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2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety
  
 
banky
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Guys...

I travel abroad for vacation about 2-3 times a year. For the past 2 years, I've been taking 3 lenses and 1 body:
- 16-35 f4 II
- 24-70 f2.8 II
- 70-200 f4 IS

I have always been ok and never doubted my choices.

Last year, I acquired 3 prime lenses:
- 35 f1.4
- 85 f1.2 II
-135 f2

I haven't had an opportunity to use them too much.

HOWEVER, in about a week, I'll be traveling to Japan for 2 weeks and this is sort of a bucket list trip for me. I am getting major anxiety with my lens selection. I know I can be ok bringing my usual zoom setup but I can't help but feel I'll be missing something if i dont bring my 85... then my 135.. then at that point it snowballs and i figure i should bring all 3 primes with my 3 zooms but then i know its a bad idea and omg how do i lug it all around and... and..

My vacays are my only opportunities to take really amazing photos. I love travel photography. I guess most would consider me a landscape photographer but I love capturing those moments during my travels and I also enjoy capturing portraits of my fiance during our adventures. Now that I have more lenses, I don't know what to do with them! To make things worse, the primes would now be perfect for portrait opportunities..

Considering the location, Japan, do you think I'll be missing out if I leave the primes home?





Edited on Mar 23, 2017 at 12:58 PM · View previous versions



Mar 17, 2017 at 06:57 PM
therealthings
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Take one or 2 fast primes. (I'd say take even one. E.g. a 35mm) The less you take with you, the more creative you get. I have travelled to a lot of places including japan. The best shots i took were made with a cheap fast prime. Good luck, japan has an abundance of photographic opportunities.

https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/therealthings/sets/72157631479407672/



Mar 17, 2017 at 07:12 PM
Archibald
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Can't read the right hand part of your post.


Mar 17, 2017 at 07:39 PM
banky
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Archibald wrote:
Can't read the right hand part of your post.


Sorry. Try now.



Mar 17, 2017 at 07:40 PM
Archibald
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Full frame body?

It's so hard to advise someone else, because weight, security, location, and photographic style all come into it and vary greatly by person. On my Asian trips I usually travelled light, with just a Rebel and two zooms. The one time I took my 100-400mm, it was disappointing because the birds I was after were really too far away for good pics.

But I was on business trips and doing mostly walk-around weekend photography. You sound more serious about your photographic goals, and ready to schlep more stuff for your rewards. So take one of the primes, probably the 85mm, for the portraits you want to capture.



Mar 17, 2017 at 08:06 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Take your original kit. You know it. You're comfortable with it. It covers a great range. When you 'Need' an 85mm lens for an image, use the 70-200. You're image will be just fine. Stop worrying now and get on with it. It's destructive.


Mar 17, 2017 at 08:09 PM
StevenSHH
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Japan is really safe to take as many lens and cameras, but beware a lot of indoor historical building does not allow tripods. And depends which part of Japan you are going, you may be on Bullet train / ferry / Air.
Your best bet is to check online (photos or guides) for your destinations then make your final call



Mar 17, 2017 at 08:14 PM
tsangc
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Japan was the first major trip I took with an intent to take photos about eleven years ago. Today, after a bit more travel, my setup is about the exact same as yours: two 5D bodies, a 24-70mm f2.8, a 70-200mm f2.8 IS, and a 17-40mm f4, eg a wide to medium, a medium to long telephoto, and an ultrawide zoom. The only extra I typically bring is a 1.4x. Just in case I see a lizard off the edge of a cliff. Which I once did.

It's maximum flexibility which I think is paramount when you're traveling. My spouse is extraordinarily patient but at some point you can't take the whole day making an image the way you can at home or in a studio.

You also often can't work a prime with "foot zooming" when you're constrained by schedule, tourist venues, or tours, at least not the way the 16-200mm range in a set of zooms can.



Mar 17, 2017 at 09:28 PM
C.Lenoir
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


You're on vacation. Go with your original kit. If you have to substitute something, take the 135 F/2 and leave the 70-200 home. Have fun!


