What would you buy in my situation - Upcoming trip to Europe

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jbg232, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #1
    Longtime member here but mostly I do bird photography. My wife and I are heading to Europe this summer and I think it would be a great chance to change up my photography style as I've always loved macro, landscape, and everything in between that captures the feel of the city. We will be in Paris and Rome walking around most days. I want just ONE lens/camera and I think no flash or tripod for ultimate portability. Right now I use an XSi and 400mm lens for my birds but I'm thinking of getting a 5D Mk II (used) as they are going pretty well on Craigslist now and are a great camera. Here's the big decision: which lens to get?

    The three choices:
    1. 24-70 f/2.8 Mk I
    2. 24-105 f/4 IS
    3. 16-35 f/2.8 Mk II

    I'm leaning toward 1 and 3 as I love low light and see myself taking lots of wide angles but will not have a flash or tripod. In terms of the 24-70 vs 24-105 debate I've always kind of enjoyed the 24-70 more when I've borrowed it but my main concern is if it will be wide enough for city usage. Anyone else have input for a good carry around lens for the cities of Europe?
     
  2. macrumors member

    Shhmmooove

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #2
    I guess it depends on what you will be taking pictures of, and how many shots. I mean, you could take pics of the Eiffel Tower from afar, or right beneath it, or the Vatican City with the Basilica. As i have a 12-24mm wide angle already I would be going for the 24-70mm, but thats just me! :cool:
     
  3. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #3
    You mention landscapes, macro, and cityscapes. For those you really don't need an f/2.8 lens. I would particularly avoid the 16-35 unless you really need the wider aperture; it's best suited for indoor event shooting, where you need to achieve high shutter speeds and don't have a lot of space to work in. Otherwise, it's just a lot of glass to tote around, and it will make buying filters for it very expensive (it has a massive 82mm filter ring).

    If you're serious about getting a 5D Mark II, then I would recommend looking for a good deal on a kit with the 24-105mm. That way you'll save a little extra money on the lens. Plus the 24-105mm does make a great "walkaround" lens.

    Going from an XSi to a 5D Mark II will be a great leap. Enjoy!
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #4
    If you're a birder, my feeling is the 7D, it's crop factor, high FPS and superior AF would be a better choice.

    That, a EF-S 10-22mm and a standard range lens would have you covered for landscape/city shooting. If portability is an issue then drop the standard range for a small prime such as a 35mm or 50mm.

    Shooting wide open at f/2.8 is far from ideal for landscapes, I'd seriously consider a lightweight and portable tripod instead of the 16-35L f/2.8.


    But, if you were to go the 5D route, there's one lens you missed - the 17-40L f/4.0.
    That'd give you ultrawide coverage on the 5D, and when swapped onto the XSi, it turns into a standard range lens. Also keep in mind the 5D will be quite a bit larger and heavier than your XSi.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #5
    TheReef makes a really good point. If after your trip you'll be going back to birding more than anything else, then you might prefer the "reach" and 8fps of the 7D. A lot of people are offloading those too right now (as they purchase 5D Mark III bodies), so it's definitely a good time to pick one up for a low price (to my great sorrow, as I'm on the selling end, alas).

    I also second what he said about the 17-40.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #6
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I've actually decided to get out of birding and am partly funding these expenses by selling my birding gear (XSi, 100-400) so that I can concentrate more on "conventional" photography. It's not that I don't love birding, it's just that my wife and I don't have much time for it anymore and I feel it's a little stale after 5 years (so sad to say, but true). This trip has been an impetus to learn new things about photography and make my next 30,000 shots different than birds.

    Although I do want to get my hands wet in landscapes (and realize I don't need fast glass for it), carrying a tripod (and my 580ex ii flash) is out of the question. I guess I'm just trying to see what the best comprosmise walk-a-round lens is from other people who have taken city scenes and photos. It's funny how one of the biggest debates is 24-70 vs 24-105 so I don't really want to get anyone involved in those (likely as pointless as the canon vs nikon debates). I should mention that I already have a dedicated macro lens that I LOVE but do not think will be bringing if I bring a zoom lens. On a side note, that macro lens is what got me interested in "non-birding" photography...

