Venice trip

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 Post subject: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:24 am 
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I will soon be taking a trip to Venice and need to restrict my M240 kit to just two lenses from: 50mm f1.4 summilux, 50mm f2.5 summarit, 35mm f2 summicron, 28mm f2 summicron, 21mm f3.4 super elmar.

My gut feeling is to take the 35mm and 21mm but do members have any other suggestions based on their experiences of Venice.

Many thanks, john.


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 Post subject: Re: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:32 pm 
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Dear John:
Welcome. I went to Venice in 2012 with a Canon 5DMkII and a 24-70 mm zoom. Other than the occasional vaporetto, the only means of getting around in Venice is your own feet, and let me tell you: that Canon weighed a ton after just an hour of walking around. This experience was part of the reason I returned to Leica M-cameras.
Venice is a complex warren of narrow walkways, footbridges, and stairs, and no matter where you want to go, there's never a simple straight line to get there! Turn right, go up some steps, turn left and go 100 feet, go down some steps, go through a a narrow alley, go up some more stairs...you get the idea. Trips that would be 1/4 mile as the crow flies are a mile or more in Venice. I don't describe this to discourage you...in fact, the absence of cars, bicycles and skateboards is part of Venice's charm. But wear good walking shoes, and travel light!
If you plan to see the great art in Venice, you are going to want a fast, wide lens. Paintings (Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Bellini, Tiepolo...!!!) are either displayed in museums like the Accademia or the Museo Correr, or in the many churches of Venice. Either way, the conservationists have made sure the light levels are relatively low, and tripods are usually prohibited. Also, in the churches the paintings are usually displayed as altarpieces or in some other religious/architectural context which you may want to include in the photographs, and moving back is not always possible. The 50mm Summicron is fine for the museums, but the 35mm Summicron or 28mm Summicron would be better for the churches.
The wider lenses would also serve you well for exterior architectural shots and "street shooting." The walkways are often too narrow to move back from a building to get a good shot of its design. And to be sure, Venice is rich with renaissance, mannerist, and baroque structures. Both wide shots and close-ups of details are everywhere. As for street shots, the narrow walkways tend to compress the crowds into tight groups, except where they periodically open onto campos, or plazas, where you'll find outdoor cafes, buskers, assorted performers, etc. Even the fondamentes (walkways adjoining the canals) are relatively narrow.
If I was faced with your choices, I would keep the 28mm Summicron on the camera and bring the 50mm in a comfortable shoulder bag or fanny pack or whatever. Use the lenshoods...flare comes off the water as well as the sky. If I had only one lens to bring, it would be either the 35mm or 28mm Summicron. I don't recommend the 21mm because its too slow for use in dimly lit churches and museums.
Other wonderfully photogenic places are the colonnaded shops and cafes along the Piazza San Marco, the Doge's Palace, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco (with it's staggering collection of masterpieces by Tintoretto), and the dramatic Basilica de Santa Maria della Salute (gorgeous day or night, near or far). The centuries-old Pecheria (fish market) is also a great photo location, especially when the catch come in, early in the morning.
I hope this is helpful. Have a wonderful trip, and travel safely!
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:03 am 
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Very nice, John! That's sure to be an amazing trip.

James makes a lot of good points. I'd agree on the 50mm suggestion. It'll be nice for isolating subject matter and the fast speed will come in handy, especially in dimmer settings or at night. I'm also 28mm fan (especially that Cron!) and that would be my second choice - but probably my primary shooting lens.

The 21mm would be a great third choice (if you could possibly squeeze it in) for the tight areas of Venice. I wouldn't take it as a second lens only because the slower speed would leave you with one lens option when the light levels drop. Definitely more of a daytime lens.

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 Post subject: Re: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:09 pm 
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21 & 35. Carry a small tripod if it's too dim inside the churches and chapels. This is Venice after all, narrow alleys and pretty constricted spaces aside from the Piazza San Marco. You might find the 50 a wee bit long.

I'm partial to carrying around the Ricoh GR for 28, primarily to avoid swapping glass and introducing dust. A Ricoh and the 50 may work, though still convinced of the latter's limitations in a place like Venezia.

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 Post subject: Re: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:19 am 
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All, thank you for your thoughts. I'll post a note on how I get on later in the year.


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 Post subject: Re: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:57 am 
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To report that I enjoyed my mini trip to Venice, I would like to go again (but without the wife) to capture the street life and explore further off the tourist routes.

I have to confess that after considering the advice given I took a full frame Sony and 16-35mm zoom.

I was pleased with the results I obtained on my first Venice trip, some of which I posted to my flickr account, link below

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanepren ... 4148190482

Again many thanks for your advice


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 Post subject: Re: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:29 pm 
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John:
Great photographs! You really captured the feel of the town, and your sense of light and shadow is excellent. Looking through them, I felt like I was there! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Venice trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:22 pm 
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greene881 wrote:
I would like to go again (but without the wife) to capture the street life and explore further off the tourist routes.



Good luck with that.

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