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Lens selection for Florence and Prague
  
 
Luvwine
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


Steve Spencer wrote:
If it were me I would take the Loxia 21, Leica M 28 Lux, the Loxia 50, the Leica M 90 AA, and the Leica 180 Elmarit. I have all these lenses except the 180 Elmarit and the work very nicely together. If weight was too much I would leave the 180 at home, but it sound like you might want to leave the 90 AA at home. I would have a hard time with that as I love short tele. I also don't like super wide, so I wouldn't consider the 12mm, but perhaps you would like to
...Show more

Steve, your post is most helpful. Ideally, I would like a short telephoto. I habe been leaning toward the lux. Logically, the native 35 is light, small, and pretty sharp from wide open. However, I find it uninspiring in its rendering. The ZM 35 is better, but I think maybe for a pair with the 50, the 28 is better and a wider angle of view works well for pics of my bride at dinner showing the restaurant or the like. It also focuses quite closely with a close focus adapter for food and such. Your comments about it being better on the A7r2 than the ZM are interesting--I do find them both very good but I do find something special about the lux rendering. I have been following your comparison with the Otus with interest. I have only just gotten the 12mm and have never owned a lens so wide--16mm was it. However, I do think 21mm will not be wide enough for some interiors and some city scenes perhaps and then12mm is quite small and light so am leaning toward taking it. Thx again for your helpful reply.



Nov 03, 2016 at 02:09 AM
philber
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


If you have never been to Prague, you will find out that it is a city of many small, winding streets. One often feels "boxed in", rather than facing vast, open perspectives. Florence itself is a bit that way, but Prague more so. Thus it is a city where there isn't a lot of light to go about (comparatively speaking), many buildings are dark grey, and you are not going at the height of summer. The city isn't physically large (think Florence), and a lot can be done by walking about, so long walks are likely. Think about what this means in typical Prague autumn. It can get pretty cold... From the above it may seem to you that it will be dark and ominous, and that is correct, but Prague is actually fascinating that way. Think black magic (there is actually a city tour focused on magicians and alchemists), 500-year-old-plus cemetaries... So that dark atmosphere offers opportunities...
I am not familiar with your shooting style, but I would posit that Prague offers more street opportunity than anything else, when one is outside. Thus 28mm or 35mm is vital depending on personal preference. If it were me, a ZM 35 because it is a fabulous lens, and a FE 35, because sometimes AF is a boon, and it is so small and light.
There are gorgeous interiors, including churches, so going wide is a must, but I have no idea how to do that with a 12mm without catastrophic keystoning, unless you are shooting at the ceiling. Plus, f:5.6 isn't exactly fast. OTOH the Loxia 21, a favorite of mine, should be a staple lens.
Then I'd go 75mm, and skip the 50mm FL. Again 75 will do many things for you, but if you repfer 90, who am I to argue? And, if I had that FL covered, I'd skip 135 as "being too close", and bring your beloved 180mm.

Have fun!



Nov 03, 2016 at 06:07 AM
Kohala
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


My wife and I spend a month in Europe every year. We never check luggage on flights. Having lots of luggage on trains in Europe is a nightmare. So, everything has to be lightweight. All my Sony gear goes in my carryon bag. It includes: A7R II, Batis 18, 25 (my walkaround lens), Fe55 and a lightweight 200 prime. When walking around cities the 25 stays on the camera and the 55 in my pocket.

Please leave your heavy zooms at home. One of the many advantages of Sony equipment is that the primes are mostly lightweight. Finally, you don't five or more lenses.



Nov 03, 2016 at 08:48 AM
Frogfish
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


My wife and I were in Florence in June (and Siena & Pisa) and the first thing I'd say - as another poster mentioned - is get out of Florence ! Siena is just over an hour away on the bus (better than the train as it takes you right into the city and you get off right by the Basilica (pm me if you want an awesome hotel reference, circa 120 Euro a night for a small suite).

