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Thread: Overseas Travel - Lens Choice

  1. #1
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    Overseas Travel - Lens Choice

    I'd like to get peoples feedback on the following situation:

    I will be travelling to Cambodia and will have a choice of 2 or 3 lens to take for a full-frame camera:

    17-40mm f/4L
    24-70mm f/2.8L
    70-200 f/2.8L IS


    - I will definitely be taking the 70-200mm as I will be purchasing it soon and will get the GST back when travelling overseas with it.

    - I have taken the 24-70mm on other travels before and it was a good all-rounder for portraits and general scenics, however I feel it may not be wide enough for the temples of Angkor.

    - Considering Cambodia and the temples, I believe the 17-40mm would be invaluable, however there is some focal length overlap with the 24-70mm making one or the other somewhat redundant


    I have the following choices:

    a) No 40-70mm range

    17-40 f/4 600g
    70-200 f/2.8 1600g

    b) No wide-angle 17-24mm range

    24-70 f/2.8 1000g
    70-200 f/2.8 1600g

    c) All focal lengths covered

    17-40 f/4 600g
    24-70 f/2.8 1000g
    70-200 f/2.8 1600g



    I'd like to take all manner of photos such as:
    - wide angle landscapes, interior of temples
    - general street photography
    - portraits

    Considering the shots I'd like to take, the total weight, and the volume, which
    combination of lens would you take and why?


    Many Thanks,

    Finn
    Canon 5D | BG-E4 battery grip | 17-40mm f/4L zoom | 50mm f/1.4 prime | 24-70mm f/2.8L zoom | 300mm f/4L IS prime | 1.4x III teleconverter| 580EX II flash | Velbon Sherpa 600n tripod | Lowepro Nova 3AW bag | Various Singh-Ray Filters

    Wish List | 100mm f/2.8 macro

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    Set "a" is my suggestion....the 17-40 is a nice wide angle of view, better than 24mm for those landscape and wide enough aperature at short focal length for inside shots. I dont think there is enough difference between 17-40 and 24 to 70 as far as focal length goes to warrant taking both.

    The 70-200 will be very handy for that bit more reach and candids on the street etc etc

    So I say take the 17-40 and the 70-200 { all take all three if able }

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    I assume you're backpacking or planning on doing quite a bit of hiking, so weight is an issue? If it were me, I'd just take the 17-40 and 70-200. The gap between 40 and 70 isn't huge and you should be able to work around it by zooming with your feet.
    Canon DSLRs & lenses | Fuji X series & lenses | Ricoh GR


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    Since I was working in Cambodia for charity work and photo-journalism beginning of the year, heres my experience from what I had with the 5D there

    28-135 IS = focal length is invaluable, wide enough for many landscape shots and good for zooming in for ppl shots and distant subjects. However, below average IQ made me realized I will be bringing a 24-105 next time

    17-40 = good on paper before I left home, but when I was roaming the temple ruins all around Siem Reap, I realised I didnt use it as much. Ultra wide shots took in too many tourists, and there are a lot of tourists around esp on weekends. I kept going back to the 28-135 for more ppl shots etc. You will find it usually impossible to take ultra wide shots of the temples alone, without having some tourist in it.

    50 f.18 = yeah it was good, good for traveling light and interview/article shots of subjects, but once again, realized a 35 f2 would have been a bit better as I wanted something slightly wider as a prime there.

    I will be back to Siem Reap end of year for work again, so looking at the 24-105 or the Tamron 28-300 VC - as I spend a lot of time on the floating village on Tonle Sap lake, not the bloody tourist village but the real ones hrs away by boat ride - I need the extra focal length to reach out and 'touch someone' lol. And hopefully a 35 f2.

    Try not to change lenses too often in the open, its a dusty place, my sensor looked like the acne skin of a teenager after I came back.

