Which Lens Should I Take?


TPF Noob!
Sep 16, 2010
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Hello Everyone,

I joined the forum over a month ago, I have been doing more reading than posting. I'm a noob, so the information provided by the forum has been extremely helpful.

Anyhow...I'm about to embark on a 3 day vacation to Disneyland at the end of next week. I was curious as to which lens to bring on my trip. On the one hand I don't want to carry all my gear with me in the park, but I would hate to have one of those "I wish I brought my ____ lens with me". I currently have a Nikon D90 and the following lens:

Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF
Nikkor 18-105MM
Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D AF
Sigma 18-250 F3.5-6.3 DC OS
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116

I just received the 80-200mm a couple of days ago...you know how it goes when you get a new lens. You want to use it all the time. :lol:

I probably could get away with just using the Sigma, but I would be interested in the thoughts of my fellow forum members. A place like Disneyland has numerous possibilities as it relates to picture taking opportunities.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Well, if you only wanted to take 1 lens, I would take the Sigma 18-200mm. You get the widest range with that lens.

If you want to take 2 lens, I would also throw in the 50mm.

Have fun, we are going to Disneyland over Christmas... Can't wait!
I went to Disneyland and regretted carrying my big ass lens. I say bring the 50mm 1.4 and just have fun enjoy the day. I say this place is more for fun then photo ops just nice pics with your friends or family every so often for memories would be nice. If you got one I'd just bring a point and shoot. But thats just me. Most of the time you'll be stuck in line. I didn't have the time to try and get shots I wanted but if you do then bring what you can.

So I'd either bring the 50mm 1.4 because its small and light or the 18-105mm.
I would take a 18-105mm for general purpose/wide-angle and a 50mm for portraits, if I did want more quality images.
But if the problem is practicality a would take a 18-250mm if I didn't care much about sharpness/distortions and color...
Have fun!:lol:
im headed out there saturday for a week, im looking forward to some good pic taking possibillities. seems most people ive read just stick with bringing the lens that gives them the most flexibility and range. which in your case is probalby the sigma.
We were on holidays last month & I had 8 lenses with me, mostly not used. I found my 35-70 on most of the time due to it's versatility. My wife's camera had a 14-45 on all the time.

So I would recommend, like some others here, your 18-105. I think the longer zoom would be a hindrance in the crowds.

BTW, when I got home & looked @ my pics on the computer I was so disappointed in the image quality I bought another much sharper 35-70 for similar occasions.
Ya Disneyland/Disneyworld is a place to just enjoy yourself and your family. If you have one, I'd suggest just taking a good P&S to document the family time and forget about trying to get amazing shots while there. The Disney resorts are set up in a way that makes it nearly impossible to get a great artsy shot...enclosed areas with massive amounts of people and always things going on in the background.

Just take a small and compact camera and spend as much time as you can just enjoying your family.
Keep the suggestions coming folks...it's great to read the various perspectives as to which lens to select.

Thanks again for the responses!
i would go with the 50mm. great lens, compact and easy to carry around. i don't know that you are going to have a ton of great picture opportunities anyways unless that is the main reason you are going.
I live in FL and visit Disney World regularly. I would recommend the 18-105 as a walk around lens. You shouldn't need anything else. If you want to get some good landscape shots you could bring your 11-16 as well. As far as not being able to get good shots there, I would disagree. Just go to Flickr and search for Disney groups or go to the photography section of Disboards.
My take, after bringing my D300 to Disneyworld:

I was glad I had it, I prefer the control it offers over a P&S. I used a 17-50 zoom (2.8 to allow me more control over subject isolation and exposure).

I mainly used the 17-50 as most things were close to me. I brought a 50mm 1.4, but didn’t use it (preferred not to switch too much since with family and a 3 and 6 year old). They would have been okay with me stopping more to switch lenses and take pictures, but I really mostly kept the 17-50 on most of the time.

In Hollywood studios and animal kingdom I had my 70-200. That was nice for the stunt show. In Animal kingdom most things are close, and there was a Safari ride that it really wasn’t worth it to try and get pictures on. All the bouncing. But if you really want images, then I guess it’s worth it to try, but very bumpy ride and animals may end up on the opposite side from where you are anyway. (Don’t know if DisneyLAND has this, but thought I would post to benefit anyone that might be going to DisneyWORLD).

I also brought a speedlight. If you have one, I would bring it. I had many instances where I used it to help lift shadows, or shots indoors. With the camera in FP Sync (not sure yours has it) and a compatible speed light your options really open up.

So, I would bring the 18-250 if it has good IQ, and pack the 50 1.4 too for dinner shows or nighttime. If your bag allows, then the 80-200 for days you might be at attractions you REALLY want to capture. I would have been happy with an 18-250 if it had good IQ, I just had no light telephoto that reached to 200 so I used my 70-200 a couple times.

If the IQ is not satisfying on the 18-250 then I would bring the 18-105, that should be good for most things since much of what happens is within that range (if you are traveling with family).

If your not traveling with family, and/or you think you will have all the time you want to be creative then bring more lenses! I thought my Tokina 11-16 would make for a couple cool shots, but I never took the time to use it.
I would go with the 18-105... It gives you a nice range, but isn't overly large. You will get sick of lugging around a big lens pretty quickly there man.
i would also go with the 18-105, and a speedlite.

i took both my 18-55 and 55-200, and i kept the 18-55 on the whole time.
oh and my sb600 came in handy.
another thing is ive heard this time of year its not as crowded, and from some other disney photographers posts, if you are in the park for the extended hours. like from 9pm-12am they had some areas of the park all to themselves to shoot.

im going to just try and stick with my 18-55 during the day and then when the kid and wife are worn out im going to try to take my bag with me to get some night shots off by myself where im not holding them up or keeping them from having fun.

i was dissapointed when i found out how bumpy the safari ride was for most people and its almost not worth having your camera with you. i know disney was going for realism but when you have animals in that type of envirement but arn't able to get good photos of them thats kind of a letdown.
I'd suggest just taking a good P&S to document the family time...

the Disney resorts are set up in a way that makes it nearly impossible to get a great artsy shot...enclosed areas with massive amounts of people and always things going on in the background.

It really depends on your family. If you have a lot of little ones who are going to require you keep picking them up or have to watch every moment then Derek is correct... take a nice P&S.

If your going with teens or older children then the Nikkor 18-105MM would be my recommendation.

I shoot at Disneyland at least once a month and there are plenty of artsy shots that can be taken. You can work on just about any type of photography, accept studio I guess, at most Disney parks.

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