Seeking advice on lenses for international travel

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by s_w|13, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    I am soon to be jetting off to a few large cities around the world and have some trouble selecting gear.
    I have a 5D Mark III, 5Dc, 500D and a wealth of film cameras.
    Lenses I'd consider taking include:
    EF 17-40mm f4L
    Zeiss Distagon T 24 2.8
    EF 35mm f1.4L
    EF 50mm f1.4
    EF 85mm f1.8
    I was thinking, based on what lenses I find the most enjoyable to shoot with, 17-40/35/85. But then I am concerned whether this will not cover all desired focal lengths for walkabout (not interested in telephoto for this trip). Should I include the 50? It is small and lightweight. If I do, should I ditch the 35, considering 35 falls into the 17-40 range? My concern with the latter is that I will lose a fast wide. I am not to keen taking the 24, as I usually only use it for precision shots (architecture, design references, etc.), and don't want to risk the glass (despite it being built like a tank).
    What do you guys think?
     
  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I would take the 35/1.4 and the 85/1.8 and the 5DMkIII and the 500D.
    I would consider taking the 17 to 40, based solely on whether I deemed that I wanted anything wider 35mm equiv on the 5DMkIII.
    What’s a 5Dc?
    WW
     
  3. Okay, great - good to see I was thinking along the right lines. I will be doing a couple of ultra-wides at least, so the 17 might be needed at some point. I'm not sure about the 500D, as I was hoping to take Kowa Kallo 35 and Pentax ME Super (or Olympus OM-2n) as well. That luggage fills up quickly!
    5Dc is a term someone coined for the original 5D.
    I guess the beauty of taking the 35 and 85 is that I will always have a lens to get closer or further, without jeopardising any potential "standard" 50mm shots.
     
  4. 5Dc meaning 5D Classic, by the way.
     
  5. Of your gear I would take the 5DIII, the 17-40 and the 85, maybe the 50mm. I don't know about the 24mm so i can't say whether any special characteristics of the lens are worth it. I don't think it would be worth it just for one stop.
    From my own gear I would take more lenses and a wider range and then select a couple of lenses for each day depending on what I am going to be seeing.
     
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure about the 500D, as I was hoping to take Kowa Kallo 35 and Pentax ME Super (or Olympus OM-2n) as well. That luggage fills up quickly . . .​
    My response was considering ONLY the digital kit.
    With two (digital) cameras and two fast Prime Lenses - the likelihood of a failure is biased strongly toward one of the cameras. With a 35 and an 85 an experienced photographer could limp by, with either camera failing.
    The 500D was chosen over the other 5D, because of the leverage of the dual formats.
    BTW, If you had the 24L or 24L MkII I would have suggested the 24 + 85 as the Prime Pair: although I am on record many times sating that I like the 35 + 85 combination as the strongest Prime Pair for a Dual Format Kit – that kit is usually in respect of Social Events (Weddings mainly); for travel the 24 +85 is marvellous, IMO.
    For travelling, I am not all that keen on the third wheel unless absolutely necessary: two cameras, two straps and a lens on each camera is more secure: for example (using the 5DMkIII + 500D) I would give more thought to 17 to 40/4 + 85/1.8 rather than the three (35 + 85 + 17 to 40) lenses
    5Dc is a term someone coined for the original 5D. . . 5Dc meaning 5D Classic, by the way.​
    Yes, thank you, I realized in meant “classic” about ten minutes after the event.
    WW
     
  7. I think I'd be biased towards just the 5D3 the 17-40 & 85. I understand you'll be loosing the flexibility of dual format, but if you have no need/want of anything in the telephoto range, then there's not much of a significant advantage to carrying the 500D.
    In my travels, I have found that less gear often equals more pleasant travel, so perhaps I'm biased toward a minimalist approach (unless you're going for just the photo experience). As often as I had to endure two straps while working, I'd never would choose to endure that for 'pleasure'. A walkabout kit should be as lightweight as possible, and never interfere with your mobility. 2 lenses may be required, but 3 should be avoided... and 2+ cameras? gah! no. walkabout with a camera bag is truly unpleasant (though a backpack isn't so bad).
     
  8. It would seem to be a highly personal choice. I don't like to shoot at 50 mm, but I like 45 and 60 mm a lot. Other people
    love the fifty.

    I think 24, 35, and 85 would be a nice combination, but I'm not you and I don't know what you like to shoot.

