Lens for Italy

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iWright, May 29, 2010.

  1. iWright macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    #1
    Wondering what (if any) new lens I should get for going to Italy later this year for my D3000. Mainly going to see Roman ruins etc. so any recommendations for a relatively cheap lens would be appreciated to augment my current one (see sig.)

    Many Thanks,

    iWright
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    You cab get away with something not as wide as you can zoom with your feet. You do need something longer. I'd look into the 50-200 or something in that range. It's a budget lens IMHO but i belive that's the one people favor. Also look into the 18-200 and just bring the one.
     
  3. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #3
    +1

    What's your budget?
     
  4. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    May 5, 2007
    #5
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #6
    you could get the 70-300mm VR but since its not a DX lens (i think) it will have a crop factor.
     
  6. rymack macrumors regular

    rymack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    #7
    I use a 55-200 VR and a 35mm f1.8 DX on my D60 (which is basically the older version of the D3000). I have always said though, that if I was going on a big trip where taking photographs was a priority, I would trade in my 55-200 towards the 18-200. I know it has some flaws, but If I am going to be walking around ruins and what not, I don't want to have to switch lenses continuously and risk getting dirt inside the camera. I would still use the 35mm f1.8 though for when inside galleries and museums that prohibit flash.
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #8
    This is one of the (rare) occasions that I find myself disagreeing with Jessica.

    It really depends where you're travelling in Italy, and what type of photos you intend to take. I was in Rome last year, and I found that with the narrow streets and small-ish squares, you really couldn't 'zoom with your feet' and back up to fit things on.

    Both these pictures I've included here were taken with the equivalent of an 11mm lens on your camera. For the entire time I was there I mostly used the widest of my zooms.

    If I were you, I would either go for a wider lens, or shoot what you have and add to it a 50mm f1.8. This will give you a much better lens for low light work - in restaurants in the evenings, indoors etc. It'll also give you a better ability to pick out details and let backgrounds go out of focus.

    A longer lens may be useful - but only really if you're outside towns, or if you want to try and pick out faces in a crowd.

    My main advice though would be for you to go onto flickr and search for pictures taken at the places in Italy you're travelling to. Flickr usually has camera and lens details for uploaded photos - and you can see on a picture by picture basis which lens was used for the photos you like. It's better for you to be buying lenses that reflect your own taste than my taste!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #9
    For indoor shooting on a DX camera - wouldn't the DX 35mm f/1.8 be a better choice? It couldn't be the only lens you carry of course.

    A lot will depend on what you're trying to do - do you want to go light, or are you the sort of person that carries a bunch of lenses around? For going light I'd suggest the 35mm f/1.8 plus the 18-200 if you can afford them.

    Edit: Okay, seeing as how you have the 18-55 then maybe the cheapie 55-200 would be a good alternative. The 70-300 is relatively expensive, but if you can afford that it'd be a better lens - but you definitely need a low-light option more than anything else.
     
  9. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Lens for Italy

    In addition to the 18-55mm AF-S DX you already have I would get the 70-300 VR as the next lens if you buy one lens. It will get you in close and isn't so heavy that you will resent carrying it. Looking at my Italy pictures, I used my 16-85 mostly, a 12-24 very occasionally and the 70-200 the rest of the time. I also used a tiny f2.8 45mm lens in churches and other places where I needed to be surreptitious.

    HTH
     
  10. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #11
    OK, I'm genuinely fascinated at the sort of shots folks are taking in Italian cities at 200mm. Maybe I'm missing something... (I could be - I sold my longer lenses and don't own anything longer than 85mm any more) but I'd love to see some examples.
     
  11. rymack macrumors regular

    rymack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    #12
    I personally have not been to Italy, but I have family there and plan on going soon. I would assume that the zoom lens would be useful for getting in close to the amazingly detailed frieze bas-releifs and other adornments atop ruins and cathedrals (gargoyles, figures, etc.) Again, I am speculating here, but I know that is what I would personally use a zoom for, were I to travel to Italy, Greece, etc.
     
  12. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
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    #13
    Nikon has made multiple versions of the 70-300 so it can be confusing - but that particular lens you've linked to is universally considered to be rather poor. The newest VR 70-300 is supposed to be the best (AND expensive) - but the non-VR ED version, which I once owned, is also quite good. However with the latter lens at 200-300mm you really will miss the VR if you're shooting hand-held.
     
  13. iWright thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    #14
    Many Thanks for all the advice, Low-light/indoor shooting isn't really a priority of mine so by the sounds of it I should stick with the lens I have or get something a bit wider to use too. I'll have a hunt around and see what I can find.

    Once again, thanks for advice :)

    iWright
     
  14. gorjan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    CPH
    #15
    I was in Roma last October and I had my 18-105mm and 35 mm f/1.8 with me and I used the latter for 99% of the shots. It was perfect, I never felt I needed anything longer.
     
  15. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #16
    You'll need to get an Italian specific lens, denoted by an I after ED on the Nikon lenses. Otherwise, the lens won't be able to translate anything you're seeing into English images.

    :rolleyes:

    In all seriousness, Im pro-wide angle on such a trip. If you need closer, zoom with feet. That along with a 50mm prime should serve you well.
     
  16. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #17
    On the other hand, if you're traveling to Latvia or Lithuania you need to rent a Canon body and some L glass.

    Seriously, what else do you think the "L" stands for - "Luxury"? :D
     
  17. jwt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #18
    +1 for getting the widest lens you can. i'll further add that you should get the widest fastest lens that you can. In the Vatican, I shot 17 mm at f/4 and 1600 ISO, and the exposure was still 1/40 sec. (On a crop body). That was the fastest I could go, and I'm not happy with the results. Also, I could not get the shots I wanted at Trevi at that focal length.
     
  18. cutsman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #19
    I took a 16 day trip around italy back in September. I brought my 18-200VR, sigma 10-20mm, and 35mm f2.

    The 18-200VR pretty much stayed on my camera for 95% of the time, with the other 5% being with the 10-20mm.

    I guess it depends on your shooting style, but for me, the 18mm on a DX camera like yours (mine is a D90) was sufficiently wide for virtually all situations other than when taking photos of trevi fountain and inside the coliseum and the pantheon. Those are the only situations i can think of right now where I felt the 18-200VR was insufficient in obtaining the framing/composition I desired. This is where the 10-20 came in handy for me.

    As for low light lenses, I didnt really feel the need for it since the majority of the cathedrals and other famous landmarks, do not allow photography inside anyways.

    If you're interested, have a look at my zenfolio site where you can see a bunch of photos I took in Italy. They're not all from Rome, but you get the idea and it should give you a sense of what focal lengths are needed (click on the info tab to see focal length and other exif data).

    Honestly, the 18-200VR is truly an invaluable lens for photography when you're traveling and don't want to be swapping lenses. It is probably the one lens I cannot live without... As much crap as people say about the 18-200VR's IQ, I just don't share this sentiment at all. Take a look at some of my photos and decide for yourself... I think whatever faults you see in my photos are attributed to the photographer and not the lens itself. :)

    Here's the direct link: http://cman.zenfolio.com/p160806070
     

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