However for both Florence and Siena I took the following (along with estimates of the % used) :
A7rii & A7r
Voigtlander 15mm : 5%
Loxia 21mm : 60%
FE 28/2 : just a handful of times (I did miss having a 35mm though).
FE 55/1.8 : 15%
Zeiss MP 100/2 : 20% (incredibly sharp so crops beautifully on the A7rii)

I also had a couple of other lenses I like for something different (Lensbaby Edge 80 and Cosina 58/1.2) but these were hardly used at all.

You know what you used/liked last time but personally from your kit I'd take :
CV 12/5.6
Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8
Zeiss ZM 35/1.4
Zeiss Loxia 50/2
Leica M 90/2 apo

If the 90/2 doesn't crop so well then I'd also take the Leica R 180/2.8 apo.

Do try Siena, for my wife and I the cathedral (take the rooftop tour, you need to buy your ticket at the same time as the entrance ticket - get the one that covers everything ; cathedral /crypt / library (stunning) / museum - take the rooftop tour here too - its free but you have to queue, somewhere on or about the 4th floor) blew Florence's away !

Florence : 55/1.8


Florence : 55/1.8


Siena Cathedral Loxia 21mm


Siena Cathedral (from inside the roof) Loxia 21mm



Nov 03, 2016 at 08:56 AM
davewolfs
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


21,50 will cover a lot. A telephoto e.g. 70-200 would get you some nice building shots from vistas.


Nov 03, 2016 at 12:07 PM
Parariss
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


I haven't been to Prague; only Florence. I don't know what subjects you like, but for me great architectural cities demand a wide angle (in your case, the 12). Also, for me, I'd have too little use for a 180, no matter how great it is. Not that you can't find a use for everything, but 100-135 would be plenty of reach for almost everything; crop to cover the rest.

Of course, I'm just speculating. Send me your lenses so I can go conduct proper research!



Nov 03, 2016 at 12:37 PM
ecarlino
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


Luvwine wrote:
Any favorites for late fall early winter? Been to Sienna 20 years ago and San Giminiano, but never to Lucca, Pisa, etc.


If you have a car (or can rent one for a day) in Florence: make a circle and see Sienna, Montalcino, Montepulciano and Cortona. To see these 4 with a car is a long day (if you spent 2hrs in each city, it'd be 13hrs round-trip):
http://goo.gl/maps/kXrm8Ce1aan

Alternatively, you could split it into 2 separate trips and just visit Sienna and Cortona (skipping the other 2, or see them on a 3rd day).

For something different, and to see A LOT of the Tuscan countryside, take a balloon ride! There are a few operators - I had a fabulous time with this one:
http://www.ballooningintuscany.com/

I would not waste any time, unless it was directly on your path, visiting Pisa.

btw - i like your idea of carrying something longer than 100mm, even for the cities, which at times can be compact, in order to capture detail. It's a classic case of the 2 zoom scenario that i like: 16-35 and 70-200 - although i no longer carry zooms. for similar trips, i like to carry 5 lenses and pick 2 each time i leave the hotel to have with me: 25+50 or 35+85 and sometimes a 3rd: the 18mm. I don't have anything longer than an 85 at the moment - i was waiting on the 70-200GM but have lost interest b/c of its sometimes swirly bokeh.

have a great trip - i look forward to seeing what you bring back!
are you flying, driving or taking the train between Florence & Prague?

and as far as Prague - you couldn't ask for a better person to give advice than Philber - and he provided a lot of insight above so make sure to think about his suggestions when mapping out your walk through the city.



Nov 03, 2016 at 02:29 PM
 

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Luvwine
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


ecarlino wrote:
If you have a car (or can rent one for a day) in Florence: make a circle and see Sienna, Montalcino, Montepulciano and Cortona. To see these 4 with a car is a long day (if you spent 2hrs in each city, it'd be 13hrs round-trip):
http://goo.gl/maps/kXrm8Ce1aan

Alternatively, you could split it into 2 separate trips and just visit Sienna and Cortona (skipping the other 2, or see them on a 3rd day).

