Paris-Florence Rome

Discussion in 'Travel' started by rcsenn, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. OK, I am traveling to Paris France, Florence and Rome Italy in the next few weeks; NOT Paris Texas, Florence South Carolina and Rome Georgia. I am taking my Canon S95 pocket camera and a T3i with the following lenses.....A Sigma 20mm F1.8 and a canon EF-s 15-85.....DO you recomend anything else?
    I am going on a pleasure vacation, and not a photo only trip. I will anticipate a few printed to 24 x 36 for the walls....
  2. SCL


    A small tripod might serve you well. Have a great trip.
  3. Richard, a lot depends on your shooting style obviously, but my $0,02... based on my own trips to Florence and Rome, I'd say your couple of lenses will work great; they'll probably will suffice. You might want something longer for details (but it adds bulk indeed), or maybe something like a 50mm f/1.8 for low-light detail shots where the 'wide angle' nature of the Sigma doesn't suit as well. But this is more a matter of style/preference, possibly. Tripods are forbidden in most churches and museums, so fast lenses and IS/VR will have to do the trick (I assume the 15-85 has IS, right?).
    Enjoy, you're going to see really marvellous things.
  4. First thing to say is have a great trip! The first question is not about cameras but about how you are travelling : by car? Train? Plane? The section from Paris to Florence takes you across the Alps so some great mountain landscapes there especially if you are going by car.
    I would not particularly worry so much about camera equipment as making sure you have the right techniques to get good 24x36 prints. Either a tripod as suggested, or if handheld, then a high enough shutter speed to eliminate camera shake. Sounds a really good holiday - I'm jealous!
  5. I'm very jealous also, especially Paris and Florence, both great walking cities. Not so much Rome, IMHO. (Not a great driving city either.) I also agree with Colin about the high shutter speeds for those 24x36 prints.
  6. david_henderson


    I'd feel more comfortable if you'd expected a few decent 16" x 12" for the walls. Just think that the size you quote is pushing the envelope for your camera/lens unsupported. Unless you live in an extremely large home with extended viewing distances anyway.
  7. Thanks for all the responses!
    Stephen, I'd love to take a tripod, but just don't want the bulk. Most places I'd want to use it, it would be not allowed I fear.
    Wouter- I may throw in the 50 f1.8, I mean that's not too much overkill, and the 15-85 does have IS.
    Colin- By train and foot in the cities. I expect the fast primes to be the ticket in the dark places, and a polarizer for the train ride thru the alps as I will attempt shooting thru the glass if I have to although I don't expect much from that other than a "snapshot."
    Charles- We plan on doing a lot of walking and wandering, with very little structured appointments. We have a reservation at the Sistine Chapel, See the sights and find a cafe for wine and cheese and enjoy; take a picture here and there.
    David- 12 x 16's may indeed be the best I can do and that's fine. I'm not getting paid for the pics I taking, just good mementos.
    And to elaborate further....
    I do know that 24 x 36 is asking a lot, but I usually come away with 1 that will print that size, although most would be smaller; just stuff for me and my honey to hang at our offices and she wants some new stuff for the bathroom we just renovated......hmmmmm I shouldn't think too much on that one.
    I have the following items that I could take, but I have dismissed most of them as just being more than I want to carry around...
    Not Taking a 7D, EF- 70-200mm f4l IS, EF100 f2.8; EF 300 f2.8. or any external flashes.
    Have considered and felt it was overkill to take the EF- 50 f2.5 macro and EF 85mm f1.8. Bought a Sigma 8-16 a while back thinking I'd take that, but I just don't think it will fit into my plans.
    My Sigma 30mm f1.4 it's hard to leave at home, but I'm trying to cut bulk and weight where I can. I'm almost tempted to go with 3 primes but the 15-85 IS is so darn convenient and the picture quality is great.
  8. Don't take a tripod, most of the time you won't be allowed to use it inside anyway.
  9. Have a great trip! I'd rather bring the 8-16 then the 20/1.8, but that's personal preference.
  10. I found that a table top tripod was very helpful for interior shots where the light is very dim and the long exposure time is not suitable for hand held shots. Attached is a photo of the interior of the Baptistery in Florence shot with my camera mounted on a table top tripod placed on the floor of the cathedral pointing up to the ceiling.
  11. The previous posts mentioned correctly that tripod use in most buildings is not allowed, but you might consider a very lightweight tripod such as the Gitzo 05 series with a small head such as the Really Right Stuff BR 25 to enable time exposures at night. Looking back at our last trip some of my night time images are my favorites.
  12. david_henderson


