Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

Started Sep 16, 2011 | Discussions
JCLittle Forum Member • Posts: 60
Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

I’m always seeing posts about which lenses to bring along to a specific place. I’ve always read them with great intrigue because I’m a world traveler and generally stuff my backpack full to the brim. So the posts about only wanting to bring one or two lenses have brought a grin to my face many times!

Well I’m heading to Tokyo and Hong Kong next month for business and like always was planning on bringing “everything” but now thinking about cutting back to just 2 or 3 lenses. “Everything” consists of a D700, 14-24mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4G, 24-70mm f2.8, 85mm 1.4D, 70-200mm VRII F2.8, all Nikon glass and a lightweight Manfrotto carbon tripod.

I shoot landscapes, street scenes, people, cityscapes etc. So what would you be taking? Would I be crazy to bring only the 35 and 70-200 and force myself to get by/get better?

 JCLittle's gear list:JCLittle's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G +4 more
matt stallan New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

I would recommend the 14-24, 35 and 70-200. I have been to Tokyo 4 times now and have always gone with various equipment that you listed. I found myself ether shooting wide or zoomed. If you are into street photography the wide is a must as Tokyo is condensed. Also the 14-24 provides awesome angles. When I brought the 24-70 and 70-200 I found that I was always near the end of the zoom. The 35 is good because it does not take up much more space in the bag. I say this because you will get tired with all the weight and at night its nice to go out with a light setup and zoom with your feet and leave the rest at the hotel.

Hope this helps

Matt

sixmats
sixmats Regular Member • Posts: 101
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

I would take what you are comfortable carrying. I lived in Tokyo for four years, and I can see a need for each one of those lenses.

marco1974 Senior Member • Posts: 1,736
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

JCLittle wrote:

[...] but now thinking about cutting back to just 2 or 3 lenses.

That's precisely what I do myself most of the times: intentionally limit myself to bringing along only two lenses.

Given your kit, this time around I'd bring the AF-S 35/1.4G and AF 85/1.4D.

Marco.

 marco1974's gear list:marco1974's gear list
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Guidenet
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Nice choices

marco1974 wrote:

JCLittle wrote:

[...] but now thinking about cutting back to just 2 or 3 lenses.

That's precisely what I do myself most of the times: intentionally limit myself to bringing along only two lenses.

Given your kit, this time around I'd bring the AF-S 35/1.4G and AF 85/1.4D.

Marco.

Wow, I didn't even need to toss in my 2 cents because Marco picked exactly what I'd pick from those choices. If I had the 24 f/1.4 I might go that instead, but the 35 is great.

I can't tell you how often I set out for a walk while traveling with the 85 f/1.4 on the camera and a little 35 f/2 in my pocket, hood attached. That is a fantastic combo in my opinion though I do tend to bring a large kit. I find that when traveling i don't go much above 85mm very often. In most cases, I can walk closer or crop later.

As a birding and wildlife photographer, those longer lenses are quite important most of the time, but not when traveling, especially on business. If I were going to Hong Kong and Tokyo for pleasure and had plenty of time, I might bring a 70-300 VR to attempt some local birding or maybe a 300 f/4 with cnverters.
--
Cheers, Craig

Follow me on Twitter @craighardingsr : Equipment in Profile via Plan

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lanef Forum Pro • Posts: 10,317
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

I was in Tokyo last July and I have mainly used my 24-70, 16-35 and my 70-300VR for some Neons close up at night.

http://www.pbase.com/bingard/japan

windsprite
windsprite Senior Member • Posts: 2,477
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

I think a fast 35mm and fast 85mm as suggested above make a good minimalist setup, but I would not want to be caught in Tokyo without an UWA in addition to the primes.

Julie

JCLittle wrote:

I’m always seeing posts about which lenses to bring along to a specific place. I’ve always read them with great intrigue because I’m a world traveler and generally stuff my backpack full to the brim. So the posts about only wanting to bring one or two lenses have brought a grin to my face many times!

