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Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit

  
 
chiron
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit



We are leaving soon on a three week trip that begins in Istanbul and then heads by boat down the coast of Turkey with nine ports of call until we arrive finally in Athens. I am trying to decide what gear to bring.

Alternative kits, with an A7C body:

1. Sigma i series 24/3.5, 35/2.0, 45/2.8, 65/2.0, and 90/2.8
I wouldn't carry all of those every day, but one lens on the camera and two lenses in the bag to walk around with.

2. But I am also tempted to bring a Loxia 25mm because I love its rendering and colors, and if I did I would rearrange the above kit to be:
Sigma 24/3.5, Loxia 25, Sigma 45, Sigma 65, and Sigma 90.

3. Then the question arises whether I should also bring, in addition to one of the above kits, the Sony 16-35/2.8 GM to give me something wider than the 24mm fov.

4. Finally, I also have the option to add a GFX100S with 50/3.5 (40mm equivalent) lens to add a medium format alternative for the right shooting circumstances.

Thoughts?



May 13, 2022 at 10:00 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


If it were me, I'd go a7c, Loxia 25, a fast short tele, plus the GFX. And then I'd probably spend the whole time with the Loxia on the c, going back and forth between it and the GFX, and only using the short tele for night shots and photos of my traveling companions. I wouldn't knock your desire to take the Sigma 65 and 90. My preference would be one lens, a 90/2 or 85/1.4, so with the stock a7c, I'd go with the GM 85. Lovely wide open people shots and brilliant landscapes stopped down all in one lens. And I know the 45 is a special lens, but, if you had the GFX100s and 50/3.5 with you, would you choose to use the 45 over that combo?

The GM 16-35 may prove handy, or it may prove to be unnecessary bag weight. Hopefully someone who has taken a like tour can chime in with more specific recommendations. I do wonder what the opportunities will be like to shoot from the boat and if a longer lens might not come in handy.



May 14, 2022 at 01:13 AM
isohw
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


35 FL for most of shots + loxia 25 + Sigma 90.



May 14, 2022 at 02:55 AM
olalafoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


A7C + 16-35/2.8GM + 90/2.8DN and GFX100S + GF50/3.5(can 2X crop to equivalent 80mm + 25MP)


May 14, 2022 at 05:25 AM
Alan Parker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


I would try to make it as easy as possible on yourself. They are busy people where people might brush up against you often; so taking big lenses is probably not the way to go.
Taking the A7C with Lox25, Sony 16-35 and Sigma 90 for daytime shots and taking the GFX with 50/3.5 for those shots later in the day when it's quieter you want to take your time for seems like a good idea to me!



May 14, 2022 at 06:24 AM
guyharrison
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


If you are going to take photos from the boat, somthing longer than 90 might be good. From a boat, where you are constantly moving and have no control over perspective, zooms are the way to go. My suggestion for the boat, the excellent Tamron 28-200 this allows you to get wide seascapes to telephoto landscapes of the shore without having to change lenses. And, it as light as you could ever want.

Your original set had very nice spacing. I would not take 2 25s. If you take the Loxia, drop the sigma 25 and keep the 35. Even better, if you have the Loxia 21, add that to the existing kit. You hunch that something wider than 25 might be needed is spot on, lenses in the 18-21 range are very handy in narrow streets, marketplaces and inside buildings. The 16=35 would by my preferred choice but you seem to be a prime person. so, Loxia 21, sony 20mm, Batis 18, something like that.



May 14, 2022 at 06:27 AM
sandycrane
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Something wider. You're pretty bunched up in the middle. You'll be seeing a lot of Mosque and Church interiors. ~15, 24 or 25, 45, 90 would be more manageable. And you should be able to carry everything in a mid sized bag. It's nice to dream about a lot of lenses and another thing to actually deal with them.


May 14, 2022 at 08:41 AM
dhachey
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


iPhone? It's good enough for most vacation pics. I have $30+K of camera gear, and I'm increasingly using my iPhone for everything but the most demanding purposes. Enjoy your trip, I'm heading that way in September.



May 14, 2022 at 11:39 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Sounds like an awesome trip!!!

Bring zooms and concerntrate on composition.

Hey if you're interested in carrying stuff go for it but I'd probably take fav 25 not both 24 & 25. Better yet 16-35. Medium format sounds like overkill or too much hassle. Maybe if you took several lenses? Gets heavy though.



May 14, 2022 at 12:03 PM
chiron
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Yes, we are psyched about the trip. There are three of us and we are quadruple vaxxed, but we still worry about getting quarantined if we test positive somewhere along the way--there are lots of testing gateways to pass through. We are going to have to get a pcr test in Istanbul before we can get on the boat!

As for photography---I do love the 16-35. It has been one of my favorites for travel and otherwise. But it is not a small lens and I feel like it takes a lot away from the smallness/lightness advantages of the A7C. So I am undecided about it. I like composing with primes--it forces me to find the picture--but I don't have a prime wider than my 18mm Batis, so the 16-35 gives me something else besides the zoom range. I could take the Batis 18 instead of the zoom.

