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Archive 2013 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my home...
  
 
tyue
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p.1 #1 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


I will be staying at London for about 3 days.

I am thinking either this:
35L/85L

Or

16-35/70-200L2.8IS/8-15L

Any suggestion is much appreciated.

Thanks.

Since I am posting on this forum, picture from my hometown.









Tim



Jan 26, 2013 at 07:49 AM
scottam10
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p.1 #2 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


My pick would be the 16-35 and the 85.

For me, 70-200 is too heavy/conspicuous for travel



Jan 26, 2013 at 08:46 AM
Bones74
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p.1 #3 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


I agree with Scott. It's very rare that I use my 70-200L in London. Might be an idea to rent or borrow a 24-105? I know its not very wide on a 20D, but still a very useful focal length for walking around. I have a few London sets on my flickr... Enjoy your trip


Jan 26, 2013 at 06:21 PM
gotak
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p.1 #4 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


I did almost all my London photos using a 17-55. So if you want to bring something similar with you for your 5d2 it would likely work just as well for you. IS is very useful as it's not easy or possible in many places to use a tripod. But still bring a tripod the Thames and it's embankment are great for night time photos, although very over done photos by every photographer who ever visits .

UWA is nice but where you can use it is limited actually IMHO.

The places I found my 11-16 useful were: tower of london (only outside really inside too many tourists), Trafalgar (no UWA is going to cover it anyhow so you might as well stitch a pano), Piccadilly (again stitching might be required) and maybe on the tube, and the British museum (really only the court yard).

Beyond that a lot of places that I would love to have used UWA like Westminster Abby, inside of Windsor castle and the inside of St Paul's (this is the most awesome thing in London, Wren it really is your monument) did not allowed the use of cameras. So basically most of the really interesting architecture you are blocked from using your UWA for.

Primes could be useful if you didn't bring a tripod and need to do a lot of low light photos. But I have never really found much use for primes on travels. IS lens provide all the low light hand holding performance I need. And I rather not swap lenses where people can bump you and there are definitely pick pockets about.

70-200 I'd ditch it unless you are going to do a lot of long distance creepy guy photos of random people, or you are going during something like the jubilee where there is potential use for such a long focal length. If you travel by the tube any amount of time you'd want the smallest camera bag possible. It's way more Sardine like an experience than transit in Canada. Speaking of that the Buses we found quite useful during our week there as lots of times you can find a bus to provide a straight shot between you point a and b. While on the tube you might need to change lines once or even thrice. The tube's an old system and transfer station are not always friendly to those who are not used to subways or old (my father in law got winded walking all those stairs in the tube).

An example of a photo everyone has (tripod, 17-55, 7D):









Jan 27, 2013 at 03:36 AM
tyue
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p.1 #5 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


Scott and others, thank you for all the advices.

Looks like 24-105 is my best bet. Question is, should I buy a lens just for a trip.

Or pushing it further, I should just take my Nex6 with 16-50? That should be the ultimate travel kit.

Any other places I should definitely visit?

Much thanks.

The London Eye picture is really nice. Tripod with me was out of the question :-(
Bones74. Night pictures of the Thames was executed really well, thank you for all the picture ideas.




Jan 27, 2013 at 05:10 AM
gotak
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p.1 #6 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


Without IS in the NEX 6 or in that lens you are going to ride the ISO and it might not be pretty. Sure is small and light though.

I make my wife carry the tripod on trips but along the Thames there are lots of places you can use a bean bag or a gorilla pod. So you don't have to carry a full sized one. There's enough light that a high ISO shot with an IS lens could work for hand held.

Lots of places to visit I'll pm you a long write up I did before for someone else.



Jan 27, 2013 at 05:37 AM
GCasey
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p.1 #7 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


This may sound radical, but I used a Canon S2 for a trip o the UK and found it worked just fine. The images were for my use only, and the small camera was much easier to carry. The 28-432 equiv. zoom range was more than adequate. Yes, I had/have a larger DSLR but I wanted to enjoy myself and not tote so much 'stuff.'


Jan 27, 2013 at 06:00 AM
smackem
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p.1 #8 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


The Shard opens to the public on 1st Feb: http://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/

There are many more photo opportunities on the South Bank around Tower Bridge.

I'd suggest taking a Gorillapod or similar for night-time photos.




Jan 27, 2013 at 05:00 PM
futurshox
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p.1 #9 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


Ooh, the Shard looks cool. I will be transiting through London in March... might have to check that out! Thanks for the heads-up.

