Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2013 · Traveling light around Japan?
  
 
rirakuma
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · Traveling light around Japan?


Hi guys, I hope this topic is suitable in this section of the forum. I am traveling to Japan in a week and was hoping to get advice on which lens I should take. I currently own a 21, 35, 50, 90 and 180. Initially I was planning to bring the 21, 35 and 90 but after a bit of thinking I felt like carrying a 2 lens combo would be more suitable like the 21/90 or 21/50. I'll be traveling through Tokyo for a few days and will head to Takayama, Shirakawa, Nara, Kyoto then Osaka. During this trip I hope to capture some beautiful landscapes, pictures of surrounding culture, portraits of us and the locals.

I've done many outings using only a 50mm for almost a year and have gotten very comfortable with the focal length although there were many times I felt like I needed a wider lens. I've also had the 21mm for a year alongside the 50 (but I only carry it when I want to shoot landscape) and am pretty confident with the focal length for both landscape and portraiture. I'm fairly new to the 35mm and 90mm and I have not yet been able to shoot comfortably with them. What I do know is that the 35mm is an extremely versatile focal length in the arms of a pro and will often suffice for both portrait and scenery shots. I was hoping that this trip will force me to improve with the 35mm as it will probably stay on the camera 90% of the time except for special portraits or pure landscape work. The 90mm is solely for portraiture or shots with restricted access, I don't plan to shoot wildlife nor events so I'm having stronger feelings to let this one stay home.

This will be my first time traveling with photography in mind so I want to take the best shots I can while still traveling fairly light. Could someone with experience please share some insights on what I should bring to the trip? I know the 21 is a must but I'm not sure whether its worth bringing three lenses and which other one or two I should carry. Sorry this has been a fairly long post, thank you for reading and I would very much appreciate any help .

Rocky



Jan 08, 2013 at 12:00 PM
jcolwell
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · Traveling light around Japan?


What camera are you using? I'm guessing that you have Leica lenses.

I'd take the 35 and 90, plus maybe the 21 for special occasions.



Jan 08, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Dawud
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · Traveling light around Japan?


jcolwell wrote:
What camera are you using? I'm guessing that you have Leica lenses.

I'd take the 35 and 90, plus maybe the 21 for special occasions.


I would take 21 and 35
It depends on your shooting style, but I use more wide angle when travelling



Jan 08, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Jochenb
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · Traveling light around Japan?


21/50 for me. My most used travel combination.


Jan 08, 2013 at 01:17 PM
ken.vs.ryu
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · Traveling light around Japan?


21 for close quarters and landscapes. 50 for everything else. I hope you enjoy Japan as much as I did.


Jan 08, 2013 at 01:22 PM
slungu
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · Traveling light around Japan?


I would also go for 35/90, but I would prefer a 28/90 combination. It is so personal that it is only you who can make the choice, based on what and how you shoot.


Jan 08, 2013 at 01:59 PM
LightShow
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · Traveling light around Japan?


Bring them all, and lock the ones you don't use for your day trip in the hotel safe.


Jan 08, 2013 at 02:49 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



SHUM
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · Traveling light around Japan?


I used a 24/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.4 when I backpacked Japan last summer. My most used lens was 24/50. For cityscape/landscape I would take your 21 for sure.


Jan 08, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Bifurcator
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · Traveling light around Japan?


If you're traveling with photography in mind and that's the purpose of the trip then why limit yourself? Bring them all! Heck yeah, I would! If you're staying in hotels you can always leave a lens or two behind some of the time.

I live in Japan and while I'm not sure that is really any qualification for good advice given different styles and such, I would probably get the most use from the 35mm, the 90mm and the 180mm assuming you are shooting on a FF. Adjust for any crop-factor as needed.

My personal favorites here in Japan (adjusted for full-frame equivalency as I shoot 4/3) are 600*, 270, 170*, 100, 70*, 48, and 28* where an "*" designates the lengths I shoot far more often than the others. The 600* is of course for wildlife so please consider that. The use for the other lengths follow with the descriptions I've given below for the closest named focal lengths you listed:


Japanese people are either camera-shy or they all default to the same preprogrammed pose. To combat this the 180mm will be your street people portrait lens.

Most of the gardens and patched inner-city landscaping plots are on a pretty small scale so the 90mm will be your typical pick for meditation gardens or interesting little corners in courtyards and such.

