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Thread: Which Lens(es) for trip to Europe

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    Which Lens(es) for trip to Europe

    Hi All,

    I know this question has probably been asked many times before, but I’ll ask it again anyway.

    I will be heading off to Europe on one of those 29 day tours where you spend a couple of days in each country, seeing all of the major attractions. I imagine there will be lots of cathedrals, castles, museums, landscapes etc to see & photograph.

    I would like, if possible, to take only one lens with me, two at the most. I don’t want to be spending too much time changing lenses, as it’s a pretty full on tour, and I don’t really want to miss out on the actual experience worrying about whether I have the right lens on or not. I won’t be taking a tripod.

    I have a EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, but I’m not sure that is wide enough. I will be using a Canon 70D.

    I was thinking of the following lenses;
    Canon 10-18mm EF-S f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
    Canon 10-22mm EF-S f/3.5-4.5 USM
    Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD

    Of these, only the 10-18 has image stabilisation, but also has the shortest range. I’m also not sure how suitable they are indoors, especially as there will be places where flash in not allowed.

    I was originally thinking of just taking a Tamron AF 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 VC PZD, but again, I don’t think it will be wide enough.

    So, if anyone can give me some advice, it would be very much appreciated.

    Regards

    Neil
    Canon 70D, EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS USM

    EF-S 10-18 f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-S 55-250 f/4.5-6 IS II

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Neil. What do intend to photograph?

    In all my trips to various places there, I have found long telephoto to be the least used.
    That 18-135 sounds like it might be useful for most of what I can think of: landscape,
    street scenes, people shots... At a pinch you can fit in some interiors of buildings.

    As for your fear of changing lenses for much time, you may well obviate the need with the
    aforementioned lens. However, there will NO DOUBT be the ODD occasion where you will
    kick yourself for not taking just a wider lens. Now, which is worse?

    If you think that you might succumb to a second lens, then IMO the one with IS is it.

    Anyway, what if some of your gear breaks down?
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Neil. What do intend to photograph?

    In all my trips to various places there, I have found long telephoto to be the least used.
    That 18-135 sounds like it might be useful for most of what I can think of: landscape,
    street scenes, people shots... At a pinch you can fit in some interiors of buildings.

    As for your fear of changing lenses for much time, you may well obviate the need with the
    aforementioned lens. However, there will NO DOUBT be the ODD occasion where you will
    kick yourself for not taking just a wider lens. Now, which is worse?

    If you think that you might succumb to a second lens, then IMO the one with IS is it.

    Anyway, what if some of your gear breaks down?
    I imagine that most of the shots I would be taking would be of things like castles & cathedrals, (inside & out) streetscapes, landscapes. Have to admit, I don't know what to expect over there.

    I agree about the lens with IS, I was leaning towards that one. And the 18-135 might also come in handy. Both are pretty light, so taking both wont be a burden. I would then have a range of 10-135 across the 2 lenses, on a crop sensor.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I agree with your not taking a tripod in this case. Be prepared for some dark interiors, but don't take a separate flash.
    Flash photography is quite frned upon in most places like museums, cathedrals... Worse! Often you can't
    take pictures at all!!

    Elsewise, keep your gear close. Suspect everybody! Keep away from roving bands of urchins

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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    I agree that a big zoom isn't really necessary in Europe. I would however, recommend getting one of the 10mm ones. I have the Nikon 10-24 with a crop sensor and have used it extensively while OS, particularly good for architecture, both exterior and interior and landscapes, especially with strong foreground interest. My 17-50 just wasn't wide enough in a lot of cases for buildings. I usually take a tripod but if you are on a tour you may not have much time to use it anyway. People assume if you have a tripod you are a professional - go figure - so I've used it mainly for landscapes and you'll probably find it isn't allowed in most buildings.
    Glenda


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    Just a thought (maybe you've considered it already?), if you're in tight confined spaces and the lens is not wide enough, you can always take a number of images and stitch them together when you get back home.


