Which lens to bring to DC?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by theNIC, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. theNIC macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2009
    #1
    I'm going into the city on Saturday with my mom and my sister to, well just because. I was wondering which lens would be best to shot with, 18-55mm or 75-300mm. My goal is to take pictures of people so I was thinking I'd use the 18-55mm more then 75-300mm, but you could go back and forth debating.

    Anyways, what one would you shot with the most? I'm not even sure if I want to bring both because I have a small camera case and I'm a new dSLR owner, so I'm ~overprotected, lol.

    Sorry for the long post!
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #2
    If you want to shoot candids of people on the street, then you'll appreciate the extra reach of the longer lens. It will also give you better subject separation.
     
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #3
    To counterpoint that, DC is tight and tall in the streets. Very tall. Lots of interesting large scale buildings. If you want to shoot on the streets, you may want the short lens. I would take them both, but that's just me.

    FYI my walk around lens is a 28-300.

    Dale
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #4
    ^^^ Don't listen to Ms. Dale. She used to shoot with a film SLR, so her advice is all outdated. Besides, what do women know, anyway. ;)
     
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    ^^^ I learned with a view camera. It was a real pain. Kept snagging my skirt on the tripod legs. They were wood. Now that I'm older, life is easier. I wear pants now.

    Dale
     
  6. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #6
    Well

    I would advise the 18-55.

    You are probably going to want to shoot monuments, buildings, etc, so I would bring the 18-55. It is also slightly faster, which when paired with the IS would help out for the night shots.

    A sidenote: You pretty much cannot use a tripod in DC. Anywhere.

    Have fun trip, DC is great for shooting
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #7
    I'd bring them both, but the above is simply not true. While you need a permit from the Architect of the Capitol's office to use one on the Capitol grounds, I've shot for literally years on the National Mall with a tripod with 5x7, 4x5, 6x6, 645 and 35mm cameras. If the fog had been heavier last weekend, I'd have been out by the Korean monument Sunday with a tripod for sure. I've never been hassled or even approached using a tripod in the District.

    Paul
     
  8. soup4you2 macrumors regular

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    #8
    Some areas the security will harass you a little bit with using a tripod, but they can be accommodating. such as you cannot use a tripod in the street in front of the white house, however they will allow you to use it in the park across the street, which a nice zoom lens would then be needed for a good shot.

    I would suggest to just bring both lenses.
     
  9. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    The 18-55 is so small, there is really no reason to leave it at home. Personally if I was in DC, I would want pictures that show me I'm in DC. Random people shots you can get anytime, a little more width may help the viewer locate the people.

    Photography is a disease, the more you have, the more you want, my buddy bought his body last spring and now he is looking for a rolling case to carry glass.

    Have fun and good luck.
     
  10. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #10
    +1 for the 18-55. You will be capture more of the city view and be able to easily get shots of the family as well.

    It will be also easier on your shoulder/neck to carry. ;)
     
  11. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #11
    Dc

    Both lenses IS the best option :)

    As for tripods...

    I was there this past spring for a week, and EVERY time I tried to use a tripod I was hassled or strong armed.

    Locations I was unable to use a tripod:
    -Both sides of whitehouse
    -Lincoln Memorial
    -Capital Building
    -WWII Memorial


    Then I gave up trying. I was told a variety of things from a variety of "law-enforcement" officers (DC has like 4 different law-enforcement agencies roaming). It seems the prevalent excuse was "impeding the flow of foot traffic".

    At one point, in front of the white house around dusk, I had my tripod set up with my tele peering between the bars of the gates. Some goon approaches me and says I have to take it down. I ask why, and he says that it is a hazard for pedestrians. I say ok, is the street ok then? He tells me its fine. I take a few steps back, and set down in the street. 2 minutes later, 3 PD officers rush me and freak out. I tell them that "that guy(pointing)" said I was clear. They were not pleased with me OR him.