    Main thing is if you could choose ONE lens, for this trip only, what would you choose? My interests being a great variety city scenes (coffee shops, people, towers, nooks and crannies, old books, etc etc etc)
     
  7. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #7
    For a walk-around-Europe trip, my choice would be the 24-105. It's considerably lighter than the 24-70 (670g vs. 950g), has a more versatile focal length range, and has IS, which will help a lot with those shots of "old books" in dark spaces, architectural photos in low light, etc. It will also give you a bit more distance from your subjects for candid street photos, while still giving you the same options as the 24-70 to get closer if you want. And, as I mentioned above, you can save quite a bit on it by getting it as the kit lens with your 5D Mark II.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #8
    I totally agree with what Phrasikleia said and her reasoning, definitely the 24-105L.

    You'll love the 5D, one of the things I love most is it's massive viewfinder, a pleasure to look through and work with.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #9
    I'd go with either the 24 105 or the 24- 70 both good lenses can't go wrong with either...24 -105 lighter bigger reach and IS, the 24-70 is faster
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #10
    I'd definitely get the 24-105. Wide shots are great but in these cities there are a lot of details that are great to shoot as well, and the shorter lenses won't give you the freedom the 24-105 does.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    digitalfrog

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #11
    Prime lens like a 24 could be great, that's the only lens I used for my last trip to China.

    Zoom make 'you' lazy, prime lens make you cross the street, discover new things ... and get close to people !
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #12
    When I went to Paris in January I mainly used my 24 (on an Olympus OM 1n). On the close streets of the city this was a good choice. I had my 100 with me, but hardly used it. Maybe if we'd gotten out in the country, it would be different, but downtown it was wide-angle all the way.
     
  13. ChrisA, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

    macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    With a full frame sensor 24 is wide enough, 16 is almost a "special effects" lens but more inportantly you will want to take pictures of people and 70mm is about right. 35mm is to short for many subjects. And if I could only have one lens it sure would be nice for it to be an f/2.8 for it's shor DOF, you can use the DOF to kill "clutter".

    Many places you will want to shoot will be indoors and they prohibit the use of a flash. (In fact some places prohibit cameras altogether because so many idiots don't know how to turn the flashes off.)

    Also you REALLY will need a smaller pocket size camera. Yes you WILL. So take some of your SLR budget and buy a high quality small camera and when shopping for it do NOT let feature creep" lead you into buying one that is physically larger. Something like a Panasonic LX5 or Licia d-lux5 (same camera) You will get shots with this that you miss with an SLR. The LX can do RAW format and has a good and fast lens.

    You might even not take an SLR with you. Because what really can an SLR with just one lens do the d-lux5/LX5 can't? From your description you really will being using the EOS with 24-70 as t it were a huge bulky point and shoot camera.

    With bird photos the SLR is king. But for travel photography the camera that gets the shoots is the one you have with you
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #14
    My vote would probably lean to the 24-105 for the versatility in travel. Nice zoom, but still good for wide angle. If you're going the 5D route, then the 24 is perfect, if sticking with the xSi, 24 is tougher with the crop sensor, but it sounds like you're selling off the old body...

    on that note... I may be interested in your 100-400 :) if you still have it, shoot me an email and we can chat.
    Thanks
    R


     
  15. macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #15
    I agree with most others... the 24-105 with IS would be my choice. Shooting at f2.8 is tempting but the shallow depth of field is probably working against you rather than helping you in most locations.