    Allow plenty of overlap, and don't limit yourself to frames side by side.
    I've stitched plenty of images together with 3 - 4 frames across the top, 3 - 4 in the middle and another 3 - 4 across the bottom (CC2015.5 handles them easily - )


    No idea how good your memory is, but I start and finish all my stitching sets/projects with a quick snap of my hand over the lens...gives me a bit of a clue for when I get home (my then 'older self' really appreciates it )
    Last edited by Gazza; 03-10-2016 at 8:22am. Reason: It's Jamaican Hair day tomorrow, I'm dreading it
    You don't take a photograph, you make it ~ Ansel Adams
    CC more than welcome, (I can't be offended) and feel free to post your ideas with an edit if ya have the time. Thanks......


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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Neil, think about having a relatively wide, relatively fast prime specifically for the insides of buildings and architecture generally. Something like a ~12-15mm f/1.8. As others have said, no flash/no tripods allowed in most of these places. I don't know what's available for your camera around this FL and aperture, but sure to be something good and affordable ...

    If you are happy with the overall IQ of your existing 18-55, 70-300, that gives you a three lens kit for almost all eventualities, with minimal lens changing.
    Regards, john

    Galleries: http://canopuscomputing.com.au/gallery2/v/main-page/


    My galleries contain all sorts of stuff, not just some pretty pictures.

    ILCs: E-M1; E-30; E-510; E-1
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    If it were me, I'd take a 18-135mm or longer if you have it say an 18-250mm and keep that on your camera for your everyday lens. Perhaps pack a 10mm fisheye for some funs shots of favourite buildings and then perhaps a 35mm or 50mm bright (say f2.0 or brighter) for some interiors and evening/night shots. A tripod is good if you can pack it without nuisance but lugging it will wear on you quickly. Agree, flash is frowned on in most places because it is intrusive.

    Sent from my E6883 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lplates View Post
    I agree that a big zoom isn't really necessary in Europe. I would however, recommend getting one of the 10mm ones. I have the Nikon 10-24 with a crop sensor and have used it extensively while OS, particularly good for architecture, both exterior and interior and landscapes, especially with strong foreground interest. My 17-50 just wasn't wide enough in a lot of cases for buildings. I usually take a tripod but if you are on a tour you may not have much time to use it anyway. People assume if you have a tripod you are a professional - go figure - so I've used it mainly for landscapes and you'll probably find it isn't allowed in most buildings.
    Thanks Lplates. I am leaning towards the 10-18mm EF-S f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, it has fairly decent reviews and is not too dear. I think a tripod on this type of tour might be frowned upon.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    Just a thought (maybe you've considered it already?), if you're in tight confined spaces and the lens is not wide enough, you can always take a number of images and stitch them together when you get back home.


    Allow plenty of overlap, and don't limit yourself to frames side by side.
    I've stitched plenty of images together with 3 - 4 frames across the top, 3 - 4 in the middle and another 3 - 4 across the bottom (CC2015.5 handles them easily - )


    No idea how good your memory is, but I start and finish all my stitching sets/projects with a quick snap of my hand over the lens...gives me a bit of a clue for when I get home (my then 'older self' really appreciates it )
    I've done that with the camera on a tripod, but not freehand. I think I'd need to practice that first, but its definitely an option to consider.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by John King View Post
    Neil, think about having a relatively wide, relatively fast prime specifically for the insides of buildings and architecture generally. Something like a ~12-15mm f/1.8. As others have said, no flash/no tripods allowed in most of these places. I don't know what's available for your camera around this FL and aperture, but sure to be something good and affordable ...

    If you are happy with the overall IQ of your existing 18-55, 70-300, that gives you a three lens kit for almost all eventualities, with minimal lens changing.
    Canon has a 14mm EF f/2.8L II USM but its over $2,500. Cant see anything else in the Canon range. I was going to leave the 70-300 L home because of the weight.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by frankoz View Post
    If it were me, I'd take a 18-135mm or longer if you have it say an 18-250mm and keep that on your camera for your everyday lens. Perhaps pack a 10mm fisheye for some funs shots of favourite buildings and then perhaps a 35mm or 50mm bright (say f2.0 or brighter) for some interiors and evening/night shots. A tripod is good if you can pack it without nuisance but lugging it will wear on you quickly. Agree, flash is frowned on in most places because it is intrusive.