Well I’m heading to Tokyo and Hong Kong next month for business and like always was planning on bringing “everything” but now thinking about cutting back to just 2 or 3 lenses. “Everything” consists of a D700, 14-24mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4G, 24-70mm f2.8, 85mm 1.4D, 70-200mm VRII F2.8, all Nikon glass and a lightweight Manfrotto carbon tripod.

I shoot landscapes, street scenes, people, cityscapes etc. So what would you be taking? Would I be crazy to bring only the 35 and 70-200 and force myself to get by/get better?

 windsprite's gear list:windsprite's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F100fd Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D2H Nikon D700 +40 more
Hindigo Regular Member • Posts: 296
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

“Everything” consists of a D700, 14-24mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4G, 24-70mm f2.8, 85mm 1.4D, 70-200mm VRII F2.8, all Nikon glass and a lightweight Manfrotto carbon tripod.

I spent about a week in each of these cities, using a D80. You'll definitely want to go wide for the narrow lanes (especially in HK Central) so the 14-24 is a must IMHO. The rest would depend on your relative interets, but I'd go for the 85 (as someone suggested, had you had the 24 1.4, I would also definitely have pointed this one in addition to the 85 1.4).

I wouldn't bother with the tripod, especially in HK (too much pedestrian traffic on the relatively narrow sidewalks).

Tom

Oscarroos Senior Member • Posts: 2,914
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

D-700 and 24-70 with the 35 prime would be my choice. The 70-200 would be great but I doubt you would use it enough times to warrant the weight and bulk. Main thing is: Enjoy, Japan is a facinating place with great people and food. Hong Kong is great and be sure to eat Dim Sum and lots of seafood.

Love both towns.

Great two places to visit!
--

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/67660656@N03/sets/72157627576100801/

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Biarien Contributing Member • Posts: 869
Advice based on my HK trip

I am not fortunate enough to have such a nice kit, but when I went to China and Hong Kong a bit over a year ago, the lens that saw the most use was the Tokina 12-24 (on a D80). I also used my 50/1.4 AI a lot for evening street shots, though it broke before I got to Hong Kong.

A tripod is a necessity if you want to get good photos of the Hong Kong light show, which is quite fun (I won't claim that mine is particularly special, but it is below nevertheless).

So if I had your gear, I'd take the tripod, 14-24/2.8, and 35/1.4. Of course if you feel the need to bring a telephoto, bring the 70-200. Unfortunately, I've never been to Tokyo, so I can't provide any thoughts on that subject.

Cheers,
Brendan

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Pradipta Dutta
Pradipta Dutta Veteran Member • Posts: 9,781
Go wide

If you have to take just one lens, take the 14-24 and if you have space for the second, take the 24-70. That should be more than enough.

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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 13,144
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

Hindigo wrote:

I wouldn't bother with the tripod, especially in HK (too much pedestrian traffic on the relatively narrow sidewalks).

Tom

A tripod is mandatory in Hong Kong to take the essential shot from atop Victoria Peak at night. A must go to spot.

raunak Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

if I were in your place I would get the 14-24,24-70 and 70-200. .I personally like the convenience that zooms offer and somehow just "knowing" that I have all of the focal range covered makes me relaxed and able to just focus on the photos instead of worrying about whether i left something at home that i should have bought. . i am not against primes or anything but when visiting a new place where I have only a limited time to stay I would prefer to have zooms..

I suppose you'd be getting the most interesting shots in HK/Tokyo using the 14-24. .some of the markets and other tightly packed spaces look beautiful when viewed though a wide angle..I've visited tokyo but working in HK now for the past four years so some of the places which you should visit IMO are:

1. The peak tower - Great view both during the day and specially spectacular at night. You'll see a lot of people with tripods there so just be patient to get your spot. best time to visit would be around 3 in the afternoon so you can have a look at the shops for some time and have enough time to take a few pics during and after the sunset and also the night time view. If possible visit this during a weekday not a weekend.

2. Avenue of stars - Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) - Another touristy place but the best place to catch the daily laser and sound show. The show starts at 8pm so make sure you reach there by 7.30 to get a good place. Can get crowded.

