Another travel lens - what would you do? question

Started Jul 16, 2013 | Discussions
hewhosculpts Contributing Member • Posts: 832
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

Having that midrange zoom mounted as a default gives you the opportunity to take the that quick shot without having to mess with changing lenses... for travel shots when you are with other people this can be very important.

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Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,693
Same thing I always do

When I travel, I carry a G12. Nothing else.

If someone was paying me to take pictures, then I'd consider bringing some lumber.

No sense killing your back for free.

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Leonard Migliore

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ahiggins333 Regular Member • Posts: 156
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question


My options: D800e with 24-70 and build around that. I feel like I'm going to want more range, and for me I'd rather have longer than wider. 24mm tends to be wide enough for me on FX.

My current thinking is:

1. 24-70 only. I love this lens, and within its range it's very good. Simply give up on longer shots or do a lot of heavy cropping with the D800e. Since most of my shots are viewed via web page now, that's pretty viable.

2. 24-70 coupled with one longer zoom. I could take my 80-400vr. I could take my 70-200F2.8. Bother are pretty heavy. I'm strongly considering a 70-200F4 here. I'm not worried about the price either.

You love the 24-70 and already own it.  Based on your comment in #1 you're also not opposed to at least some level of cropping.  Going with #2 seems to be the logical choice based on all your comments.  More specifically, 24-70 + 70-200/F4.

Keep the 24-70 on most of the time and switch to the 70-200/F4 when the opportunity arises and you have time to do so.  If you don't have the time to switch, just crop to the smaller field of view the 24-120 might have provided.

The 70-200/F4 is almost half the weight of the 80-400.  If you really, really think you want or need the 200-400 range then bear the weight and go with 24-70 + 80-400.

24-70 - ~32oz

24-120 - 25oz

70-200/F4 - 30oz

80-400 - 56oz

Going with the 24-120 over 24-70 you wouldn't be saving much weight compared to going with the 70-200/F4 over the 80-400.  Also, going with both 24-70 and 70-200/F4 will give you a lot more flexibility rather than 24-70 or 24-120 alone and excessive cropping.

Michael Siemon Regular Member • Posts: 470
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

Two years ago, on a tour/cruise to Turkey, I took my D700 with the 24-120, the (older) 18-35 and a 70-300. I almost _never_ wanted anything outside the range of the 24-120. The new 18-35 (and of course the 16-35) are much better than the older 18-35, and I might have grabbed one of them more often, but I'm not sure about that. The 70-200 f/4 is wonderful -- but I still doubt I'd want it all that much in the Mediterranean.

One possible variation on kit: the f/4 16-35, 70-200 and a 50mm (e.g., the 1.8G).

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Michael L. Siemon

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whoosh1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,721
16-35 f/4 + 50 f/1.8g + 70-200 f/4

I guess that's it - out of these I have not tried 50 1.8g but have both 50 1.8d and 50 1.4g - can't be worse than those & folks sing lavish praises of it.

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thomo Senior Member • Posts: 1,302
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

I leave the big stuff at home and take the mid-weight gear - D7100 and 18-300! I usually take another DX (currently D7000) with either a 12-24 or 80-400 depending on the trip destination and subjects.

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Arree Senior Member • Posts: 1,535
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

The 24-70 is a good choice, I should bring your 70-200mm 2.8, i know it is heavy but with your D800 your able to shoot great sunrises,sunsets even with a minimum of light, just a tought...

your almost in the same situation with Italian art indoors.

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Tepacca Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question


I have a different option to offer. Why not to stop considering lenses and start considering carrying options?

You mentioned you have issues with back and knees. Why not to consider belt/waist lens/camera bags or lens cases as carrying option? This will put all weight down below your hips and will lift all load (pain) from your back.
Me personally I can carry any load on my belot for whole day and mot feel a thing. While half the weight will destroy my shoulder should I carry it in a sling.

Example could be something like Lowepro Outback 200 modular beltpack.

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OP PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,929
Re: Same thing I always do

I take pictures for me, for fun.    Photo ops for me are generally those on travel, or shooting some desert around here in the cooler weather.    Not taking my best camera on a trip to Europe would not make sense to me!