    Sent from my E6883 using Tapatalk
    I have come to the conclusion that I would need to also take the 18-135 as well. Canon also have a 18-200, which would give me more reach - not sure how good it is though.

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Neil, I have just been looking at the prices for what I was recommended. Then had a little rest! Heavens to Murgatroyd!

    Are there any decent third party lenses that fit the bill - fast and wide?

    [Edit] How about the Samyang f/2.8 10mm here? http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod11460.htm
    Last edited by John King; 03-10-2016 at 8:44pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John King View Post
    Neil, I have just been looking at the prices for what I was recommended. Then had a little rest! Heavens to Murgatroyd!

    Are there any decent third party lenses that fit the bill - fast and wide?

    [Edit] How about the Samyang f/2.8 10mm here? http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod11460.htm
    LOL!! I must admit, I thought your idea of "good and affordable" was a bit different to mine!.

    I hadn't even thought of the Samyang lenses. Looks like I've got a bit more research to do!

    Edit: Just looked at the Samyangs - all of them appear to be manual focus.
    Last edited by Doc63; 03-10-2016 at 9:19pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I have been to europe a few times with various kits. I think you will be best served with a 10-20 with min 2.8. Even with street scenes, a lot of streets re very narrow and a wide is required.
    2.8 is needed inside most older places with very marginal light.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TOKINA-11...item35fe7f376f No IS but good wide, have used one in Europe before.
    A cheap small tripod is worth putting in your bag http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AU-BEXIN-...YAAOSwjVVVpMqL There is alweays a bin/chair/bench/bridge railing to put it on.
    Regards
    John
    Nikon D750, Sigma 105mm OS Macro, Tokina 16-28 F2.8, Sigma 24-105 Art, Sigma 150-600C,
    Benro Tripod and Monopod with Arca plates

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.davis View Post
    I have been to europe a few times with various kits. I think you will be best served with a 10-20 with min 2.8. Even with street scenes, a lot of streets re very narrow and a wide is required.
    2.8 is needed inside most older places with very marginal light.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TOKINA-11...item35fe7f376f No IS but good wide, have used one in Europe before.
    A cheap small tripod is worth putting in your bag http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AU-BEXIN-...YAAOSwjVVVpMqL There is alweays a bin/chair/bench/bridge railing to put it on.
    Yeah, I discovered the Tokina after my original post - yet another option. As you said, no IS though.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    The theme seems to be departing from the OP's original thoughts, AIUT*: what of my
    gear to take. So you buy an 18-200 on the strength that you might need it?? To get
    a 50% bigger image? At unknown cost to other factors?

    *As I Understand It

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    The theme seems to be departing from the OP's original thoughts, AIUT*: what of my
    gear to take. So you buy an 18-200 on the strength that you might need it?? To get
    a 50% bigger image? At unknown cost to other factors?

    *As I Understand It
    No, I think I'll stick with the 18-135 that I already have and get the 10-18. Hopefully, its good enough in low light for what I need.

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    IMHO you have made the right decision in sticking with the 18-135 and matching with a 10-18. I travelled to the UK and Europe in 2014 and took my 15mm fisheye, plus 24-105 on a full frame camera. In my case I was amost always using the wide end of the 24-105 or the fisheye. I didn't want for anything longer and the travel tripod I took was used just once during the whole 7 week period. If you can find one, a crowd filter would be invaluable....
    Last edited by phild; 04-10-2016 at 9:15pm.
    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild View Post
    IMHO you have made the right decision in sticking with the 18-135 and matching with a 10-18. I travelled to the UK and Europe in 2014 and took my 15mm fisheye, plus 24-105 on a full frame camera. In my case I was amost always using the wide end of the 24-105 or the fisheye. I didn't want for anything longer and the travel tripod I took was used just once during the whole 7 week period. If you can find one, a crowd filter would be invaluable....
    Thanks phild. Yes, the more I research, the more I think the 18-135 and 10-18 is the way to go. And yeah, if I can find a crowd filter on ebay I'm willing to pay top dollar!

