Prime Lenses Suggestions for 10 Day Trip to Melbourne in October!


karnage

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Feb 26, 2005
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Ang Mo Kio
#1
Dear travellers!

I posted this on the Travel Sub-forum but haven't gotten a reply. I suppose more people view this sub-forum than that, so, apologies for the repetition.

I will be making a trip to Melbourne in October, and I'm travelling with a group of 5 other friends. We will be self-driving around the state of Victoria, but less so on the eastern side. 60% of the days would be spent in the city though, for the culture.

I was wondering what lenses I should bring. I'm mainly a prime lens shooter, so I haven't got many zooms. The only working ones I have are a Nikon 24-85mm, Sigma 50-500mm... and... hmm... that's it.

I have primes ranging from 8mm all the way to 135mm though, and I thought of bringing the following setup:

- D300
- 20mm f2.8D (my widest lens apart from the fisheye 8mm)
- 50mm f1.4D
- considering buying a 200mm f4 AIS.
- also considering buying a Samyang 14mm f2.8

I guess I want to shoot landscapes, especially the Great Ocean Road (20mm and 200mm) but I also want to take pictures of myself and my friends on a holiday (20mm and 50mm). I'm leaving out my 85mm f1.4D because I feel that I won't be using that much since the 50mm would do decently for group and individual portraits.

Apart from what I wanna bring, I have the following lenses as well, so if you think you would bring them, please suggest reasons. =)

- 8mm fisheye
- 20mm f1.8D Sigma
- 35mm f1.4 AIS
- 35mm f2D
- 50mm f1.8E
- 50mm f1.2 AIS
- 55mm f2.8 AIS Micro
- 85mm f2 AIS
- 85mm f1.4D
- 100mm f2.8D Macro Tokina
- 135mm f2.8E
- 80-200mm f2.8 AFS (but the AF is spoilt for now)

I will bring a tripod and 2 x SB-30s with RF triggers, coz I think an SB600 or SB800 is too bulky.

What do you guys think/suggest?

 

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karnage

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#5
Well, I think I would like primes for low-light, like say, dusk in the city. Like I mentioned, it won't be just a landscape photography trip. I want to take photos of my friends too. So no, not almost everything will be at f8 or f11.

As for buying a zoom, an 18-200 will set me back around $600. Buying a 200mm f4 would only set me back about $100+. I'm still contemplating the Samyang 14mm, and if I do get that too, it will cost me about $600+ as well, but I get the slight advantage of speed and wider angle.

I don't think it will make much difference in baggage space whether I bring 3 primes or 1 superzoom. 3 primes isn't alot, is it?

Thanks for the feedback so far guys. Looking forward to more suggestions and ideas?
 

#6
I used a 24-70/F2.8 to very good results! You might want to consider that... If you are not going to buy new gears, I would suggest 20mm/35mm. Decent focal length for landscape and group photos. Just walk up front for a tighter crop. Not too difficult yah? I don't see the reason for a 200mm. At that focal length shooting Great Ocean Road, no one will know it is GOR. A wider perspective will make the picture look distinctly GOR.
 

voux

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Feb 10, 2006
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#7
IMHO a zoom is a convenient tool for travel, eg 18-105 or 18-200 on D300 is a good bet, giving you options to take quick quality snaps when time is limited.

With your choice of primes, I will pick 2 more lenses - the fisheye for fun/unique perspectives and the 50 1.4 for street portraits / indoors.


Hope you'll have time to visit Mornington Peninsula wineries, St Kilda cafes, Mt Dandenong arts/cafes while you're there :)
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#8
Samyang 14mm is a waste to be using on a crop body. It should cost only around 500+, below 600.

For zooms, you can get a used one, and sell it after your trip. You will find usually, if you do it right, the real cost to you will be lower than renting the lens. It doesn't have to be the 18-200. It can be the 16-85 + 55-300
 

karnage

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Feb 26, 2005
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#9
I used a 24-70/F2.8 to very good results! You might want to consider that... If you are not going to buy new gears, I would suggest 20mm/35mm. Decent focal length for landscape and group photos. Just walk up front for a tighter crop. Not too difficult yah? I don't see the reason for a 200mm. At that focal length shooting Great Ocean Road, no one will know it is GOR. A wider perspective will make the picture look distinctly GOR.
Hi kaxdd, yeah, I don't really have the funds for the 24-70/2.8 at the moment. Besides, on a crop body, 24mm isn't that wide at all. As for the 200mm, well, sometimes we don't wanna just keep taking the same postcard photos as everyone else. While I will use either the 20mm or the 14mm (if I get it) to get the distinctly GOR shots, I would also like a tele lens to capture details of the geographical features along the coast. So yeah, that's my reason for wanting a tele. :)

IMHO a zoom is a convenient tool for travel, eg 18-105 or 18-200 on D300 is a good bet, giving you options to take quick quality snaps when time is limited.