    I wouldn't leave home without a 70-200 f/4 IS and a TS-E24 II, but that's just me. :)
     
  9. On a recent trip to Washington DC I brought 5D2, 17-40, 35L, 50f/1.8 and 85f1.8. After the first day I left the 35 and 85 in the room safe. After the trip was over the only lens I used was the 17-40mm. If I could have changed just one thing, it would have been to have something wider as an option (ie 14mm f2.8).
    Now that trip was not about people photography, although I got several shots of our small group mostly taken at 35mm to 40mm. There are a few telephoto shots it would have been nice to have but those would be in the 5% category of all taken. Shots where I have preferred 50mm or 85mm - well I just cropped from 40mm and was quite happy. The 5D2 (and 5D3) are pretty darned handy in that regard.
    Obviously, depends on what you want to shoot. If you are planning on lots of candid evening people photos, you'll probably want a 35mm or 50mm prime. But if you're after architecture and indoors a lot I would think you'd want something wider than 40mm far more often that above 40mm.
    I was very reluctant to even buy a 17-40mm for some reason. Maybe it's that its f4. I immediately noticed the vignette on the first photo I took. But, in the end, I am quite impressed with it. I'm sure a 16-35 f2.8 would be even better but its heavy and has expensive filters. Plus the newer cameras have enough ISO range to work around f4 in many cases.
    As for backups, all depends on whether this trip is all about photography or if photography is a hobby along the way. If the photography is the primary goal of the trip, then you have nothing wide enough if you ask me. Also, a crop body as a backup (given your lens selection) leaves you nothing wide enough (unless you can always be taking panos). If you bring a 5D2 and a 5Dc, then if you have a camera fail your backup still has the same format. A 24mm is then a decent wide angle backup if your wide angle zoom fails. To me the 50f1.4 is nicer to use than the 50f1.8 and both are relatively small. I would think you'd want a 70-200 (f4) over a 85mm unless you know for sure you'll be shooting lot of portraits of people where backgrounds need to be blurred or they will be taken primarily during the evening.
     
  10. I have a 5D Mark III, 5Dc, 500D and a wealth of film cameras.
    Lenses I'd consider taking include:
    EF 17-40mm f4L
    Zeiss Distagon T 24 2.8
    EF 35mm f1.4L
    EF 50mm f1.4
    EF 85mm f1.8
    ========================================================
    Out of all this stuff my preference would be the 500D and a good zoom. The 17-40 is pretty good but rather short for travel. From experience I would say what really irks the locals the most is some tourist with a funky camera getting all in their face with a short lens. Unless you are just there to shoot the scenery, I would leave most of that stuff home where you don't have to worry about it and wont draw much attention to yourself. OK maybe the 85mm f 1.8 and the 50mm would be a good pair coupled with the 5Dc.
     
  11. This is highly personal. From what you have, the 5DIII, 17-40, 35/1.4 and 85/1.8. For lighter travel, I'd leave the 85 at home, but that's me. Or I would take the 5DIII and the 17-40, and something like a Lumix LX-5.
     
  12. After quite a bit of experience of carrying varying weight of camera gear during international travel, I
    started to carry 5D with 17-40 mm wide angle, 35mm f1.4 for low light and 70- 200mm telephoto. That
    worked for all my needs. Just the last trip, I carried only 28-135mm and 35mm f1.4. The two lenses
    proved quite sufficient. I also carry a backup camera,Canon G10, but have had no use of it. Have a good
    trip. Sandy
     
  13. I agree I would not travel with my 5D Mark II. I have much more fun shooting with my Canon 30D, 17-40 F4L, Tamron 28-75, and Sigma 7-200 F2.8. By the way I wold also take along a flash I use the Canon 580 EXII. If I didn't take flash I would take 28 1.8 and 50 1.8 for low light situations.
    But that set of equipment is my low end stuff which if I loose or break it not a big deal. However, it still takes excellent shots.
    I would not travel with my Canon 5D III, 85 1.2L, 70-200 F2.8L or any L-series primes because i don't want to have to change lenses often or have too many bags or separate items. This really makes you stand out as an easy target. People also know that red stripe means expensive....
     
  14. Take the 500D and buy a Tamron 17-50mm non VC lens to go with it, small light camera and lens to carry. Leave everything else home, travel light, no worries, enjoy yourself and bring home some great pictures. You can sell the Lens for almost what you paid for it when you get home if you want to but I'm betting you keep it. Good luck!
     