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    I have a EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, but I’m not sure that is wide enough. I will be using a Canon 70D. I was thinking of the following lenses; Canon 10-18mm EF-S f/4.5-5.6 IS STM . . .
    and

    I think I'll stick with the 18-135 that I already have and get the 10-18. Hopefully, its good enough in low light for what I need.
    I think that you will use the 18 to 135 IS most of the time - I suggest, if you do buy the 10 to 18 then you swap to the 10 to 18 IS, before entering buildings.

    *

    I travel to Europe regularly. I have particular photographic passions for: (a) interior and exterior architecture; (b) general streetscapes and landscapes; (c) street style reportage portraiture.

    I also don’t like carrying a “kit” when I am on holiday - I am not working. I mainly use EOS 5D Series Cameras. By far, over the past four/five years, the main working lens I use in Europe for the purposes I described and the convenience of having only one lens is the EF 24 to 105L F/4 IS USM. Roughly tallied that lens has made close to 95% of the approx 20,000 ‘holiday’ images over the last few years in Europe.

    Your description of what you like to photograph is similar to what I have described. My advice is that 24mm (equiv about 15mm of your APS-C Camera) will be sufficiently wide enough for most shooting scenarios that you encounter and certainly 105 (equiv about 65mm of your APS-C Camera) will be long enough. So any good quality zoom lens that gets you from 15 to 70, will do the job for you: but as you seem to want to buy another lens, then the 10 to 18 with IS is an excellent choice.

    Note well that if you want to capture interiors / interior architecture, then the more important issue is IMAGE STABILIZATION and that is more important than LENS SPEED. (i.e. Max. Aperture)

    You will be better to have the convenience of a zoom and the ability to shoot at around F/4 or F/5.6 at a slower shutter speed, than to be using a faster zoom lens (e.g. F/2.8) or a Prime lens (e.g.F/1.8) and that lens NOT having IS.

    I am not keen on Varying Maximum Aperture Zooms – but if you know the pitfalls and especially if you use the camera in Av Mode then just remember to keep an eye on that Shutter Speed.

    Personally, I travel with a second camera. I now use a Fuji X100s. But before bought the Fuji I used a late model Canon Powershot. You should consider that - what if the 70D croaks - I also do tend to carry a second lens for my DSLR in case the 24 to 105 dies - and that is a fast 35 Prime, but that is seldom used now I have the Fuji. With what you are doing on a structured tour I think that considering any Prime Lens is a silly option: the 70D will eat up modestly high ISO, if you want to arrest any Subject Movement with a faster Tv and the two lenses that you intend to use.

    In some museums, galleries and other venues, backpacks and slingshot camera bags, even small ones, are prohibited, whereas carrying a camera (or two) is not, anyway my Fuji fits into my pocket. I think it would be silly you taking a tripod or a monopod on a bus-style multi-stop tour – such are considered dangerous items (aka ‘possible weapons’) at many venues and as such are prohibited – I usually hire a car, or travel by train and I don’t even think to take a tripod or monopod – I use High ISO; IS; and good Shutter and Camera techniques, instead. If your tour is structured with guides, then they should know what is allowed for you to CARRY into venues.

    Here are some examples to show the value of using IS as opposed to shooting with a very large aperture and also as examples of the general value of a FL range from about 24 to 105 (i.e. about 15 to 65 for your camera - the 135mm is just a bonus for you.

    Note how for the interior shots using the extra width of the 10 to 18 and with IS will indeed be an asset for you:



    Street Portraiture at about 80mm
    *


    Interior at 24mm
    *


    At 24mm F/4 @ 1/13s @ ISO3200 Hand Held
    *



    At 24mm and 1 second exposure – braced on window-sill
    *


    Street Portraiture – at around 100mm
    *


    Street Portraiture at about 105mm – 1/5 second, hand-held
    *


    Interior at 24mm and at about 1/8s Hand Held
    *


    Landscape at 80mm
    *


    Landscape at 28mm
    *


    Landscape at about 50mm
    *


    Street portraiture at around 100 mm

    *

    Have fun.

    WW

    All Images © AJ Group Pty Ltd Aust 1996~2016 WMW 1965~1996
    Last edited by William W; 10-10-2016 at 12:47pm. Reason: corrected two typos

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Neil. It's time to get serious in this thread.

