Lens recommendations for Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Discussion in 'Travel' started by gerald_wallace, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. My wife and I, will be in Amsterdam next week wanting to photograph the city and then, the tulips. We will both be taking two lenses each. My two lenses will be the Canon 24-105 F/4 and a 15-30mm lens. My wife will take her 100-400mm and 18-135mm lens. I will be using both full frame and the 7D mk.2 with a 1.6 factor. My wife will use her Canon 7D mk. 1 and mk.2 camera's.
    I have never been in The Netherlands except going to and from the airport and once in hurricane force winds - never taken pictures there. What lenses would you recommend for taking pictures in the city and tulip fields? Thanks for your recommendations.
  2. From your post, you sound like an experienced photographer. In this case, just Go through pix of cities & flowers that u
    have already taken and pick out the ones you like the most. Look at the EXIF data and see what lenses you used. Bring
    the same ones. Amsterdam is no different than any other city.

    Just my $0.02,

    Tom M

    PS - if you happen to use Lightroom, there is a very nice way to automate this process. Just let us know.
  3. Hmmm, looks like you are all set. It might be helpful if you take a macro (or rent one) of your choice....well, I'd do that.
    Enjoy the trip.
  4. Amsterdam is pretty much like any city (well in terms of photographic options). A 100-400 will not be overly useful there, all other lenses sound like useful choices. I'd consider something faster, as night-life in Amsterdam has its fascination too. I'm not sure whether I'd want to tour Amsterdam with two cameras, though - it's a fairly crowded city.
    As for the tulips, probably you already know, but check http://www.keukenhof.nl/en/ - it's the easiest and arguably best way to see plenty of them. Touring the region where the tulips are grown would require a rental car for sure, while the Keukenhof can easily be arranged. It can be awfully crowded there, though. Again, I doubt if you need a 100-400 there, you can get close enough and the extra bulk could be quite inconvenient.
    I don't know how much time you have in the Netherlands, but in terms of the architecture as you see it in Amsterdam, there are various cities at least as beautiful (in my view anyway): Delft, Utrecht, Haarlem. Rotterdam is also worth seeing, for its modern architecture though. If you happen to like that, it's really a gem.
    So, personally, I would drop one camera each and leave the 100-400 at home in favour of a fast 35 or 50.
  5. So you'll hug the world with the wide zoom on FF while your wife picks the little details with her long lens? - Sounds like a good plan if your moods suit it! - Amsterdam was rainy when we came there during film days and felt like the average European city, just more beautiful somewhere.
    I think these days you can't go wrong with the standard zooms and leave the second cameras at the hotel some times.
    I'm not familiar with Canon and lacking a shooting wife I need a bit of basic backup for myself which boils down to 12-24 /50 /135 & a 18-55mm kit zoom in the bag with two 1.5x SLRs.
    Wouter's advice above, to maybe bring an alternative for the nightlife, sounds good. - I'm torn about suggesting it. - Walking my own hometown with an f2 lens line and ISO range ending at 10k (no OIS), I don't get much further than on a trip to a tripod dealer. OTOH: There is a 35mm IS prime for Canon. - With IS zooms, determined to travel somewhat light I wouldn't bother about conventional primes though with a system that puts OIS into it's lenses. - I do regret carrying a bulky Sigma 24mm f1.8 for my SR body through London and guess your FF body with f4 zoom equals my old Pentax that better avoids ISO above 800 with f1.4.
    A macro for the tulips was something I thought too for a moment. I might exchange my 135mm for the 100mm variant, which is surely the better lens but heavier. But I also looked up the focusing range of the 24 -105 and thought its on par with the 90mm RF close up lens I am deploying in my local park and thought: a quick trip to the Netherlands might help you to encounter the tulip of your life; i.e. there will most likely be a perfect individual, but how capable are you to deal with it? - Perfect individual flower shots might require a makeshift backdrop and wife and you handholding a speedlight each. - Maybe you are better off exagurating the size of the flower field?
    I'm obviously torn about the 100 -400mm. - I never had such a lens and consider the long end covered well enough most of the time with 135mm on crop SLRs. OTOH: detail picking is a wonderful touristic passtime! - a door knob here, a bit of window decoration there... Not even mentioning nautical bits on mooring old boats. - One shouldn't stop people into it from doing it and if your wife is determined to carry her lens don't talk her into getting a lighter shorter one, especially since her standard zoom has such a big range. - I cheaped out with my MILCs and went for 16-50 & 50-230 for them but understand an occasional need for longer, especially now, with available high enough ISO and OIS. - Carrying my 400mm f6.3 proofed to be a less bright idea in film days.
    Bottom line: I can imagine you being just fine with your gear choices.
