I will be studying abroad in Italy next year for a whole semester and am looking to get a new lens for the trip.
I currently have the Canon XTi with an 18-55mm (no IS) and a 70-300mm (no IS). I would like to get something what i can use throughout my whole trip that will capture the beautiful insides of the buildings and the outside scenes too, but I don't want to spend more than $700. I know that I might have to get multiple lenses, but I am looking for some advice to see what the right one I should get is. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I would recommend a fast 50mm prime for the insides of those ristorantes and cathedrals. It would be both light and unobtrusinve and would give you low-light capability. I would also recommend one of the wider zoom lenses like perhaps the Sigma 12-24 for those Mediterranean beaches, the Dolomites, and the seven hill vista of Rome. It is not a fast lens, but I have heard about and seen some wonderful images produced by that lens.
If you want multiple lenses, trade the 18-55 for an 18-55 IS and add an ultrawide like a Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 or Tokina 12-24 f/4. The 50mm is a good lens, but with the crop factor it's too long shooting inside churches and museums. Between the IS and high ISO's the 18-55 would do better. Also the ultrawide can be used at slow shutter speeds and high ISO's indoors as well.
If you want one lens to travel light, the Sigma 18-250 OS HSM is a good choice. Between the OS and high ISO's it should do well in churches and museums. I've shot indoors w/o flash a lot with my Nikon 18-200 VR and it's done fine under very low light.
You seem to have what you need, but the 18 - 200 or 250 would be OK. Perhaps the wide angle mentioned -- any lens with 2.8 should be sufficient -- the fixed focal length wide aperture would be OK. Depends what you want to drag around.
And as far as beaches in Italy you may want to look at this and perhaps check out ones of Amalfi coast. By no means is the photos of Italian beaches intended to discourage; perhaps to encourage to see and visit some and then compare with USA. Have a great time
-- you didn't mention what part(s) of Italy -- although getting around by public transportation is not bad, especially if you use first class, otherwise you will be on Italian time shchedule which is whenever the feel like.
I was so excited when I hear Italy, if forgot this:
Last edited by Nearly; 12-05-2009 at 01:05 PM. Reason: add and corr
Bring a good P&S also. There will be times when you don't want to bring your big DSLR
Thanks for the replys so far! It is always helpful to hear for experienced photographers, such as yourselves.
Nearly- I will be mainly in Rome (about 10 mins outside center city), but I will be taking a couple trips to Florence and Vienna I am sure. I hope to do more traveling than that, but we will see what happens.
The prime lenses seem to be what everyone is recommending. What are your opinions between the 35mm and the 50mm? I am concerned about shooting in the low light churches and I know that I am going to need f/1.8, but I dont know what size. Comments?
If you are thinking 35 or 50, why not a zoom 18 or 28 to 105 or 18 or 28 to 125 region at F/2.8.
F/2.8 is plenty if you boost the ISO; even to 800 as long as you are not pushing and in too dark a place. Even in Saint Peter's Basilica you can use flash. Nothing in Sistine at all. The gardens are nice, but you can get lost without a guide.
If you have an opportunity to visit escavi (under St. Peters. The entrance is on the left going in at the guard shack. But, you will have to put in a request and it is upon invitation. If you are granted permission, you will be called and you must appear at the time. There you cannot take anything but yourself. If you have anyting you can leave it at an appointed place to the right of the entrance. But, it is best not to take anything.
By Vienna, Austria? Also, it is not too long to Venice from the Termini in Rome. Do visit the Catacombs and St. Paul's Basilica -- you will be surprised at the beauty and solitude - hardly anyone knows about it.
If you or you and a friend would like private guide in Venice or Driver in the Sorrento Amalfi area let me know PM.
As you can see, I do like Italy.