Gear Suggestions for Trip to Switzerland

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by I AM THE MAN, May 24, 2012.

  1. I AM THE MAN macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Hey everyone! I'm going to Switzerland in a month's time and I really want to get all my Photography gear together. I'm looking for any lens suggestions (if I need any) that can be useful. Right now I am into Photography as a hobbyist but I enjoy it, therefore I want to have the right equipment etc.

    Currently, I own a Canon T3 with the 18-55mm Lens, 50mm EF Prime Lens f/1.8 and the Canon 28mm-135mm. Recently, I also just bought the Canon 70mm-200mm EF f/4 L Lens. Should I return the Canon 70mm-200mm (purchased it two days ago) and buy another lens or keep it? I find myself not being able to clear photos without the IS feature on the lens and honestly, I don't have the extra $500 to spend on the IS version.

    So should I keep the lens I have right now or return the Canon 70-200mm for some other lens.

    I plan to take pictures of landscape, nature and people.

    Thanks for the answers in advance.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    This should be fine. Amateur photographers think they need more than they actually need. Maybe bring your 28-135mm, but carrying around more than that is going to be a pain.
  3. deppest macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2009
    I would definitely keep the 70-200/F4. As usual with longer focal lengths it takes a bit of training to the the max out of it, though. Both the IS and non-IS version are widely acknowledged as some of the best zooms in that focal range. I have owned one myself (non-IS) for > 10yrs and the pictures it takes continue to amaze me. It's also a great lens for landscapes and people. Although on a cropped sensor you may have to stand back a bit. The 50mm is a good one for portraits too but not a must have in my view. The 70-200, in combination with the 18-55 should be fine. I don't see any need for bringing the 28-135.
  4. CocoaNut macrumors member


    Sep 8, 2011
    I suggest the 50mm prime, the 28-135 for people and the 70-200. You will need the aperture of the 50mm for shots inside and in the dark, the medium tele for portraits (aim for 80-100mm to minimise distortion, so take two steps back) or general scenery and the 70-200 for landscapes. Leave the 18-55 at home.

    As for taking shots with the 70-200 without IS, you can practice and will see noticeable results. Just hold your breath for about 1s and shoot, or lean against an object if you don't have a tripod. Remember that F4 will need a good deal of light, and the rule I follow is always "1/x s exposure < x mm focal length", so you should aim for at least 1/100s exposure at 100 mm and so on.
  5. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Everyone is thinking long lenses, of long range shots in the mountains. There may be more shots of historical buildings and structures, ones you cannot back away from and when you would appreciate a wide lens.
  6. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Keep the 70-200 lens, it is awesome! It's great for portraits (probably better than your 50mm) if you want great bokeh and easier composition. Borrowed my friends, have no problems getting non blurry shots with my T2i. Try upping your ISO and use a faster shutter speed. 1/focal length shutter speed is a good rule of thumb for non blurry non stabilized shots. So, 1/70-1/200 sec range.

    I would probably bring the 28-135 as my all around walking around lens. BUT - check that this gives you wide enough shots by comparing it to your 18-55. If it does, leave that 18-55 at home. If you want wider vistas, then you may need to bring the 18-55. The 28-135 is a better lens, more range, a bit better quality. Your 50mm prime is fast, but you have to do "foot zoom". Its so small you can take it, but your camera has pretty good low light sensitivity, you may find you never need it.

    Changing lenses on vacation is a pain in the rear, so the 28-135 is a great compromise. If you think you will need the zoom of the 70-200 on this trip bring it. Only you know what kind of pictures you want, but it's big and bulky, so you may want to travel light. But, it's a great lens, so keep it!

    I'm guessing you'll put the 28-135 on, and could be happy with just that lens.
  7. VirtualRain, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    If I was you, I would be missing the wide end.

    I think your 28-135 is a great walk around lens, but it's not great for landscapes. And the 70-200 is a lot of overlap there and, as you say, without IS is going to demand a tripod which is not convenient for travel photography. Besides 135 on a crop body is like 216mm on FF so that's plenty of reach. So, I might suggest exchanging the 70-200 for an EF-S 10-22 which I think you would get far more use out of. That would cover your wide angles and complement the 28-135 nicely. You could sell the 18-55 but it's probably not worth much more than a paper weight. Take the 50mm along for the ride too.

    BTW, Rather than a bag for your gear, consider a strap like the BlackRapid for your camera and walk-around lens, and augment that with a simple belt pouch for an extra lens. That's how I tour around. It's much nicer than lugging a sling bag or backpack.
  8. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Bring a good point and shoot as well. Switzerland has great mountain hiking and you might not want to carry the camera around on a steep climb but it's good to have the PS ready.
  9. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    When I took a holiday to Switzerland several years ago, I took a 28-135 ... but this was on a 35mm film camera, so it isn't the same as being on a Rebel dSLR today.