I am going to take my micro 4/3 camera gear for this trip; I'll be travelling around the UK a lot for 2.5 weeks and don't want to lug heavy Canon gear with me. Smaller and lighter and more unobtrusive, the better, for London or travel in general, in my book. It all fits in a normal (non-camera) bag, too.



Jan 27, 2013 at 05:43 PM
 

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gotak
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p.1 #10 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


Posting the long note/write up to the thread so people can find it in the future. Just my opinions so don't gril me over my choices of what's good to see in London:

The list of sites are not ordered. So it's not like the first one is the best. Read what I say and decide for yourself if you want to go see that.

My suggestion to maximize your 3 days is to chain your sights in order to minimize your travel time. So if you are going to go to Greenwich you might as well go to Tower of London it's in the same direction, etc etc. The tube might seem like the default transport solution but if you get a hang of the buses it could save you some time as switching from one tube line to another can be time consuming and confusing if you are not used to subway travel (my wife and the in laws were so confused and just followed me around like puppies). Still do take the tube once you gota have a tube photos after all!

A note on travel. From the airport you can save hassle by hiring a minicab to pick you up and take you to the hotel (you need to book online before you arrive, lots of option just check the reviews first). Or you can save some pennies and take public transport. Get the Oyster card is worth it but you need to give a deposit for the card. You can get it back when you leave but it will take a fair amount of time for them to process (you need to sign stuff etc) so plan accordingly so you don't miss your departing flight etc. Alternatively you can use a travel card (look on transport for London's website) but the cost saving doesn't exist between travel card and oyster card. There's a london pass thing that covers admission to some locations and I think works as a travel card as well, but generally is agreed by everyone to be a rip off.

When we went on our trip we hit all the sights we wanted to go save for the day trips which we only got to do 1 of. We spend 4 days in London so you should be able to get as much in as we did without the day trip.

Greenwich
Should try to do the river cruise/commuter boat trip to Greenwich and back (or take the DLR back). At Greenwich there's the customary touristy thing of standing on the prime meridian. Which my in laws just had to do. Personally, I would have love to (but they took so long at the Royal observatory that it closed) have seen Nelson's uniform at the maritimes museum at Greenwich instead (bullet hole and all, the blood's not his though). There are also other things to do in Greenwich but I don't know your interest so you can google and see what you like. Naval hospital for example could be worth seeing inside if possible.

Tower of London
It's a must do period. The history is stunning. The crown jewels are here. There's a view of tower bridge (which you can go take a tour of as well). Personally I really recommend people go see the graffiti craved into the walls by some of the tower's prisoners, some died there some were freed. They are in the Beauchamp Tower (instead of the white tower everyone goes to). The white tower itself is ok and must see but it was too crowded cause all the tourists goes there. The other less known things are less crowded and for me more enjoyable.

Kensington palace
Often a hit with some people. It's got some history. Some people like to have tea in the orangery. I believe this was Princess Diana's resident. Also where Queen Victoria lived for a while under the "Kensington System". We didn't go here because over all there are more important things to see.

Westminster abbey
You have to go here if you like history. It's like a who's who of famous dead people (this and St. Paul's). Look up the history and plan your route around the various graves and memorials (some people are not bured there, just have something in their honor). There are the famous people everyone know and there are people that not everyone knows but are still interesting. A latin or french translator app might be helpful to figure out some of the inscription on the tombs. Sucks you can't take photos inside :P. Some evening they do the evensong at a certain time which I hear is worth going to. Go really early or better yet at night to avoid the tourist mobs.

St Paul's
You must have seen the photos. I rate this as a must go (for me anyhow). There's an inscription "Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice" (Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you)" where Christopher Wren (the architect) is buried. And it really sums it up. St Paul's got that something something. It's huge and walking inside was amazing. Plus both Nelson and Wellington are bured here (find them in the basement). Climb to the top if you want something of a view. Well worth the climb I think but it's a few hundred steps.

British museum
If history buff you would want to go here. Things like the rosetta stone are here. Personally I preferred the Assyria lion hunt reliefs (take photos for later or get your nose close and marvel at the details). The British was the master of much of the world for a long time so they have tons of stuff here. It can be a whole day or good part of a day just to see everything. If you get tired go have high tea here, it was one of the more reasonably priced high tea offerings in the city.

National Archive
A lot of important documents can be seen here. Including the Magna Carta which if you are into the whole constitution/charter of rights thing in various countries it's sort of a big deal. Didn't go here due to time constraints.

Trafalgar
Go at night for some night photos of the lights. It's close by a bunch of other stuff you might want to see.

