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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Urban Life & Travel Talk 
Thread started 26 Mar 2015 (Thursday) 10:51
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Have to travel light with one lens... advice?

 
jrm27
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Mar 26, 2015 10:51 |  #1

Hello all,

In about a month I'll be leaving to hike across Spain for a couple weeks. I need to travel as light as possible as I have to carry everything for the entire trip on my back while hiking between 15 and 20 miles a day. This is probably a once in a lifetime trip for me so I want to bring my DSLR with me (6D). I've got a little point and shoot (s100), but I'd really rather have my DSLR for this experience.

So, with that in mind, I need help figuring out what one lens I should acquire/take. I'm imagining that my subjects will be a mix of the landscapes that I walk across, pictures of buildings/churches, pictures inside said buildings/churches, and random shots of people along the way. In a perfect world, I think my 24-70 could capture 90% of what I'd encounter (it did on my most recent trip to Africa... such a great lens). However, the 24-70 is just too dang heavy to have attached to my backpack strap all day. So, I'm thinking of a fast prime and letting my feet do the zooming as needed.

But, I'm also up for suggestions. I think for me, wider is better, and due to the various conditions I'll encounter something 2.8 or faster. Any thoughts?

-jon


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PhotosGuy
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Mar 26, 2015 11:03 |  #2

My best advice is to suck it up & take the 24-70.


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nqjudo
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Mar 26, 2015 11:17 |  #3

The 6D has stellar low light performance. I don't think f/2.8 vs 4 is going to be mission critical on that body. I'd be inclined to keep the 24-70 and try to cut a little weight elsewhere. In Europe you won't have any problem finding supplies so you could easily go ultra minimalist with the rest of your kit.


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03062k3
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Mar 26, 2015 13:18 |  #4

how about the 24-105/4L? it is weights 30% less than the 24-70/2.8, gives more range on the long end, and has pretty good image quality. the f/4 is only one stop slower so should not be a problem for the 6D given its high iso capabilities. another plus is that it is decently affordable and easy to find on the used market.

alternatively, the 17-40/4L and 50/1.4 combination is smaller and slightly lighter combined than the 24-70/2.8 alone but then you will have to carry two lenses and swap between them.


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Mar 26, 2015 13:21 |  #5

03062k3 wrote in post #17492919 (external link)
how about the 24-105/4L? it is weights 30% less than the 24-70/2.8, gives more range on the long end, and has pretty good image quality. the f/4 is only one stop slower so should not be a problem for the 6D given its high iso capabilities. another plus is that it is decently affordable and easy to find on the used market.

+1


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BlakeC
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Mar 26, 2015 13:29 |  #6

For stuff like that, I bring my SL1 and 40mm pancake. THAT is super small and almost weightless! You could slap the 40 on your 6d and get around pretty well id think. Or, get a zoom and toss the 40mm in your pocket!


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Mar 26, 2015 13:51 |  #7

Typical conflicted question - "I want to travel really light, but want to take a heavy camera".

Maybe you should review your goals. There are fine small cameras available today that take excellent pictures.

The real issue here is perhaps whether you can be parted from your 6D.


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jrm27
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Mar 26, 2015 14:01 as a reply to  @ Archibald's post |  #8

A valid point. I recently took a trip where, though space was a commodity, it wasn't as much as it will be on this one. I took my 6D, a 5dmkii, and my s100 with the purposes of cost/benefit comparison of this upcoming trip. The s100 is small and takes RAW for editing once i get home, but I just really didn't like shooting with it. I've had it for a few years, so familiarity wasn't too much of an issue... it just wasn't as enjoyable, and th epicture quality when stacked up to the 6d/5dmkii was lacking. The 5dmkii felt too heavy, the 6d felt just right and it's my favorite body to shoot with. So, in theory, I can be parted with my 6D. However the experience and the resulting pictures that i got from the s100 weren't what I was hoping for (at which point I'll blame myself, not the tools). I'd love to buy a smaller lighter camera (heck, I think the eos-m would be great in this situation), however, budgets and long term usability are important to me with so many other expensive acquisitions for this trip. I'd have more use for another lens back home than another camera. Thanks for the input though. It is a very valid question.