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OP PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,929
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

I'm already using a fine waist bag.  (Think Tank Speed Racer).

I used to carry D300, 10.5 fisheye, 12-24 F4, 24-70 and 80-400D in that bag.  Moving to FX has grown the lenses enough that I have issues.   My 14-24 simply doesn't fit.   My old 80-400 has been replaced by the newer, bigger, and slightly heavier 80-400g.

For a while I just used a D700 with 24-70 and 80-200 F2.8 - gave up the focal range on the ends for F2.8 in the middle, basically.    I could do the same with the 24-70 and 70-200 F2.8, but...  Why not take out the 70-200 for the 80-400G?  (More versatile).   Or go down to the 70-200F4?  (Less weight).

I like versatility.   I also like high IQ lenses.   I've already gone through my 18-200vr phase.   At this point I'd rather go with a 35/85 prime combo than go back to the level of IQ of my 18-200.   Somewhere in between seems like it will be 'good enough' for me.

Remember too, I'll take a backpack of stuff, and as long as I can fit all these lenses in, I'll have a choice of doing the heavy lens routine each day.    If it looks like a rainy day, maybe I'll just bring the V2.   Or the D800e and the 24-70.   Or ... ?

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RudivanS Veteran Member • Posts: 4,465
Re: Same thing I always do

The D800E + holy trinity (shot raw) are enough for any current stock agency or print requirement.

Are you thinking of future posterity or simply appreciate the quality?

Just as long as you catch those magic moments

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'15 years in bladerunner Tokyo - back in sunny Sydney now'

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Tepacca Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

You can still get a backpack which you could use for personal staff only (light, less load on back) while camera and lenses would be on your waist to lift the weight off your back.

You can even consider to have 2-3 separate lens pouches secured on your belt in the size matching the lenses you will decide to take with you.

It's even easier if you'll decide to go with 35/85mm combo. Just hook the lens pouch which Sigma sent their beautifull 35mm 1.4 to you and hook it to your waist belt. Super fast and super easy lens change, both 35 and 85 will fit in.

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cardiacpatch Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

Hi Craig ...

I logged quite a bit of miles yearly both for business and pleasure and I will always have some sort of camera gears with me.

My 2c ....

Since you will be on GUIDED on-shore tour, you should be able to pre-obtain the routes you will be taking and places you will be visiting (some places you will spend longer time due to its significant historical values and some places will be just a "fly-by"). With the information on routes and places to go, you can spend sometime studying these routes and places ...

For example, Google's street view might give you some ideas of the type of sceneries you will encounter; online sites such as flicker or even Google's images might give you a ton of information on images of these places that other folks have posted on the web. LOTS of things out there.

With these information, you can then plan ahead on what lenses you might need for the DAY (my assumption is that you will be returning to the ship nightly after the daily on-shore excursion ---- so use this opportunity to ponder. Ponder on the 'miss-shots-of-the-day', then, seriously think whether or not you should/need-to change your set-up for the next on-shore trip. Don't worry, you will have plenty of time to change your daily set-up for the next on-shore trip).

No offense to other suggestions, but it really does not make a lot of sense to me to suggest that you carry a 80-400 when you will actually be visiting many dimly lit churches  ..... YOU and YOU alone know what you like to shoot, your style of shooting and what places you will go ... So have fun !!!

Anyway, THIS IS the FUN part about photography, isn't it?

Regardless of which gears you choose to carry for the day, we are all anxious to see your post-trip pictures!!!!

Good click !!

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Vladi Stoimenov
Vladi Stoimenov Regular Member • Posts: 459
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

With D7000 I take Tokina 11-16/2.8, Nikkor 24-120/f4 (it replaced 16-85) and a Micro 40mm/2.8.

In the last year I accustomed to Samyang 8mm Fish-eye.
It is a very creative lens, usable in small spaces and narrow streets.

This is my small travel set.
Sometimes I take Micro Nikkor 105/2.8G instead of Micro 40mm/2.8.

The mainly used lens is 24-120/f4, but it took time to learn how to work with it.
No more regretting about 24-70/2.8.

I want to move to FX and get 70-200/f4.

The actual discussion was very helpful. Thanks!


