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Thread: Travel Lenses - Nikon Options

  1. #1
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    Travel Lenses - Nikon Options

    Following on from this thread, and thanks for all the advice, I am looking for some more specific camera advice.

    I am now going to Singapore, India and Thailand in a bit of a whistle stop tour. So as I will be travelling a fair bit I want to be as minimal as possible. So as I have never ever ever been to Aisa before and I am a bit of a "I may need that so I had better take it anyhow" kind of girl, I need a bit of help.

    Firstly my kit, currently I have,

    D300s
    18-200 VR
    50 1.4 AFS
    Tokina 12-24 F4
    70-200mm 2.8 VRII
    Sigma 105 2.8 Macro
    18-55mm Kit Lens ( that I never use)
    70-300 F4-5.6 G (That I am thinking of donating to my brother as its rubbish IMHO)

    Now I believe I would be better with fast lenses than a flash as I will be visiting religious sites and obviously it is easier that carrying an extra flash.

    I want to do lots of street and environment photography, the usual toursity and animals. (zoos) I will be walking about a bit I think so don't wnat to lug about loads of stuff....

    Have been looking at the 24-120 VRII F4 as a possible addition, or am I best sticking to my 18-200mm? What about a fast 35mm or 85mm.....

    Thoughts please.

    Roo
    Call me Roo......
    Nikon D300s, Nikon 35mm 1.8 DX, Nikkor 50mm 1.4 Af-S, Nikon 18-200mm VR, Nikon 70-200VRII 2.8, Sigma 105 Macro, Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM, Tokina 12-24mm, Sb-600, D50, Nikon 1.7 T/C, Gitzo CF Monopod

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    I've been going through all the pro's and con's for the last couple of months for the exact same reasons (going to Europe in a few weeks). What it boiled down to was a) what I like to photograph most and b) how much gear do I want to carry around. The end result was / is I have just purchased 2 new lenses for the trip. An 18-250 which I think is a must for a walk around lens, and as I mainly like to take landscape images, I have just ordered a 17-40 (which also gives me a bit of versatility). I will also be taking my 50 as you will nearly always take some sort of portrait shot on a holiday and it's small and fast.

    So I would suggest your:
    18-200
    50
    and a 3rd lens that suits your style, but having been to Asia a couple of times I really think a wide angle would be appropriate.

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    I`d take the 18-200 for sure and your wide angle zoom. I just went to Turkey with the 17-55 being the main lens I used but the weight....hmmmm. Good advice from Warren above. I think the 18-200, the 50 and your 12-24.
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rellik666 View Post
    70-300 F4-5.6 G (That I am thinking of donating to my brother as its rubbish IMHO)

    Nooooo, send it down here pleeeease, we have two already and another two would be just perfect to make a glass topped Nikon coffee table with.


    Back to the matters at hand.

    !2-24 f/4
    24-120 F/4
    35 F/1.8

    The last lens because it is THE bargain quality piece of gear for APSC Nikons for good perspective, close focus ability and sharpness wide open and the others because they work for travel to me when you don't want to be carrying too much weight.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    As a regular travel photographer overseas, keep it light and keep it simple, and keep it DISCREET! is the best advice I can offer you

    use the 18-200 for most things in day time, switch to 12-24 when indoors and for creative shots, and the prime when light falls and u need a bit more light sucked in.

    the flash is an iffy issue, some places in Asian countries particularly Thailand and India do not like flashes to go off indoors when its bounced especially in old historic buildings etc. It also attracts the attention of thieves a lot more, carrying a big set up. I used to carry one, but havent felt the need for a flash gun in the last 2 yrs abroad.

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    Me...Id take a 18-200mm, you need the width on the crop frame sensor, and a small quick lens...my preference would be a 35mm F1.8. The 18-200 isnt too big or heavy...and is pretty versatile. The 35 can save you using a flash in temples etc...again, light fast. Nice simple light kit. Alternatively, if you dont care about the zoom, take a 12-24 F4 and the 50 1.4...travelling to Perth all the time I try to minimise my kit for travel...and generally go wide and a prime....and dont miss telephoto unless im after birds.
    John
    Nikon D800, D700, Nikkor 14-24 F2.8, 24-70mm F2.8, 50mm F1.8D, 70-200mm F2.8 VRII, Manfrotto 190XB with Q5 PM Head,
    SB-900,600, portable strobist setup & Editing on an Alienware M14x with LR4 and CS5 and a Samsung XL2370 Monitor.

