What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200

Started 2 months ago | Questions
Snapoholic New Member • Posts: 1
What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200

Hi DP community,

I'm traveling to Thailand from 1st Dec - 11th Dec & will be visiting Bangkok, Phuket & Chiang Mai. I own Nikon 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 12-24mm f4, 16-80mm f2.8-f4.0

I'm tempted to carry everything, But I know, that will be stupid. I have two questions -

Which one should I carry out of 50mm & 85mm?

Should I carry 12-24mm? Please help.

I'm definitely carrying 16-80mm lens. Thank You?

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Nikon D7200
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johnchap2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200
1

Snapoholic wrote:

Hi DP community,

I'm traveling to Thailand from 1st Dec - 11th Dec & will be visiting Bangkok, Phuket & Chiang Mai. I own Nikon 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 12-24mm f4, 16-80mm f2.8-f4.0

I'm tempted to carry everything, But I know, that will be stupid. I have two questions -

Which one should I carry out of 50mm & 85mm?

Should I carry 12-24mm? Please help.

I'm definitely carrying 16-80mm lens. Thank You?

When people ask me, I tell them that I travel to take photos, and do not simply take photos when I travel.   I have been to Thailand several times, as well as several other countries in SE Asia.  Great photo-ops in every direction.

With modern DSLRs, they are mostly able to shoot in low light at higher ISOs with  acceptable levels of noise.  Hence, I do not bother with fast prime lenses.  My main concern is coverage; that is, I need zooms that cover (can properly frame) most photo ops that I am likely to encounter.  Hence, I would suggest you leave both primes at home.

Also, you are probably spending thousands of dollars and several precious weeks of your time traveling in Thailand.  What will you feel like if you miss some spectacular photo-ops because you don't have the right lens with you.  So....  I recommend you take the 12-24 as a very useful lens there.  I would leave the 16-80mm at home and buy a 18-200 or a [heavier but more useful] 18-300.  I would suggest a good used Nikon version of either lens.  With the overall coverage of 12-200mm coverage there if virtually no scene that you cannot properly frame and shoot.  Should be able to acquire Nikon (brand) 18-200 used for around $200.  Look for a reliable seller on ebay or similar with high good feedback.  I have not bought new in many years, relying of good sellers of quality equipment.

On second thought, even if you buy a good used Nikon 18-200, take along the 16-80 for backup.  Things happen (I have experienced more than once); and a decent backup can get you passed a catastrophe.

 johnchap2's gear list:johnchap2's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +18 more
Reggie Stration
Reggie Stration Regular Member • Posts: 380
Re: What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200
1

Excellent advice Johnchap2.
Take wide to tele coverage in as few lenses as possible. Works for anywhere you will go in the world. No brainer.

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 15,993
Re: What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200

Personally I would carry the two zooms for sure, and probably the 85.  (Because I don't like 50mm on DX format).   The 85 for sure if you have plans to do some portrait type photography, and it may be very useful at night as well.   You want the zooms to have maximum flexibility for framing a scene.  16mm on DX is OK, but not very wide.   (A 10-24 would be more useful than your 12-24, a lens I also own).

I routinely carry more than that, so my opinion is biased.    But even back in my D300 days I carried a 12-24, 24-70 and 80-400 everywhere.

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Phoenix Arizona Craig
www.cjcphoto.net
"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they're not."

 PHXAZCRAIG's gear list:PHXAZCRAIG's gear list
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mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 9,554
Re: What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200
1

Snapoholic wrote:

Hi DP community,

I'm traveling to Thailand from 1st Dec - 11th Dec & will be visiting Bangkok, Phuket & Chiang Mai. I own Nikon 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 12-24mm f4, 16-80mm f2.8-f4.0

I'm tempted to carry everything, But I know, that will be stupid. I have two questions -

Which one should I carry out of 50mm & 85mm?

Should I carry 12-24mm? Please help.

I'm definitely carrying 16-80mm lens. Thank You?

Johnchap has some good suggestions. Here's my take. Several years ago I traveled around the world. I had 4 lenses with me: 35/1.8, 10-20/f4-5.6, 18-105/f3.5-5.6,70-300/f4-5.6. This was more than I usually carry, because I would see a wide range of photo opportunities, from low light festivals to tight city streets to wildlife. I used every one of them, but when I got back I assessed my 20,000 shots:
35/1.8: about 50 yielding 1 interesting shot

10-20/f4-5.6: about 100 yielding perhaps 10 interesting shots, mostly at 10 or 20 mm

70-300: about 1000 yielding 150 wildlife shots, mostly at 200-300mm

18-105: all the rest
Of the 18-105 shots, I found a large group at or near 18mm, a large group between 70-105, and a smaller group from 35-70.