  6. Amsterdam can be far too crowded nowadays so consider other towns as well, as Wouter suggested. And you may add Leiden to the list of suggestions.
  7. First, thank you all for your comments. (I needed and look forward to receiving different opinions).
    After a lengthy discussion concerning whether to take the 100-400mm lens the results are my wife will be taking the lens. We will be traveling via the ship Vantage MS River Splendor and a travel guide and transportation to various sites (tulips etc.) will be provided in The Netherlands and in Belgium - sites other than just cities and tulips (14 day cruise).
    We plan to carry only one camera and lens each and keep the other camera's and lenses in a backpack. Is that safe at night in Amsterdam?
    Again, thanks for your comments.
  8. I'd take that 100-400mm on a river cruise too.
    Amsterdam seems the crime center of the Netherlands and is warning about pickpockets. Checking
    and following some of the paranoid advice can't harm. IMHO it already appeared full of "tourist traps" i.e. businesses sacrificing customer satisfaction over revenue, doing still legal but not "nice" tricks 20 years ago. Examples: money exchange booth rushing to perform and charge 2 small deals instead of one bigger one, or a restaurant charging 3 small drinks for a big one consisting of two. - I am no way bashing the city, just suggesting to handle it with care and open eyed.
    I'd bag my camera when it is too dark or whenever I feel marching between potential subjects.- I also believe looking like round heeled working class carrying a well worn less obviously photo bag keeps it safer than the Joneses' uncovered barely used elderly Rebels dangling from "I am a tourist!"- uniforms.
    IDK why one should fear the dark. - Pickpockets & muggers are professionals of their own kind. They make more revenue grabbing unattended wallets in a crowd, than waiting all night long in a hedge for you to finally stroll a park. But they surely spent time to develop skills and strategies working well for them.
    Bottom line: crime exists (surely everywhere), so try to make somebody else look more attractive for it.
  9. Jochen, Thanks for the heads up on pick pockets. My wife usually carries her $20.00 dollar backpack with a lens and camera in her hand and maybe a backpack. I usually carry a camera in my hand and another lens and camera in my backpack (a Walmart purchased 12 pack cooler backpack costing around $6.00 dollars - I like the blue color). As for pickpockets, there isn't much you can do against a real pro (a razor blade across the back pocket takes 2-3 seconds). As for the high cost of meals are choices are: pay a higher price in the city, pay a little less in the surrounding areas, or go back to the ship and eat for free (no extra cost). Anyway, that's life, just be aware of your surroundings. Thanks for the heads up.
  10. I would second Wouter's suggestion about Delft, and also consider the Hague. I think your lens combinations with the full frame are fine for Amsterdam. For the river part of the trip I think that using these lenses on the crop frame body would be a good choice.
  11. You are too early for tulips. But the daffodils and hyacinths are out in full force right now.
  12. Here is my .02 cents on this. For large cities like Amsterdam: Use camera and lenses with small profiles. If you have a decent point and shoot, I would add it to the equation of what to take. I never use a camera bag in a large city in Europe as it exposes you to folks who want to take it away from you and it makes entering museums, maybe churches and public places difficult.
    My city camera with zoom lens, usually 18-35mm or 24-85mm, is carried on a plain black strap with no ads on it that is kept under my windbreaker. In my pocket is a reasonably fast prime, either a 20mm, 24mm, 35mm or 50mm depending on what I might want to shoot indoors or in low light. For me reasonably fast means f2 or f2,8 to keep the size and weight down. I also carry a small pocket tripod in my pants pocket for certain indoor and outdoor shots.
    For the river cruise a 100-400 mm sounds perfect. And/or a 70-200mm or 70-300mm. And maybe a tripod or good monopod to help keep the heavy lenses as steady as possible. Your stuff on the cruise and in the airplane could be in a camera bag along with digital backup media. I am a firm believer in triple backup for all images taken.
    Plan for your carry on photo bags being weighed as carry on luggage can be weighed by any airline these days even US carriers in the US. Be prepared for anything these days when it comes to airlines and airport security. Your cameras and lenses may be electronic equipment in certain European venues these days. They were when I was at Charles De Gaulle airport in Nov 2015.
    Joe Smith
  13. We have been in The Netherlands for about a week and will go to Amsterdam tomorrow. Getting to the subject, I have discovered that I should have left my wide angle lens (15-30mm f/2.8) at home and brought my Canon 16-35 f/2.8 lens but, probably would not have used it very much. The 15-30 mm lens is too wide for most purposes. I have been using my Canon 24-105mm lens for almost all pictures taken. In town, my wife has been using her Canon 18-135 (factor 1.6) for her shots and her Canon 100-400mm lens from the ship.
    (Live and learn).

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