I'm a newbie to the forum, but have appreciated what I've seen so far. Wish I would have stumble across you folks a couple of years back!
I just upgraded from my D70 to a D300. I am traveling to Istanbul in a couple of weeks and just found out that due to our travel schedule and means, we must travel VERY lightly, so my standard camera bag is out since I also need to carry some video equipment and a laptop and am limited to 17 lbs. So... what I need to determine is what my best option is for a single lens that will be useful for group shots and scenic photos; close up and some zoom. I doubt that there will be a lot of indoor photography, so that isn't a huge issue for me.
If anyone can give me some insight from their knowledge and experience, I would REALLY appreciate it!
I travel frequently on business, and when I do, I don't normally take a whole camera bag - in fact, I just take one body and the 18-200VR. If I can manage another lens, it's usually the Sigma 10-20. But usually it's just the one lens. It doesn't get quite everything, especially not in European cities, but it's pretty darn close.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Wed 12-Mar-08 05:34 AM | edited Wed 12-Mar-08 05:40 AM by libo1949
I do exactly the same as Brian; D80; 18-200VR and sometimes flash (SB-600) and Sigma 10-20. Depends where I am travelling to. Have Lowepro Swingshot 200 and it works fine. Sometimes I leave some of the gear in the hotel (safety locker) and just take the D80 with 18-200VR.
Sorry, I forgot: I ALWAYS take my 50mm 1,8. It is so small and light. And good for indoors.
I also agree. When at home my 17-55 lives on the camera most of the time. If I need to keep things light traveling I go with the 18-200 VR. It does have trade offs, but it does work well as a "one lens solution". On my last trip to Ireland I also took my 50 1.4, never pulled it out of the bag.
I use a Tamrac 5549 Adventure 9 Backpack and I have just substituted it as my computer bag. It does not carry alot of computer related assessories but, my Bose Headphones, Laptop Charger, couple cables. In the outer compartment I carry my D300 and 17-55 lens, 4 4gig memory, Cross Star Filter and SB800.
I do like the idea of a 17-200 for every where use. I will look into that. I guess I need a wider assortment of lens.
>Another option is the new 16-85VR. The >wider end might have some advantages. > >Especially in Istanbul. I was there this summer, and the >congestion and traffic simply floored me. > >If you can sneak a 35mm f/2 or something similar into your >pocket, you may find it useful for interiors. > >
> >NikoScope® - Find >Photography Friends From All Over The World > >
Benviniste- That's a GREAT photo! Is that the Hagia Sophia? I was in Istanbul for 2 days last year, but am going back for a true visit this time. I saw the HS from the gardens outside, but never made it inside. I'm just guessing from the ornate interior that that might be what is pictured. Now you've really got me pumped to get back there!
Thanks to everyone that responded! You've been a big help.
You have seen the 18 - 200 VR recommended a few times by now and that is also my choice.
You will read reviews complaining it is not sharp as someone might like. I have had no trouble making superbly sharp large prints (11 x 14) from images made with this lens - at any focal length. I do recommend this, however: if image sharpness is top priority, stop down to F/8 or F/11 for best results as it does soften a bit wide open (although not that much). This can be said of most lenses, however. There's some barrel distortion at wide angle but so what. This is easily fixed in processing if it becomes noticeable in architectural shots.
Yes, there are sharper Nikkors but none that can beat this combination of great optical performance (including very good resolution), low weight and compact size. BTW, it also focuses very close and can double as a semi-macro.
A good friend of mine recently returned from Northwest China where she used only this lens and a D80. Her shots are fantastic and they are sharp as you could want, even at large size. It was this persuaded me to buy one, in fact. She is a very amateur photographer but with a good "eye". She said the versatility of this lens enabled her to capture shots (including candids of shy Uhygar tribespeople) that would otherwise have been impossible. They are all sharp photos.
You mentioned an issue regarding weight restrictions. Can I assume that you are doing air travel? I started wearing a Photographers vest when doing air travel. If your concern is due to carry-on bag limitations, then the vest might be an option. They weigh the bags. However, they do not weigh what is on your body. With this, you can stick another lens or two or a camera body in the vest pockets or any other excess item for that matter, plus have your regular camera bag. Just be prepared to be scrutinized by airport security. When you are on board the plane, if you want, you can empty-out the pockets and put them in the carry-on bag. I think I got this tip somewhere in this forum and it has worked for me. Good luck on your trip.