    Certainly in Paris, there is likely to be some problems using tripods even in daytime outdoors. Luxembourg Gardens and the Louvre Courtyard to name but two. These days in cities I really don't expect to be able to make much use of a tripod and though I always have a tripod on the trip it spends most of its time in hotel rooms. I'm likely then to make notes of the ideas I have for tripod shots at dusk etc and set aside an afternoon/evening to get those done. Otherwise I live with the limitations of my camera handheld. I think its getting harder to use tripods in cities, and with IS and better high ISO capability, its less necessary.
    My point was and is that whilst you can and will get usable images from a handheld camera, those photographs mostly won't be as good as they'd have been from a tripod. That affects things like print size potential, but I still get plenty of acceptances from high-end stock agencies from hand-held shots. I wouldn't carry a tripod around Rome etc every day- too much work for not enough return IMO.
  13. I just returned from a trip to Rome and Florence yesterday. I took a m4/3 kit that consisted of a GH3 body, a 12-35, 35-100, 7-14, and an 8mm fisheye. I used the 12-35 the majority of the time, followed by the 35-100 and then the other two from time to time. I think the T3i with that lens (the 15-85) is a great choice and will cover 99% of what you want. You can also shoot multiples of wider scenes and stitch if you want. I used the fisheye in the interior of the Coloseum, for example, but the stitched pano worked a lot better.
    Forget the tripod. Rome and Florence were amazingly crowded, and using a tripod just won't be practical and isn't even allowed in most interiors. The Vatican museums were packed and even hand-held was a challenge in there. Also, while the only restriction I encountered in Rome was inside the Sistine Chapel, the museums in Florence (Ufizzi and Academy) did not allow any photography inside. No, no photos of David for you.
    Lastly, do some street shooting. While at one of the plazas in Florence ( the one with the clock tower) a street mime called Grey the Mine showed up and did a great job entertaining and providing photo ops.
    Enjoy! Especially the food...
  14. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I have always been a heavy tripod user. Frankly though thanks to the incredible ISOs you can shoot at and still get great shots it's been much less of an issue to me. You can, however, always use a 'string monopod'. A long string that attaches to a screw at the bottom of the camera and a loop at the other end to step in. You can usually pick up two stops with a string tripod and no one will ever be inconvenienced with a string monopod.
  15. I second the recommendation for a table top tripod for the reasons given and similar shooting situations. I use an Ultrapod II that fits in my pants pocket. I have used it in Venice, Florence and other places, inside in low light situations and outside at dusk and at night. Just get one that will support your camera/lens. Most museums will allow non flash photography. Make sure you have a fast high quality lens at a focal length that will work indoors. 50mm, maybe 35mm. You will need a way to guard your stuff from thieves. In big cities, I wore my camera around my neck covered by a windbreaker. No camera bag advertising stuff to steal while on a train or at a restaurant. My camera bag was an old LLBean backpack that stayed at the hotel.
    Joe Smith
  16. Polarizer. No 70-200. Not worth the weight.
  17. What you're taking should work fine. If this is a family vacation, take a tripod ONLY if you anticipate shooting at dusk, at night, or if you plan to make time lapse videos (do this only if you already have expertise in this area). Tripods are bulky, and you'll find plenty of subjects to shoot without one. Keep it light.
    Recommended accessories:
    A SMALL, well-padded, comfortable-to-carry camera bag or backpack.
    At least one extra battery (preferably two). Don't forget the charger and the voltage adapter.
    More memory cards than you think you'll need. Label and format them before you leave home. Don't format memory cards while on the trip, or you might make a mistake and erase your files.
    Lens cleaning cloth.
    Camera manual.
    Lens shade for your 15-85.
    An extra pair of reading glasses (if you're over 40) so you can operate your camera's controls in low light.
    (Optional) A Canon speed light (flash unit).
    I prefer to travel WITHOUT a laptop, but if you take one, take a memory card reader along, as well. And don't forget to TEST the card reader WITH the laptop before you leave home.
    Have your camera's sensor cleaned professionally before you go.
  18. Again, thanks for all the responses. I am staying with the current kit, but will add the 8-16 Sigma, David Manzi, and will throw in my Gorillapod for many of you. And Dan South your list of stuff is a great reminder/checklist and is what normally resides in my camera backpack. and my laptop, IF I take it, does have a built-in card reader.
    Thanks again to all!
  19. One more thing: post some shots when you get back! Enjoy it, Italy is amazing.
  20. OK, made it here! I'm getting ready to go out to the major spots, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc today. Definitely smoggy, but it is what I got.
    Last night on the walk in from dinner; just the lowly point-n-shoot supported on a light post...

Share This Page