Mar 17, 2017 at 09:57 PM
Ming-Tzu
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


My two cents but your mileage may vary.......

- I would say leave the 24-70 at home. I don't think you'll miss much with the 16-35 and 70-200. This is my usual setup for travel photography, although I'm not big on portraiture.

- It sounds like your interest is candid portraits. You have a few options there.

--- You can park the 70-200 on your FF camera when you're walking around so you're always ready for that portrait shot. You gain the versatility of the zoom and you get a decent walkaround lens that can also do nice portraits. The trade-off is that it might be a bit too heavy for walking around.

--- Another option is to leave the 70-200 at home if you don't think you need the reach. And replace with the 135L. It might be lighter than the 70-200, so good there. But you lose in versatility.

--- Yet another option is to take the 16-35, 70-200, and 135L prime with you. However, I don't think thos option makes much sense since the 70-200 and 135L have similar focal ranges, and when you're traveling and walking around, I would think you'd want to minimize redundancies as much as possible.

--- Personally, based on your need for candid portraits, I would probably just bring the 16-35 and 70-200. Leave the 70-200 on your camera and bust out the 16-35 when needed. Normally, I would suggest using the 35mm prime as the walkaround lens, but you lose the candid portraiture at such a wide angle. That's why maybe you should leave it at home.

--- I don't think bringing the 85L makes sense because it's heavy and the slow focusing may cause you to miss those random candid portraits.

However, I know this is a bucket list trip for you, so bring as much gear as you want. Not sure what your travel arrangements are, but when I was in Japan a few years ago, every major rail station (e.g. Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Kobe, Osaka, etc.) I went to had storage lockers available where you could park a big backpack for like 24 hours. This also goes for Narita airport, with the time limit in the days range. Not sure how safe these are and I'm usually super paranoid about that sort of stuff being from NYC, but I parked my big backpack in the Kyoto station for a whole day of walking around, and had no issues with theft. Maybe others can chime in here.

At the end of the day, remember that all of us probably go through this level of "OMG, what do I bring" type of feeling. But just enjoy the trip because Japan is a wonderful country, and sooooooooo different than the States imo



Mar 17, 2017 at 10:16 PM
 

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fplstudio
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


I'd go with 3 lenses, 16-35, 35 and 135
If your goal is to document your adventures, 35mm will give you wonderful street / walkaround pictures at fast apertures. You can use the 135 for reach and portraits and the 16-35 with IS for landscapes, interiors, wide angle shots. This kit is also reasonable manageable in terms of weight.

Don't be afraid to leave the zooms behind and/or to miss some focal lengths, you don't "have to take the shot", primes will give you less pictures but with a unique look.



Mar 17, 2017 at 11:17 PM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


35 and 85 are all you need.

Hell, even the 24-70 is enough.



Mar 18, 2017 at 12:48 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


I think I'd take the 70-200, 85 and ultra wide and a 1.4 or even 2.0 teleconvertor, two bodies maybe a ff and a crop. Don't forget two speedlights and Justin clamps.


Mar 18, 2017 at 12:56 AM
tsangc
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


I'd faster remove the UWA than the 24-70mm, for three reasons:

1. The 24mm end is already fairly wide and you're duplicating 24-35mm already.

2. Having only an ultrawide and a gap between 35mm to 70mm takes out the "natural" field of view at 50mm, and encourages an overly distorted perspective at the 16mm end.

3. The 24-70mm is at f2.8 which is handy for indoor and lower light shots. Short of big church ceilings (more European in my experience) I find the 24-70mm range more useful than 16mm. The 70mm end at f2.8 is great for impromptu portraits and if you zoom out a bit, you've an get a head and shoulders or even a three quarter. I wouldn't try a portrait with a UWA.

On the other hand, the 24-70mm is stupidly heavy. And this assumes a full frame body.

Also, Japan is incredibly safe and honest as others have said. I left my -entire- camera bag once on a bench in Himeji and came back an hour later to find it still there.



Mar 18, 2017 at 05:04 AM
Ferrophot
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Mmmm, I think I'd stick with the original kit. They are all great lenses, with focal lengths to cover every possibility. If low light is a worry, and I don't think it would be with recent FF cameras, then I think I would add the 35 f2 before the 85 1.2. Good luck.



