horribly grainy

Clearly you pixel peep. Stop doing that, it's pure folly. Think image as a whole, not pixels.

No, I do not pixel peep. I have had others look at the photos, and even take some themselves, and the grain is easily apparent at ISO 400 or above.

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

What do you need more than 3 fps for ?

I'm not saying I need more than 3fps for the Italy trip. But, yes, for wildlife photography (i.e., birds) and sports, which I didn't mention, such as horse racing and motorcross sports.  I am not a fan of the "spray & pray" method, but I would LIKE more than 3fps.

Of course I have many things to learn.  I am certainly not an expert, but neither am I a rank beginner, and I know that at  least some of the problems I'm experiencing do have to do with the camera.

I only asked for suggestions for camera/lens combo for the trip, so your response is a bit off-based and not helpful.

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HappyTailz
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to Alphoid, 3 months ago

Thank you, Alphoid, for your comments and explanation of your suggestions.

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HappyTailz
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to darklamp, 3 months ago

Oh, and I do not have the 55-250.  I think my gear list may show that, but I do not have that lens.

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darklamp
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to Alphoid, 3 months ago

Even knowing nothing about photography, you'll get better photos.

I can't agree with that. It's not something I can really prove or disprove, but for me it's like saying to a learner driver they'll drive better in sports car than a hatch back.

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Limburger
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to darklamp, 3 months ago

darklamp wrote:

Even knowing nothing about photography, you'll get better photos.

I can't agree with that. It's not something I can really prove or disprove, but for me it's like saying to a learner driver they'll drive better in sports car than a hatch back.

Agree.

This is the worst advise one can get.

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Limburger
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to HappyTailz, 3 months ago

What part of Italy are going to visit?

Generally a wider angle I would advise to have a look at (10-18 or 15-85).

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Cheers Mike

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HappyTailz
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to Limburger, 3 months ago

Florence, Amalfi Coast and a final night in Naples.  Never been, looking forward to going!

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Leonard Migliore
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Ooh
In reply to HappyTailz, 3 months ago

HappyTailz wrote:

Florence, Amalfi Coast and a final night in Naples. Never been, looking forward to going!

Well you got a nice trip going. I wouldn't even bring a camera. Why waste time taking pictures when you could be having fun?

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Leonard Migliore

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Limburger
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Re: Ooh
In reply to Leonard Migliore, 3 months ago

Leonard Migliore wrote:

HappyTailz wrote:

Florence, Amalfi Coast and a final night in Naples. Never been, looking forward to going!

Well you got a nice trip going. I wouldn't even bring a camera. Why waste time taking pictures when you could be having fun?

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Leonard Migliore

LOL, yes Italy is great.

Well if in Italy I want to take a shot or two

I would decide for big aperture prime or UWA with general aperture. Again like 10-18 or 15-85 or big aperture prime.

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Cheers Mike

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Kokeen4231
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to HappyTailz, 3 months ago

I see you're going on an exotic trip with lots of walking to do!

I would recommend you rent a 6d and take your 24-105 with you. Normally I would recommend taking 2 primes or more but that can really be feel a hassle if you're not in the mood to constantly change lens. Unless you're an avid street photographer, you'll be used to sticking with one focal length and changing your point of view to fit the situation instead. I took quite awhile to adapt too.

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

I guess if you're gonna shoot architecture up close, you would need a decent semi wide angle. On the full frame, the 24mm should be good enough.

The T2i tends to overexpose shots in the evaluative metering mode, plus any shots with IOS400 (or more) are horribly grainy. Shooting in RAW produces about 3 fps. I am hoping to upgrade to sometime better in 5-6 months.

Grainy at iso400 sounds fishy but if you say so, then all the more the 6d would suit. Especially if you're doing night shots, the difference would be clear. Since you say you might be upgrading a body in a couple of months, this could be a good tryout.

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.

The mid range lens might really be a burden.

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.

The 24-105 would have a better range than the 15-85(which won't be much wider compared to 24mm on ff)

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?

Yes, thats right.

Have a fun trip!

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Leonard Migliore
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Well really
In reply to Limburger, 3 months ago

Limburger wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

HappyTailz wrote:

Florence, Amalfi Coast and a final night in Naples. Never been, looking forward to going!

Well you got a nice trip going. I wouldn't even bring a camera. Why waste time taking pictures when you could be having fun?

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Leonard Migliore

LOL, yes Italy is great.

Well if in Italy I want to take a shot or two

I would decide for big aperture prime or UWA with general aperture. Again like 10-18 or 15-85 or big aperture prime.

I been there. Florence is too much. You can shoot the Duomo with a wide angle or shoot from the top of the Duomo with a tele. I don't remember if you can take pictures in the Uffizi but I was pretty much gasping from looking at the artwork. A 10-18 is probably good for the streets.

Amalfi is so gorgeous. Wide angle, I guess. The towns go straight up from the ocean. Don't carry too much stuff or you won't be able to climb the streets.

Naples is gritty. Take one lens, probably 15-85. Be quick. Look to see who's behind you.

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Leonard Migliore

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Limburger
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Re: Well really
In reply to Leonard Migliore, 3 months ago

Leonard Migliore wrote:

Limburger wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

HappyTailz wrote:

Florence, Amalfi Coast and a final night in Naples. Never been, looking forward to going!

Well you got a nice trip going. I wouldn't even bring a camera. Why waste time taking pictures when you could be having fun?

-- hide signature --

Leonard Migliore

LOL, yes Italy is great.

