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Lens for cityscapes and skyscrapers


13 Dec 2013 3:10PM
Planning a trip to New York city and was wondering what would be the best lens (Canon mount) to bring to take images of skyscrapers.
Is the Canon 24mm enough or am I better off with the 10-22mm?
I don't own either but would rent one for the trip - so they choice is there!

I have a Tamron 18-270mm but thought it might be a good idea to get a 'specialist' lens specifically for the architecture.

Thoughts please.

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chris.maddock 13 3.4k United Kingdom
13 Dec 2013 3:18PM
It depends how far back you will be standing Tongue
13 Dec 2013 4:06PM
I guess mostly on a street in Manhattan looking up!
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
13 Dec 2013 4:25PM
It depends on what sort of images you want to take.
Judging by your other lenses I presume you have APS-C camera - you will get a lot of good architectural shows with the lens(es) you have. It is nice to get a whole skyscraper in the shot but how often? So if you see this as a one-off requirement then my preference would be to save the money and stay with the 18-270 (spend the money on visits to the top of skyscrapers etc for unusual views); but if you expect architecture or wide landscapes to be a common subject for the future it may make sense. Or buy a second hand 10-22 (or similar Sigma/Tamron alternative) and if you resell it you will lose little money. Another option is the 15-85 - a lens with superb quality and will give you that little more angle.
discreetphoton e2
10 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
13 Dec 2013 5:36PM
First visit? You're in for a shock. Most of the recognisable buildings are better shot from farther away and with a longer lens. Looking up from the street, you can walk right past the Empire State Building without recognising it, as the distinctive top can't be seen from outside the lobby! Don't worry too much about correcting distortion. There's not a lens in production that will get those sky scrapers in without some serious perspective.
Make a point of visiting "the Top of the Rock" (Rockefeller Centre). Best view (and viewing experience) to be had in Midtown. Brooklyn Bridge has great views as well as being an iconic landmark in its own right, and can be quite quiet on Sunday mornings.
PS. If you spend all your money before visiting B and H Photo, you'll kick yourself.
lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
13 Dec 2013 8:37PM
I find a 90mm (FF) or equivalent or so best for this kind of thing. Pick out the details that tell the story your way, otherwise, just buy the postcards.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
13 Dec 2013 11:10PM
Short telephoto or semi fish eye Smile
13 Dec 2013 11:43PM
not sure what a semi fish eye is. but would the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 fall in that category (for example?)
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
14 Dec 2013 12:03AM
Nick_w e2
7 4.1k 99 England
14 Dec 2013 7:23AM
I got This of the Empire State, with 16-35 on a full frame. So if your on a crop sensor, something like the Sigma 10-20 would be ideal.

That said I got similar results with a 24-120 which was a much better lens for the general sight seeing things. The height of the buildings in New York is something else, so you do have some leighway.

Edit: your 11-16 should be more than adequate.
14 Dec 2013 5:59PM

Quote:I got This of the Empire State, with 16-35 on a full frame. So if your on a crop sensor, something like the Sigma 10-20 would be ideal.

That said I got similar results with a 24-120 which was a much better lens for the general sight seeing things. The height of the buildings in New York is something else, so you do have some leighway.

Edit: your 11-16 should be more than adequate.



What a fantastic image! Thank you for this and your advise.
Snapster e2
2 133 England
14 Dec 2013 7:55PM
Do Empire State and Rockerfeller Centre, one during the day and the other at night.Wink

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