For something different, and to see A LOT of the Tuscan countryside, take a balloon ride! There are a few operators - I had a fabulous time with this one:
http://www.ballooningintuscany.com/

I
...Show more

Thanks for your comments. Yes, when I had Canon, I used to do 16-35 and 70-200 and maybe a 50 in between. I then found I liked primes and went to carrying the 17/TS, 21/2.8 ZE, 35/2 ZE, 50/2 ZE, 100/2 MP ZE, and a 70-200 (and 500/4 but only for birding). Sony was a relief to me weight wise and I discovered the pleasure of small lenses that were high quality like the Leica 90/2AA instead of the 100/2 MP for example. It seems like we have similar habits lens wise. I carry two different bags--one where I just take two lenses--going to a museum or dinner, shopping, or the like, and one where I can carry my whole kit if I am going out with pictures as a primary goal. I take a small Sirui (1205x) tripod and carry that separately for early morning/dusk cityscapes, but otherwise leave it in the hotel as most places discourage the use of tripods.

We are flying between Florence and Prague. I think we are like 3 nights in Florence, the 4 in Prague, then 7 more in Florence then back home. Last time we split our time between Florence and Istanbul. We do like Florence--my wife hates shopping but loves going to a shop or two in Florence and the food is good and the city has wonderful art in a manageable size.

Thanks for the recommendations re Tuscany. I think I will avoid a balloon ride unless someone has a gun to my head tho! The idea makes me weak in the knees. I don't even like Ferris wheels!






Nov 03, 2016 at 05:12 PM
PEKA62
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


I have learned over the last couple of years that my best shots were made traveling with totally reduced gear.
Before I used to carry 5 or more lenses, tripod, lap, et al.

Nowadays, I travel with 2, maximum 3 lenses. I'm more concentrated on the scenes I see, not on the gear I carry, and I have to get the best out of the gear I have with me. Results are better!
Less is more, give it a try!

IMHO The Loxia 21 is a must. Add the 50 or the ZM 35/1.4 (I'd prefer the Loxia 50).
Done.






Nov 03, 2016 at 09:37 PM
nampramos
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


I would travel light

I am heading to Berlin tomorrow for 3 nights and taking only 3 lenses: Loxia 21/2.8, CV50/2.5 and Leica 90/2 APO (although I might just stick the FE35/2.8 in the suitcase since I barely have anything in there anyway, not sure if I will take it on me when exploring the city though).

You have an rII, lots of MP to crop if needed. If you take too many lenses you end up spending more time thinking what lens to have on and switching between lenses all the time.

Stick to a few good ones and then go out and shoot.



Nov 03, 2016 at 10:17 PM
ChrisLovesUgly
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


davewolfs wrote:
21,50 will cover a lot. A telephoto e.g. 70-200 would get you some nice building shots from vistas.


I've been to both cities and I agree. I could probably take just the L21. I would add the L50 next, and then the CV12.

You seem to like the 180, so I'd throw that in too, but I rarely use anything near that range.

For what it's worth, my travel kit is the FE16-35, FE55, and occasionally the Batis 25 as a 3rd lens, or in lieu of the 16-35.



Nov 04, 2016 at 12:00 AM
VeniceBeach
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


I am a big fan of lightweight travel kits. I was just in Florence this summer and took the RX10iii, which is 24-600.

Great photos. Great video. Excellent low light images as well using the Sony Handheld Twighlight mode. I used the long end extensively for architecture and landscape details.

If I were to take my A7r2 I might go with the 16-35 and possibly one longer traditional portrait length lens. I'd just as likely take my RX100 v instead and get imagery that is equally compelling even if somewhat different.

No matter what you take, you can't miss in Florence.

-Bill



Nov 04, 2016 at 09:57 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Lens selection for Florence and Prague


I could not imagine not taking my 12,21,35 on a trip like this. They would be the first items I would put in my bag. CV 12,L21 and ZM 35. I would take my ZM 85 as well but may not always have it in bag all the time


Nov 04, 2016 at 10:18 PM
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