  15. I must be reading this wrong.
    You have 3 bodies, and a mere 5 fives lenses, only one of which is a zoom? For a tour around World? If it was me, I would take EVERYTHING. :) MAYBE leave one camera body at home. And maybe get a LONGER lens for the trip!
    Over the last 18 months, I have done alot of business in Europe -> no touring, straight from hotel to work every day. Fly straight in from the States, go straight home at the end. On each trip, I would STILL grab my camera bag with one P&S, one dSLR body, one flash, the 10-22 and 24-105. Some trips, I didn't take a single photograph. Some trips, I took a few hundred.
    On vacation, my kit only grows. Add a couple of primes and a 70-200/4L. How often do you go around the world? For a special trip, I break all the rules and try to buy a new piece of kit to play with on the trip. I also bring a laptop with an external hard drive. All photos taken are on both the laptop and external drive; and the two storage devices DO NOT EVER go in the same bag. Yeah. . .there is risk. I have insurance :) Oh. . .and then there is the Signficant Other's camera gear :)
    Maybe it is my age showing. I am too old to travel light :) I don't stay in youth hostles. 10-12 days of clothing in a rolling duffle; laptop knapsack and a medium sized camera backpack. Camera backback comes with me everywhere when touring. Heck. . .not all the gear can fit in the camera bag at once. . .but the extra stuff is at the hotel if I want it.
     
  16. This doesn't sound like one of those trips you get to do often. So if I were you I would most certainly take the 5DIII, with the 17-40L, the 50mm and the 85mm. For second body, I would carry one of your Canon film cameras with an EF lens mount. That way you can use all your glass on either body.
     
  17. When I travel internationally (usually a few months each year), I carry a 5D2, a 50/1.4 and a 24/1.4. That's what I shoot with 95% of the time whether I'm at home or traveling. Base you equipment choices on what you usually shoot with and how much you'll be comfortable carrying. (As a general rule, your bags will feel about 50% heavier for every two weeks you spend on the road. If your bags feel heavy at the beginning of the trip, you're going to dread carrying them after a month.)
    People also know that red stripe means expensive....
    Camera geeks might know that, but it's not what thieves are paying attention to. Thieves look for easy opportunities, not specific models. A 5D3 doesn't make you a bigger target than a 500D.
     
  18. I was thinking, based on what lenses I find the most enjoyable to shoot with, 17-40/35/85. But then I am concerned whether this will not cover all desired focal lengths for walkabout (not interested in telephoto for this trip).​
    Considering you said this I say go with those 3 lenses. IMO 35L and 17-40 are very different lenses so I would not think the overlap is any issue.
     
  19. 2 lenses may be required, but 3 should be avoided... and 2+ cameras? gah! no. walkabout with a camera bag is truly unpleasant (though a backpack isn't so bad).​
    Check out a think tank Retrospective 5. I use it all the time with my 5D2 + 24LII and 50L and it works well. I can even fit in a fairly large zoom (not mounted) but for a small walk around bag its ideal for me. Must admit its like a man purse so its a great bag to store my keys, phone etc and still blame it on having to carry my camera. :-}
     
  20. I have to travel overseas quite often and have tried all sorts of combos. I've settled on one body and the 24-105mm f4 with a polarizing lens. Good results, simple and reasonably light. For me, lugging a bunch of gear around is more trouble than it's worth, unless you're a pro on assignment.
     
  21. Hi Guys,
    Thank you for all the comments, it has been really helpful.
    Based on what you have said, my instincts were about on the money for what I want to shoot.
    1. 17-40L: for when I want to go wide, landscape and architecture (which I do quite a lot of, as a designer)
    2. 35L: for night shots. The destinations I will be going have busy streets and night-time markets. With the improved ISO on the Mark III, this should be a winner.
    3. 85 1.8: for situations where I need a little more reach.
    The trip is over a month, so I have a bit of luggage, despite wanting to pack light. I have carry-on, which also doubles as my Gitzo carriage, a leather carry-all (deep burgundy, Italian leather - very nice) and a Vanguard UP-Rise 43 sling (holds camera, snug with grip and up to six lenses, if you know what to do with the layout).
    The sling is great, but can be a bit awkward in cities. I plan to use this when going long distances, as it has a very well-padded back and strap, such as the Dragon's Back trail in Hong Kong.
    The rest of the time, considering I will be out from morning till late a lot of the time and mostly on the street, I will use the carry-all, which I can also put other street gear in (jackets, phones, purchased goods, etc.). I will have to see if I can find some way of dividing the carry-all, in the form of an insert or something, to stop gear hitting gear. While I'll probably just take the 35L for a walk-around and the light 85 1.8 for when needed, this bag will also provide a spot for a rangefinder (because I am obsessed with them) and OM2n/ME Super with a wide attached for the odd shot here and there.
     

Share This Page

1111