    I've been back to CH twice, briefly, while on business. Had a P&S with me the one time, and a dSLR the other (I was leaving CH right after the meetings were over, to go to CZ on holiday). I know I took my WA, but I might have taken my 28-135 too.

    With a dSLR for any generic trip, my general preferences have evolved to wide & long, with nothing in the middle.

    For the lenses you have, I'd take the 18-55 and 70-200 ... 55 to 70 is AFAIC, "No Gap" can be covered by either cropping in post-processing, or taking a couple of steps. For the lenses I currently have, I'd take my 10-22 and 70-200. If I had to lighten up, I'd drop the telephoto, since the odds are that I'd probably be shooting wide most of the time.

    Hope this helps,

  10. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Well I mean I bought the 70-200mm F/4 mainly for this trip so I really want to take it. For me I don't mind carrying a few lens because I just bought a camera bag as well. The only problem for me is going to be changing the lens on the go.

    I'll take your word on it. Just today I took a great shot of a bird today. Had to edit it a bit but otherwise it came out great.

    Thanks. I am thinking of leaving my 18-55mm at home because I'll have my 28-135mm with me! Additionally I saw your post awhile ago before I'm replying to it and I tried your method. The 1/x s exposure < x mm focal length" rule worked really well for me today. Just had to take a burst of shots and I got a real nice photo.

    I'll have my 50mm Prime Lens and the 28-135mm for those situations.

    I am thinking of keeping my 28-135mm on for most of the time and switching to the 70-200mm during times of taking landscape shots etc. Do you have any advice for changing my lens on the go? I would appreciate any advice.

    We're going to be bringing a bag anyway with us all around so to me it really doesn't make a difference. However, I like the idea of the belt pouch. I might try it for a "smaller" trip. Thank you!

    Already have that covered!

    Haha I really can't wait. By the way, why wouldn't you suggest keeping the 28-135mm instead of the 18-55mm? The 70-200mm from my use so far doesn't really do well in low amounts of light and I honestly haven't invested in a flash yet.
  11. TheReef, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012

    TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    The 70-200mm will be perfect for Switzerland. You'll be able to isolate interesting details, as your subjects will always be a considerable distance from you.
    In good daylight shutter speeds should not be a problem.
    When the light fades a tripod is an absolute must.

    In contrast I think an ultra-wide will be least useful - the more you zoom out the further your subject falls into the far background.
    You end up with a lot of sky, a lot of foreground, and a small strip of your mountainous subject in the middle of the frame.

    When I was over in New Zealand, and found my most used lenses were a 150mm prime, and a standard zoom.
    I took my ultrawide out for only two shots out of thousands.

    Also - don't forget a circular polariser.
  12. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    I have the polarizer for my main 28mm-135mm lens.
  13. MacDarcy macrumors 65816

    Jul 21, 2011
    Sell the 70-200mm And replace it with the Canon 10-22mm pronto! Seriously. The 70-200mm is overkill to me. If you wanna shoot landscapes, there is no better than the Canon 10-22mm. Its suprisingly small & light for such a wide angle zoom and has practically no corner distortion. It will serve you well for landscapes as well as street scenes and well lit interiors. The other lens i would bring with me would be the 50mm for portraits, people shots and low light conditions. That is the perfect combo if you ask me. But if you want longer reach bring the 28-135mm as well. Personally on the T3, the 50 is an 80mm equivalent, and is more than enough reach unless you are shooting wildlife, which it doesnt seem like you are. Everyone is different, so there is no right or wrong. I am more of a wide angle guy, and prefer to shoot people on the street close up...and not from really really far away. Good luck with whatever you choose, and have a great trip!
  14. Melizard macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2011
    The question is - where are you going? Mostly in the cities, or in the alps? (If you get a chance to go to the Cailler chocolate factory near Guyeres, I highly recommend it - best chocolate ever and more samples than you can eat).

    When I went I brought just a 18-200 and a CP filter. I found the 200 range to be good for looking at details on buildings etc, but I stuck with the wider range most of the time. I sort of wish I had a wider angle lens with me, especially in Bern.

    Here are some of my Swiss pics:
    (unfortunately mostly cloudy when I went - couldn't even see the Matterhorn from Zermatt, so I will have to go back in the summer!)

    Enjoy your trip!
  15. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    :D These varied answers all prove that photography is a personal thing.