Piccadilly circus
Again if you want an iconic photo

Parliament/embankment
Iconic photos as usually. You can get both Parliament and the london eye here. Night time might be more interesting. You can't get into Parliament except for certain times of the year for Tourists (summer) other times you need to be a UK citizen and get your MP to get you a pass. Too bad cause I have seen videos and photos of the actual old Westmister hall and it's amazing and has so much history in it (they trial King Charles and decide to behead him there after all!)

King's cross station
If you are a harry potter fan... lol. We just pass by it to get the euro star to paris.

Following might be harder to do with only 3 days...

Eton/Windsor
A day trip or 1/2 day trip. Windsor castle is interesting. A lot of booty from conquest on display but you aren't allowed photos. The doll house was ok but not my cup of tea. Eton itself is interesting. At the right time of the year you can get a tour of the school itself. The train ride is quick so there's no reason not to go unless you are pressed for time or other things are higher priority

Hampton court
A day trip. Henry V's favorite palace that he took from Thomas Wolsey (who he also later had killed). I never got to go on my trip but it's on my to do list. I know there are various things inside that are suppose to be must sees.

City of Bath and stonehenge
Can be done as a day trip. There are various tour bus companies that does packet tours for these things. City of Bath has the Roman baths (whic BTW is nice to see but it's not really the original bath, what you see is a 1800s remake). This is another day trip I wanted to do but cannot.



Jan 27, 2013 at 07:25 PM
kezeka
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p.1 #11 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


First off: I have never been to London and can't offer specific tips about using certain lenses in that particular city. However, I just got back from a few trips to Europe and can offer some experience regarding the close quarters.

First trip I brought only a 5DII and a 35L with a circular polarizer. It was perfectly fine. Sure you miss out on a few narrow shots and the framing isn't always perfect but I'll be damned if I ever take another trip without the 35L. Didn't miss the framing abilities of a zoom at all. Having the ultra-wide aperture was phenomenal at night time to capture the beautiful available light of the cities I visited (particularly Paris).

Second trip - brought the 35/85L + circular polarizer and was EXTREMELY happy. 85L worked for the closer framing that I wanted occasionally, as well as portraits of my girlfriend and her family. It came particularly in handy for a few ultra low light photos my girlfriend wanted in front of the Eiffel Tower.
examples from this trip: http://smu.gs/X681jG

If you are the type that always likes having a zoom, bring a 24-70 or 24-105 if you don't like the weight of the 24-70. My photography style is available light with moving subjects and I don't mind the upper ISO levels in my prints because it gives them character so I bring primes.
examples from this trip: http://smu.gs/X67Wwr

Most of all, just enjoy the trip!



Jan 28, 2013 at 04:00 AM
tyue
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p.1 #12 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


Thank you for all the awesome advices!

Shard sounds interesting. But the website is a bit flaky now, will try later.

Thank you.



Jan 28, 2013 at 05:24 AM
carrg1954
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p.1 #13 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


gotak
thanks for taking the time, I'll be there Late May



Jan 28, 2013 at 09:28 AM
peter_n
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p.1 #14 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


I use primes. Last time I was in London I had three lenses and 95% of the shots were with a 35mm & a 75mm, the remaining 5% with a 24mm. With a NEX that translates to a 24mm and a 35mm and the 5% a 15mm.

I used to live there and would recommend the Tower, Westminster Abbey & Houses of Parliament, the British Museum, St. Paul's, the Tate Modern on the South Bank, Charles Dickens house in Camden Town (especially if you have kids), and Winston Churchill's underground war rooms in the City near 10 Downing Street. Go to a football match if you can but avoid Arsenal & Chelsea - both rubbish teams.




Jan 29, 2013 at 01:50 AM
gotak
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p.1 #15 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


carrg1954 wrote:
gotak
thanks for taking the time, I'll be there Late May


No problems. Feel free to ask questions as well. We planned our trip for weeks before we went.



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Allen Allen
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p.1 #16 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


I was fortunate to be in London for the Olympics. I used my 70-200 and 300 inside the venues. For walking around London, I used the 24-70 and 16-35. The majority of my photos were taken with the 24-70. The 16-35 did see some action, but if I had to travel with just one lens, it would be the 24-70. I'm shooting full frame with the Nikon D3S.

London is a great city for photography. A mixture of very old and modern architecture.



Jan 29, 2013 at 06:38 AM
tyue
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p.1 #17 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


Thank you for everyone's ideas. They were extremely useful. I ended up bringing three lens to London: 8-15, 16-35 and 85.

On arrival, I quickly checked in to a hotel, dropped some of my luggage and started my London adventure.