From this I concluded that if I had had a 16-80 f/2.8-4 with a lightweight tele - or even better something like a 16-105, I could have done almost the whole trip with that one lens, aside from the wildlife shots, for which no amount of reach is ever enough. Surprisingly, the fast aperture of the 35 did not compensate for its boringly normal angle of view.
Since then, my standard travel kit has included a 10-20 and that trusty 18-105, which when I consider that cropping to 140-160mm equivalent still delivers an excellent image, reduces my travel weight and bulk by about 3 lbs and 3 liters.

For me, a wide angle range of 12-24 or 12-28 offers more interesting perspectives and is great for street shooting without requiring a lot of lens changes, but you need a modest tele for much of the rest.
So I'd definitely include the 12-24; it's a great street lens, you'll use it a lot from 16-24, and I'd include the 16-80, because it will span the vast majority of your focal lengths, and, with a modern camera, is fast enough to do some justice to lower light scenes. If that's too short of a FL for you (it might very well be), I'd even sacrifice some lens speed and use the 18-140. Should I buy into the Nikon Z 50 system, I'd definitely spring for the Z 18-140 when it comes out.

 mosswings's gear list:mosswings's gear list
Nikon D7100 Sony a6400 Nikon Z50 Olympus XZ-1 Olympus Stylus 1 +8 more
Schrodingers_cat Senior Member • Posts: 3,056
16 - 80 and be done with it
5

We have been blessed with the ability to travel overseas on a fairly regular basis, and have been doing so for decades. Based on having done it wrong a depressingly high number of times, we have some pretty firm opinions about what will work and what won't, for us. As a vacation traveler your specific instance might potentially be an outlier and none of this stuff applies to you, but I bet you a beer you'll be pretty close.

Let me propose several thoughts for you to at least consider. And do understand this post is related to vacation travel the way we do it. If it’s a photographic trip, that’s a different deal. If you’re a working professional, it’s not even the same arena and you should already know better than to ask questions on a hobbyist forum (watch out when you try to type hobbyist on DPR. The spellcheck wants to turn it into Hobbits. Who may or may not read DPR, I have no idea.)

If you carry cameras/lenses you will need to do so as carryon luggage. This is not an option. Otherwise you run a risk of their being stolen or destroyed. (All commercial airlines are required to follow FAA regulations regarding luggage handling. The regulations specifically require treating passenger luggage like 50 pounds bags of organic steer manure.) You don't want to check anything at all if you can possibly avoid it.

Depending on your airline you can benefit from limiting yourself to one carryon item and one personal item. If you are unfortunate enough to fly one of the small carriers, your empty backpack may well exceed their carryon weight limits. Flying Main Cabin on American Airlines (this was the cheap seats till they dreamed up something even cheaper) we can do a month in Europe for instance with only a camera bag and a carryon item each. (If you’re really on a tight budget, or are doing penance for some past sin, you might consider their newest and even cheaper seats, which seem to be something like pay extra for everything you bring to the airport, two people per seat, naked, with a shared oxygen mask and no toilet access once in the air.)

On arrival we use public transportation just like everybody who lives there. In any case, for the ordinary tourist Asia and Europe are about walking. Through airports and their lines and metal detectors and security screening and mile long walks from the front door to the gate. You ever tried to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5 at Heathrow in time to make a tight connection? It’s like a branch office of Hell. On and off public transportation like trains and busses and the Tube. Up and down stairs at Metro stations and on and off subway cars. Along cobblestone streets and through castles and cathedrals. Ancient tower stairways in cathedrals and temples and such are steep, long, and narrow.

Once, standing across from the Arc de Tromphe de l’Etoile and a safe distance from the homicidal French drivers on the traffic circle, we watched a chauffeured black stretch limo pull into the no parking zone directly in front of us and stop. A liveried driver jumped out and opened the door for the beautiful couple inside, who stood in the traffic long enough to take a selfie of themselves, then left.

If that was you, ignore this post.

In addition to schlepping all your stuff through the afore mentioned public transportation, you are obligated to provide security for all that crap. Probably security for your wife and kids stuff also as they are occasionally unable or disinclined to do so themselves. How comfortable are you leaving expensive stuff in a hotel room, providing entertainment and possible financial remuneration for the staff? Crowding into a packed subway car or street car or bus wearing a backpack and watching out for your family at the same time? The more stuff you are obligated to schlep around the less attention you will be able to devote to "family time / tourist time / actual photography." Don't handicap yourself this way.

Backpacks are prohibited in lots of places. Just like tripods and flashes. You might have to trust to their security to watch your stuff for you.  This on occasion can be a bit like using a fox to watch the henhouse. In the best case, I can tell you they don’t regard this as a very important part of their job. They might not have a place to store it at all or the secure storage (broom closet) might be full, and you would not be able to get in at all.

