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Thread: Lens advise for Paris and France

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    Lens advise for Paris and France

    I thought I would ask this in the Nikon section, because that is what I have.

    This fall I will be travelling to France for almost four weeks, 8 days in Paris, and the rest moving around from town to town. I donít have a scheduled trip planned, so I will have time for all the photography I want.

    Equipment I have now: Nikon D3x, 20mm, 24-70mm, and a 105mm micro. This seems like good coverage, but I am starting to get worried about the weight of everything, these worries come with retirement. Changing cameras is not an option, but would it make sense to take along the 35mm and 50mm lenses for walking around Paris? When outside of Paris I will have a car to work from. I originally was just using the 24-70mm for the cities.

    All advise would be appreciated,
    Patrick

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Patrick, I think you have a point there; do take the 35 and 50 with you. 24-70 may prove to be too heavy if you like walking long distances as I do, and Paris is so nice to walk around. Have a good time.
    Best,
    Osman

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Thanks Osman,

    We do like to walk in Paris, I would think we will be doing a lot of walking and using Metro sometimes.

    Would you carry the 20mm with you in Paris or just the 35mm and 50mm?
    Patrick

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Patrick, imho the 24-70mm is a heavy beast to carry all day.

    I would take your existing 105mm micro vr.

    I would add to it a 35mm. If not, a 50 would do. I nowadays just carry a 35
    and a 100mm. or just a 50mm on the Nikon.

    You will get many different equally valid suggestions. Mine is the best
    I have been to Paris with the set-up I recommend.

    Don't over analyze. Keep it light. Keep it simple. You might miss some. What about the ones you wont miss?

    Enjoy.

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kolb View Post
    Thanks Osman,

    We do like to walk in Paris, I would think we will be doing a lot of walking and using Metro sometimes.

    Would you carry the 20mm with you in Paris or just the 35mm and 50mm?
    I would, honestly. I did in Prague and was well rewarded. But I had backache all the time.

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyan View Post
    Patrick, imho the 24-70mm is a heavy beast to carry all day.

    I would take your existing 105mm micro vr.

    I would add to it a 35mm. If not, a 50 would do. I nowadays just carry a 35
    and a 100mm. or just a 50mm on the Nikon.

    You will get many different equally valid suggestions. Mine is the best
    I have been to Paris with the set-up I recommend.

    Don't over analyze. Keep it light. Keep it simple. You might miss some. What about the ones you wont miss?

    Enjoy.
    So nicely put!

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Agreed, the over analyzing is just my excitement for the trip.

    I was thinking of just carrying the 35mm and the 50mm around the streets of Paris and having the rest with me for the country. The 20mm is light and small, so it may be worth taking some days in Paris as otumay suggested.

    Thanks for your ideas, they are helpful.
    Patrick

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Patrick

    I ve done almost 4 weeks of street shooting in Paris over the last two years. Here are a few thoughts:

    1. Take more than you plan to carry and find a way to secure what you don t. I shoot with two bodies(M9s) and I like the 28/2 and 50/1.4 combination the best for Street and for Paris. My next favorite would be the 90 because of the bridges and the river ..sometimes you can t get closer. And then a 21 because there are many places where you can use one with getting a lot of junk in your image. But I decide what 2-3 lenses I will be using and store the rest.

    2. You need some fast glass for paris to capture the city lights. So the 50 1.4 is a good lens for an evening walk. The D3X is pretty good up to ISO 1600 but after that it requires special efforts.

    3. You really have to be skilled to point the 24-70/2.8 at someone (with the hood on) and not get a WTH response. But do you really change lenses frequently on the street? Or do you go with whats on the camera? Thats the biggest tradeoff.

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Roger, thanks for your recommendations, I remember form of your photos from the Leica section. Interesting that you and Rayyan have mentioned a 90 or 100mm lens for the city, I was planning on carrying one the day we go to PereLachaise, but will carry the 105mm some days for along the river.

    I have to agree with everyone, go with primes for Paris. This is the input I was hoping to get. Thanks everyone.
    Patrick

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Something medium wide, something fast, a medium zoom.
    I have found that (in Canon Terms) a 35 1.4, and the 24-105 zoom covered everything. The 70-200 never got mounted on the body.
    -bob

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    Re: Lens advice for Paris and France

    I agree with some here who recommend a 35mm and a 100mm equivalent.
    I went on a Mediterranean cruise three years ago and had a small Pentax DSLR with me and the 21mm + 70mm pancakes (32mm and 105mm eq.). Examples can be seen here:
    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/florence
    and the other "A Day In ..." series.
    Now I do the same with a D700 and 35mm f/2 and 105mm f/2.5 AIS Nikkors.
    As a backup I have the Canon s90 which has the equivalent to a 28-105 zoom although I have it set to start up at 50mm most of the time.

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Hi Patrick -
    the only thing I like to advise you: especially in Paris, take care of pick-pockets. They often "work" in the Metros, and when I was in Paris, plenty of them gathered around Sacre-Coeur.
    Greetings from old Europe!

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    jasonhoods
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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    It is difficult to find a good web site. And I think I have the luck to come here is for. Messages are large and full of good idea. I'm back here to check for new updates will be happy to follow.

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Patrick, I would say travel light..a 50mm or a 35mm. That's it.

    Enjoy Paris; one or the other of these lenses has proven more than adequate for me; again and again.

    Have a great and safe trip.

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyan View Post
    Patrick, I would say travel light..a 50mm or a 35mm. That's it.

    Enjoy Paris; one or the other of these lenses has proven more than adequate for me; again and again.

    Have a great and safe trip.
    Couldn't agree with you more, Rayyan!

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    I'll agree: keep the kit light and simple. Settle on either the 50 or the 35 as your main lens, either works great for a huge variety of scenes. A 20 or a 105 supplement it, and I could leave either/both behind at any time and never fall a lack.

    A wide-normal and a portrait tele is my most-chosen working kit.

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    I would like to thank everyone for the advise I received for my trip to Paris. I ended up taking several lenses with me (24, 35, 55 and 105). In Paris we walked for hours and hours each day I would take just one or two lenses with me. In the end here is what I found out from the images that I would call keepers.

    24mm 22%
    35mm 37%
    55mm 11%
    105mm 30%

    From this one might consider a 28mm + 85mm or a 35mm + 105mm combination. I had a full frame camera with me on the trip. Anyway thanks again for your suggestions and here are a few of the images.

    These images are: 24mm, 35mm, and 105mm
    Patrick

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kolb View Post
    I would like to thank everyone for the advise I received for my trip to Paris. I ended up taking several lenses with me (24, 35, 55 and 105). In Paris we walked for hours and hours each day I would take just one or two lenses with me. In the end here is what I found out from the images that I would call keepers.

    24mm 22%
    35mm 37%
    55mm 11%
    105mm 30%

    From this one might consider a 28mm + 85mm or a 35mm + 105mm combination. I had a full frame camera with me on the trip. Anyway thanks again for your suggestions and here are a few of the images.

    These images are: 24mm, 35mm, and 105mm
    Peter, so glad you found the right combinations. That you did is shown by the attached photos you teased us with. The first one really is wonderful.

    Now you know what to take, next time around!

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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    Nice photos. I like the first one especially, although the Paris Bench is also very appealing. :-)

    Yes, a 35/105 pairing looks like it suits you well, with the wider view being an occasional use item. Glad to help.

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    keithmilestn
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    Re: Lens advise for Paris and France

    I just got back a couple of weeks ago from Paris. I found the 24-70 without the hood was about the same as carrying a 35 and 85. I was alternating days between the D3 and an M9 with a 75 Summicron.

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