Going to Europe for 3 months...which lens to bring/buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MacAztec, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I'm going on a 3 month post College Europe trip to roughly 8 countries. I'll be bringing my Canon T2i, along with the kit lens, and a 50mm prime lens.

    My Dad keeps telling me to get something along the lines of a 30mm-130mm lens. I'm curious what everyone on the forums would recommend. My budget is <$500.

  2. MacmancUK macrumors member

    May 7, 2011
    Dad is correct, though you may be taking most photo's at the wide angle end.

    For lightness, take a 28mm lens.
  3. MacAztec thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    So, a 28mm fixed lens?
  4. MacmancUK, Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

    MacmancUK macrumors member

    May 7, 2011
    It's the lens (equivalent) I found most useful on my trips around the world.

    I always buy compact digital cameras with wide angle lens.

    The quality these days is generally good enough to zoom (crop) the photo.
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I think the Canon 55-250 would compliment your existing lenses nicely. Combined, they would cover the full range from 18-250 with a fast prime for low light. ;)
  6. cyclotron451 macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2005
    a vote for the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

    I bought an 55-250 lens in Spain and have used it a lot in travelling. The image stabilizer has worked well, allowing covert photography at great distances on my EOS1000D. In museums where 'no photos allowed' I also use the 50mm prime (has allowed great covert indoors photography!) Your Rebel T2 is known as EOS550D in the EU , but prices are much higher here so make sure you bring all you need with you! 8GB SDHC cards are around 55 dollars in EU high streets, so make sure you bring much storage. I was able to shoot 16GB of raw images per day in some of the nice bits of europe.
  7. oblomow macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2005
    The kit lens, is that the 18-55 IS? Then you'll be fine with the wide angles.
    If you want to take another lens, look for something longer. However this all depends on where you're going and what you want (or the way you) shoot.
  8. tamasvarga67 macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2007
    + 1 vote for the EF-S 55-250. Light, cheap, very good lens for the price. The wide angle covered with the kit lens and the 50mm prime is good for low light (although personally I prefer 28 or 30mm on the crop body).
  9. tinman0 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2008
    "Europe" is a pretty wide definition :)

    Ask yourself the question - what are you interested in? If you like wildlife and getting in close then a telephoto is your next lens choice (not just for Europe), if you like big landscapes or architecture then an ultra wide angle is the way to go.

    I wouldn't discount the 18-55 in the slightest as it's a great lens and it'll do a lot of what you want in Europe, but it's really down to you and what you feel you need to get next.

    If you want an all round lens, then you might want to look at some of the 18-200+ lenses that are available. The Tamron 18-270 is probably just a bit over $500, so the Canon 18-200 might just be on the money and it'll save you constantly changing lenses.

    BTW, 30mm (on a crop body like yours) in my opinion is far too narrow to be of any use unless you are taking portraits. 18mm on a crop is the absolute narrowest you should go to - wider if possible. Put it this way, you can always crop a wide picture, but you can't add to a picture if you didn't capture it in the first place with a narrow lens.
  10. sth, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

    sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    For a small, light, inexpensive setup that covers almost everything: 18-55mm IS + 55-250mm IS + 50mm f/1.8

    Or, if you want to upgrade your kit lens, get the 15-85mm. It's a great standard-zoom for APS-C cameras and the wide-angle alone (even though 3mm may not sound very much) is totally worth it. Combine it with a fast prime (for low-light / shallow depth-of-field) and you're set.
    Personally, I rarely feel the need for a longer lens when touring with the 15-85mm. The field-of-view you get from this lens on your T2i would equal a 24-135mm lens on a film camera.
  11. peepboon macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    I am studying abroad in Japan and took:

    11-16mm wide angle
    18-200 zoom

    about 90% of my shots are taken with the 50 or 35. I hate carrying around heavy lenses. I since got rid of the 35 and got a 24mm instead.
  12. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    I went for two months to Europe also as a student. I had a 18-55 Nikon, a 50mm Nikon , a 24mm Nikon and a 35-135 MF Nikon, and my D40x.

    I used mostly the kit lens, then the 24mm, then the 50mm and, maybe a couple of times, the 35-135mm.

    The truth is, that in most of Europe you are always in tight spaces were the wider the lens, the better the photo. For landscapes and taking photos of buildings, I found 18mm to be in the long side for this.

    Also consider were you are going to stay. I always felt "insecure" when I was at hostels regarding my camera. Nothing ever happened to me or my things, but I sometimes wished I had just taken my kit lens and a wider fast lens. Nothing more. This would have enabled me to travel lighter and feel "safer".

    Even tho Europe is mostly very safe, petty crime is quite common, and the less things you need to take care of, the better.

    And this takes me to my last point: travel with a good backpack that doesn't scream "big camera here!!" and that is able to accommodate some clothing and personal things. This way you can leave your big baggage wherever you are staying to study, and travel just with one pack for the weekend or a small trip. I bought a Kata backpack, which has a camera compartment big enough for the camera and 2-3 lenses, and also has space for some clothes and a laptop. It was probably the best investment for the trip.

    So, my recommendation is to buy a wider lens if you enjoy taking landscape and building photos. The 50mm would be great for portraits, and it's very small. As for the long range 30-130mm, I honestly would say don't take it.

    Lastly, don't take a monopod! :) I took one, never used it. Silly me. Take a gorilla-pod, one those small tripods that can be attached to almost any surface. They are small and quite handy. Obviously taking a normal sized tripod is a big NO, too much bulk.

    Hope this helps.

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