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Thread: Travel Photography with a single prime?

  1. #1

    Default Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Has anyone done this before?

    Cos i heard that as long you stick to one lens, you wont feel the need to change cos you have nothing to change to .. (duh)

    The prime in question is a 24mm Nikon lens. Using a d90. Going to TW for 11D10N. Is just one lens good enough?

    Going with gf and myself. I guess maybe 50-70% is scenery with GF in it, then the rest is just street and scenery. My gf is taking the s90 so we can cover self shots as well.

    An alternative that comes to mind is to purchase a 2nd hand UWA then sell it when im back as i think i seldom shoot UWA is SG anyway.

    Any comments or suggestions?
    Last edited by hotchoco1ate; 28th June 2011 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Adding info about cam format

  2. #2

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Have fun

    I think there will be several opinions on this as it depends on the photographer/traveller's preference. For my recent trip, I took the s90 and a superzoom (18-250). Why ? Compact for convenience at crowded places (think kopitiam, inside vehicle etc), and DSLR for 'better' shots. Perhaps the kit lens will be more versatile (unless you need a fast prime for lowlight shots). I occasionally like to shoot street scene from afar, so the telephoto reach comes in handy.
    Picture technologist
    Flickr Homepage

  3. #3

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    i suppose some people could survive and get use to it.

    i've used (and still using) a 50mm f1.8 for the past two years, for everything and anything (travel, portraits, model, street, macro etc).

    to me, its not about having convenience but rather the fun of willing to move with your prime.
    Hsteric Motion media ;a memorable experience.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    24mm on FX or DX?

    I've never been daring enough to just rely on one lens, since I spend $$ going to a place, and don't want to screw up , but I'd be rather comfortable doing Taipei with either my 15mm or 24mm on APS-C with some bias to the 24mm (ie. 15mm = ~23mm; 24mm= ~36mm; on 35mm format; )


    My experience with Taipei has been mainly street/people, landscapes, temples/buildings, obligatory "wife in front of landmark" shots.
    As such both focal lengths do have different pros/cons:

    15mm (APS-C)
    1. Can always taken in broader views
    2. More perspective distortion, esp when taking in ppl
    3. Can typically move nearer to get subject to fill more of the frame
    4. Can be too uncomfortable to move too near to strangers
    5. Easy to sneak chest/hip level candid shots due to wide FOV

    24mm (APS-C)
    1. IMHO, a bit more general and well rounded
    2. More reasonable FOV and perspective distortion
    3. More comfortable working distance
    4. Can still take sneak chest/hip level shots if needed
    5. Can still squeeze out some shallow DOF shots on a 24mm
    6. Will be limited in some cases to take a wide angle view (eg. temple/building interiors, some wide landscapes); Can be compensated by stitching


    Here is a Taipei tread I put up sometime back. Using 15mm, 24mm, 43mm. Most of the street stuff using 24mm.
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threa...ary?highlight=[pinholecam]
    Last edited by pinholecam; 28th June 2011 at 03:04 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by hotchoco1ate View Post
    Has anyone done this before?

    Cos i heard that as long you stick to one lens, you wont feel the need to change cos you have nothing to change to .. (duh)

    The prime in question is a 24mm Nikon lens. Going to TW for 11D10N. Is just one lens good enough?

    Going with gf and myself. I guess maybe 50-70% is scenery with GF in it, then the rest is just street and scenery. My gf is taking the s90 so we can cover self shots as well.

    An alternative that comes to mind is to purchase a 2nd hand UWA then sell it when im back as i think i seldom shoot UWA is SG anyway.

    Any comments or suggestions?
    Depends on your preference.

    Also on your objective, if you're going to TW to relax, then suggest to just keep it simple.

    When I go on photographic trips, the main focus is photography, everything else comes second. The trip is just planned around photograph opportunities. You can't have it all. A good scene will not be near any nice restaurants or shopping areas, most of the time. Of course, a few days can be set aside for other purposes like R&R, etc.

    You don't sound like you're going there with the primary objective of taking photographs - in which case, my suggestion is a normal fast zoom lens (e.g. Tamron 17-50 F/2.8) with a light 50mm prime.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    @ Pinholecam, just re-read your thread on TW (i browsed it before, but now that you mentioned you used only primes its kinda amazing ), and could not tell that you were using only primes from the varied shots. Love the isolation on #31. After seeing your photos, you kinda convinced me that you dont need an UWA to take good shots overseas as its more on composition really.

    @ edutilos-, unfortunately all i have now is my trusty d90 and my 24mm. Yup you're right though its my gf's grad trip, so i wanna keep it simple so i can spend more time with her rather than fiddle with changing lenses. A 50mm prime could be an option, but with the introduction of the new 1.8G, im wondering if i should go for the G or spend a 100 or so more to get the 1.4D instead.

    @ saveDqueen, yes i agree that a prime makes you think more about framing And a wider aperture doesn't hurt either.

    @pentlynk, I've tried a superzoom before and realised its not to my liking. I seldom shoot above 100mm, and when i do, the shots come out crap anyway, more like shooting for the sake of shooting with little regard to the actual composition, eg an eagle flying above me, or some whacky guy in outrageous colored clothing... When i take a 2nd look at such pics when i get back, i either delete them or not post them online anyway since it wasn't a well thought of shot.

  7. #7
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Your mileage may vary

    For short trips where my main focus is not photography, I usually just bring along a 24mm prime.
    Otherwise I bring alot more stuffs along, especially so if it is a self drive holiday trip.

