We had a FAST 1 week 3 city trip to China (Beijing, XianHua via Guang Xao, Hong Kong). I thought’d I share what equipment I travelled and matching pictures.
First off… I am not a telephoto shooter. Previously, I brought only a 70-200 f/2.8 IS on trips (monster to travel with). In fact, that’s the only telephoto lens I own (next down is the 100mm macro). I pained trying to decide about picking up a 135L or 200L or 70-200 f/4 IS or even a cheap 70-200 f/4. I wanted a black lens and something that wouldn’t duplicate the 70-200 I already had that I do use for shoots and wouldn’t think about getting rid of. I got an early great deal on the new 100mm macro L so I snagged it and brought that. What a great lens!!! Lighter than my 24L. Small, compact. It makes some weird noises but I feel it is faster at focusing than my old 100 USM Macro. This is definitely my new travel telephoto. Beautiful bokeh. I am not sure if it is better than the old lens but the IS is well worth it and makes it a useful all purpose telephoto. My old 100 USM will be on the market soon.
I also brought the 50L & 24L for night shooting. And my trusty 16-35L mkI as an all purpose 80% of time lens. I brought my 5DII as a lightweight traveller (we probably walked 6-10 miles per day). And 1DIII as a backup… which never left my luggage.
The 5DII was great EXCEPT… did have some low-light outer focusing points struggles. No surprise there. Nothing detrimental. And as the Classic 5D, dust was a mess inside the viewfinder. Not TOO bad on the sensor but after day 2 on the Great Wall… there were several dust bunnies INSIDE the prism box… not accessible with a simple blower. Just annoying than anything. But the pictures were gorgeous and a pleasure to carry all day compared to all my previous trips with the 1DIII (this was the first outing with the 5DII. Definitely more inconspicuous too.
Usage was probably 80% 16-35L, 8% 50L, 8% 100L, 4% 24L. Did I regret bringing the fast primes? No… they got some great night shots I know I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to get. But I didn’t use my 24L as much as I thought I’d would since the high-ISO on the 5DII was just that good. I think my 1DIII is really good in the ISO realm too but I was shooting at ISO2500 with confidence which I never had the confidence to do with the 1DIII.
I did not bring a tripod. Night shots were all handheld or camera set on railings, trash cans etc.
Here are some picts (I am a vignetting freak so most of the vignetting here is added in post):
100L Vignetting added in post, ISO800
50L ISO200 @ f/1.2 (I took variations at different ISO and apertures… this, probably by chance, turned out the best)
100L Slight T&S effected added in post
See rest of picts here.