Travelling light - zoom or prime

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David
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#1
Off to LIsbon on holiday and I only want to take one lens (on Nikon crop). Can’t decide whether to take my 18-105 (not great I know but serviceable) or my 35mm 1.8G and challenge myself a little. I used to manage with a 50mm prime years ago without thinking about it, mainly because it was all I had. What do you think? I like photographing cityscapes, scenery and my family.
 
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Tony
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#3
Off to LIsbon on holiday and I only want to take one lens (on Nikon crop). Can’t decide whether to take my 18-105 (not great I know but serviceable) or my 35mm 1.8G and challenge myself a little. I used to manage with a 50mm prime years ago without thinking about it, mainly because it was all I had. What do you think? I like photographing cityscapes, scenery and my family.
Take both. You say only _want_ to take one. I don't know how often you go on holiday, but if you've got the weight allowance, take both. Put the 35mm on the camera and after a couple of days if you're not feeling it, switch.
 
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James
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#4
neither are exactly heavy, 105 on the camera, 35 in a pocket. Id not go on holiday and regret not being able to get that image because you don't have the lens
 
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Raymond
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#5
neither are exactly heavy, 105 on the camera, 35 in a pocket. Id not go on holiday and regret not being able to get that image because you don't have the lens
Horses for courses.

I have long since let that feeling go, when I am going on a trip by myself, I have learn not to be upset or regret not having a lens. Learn how to make the best of what you got instead.

It makes one a better photographer I think.
 
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Raymond
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#7
Long post

I know it is good and I have been guilty of this too, to take as much gear as you can. I sent to Japan with 35/50/85 primes too thinking I will miss some shots and in the end as I suspect like I always do, I took 7600 shots on my 35mm and 200 each on the 50/85. I should have just taken my 35mm.

In the past I use holidays as a testing ground for my new lenses, whatever I just got, I would just take that, make the most of of it, be it a 35mm, 50mm, 45 Tilt Shift. There is no better time to use a piece of gear non-stop but without pressure. Just go for it, you learn the limit of you, the lens and you pick up what situation it is good for, what situation it isn't good for, it improves your improvisation skills and you come away with the best images you can achieve with that lens. Because the situation forces you to work your hardest if you really want to photograph something, you will work at it, so inadvertently you end up with an better thought through image, a better image than just point at something with a zoom. Using a prime forces you to think.

Learn to let go, this will make you learn what you can take instead with what you have and you will come away with better images and as a better photographer.
 
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Tony
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#9
Learn to let go, this will make you learn what you can take instead with what you have and you will come away with better images and as a better photographer.
Everyone's different. That approach works for a few / some / many / however many, but it does not work for all. There is no one true way. There is no way of improving your photography that works for everyone. People experience life differently.
 
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#11
Everyone's different. That approach works for a few / some / many / however many, but it does not work for all. There is no one true way. There is no way of improving your photography that works for everyone. People experience life differently.
The concept is simple, the concept is Practice makes Perfect; practice more with 1 lens (a prime in particular) makes you better with that lens.

That works with everyone, anyone, unless you think some people learn better and more of a lens by using it less?
 
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Riz
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#12
I’m going on holiday later this year to Dubai but going to try and restrict myself to 2-3 lenses on the Sony A7 III. Having already visited in the past, back then I took the Sony A7, Zeiss 24-70mm f4, Sony 70-200mm f4 G and the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 if memory serves me right.

Not sure what else I should take this time around .....

Zeiss 35mm f2.8
Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM
Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM
Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM
Sony 1.4x TC

The Zeiss 35mm f2.8 and 55mm f1.8 seem likely candidates due to their size and weight.
Now the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 is a big and heavy piece of glass so most likely to leave that at home....

I guess what I really need is a Olympus M4/3 system with the two pro zoom lenses and a prime! Lol
 
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DoctorJ
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David
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#15
Constraints promote creativity.
This is kind of my thinking. As I said, when I first started taking photographs (with my Zenit E and OM10) I only had a 50mm prime and never thought about it. Packing today so I will see if I have a little corner for a spare lens just in case, otherwise it will just be the 35mm.
 
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Alan
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#17
I guess what I really need is a Olympus M4/3 system with the two pro zoom lenses and a prime! Lol
I've been impressed with the image quality possible with the more recent MFT cameras and the lenses are compact and good. I'm not a great user of zooms but I've been impressed with the Panny 12-35mm f2.8 and I'm sure the similar Oly 12-40mm f2.8 is as good or maybe better. These very good lenses are good from wide open and allow shooting between FF equivalent apertures of f5.6-f10 or so which is just about where I'd probably be with a FF zoom helping to keep the shutter speed up or the ISO down and also giving scope for shallower depth of field. I think that these latter MFT cameras coupled with good lenses really do deserve a look.

Actually another zoom I've been impressed with is the tiny prime sized but long named Panny G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH MEGA O.I.S as it is tiny (so small they couldn't fit its name on it :D) and sharp from wide open, it's only f3.5-5.6 though.

One compact mid range zoom and a f1.8 prime would cover 99% for me :D
 
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Ken
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#18
I'm travelling light with a D600, 24 and 85.
...and the F4 :)
 
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Raymond
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#19
This is kind of my thinking. As I said, when I first started taking photographs (with my Zenit E and OM10) I only had a 50mm prime and never thought about it. Packing today so I will see if I have a little corner for a spare lens just in case, otherwise it will just be the 35mm.
If that's your thinking then take the Prime.
 
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Rob
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#20
Ask yourself a question... What do you plan to do with the images once you get back? If you're going to make A3 size prints, then go for the 35mm if you think it's a better quality lens (and just how much better is it anyway??) If, like most of us here, you plan to just view them within your own family circle, put them up onto social media or have a few 8x10's made, why restrict yourself? Why not take the 18-105 and set the zoom range at 35mm for most of the time and see how you like it? My opinion (for what that's worth of course) is that cityscapes and landscapes are often best suited to a wide angle, some times the wider the better. My own 'holiday lens' is a Nikkor 24-120 f4 which I have found to be perfect for my needs.
Note: All above are based on the Nikon FX range. As you are shooting on DX you will need to convert to the full frame equivalents.

Have a great holiday
Rob
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#21
It's a family holiday by the sound of it in post #1. Take the zoom and accept the (slight) compromise in ultimate quality. Find a small corner in a case/bag/pocket for the 35mm if you like.

While it may seem noble to accept the challenge of shooting with a single prime, facing the ire of Mrs J. when you miss the little Js antics because they're too far away/close for the 35mm won't be worth it - save the nobility for a dedicated photography holiday.
 
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DoctorJ
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David
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#22
It's a family holiday by the sound of it in post #1. Take the zoom and accept the (slight) compromise in ultimate quality. Find a small corner in a case/bag/pocket for the 35mm if you like.

While it may seem noble to accept the challenge of shooting with a single prime, facing the ire of Mrs J. when you miss the little Js antics because they're too far away/close for the 35mm won't be worth it - save the nobility for a dedicated photography holiday.
Haha you have met Mrs J then! The memory of the fallout of my battery going flat the first time my daughter met Santa lives vividly still many years later...
 
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Ned
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#23
IME you end up shooting photos with what you have (ipso facto) and if you are a half decent tog then it will work out fine whatever you have.

Personally for travel I take a superzoom and a fast prime, which covers for pretty much everything and I’ve never been in a situation where that amount of kit can’t fit in even a Ryanair allowance. But everyone has their preference.

Edit: my 6000th post :)
 
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