Mar 18, 2017 at 05:15 AM
melcat
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


banky wrote:
Last year, I acquired 3 prime lenses ... I haven't had an opportunity to use them too much.


The two teles are probably immediately useful, but a 35mm lens is an entirely different thing. It took me roughly a year to master, and many others also report that being hard. With it, I often end up doing something semi-abstract with lines, where with a wider lens I'd adopt a more straightforward approach. It means the image often becomes more about what I did with it than the actual subject—not what you really want with travel photography.

Take a look at the March 2016 images in my Sydney album on Flickr, for an example of what I'm talking about. This was a trip where I took only a 35mm lens. Now imagine if that was the only picture of the Harbour Bridge or a Sydney ferry you had! Of course, I have more conventional shots from other trips to Sydney. But I was not happy with any of the "straight" images of those subjects taken on this particular trip, and that was all down to the focal length. I knew they were wrong when I shot them, and when I got home, indeed they were.

So, no way would I drop the 16–35 in favour of the 35mm.

I might be tempted to take the 135mm f/2 instead of the 70–200 f/4 IS, as I very often use that zoom near 135mm for typical travel subjects, and the zoom is a rather clumsy shape to pack already. I couldn't ever see myself humping an 85mm f/1.2 for travel.

One more thing: your zooms are all weather sealed. Only one of the fixed-focal length lenses is.

Considering the location, Japan, do you think I'll be missing out if I leave the primes home?

I cannot answer that, not having been there, but I think I've made a case that you would be if you didn't have anything wider than 35mm.


Edited on Mar 19, 2017 at 01:49 AM · View previous versions



Mar 18, 2017 at 06:05 AM
ShutterbugJ
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Is your 35mm the f/2 IS or the f/1.4 II? I ask because you list is as the 35/2 II, which doesn't exist as far as I know. If it's the f/2 IS, I found that lens to not be significant enough of a difference from the 24-70 (and likely your 16-35), but the f/1.4 II is a totally different beast. Out of your kit, I would take the 16-35, 35, 70-200, and 135. Out of those, the one I'd leave behind first would be the 16-35, unless your style relies on wide-angle.

Then again, take my advice with a grain of salt. I traveled to Africa with an 11-24, 35/1.4 II, and 200/2L and absolutely loved that kit, although I've switched to the 16-35/2.8 III, 35/1.4 II, and 135 for reasons of space, weight, and ability to use grad-ND filters on more than just the 35mm. When more reach is needed I add the 100-400 II, and if architecture is available, the TS 24 II.



Mar 18, 2017 at 07:04 AM
Snopchenko
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


On my trip to Japan I had a trio of zooms (16-35, 24-85 and 70-200) and a pair of 1D bodies. I really could've done without the 24-85. I was missing the 14mm at times but on a FF body the 16-35 should be plenty wide. Maybe stick a 50/1.8 between the two zooms, although I find the idea of two bodies with 16-35 and 70-200 only appealing. Less possibilities to ponder while in the field, more time to shoot.


Mar 18, 2017 at 08:07 AM
Ltgk20
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


If your workflow till will let you analyze what focal lengths you most commonly shoot at you could see which prime you would be most likely to use and bring the three zooms and one day prime. I typically bring the zooms and a 50f1.4.


Mar 18, 2017 at 12:22 PM
banky
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 2 week Japan trip about to give me lens anxiety


Wow just woke up and checked the thread. Thank you so much for all the replies!

So much to think about. Another thing I forgot to mention is I have CP and ND filters for all my zooms but none for the primes.

I think I'm leaning towards one of two options:
- 16-35, 24-70, 70-200 (original kit)
- 16-35, 24-70, 135 (no wildlife planned on this vacation)

Also, to answer some questions:
- body is a 5d4
- 35 is the f1.4 L. Sorry for the confusion

Thanks again for all the input! Keep them coming!

Edited on Mar 23, 2017 at 12:58 PM · View previous versions



Mar 18, 2017 at 12:57 PM
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