Need some opinions on which wide angle to take to Europe

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SRA, May 13, 2007.

  1. SRA


    Jul 29, 2005
    Orem, Utah
    I am traveling to Europe on Wednesday, May 16, and with the help of Julien in Paris have narrowed the list of which lenses to accompany me. So far the 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 are coming. Now I need to choose between the wide-angle choices. I want to bring the 10.5mm f/2.8 because it is small and light, but don't currently own a good fisheye correction software tool. I also want to bring the 14mm f/2.8 because it can almost perform with almost the same results and is linear corrected, but it is heavier and bigger.

    Any opinions are welcome and appreciated.
  2. I know this is not what you had in mind but the 17-35 would do very nicely and fit well with your other choices.
    (Have a great trip, I am jealous)
  3. Scott

    If you can, I'd take the 12-24 for sure. It is always my first lens in the bag for Eurpoean trips. Carolyn and I have travelled to Europe just about every year since 1995 so we have a bit of experience. We enjoy walking down the small cobblestone back streets and alleys in old European towns and the 12-24 always comes in handy. If you don't have one or don't want that one, I'd take the 14mm. I do not like the 10.5. When you convert it to rectilinear the edges are visually distorted despite the NX conversion software.

    Another lens would be the 18-200 or the 70-200VR. Either is great for candid street scenes, or for that odd architectural detail. If I could take only one lens it would be the 18-200. It is an amazing lens for the money.

    only one lens: 18-200R
    two lenses: add the 12-24DX
    three lenses: add 50mm (1.2 or 1.4 for the night scenes or cathedral interiors)

  4. Hi Scott,

    Of the choices you gave I would take the 14mm as I am not a fan of the 10.5mm. It's not that it isn't a good lens I just don't like the fisheye look. When I went to Europe I took two lenses, the 17-55mm and the 70-200mm and I photographed everything I wanted to including many interior shots of buildings. In any event, have fun.
  5. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Scott :

    Tough call on this one. I've travelled a lot to some neat spots, and the two lenses that I've never once regretted making the big push to bring are the 12-24mm and the 28mm f/1.4.

    That 12-24mm is about the best WA zoom I've handled, including the 17-35mm f/2.8, because it really really does give true WA on a DSLR without adding excessive distortion or CA. I've been in so many tight spaces where I just couldn't have landed the shots with even 17mm that I've come make this an essential lens for travel.

    The 28mm f1/.4 is just a magical lens for night shooting, IMO hands down best in the Nikon line for that kind of photography. It's not cheap, hard to find, not AFS or VR or any of that stuff, but it's simply the best for those conditions. It's one of the best cases for "You get what you pay for" that I've encountered.

    You might be caviling at a new lens or the costs of a new lens, but let me say that I've not once regretted or complained about the extra costs when I've been in place with the right lens for shooting in odd conditions thousands of miles from home. More than once, however, I've cussed at myself for taking the quicker easier route with gear, and I've had no access to address the shortfall when away.

    YMMV, as they say.

    John P.
  6. SRA


    Jul 29, 2005
    Orem, Utah
    I love the wide angle effect I was able to get on this trip to Heidelberg, Germany two years ago. It was taken with my 14mm F/2.8 and required no pp to defish. I'm looking to take primes this year and exercise my legs more to get good images.

    Ironically, as I get older and need reading glasses my desire for sharper images and lenses increases exponentially. :confused:

  7. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    It seems you have it all sorted out Scott : the 14 , the 50 and the 85 . A nice set of primes. And that way you'll enjoy walking :biggrin:
  8. JP,
    Considering my delight with the Sigma 120-300 how does the Sigma 10-20 compare with the 12-24? I assume it is a rectilinear. Anyone care to comment? I hope no one minds this mini-hijack.

    Thanks, Rich
  9. Arif

    Arif Guest

    Based on your lens list, the 14 should be sufficient and give you very good pictures. I only took two lenses on my last trip the 17-55 and 18-200 and was able to handle most situations. In hindsight, since I photographed the Venice carnivale, I would have loved to have had the 85mm 1.4. Europe has many indoor/tight space/low light situations but the 14mm is sufficient and will not give the fish-eye look. Please don't forget a tripod/monopod for some great night shots.

    Some of my Europe pictures can be seen at:

    Have lots of fun,
  10. Arif,

    I've been to Veince and I must say your composition is exceptional. I hadn't even thought to shoot many of those scene's that way. Thank you for the excellent ideas you have given me! We will return to Venice next May and now I can go with renewed interest and enthusiasm.

  11. Hi Rich !

    When the 12-24 "fashion" started, i tried several items, 2 Nikons and 3 Sigmas, and ended up buying a Sigma 12-24 because of the -almost- total lack of CA and very small distortion, much less than on the Nikons i had tried ! The only thing was that the sharpness was not as good as i would have liked, but still... i liked very much my 12-24 !

    Then when the 10-20 came on the market, i went back to the store and tried one. I immediately noticed an IMMENSE difference: the sharpness was visible, even on the D200 Monitor ! Also, the wideness at 10 milimeters was noticeabely visible ! So i traded the 12-24 for the 10-20, and now, after more than a year, i KNOW i've done a great deal !!!

    Is that enough to persuade you ?

  12. I DO second Rich's opinion on Arif's pics of Venice :smile: ! Great use of the winter light and even of the noise (pic #5, 6 and 7 in "Venice Collection") !

    Very impressive serie of images... makes me humble when i compared with mine :redface: !

  13. Sadly, yes! :rolleyes: Now I have to save up for one. There is another 10-20 thread and comments are along the same line.

    Incidentally a member, Yves, who doesn't post here any longer much preferred the Sigma 12-24 to the Nikon. I remember many of his shots along a waterway in Montreal.

  14. Arif

    Arif Guest

    Thank you so much for the very nice compliment. I am honored that you can find some new ideas in my attempts. I think what I learned on this trip was to go out no matter what the weather and I discovered a new face of Venice. I think the other thing was that if you have an image of Venice before you go there, then you can create your photograph by finding the spot and just waiting.
    Thank you again,
  15. Arif

    Arif Guest

    J-P many thanks for your kind comments. I also visited your pictures and was amazed at the wonderful weather/clear blue skies that you were blessed with. I think the weather automatically limited my choice of what to do and hence I ended up with different types of pictures.

    Isn't Venice great? I heard one an do wonders with Infrared photography due to all the water.

    Thanks again,
  16. Was he "Yves P." from ******** ? Well, another old timer from the good old time of DPR :redface: !

    I just checked his profile (there) and he only has the Nikon 12-24 -now- ! He used to have the Sigma 15-30, but he sold it... there's no mention of Sigma 12-24 !?!

    BTW, strangely enough, he still posts in DPR :frown: ! Pity he doesn't post here -instead :rolleyes:-.... Ohhh well.....

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