Nikon D40x with 35mm prime for DisneyWorld

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Coconutsport, May 6, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2007
    I've been thinking of using my Nikon D40x with just a 35mm prime lens as my only camera(save for an iPhone5) on our trip to DisneyWorld this July/August. I really want to cut down on extra stuff to keep track of. Has anyone tried this? Will this lens be adequate for most shots in the Park? How do you think it will work after the sun sets?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Thinking about the decades I've been to Disney parks (and elsewhere, of course) carrying only a film camera with a "normal" lens, you should do just fine. You will need to prop the camera against a counter or wall to take pictures after sunset. Lots of people use beanbags for this to help positioning on counters.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I think you will be alright with just your iPhone and 35mm prime. At night, just raise your ISO and shoot wide open (f/1.8 - or whatever your lens goes down to) and this should work out for you, especially since the parks are so well-lit after dark.

    Here are a couple of links that provide tips for photography at Disney Parks. The blog also covers many other things that'll help you prepare for your trip. Have fun!
  4. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Yes. I live near Disneyland in California and years ago had a annual pass. I took a 35mm lens and it worked well. Many times the light is dim and you don't want that flash-look and the background is always "busy" and the smaller DOF of a wide open prime lens will blur it out. It is the ideal lens for your purpose.

    Yes there are some shots you can't get with a 35mm lens. But who cares you will still get far more good ones with the fast prime than a slow zoom.

    My 35mm lens is the F/2.0 manual focus version. Works well on the Nikon D200.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2013
    I agree with the others so far -- the 35mm should do you well for most situations. The one caveat I would throw out there is that you may want a longer lens if you are going to Animal Kingdom AND you want to get tight shots of the animals.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Just did a 1 day trip to the Magic Kingdom last month. I used mainly my 30mm 1.4 and kit 18-55mm on my Canon T2i.

    Here's what I liked/didn't/what I would do differently.

    The 30mm was great for indoor events where you meet characters, like the Princesses and Mickey Mouse. Lighting is pretty dim in there. Also, the lighting is often weird and colored, so shoot RAW so you can play with white balance later. I did not bring my flash, because I assumed I would not be able to use it. Big mistake! Really wish I had brought it. All of the Disney photogs use flash indoors, and often outdoors too for fill. No problem using flash at most places. If you have a good flash (not the onboard one) you will get better results, faster focusing (at least with my canon and the focus assist beam), etc. That being said, I was able to make the 30mm 1.4 work for most things. A few shots could have used higher shutter speeds, but didn't have a lot of time to play with settings.

    Now, for outdoors the 30mm is also decent. But, there are times where I wished it was wider, or had more zoom. Often I was able to crop in on something, so that helps the zoom end of things. Most times I would flip to my 18-55 outdoors.

    So, if I had to do it over again, I would definitely bring my flash. But, one of my biggest priorities was getting good shots of my daughter meeting the princesses, (mission accomplished!). Your focus could be different.

    If was going to bring just one setup, I would seriously consider the 18-55 plus flash. Or, maybe rent something like a 17-40 or 24-105 f/4. If not bringing flash, then the 30mm for sure, because a slower lens ain't gonna cut it indoors.

    I had a camera backpack on the whole time, so lugging stuff was not much of an issue. But, you also don't want to be swapping out lenses constantly. so a versatile kit is nice, which a zoom plus flash gives you. Also, there are lockers in most parks so you can store stuff you don't need the whole time. Like, if you want a tripod for at night or a different night lens, put it in a locker.

    Also, here's another tip: The photopass people there that take your picture at the various events will be more than happy to take your picture using your camera. Just dial in your settings before handing it over, as they won't usually adjust aperture or shutter speed. But, they are pretty good at handling the camera and doing a decent composition. So, if you want to be in some pictures, just ask them to take a few!
  7. macrumors 65816

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    A lens brings with it a specific set of possibilities, and no matter where you're shooting, you'll see (and photograph) that place based on the lens. That's not a bad thing at all, as long as you don't worry about the shot that got away (there's always at least one, no matter what equipment we bring to the party).

    When you're in the parks, you'll constantly see folks composing group portraits. They frame the shot, step back, frame again, step back even farther... Have they racked the zoom out to full tele and now have to fit the castle into the frame? You almost never see them move closer or have the group stand closer to the castle, as they might if they were using a wider focal length. Net effect is the classic theme park group shot - family is small, and the castle dominates. "Castle" may seem more important than "family" at the moment, but as time passes they probably wish they could see everyone's expressions a lot better.

    So, yes, go with only a "normal" or even a moderate wide angle. Get up close and in your subjects' faces, fill the frame with them, and leave the castle as a relatively small object in the background.
  8. macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    I like that you want to go light. The last time I was at Disneyland (2010) I had with me my D50, 28mm f/2 MF, 50mm f/1.8 AF and 135mm f/2.8 MF lenses. For me I had no problems with changing lenses. The 50 was great for taking shots during rides. Also for the wide shots I had a 16mm fisheye. The telephoto was nice for some of the performances but I could have lived without it.

    I would think you might want a wide angle kit lens for the wide angle and just incase one lens breaks.

    A lens breaking seems to happen when you would've, could've, should've brought a backup but you didn't moments.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2007
    this is a great thread.

    We are in the process of planning an Autumn/Fall trip and good to think about.
    I have a 35mm and 18-200 zoom, D7k and an Infrared D70 (doubt I will take that due to two kids and no need to take it)...and a few other smaller cameras and iphones.

    I've been playing with the 35mm recently and trying to tackle Manual but the idea of 35mm should be a good fit for the park. And be fine for after sunset as the prime is faster than my zoom.
  10. macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2011
    This is not what you asked but there are a lot of reasons to not take a camera, besides your iphone/android or fancy pocket camera, into the theme parks.

    1. It makes it more difficult to enjoy what is going around you while you are viewing it through a lens.
    2. Unless you are visiting during a relatively empty time, many shots you want to spend time composing with the outside park icons take a lot of extra time because people are trying to commute through.
    3. Water from the sky.
    4. Water from the rides.
    5. If particularly hot, you said fall, water from yourself.
    6. This is a biggie, you will be encumbered by bag check on every park entry. It can be up to 5 or 10 minutes but it seems like a long time when other people are completely skipping the line you are stuck in.

    As your party or partys grow larger it begins to make sense to pre-purchase the Disney Photo Pass CD ( instead of bringing a DSLR. Often there are discounts to pre-purchase. Everybody in your party can add photos with multiple cards to one photopass account and you can have a cd downloaded or mailed to you at the end of your trip. If you do the plus you additionally have a single card that will allow you to include several rides and restaurants to your CD.
    It is quite convenient to get photos of the whole family instead of the whole family minus one.

    If you are staying on property be sure to get in on the free dining 9/2 - 9/25, see (Get your restaurant reservations now.)
  11. macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2007
    we booked our trip last night for late to start looking over photography stuff and I will be checking out the link above on photo pass.

    All links have been good so far.
  12. macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2008
    As the others have mentioned, you should be perfectly fine with the 35mm lens. I'm assuming it's the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens? If so, you will will do very well with this lens after the sun has set. Especially since the parks are so well lit at night. You may not even have to shoot wide open either (f/1.8). But that combination coupled with your iPhone 5 should cover you for any photo situation.

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