D700 and CZ 25mm f/2.8

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Like many members here, I plan to travel to Europe this summer with my family. Unlike my last trip to Paris, where I was by myself, I will not be focusing on photography as much (see my Paris thread https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=218742)

Most of my pictures taken on the Paris trip was between 24mm-50mm. At this stage in my hobby, I do not want to purchase any new lens. I feel the more the equipment I have, the more I focus on what to bring, how swap lenses for the composition. So instead, I plan to go with only one camera and one lens.

As many of you already knew, the 24-70mm is a monster to carry around. The 14-24mm is not far behind either, and carrying both of them will be a burden. Hence, I tested out the D700+CZ25mm yesterday at the Capitola car show. It is wide enough for landscape but also flexible to get up close. It also very sharp when stopped down. The color is quite good. All of these pictures are taken as JPEG, standard mode, no sharpening, or color enhancing.

What do you think? Will the D700+CZ25 be a good combination for a Europe trip? I appreciate your reply.
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Sang, you can only answer this for yourself, but we'll be happy to give you our thoughts(!). I think a single focal length is too restricting for travel. Certainly no one can challenge the optical quality of the kit you propose, but how do you get tight shots of streets scenes, or architectural details of cathedrals or interesting buildings?

For me, the Nikkor 16-85 VR is the perfect travel lens. I know it is DX and not suitable for your D700, but coupled with a D7000 it's about as compact and light as your D700 and the lens you propose.

On the other hand, my wife and I toured Europe in 1969 with a Minolta SRT-101 and a single 55-mm lens and got some memorable photos. But I'm glad I'm not limited to that now. :wink:
 
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Thank you Jim. You pointed out some good points. That is why I was also thinking of the D5000+18-70. It willnot be as good as the D7000+16-85. But it is light enought to carry around.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
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I don't doubt you could do a great job with the two pieces, but is it really that big a deal to carry a second lens to swap out with - something in and around an 85-105mm length? That two lens system would add a ton of flexibility and pretty much ensure you could cover off everything you wanted. Throw your gear in a small slingshot style bag and when the camera's out, it's an easy way to store your wallet, papers, a bottle of water, whatever else you can think of. It won't weigh you down, but still leaves you with a more flexible system to shoot with.
 
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I understand your point DJ. If I travel by myself, I would not be inclined to carry more gear. This time, it is with the family. We'll be travelling for 3 weeks: Paris, Rome, Florence, and Milan. I do like the 14-24 lens, by a lot. It is a huge chunk of glass. When I take it out and use it, I often get notice from others. This trip, I like for it to be low key. I am sure, when the time comes, I will still be deciding on what I need to carry along.
 
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I'm all for travelling light. However I think that taking just a 25mm lens is too restricting. Since you already own it, why not take your 50mm lens as well? For a two prime travel kit, you can't beat that combination, and is what you said was the majority of pictures you shot on your last trip.

If you really want to take only one prime, I'd recommend buying a 35mm lens, which is the ultimate balance between a wide and a tighter shot. There is a reason why 35mm primes are so popular, even though ( for a f1.4 ) they are way more money than 50mm ( f1.4 ) lenses. It is the fact that 35mm ( on FX ) is the happy medium between portraiture and groups / landscapes, that makes it so appealing for a one prime walk around solution.

The Nikkor 35 f2.0 is a decent lens and is under-rated. It is very small ( perfect for low keyed ) and from f2.8 is contrasty and colourful, especially on a D700. The only thing it isn't very good at is in extremely bright light, as it tends to blow out the highlights. Either Zeiss option ( 35 f1.4 or 35 f2.0 ) or Nikon's 35 f1.4 Nano-coat will handle this better ( and is partly why they cost more ). A polarizer ( get a high end one, or it will diminish I.Q. ) is a simple solution to this issue, allowing you to travel with a tiny low cost lens. Or just get a Zeiss or Nikkor Nano and have a beautiful lens forever!

On FX, 35 is my favourite choice for a one prime out and about, however if you can carry two primes, a 24/25 & a 50 is a lot more versatile!

Good luck and have a great trip!
 
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Joined
Mar 5, 2011
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Tokyo
I`m a 25 fan, and second your choice:

1. Light
2. Good angle for inner city use
3. Close focus ability (food, objects etc)
4. Classic look and manual focus will suit Europe perfectly

Enjoy!
 
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Thank you Pluton.

Britinjapan...this is exactly what I was thinking...especially #2-4. I like the classic look and the manual focus. The CZ25 feels perfect right in my hands.

Thanks
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
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Southern California
without knowing what you plan to shoot, i'll just say that if i had your kit, i'd be hard pressed to go all the way to europe and not take the 14-24 (or 12-24 depending on the body you choose).

as i'm sure you know, european cities can be pretty tight. streets are small, buildings are crowded, etc. paris can actually be pretty spacious by some standards, depends on where you are in the city. i took an 18-105 and a 35mm prime to europe a couple of years ago and on plenty of occasions i found myself really wanting wider than my current 18mm on DX (~right around 25mm on FX, yes??) to shoot a lot of the landmarks/buildings, etc. you don't have to take it out every day.

fwiw, i wouldn't hesitate to pack the primes as well (although that does violate your premise for just one lens). for me it would be tough to go all that way and not have the primes in just in case. they're small. :biggrin:

whatever you choose, have a good trip. and post the pics once you get back. was just going through some of our paris photos from a couple of years ago with our kids over the weekend. <sigh>. :Happy:
 

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