    Since you can't possibly TAKE IN ALL the advice given here, it only remains for you to
    TAKE US ALL with you when you go and leave us up to our own photographic devices.

    We would long laud you for your thoughtfulness and generosity

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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    and



    I think that you will use the 18 to 135 IS most of the time - I suggest, if you do buy the 10 to 18 then you swap to the 10 to 18 IS, before entering buildings.

    *

    I travel to Europe regularly. I have particular photographic passions for: (a) interior and exterior architecture; (b) general streetscapes and landscapes; (c) street style reportage portraiture.

    I also don’t like carrying a “kit” when I am on holiday - I am not working. I mainly use EOS 5D Series Cameras. By far, over the past four/five years, the main working lens I use in Europe for the purposes I described and the convenience of having only one lens is the EF 24 to 105L F/4 IS USM. Roughly tallied that lens has made close to 95% of the approx 20,000 ‘holiday’ images over the last few years in Europe.

    Your description of what you like to photograph is similar to what I have described. My advice is that 24mm (equiv about 15mm of your APS-C Camera) will be sufficiently wide enough for most shooting scenarios that you encounter and certainly 105 (equiv about 65mm of your APS-C Camera) will be long enough. So any good quality zoom lens that gets you from 15 to 70, will do the job for you: but as you seem to want to buy another lens, then the 10 to 18 with IS is an excellent choice.

    Note well that if you want to capture interiors / interior architecture, then the more important issue is IMAGE STABILIZATION and that is more important than LENS SPEED. (i.e. Max. Aperture)

    You will be better to have the convenience of a zoom and the ability to shoot at around F/4 or F/5.6 at a slower shutter speed, than to be using a faster zoom lens (e.g. F/2.8) or a Prime lens (e.g.F/1.8) and that lens NOT having IS.

    I am not keen on Varying Maximum Aperture Zooms – but if you know the pitfalls and especially if you use the camera in Av Mode then just remember to keep an eye on that Shutter Speed.

    Personally, I travel with a second camera. I now use a Fuji X100s. But before bought the Fuji I used a late model Canon Powershot. You should consider that - what if the 70D croaks - I also do tend to carry a second lens for my DSLR in case the 24 to 105 dies - and that is a fast 35 Prime, but that is seldom used now I have the Fuji. With what you are doing on a structured tour I think that considering any Prime Lens is a silly option: the 70D will eat up modestly high ISO, if you want to arrest any Subject Movement with a faster Tv and the two lenses that you intend to use.

    In some museums, galleries and other venues, backpacks and slingshot camera bags, even small ones, are prohibited, whereas carrying a camera (or two) is not, anyway my Fuji fits into my pocket. I think it would be silly you taking a tripod or a monopod on a bus-style multi-stop tour – such are considered dangerous items (aka ‘possible weapons’) at many venues and as such are prohibited – I usually hire a car, or travel by train and I don’t even think to take a tripod or monopod – I use High ISO; IS; and good Shutter and Camera techniques, instead. If your tour is structured with guides, then they should know what is allowed for you to CARRY into venues.

    Here are some examples to show the value of using IS as opposed to shooting with a very large aperture and also as examples of the general value of a FL range from about 24 to 105 (i.e. about 15 to 65 for your camera - the 135mm is just a bonus for you.

    Note how for the interior shots using the extra width of the 10 to 18 and with IS will indeed be an asset for you:

    Have fun.

    WW
    Thanks very much for that advice William. And those are exactly the type of shots I was thinking of.

    Its not so much that I want to buy another lens, I just thought I'd need to (and any excuse will do ), especially for interiors.

    I agree on the image stabilisation, I think that is a must have. That is why I am leaning to the 10 to 18.

    And yeah, I can just imagine how popular I'd be with the tour guide if I was lugging my tripod around.

    Thanks again

    Neil

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Neil. It's time to get serious in this thread.

    Since you can't possibly TAKE IN ALL the advice given here, it only remains for you to
    TAKE US ALL with you when you go and leave us up to our own photographic devices.

    We would long laud you for your thoughtfulness and generosity
    LOL!!

    Yes, you can all stow away. A bus full of photographers - the tour guide would be thrilled!!
    Last edited by Doc63; 10-10-2016 at 8:53pm.

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