First time to Europe

littlewildcat

EOS M50
Aug 17, 2012
35
0
I know it is an annoying question but I just couldn't figure out what to choose for my forthcoming trip.

I am going to Amsterdam, Paris and Iceland for two weeks in late August.

I have a 7D2 with some EFS lenses 10-18mm, 55-250mm STM and Sigma 17 50 2.8. Plus the two Canon pancake lenses and the 50 1.8 STM.

I can also use my bro's 6D and his 17 40 and 24 105. (He bought a Sony A7 III recently and he can lend me his Canon gears with no complaint)

My own gears cover UWA to 400mm equivalent range. The 7D2 is slightly better weather-seal. Lenses are light-weight and they are quite sharp. I might just carry the two EFS lenses and bring the 24mm pancake as walk around. (Sigma is a bit heavy if I have to carry all of the lenses so I might skip it)

6D is better for lower noise but the lenses are relatively heavy and they won't cover the longer end. (I found that 6D creates better IQ than my 7D2.) Is 24mm of the zoom on a FF body wide enough for most shooting in Europe ? I can just add a 50 1.8STM for low light. Then it will be just one camera and 2 lenses to carry.

I have seen a post here may be years ago. Somebody just carried a 6D and 40 pancake to Italy (?) and the pictures are gorgeous. I might consider the same (or just the 24mm pancake on 7D2) if I have to travel really really light.

I shoot mainly stills and I can do some panorama stitches. But UWA will have some special effects.

Please share your experience.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,150
562
I would take 6D and both FF zooms, unless you really need a telezoom.

In my experience, 24 is the most used focal range for vacation shooting in cities, but sometimes you want something much wider than that ("zooming" with feet doesn't help on narrow streets). In the mountains, 24 is quite often too long.

50/1.8... well, it weights just 160 grams, so you can add it as well if you are into bokeh shots in dark bars or whatever. It lacks IS, which makes it not that much better than 24-105 at 50 for general shooting.
 

Sharlin

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 26, 2015
979
436
Turku, Finland
The sealing on the 7D2 will probably come in handy in Iceland. That said, my 60D survived rain and waterfall spray without issue; I kept it inside my jacket during the worst parts. A dedicated rain cover might come in handy. I'd probably be frustrated without a wideangle that goes down to ~16-20mm equivalent, but wide is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to Icelandic landscapes. In many places going too wide just nets you a lot of mossy basalt plain in the foreground and lots of gray sky in the background, with a narrow strip of interesting landforms sandwiched between.
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,210
395
littlewildcat said:
I have seen a post here may be years ago. Somebody just carried a 6D and 40 pancake to Italy (?) and the pictures are gorgeous. I might consider the same (or just the 24mm pancake on 7D2) if I have to travel really really light.
And that encapsulates the issue - the photographs are dependent on your vision, not on the gear.
Europe is going through a heat wave at the moment but that could break any time and if it does then you may find the better low light performance of the 6D to be preferable to the 7D2. My choice from that extensive list of gear would be the 6D, 17-40 and 24-105, with the 24mm for really compact days out, but for my style of shooting the 24-105 would be on there a vast majority of the time.
You say you have the telephoto up to 400mm? If so my ideal kit would be 6D+24-105+70-200 f4LIS + 24mm prime.
 

edoorn

EOS 80D
Apr 1, 2016
196
92
i'll make it easy on you. Take the 6d and the 24-105 and you're done. Unless you really want to take ultra wide shots, then bring the 17-40 as well. But just this cam and 1 lens is nice and light (you're probably walking a lot, best ways to see cities and iceland screams 'hiking') and will get you most of the stuff you'll need.
 

denstore

EOS M50
May 4, 2018
35
5
50
Lund, Sweden
Bring the 50 with whatever zooms you decide on. If you are going to visit any museums/churches/castles/older buildings, the f/4zooms won’t be enough.
 

edoorn

EOS 80D
Apr 1, 2016
196
92
considering the 24-105 has IS, I think he might just be allright with that.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,150
562
denstore said:
Bring the 50 with whatever zooms you decide on. If you are going to visit any museums/churches/castles/older buildings, the f/4zooms won’t be enough.
Of course it depends on what exactly you are shooting, but for an average tourist in an average cathedral a 24-xx/4 IS will be much better than a 50/1.8 non-IS.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
725
93
If I was choosing from that gear the first things I'd put in my bag would be 6D + 24-105/4 IS + 50/1.8 (and a good camera strap!). I'd probably also throw in the 40 pancake too (it's a good little lens and it's so small it doesn't matter if you don't use it much). Add 17-40 if you like UWA. Of course, as others have already said, it comes down to what you want to shoot, not what other people would take!