    Take the lens/lenses that you enjoy using the most and find most useful. I can guarantee that whatever you leave behind, there will be a moment that crops up where you wish you brought it. I have made many trips to China and I take different gear every time. Each time I take lots of shots I am happy with. There are moments when I wish I brought a super-wide, super telephoto etc but then I realise that I wouldn't want to carry it around the country for weeks for one brief moment. I'm usually happiest with 2 or 3 lenses and a few accessories.
  16. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Thank you! I'll keep it in mind. The only problem for me is that I'd have to pay a little bit more money on the 10-22mm so it might be a little hard to do.

    Haha thanks! I am planning on going to the Chocolate Factory as well as the Alps and the historical cities. BTW, great photos!

    I understand what you mean! I'm just looking for different opinions! :)
  17. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Well, first I wasn't talking about what to 'get rid of' ... just what I'd take (and the rest gets left at home).

    My rationale for the 18-55 over the 28-135 is because it seems likely that you're going to be taking the 70-200. As such, the question as I see it is the trade-off between having 10mm more coverage wide than not having a focal length coverage gap between 55-70mm:

    28-135 + 70-200 = coverage 28-200, with an overlap of 70-135mm
    18-55 + 70-200 = coverage 18-200, but with a gap between 55-70mm

    IMO, having that extra 10mm wider is significantly more important than the mid-focal length gap, particularly since this is on a crop body camera, which means that that 28mm isn't wide at all:

    18mm = 29mm effective (eg, 35mm film equivalent)
    28mm = 45mm effective

    As such, if you take the 28-135 + 70-200, you'll have medium & long covered, but nothing wide.

    BTW, that 70-200L is the f/4 version, right? That's a good lens, and you're not going to find anything faster in that focal length without paying significantly more. The higher ISO's on the current dSLRs can do a pretty good job of compensating for it not being the $2000 f/2.8 version. And if you want capability growth, you can add a 1.4x teleconverter to it and have a (roughly) 100-300mm f/5.6, which will probably have better image quality than the 70-300 non-L lens that Canon sells.

  18. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Oh ok I now see what you mean.

    As far as the 70-200mm lens goes, I think I'll keep it and I am considering a 1.4x teleconverter down the road. Thanks for your input!
  19. ChrisA, May 27, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    For travel photos you want a light load. Unless the purpose of the trip is photography. In that case you will be there alone. But if you are there with others they are NOT going to want to sit with out for hours while you wait for the sun to move or clouds or some airplane to move for a land scape shot.

    You need to think more of photojournalism. for that the 18-55 is perfect although slow. I'd trade the 80-200 for a faster version of a lens in that range. Fast wide angles are good to have. Lacking that the 50mm prime is a grate lens for people.

    People always think they will want a long tele, like the 200mm f/4. But really the ONLY use of such a lens is if there is a physical barrier between you can the subject. Lacking a physical barrier you should always walk closer. So are you shooting birds or other animals? If so 200m is not long enough. For people it is way to long.

    In short a wide to medium zoom, as fast as you can afford would be my most used lens. But if that zoom is slower than f/2.8 I'd also need my 50mm f/1.4. Long lenses are a kind of specialty, OK to bring if you can think f subjects that really do require the length.

    and then on top of all that do get a shirt pocket size point and shoot. Very important that it be pocketable

    ONe other thing. You can get some great photos with just one lens. In fact you get as many good ones using ne lens as you would be caring a backpack full of them. But you get _different_ shots. For example once I took only a 35mm f/2 prime. I simply did not bother to shoot some shots but I got other good ones. Mostly the images takes in short distance are the ones people like best, where the subject is within 6 feet or closer.

    I did the same at a wedding with a 135mm f/2.8 lens and black and white film. (Yes real film) I got shoots that really did stand out from the others.

    So there is a good reason to limit the equipment, that will limit the style to just one kind and then the body of work will be unified and have a constant look to it. I would not suggest being so extreme as to bring only a 135mm and a film body but I have done things like bring only a a 6x6 medium format and 80mm lens on a backpacking trip. People wh not are used to seeing DSLR images are just blown away by these shots.
  20. joemod macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    Athens, Greece

    May I suggest another path? 24-70L + 70-300 (non L) (or 24-105L +100-300) . I know wide is necessary for landscapes but as an alternative way you can take 2 shots and stitch them together in post processing. You can't do anything though for something that it was far away and you wanted to bring it as close as possible. That is from my personal experience where I changed the 17-50 Tamron to 24-105L for my main walkaround lens. Tradeoffs unfortunately.
    Also I would like to propose to rent the gear instead of buying it, provided you can of course. You don't risk buying a lens for a trip only and not using it afterwards. Also you may evaluate it and if you like it that much buy it whenever you can.

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