I am not going to carry much when we actually are out and about. A body and 2-3 lenses, and I will work within those constraints each day.

There is a part of me that is tempted to just go out with the A7C and the Sigma 45/2.8. I like that combo a lot and it would leave me free to think only in terms of the 45mm fov.

There is another part of me that is tempted to buy or rent a second A7C and go out with two bodies, one with the 45 and the other with either the Sigma 65 or a 24/25mm (depending on where we are going that day.

Going out with too much gear really gets in the way of seeing pictures that are in front of me. I wind up thinking about lens choices rather than images that can be selected with what I have on the camera. When I get back from the trip, I think I am finally going to sell off some of my lenses. I have an excellent copy of the 24-70 GM (chosen in comparison to five others) that I never use and an excellent copy of the Loxia 21mm that I don't use. Also a set of handpicked Samyang tiny lenses that I never use. It really just confuses me rather than helps me to have a lot of gear. I need to reduce the cognitive load of even seeing the stuff.

Edited on May 15, 2022 at 05:57 AM · View previous versions



May 14, 2022 at 12:42 PM
 


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Dave Sanders
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Last time I was in Istanbul was back in the APS-C days, but I more or less spent the bulk of my time using an ultrawide 16-35mm equivalent and something in the 75-135 range (50mm and 85mm primes). My favourite photos were mostly taken with the 85 (135mm equivalent); I found that telephotos were better at conveying what I was feeling, especially on the streets.

Istanbul is such an amazing city of stacked, chaotic experiences, so the teles were good at getting that feeling across, as well as focusing on and highlighting singular people or objects. When i needed more space or wanted dramatic foreground/background compositions, that's where the ultrawide zoom came in handy.

Edit: Lenses! So I'd go 16-35, 45, 65 and 90. I'd likely head out many days with the 16-35 and 65 or 90. But none of the i series lenses are particularly big, so I might glue some end caps back to back for space savings and take two of them in a shoulder bag.



May 14, 2022 at 02:47 PM
Oogappeltje
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


25 loxia
45i
90i
(and something wider would be a 3 image stitch with the 25 loxia)



May 14, 2022 at 03:43 PM
chiron
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Dave Sanders wrote:
Last time I was in Istanbul was back in the APS-C days, but I more or less spent the bulk of my time using an ultrawide 16-35mm equivalent and something in the 75-135 range (50mm and 85mm primes). My favourite photos were mostly taken with the 85 (135mm equivalent); I found that telephotos were better at conveying what I was feeling, especially on the streets.

Istanbul is such an amazing city of stacked, chaotic experiences, so the teles were good at getting that feeling across, as well as focusing on and highlighting singular people or objects. When i needed
...Show more

I think you are right about the utility of short teles for the specific environment of Istanbul. We have been there before, for a week about five years ago, and it is very much as you describe it--stacked and chaotic with simultaneous dramatic backgrounds and foregrounds.

I tend to prefer wider lenses, but the Istanbul environment may be too chaotic for that and the moderate isolation that one gets from short teles (the 65 and 90 in my case) may deal with the complexity and chaos of most settings extremely well. And the wider lenses for when the chaos is part of the intent.





May 14, 2022 at 03:51 PM
chiron
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Oogappeltje wrote:
25 loxia
45i
90i
(and something wider would be a 3 image stitch with the 25 loxia)


Yes, I think this would be a very good set to take out each day walking. I'm really tempted on the 16-35, but it seems so large with the other lenses I'm taking.



May 14, 2022 at 03:52 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


16-35, short tele and a longer tele if you’re shooting from the boat. Forget the Fuji.

Edit: spent one week shooting in Istanbul and made two trips to Athens. Advice is based on that experience.



May 14, 2022 at 03:56 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


chiron wrote:
Yes, we are psyched about the trip. There are three of us and we are quadruple vaxxed, but we still worry about getting quarantined if we test positive somewhere along the way--there are lots of testing gateways to pass through. We are going to have to get a pcr test in Istanbul before we can get on the boat!

As for photography---I do love the 16-35. It has been one of my favorites for travel and otherwise. But it is not a small lens and I feel like it takes a lot away from the smallness/lightness advantages of the A7C. So
...Show more

You said 'WE' are going, so I'm assuming that's just you and your partner. On a boat with lots of port calls that again, I assume, aren't going to be generally more than 24 hours, doesn't give you a lot of alone time. So as you mentioned, generally one camera and 2-3 lenses when out and about, though I'd do what you suggested and rent another camera (I'd make it the A7r4 for the high MP giving great cropability because you don't have any long teles in your kit) keeping it relatively light and quick to use and redundancy in case of theft/accident/failure, hence why I wouldn't bother taking the Fuji. If you are going with family and/or friends this doubly applies.

You can always leave one camera and extra lenses in your cabin safe so TBH taking more lenses isn't an issue unless it creates a problem with your carry-on on flights. Around town a small pack easily carries 2 cameras and 3 lenses plus a jacket, tripod if required (I'd absolutely take a small travel tripod - even if just for long exposures to reduce the effect of lots of people in scenes) and assorted other personal and photography related accessories and is still light enough not to become a drag over the course of the holiday.