    Ryan

  8. #8
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by hotchoco1ate View Post
    @ edutilos-, unfortunately all i have now is my trusty d90 and my 24mm. Yup you're right though its my gf's grad trip, so i wanna keep it simple so i can spend more time with her rather than fiddle with changing lenses. A 50mm prime could be an option, but with the introduction of the new 1.8G, im wondering if i should go for the G or spend a 100 or so more to get the 1.4D instead.
    i think that pretty much sorts out ur problem yea? u dun have any other lenses anyways... sooo just make do with what u have?

    on the other hand. get a cheap kit lens if ur worried. those kind of kit lenses go from around 60 bucks from the bottom end older version 2nd hand

  9. #9

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by saveDqueen View Post
    i suppose some people could survive and get use to it.

    i've used (and still using) a 50mm f1.8 for the past two years, for everything and anything (travel, portraits, model, street, macro etc).

    to me, its not about having convenience but rather the fun of willing to move with your prime.
    i tried to do that with the exact same lens
    but i missed some good group shots because of this and now i'm using my kit zoom
    For passion or prestige? A trend or a niche?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Why not, one thing is how much time you are given for each shot? Personal experience is that let's say you want to take landscape shot (under good lighting). If you have a UWA maybe you can shoot the landscape 1 shot handheld and spend a little time thinking of composition. What if you are travelling with people who aren't willing to wait too long?

    I was using 35mm on crop so in order to cover wide enough area, I had to take pano shots instead. Setup tripod and take readings before going to Manual mode takes time, even handheld pano takes some time to take as you have to do it slowly and steadily to ensure that the shots are sort of aligned properly. Maybe I am inexperienced to do these quickly enough but it's not good to keep people waiting for you.

    However if you have all the time to yourself then surely you can think of how to capture a scene with just 1 fixed focal length.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hotchoco1ate
    Has anyone done this before?

    Cos i heard that as long you stick to one lens, you wont feel the need to change cos you have nothing to change to .. (duh)

    The prime in question is a 24mm Nikon lens. Using a d90. Going to TW for 11D10N. Is just one lens good enough?

    Going with gf and myself. I guess maybe 50-70% is scenery with GF in it, then the rest is just street and scenery. My gf is taking the s90 so we can cover self shots as well.

    An alternative that comes to mind is to purchase a 2nd hand UWA then sell it when im back as i think i seldom shoot UWA is SG anyway.

    Any comments or suggestions?
    If u want light and simple, just a prime like 35mm or 24mm and your kit lens. These 2 lens will be enough.

    Day time, just kit lens. Night time, use prime lens.

    Save your shoulder aches for the shoppings with gf.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    if I have to keep to a single lens in DX, I think a 17-55mm f2.8 kind of lens would be nice.

    I think a 24mm prime is too boring. I think there is a huge difference between a 35mm FOV and 80mm FOV, esp for travel photography with GF/wife/family.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    I would bring a 50mm if I had one... for portraits or anything... and perhaps a superzoom with a maximum focal length of 100-200mm+, for shooting mountains or something faraway... imo.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    up for this lens 24mm

  15. #15

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    I haven't had the balls to bring just a prime lens during travel. The least number of lenses I brought was 2, a 35mm prime and a 10-24mm.
    D200

  16. #16

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by donut88 View Post
    If u want light and simple, just a prime like 35mm or 24mm and your kit lens. These 2 lens will be enough.

    Day time, just kit lens. Night time, use prime lens.

    Save your shoulder aches for the shoppings with gf.


    I used to travel wif 18-200 and 2 primes, 35 f2 and 85 f1.8. Bad mistake, bag was heavy and weather was hot. Taiwan's hot now..

    Now, i only bring a 35 f2 for short trips and add 18-55 for cheap, lightweight versatility on longer trips.

    Dun feel intimidated wif only one prime, it will be surprisingly relieving. Do a walk about wif the 24mm and decide if that focal length works for u. If nt, i recommend 2 primes, travel light is impt, after all its a holiday.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    I've always been a 1 prime guy. Though recently I've been suffering the lens itch.

    Been making several trips to China recently (in fact I'm in SH right now for a few months). On the last trip all I brought was my D3100 and 35mm F1.8 G. Here are some pics from that trip: http://www.flickr.com/photos/milesandcoltrane

    Based on my personal experience, it's definitely a great feeling to be able to carry a small and light setup everywhere you go.

    But I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss any shots. Esp out in the mountains etc. - missed a wide angle for nice landscape shots and a tele for interesting compositions

    In the cities the 35mm F1.8 G felt more than adequate for 80-90 percent of the shots I wanted to take. I do have a thing for architecture so felt a wider FOV would've been better but managed to contort my body enough and back up like crazy to get some shots.

    I guess ultimately it depends on your style of photography and location. For me I reckon a wide angle prime of 24 (16mm prime on a DX - Nikon we need AFS primes! and maybe a 85mm prime would be perfect.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    I use my 30mm F2 pancake (effective: 45mm) for street shooting.

    I have a 18-55mm OIS as well, but I seem to need this lens less nowadays.

    As someone else has said above, it needs some balls to leave the zoom lens behind. Get used to a good prime and it is very relieving.
    Samsung NX10+30mm, Fuji S6500FD

  19. #19

    Default Re: Travel Photography with a single prime?

    i just uses the 50mm 1.4 to travel around, it is short, easy to keep in all kinds of bags

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahmatt
    I use my 30mm F2 pancake (effective: 45mm) for street shooting.

    I have a 18-55mm OIS as well, but I seem to need this lens less nowadays.

    As someone else has said above, it needs some balls to leave the zoom lens behind. Get used to a good prime and it is very relieving.
    Oh yeah, it takes gut to just a prime. I just did that on a holiday. 35mm 1.8.

    Need to get used to it, but one good thing is that it trains me to visualize the composition and framing before I bring my cam to my face.

    Good training lesson, and I will continue to use just one prime lens for walkabout.

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