When visiting temples, castles, or even traditionally styled restaurants and etc., I find I usually have difficulties finding a place to stand farther away than about 6 to 10 meters from whatever structure it is I'm trying to capture. Somewhere around 28mm to 35mm is usually perfect for those while 24mm is a little too wide most of the time and 21mm totally is. The skys here are typically whitish this time of year too so 21mm is probably going to cause you a lot of grief. On top of that even though your purpose here will be photography you will still want to be moving through these sites at a fairly fast pace so you can see more than one (or maybe two) per day. YMMV but if you're like me I really need to slow down and think in order to use 21mm effectively with a good result whereas anything 28mm or above just comes naturally to me by looking through the camera.

But as I began the post, if you're central purpose here is mainly photography why not just bring them all? Heck, they're not that heavy are they?


(The above descriptions and suggestions are given for 16mpx at a 4/3 pixel density. If you're shooting with a very clear and clean hi-rez FF sensor with superb glass attached keep in mind that you can crop smaller than I too. For me on a GH2, images start looking not so great past selecting less than about 1/3rd to 1/4th of the total frame as the crop area. I guess with a really good FF sensor that would be more like 1/5th or 1/8th of the frame.)





Jan 08, 2013 at 04:11 PM
rirakuma
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · Traveling light around Japan?


Thank you everyone for your reply! I'm using a D800 for the body and most of the lenses are Zeiss, 90 is Leica and 180 is CV. I don't want to bring all the lenses because I didn't pay the travel insurance to cover them all. After reading the replies I may bring 3 lenses this time because an extra one wont be too much of a hassle. I'm opting for 21/35/50 at the moment mainly because Im comfortable with the 21 and 50 and I hope to improve my ability to shoot the 35 there.

Bifurcator do you think it would be necessary to bring the longer lens like 90 or 180? I didn't even consider the 180 at all because its hard to handle without good light and I have never used it for anything else besides portraiture. Unfortunately we wont be traveling to Nagoya but if you happen to be in any of the cities we're staying in soon I would love to get the chance to meet and shoot with a fellow photog



Jan 08, 2013 at 11:48 PM
philber
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · Traveling light around Japan?


Rocky, I have done what you intend to do a number of time and second Bif's excellent advice. Among your focal lengths, I would leave out the 21. Japan is a crowded country, and opportunities for "clean" WA shots aren't that many. Ideally, I'd go with a 28/50 combo, but you don't have a 28, so 35 is "it" for wide angle. Then, if you have a 35 as go-everywhere walkabout lens, do you complement it with the 50 or the 90? That is a matter of what you want to shoot. The 50 would give you full coverage of "normal" shots alongside the 35, whereas the 90 would let you take more diverse shots, at the expense of a gap in between. Sure you can't handle 3?
Last piece of advice, Japan offers great opportunities for close-up photography, flowers, exquisite details etc... Make sure one of your two lenses covers that. Also, I'd never go without a tripod for night shots in Japanese cities. Even a table top one, if size and weight preclude a larger one can save the day!
Have fun, Japan is a country of inspiring beauty in so many ways...



Jan 09, 2013 at 07:11 AM
Xavier Rival
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · Traveling light around Japan?


I recently did a trip to Japan with a 5D2 ZE21, ZE35, Canon 24-105L and 135L. I used the 21 for about 40% of the shots, the 35 for about 30%, and it seems that the ideal third prime lens would have been around 85 or 100. I have never been that close to adding the 100ZE and deciding to travel primarily with those three.


Jan 09, 2013 at 09:30 AM
rirakuma
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · Traveling light around Japan?


Phil, Xavier, thank you both for your replies. As you guys have done what I'm about to do I am very fortunate to have your advice. We're going to the country side so I hope to get some beautiful landscape / scenery shots there and I can't imagine doing it without the 21. I'm still tossing up for either the 50/90 to compliment the 21 and 35. To be honest I will probably carry the 50 because its a focal length Im very comfortable with and it has macro capability (thanks Xavier for the reminder!).


Jan 09, 2013 at 11:10 AM
ceder
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · Traveling light around Japan?


Why not 21/35/90 if you wanted to get used to the 35? Put the 21 in the hotel when you are not doing landscape, and have the 35 mounted and the 90 in a small bag for occasional shots. Have fun!


Jan 09, 2013 at 11:51 AM





FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password