New York Lens Choice

Discussion in 'Travel' started by steve_pearce, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Hi,

    I am going to be visiting New York in a couple of weeks and was
    wondering which lenses to take.

    I will be shooting entirely with a 10D and was considering taking only
    my 17-40 f4 to travel light.

    I also have a 70-200 f4, a 28-70 f2.8 and a 50mm f1.8.

    I was also thinking about taking the 70-200, but am not sure.

    Any local advice would be much appreciated,

  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Whata are you planning to shoot? New York is a big place with a lot of different things to shoot. Without any information, all someone can tell you is what they would do, not what might be good for you.
  3. It's my first visit and so I will be on the main tourist trail.
    I do however, try to either find alternative perspectives on well known land marks, or try to get good quality classic shots.
  4. i would at least take the 50 for night shots. It adds almost no weight to your kit. A lot of interesting stuff happens at night in NYC, and you don't want to be stuck at f4 capturing it. The smaller lens is also less conspicuous.
  5. Take the 17-40 and the 50.
  6. Well, from my handful of visits, I would think that a modest tele is absolutely necessary. I went with my 70-300 on a Nikon F100 last time, and there is just an amazing amount of detail you want to frame properly higher up -- the top of the Chrysler Building, the figures on top of the gate into Central Park, a panorama of the skyline from Brooklyn, or a view of the Statue of Liberty from the Southern tip of Manhattan. Without the tele, there'll be an awful lot of empty water or of unimportant buildings in your shots. If I were you, I would take the 17-40 and the 70-200.

  7. Like many photography questions, the answer is "it depends." It depends whether you are primarily going to shoot scenery or people. If you are going to shoot people or enviromental portraits, you'll need the 70-200. If it's primarily scenics or buildings, take the 28-70. Buildings get tremendous, disconcerting "fallback" distortion with the 17-40 because you can't get back far enough to level the camera. I wouldn't bring it. As a native New Yorker, I've been walking around the city with a camera for over fifty years. My interests nowadays are candid environmental portraits and architectural segments as semi-abstrations. I felt frustrated with my 28-135 in these situations because the 28-50 range was wasted and I needed to get beyond 135mm. This led to my purchase of the 70-200, which has been my "walking around the city" lens for the past several years. It has worked well for my kind of photography, but your mileage may vary depending on your visual interests. Enjoy your visit.
  8. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'd agree on taking the 17-40, and the 50 if you're going to shoot at night.
    If you're shooting people, you'll find New Yorkers pretty friendly or even oblivious and you can shoot real close. I use a wide angle most of the time I'm shooting people in New York. If you're going to shoot from a boat or want to get the tops of buildings, bring a longer lens, but otherwise skip it.
    All of these photos were taken in New York with a 35mm lens on film (about 23mm with your 10D.)
  9. I have the 70-200, so I have a feel for the size and weight, although I just got it and haven't traveled with it yet. I have used a non-L 70-210 lens in NYC with 35 mm. I don't shoot digital. That said, I would definitely take the 70-200, although you will only use it occasionally. You will find it useful in Central Park, high spots like the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge/Brooklyn Heights areas, the Statue of Liberty, and some for people shots. I probably wouldn't take it out every day though because it isn't a necessary lens for many of the places you are likely to go, and for most people shots there you really don't need a long lens. You are likely to get much more benefit out of the 17-40 than the 28-70, but I would lean toward taking both on a daily basis for my main outfit.
  10. I don't understand these types of questions. Unless you are trying to duplicate a shot someone else took with a specific lens, there is no magic lens anyone can recommend that will capture a location best. Neither Minolta nor Nikon nor Canon nor [insert another lens manufacturer here] made a lens designed with a specific location in mind.

    You are the one taking the photos; you are the best judge of the types of photos you like to take. Therefore only YOU can say what lens will work. Figure out what kind of photos you're going to take someplace and take a lens that will help you get those results.

    [I'm posting this same answer to two similar posts in this forum, so if it looks like I'm repeating myself, I am.]
  11. Thanks for your wise words Christian, I am not a numbnuts, I do have a good idea of what to take, but it's always nice to get some local insider information before going somewhere.
  12. Steve, I like to take the buildings, and for that I find a wide angle lens necessary for New York (as well as most other places). If it were me, I would find the 28-70 the most useful single lens. But I would want the 17-40 along, for the range wider than 28mm, "just in case." The fast normal lens will be good for a few night shots, although the f/2.8 zoom with some fast film would also be adequate. If you are flying, I'd leave the long heavy lenses home, for ease of keeping track of the gear in the airport, as well as lightening the load while walking the streets of N.Y. I found uses for 21, 28, 35, 50, and 90mm lenses. If one of these had to stay home, it would be the 21. So that comes right back to saying that the 28-70 is going to be very handy on this trip. One man's opinion!

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