Well if in Italy I want to take a shot or two

I would decide for big aperture prime or UWA with general aperture. Again like 10-18 or 15-85 or big aperture prime.

I been there. Florence is too much. You can shoot the Duomo with a wide angle or shoot from the top of the Duomo with a tele. I don't remember if you can take pictures in the Uffizi but I was pretty much gasping from looking at the artwork. A 10-18 is probably good for the streets.

Amalfi is so gorgeous. Wide angle, I guess. The towns go straight up from the ocean. Don't carry too much stuff or you won't be able to climb the streets.

Naples is gritty. Take one lens, probably 15-85. Be quick. Look to see who's behind you.

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Leonard Migliore

Been there too, hence why I recommended these lenses.

Just be carefull and don't get paranoid.

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Cheers Mike

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LynniePad
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to HappyTailz, 3 months ago

HappyTailz wrote:

darklamp wrote:

Lens choice. Well I'd go with the 18-55 and 55-250 as you seem to have them.

The T2i tends to overexpose shots in the evaluative metering mode

Actually it does not - you do that.

Yes, it does overexpose. It is a known anomaly of this camera. I have had it long enough to know that the over-exposure is not a factor of what I do or don't do.

plus any shots with IOS400 (or more) are horribly grainy

Clearly you pixel peep. Stop doing that, it's pure folly. Think image as a whole, not pixels.

No, I do not pixel peep. I have had others look at the photos, and even take some themselves, and the grain is easily apparent at ISO 400 or above.

I only asked for suggestions for camera/lens combo for the trip, so your response is a bit off-based and not helpful.

Congratulations for calling the gratuitous advice unhelpful; such advice usually is.

.

I'm planning a holiday in Italy next year and I would really like to take two cameras, but the advice from the travel agent (and others) is that it's best to limit yourself to the basics. According to my agent, the following tourist advice for the Vatican is typical of many sites:

Vatican Photography Note particularly the need to check-in any large bags.

I think you would appreciate a wide angle lens for much of your photography. I am planning to take my Nikon D7100 with Sigma 10-20mm and Nikon 18-140mm. This gear fits in a small carry bag, and the lens combination has proved useful in the past. I very rarely need to use more than 100mm on the Nikon zoom, but it is such a good lens that I wouldn't want to leave it at home. I'll probably take a compact Nikon as a backup. Coolpix S6300.

- Buon Viaggio

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NetMage
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to Kokeen4231, 3 months ago

Actually the 15-85 has a better range, with a 24-128 equivalent versus the 24-105, but the constant f/4 may be an advantage.

I would rent the 6D and take the 24-105, the T2i is pretty old now.

if you had a better camera, a 60D or 70D, I'd say get the 15-85 - it is a great lens.

if you're serious about sports and action, the 7D is at its cheapest price right now since it's replacement is coming, if you want to get a body and lens.

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NetMage
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to NetMage, 3 months ago

Actually after reading up on the T2i, it seems like it should take about the best pictures possible for a Canon APS-C camera, so if you are unhappy with its quality, I don't think you have an affordable upgrade path. Renting the 6D will still be good for your trip, though.

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Kokeen4231
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to NetMage, 3 months ago

My bad I calculated wrongly. The 15 85 has greater range and it's a really great lens. However, like you said, I think renting a 6d would be a more incremental upgrade than renting a 15 85.

It's true the canon apsc have roughly the same Iq the past few years. However, I think a wildlife photographer would look for more than Iq. A fast smooth af would really be his deciding point. Perhaps the next 7d...

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Craig Gillette
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Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy
In reply to HappyTailz, 3 months ago

I recently took a trip to Italy and stuck to one lens on a Sony NEX-6 mirrorless.  It was the 16-50 kit lens which is universally discussed and widely agreed to be worth talking about (kit lenses being always a little suspect when it comes to IQ and especially slower apertures).  It's a functional kit lens with an ff equivalent range of 24-75mm.

Although 24mm equivalent was wide enough most of the time, if were to choose only one other lens to go either wider or to go longer, I'd say go wider.  There are several pretty competent wide zooms for aps-c cameras.  even some that you could go with that would get to the 24-105 and maybe even overlap some.  I did see people with longer lenses, even 70-200/2.8s in use but they were more the exception and the big lenses are bulky, heavy and I would think get bigger and heavier as the day goes on and the walks get longer and stairs steeper.

Should you decide to go with a different body (aps-c or ff) give yourself enough time to really get used to it.  In my case, the NEX-6 isn't all that similar to the dslr I've been using so there was some fumbling going on, sticking to Canon dslrs would seem that you'd have more similarity in handling and interface.

The interiors are pretty dim in many of the well known venues.  I found that the NEX has "scene modes" that can stack exposures to seriously reduce noise, although they are jpg modes.  But even with better high iso performance some of the interiors were dim enough that getting to suitable shutter speeds ws difficult so some of these modes were handy.  I had practiced some ahead of time but found the conditions worse than the places I'd tried close to home.  So having a practiced approach to low light is a good idea.

While I carried a camera in the Uffizzi, the only places I tried to take pictures were the dining terrace and at the windows that overlooked the Arno (not sure what might have happened had I tried elsewhere).  I would suggest getting early starts for the Uffizzi and the Vatican Museum, the crowds do build up and even if allowed, photography can be crowd limited.  St. peters Basilica was large enough to have useful space as were some of the other places we visited but the museums tended to be more confined and crowded and even just looking at the most notable material was tough with tour groups, loners, guides talking into their mikes, etc. all over the place.

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