With your choice of primes, I will pick 2 more lenses - the fisheye for fun/unique perspectives and the 50 1.4 for street portraits / indoors.


Hope you'll have time to visit Mornington Peninsula wineries, St Kilda cafes, Mt Dandenong arts/cafes while you're there :)
Thanks voux, for your suggestions. I AM bringing the 50/1.4. Wondering about the fisheye though. I just might. As for the places you mentioned, we most definitely are visiting all those places!

Samyang 14mm is a waste to be using on a crop body. It should cost only around 500+, below 600.

For zooms, you can get a used one, and sell it after your trip. You will find usually, if you do it right, the real cost to you will be lower than renting the lens. It doesn't have to be the 18-200. It can be the 16-85 + 55-300
Hi daredevil, actually, my reasons for wanting the 14mm is multi-pronged. I shoot film too, though probably not on the Melbourne trip, and I also hope to advance to FX in the near future, so the lens would be a keeper and not a lens bought just for the trip. I know that using the 14mm on crop will result in a 21mm FOV, but I guess I was ok with the 20mm on film.

I'll rethink my choices for a zoom lens though. Hmm...
 

nitewalk

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Staff member
May 31, 2010
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Singapore
#10
Fisheye may not be suitable for all situations. I would think 18-200 is your best bet since u won't have to change lens and lug so many lenses. If you don't need the reach, then 17-50 would be good
 

betta01

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Mar 19, 2006
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#11
+1 as well.

What's the point of shooting with primes for overseas? At the end, as a tourist, almost everything will be at f8 or f11 lol...
What you say makes no sense really.:dunno:

Why no point shooting with primes for oversea?
Why as a tourist everything will be at f8 or f11?

Can share with us your reasons??

I have been using primes for all mine oversea shooting:

1. Greater control over DOf
2. Better low light capability
3. Better wide angle
4. Better noise control due to less use of high ISO
5. Less bulk
6. Less weight

Above are just some of the advantages.

In fact I am packing for another trip, armed with mine 18mm, 28mm and 50mm AIS
 

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SilentSeth

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Jun 7, 2011
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#13
Usually for holiday on a crop body, i only bring a wide angle lens and a 'normal' prime lens.

But of course if this means to be a photography trip and you are ok with the weight.. Then by all means.. Go ahead :)
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#14
What you say makes no sense really.:dunno:

Why no point shooting with primes for oversea?
Why as a tourist everything will be at f8 or f11?

Can share with us your reasons??

I have been using primes for all mine oversea shooting:

1. Greater control over DOf
2. Better low light capability
3. Better wide angle
4. Better noise control due to less use of high ISO
5. Less bulk
6. Less weight

Above are just some of the advantages.

In fact I am packing for another trip, armed with mine 18mm, 28mm and 50mm AIS
To each his own, actually..

unlike you, some people pack a lot more lenses than needed, and ended up with a much heavier and more troublesome load.

And a lot depends on how and what the traveler shoots.
 

voux

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Feb 10, 2006
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#15
Thanks voux, for your suggestions. I AM bringing the 50/1.4. Wondering about the fisheye though. I just might. As for the places you mentioned, we most definitely are visiting all those places!
Usually I use a fisheye or a good wide to compliment the travel zoom (1st priority) & normal prime (2nd priority - eg 50mm), for fun group shots & shooting subjects close-up for that exaggerated perspective :)


Fisheye may not be suitable for all situations. I would think 18-200 is your best bet since u won't have to change lens and lug so many lenses. If you don't need the reach, then 17-50 would be good
If just have space for 1 lens, I'd vote for a normal zoom like 18-105 or similar. a 50/85 prime would be 2nd priority for street or low light situations. fisheye is good if you wanna add some variety & unique perspectives :)


Hmmm, how come so many people coming to Melbourne nowadays? :think::think:
i wonder too... exchange rate with AUS$ is still quite high but i guess there's budget flights these days so that's ok. still loved the Uni years I had in Vic - good fun :)
 

HighTone

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Jul 4, 2011
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Altona
#16
Go for zoom, a 17-55mm is good enough, get bring another UWA.
 

karnage

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Feb 26, 2005
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#18
Fisheye may not be suitable for all situations. I would think 18-200 is your best bet since u won't have to change lens and lug so many lenses. If you don't need the reach, then 17-50 would be good
Haha! I just sold my Tamron 17-50 not long ago. I realised I don't use it much at all ever since I realised I could live with just primes for an actual day wedding. Bad move, I guess...

