New York Trip

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by pcassity, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Hi all! - I'm going to spend a week in New York City with my D800 and really don't want to haul around the bulk of it and my
    24-70. Going to visit Adorama and B&H while I am there and have thought about picking up a prime to reduce the bulk. Looking for
    suggestions as to what would be a good lens for this environment and to make myself look less like a lost tourist. Thanks!
  2. New York is one of the most varied cities in the world, where you might want an ultrawide to shoot in close quarters one minute, a medium length lens for a headshot the next minute, and then a telephoto to pull in details of an architecutral feature high up on a building or a scene from across the street. There's everything from people on the streets to architecture to landscapes in Central Park. Substituting any one prime lens for your 24-70 is going to limit your options and not really reduce the bulk of the D800 by that much. If you shoot fireworks, you'll want a tripod, and the best place to shoot is usually from the New Jersey side of the Hudson so you get the city skyline under the fireworks.

    Key thing to not looking like a tourist -- don't walk around with a camera slung over your shoulder or around your neck as if each and every little thing is something you haven't seen before and you need a snapshot of it. Keep the camera in a backpack and pull it out only when there's something to shoot. Besides looking like a tourist, a camera hanging on a strap, especially over your shoulder and halfway around your back like I've seen countless times, can be gone in a split second. I'm not saying to be scared to take your camera around, but do use common sense.
  3. I'm in he city 3 to 4 Saturdays a month to take shots. The bus tour guys are the bigest pain. You might bring a 70-300mm. If you get into Central Park, the wildlife is pretty good!
    Enjoy your trip!
  4. fully aware that many camera stores are closed saturday and close early on friday for religous reasons..
    some even close their websites,

    watch out for the times square camera stores ( hole in the wall types)

    as there are a lot of places that are dangerous to buy from

    anorama and B&H are decent places.

    If you can get around

    the alexander hamilton park on the palasades ( cliff) on the nj side is a good vantage point to take photos of the ny skyline.

    ( just do not go there on the 4th.

    the intepid aitcraft carrier, statue of liberty and sounth stree seaport museumn are other spots.

    personally I would carrly a small pocketable P&S.

    china town is also a place to visit.
  5. Your 24-70 will be very useful. Use the hood to keep people from bumping into the front element. If you want to add a
    prime, the 85/1.8 might be a nice choice. A second zoom such as the 70-200/4 would provide even more flexibility.

    Don't worry about appearing to be a tourist. It's difficult to avoid, and you won't be the only one. Go to Times Square or
    Fifth Avenue or Wall Street and you'll see dozens, perhaps hundreds of cameras all around you. It's not a rare sight, and
    having one around your neck will not make you stand out. You'll be one of many in most places.

    Tripods, on the other hand, are less common and will make you stand out. In many places, you'll be hassled by police
    officers or security guards for setting one up. And if someone trips over it, you could face legal issues. Plan to shoot
    handheld. Use a fast shutter speed to keep your images sharp. Maybe take a tabletop tripod for special circumstances.
  6. I just got back from a week long trip in NY. I took two still cameras with me. My Yashicaflex TLR and my D7000 I had a backpack with me at all times to carry gear. I brought three lenses for my D7000, 35mm f1.8Nikon, 10-20mm sigma, and 55-300mm Nikon. I used the 35mm constantly to take pictures of my family that I was with and I switched to the wide angle all the time for other shots.
    Obviously each person is different and the style of photos they like to take is going to largely dictate which lenses are the most useful to them but on my trip I did not once get the 55-300mm out. It stayed in my camera box in our apartment while we were there.

    Also I always had one of my two cameras out and around my neck and never felt uncomfortable. If you are walking around during the day in the more populated areas of the city like times square, Lincoln center, or the parks there will be hundreds of other people standing around you with their camera gear out as well.
    The only time anyone paid any attention to me at all with regards to my cameras was to ask me a question about my TLR or tell me they had one similar.
    The adorama store was really cool to visit as well.
  7. I never really understood the "look less like a tourist" thing. If I am a tourist why should I care? I'm never going to see these people again and as long as I'm not rude I don't care what they think of me. If I'm NOT a tourist I also don't see why I should care.
  8. I agree Walt. I didn't really mind. As long as you are smart about your belongings. Make sure you hold onto them at all times and use a camera strap. Also if you take the subway or a bus make sure to loop an arm or leg through your backpack strap while you are sitting down. Or if you sit down in a restaurant do the same.
    I never felt like I needed to put my camera away all the time. Specially in touristy areas where every single person down the street walking around had a camera out. Many of them with cameras nicer than mine (more valuable).
    In addition to that when I walked through a less touristy but equally crowded park all the college students were hanging out and a lot of them had cameras too.
  9. If you want to travel light, I'd take a 35mm and an 85mm prime. Not sure it is really lighter, but you may feel more comfortable with them around your neck. As mentioned above, B&H and Adorama will be closed Friday afternoon and on Saturday. I am not sure I would want to waste time in those stores if I was visiting as a tourist - much more interesting things to see or do. If you must, then I suggest Adorama has the more interesting location - although it is not as an impressive store as B&H.
  10. I've come to think Nikon's best choice for dense urban areas is the Nikon D5200 and the 18-55mm VR kit lens. It's small and doesn't attract attention yet has superb image quality. Best of all, instead of pointing a honking big D800 at people, I hold the D5200 at waist level, flip out the LCD screen, and use that as my viewfinder (live view.) Very few people even seem to realize I am taking a photo. I've had great luck doing this in Chicago, London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. I also use my Leica IIIc using Leica lenses 35/50/90mm, but this is nowhere near as versatile and the D5200 waist level finder and the little 18-55mm VR lens.
    Kent in SD
  11. If you're a tourist, you'll look like a tourist. It's unavoidable, so don't worry about it. There are tens of thousands of tourists in NYC at any
    given time. You'll hardly be unique.