>Hi- > >I'm a newbie to the forum, but have appreciated what I've seen >so far. Wish I would have stumble across you folks a couple >of years back! > >I just upgraded from my D70 to a D300. I am traveling to >Istanbul in a couple of weeks and just found out that due to >our travel schedule and means, we must travel VERY lightly, so >my standard camera bag is out since I also need to carry some >video equipment and a laptop and am limited to 17 lbs. So... >what I need to determine is what my best option is for a >single lens that will be useful for group shots and scenic >photos; close up and some zoom. I doubt that there will be a >lot of indoor photography, so that isn't a huge issue for me. > >If anyone can give me some insight from their knowledge and >experience, I would REALLY appreciate it! > >Chris
The Nikkor 18-200mm VR AF-S F/3.5g is the one to travel with.
I always seem to find myself in low light situations when I travel, so if it was me, I would consider packing a 50 f/1.8 with whatever you bring, or I might consider Tamron's 17-50 f/2.8, if you are open to 3P lenses. I like VR, and have it on a longer lens, but I also like fast glass. As an aside, its interesting when everybody has a different definition of what is light. I am curious as to what you finally decide.
I will be in Istanbul May 3rd for 3 days before leaving on a cruise and decided to buy and take a Nikon 17-55 2.8. I also will be taking my Tokina 12-24 2.8. I don't think I will need anything longer. I would have bought the 18-200 if the reviews were better about sharpnest.
>Hi- > >I'm a newbie to the forum, but have appreciated what I've seen >so far. Wish I would have stumble across you folks a couple >of years back! > >I just upgraded from my D70 to a D300. I am traveling to >Istanbul in a couple of weeks and just found out that due to >our travel schedule and means, we must travel VERY lightly, so >my standard camera bag is out since I also need to carry some >video equipment and a laptop and am limited to 17 lbs. So... >what I need to determine is what my best option is for a >single lens that will be useful for group shots and scenic >photos; close up and some zoom. >Chris
My recommendation: pick one:
For group shots and scenic photos: 16-85mm VR Nikkor For close up and some zoom: 18-200mm VR Nikkor
If image quality is important I would take the 16-85mm VR II zoom as its range is going to be long enough for travel photography on a D300. IQ with this 5x telephoto is going to be better than with a 10x zoom lens like the 18-200mm VR lens. I would not drag down the 95% of my shots easily covered by the 16-85mm lens on the possibility that I might need a 200mm telephoto.
If I was going to Istanbul and taking a camera I would find room for the 10.5mm f2.8 fisheye that weighs all of 10 oz. and is 2.5" x 2.5" in size (easily fitting in a coat/vest pocket so it does not add to the restricted travel weight).
I have been on flights with baggage weight limitations but realizing that some of the passengers weighed about 100 pounds more than I did, adding 5 lbs. of gear in my Domke jacket pockets was a way to get fair value for my air fare.
I'v been in Istanbul 2 times last one awas last sept.
I usually take: Tokina 12-24 f4, Nikon 28-200(low price used and very good image quality as you will use it in the day light)and Nikon 35 f2 Plus D50 all in one lowepro nova2.
Last month was in germany and took 18-135, 50 1.8 and D50 also in lowepro nova2 and worked well for me (very light).
As I always travelling and you never know what you will see and when; I have upgraded my travel kit to be: 16-85 vr, 70-300 vr, 35 f2, sb600 they are fit in lowepro nova2 if need the 105vr I can use nova3.
I'm also planing to buy the new 60 f2.8 afs macro.
I'm sure that this kit will make me very happy in any situation and any country I will visit.
I know Istanbul quite well, and I think you should not discount taking indoor pictures, eg Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque or the Covered Market. Also, many of the old streets are quite narrow. I suggest taking a wide angle lens like the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 for low light conditions. I cannot see a lot of use for a long lens.
I went to Turkey for two weeks a year ago. I took two lenses, the 18-200VR and a 12-24 Tokina. I used the 18-200 for about 90% of my shots and the 12-24 for interior and exterior shots of buildings, the underground cisterns, museums, etc. I thought it was a perfect combination. And yes, I did use the telephoto end quite a bit for faraway buildings, scenics, architectural details, people and lots more. As noted in another post, the 18-200 is a good semi-macro and the VR is very helpful for interior shots.