Hmmm, how come so many people coming to Melbourne nowadays? :think::think:
Haha! Are there alot of people going to Melbourne? We booked this trip last October! =P Talk about kiasu... haha!

...some people pack a lot more lenses than needed, and ended up with a much heavier and more troublesome load...
Exactly what I'm trying to avoid, and also why I'm thinking about what I would like to bring along.

Usually I use a fisheye or a good wide to compliment the travel zoom (1st priority) & normal prime (2nd priority - eg 50mm), for fun group shots & shooting subjects close-up for that exaggerated perspective :)
Yes, fisheye is very good for fun shots! I did that when almost the same group of us went to Phuket a couple of years back. =D Really enjoyable time.

i would bring

17 mm

35 mm

60 mm macro
Hi ortega, can I assume you are referring to using these lenses on a crop body? If you're using an FX body, I guess my equivalent on a DX body would be a 12mm (Sigma 12-24?), a 50mm, and a 100mm macro...

Thanks all for your suggestions! I think I'm buying the 200mm f4, but whether or not I'll bring it, we'll see again. I can get it at less than S$150! Still wondering about the 14mm... hmm...
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#19
Hi ortega, can I assume you are referring to using these lenses on a crop body? If you're using an FX body, I guess my equivalent on a DX body would be a 12mm (Sigma 12-24?), a 50mm, and a 100mm macro..

He is using a full frame.
 

yyD70S

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2005
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Singapore
#20
I was there in mid-April; D700 with 17-35mm and 85mm. 3/4 of the time on coach tour (read: limited time), the rest free and easy in the city.

I wished I have a standard zoom when I was on those day tours. But just to fill you in on some pointers.

You are on self drive, so an all primes set up is feasible; save for those opportunist moments. On your D300, I would suggest 20mm, 35mm, 135mm for a 3 lens setup and include an 85mm for a four lens setup.

The 20mm and the 135mm would be needed for the GOR. I regretted not having a longer focal length to "zoom in" on the "Apostles".

35mm would be enough for the city streets and environmental (portrait) shots! 85mm focal length would give you good close up architectural details of say (e.g.) the Flinders Street Station, St. Paul's Cathedral, etc.

I don't use flash but it's useful for night "portrait / group photos" during those twilight hours with the city skyline on either side of the Yarra River.

Tripod IS A MUST! No problem since you are on a self-drive.

Cheers! And wish you an enjoyable trip. And don't missed out on their "coffee".

P.S. By the way, if you need more info on Melbourne and the outskirts, there's an excellent thread in "Kopitiam" ~ Clubsnappers in Melbourne. Those lovely guys are extremely helpful!

Dear travellers!

I posted this on the Travel Sub-forum but haven't gotten a reply. I suppose more people view this sub-forum than that, so, apologies for the repetition.

I will be making a trip to Melbourne in October, and I'm travelling with a group of 5 other friends. We will be self-driving around the state of Victoria, but less so on the eastern side. 60% of the days would be spent in the city though, for the culture.

I was wondering what lenses I should bring. I'm mainly a prime lens shooter, so I haven't got many zooms. The only working ones I have are a Nikon 24-85mm, Sigma 50-500mm... and... hmm... that's it.

I have primes ranging from 8mm all the way to 135mm though, and I thought of bringing the following setup:

- D300
- 20mm f2.8D (my widest lens apart from the fisheye 8mm)
- 50mm f1.4D
- considering buying a 200mm f4 AIS.
- also considering buying a Samyang 14mm f2.8

I guess I want to shoot landscapes, especially the Great Ocean Road (20mm and 200mm) but I also want to take pictures of myself and my friends on a holiday (20mm and 50mm). I'm leaving out my 85mm f1.4D because I feel that I won't be using that much since the 50mm would do decently for group and individual portraits.

Apart from what I wanna bring, I have the following lenses as well, so if you think you would bring them, please suggest reasons. =)

- 8mm fisheye
- 20mm f1.8D Sigma
- 35mm f1.4 AIS
- 35mm f2D
- 50mm f1.8E
- 50mm f1.2 AIS
- 55mm f2.8 AIS Micro
- 85mm f2 AIS
- 85mm f1.4D
- 100mm f2.8D Macro Tokina
- 135mm f2.8E
- 80-200mm f2.8 AFS (but the AF is spoilt for now)

I will bring a tripod and 2 x SB-30s with RF triggers, coz I think an SB600 or SB800 is too bulky.

What do you guys think/suggest?

 

Last edited:
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