    Stormchasing isn't a hobby...its an obsession.
    For my gallery and photography: www.emanatephotography.com

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    Im with the others on the 12-24, Take that one for sure. That will encourage you to get close and if you take it seriously you will get far better images from that lens then the others you own, BUT you will have to get into the picture. As Mr Capa said, if your photos aren't good enough, you're not close enough, and the 12-24 will either reward you or leave you with a bunch of stuff in the distance.
    If you aren't willing to work that hard then just take the 18-200 and the 50 and be done with it.
    The 35mm is great and smaller and lighter than the 50, but as you already own the 50 think whether it will work for the type of photos you either take, or like to look at. The 50 is a great length for portraits, or it will get you closer to subjects. think about 1.4 vs 1.8 as well, there is quite a difference.
    If you want to buy the 24-120 and take a single lens then do it, but be ready to be exposed either at the long end for your zoo photos, or at the wide angle for your touristy and environmental gear.
    I wouldn't be that keen on the flash.
    Or do the thing properly and take the 12-24, 50 and 70-200 and take some amazing photos.
    Most importantly, have fun.
    table top tripods / gorilla pod is the go for temples and the like; there is always something to lean on. Wwith a zoom lens you will make what you want clean and sharp ( as long as it is not moving)
    Last edited by wolffman; 22-10-2010 at 12:12am.

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    Thanks all.....I love my 12-24 and yes I know how to get up close and personal with it....that is why I love it....I just miss the speed sometimes, but TBH I haven't used it a lot recently and I should!

    I am tempted to take the 70-200 ( I have just purchsed a black rapid strap just in case).

    Right Sod it, I am going to take the 70-200, 50 and 12-24....that should have me covered......That should fit nicely into my crumpler bag.

    Do you think I would need a large tripod? I only have a Velbon cheapy, which is quite large, so won't be discrete. Or just get a gorilla or similar for table top type?

    Thanks for all the advice....I want to get some great shots, but don't want to be knackered carrying everything, especially as this will be my second bag for a lot of the time.

    Roo

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    I've done several trips into SE Asia and India with my D300 & 18-200 combo. Great flexibilty in one lens.
    The 70-200 2.8 is a fantastic lens but consider if weight is going to be an issue.
    I took a tripod to Vietnam & Cambodia and didn't use it at all. The Gorilla type is much more suitable.
    ________________
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    Nikon D300, 17-55 f2.8, 70-200vr II f2.8, 18-200vr, Lensbaby, 50 f1.8, SB600, Tokina 12-24 f4, TC2.0e III, Kenko TC 1.4


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    There is NO perfect travel lens !
    The reality is you need at least 2 good lenses to cover travel. While the 18-200 sounds the best all round , its performance is not great and is a compromise at best.
    Not sure how good the new 24 -120 f4 is optically. If it is great, then, it may be the best one lens travel arrangement (being abt 35mm – 180 effective). However, you do miss out on the wide angle which would be nice at between 20mm-24mm.
    So, if the new 24-120 f4 is good, Mongo would go for that but also have a small wide angle to cover 20-24mm effective range in is pouch as well i.e. 2 lenses all up.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    look at a 20 2.8.....what a great little performer. Im not sure on the 24-120, seems to be getting good reviews, might take a 1.4 TC OK too ?
    Darren
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    Thanks all for your input, I have taken your advice on board.

    I am going to take the 70-200mm 2.8, I can't not....as I said I have ordered the BlackRapid 5 so I can carry it. I think with the 12-24 and the 50 I should be pretty well covered. I don't really want to buy a new lens if I don't have to. I have also just purchased the Gorilla Pod Focus and X Ball head, So I am covered there also. (BTW it is $189 delivered inc ball head from Adorama, Cheapest I could find online here was $300+!)

    I am going to take 3 batteries, Selection of cards, filters and remote, charger....That shouldn't be too bad. The BlackRapid can carry cards and phone and money....so should be good.

    Can't wait I am so excited, Christmas in bangkok is supposed to be spectacular! Thanks again and any tips for travelling around are greatly appreciated.

    Roo

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    If u've decided on the wide and tele zoom, may I suggest ur prime be the 35 instead of 50 since u're on DX. Just my preference in terms of fl but urs may vary.
    I recently traveled to Europe and I took a 14-24, 35 1.8 and a 105 1.8.
    In retrospect, I'd take a lighter wide zoom, the 35 1.8, an 85 1.4 and a superzoom. The first 3 IMO covers all the serious shooting. The superzoom's for when it's a non-photographic centric outing. Maybe even a p&s superzoom instead of a superzoom lens.
    Nikon FX

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    The 70-200 doesnt really exercise discretion anymore once u start coming out in public with it, I wouldnt recommend it in Thailand and India, not only in rural areas but big cities are prone to snatching and hold-ups. An Aussie was stabbed north of Bangkok beginning of the year during an attempted theft when I was there according to local news.