FWIW, last time I was in Europe I was there for about 5 weeks and carried 6D + 24-70/4 IS + 70-200/4 IS + 35 Art. 24-70 was by far my most used lens, although the 35 Art got a reasonable amount of use too and I was very glad I took it. 70-200/4 IS got the least use by a fair margin (although it was nice to have on a few occasions).

PS - reason for the 6D over the 7DII is low light performance, which is useful inside cathedrals, etc, as well as for night shots (or even if it's just very dull and overcast).
 

meckley

EOS 5D Mk IV & M5
Aug 6, 2014
17
9
I go to Europe every fall with college students for ten days. We have been doing that for twenty-seven years. My wife and I have been over on vacation a few times. My first comment is on personal safety. Never put anything in your pockets that you wouldn't mind "donating" to a local pickpocket! I use a moneybelt for passport and large stores of cash. Rick Steves' website (https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/travel-accessories/security) has one I love to use. I also use the hidden pocket for quick access to cash and credit cards. I also use a neck wallet for my cell phone. Over the years I have lost a cell phone and a map. My students have lost cash, credit cards, and passports. My general rule is to keep at least a layer of clothing between anything important and a pickpocket!!

Not to scare you more, but there was a thread, with a video, a year or two ago about pickpockets taking lenses off of tourists. It was a eye-opening video. I now walk around with my hand resting on my lens!

Over the years I have always carried a camera on these trips; Canon AE-1, digital Rebels, 7D2, and now a M5. Since getting the M5, I have enjoyed traveling with the lowest amount of weight that I can. The M5 isn't my favorite camera, but I can have the M5 with three extra lenses and camera accessories for about the weight of the 7D2. The whole kit is generally compact.

When I went with the digital Rebels and the 7D2, I would have the EF-S 10-18 on in the cities and towns most of the time. For everything else, I used the EF 24-105. I also carried the EF 70-300 DO, but would only use it a couple of times.
 

edoorn

EOS 80D
Apr 1, 2016
196
92
I suppose that's always good advice, no matter which big city you are in the world - New York, Amsterdam, Cape Town, etc. Can imagine though Iceland is rather safe!
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,177
229
Davidson, NC
I travel light, and my DSLRs stay at home. I take a G7X II, and I find that I don't miss having anything above its 100mm equivalent. The 24mm equivalent end is usually wide enough, but I do occasionally stitch things together. My most extreme version of that was the shot of the bedroom in which Will Rogers was born. I took nine pictures from the doorway, making like a 3 x 3 grid. I posted the result here in some appropriate thread recently. But that is a rare situation, nothing like anything I've done in Europe. At that end, it is f/1.8, so fast enough for most situations.

Maybe in part because I'm used to that camera, around here I find the 24–105mm lens my general purpose all-around lens. The person who suggested you take a 6D and that lens alone was giving good advice. The IS will compensate for its being slower than f/1.8. For a second lens, throw in the 17–40. It's f/4 and not IS, so it might not be so useful in darker tight quarters. I cathedrals you might want to bracket exposures, taking one shot for the stained glass and one for some interior detail, like I did at St. Giles in Edinburgh:



Blown up in this thread the JPEG looks a little noisy, but that doesn't show up at normal size.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,452
2,608
The OP is going to travel with a 7DII, not FF. So, the 24-105 is not optimal - big, heavy and too long at the short end, with a field of view equivalent to 38mm on FF. A much better lens for crop is the 15-85mm, which has excellent IQ and has a field of view equivalent to 24mm.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
725
93
AlanF said:
The OP is going to travel with a 7DII, not FF. So, the 24-105 is not optimal - big, heavy and too long at the short end, with a field of view equivalent to 38mm on FF. A much better lens for crop is the 15-85mm, which has excellent IQ and has a field of view equivalent to 24mm.
OP's camera is a 7DII but OP says taking a 6D is a possibility (borrowed from the OP's brother). I think everyone recommending the 24-105 is also recommending the OP take the 6D.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,452
2,608
jd7 said:
AlanF said:
The OP is going to travel with a 7DII, not FF. So, the 24-105 is not optimal - big, heavy and too long at the short end, with a field of view equivalent to 38mm on FF. A much better lens for crop is the 15-85mm, which has excellent IQ and has a field of view equivalent to 24mm.
OP's camera is a 7DII but OP says taking a 6D is a possibility (borrowed from the OP's brother). I think everyone recommending the 24-105 is also recommending the OP take the 6D.
You are correct, but he does have a choice of the two. He has a 10-18 to go with the 7DII, which is very useful. A 10-18 + 15-85mm would cover most things.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
725
93
AlanF said:
jd7 said:
AlanF said:
The OP is going to travel with a 7DII, not FF. So, the 24-105 is not optimal - big, heavy and too long at the short end, with a field of view equivalent to 38mm on FF. A much better lens for crop is the 15-85mm, which has excellent IQ and has a field of view equivalent to 24mm.
OP's camera is a 7DII but OP says taking a 6D is a possibility (borrowed from the OP's brother). I think everyone recommending the 24-105 is also recommending the OP take the 6D.
You are correct, but he does have a choice of the two. He has a 10-18 to go with the 7DII, which is very useful. A 10-18 + 15-85mm would cover most things.
Agreed - although the OP mentions a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS rather than a 15-85, so it seems like it would be 7DII + 10-18 + 17-50. There would be nothing wrong with that kit either, although I'd still recommend the 6D myself. The OP has access to a similar lens kit (24-105 and 17-40) for it so my thinking is that for a trip to see the sights in Europe, the low light performance of the 6D would be more helpful than the AF of the 7DII (although obviously it comes down to what the OP wants to shoot).
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,452
2,608
jd7 said:
AlanF said:
jd7 said:
AlanF said:
The OP is going to travel with a 7DII, not FF. So, the 24-105 is not optimal - big, heavy and too long at the short end, with a field of view equivalent to 38mm on FF. A much better lens for crop is the 15-85mm, which has excellent IQ and has a field of view equivalent to 24mm.
OP's camera is a 7DII but OP says taking a 6D is a possibility (borrowed from the OP's brother). I think everyone recommending the 24-105 is also recommending the OP take the 6D.
You are correct, but he does have a choice of the two. He has a 10-18 to go with the 7DII, which is very useful. A 10-18 + 15-85mm would cover most things.
Agreed - although the OP mentions a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS rather than a 15-85, so it seems like it would be 7DII + 10-18 + 17-50. There would be nothing wrong with that kit either, although I'd still recommend the 6D myself. The OP has access to a similar lens kit (24-105 and 17-40) for it so my thinking is that for a trip to see the sights in Europe, the low light performance of the 6D would be more helpful than the AF of the 7DII (although obviously it comes down to what the OP wants to shoot).
Very true. As I usually travel with a 100-400mm for birds, I am somewhat biased! However, I must admit that the smaller options are more tempting when on a vacation for mainly site seeing, culture and panoramas - M5/M6/M50 + 11-22mm + longer.
 

docsmith

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 17, 2010
854
235
I would recommend slowing down and thinking about what you are going to shoot. For length, I can only think of birds in Iceland. But, if getting a great shot of a puffin is on your list, then hey, you need some length.

I typically travel to Europe once or twice a year. My 24-70 II pretty much lives on my 5D III/IV. I occasionally go wider and occasionally go for reach, but a couple of trips I did look at my usage and the 24-70 II was 80-90% of the shots. Low light in churches or street photography in evenings is a big plus.


So, if it was me, I would borrow the 6D and the 24-105 II and use that as a primary combination. You could bring wider or longer, but only if you can think of specific needs.


It has taken awhile for me to come around to this when I travel, but whatever gear you take, you will get shots to document and remember the experience. Having quality gear will help you have quality pictures. Having quantity of gear will not necessarily allow for better pictures. In fact, it can get in the way. So, travel with a few good pieces of gear. Know you might miss a shot or two, but you will still come back with plenty of pictures that will help you remember the trip and enjoy!
 

mrzero

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
314
1
Chicago
I am a big fan of the 6D (I have one), but I recommend you stick with your own gear for this. You have developed a good all around kit, you are familiar with it, and you will feel more comfortable carrying it and thus take more and better pictures with it.

If you want to roll light, take just the 10-18, the 24mm pancake, and the 50. This will give you a relatively light on-camera setup with two small lenses on hand, easy to stash in a pocket instead of a bag. If you have the bag space, toss in the 55-250 (might be fun in Iceland, I've never been). If you want to roll easy, take just the 17-50 and maybe the 55-250, and skip the lens changing.

After you've picked your combination, figure out how you want to carry it. Make sure your bag and strap plan is perfect before you go. Carrying an obvious camera bag is not a good plan. Consider getting a padded insert that you can put in your daypack or backpack. Swap out the big CANON neckstrap for a plain padded or neoprene strap, or possibly a Blackrapid style strap if you are planning the one-lens route. You want to be able to keep your camera out for taking pictures. You don't want to have to dig it out of a bag every time you want it, and you don't want to be changing lenses all the time (although swapping the little ones is fairly easy).
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,092
1,571
Canada
Sharlin said:
The sealing on the 7D2 will probably come in handy in Iceland. That said, my 60D survived rain and waterfall spray without issue; I kept it inside my jacket during the worst parts. A dedicated rain cover might come in handy. I'd probably be frustrated without a wideangle that goes down to ~16-20mm equivalent, but wide is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to Icelandic landscapes. In many places going too wide just nets you a lot of mossy basalt plain in the foreground and lots of gray sky in the background, with a narrow strip of interesting landforms sandwiched between.

The 60D was a very well sealed camera. It was rumoured to be better sealed than the 5D2!