Prime lens for Italy trip - 24, 35 or 50

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by robert_yates|1, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. I will be off to Italy this fall for a short trip to Rome and Florence. I plan
    on taking my D70s with the 18-70 as the main "walking around tourist camera".
    I would like to take one (and only one) prime lens for low light work.

    The question is, does anyone have experience using a 24 or a 35 as a prime, in
    lieu of the a 50 f1.4 for low light?
  2. With a 50/1.4 you gain two stops over the 24/2.8... if you want it for low light, it could be the best bet. An f2.8 lens will give you an advantage of two-thirds over your 18-70. IMO I would not take it.

    I like to use a 24/2.8 when I want to go lighter, but if you want to use it at night you must take care with light points into the frame... don`t know how ghosts and reflections could appear. I would check it before leaving home.
  3. There are lot's of stuff indoors you want to take photographs of in Rome. The flash will not do you any good because everything is too big and too far away.

    I would skip the zoom altogether and put a 20mm or 24mm on the camera and a 50mm in the pocket. The 20mm is f/2.8 as is the 24mm, unless you go manual focus with a 24/2. If you want a zoom an ultra wide like 12-24 or the new 11-16 would be more useful than the kit zoom.

  4. If I was going back to Italy (was there last year I would try to borrow a 24mm F2. Thats equiv of a 35mm film but since you have the 18-70 for wider outside. You will find a lot more use for a fast semi wide than for a fast 50mm that will be a medium tele on your D70. Europe is full of old buildings with cramped, dimly lit interiors.
  5. I have the following primes: 20mm f2.8, 24mm f2.8, 28mm f2 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8 and 180mm f2.8.

    IMHO the 50mm f1.4 is a great short tele but I would prefer using the 28mm f2 for the wider view even though losing a stop. If I needed AF then I would look at the 35mm f2.
  6. I was in Italy this past fall as well. Carried many lenses and used them all... WISH I'd had my 30/1.4 at the time - it would have been used quite a lot. Looking statistically at the hundreds of images I took, and the several dozen actually like, the lenses/focal-lengths (mind you, I was using a D200 - same crop factor as your body) looked roughly like this:

    10-20mm: 20%, with most of those being on the wider end of that zoom's range.

    18-200mm: 40%, with almost all of those shots at the far ends of that lens's range... just about evenly split between them. Architecute/landscapes wide, people and details on the long end.

    50mm: 20%. It was the fasted lens I had with me at f/1.8, but felt long sometimes.

    70-200/2.8: 20%, wit almost all of those on the long end. Big lens to lug around, but the quality was terrific when I needed it.

    If I had to do it again in minimalist mode, it would have been maybe the 30/1.4, and a 105. Or, in ultra-minimalist mode, just the 18-200VR, which did a very nice job.

    If I had the 18-70 (without the VR), it would have been too slow. The new 16-85VR would be pretty great compromise, I'd think.

    But if I didn't have to be minimalist about it, I'd still take them all along, and would be shopping for a smaller, lighter, hideously expensive tripod.
  7. When I was last in Venice, I used my 18-70mm dx and my 20mm f 2.8 on my D 200. I could have taken my 24mm f 2.8 instead of my 20mm but I wanted something wider for those indoor shots of large churches and museums. If I had to do it again, I would try and take both the 50mm and the 20mm as I needed both focal lengths. For inside churches and museums, if most of the important shots are going to be closer shots of church features or individual paintings, then take the 50mm f 1.4. You will use a lower ISO with the f 1.4 than with a f 2.8. Which one to take depends on the subjects you plan to photograph indoors. For indoor shots in Italy, shoot in RAW. The lighting can be teribly mixed and you will have to adjust white balance during post processing. Joe Smith
  8. With a 50/1.4 you gain two stops over the 24/2.8...
    True in terms of mathematical speed of the apertures, but in terms of "hand-holdability", it is a bit closer to only one stop (or one shutterspeed), based on the focal length. You should be able to hold the 24mm for a longer speed than the 50mm based on the old "one-over rule", so that aperture gap might be a bit closer in real world use.
    I have settled on the 35mm f/2.0 AF lens for my digital SLR, since it gives almost the same hand-holdability as the 24mm f/2.8 and the 50mm f/1.4... based on the focal length.
    In the film days, a 35mm f/1.4 was on my camera most often, and I would love to have a similar lens for my DSLR. The f/2.8 of the 24mm is too slow (I own this lens from my film days) ,and 50mm is too long (with the 1.5 DX crop), so I live with the 35mm f/2.0 as a trade-off of all of the variables for a single lens to cover most situations. With your zoom, the 35mm lens should serve you well falling right in the middel of the zoom's range.
  9. Response to Which lens for travel with a new D40?(Category:Nikon Lenses and Optics)
    If you're on a tight budget, then stick with the kit lens. It'll still provide better image quality than your P&S, due to the D40's better high ISO performance and dynamic range. Although if you're considering the Sigma 30/1.4, for a similar cash outlay I'd be inclined to look at their 17-70/2.8-4.5 HSM or 18-50/2.8 HSM, or the Tamron 17-50/2.8, or the Nikon 18-70/3.5-4.5.

    IMO a "normal" zoom range is a must have for travelling.

  10. I would say take the 35mm F2. I have the 24mm F2.8, 35mm F2, and 50mm F1.8. I never
    use the 50mm....not wide enough...and the 24mm usually sits in my bag as it's slightly too
    wide for the type of street shooting I do. Keep in mind, at 18mm and F3.5 the 18-70mm can
    be hand held at about 1/10th if you're good. Try it out and see if the prime is necessary at
  11. One suggestion: look at the VR 18-55m DX Nikkor lens. You get the use of VR if you need a stop or two indoors, plus 18mm is a bit wider than 20mm.

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