Tower of London was my first stop. It has a lot of history behind it. Part of the structure was built in the 1100.







I walked over the Tower Bridge to check out the City Hall and took some photos from the other side.







Did not stay too long as I needed to head over to the British Museum before it was closed for the day. I used my 16-35 as well as my 8-15 on it. The Museum in itself is a piece of art.













After I was ushered out of the building, I headed over to London Eye. Followed with a nice walk to the parliament, Buckingham palace, stopped at a pub for a bit to eat and back to my hotel. London was very clean, and I felt safe all the time. I even had my camera hanging on my neck. The only disappointment was the fish and chip...































Early next morning, I joined a tour to Windsor, Stonehenge, Lacock and Bath. I was looking forward to the Stonehenge but I ended enjoying my stay at Windsor, Lacock and Bath most. Stonehenge was nice too, but the weather really hit hard on the day I was visiting. My 5D2 and 16-35 was really wet. I did not stay for too long before heading back to the coach.

























The spot on the left hand side was rain drop on lens, anyone know how to fix it? I like this photo but fixing this was beyond my photoshop skill.



















Monday to Friday were working days. But I managed to drop by Brighton on one of the nights.







Friday night, I went to other places I missed visiting in London last time.



















Followed by Hyde Park before Heathrow.













Again thank you everyone for the ideas.

Tim







Feb 18, 2013 at 02:49 AM
nrferguson
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p.1 #18 · What lens to bring to London? And a picture from my hometown.


As someone who lives 45 minutes by train from central London just a few comments to add:
There's a london pass thing that covers admission to some locations and I think works as a travel card as well, but generally is agreed by everyone to be a rip off. Agree
If you do decide to use the tube buying a one day travel card is probably best option but check which zones it covers as no point in paying for zones you won't visit


Greenwich
Should try to do the river cruise/commuter boat trip to Greenwich and back (or take the DLR back). Agree There's a world touring Ansell Adams exhibition at Greenwich until early April

Tower of London
WW2 HMS Belfast warship just opposite and the new London Assembly building next to it

Kensington palace
Probably not worth it

Westminster abbey
Right next to Parliament but Parliament best seen from the other side of the river (cross Westminster Bridge and takes steps down to the right to the Embankment walkway for Darche's classic view

St Paul's
Also the Monument (1665 Fire of London) close by and the "City" with the Gherkin and Lloyds Building Best photo view of outside St Pauls IMHO from 1 New Change City of London, EC4M 9AF https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=113271041218052077076.0004674ce17d4175141c0
Leading across the the River to Tate Modern is the Millenium Footbridge and from it back to St Paul's is now another classic view

British museum
Agree

National Archive
Not worth it I go regularly to research military history It will take you an age to get there and days to work out how it functions!!

Trafalgar
Go at night for some night photos of the lights. It's close by a bunch of other stuff you might want to see. Easily walkable from the London Eye etc on the river

Parliament/embankment

Old Westminster Hall (Banqueting Hall) was where Charles was executed, not at Parliament (New Westminster Hall) but down Whitehall opposite Horseguards Parade and both are worth a visit (Mounted horse guards outside) Horseguards has Cabinet War Rooms where Churchill ran UK in WW2 You also pass Downing Street (but can't go up it any more, as one could when I was a kid)

King's cross station
If you are a harry potter fan... lol. We just pass by it to get the euro star to paris.
Restored St Pancras Station a Victorian architectural gem is right next door

Following might be harder to do with only 3 days...

Eton/Windsor
A day trip or 1/2 day trip. Windsor castle is interesting. A lot of booty from conquest on display but you aren't allowed photos. The doll house was ok but not my cup of tea. Eton itself is interesting. At the right time of the year you can get a tour of the school itself. The train ride is quick so there's no reason not to go unless you are pressed for time or other things are higher priority Agree

Hampton court
A day trip. Henry V's favorite palace that he took from Thomas Wolsey (who he also later had killed) - (He probably was going to execute Wolsey but Wolsey died before he could). Worth the visit

City of Bath and stonehenge
IMHO Over-rated but my wife/daughters are going there (Bath not Stonehenge) for a hen night this weekend!!
If you do go to Stonehenge try to do Salisbury Cathedral (mediaeval - spire tallest in Europe 404ft) or you might want to consider Winchester for its Norman (11th century) cathedral - better than Salisbury in my opinion, but neither town is very attractive (Winchester probably marginally better - I go there a bit for my work)
Hope the above helps
Niall



Feb 19, 2013 at 02:01 PM





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