3. 100th floor of the ICC building - For the amazing views. Refer the link.
http://www.sky100.com.hk/

The 55th floor of the IFC building is also open for visitors (and is free) but its quite brightly lit on the inside so you can have some light reflections in your photos. Visit only if you have the time.

4. Mongkok ladies market and Jordan temple street night market for some nice street shots and also great for shopping. Bargain as hard as you can ! There are also a lot of camera stores in Mongkok (E2 exit from the station). You can have a look around. .maybe not for something too expensive but a lot of interesting accessories to check out..

5. Ngong Ping 360 Cable car ride - http://www.np360.com.hk/html/eng/front/index.asp

6.The best way to take street shots in HK would be to climb aboard the HK island tram. Try to go to the top and get a seat in the front. The journey is quite slow and its a flat fare of 2 HKD no matter where you get on/off. The tourism authority has a few open bus tours running as well but I find the tram better and cheaper as well.

7. Day trip to Lamma island or Sai Kung if you'd like to get away from the city.

will add more to the list later. . .gotta go out now. .

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arab_ninja Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

In the last trip to Hk this year I only took the 16-35 and the 24-70. If you want to take candid pics of people then bring the 70-200 but hk is such a busy and small place that I never found the need for a telephoto lense.

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ted6328 New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

If I were you, I would take 14-24, 35 and 85. When I were in hong kong May this year, I use 14-24 most of the time for cityscape meanwhile 35 for street photography. Occasionally I use 85 for candid shoot.

Biarien Contributing Member • Posts: 869
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

rattymouse wrote:

Hindigo wrote:

I wouldn't bother with the tripod, especially in HK (too much pedestrian traffic on the relatively narrow sidewalks).

Tom

A tripod is mandatory in Hong Kong to take the essential shot from atop Victoria Peak at night. A must go to spot.

As well as from across the channel at the viewing platform (where the photograph I posted was taken). And bridges over the street, when you come across them. I thought there were plenty of places to use a tripod in Hong Kong.

On the subject of Victoria Peak: before going up, you may want to check the weather. We only had one opportunity to go so we just went, but this was our view (you can see the building identification map on the guard rail):

—Brendan

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Biarien Contributing Member • Posts: 869
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

raunak wrote:

I've visited tokyo but working in HK now for the past four years so some of the places which you should visit IMO are:

A couple more that I visited that I thought were fun (Raunak, perhaps you can help identify these places...):

(1) There is one area with a bunch of specific shops all clustered together -- a flower street, a pet bird street, and a goldfish street. From a Google search, it seems this is near Mong Kok (or maybe is the same thing..?).

(2) We visited a very tall mall that was fun to walk around. It had some of the longest escalators I've ever seen. Photo for identification below -- I cannot remember a thing about what it was called, though I think it was within walking distance of the goldfish market (?).

—Brendan

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raunak Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

The bird market you are talking about is in prince edward. . .the flower market and goldfish street are also located there. .Prince edward is the next station from Mongkok on the subway.
http://www.12hk.com/area/PrinceEdward/MongkokBirdPark.shtml

Believe that the mall you are talking about is Langham Place in Mongkok.. .

 raunak's gear list:raunak's gear list
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Biarien Contributing Member • Posts: 869
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

raunak wrote:

The bird market you are talking about is in prince edward. . .the flower market and goldfish street are also located there. .Prince edward is the next station from Mongkok on the subway.
http://www.12hk.com/area/PrinceEdward/MongkokBirdPark.shtml

Believe that the mall you are talking about is Langham Place in Mongkok.. .

Not surprisingly, correct on both: Prince Edward sounds familiar, and a Google search for Langham Place brings up some familiar pictures of the mall (with the curly tornado-like metal sculptures). Thanks!

Anyway, back on topic, check out the goldfish / bird / flower area. It's a fun place to take a walk for a while.

—Brendan

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intruder61
intruder61 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,064
Re: Tokyo & Hong Kong...what to bring?

"landscapes, street scenes, people, cityscapes"

the 14-24 for land, street and city
the 85 for people.

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