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tamasine Regular Member • Posts: 122
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

Hi Craig

I normally ask the advice of you seasoned forum members as I'm a newbie to FF, but maybe I can give you my opinion as someone who lives in Europe.

I've been in Paris and Venice this year - both very nice and with fantastic architecture.  I took a few lenses with me on both trips but to tell the truth, I was fed up of changing them all the time and lugging the weight around.

I would take your 800e and either the 24-120VR or a 24-85VR when you go to a city, even just for one day, to see how you get on.

I've just bought a 24-85VR and plan to use that as my main lens on my D600.  I know many people will say it is not as sharp as the primes or more expensive zooms, but it's lighter, has VR, a good zoom range, and unless you plan to print at large sizes (you mentioned you will probably publish on the web) should be plenty sharp.

In Venice I was using a D90 + 16-85VR and found that 16mm (DX 24mm?) was plenty wide.  In Paris I used the D600 plus 18-35mm and the 18mm was good at times, so this is another lens you might consider's also very light and portable and not too expensive.  However, I think a 24-85 would have met all my requirements.

Btw - I took my tripod to Paris but never used it.  It was too busy, and as I was with my other half, it would have wasted too much time to set up, when the whole point of the trip was to enjoy the time with someone else.

seahawk Senior Member • Posts: 2,875
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

I do not want ot give you advice on what lens to actually take, just a few things to consider.
You mostly will be in hurry or following a group, so being a able to get a shot quickly is good. Many places will be windy and dusty, you do not want to change lenses then. In the end it is better to have an okayish shot than missing the shot completely. Apart from that trying for the perfect shot within a group wich does not care for photography and has a schedule to match will only frustrate you.

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brc21 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

Hey Craig,

Being as I just got back from Europe (and most of the places you are going to) I feel like I can give you a suggestion from my experience. I brought my D7000 and took my 35mm, 18-105mm and 55-200mm and I will let you know I primarily used my 35mm and 18-105mm (walked around with 18-105 and put the 35mm on for portraits and scenery-esque)

If I had your kit, I would pack the 24-70 (you have so much covered with this lens and a good walk around, though I hear it's "heavy") and pack the 70-200.

RARELY did I want something with a longer focal length of 200mm, though, on one or two occasions, I did want it.

Have fun and be safe! Barcelona is wonderful, you're going to love it.

Jeff Klofft Veteran Member • Posts: 3,589
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

I just got back from 10 days in the UK.  The trip was business during the week and sight-seeing on the weekends so I wanted to travel light.  I brought my D800, 18-35G, 70-300G and a 50 f/1.8.  In general this set-up was light and worked well.  That said, if I had to do all over again, I'd swap out the 70-300 for the 28-300.  I have an Eastern European trip in about a year, and am planning on taking that lens set (18-35, 28-300, 50 f/1.8).  The only change that I'm considering is taking my D4 over the D800.

I got some portfolio worthy shots out of these "consumer" lenses.  Don't feel you need to take a member of the trinity to get great shots.  Carry less and enjoy more!

All the best.

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Steven Rounds New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Another travel lens - what would you do? question

I'm a fan of really wide lenses (NON-fisheye), because I can get wide shots inside cathedrals, without having a lot of tourists in the frame.  The wider angle lets me get closer to the subject I want to capture, without backing up to get it all in (and getting more unwanted people in the foreground).

I shoot with an Olympus OM-D E-M5, with 9-18 mm, 12-50 mm and 40-150 mm lenses (the equivalent of a 35 mm range of 18-300 mm).  I appreciate the extra depth-of-field I get with this's much easier to gaussian-blur parts of the shot I want to be out of focus in Photoshop (feather the edge for natural look), than it is to bring slightly out-of-focus parts of an image back with Sharpening in post.

My camera with all three of these lenses fits into a lightweight hip pack, with batteries, filters, LED video light, flashes, lens cleaner, etc. etc. included.  I'm 64, with back problems (motorcycle racing crash when I was 17), and the hugely reduced weight of the Olympus system is a pleasure to use while traveling.

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Steven Rounds

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OP PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,929
Re: Same thing I always do

I appreciate the quality.

Just not all the weight every time.

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