    Your behavior should reflect what you would do in any large city. Relax and have a good time. Be aware of your surroundings,
    particularly if some person nearby seems to be lurking, talking loudly, or causing disruptive behavior. If anyone asks for money or tells
    you a hard luck story, say "Sorry!" and walk away immediately.

    Be aware of you belongings at all times. Don't flash cash, jewelry, or a big bag of gear. Avoid empty subway cars - crowded is better, half
    full is the best. If someone acts crazy or agitated, quietly and quickly move away. Don't try to reason with them.

    Be polite even when the locals aren't (it's cultural, not personal). Don't argue with the cops. And please don't block the sidewalk while
    figuring out which direction to go (New Yorkers HATE that).

    In short, keep your wits about you, and you should have a great time.
  12. If wanna buy lenses on a saturday, you can check the Calumet store at Chelsea. They also have a good used gear section. Other option is Best Buy, with less variety, though.
    My lens suggestion would be a 24-120mm f4 VR. If you need/want, you can even use the DX crop and take pictures as you were using a 180mm.
    If you want primes, you may try the AF-D ones: 20mm f2.8, 35mm f2 and 85mm f1.8. They're compact, light, I just don't know if their opctical quality do justice to the D800's sensor...
  13. Either a 35 or 28 is all you need for NYC. Really, you can do it quite well on 1 lens.
  14. Prime lenses are wonderful. I love to shoot with my Canon EF 40mm STM lens (effectively a 43mm focal length). But zoom lenses offer a variety of perspectives.
  15. To travel lighter when I had the D700, I bought a Nikon 28-70, 3.5-4.5 AFD. Its not a lot bigger than my 35,2.8AFD which I would also recommend. Its in the $300 price range. Its fast, beautifully made and sharp as. It usually lives on my FE2 and some of the time on my F4.
    Don't take a bazooka such as a 70-210 etc. You want to travel light? I bought a Leica D-Lux 4 for $300 and the lens is F2.0 and awesome. There are some shots I took last weekend on my profile.
  16. Lets face it, NYC is not some third world country and don't worry about looking like a tourist with your DSLR visible in public. I go to NYC twice a year with my D800 always around my shoulder and not a bit that I feel worried somebody will snatch it. Maybe in the subway stations, just hold it close to you. As for the lens selection, I always have my 24 1.4G.
  17. primarily i am a Canon user althought i own a Nikon F3 with 50mm lens. i use a 20mm prime lens and a 40mm STM on a full frame digital camera. i have a 16-35mm and a 70-200mm lens, but rarely take them with me for travelling aroud within a city.
    on April, I went to visit Shanghai, China. i used a contax T2 point and shot film camera, which is a 38mm lens with 2.8 -16 apature, 8s -1/500s. with 100-400 iso film, it covers 90% of situations. rarely been noticed me, if so, they just want to look at that small camera, not me. it is time to snap them :).
    Calumet at Manhatton is open on Saturday and Sunday. I bought a used hassy 500CM there on a Saturday morning. they are open at 10 am. you can rent different kinds of cameras, lens, flashes, and tripod, including Nikon cameras and lens, check their website for renting lens and cameras.
  18. I agree with all who said don't worry about looking like a tourist. New Yorkers are the most blase people I've ever seen, and take pride in ignoring all sorts of activity around them. Take pictures of everything! Just don't stand in the middle of the sidewalk, stopping the flow of pedestrians, to do it. That will get you some snarls and jostling. Step over next to the buildings, out of the way. I spent almost a year shooting in the city, from the buses and in the subways and everywhere and never had a problem. But I also carried my gear in a shopping bag. Be aware of what's around you and you'll have the time of your life.
  19. i am a lifelong New Yorker and I am often walking around with a camera on my shoulder or in my hand. With all respect to the suggestion about keeping your gear in a backpack until needed, I totally disagree for two reasons - first, you will miss too many shots while you are trying to retrive your gear from your backpack. Second - a backpack is unquestionably one of the least safe ways to carry anything in a big city. Way too easy for a miscreant to unzip and loot a backpack carried on a "non-tourist's" back.
    I find that an R-Strap is most convenient in a crowded city since one can just swing the camera behind him when squeezing into a crowded spot and I often carry the camera in my hand with the strap wrapped around my wrist if not on my shoulder. If you insist on carrying a backpack in a crowd, take a tip from the folks in Barcelona who wear backpacks with the pack in front to thwart pickpockets. Learned that first hand when visiting that pickpocket capital of the world.
    As far as lenses go, primes may be light weight, but again, you waste too much time switching out and have a good chance of missing the action. While I love primes in studio or landscape settings, for city photography, to my mind nothing beats high quality zoom. If you want to save weight, look into slower zooms. One of my favorite lenses for city touring (assuming that weight is an issue) is my old 28-105/3.4-5.6, coupled with a 70-300 if I think I need add'l reach (rather than my 24-70 and 70-200) or just a 24-120/4. The 24-120 is a recent addition and is fast becoming my go to lens for exploring cities. Not a lightweght combo on the D800, but will yield excellent results.
  20. Thanks all for the great advice and suggestions. I think I will stick with my 24-70. I have made many trips to NYC in the past but this will be my first visit in 10 years. Really amazing how things have changed. When I made my last trip, I was using a Nikon Coolpix 900. If I recall correctly it was a 2 megapixel camera!

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