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Tommydigi
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Mar 26, 2015 14:05 |  #9

You may be better off with a 17-40 if you like wide. Its an inexpensive lens, its light and very good. I personally love it as a general zoom over a 24-XXX. Especially for travel. If you prefer a standard you can look at the 24-70 F4IS or 24-105.

You can always pack a small light prime like the pancake or 50 1.4 as a second option.


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jrm27
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Mar 27, 2015 09:22 |  #10

These are all great responses everyone. Thanks. I've got access to a 24-105, and though I shoot sometimes with a 16-35, I've never shot with a 17-40. Maybe I'll find one to borrow and see how I like the f4. I am intrigued by the 40mm pancake. It sounds super light and it seems to be really really affordable, so if it were to break, it's not like losing the usage of a 24-70. Thanks for the ideas all. Please keep them coming!


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corndog ­ cabernet
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Mar 27, 2015 13:53 |  #11

No great alternative, is what I see.

The lens you have is a great travel lens, except for the weight and bulk.
A 24-70 f4L will save you about 1/2 lb and you'll lose a stop, and you'll have two lenses of the same focal range.
Any UWA zoom will lose you the portrait length.

Also, your 1 lens requirement doesn't allow for an alternate lens if the one on the camera gets damaged or quits working.

Personally, I would probably just carry the 24-70 you already have, with a 40 f2.8 backup, and deal with it.
If you're willing to give up some IQ and versatility, then start looking at a P&S you can live with.




  
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Mar 27, 2015 16:44 |  #12

Just think a bit different: challenge yourself with just ONE prime lens for this trip; and you will be surprised how good come out.

Also get a very light weight travel carbon tripod - the most important item beyond "tourist shoot".

Happy Traveling :-)


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corndog ­ cabernet
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Mar 27, 2015 17:08 |  #13

The OP described this trip as once in a lifetime.
I for one, wouldn't take but one prime lens on a trip like this. I might take two, maybe three however.

Though I'm a big fan (generally) of using a tripod, when hiking and for convenience an extra lens would trump the tripod easily.
It seems unlikely that since the OP is considering a single lens for weight (and maybe bulk) reasons, it is unlikely he'll want to carry a tripod.




  
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jrm27
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Mar 28, 2015 14:07 |  #14

x_tan wrote in post #17494604 (external link)
Just think a bit different: challenge yourself with just ONE prime lens for this trip; and you will be surprised how good come out.

Also get a very light weight travel carbon tripod - the most important item beyond "tourist shoot".

Happy Traveling :-)


Thanks for the insight. Yes, I do like the idea of challenging myself to one lens. Way back in the day (film), I only had one lens and enjoyed shooting with it and not thinking about which lens to pull out of the bag. Interesting take... thanks.

corndog cabernet wrote in post #17494622 (external link)
The OP described this trip as once in a lifetime.
I for one, wouldn't take but one prime lens on a trip like this. I might take two, maybe three however.

Though I'm a big fan (generally) of using a tripod, when hiking and for convenience an extra lens would trump the tripod easily.
It seems unlikely that since the OP is considering a single lens for weight (and maybe bulk) reasons, it is unlikely he'll want to carry a tripod.

Yes, "once in a lifetime trip" would generally have me packing multiple lenses. However, this trip is less about the photography and more about other things. So, I'd like the camera with me to help me remember the trip, but also because photography is one of my favorite things about travel. if it were a photo adventure, it'd be a different story all together. And yes, the weight and bulk will keep me from carrying a tripod. When traveling I usually at least bring my little Sirui tripod. But on this trip, there's just not the space. Plus, we'll be staying in common quarters with lots of folks. I'd rather not strap a tripod on my bag and broadcast that there may be photography gear inside.

Thanks for the insights! Please keep them coming. I'm intrigued by the idea of bringing just one prime. The 40mm sounds cool. If I can find the funds, the 35 f2 sounds like a good option too. If it all goes out the window, I know I can bring my 24-70 and be just fine.


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elrey2375
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Mar 29, 2015 21:16 |  #15

why not rent a mirrorless camera? Or buy an EM5 and rent a couple of lenses.


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Have to travel light with one lens... advice?
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