Italy With the 40mm Lens


Oct 20, 2012
Yardley, PA
So it finally happened - 3 days in Cinque Terre, 3 in Florence, 1 in Milan and 1 in Lake Como/Como/Bellagio.
Agonized for months on what gear to bring slowly going from crop sensor to Canon 6D and then ending up bringing the 40mm lens only.
Further agonizing brought me to the Fuji X-T20, but got cold feet as I was about to make that happen, bought a CPL for my 40mm lens and called it a day. On a side note - it was really sunny at times and am thinking that maybe a 6-stop ND filter might maybe be a good thing for bright sun. Gonna have to figure that out.
On another side note, there was an AWESOME photographer on our Lake Como tour (the only of our tours with the rest being by the seat of our pants without knowing what we were doing) who had the Fuji X-T20 and made quite a case. At a certain point my family asked if I was traveling with him or with them. I really did learn a lot from him.
The lesson learned (which I already pretty much knew) was that when traveling with the total-non-photography family it's important to not be bogged down by gear. Not one lens change (other than some minor filter fumbling) and very little disruption in the family vacation flow. The only incident was when atop the Michelangelo park in Florence getting the sunset shot overlooking the city I need another 15 minutes and they had had enough. Got some good ones nonetheless, but concluded that shoot with "You're a bunch of ****** losers." and then went for a lovely dinner.
I think that possibly the ultimate might be a fixed lens 35mm compact or 35mm equiv. Still not ruling out the Fuji, but not until finances aren't an issue at all. If that day comes then maybe a great system would be the 14mm, 27mm and 56mm lenses (with the 27 the staple, the 14 for interiors and the 56 for creativity).
Without further ado here's the first of what'll likely be my Dirty Dozen. It's overlooking Vernazza which is the 2nd (traveling south) of the 5 Cinque Terre villages along the Italian Riviera -


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Oct 20, 2012
Yardley, PA
Thank you, Sir. I'll slowly add the keepers (keeping it really minimal) to my Instagram (1 per day for a week or two) and Flickr sites (if you like). Just got 3 more going -



CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
Really nice shot Corey! Looking forward to seeing more.

If you enjoyed travelling with the 6D and 40/2.8, a similar option which I like even more is the 6D and 35/2 IS. The lens is a bit bigger and heavier than the 40 pancake but it's still quite small and light really, and you get an extra stop and IS. Very versatile when you're travelling. (I bought a Sigma 35 Art with the intention of selling my 35/2 IS but as much as I like the Sigma I am having trouble parting with the little Canon. One of them has to go though!)


EOS M6 Mark II
Jun 5, 2014
I also like the 35F2 IS for travel. I took it along with an ultrawide zoom on my last European vacation. Frankly, I would have been fine with only the 35, but there are always places where I like to have an ultrawide in Europe.
The photo makes me want to go back to Italy.


May 15, 2014
hbr said:
Wow! Great shot, Cory.


I agree, excellent shot!

For general vacation photography the 40mm is very solid, especially for shots of the fam, people, etc. It can be a little long though for landscapes, cityscapes. If you like the small kit, I'd recommend adding the Voightlander 20mm, it's almost as small as the 40mm pancake. I took the 6D + 35mm Art + 20mm Voightlander on my trip to California and the two lenses were a great pair. Otherwise if you go just one lens, a 35mm or even a 28mm would be my choice.

You seem to be following a very similar path to my own as I recall I believe you just added, picked up the 6D? Even upgrading from a 70D? In any case, after I had owned the 6D for a year or so (and after my photo buddy really pushing me to give it a shot) I dipped my twos into the Fuji system. For pure photography, it's tough to beat my Canon FF system and all the glass I've acquired. But for family vacations and quick outings where photography is 2nd, the Fuji system is a great travel system. Like you, there isn't always a ton of time for lens changes with the wife and kids, but the Fuji system is small enough that I can carry two bodies with complimentary primes in a small shoulder bag. I know the X-T2 and X-T20 are all the rage right now, but if you're on a budget, I'd really recommend looking at their last gen cameras, they are more than capable, especially for vacation/travel photography. I recently added the X-T10 to my kit for $400. Good way to test out the system and if it's for you, can always upgrade to the X-Trans III cameras down the road when the prices drop. Of course the lenses are a bit pricey (compared to Canon APS-C).

Enough rambling... :D

Again, great shot, look forward to seeing a few more!


Dec 17, 2013
One of the most underrated lenses when it comes to rendering colors. Love the fl as well, 50 is just too close.


EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Oct 18, 2011
Welcome to the pancake club Cory!

Italy is just about my favourite place to holiday, Rome, Garda, Amalfi Coast. Happy to use the 40 for most, when not wide enough or I can't step back or stitch I'll use the 24. I really enjoy doing panos and aps-c + 40 works really quite well for me.

Your observations about photography/family balance on holiday sounds very familiar! ;D. What I do is make a nice hardback book of photos that tell a story, my wife loves those ( and of course showing them off!) Now when we go on holiday surprise surprise I get a fair amount of leeway when sight seeing. ;)

Anyway enjoying your images of Bella Italia, Ciao!