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Thread: Going to Japan in March: Which lenses to bring?

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Going to Japan in March: Which lenses to bring?

    I'm going to Japan in march. It will be my second time there! Photography will be a major part of my trip. I will be mainly photographing people and landscapes. Question is what lenses should I bring? I want to travel light but also not regret not bringing a certain lens.

    Here's what I have:

    135mm f/2 L
    85mm f/1.2 L
    35mm f/1.4 L
    24-70mm f/2.8 L
    17-40mm f/4 L

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by iso79 View Post
    I'm going to Japan in march. It will be my second time there! Photography will be a major part of my trip. I will be mainly photographing people and landscapes. Question is what lenses should I bring? I want to travel light but also not regret not bringing a certain lens.

    Here's what I have:

    135mm f/2 L
    85mm f/1.2 L
    35mm f/1.4 L
    24-70mm f/2.8 L
    17-40mm f/4 L
    This is a hard decision. Usually I just end up taking everything and deal with weight.

    The only ones that seem to overlap are the 24-70mm and 17-40mm. Do you need 17mm for landscapes?? You using a crop body? If you have ff and it were me I would sell the 24-70mm and 17-40mm and buy the 24mm f1.4L and go all prime for the trip.


    You know there is no one that can give you an accurate answer. The reason why is you need to define what is really important to you. If landscape is your thing of course your best landscape lenses. If people shots are family type shots and good IQ is fine, then why take the 85mm and 135mm? But if the people shots need to be really good you want to take your best for that. Tell everyone what you want to accomplish and I bet they will have alot of suggestions.

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    Moderator Steve U's Avatar
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    If this is about lightness and using what you have and not as an excuse to buy something new, I would suggest:
    35 and 135, for lightweight and usability.
    If it is about covering a lot of bases with what you have and still minimal:
    24-70 and 135.
    If you wanted to add something extra renting a 70-200 or 70-300 would open up a few oportunities. My travel kit is the 35/1.4 and a 70-300mmL it covers everything for me.
    If you are doing some street photography the 35, 85, 135 will be perfect and throw in the 17-40 for your landscape.
    Happy trails.
    Steve U
    Wine, Food and Photography Student and Connoisseur

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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    I'd have to agree with Steve U's suggestion of the 24-70 and the 135L. Why? The 24-70 is a great general purpose lens that will cover your needs in a lot of situations. And as far as the 135L is concerned, it's great for candid street photography (especially portraits).

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    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Take my lenses... and me with them.

    Have a good trip!
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

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    I just got back from Japan. Obviously it depends on your style, but what I found myself using the most often was 35-40mm equivalent (for street photography) and "as wide as possible" (for cityscape and landscape). Unfortunately for me that was 29mm equivalent, but I'm assuming since you have all that L glass you have a full frame body as well. In that case, I recommend the 17-40 and the 35 for day and night, respectively, if you want to save carry weight all day. If you do a lot of telephoto stuff (not my style), add the 135. Could be useful if you go places that you can't get up close, of which there are a decent number.

    For what it's worth, packing and daily carrying are a totally different issue. I packed my nifty fifty but ended up using the 18-55 90+% of the time and only swapping to the 50mm at night, and never carrying both lenses with me. It was great to feel unburdened and I don't really feel like I "missed" any shots I would have gotten by carrying both at once.

    Have fun in Japan!

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    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Positron,

    Welcome to the forum! Maybe you can share some of your shots from Japan with us in the Image Presentation section? I love pics from foreign countries, especially pics from Japan, China, Russia. Would love to see what you came up with.

    -Rocco
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

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    Sure. I've been a little slow with going through them since I had to go right back to school as soon as I got back from my trip. I'll post some this weekend.

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    Thanks guys. Yeah I forgot to mention that I shoot with a 5D Mark II. Landscape wise I plan on shooting cityscapes, architecture especially shrines and temples, and the cherry blossoms if they show up when I'm there near the end of March. The people shots are going to be more candid street style.
    Last edited by iso79; 01-12-2012 at 03:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iso79 View Post
    Thanks guys. Yeah I forgot to mention that I shoot with a 5D Mark II. Landscape wise I plan on shooting cityscapes, architecture especially shrines and temples, and the cherry blossoms if they show up when I'm there near the end of March. The people shots are going to be more candid street style.
    With the 5D II I would leave the 17-40mm at home, 24mm I find to usually be wide enough. The 35mm L should even be wide enough, I would take it and use the 35mm L for the temple shots and such. Possibly the 24-70mm and pick either the 135mm or 85mm for a longer lens if I wanted to be creative.

    My choice would probably be the 135mm over the 85mm for the longer reach and weight. Steve’s travel kit of the 35mm and 70-300mm is similar to mine. I usually have either the 35mm or 24mm paired with the 70-200mm. I find I do not miss the wider zoom range.

    If I had your lenses I would probably pack it in this order:
    1. 35mm L
    2. 135mm L
    3. 24-70mm L
    4. 85mm L

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