If you just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan you may be comfortable carrying lots of stuff on your back, but anyone who has done so will tell you carrying items not strictly required is best avoided. NOBODY likes carrying crap they don't need. I even took the extra joker out of my deck of cards. If it's really and truly not a problem for you, you've already answered your own question, just carry everything.

Excess weight/bulk is the kiss of death for walking vacation vacation photography. Lay your anticipated loadout on the bed and ask your self "when will I for sure use this" about every single item. If you can't articulate a specific and important use for something, leave it at home. That goes for your personal stuff also. Maybe even your spouse

For instance, you don't need a separate large tube of toothpaste for every member of the family. We like to purchase consumables when we arrive at the destination. Asians and Europeans buy essentially the same sort of stuff Americans do, it just has unintelligible labels on it. Trying to figure out whether you're buying toothpaste or hemorrhoid cream is part of the adventure. Wash clothing in the hotel room instead of carrying a clean set of clothing for every day of the trip. Hell, wear a pair of underwear twice. We won’t tell.

Forget the backup body.

How often do you have your camera fail to function at home? Has it ever failed to function at home? Has it ever been stolen/soaked/screen broken/gotten lost or gone tango uniform for any reason? More than once? Lots of guys on the internet will tell you about how they broke their camera vacationing in Eastern Uzbekistan and couldn’t locate a Hasselblad service center. Do you know any of them personally? Even live in the same state with one of them? Your camera is no more likely to break in Asia or Europe than in Cleveland, where you probably can’t get it fixed either.  Probably more likely to get stolen in Cleveland, though.

Sure, there's some poor smeg at this very moment on the upper deck of a tour boat halfway down the Seine and he's about to drop his camera in the river, but chances are it ain't gonna be you. One body/one lens.  Get small and keep a low profile.

Big Asian or European cities are just cities, same as the big city where you live. Small towns remain small towns, villages are still villages. Well, maybe not if you live in New Egg, Florida, but in general they're pretty much the same. Take what you'd use most making photographs at home. Reducing the equipment has the potential of concentrating your attention on artsy stuff like composition, lighting, subject matter, and all the issues people discuss on other forums when they concentrate on the result rather than the gear.

One body/one lens, maybe something like a midrange zoom. Maybe two primes. Hell, if they’re small, maybe 3 primes. I like a 28, a 50 and something 85ish, but YMMV. You'll have enough to concentrate on just having family along, don't give yourself more things to distract your attention from your family time. Leave you favorite 600mm f0.95 at home. Every ounce you don't carry makes your mobility that much better and this will almost certainly lead to improved images.

Search the forum for other posts on what to carry to Asia or Europe. It’s not exactly an original question. In fact this may be one of the most frequently asked questions on the entire forum. “I am visiting xxxx in xxxx with my xxxx and can’t decide whether to take my xxxx or my xxxx.” The answers don’t vary a whole bunch regardless of what you use to fill in the blanks. DPR should make it a sticky at the beginning of this forum.

And post pictures when you get back. Have fun.

Bob T2i
Bob T2i Regular Member • Posts: 330
Re: What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200
1

I’ll be going to SE Asia in a few months and did this:

Go to Flickr and search “Thailand, (lens you night choose)”.  You’ll get an idea if very few people use it, but more importantly, do you see photos you would like to be able to capture but couldn’t with other lens choices?  In my case, I included 2 lenses that I could get quickly enough for my trip.

I don’t shoot Nikon DX, but If I did I suspect I would only take the 16-80.

Good luck,

Bob

 Bob T2i's gear list:Bob T2i's gear list
Canon EOS 550D Sony Alpha NEX-6 Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM +7 more
Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 10,115
Re: What lenses should I carry to Thailand with Nikon D7200

While I'd like to suggest the 16-80 and 12-24 and be done with it, I wonder about a fast prime as well.  But not the 50 or 85s. Not wide  enough, for me, for interiors, 'scapes, etc.  OTOH, if into people/portraiture, they may be ideal. The 12-24 for interiors?  Might you need a faster lens?  Maybe technique and higher isos will be enough?

I had and liked the range of the 18-140 for my D7200 but my copy just was disappointing.  I like the 18-135 with my A6400 now.  I tend to think 80mm is a tad too short for my general travel use.

But it's easy for us to revise your whole kit and load you up with kit that covers everything.  And is too heavy and/or bulky to be comfortable to deal with.

Folks will suggest you can stitch for wide, maybe if used to doing that, not sure if you are interested in prepping for that so you can get results in the time you have available.  OTOH, there isn't a lot of substitute for focal length when it comes to long shots, isolating details, etc.

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