    My personal favorite though: At the WWII memorial, my dad (an army vet) and I were checking it out, its beautiful, and I wanted to take some night shots. After about 3 exposures, a National Park service lady approaches me and tells me to take it down. I ask why, and she says "Out of respect for the fallen" so me, getting mad now (I just wanted some night shots from DC!!!) ask her "Well what about all those giggling girls using their flash camera posing in front of the monument?" And she responds "Sorry, regulation".

    That is why I made my claim. I was unable to fire off more than 10 shots total from the tripod during my entire stay in DC.

    PS: Look into renting a lens!!!

    I brought a 10-22mm, an 18-55 non IS, and a 70-200 f/4, and still did not have the "right" lens.
    Look into a f/2.8 lens, or better yet, a 2.8IS.

    You will probably spend time in museums. Museums are dark+No tripods allowed in museums=Bad.

    I now have a 17-55 f/2.8 IS, and I WISH I would have had it in DC.
     
  12. carlgo macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Good suggestions here. I found my 18-55 was vastly better for architecture in a crowded city environment, rarely able to go as long as 55.

    A tripod is a pain. You have to be dedicated to carry one around all over the place.

    Also, just as importantly, get a program that will allow you to correct the lean-back keystone look of buildings. I use both Elements and PTLens, the latter having the ability to automatically correct pincushion and barrel effects on the 18-55 as well as deal with the keystone effect.

    Here is my tip of the day, one I wish I had known earlier: If you intend to correct your pics of buildings, allow a lot of space around the frame, don't zoom in to fill the frame. The correction process uses a surprisingly huge amount of your photos area and if you don't have a big margin, you will lose part of the building and make for a crappy photo. This is hard to explain. I suggest practicing with those free photons on some local building so you will see what I mean, before you go on that special trip.
     
  13. theNIC thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2009
    #13
    Thanks guys for all your help. I think I'm just going to have my 18-55mm on when I get there, and switch if I need to.

    Oh, I'm a teenager, and I live right outside DC, so I go there often. It's just this is the first time that I'm there for photography. Haha, thanks for the tips on the cool places to go, though. :D

    What's the best way you guys advise me transporting my other lens? My camera bag is tiny, you guys just think in a bag wrapped in a fluffy towel or something?
     
  14. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #14
    Do you have a backpack? Just put some foam or padding of some sort in there. Should be fine.
     
  15. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 1, 2008
    #15
    Bag + Towel = Fine.

    Glad you've decided to take both. The telephoto lens will let you shoot less encumbered by crowds, though I don't know what they're like in DC nowadays, esp. with the weather and the economy being what they currently are. Also, it'll let you capture all the little architectural details that dot the tall, tall ceilings of our national monuments.

    Get a closeup of Lincoln's nose for us! :D
     
  16. dazey macrumors 6502

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    #16
    If its for nothing in particular, bring the one you have shot with the least or the one that you would not normally take. You might get some images out of the normal. Just my 2p. Sometimes its good to be stuck with an unsuitable lens.
     
  17. dlegend macrumors 6502

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    Northern VA (outside DC)
    #17
    Where in DC are you headed? I was thinking of going downtown Saturday too, but work this week has me needing a day of doing nothing.
     
  18. theNIC thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    This wasn't the perfect photography trip like I had planned. :(

    First off, I forgot my 75-300mm lens, which completely sucked. Second off, we got delayed, like two hours, so we left at four o'clock instead of two o'clock. Which means by the time we park and get situated, it's basically dark (my family isn't fast moving, lol).

    In all I got no good pictures in my opinion. Here's the "better ones"...

    Any tips would be great, I know my editing kind of sucks.
     
  19. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #19
    Don't knock yourself because of circumstances. Just make what you can out of it and move on. The weather was supposed to be sunny Friday, so I took a 300 mile drive through the mountains. Sun never showed... Guess what today (rainy) turned out to be... If I have to tell you sunny, then I shouldn't.

    Night shots are always difficult, and I think you did a pretty good job with them seeing that you weren't prepared for that. The Parking photo could use a bit more contrast to bring the P up to the front a bit more.

    Dale
     

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