Camera/lens combo for Disney...my choice and why

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Ken Rosenbaum, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. This post is about choice of camera and lens. I'm only sharing with
    others my choice for a specific purpose and hope for feedback if others
    think I could have chosen more wisely. I also wonder what others would use
    for similar purposes.
    Usually when I travel or spend considerable time at one destination, I
    find myself lamenting the fact that I invariably have brought along the
    "wrong" camera/lens combo for recording what I want to shoot.
    Now, for the first time, I can pat myself on the back for toting what I
    consider to be a very fine rig for the purpose intended. I am referring to
    the splendid Nikon N6006 body, along with the Nikon AF 24-50 f3.3-4.5 lens.
    I have many camera bodies and lenses to choose from in my arsenal, but
    walking for miles in the Magic Kingdom one day and Epcot the next day four
    months after open-heart surgery didn't appeal if I were to carry a shoulder
    bag with several lenses.
    So, the choice was made based on weight, quality of equipment, and
    functionality. Even though I was never before at Disney World, I realized in
    advance that the need for a telephoto was minimal and that wide angle was
    the way to go simply because of the grand scale of the area. The 24-50 AF
    lens is extremely high quality, in my experience, and the majority of the
    shots would be outdoors, so speed of the lens isn't an issue.
    Of course, there are several shots with my wife in the foreground or with
    Goofy, Captain Hook and other amenable personnel. That's where the great
    pop-up flash on the N6006 came in handy for fill. And for the few shots
    taken indoors. I used mostly 100 speed film both days.
    For backup, I wore a little leather fanny pack with an Olympus Stylus
    Epic, in case it was needed. The pack also held extra film, batteries and a
    lens cleaning cloth. The Stylus Epic was just the ticket to carry in the
    evening when we went out to eat and I just wanted something for indoor grab
    shots at the restaurants, but left the Nikon outfit in the room safe.
    I expected to find several photo ops at Disney where I wished I had
    brought a longer lens, but I used my legs as my zoom when needed. The
    tradeoff was just perfect, I think. Instead of the 24-50, I had considered
    my 28-85, 35-105 or even my 35-135. The 24-50 is the lightest of the bunch,
    and I really appreciated the 24mm length for the wider shots. I find a
    significant difference between 24 and 28.
    Only once did I wish I had brought along a 20mm also, when I tried to
    get all the castle and its reflection in the water around it into one frame.
    I had to crop off just a tad of the reflection because I couldn't back up
    any farther or the railing would be in the frame. The picture came out just
    fine anyway.
    I reminded myself that these photos are all for family vacation albums,
    with a couple enlargements for framing. I might have chosen differently if I
    was in desperate need of the highest quality possible for a client.
    I also considered a couple single focal length lenses, such as a 24/50/85
    kit, with the 50mm lens being the one for low-light work. Again, I dismissed
    that for not wanting to bother with constant lens changes and the very slim
    need for the 85. Also, the need for low-light work wasn't an issue. We
    hadn't planned on staying for the evening fireworks, and even with a fast
    lens a tripod would be ideal for that. I had no intention of carrying one of
    those, Wide-angle is the way to go at Disney.
    The only caveat in my 24-50 lens choice was that the popup flash on the
    N6006 only covers a 28mm range. No problem there, however, because I never
    used anything wider than 24 when I needed flash indoors, such as on the few
    people shots inside. When I used the flash to fill outdoors, the 24mm
    setting had no effect on flash coverage.
    I had not previously appreciated fully the N6006, thinking of it more as
    the poorer relative of my N8008s. To use the N8008s and fill capabilities, I
    would have needed to bring an SB-24 for auto fill flash, or even my little,
    trusty SB-15 used on TTL with manual readings outdoors. The little built-in
    flash of the N6006 was just perfect for the occasional fill work.
    Sorry for the rambling, but this is an equipment discussion group, and I
    hope to get some input from you folks regarding equipment choice for
    amusement parks such as Disney.
    What outfit would you use for carrying 8 to 10 hours a day, mostly in the
    hot sun? A little P&S with a zoom is a nice choice too, but I wanted the
    quality of a good lens, hence the Nikon 24-50. I'm sure a comparable Pentax,
    Canon or Minolta camera with built-in flash and a similar lens, if
    available, would work as well.
    I got the prints back last night and was positively ecstatic with the
    results on all five rolls I shot. I know some photogs gripe about the
    limited range of that 24-50, but for me it was just the ideal tool.
    Your thoughts?
    Ken
     
    Ken Rosenbaum, Sep 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. Ken Rosenbaum

    Ken Cashion Guest

    On Sun, 28 Sep 2003 09:53:45 -0400, "Ken Rosenbaum"

    It is commendable that you considered the application for your
    photography. Lots of folks don't.
    For your application, you were toting a lot more than
    necessary to satisfy your needs. Risk of damage or theft is always a
    consideration. A Yashica FX3 with a short (cheap) zoom lens would
    have been sufficient for 95% of your shooting and your audience
    wouldn't have been the wiser of your choice.
    You might have enjoyed a fill-flash but preplanning with the
    brilliance of the ground reflection could have eliminated that need
    with exception of a few places...as I recall. Again, your audience
    might not have missed a fill flash on some of the photos when you did
    use it.
    It is a big place and wide-angle lens makes big places
    look...well, "distant." I have enjoyed a 135mm at places like this
    because I can show detail in generally inaccessible places on the
    superb follies. The building details are part of the overall
    entertainment and aren't generally seen in vacation shots. Also, it
    is a people place and it is interesting what people wear and how they
    act...again, a 135mm lets me be a little bit discreet.
    Do you by any chance sell Nikons? :eek:)
    I would prefer a white camera and lens! And now I ask , "With
    all the talk of ergonomics and user-friendliness, are the
    manufacturers really so stupid that they think we are unaware of how
    bloody-hot black cameras and equipment get?" Even the aluminum
    colored ones get hot. There is probably more strain on the camera and
    innards from heat than from shock.
    This "black-thing" is true of other items we use in the sun.
    I have a soft, padded aluminized insulation bag and I slit the sides
    out and put velcro strips on it. For the long periods when the camera
    is not being used to take photos, that bag rest over the top of the
    camera. It gives it some physical protection as well. I generally do
    not have cases on cameras when shooting.
    When I want to take a photo, I literarly rip the bag from over
    the camera and cram it in a pocket and take my photos. When I think I
    am through for a while, I stick the bag back on the camera.
    When I have done the long-photo-day treks, I carry everything
    I own short of a tripod. That is what I am there for and to want a
    lens left in the car, when the car is three miles back on a lane
    somewhere, will teach one to be prepared.
    Is this stuff heavy? Yep. But I am a strong guy and I have
    already said that photography is the primary factor. I can rest after
    the photos.
    Ken, I am glad your shooting turned out well. You had good
    gear and its quality should be reflected in your photography.
    However, I think we should use cheap gear sometimes to make sure we
    are getting our money's worth from the nice gear.
    Yes, I have used good gear, too. :eek:)

    Cheers -- Ken
     
    Ken Cashion, Sep 28, 2003
    #2
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