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    In my travel experience I would take the 18-200 and a 50mm 1.4 for indoor low light. This stuff gets heavy after awhile. Keep it to the bare minimum and avoid overlapping focal lenghs, you don't the day to be a test of endurance, it should be fun. My usual walk about lens is the Tamron 17-50 2.8 and it rocks! Its light and works almost everywhere in low light. The 18-200 for outdoor stuff with kids is perfect, not so much inside.

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    We have just travelled to Rome and Athens (pleasure), USA (family wedding) and UK for sadder family matters. Lens choices varied for different functions. Rome/ Athens: 14-24mm, 24mm T/S, 24-70 and 70-200 F2.8 vr2. That collection covered photography of the ancient ruins, close ups of frescos and such. The 14-24 came into its own for strolling in the evening and a "photojournalism approach. A tripod came too!!!
    The wedding trip was covered with the 24-70mm and a 105mm VR Micro lens and Carol using 24mm F1.4 and a 85mm f1.4 .
    The final trip was again a 24-70mm only.
    JUst make sure your camera bag and its contents weigh under the carry-on allowance (if in doubt, carry a camera and heaviest lens on a shoulder and put back into bag after any weighing occurs!)
    Have good trip.
    Best wishes,
    Nigel and Carol.
    Nikon cameras and lenses (but never enough of them!)

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    1x 24mm prime and 1x 50mm prime should cover just about everything, and remember, you don't have to take photos of everything. There's a balance between travelling light, and covering potential situations. Leave everything else behind, especially your tripod.

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    I would agree with Tom, if you are only taking a 24 and a 50mm, then a tripod is superfluous. However, with a 24mmm T/S lens a tripod is extremely useful. Manfrotto make a small carbon fibre tripod that fits in a suitcase for traveling and mounts on a camera bag when walking. The weight is minor. If chasing wildlife with a long lens (above 300mm) then a monopod (Carbon Fibre) or a tripod becomes helpful. If chasing big game with a 400mm + lens (see thread on 200-400mm VR2) then a tripod is essential in low light situations (say by Sandy Billabong in Kakadu or the Big 3 in South Africa) when the livestock visit at sun down or sunrise.
    Photographing a large Croc with a 50mm lens is not a recipe for a long life! These were taken using a 300mm F4 Canon lens on a F1n and slides scanned.
    [/ATTACH]Muddy croc copy.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ncbuxton; 31-10-2010 at 7:59am. Reason: One image uploaded twice, so 1 copy removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rellik666 View Post
    Thanks all for your input, I have taken your advice on board.

    I am going to take the 70-200mm 2.8, I can't not....as I said I have ordered the BlackRapid 5 so I can carry it. I think with the 12-24 and the 50 I should be pretty well covered. I don't really want to buy a new lens if I don't have to. I have also just purchased the Gorilla Pod Focus and X Ball head, So I am covered there also. (BTW it is $189 delivered inc ball head from Adorama, Cheapest I could find online here was $300+!)

    I am going to take 3 batteries, Selection of cards, filters and remote, charger....That shouldn't be too bad. The BlackRapid can carry cards and phone and money....so should be good.

    Can't wait I am so excited, Christmas in bangkok is supposed to be spectacular! Thanks again and any tips for travelling around are greatly appreciated.

    Roo
    I'm just wondering, if you are back - are you happy with your choice of lenses ? If you were to do the trip again, would you change anything?
    Cheers.

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    Well, yes I am back!

    And I didn't take my 70-200mm 2.8.....I am glad I didn't....in fact I took my 18-200mm, 50mm and 12-24mm. I used the 50mm as much as possible and the others about 50/50. TBH in the countries I went to I found taking photos hard. India in particular. Thailand wasn't too bad in touristy areas but I also didn't want to spend all my time behind the lens....I was also concious of looking after my camera....not that easy on boat tours and when wanting to go swimming etc....In India the poverty is such that getting a very expensive camera out makes you a target not just for theives but for touts and beggers...it just wasn't worth it...you get enough attention as a non indian as it is......

    If I was to do it again....I think I would have taken my old D50 with just my 50mm and my 18-200mm......the gorilla pod was great though....didn't use it that much but made getting those NYE firework shots possible!

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