    One other recommendation, get a BlackRapid or SunSniper strap. You can't beat it for comfort and convenience when walking around on vacation.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    usa
    #16
    Assuming you go for the 5D2 , my vote is for the 24-105 . Yeah , you're always going to have the shot where a 17 or a 200 would be nice , but the 24-105 will get you by 95% of the time , plus with the 5D's 21mp you can always crop to get a bit more reach . The F4 is no big deal , the lens's IS and the body's ability to give good results at iso 1250-1600 will cover you in low light .
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #17
    Just a question: do I understand correctly that you want to limit yourself to get your creative juices flowing?

    Of course, the others are correct, for maximum versatility you should get a bread-and-butter zoom (I prefer the 24-70 mm since its faster aperture will give you more flexibility), but I reckon going for two primes (say, 35 mm and 50 mm or 35 mm and 85 mm) would force you to become more creative. Price- and space-wise, there shouldn't be a big difference between the solutions. Plus, the primes are significantly faster and thus allow you to take more indoor shots. If I want to travel light, I usually pack my D7000, my 30 mm f/1.4 and my 50 mm f/1.8.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    anewman143

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #18
    I'll add my $0.02 for the 24-105 L...I had an XSi and purchased the 24-105/4L as my first L glass on the recommendation of a photographer friend.

    Uh...WOW...incredible difference.

    I then bought a 5d II...and with my L glass...uh...WOW WOW.

    You will NOT be sorry...enjoy the trip!
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    #19
    I'll add my 2 cents.

    Ever since I've been in Europe (Studying in Rotterdam), I find I've completely let go of my Zoom lenses (24-105L, 17-40L & 70-200L 2.8 Is), and instead I only use a Sigma 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 24L 1.4 II. I have a canon 5d MkII. I find the 24L to be my favorite city lens.


    This is just my opinion, but if it was me I would sell my 24-105L and get a 24-70L. I fancy lower aperture as well, something quite useful when taking night shots.

    That being said, I would go along what other said and recommend you look at primes, especially if you do buy a 5D MKii. If not, I would get the 24-70L. There are plenty of way to stabilize your shots in urban areas, if you need it.

    Cheers!
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #20
    Totally agree, I have an S95 that goes with me everywhere. But the photos are just of a totally different caliber.

    Well, I only want to carry one lens with no tripod or flash and do what I can with that. I'm ready to try new things.

    I hope I have the same experience...
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #21
    Well, I went all the way with the 5d Mark III kit with 24-105 lens. Main reason: I want to walk around Europe without a flash and the picture quality with high ISO is just ridiculous. I have been playing with it all day today and it's awesome. I could unfortunately never go back to the XSi now (although it will always hold a special place in my heart as my "learning" DSLR). Only problem is that Aperture doesn't recognize the RAW files yet and editing jpegs is slightly more than annoying (it makes me remember why I went to RAW to begin with). I know this will be addressed in about a month so I have no worries, I'm just so happy with it.

    Will update with photos of the day when I've had a little more experience with the "non-birding" photos.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
     
  22. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #22
    Congrats on making a big decision. Have you tried downloading Adobe's latest DNG converter and importing a DNG into Aperture? I know that works for Lightroom. Also, if you have Photoshop, the release candidate of camera raw 6.7 will read 5D Mark III files. I'm similarly frustrated that I can't just import my Mark III files right into Lightroom, but at least I can process raw files from the camera. If I had to use JPEGs, I would be very unhappy indeed.
     
  23. macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #23
    LOL... in other words, "I dropped $4K on a lens and it came with a nice new body" :D Congrats. If you have sec, chime in on my other thread and post some photos from the 5DIII :)
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #24
    JPEGs are definitely inferior but given that my pictures over the last day have just been test photos I don't want to go through the workflow of bringing them in as RAW files. I will however be testing some of these with photoshop when I actually take a few "real" pictures - at least adobe has their act together. Apparently DPP from canon is not processing the RAW files correctly (they're coming out way too soft according to the-digital-picture.com) and is completely unreliable as of right now until Canon makes a fix.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #25
    Then I'd go for taking two primes rather than a zoom. It'll definitely change your shooting style if you're forced to zoom with your feet to get the composition you intend to have.
     

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