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Washington DC trip lens choice – Help me decide [Photos from Trip]

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by jklofft, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. My family and I are taking a weekend trip to Washington DC is a few weeks. I plan on bringing a light kit. In addition to the regular site seeing, we are taking an evening bike trip of the sites. So here’s my dilemma. I’m definitely taking my D200 with the 18-200VR as my base lens. Should I bring the 12-24 for a wide shots or the 28 f/1.4 for the evening bike ride? The 28 will be great to the night shots, but I’m concerned that it won’t really be wide enough. At the same time, for the day shots, I’m concerned the 18 might not be wide enough. We do you think?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2007
  2. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi jeff-

    given that DC is a city of monuments, the 12-24mm is a must. it'll also prove helpful if you're going to the air & space museum.

  3. Pete


    Jun 10, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I was in DC last week when it snowed. DC is a very open area with the mall so you can get back from the monuments and sights. Your 18-200 should be plenty wide enough. The few times I used my 12-24, I was at the 24 end. At night, everything is lit up and there are lots of benches, trashcans walls etc. to set your camera on for long exposures. The 28 should be fine for night shots. I would suggest some type of a bean bag to rest your camera on. Hope you get better weather than we did...
  4. I have done DC with Ron Reznick, and I can tell you from experience you basically can do an excellent job with nothing more than a 17-35 and 85. The 28 1.4 will come in very handy if you go into some of the buildings or Union Station. Quite honestly Union Station is a must if you bring the 28 1.4D. There are a lot of interesting patterns you can shoot on the ceiling, and you can also get quite close from some of the upper stairways.....Also there is astounding nighttime photography. Most likely you will not be able to do it with your family, but we shot the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Memorial until past 2AM.....Boy was that fun. Funny thing is I just checked, and I was using my 12-24 at that time, but I really could have used my 17-35 with no problem. You will also want to bring a good light tripod.

    The only other lens we found quite useful was the 45 2.8P, which handles shooting into bright light very well.

  5. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    You can't use your tripod inside the Lincoln Memorial, though. I was setting mine up when a security guard (or whatever she was) came out and told me as much.
  6. Do you think the f/4 is fast enough?
  7. Thanks. Yeah, I hope it warms up a bit!
  8. Geno,

    Do you think the 85 would be a better choice? I also checked out your DC gallery. Very nice. Some inspiration for the trip!
  9. I figured as much. I had the same issue in NYC. I'm only bringing the gorilla pod. That's partly why I'm leaning toward the 28 (for handheld stuff)
  10. Depends on circumstances.....I had no problem using a tripod provided I respected the guards and there were not too many people there. In fact a 2AM I had no problem setting my tripod up with my camera right against the Vietnam memorial.


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  11. I'll tell you, If I was to go today I would take the 17-35/28/45/85. Back then one guy had a 70-200VR with him. We used it once in three days. Ron had the 28 1.4. If I wanted to pair it down to two lenses I would take the 17-55/85.

  12. We used our tripods a lot during the night scenes. Also early morning at the Jefferson was great. I would bring the equivalent of a 12 series Gitzo. There were times we would not use them, but there were times there was no way I'd be there without it. During the day we did not bring them, but at night they were very valuable.


    PS: Heck I even set mine up right in the lobby of the Hilton.

    Nikon D100 ,Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX
    0.77s f/8.0 at 12.0mm
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  13. Pete


    Jun 10, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Nice captures Geno, especially the Wall.
  14. Thanks Pete!

    But I have to tell you, Ron Reznick got down there a few minutes after I headed back up to the car, and even came up with a more stunning photo. He used the 28 1.4D on his D1H (which was the hot camera back then) and added in the SB-800 to light up the names, and he kept them out of focus so that the names could not be identified.

    I called him last night, and he uploaded the photo and gave me permission to link to it.

    It's interesting to note, we were there about 1/2hr apart, but just hanging out and being inspired by such a great photographer is a tremendous asset. it shows you how you start to think alike. Remember we were shooting together, but got to the memorial at different times, but came up with a similar concept.


    Courtesy of Ron Reznick (www.digital-images.net):
    D1H/28 1.4D
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  15. Pete


    Jun 10, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Actually Geno, I like them both. Each has a different look but capture the same feeling. Guess that answers Jeff's question about the 28/1.4. Here is one that I took with the bean bag on the hood of my truck.
    When are you going Jeff? This weekend is supposed to be rainy...
  16. Geno that shot is inspiring!
  17. Nice photo also!


  18. thanks!
  19. Next weekend. I'm hoping for better weather.
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