I'm back from Nepal: lens choice summary and pics

Started Mar 13, 2010 | Discussions thread
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tominbabylon Regular Member • Posts: 177
I'm back from Nepal: lens choice summary and pics

A few months ago I started this thread:


I received lots of helpful responses which ultimately aided me with my choice of lenses for my trip. I'm back (alive, just), and thought I'd share some comments re lens choice. I ended up taking the 5d2, 17-40, 50 1.4, 24-70 and 135L. Here are some comments:

1. After getting a feel for my lenses in that particular part of the world, and realising how great my new 50mm is for street portraits, I all but stopped using the 24-70. Granted it looks cool, but in reality with a 50mm I only had to step back a step, or forward a step, to cover the 24-70mm range, and I also had f/1.4 at my disposal should I need it. This was great in the crowded, dark streets of Kathmandu.

2. The 135L I found is a perfect length for street candids. There were a few times I wished that I'd brought a TC but overall I don't feel that I lost many shots due to the restricted focal length.

3. I didn't use the 17-40 much in the cities, but when I got up into the mountains, WOW was I glad that i'd brought this lens. Together with my new B&W polarizer (NON-slim - it didn't vignette at all, surprisingly) the Himalayan landscapes looked fantastic.

4. I took UV filters but rarely found it dusty enough to use them. None of my lenses suffered at all - not one piece of dust (I am rather careful to put lens caps back on while not shooting).

5. The 300mm lens I was considering taking would have been good on a few occasions but overall I didn't miss it.

6. I took everything in a LowePro mini trekker and the setup was fantastic. Yes, it gets annoying taking the bag off to change lenses, but I remedied this by keeping one spare lens in a lens case on my belt. On my long trek this meant I had say the 17-40 on the camera and the 135 in the lens case. My girlfriend sure got sick of me asking her to hold my lenses while I changed.

7. I took 4 batteries and never used the 4th - only used the 3rd on a few occasions. I took 60gb of CF cards and filled them all with raw files (almost ran out).

So in summary - and quite surprisingly - the 24-70 became quite a redundant lens for me, and the 300 was indeed not necessary. Having learnt more about my own needs (I love street portraits), I've sold my 24-70 and 50 1.4 and am buying a 50L (I understand this lens has its quirks). The 135L is a brilliant lens, even for travel, and I didn't miss the long zoom.

And finally, here are a few portraits that I've managed to process so far. I hope my comments have been helpful .

135L @ f/3.2

135L @ f/3.2

135L @ f/2.2

135L @ f2.8

24-70 @ f/6.3

 tominbabylon's gear list:tominbabylon's gear list
Canon EOS-1D X Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM Canon EF 135mm F2L USM +4 more
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