I've travelled to many countries on several continents, and the 18-200 is, IMHO, an unbeatable travel lens. I heartily endorse it. I also shoot for publication and have had several shots published from this trip using these lenses.
I agree with Scott. Both the interior shots and old city street shots in Istanbul really demand something wider than the 18-200VR I took the last time I went there. For more general shots of various parts of the city something up to 200mm is very useful - it gives you a perspective you cannot get from the wide angle to 70mm range focal length. If I had to go very light, I would go with a combination of the 18-200 and a 12-24 or similar WA zoom, and throw in a fast (small and very light) prime like the 50mm 1.4 or maybe a 24 or 28 2.8 for those low light interiors where you need something faster. I also found a bean bag to be very helpful for interior shots in museums and mosques where a tripod was either not practical or not allowed. Regardless of what you take, you will have a ball. Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic cities in the world, and once you get past the tourist hawkers in the Sultan Ahmet area, the people are equally photogenic and very friendly.
A suggestion...if you have never been to Istanbul before, check out the following web site. It has a wealth of informaton about places to go, stay, and getting around in Turkey, and in Istanbul itself - including a great language primer for a first-timer. The guy who produces and runs the site, Tom Brosnahan, is also a photographer.
Sun 30-Mar-08 07:10 AM | edited Sun 30-Mar-08 07:11 AM by umdah
Chris, have you thought about a combination of 20/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8...primes shall allow you to smell the roses, think what you want to cature and how and this combination is easy when you have to carry 1/2 lenses all day.
P.S. forgot to mention, you have fast..fast lenses in your stable!
You are right about the tripod in a busy city. My tri-pod does have a level built in. I forgot to mention I also am taking a Monopod so that will be useful also. My camera bag is a backpack with wheels from Lowepro.
>Man I have obtained a lot of information reading the replies >here on lens to take and where to go in Istanbul. > >I will be in Istanbul for 3 days before a cruise May 3rd. > >I am bringing so far the following. > >Nikon D300 with MD-D10 >Tokina 12-24 >Nikon 24-85 2.8 >Nikon 17-55 2.8 >Polarizing filter >(2) 8 gig sandisk IV cards and (1) 4 Gig >1 release cable >Tripod >1 600 flash >1 Macbook Pro laptop >1 Sandisk 800 firewire reader > >Did I forget anything? > >John >
Sun 30-Mar-08 01:44 PM | edited Sun 30-Mar-08 01:46 PM by dkeus31
since not so long, I had 12-24, 17-35, 28-70 and 70-300. if i took only one from them, it was the 17-35.
if you have the choice in all the current line, i would choose or a very good lense around the focal lenght i use most and a "walk around" lens. the new 16-85 seems interesting since it goes to 16 mm...
Thanks again to everyone who replied. You were all a lot of help. I ended up not packing quite so light as I thought I would. I picked up a nice combo laptop/camera backpack, so I took my D300 along with a Nikor 18-200 VR and a 17-55 2.8 that I borrowed from a friend. Both lenses seemed to perform well. Since I also packed my MacBook, I was able to upload and manage a blog each evening.
Though I am obviously not a professional, I was fairly pleased with what I brought home. Since this was my first real workout for my D300, there are some images that I didn't capture as well as I would have liked, and some that the composition just isn't there, but this was a GREAT learning opportunity for me, and it really was made possible by you all! Here are some of the pictures if anyone is interested, and may I suggest that if you have a chance to head to Turkey sometime, take the opportunity! The place is chock full of history and fascination for me!
Question, if you don't mind. I am to travel over seas as well this year and have been wondering about this as well. I have been thinking of the 17-55, as I do like the wider f-stops and use them frequently. I think I'd also bring a 35/2.0 and 50/1.4, which I'd take or leave depending. Could just run one or the other for a lighter set-up for the day.
My question to you is, do you think this type of trip photography could easily be accomplished with a 20/2.8, 35/2.0 and 50/1.4? I could throw my 85 into the mix as well. Just wondering if it's wiser to carry just a zoom for most days, or 2-3 or smaller lenses? (the 85 isn't so small)