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    Definately C. I've got the same setup (okay, my 7-200/2.8 is without IS) but these 3 are always in my bag if I'm not sure what to bring to the party. The overlap in length is a good thing - I just wished I did have some more overlap between the standard- and the telelens.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    hmm, not sure I'd want to lug around a 70-200 all day long while overseas, I understand the GST thing though but would be tempted to leave it in the hotel safe and travel light
    Darren
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    what focal length/s do you require between the 40mm and the 70mm range? if you compose a shot with the 70mm lens and you need to get more in, then take a few steps back. taking an image with a 90mm lens at 5 metres, or a 50mm lens at 3 metres will include the same scenery, but with a different look due to the focal length. what is the look you are going for? surely you do not need every focal length between 17-200.

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    not sure I'd want to lug around a 70-200 all day long while overseas
    No, not all day. Just a few hours were I dedicate myself to photography whilst also enjoying my holidays

    I assume you're backpacking or planning on doing quite a bit of hiking, so weight is an issue
    Not hiking or backpacking, just trying to reduce weight. "Travel Light" is what they say.


    I think I will compromise and take only 2 lens:

    17-40 f/4 600g
    70-200 f/2.8 1600g

    thereby reducing my weight by 1kg and also free up some space (mind you I am also taking a 2.5kg tripod plus various other gear).

    Having a look at my photos taken with the 24-70 whilst on holidays last time showed I mainly used the wide end (24-35mm) and the tele end (70mm). For the range between, there were less shots taken so I seem to have answered myself. Taking the 24-70 purely for the 40-70mm range is overkill.


    Though, still good to see an insight of other people's thoughts.

    Many Thanks,

    Finn

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    Just getting back from holdiays to the NT (not quite Cambodia), but I took most of my lenses, and ended up using just 2 - the 16-45 f4, wich was on my camera 95% of the time, and to 100-300 - used for wildlife/bird shots.
    Also lugging around a bag with a few lenses near killed me - hot&humid plus steep/rocky terrain is not a good combo to be carrying lots of weight. In the end I just took my camera with the 16-45 lens to most places I went.

    You may also want to revisit the tripod as well - I took my tripod, and only used it on a couple of occasions - It is bulky, heavy, gets in the way and generally a pain in the rear. I would have been far better served with one of those gorrilapod type things - something I will definately be getting for next time.

    I think the two lenses you are contemplating would be sufficient to cover most situations - just remember to keep the weight to a minimum.
    Have you also thought about how you are going to back up your photos while there?

  10. #10
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    For our trip to Iceland we carried around the whole lot - I guess it depends how much weight you're used to carrying. I ended up with 12kg or so on my back with 5d, 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 with water and clothes layers, accessories and the carbonfibre tripod + head . My wife carried her tripod & accessories and the 40d + 10-20 (we'd swap body every day)
    If you are physically able to carry all of that without compromising enjoyment, I say why not. I love zooming with my feet , but you do get different compositions walking closer to compared to zooming depending on perspective.

    I would say while over in iceland - I used the 16-35 as much as the 24-70 since I wanted panoramic images with a natural non ultrawideangle perspective. I'm thinking wide angle images of the temples will be fine, but i fyou want images that retain true perspective, the 24-70 will be good for this.
    The 70-200 we carried around simply because there were just so many incidental wildlife opportunities.
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    Amor fati!
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    if i had one i'd be going 18-200... seing as you done and you are already taking the 70-200 i'd say go for the wide angle

  12. #12
    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    Ditto on the 17-40 and 70-200, I don't think you'll miss the 40-70 that much.
    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by ving View Post
    if i had one i'd be going 18-200... seing as you done and you are already taking the 70-200 i'd say go for the wide angle
    u mean a 28-300 ving? seeing as 18-200 is an APSC focal length, if only that existed for full frame thought the OP is using full frame, judging from his list

    I just dont see much purpose in carrying a 70-200, particularly if u have to change lenses every now and then to accomodate for varying locations and settings, but everyone operates differently - I am returning to Cambodia with a general purpose lens end of year, 5D attracts too much dust when changing lenses on location no matter how clean u try to make it to be.

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