I'd absolutely take the 16-35. It may be larger but could often be a one lens solution in small villages/towns with narrow streets where that flexibility would be appreciated. I'd generally add the Sigma 90mm to that for portraits and detail. The cropping power of a rented A7r4 effectively converts your 16-35 up to 53mm and 90mm up to a 135mm. I'd also take the Loxia 25, Sigma 45 and Sigma 65. Two cameras and 5 lenses for a trip of a lifetime (I assume). This isn't the time to cut corners and you don't/won't be carrying them all around. Redundancy in case of mishap is important and on a boat it's even easier than car touring.

BTW if you decide against the 16-35 (mistake IMHO) then you absolutely need to take the Batis 18mm as 25mm isn't even close to wide enough for European (Asian) streets. In fact why not throw that into the suitcase as well and decide once you're there !



May 14, 2022 at 11:47 PM
tzhang4284
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Been to Istanbul a few years ago:
1. Take the 16-35mm - if you're going to go see sites such as the Hagia Sophia, any of the famous mosques, or the Sultan's palace, you're going to want to bring a really wide lens and with great low light capability. f4 won't be enough - the 14mm f1.8 would be ideal. The Batis 18mm might be enough if you really want to shave the weight down.

2. I thought Istanbul was a great place for street photography so the primes you have would be nice to bring. I'd probably bring the 24mm, 45mm and 90mm - the rest seem unnecessary, even the 24mm if you can convince yourself to bring the 16-35mm. I also didn't think there were many great photo ops above 90mm so that should be sufficient.

3. The GFX feels unnecessary but I don't have one so maybe if you have a specific situation in mind?



May 15, 2022 at 12:18 AM
chiron
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Frogfish wrote:
You said 'WE' are going, so I'm assuming that's just you and your partner. On a boat with lots of port calls that again, I assume, aren't going to be generally more than 24 hours, doesn't give you a lot of alone time. So as you mentioned, generally one camera and 2-3 lenses when out and about, though I'd do what you suggested and rent another camera (I'd make it the A7r4 for the high MP giving great cropability because you don't have any long teles in your kit) keeping it relatively light and quick to use and redundancy in
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

tzhang4284 wrote:
Been to Istanbul a few years ago:
1. Take the 16-35mm - if you're going to go see sites such as the Hagia Sophia, any of the famous mosques, or the Sultan's palace, you're going to want to bring a really wide lens and with great low light capability. f4 won't be enough - the 14mm f1.8 would be ideal. The Batis 18mm might be enough if you really want to shave the weight down.

2. I thought Istanbul was a great place for street photography so the primes you have would be nice to bring. I'd probably bring the 24mm, 45mm
...Show more

Thank you both for the good, thoughtful advice. Yes, the 16-35 would solve a lot of problems and is probably worth the size penalty. It has always been one of my most used lenses during travel on the occasions when I have had it with me, and it does work very well when walking narrow streets as in Prague or Venice. A second body makes sense. If I were to go out with two bodies, one mounted with the 16-35 and the other with the Sigma 65 or 90, that would cover a lot of ground in terms of shooting.

The advantage of the Fuji is the medium format image quality. It is bigger/heavier than other gear I could use, but I was thinking about it for situations where it easy to carry and keep safe, like seascapes from the boat, approaching and leaving port, in the Bosporus, etc. Two bodies plus the Fuji is definitely a step too far, however.

It is easy enough to take extra lenses and then just select a subset each day. But I would also like to simplify my thinking in terms of what I will think about using in terms of making pictures so that my imagination is focused on those focal lengths.



May 15, 2022 at 05:55 AM
sandycrane
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


Istanbul is one of my favorite places in the world (up until the latest regime). To get a good mental picture of Istanbul and an excellent guidebook (maybe one of the greatest guidebooks of anywhere ever) for your next visit find a copy of John Freely's "Strolling Through Istanbul".


May 15, 2022 at 08:56 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Istanbul to Athens--Advice on Kit


chiron wrote:
---------------------------------------------

Thank you both for the good, thoughtful advice. Yes, the 16-35 would solve a lot of problems and is probably worth the size penalty. It has always been one of my most used lenses during travel on the occasions when I have had it with me, and it does work very well when walking narrow streets as in Prague or Venice. A second body makes sense. If I were to go out with two bodies, one mounted with the 16-35 and the other with the Sigma 65 or 90, that would cover a lot of ground in terms of shooting.
...Show more

Just a couple of thoughts you may or may not agree with. If you are not printing massive sizes or pixel peeping at 1:1 then it is going to be very difficult to tell the difference between the Fuji and the A7r4.

A rented A7r4 means all of your lenses fit both cameras = redundancy. Compared to A7C + Fuji and then something happens to one or the other (failure/accident/theft). If something happened to the A7C then you'd be left with one camera and one lens.

You are going to be shooting in a variety of conditions and locations. What you need for the streets isn't what you are going to need in low light in the evenings perhaps (and other foreseeable situations).

Good luck with whatever you settle on and have a fantastic time !



May 15, 2022 at 12:26 PM
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