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I will be taking a 14 day cruise from Sydney to Sydney, around NZ in November/December this year. I've booked a veranda cabin on the port side, so will have land on "my" side of the ship. Plus I hope to do some photo-worthy excursions. Since I'll be flying from the US and have luggage to deal with, I'm trying to decide what camera equipment I should bring. I'll happily jettison other items for a variety of lenses, if it's worth bringing them along. What do those of you who see most of your vacation through a camera lens suggest? One mid-range lens, the long lens, the wide angle? All of the above?
***August 2014 - Voyage of the Midnight Sun - HAL Rotterdam (14)
December 2013 - Sunfarer Panama Canal - HAL Zuiderdam (11)
November 2012 - New Zealand Discovery - HAL Oosterdam (14)
August 2010 - Celtic Legends - HAL Westerdam (12)
September 2009 - Mediterranean - HAL Oosterdam (12)
October 2005 - Canada/New England - HAL Maasdam (8)
August 2004 - Alaska - HAL Ryndam (7)
July 2002 - Baltic Capitals - HAL Noordam (10)
We did the Auckland to Sydney run this past January. (You can see my review and the best of my photos here). When I travel (which we do a lot) I hate to be encumbered by a lot of gear. So when I got my first DSLR I had read about what David Pogue of the NYTimes called the "Magic Lens." It's a Nikor 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 that is about all I need. We traveled SE Asia through Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong and I was THRILLED with my results. Sure, it's a little fuzzy at the top end but I find I shoot most of my shots around 185 or so. And I love the fact that when I get off the ship I only take one lens.
I have a good friend who also cruises all the time and takes even more pics than I do. He used to carry a bag of lens everywhere he went but now he "gets it" and switched to about the same lens.
Speaking of switching, as our plane was landing in NZ I decided to shoot a few pics out my window (NZ is beautiful from above---especially the black sand beaches of the North coast) and as I took the 18-200 out of it's case, it broke. My fault totally. I tried to pull it out too fast. So there I was in Auckland with a lens that would later take only 5 days and less than $100 to repair but a ship leaving the next morning. And since I could not find the same exact lens I picked up a Tamron 18-270 f/3.5-5.6 and I love it. Now that my original Nikor is repaired, I will sell it and keep the Tamron.
To me being portable and not carrying around a ton of equipment is worth anything I might miss and the 18mm is plenty wide angle and the new 270 gives me almost a 300. Not to bad on my Nikon but I know they carry the same for Canon.
One last thing, on our sea days sailing along the NZ coast we were ALWAYS too far from shore to even see it, let alone take pictures of it. They sail at least 5 miles out so they can open the casinos and believe me, you can't shoot 5 miles. Especially in the weather at sea. You may however get some great shot if your cruise goes into the Sounds. See my shots of those.
Jim (DrKoob) Cruises Behind Us
8/2000 Alaska on HAL (old Westerdam)
3/2002 Mexico on Carnival (the cruise from and to hell)
Ultra wide angle would be a good idea to start with. That is one of the most common lenses I use on the ship and in ports. Telephoto also comes in handy.
The thing you have to decide is what type of lenses you operate and want to take. The really expensive high end professional lenses will tend not to have much of a zoom in order to reduce barrell distortion.
On my recent cruise I took Canon camera with Canon lenses EF17-40mm f4L, EF24-105mm f4L, EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L and a Sigma 10-20mm Lens.
I used all of them and they all came in handy. THe 100-400mm was brilliant for wildlife and in ports looking back on the ship and on the ship to shore. The most common one in ports was the 17-40mm lens.
I have opted for allot of L glass lenses as the image is so much more superior than a standard lens and with all my tests I made the change to pro lenses for pretty much all my photography.
Sutho…was that on a FF or crop body? I have the same lenses and figured taking the 24-105 (my "walkaround lens), and a 70-300 that I just got…both L's. No 'fast ones" though…am I going to miss that? I've got a 5D2, so figure I can rack up the ISO if needed inside. I'm bringing a 50D too though.
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Sept. 8, 2013 Viking Skadi 14 days River Cruise, Budapest to Amsterdam
March 30, 2013 Oosterdam NZ, AU, Pacific Island, HI to Seattle 37 days
April 27, 2012 Panama Canal Cruise, FL to San Diego on the Statendam 16 days (4* Mariners!!!!)
January 6, 2012 Veendam Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, including "drive by" of Antarctica (and side trip to Iguazu Falls) 18 days
May 13, 2011 Prinsendam Ft. Lauderdale to Amsterdam and Nordkapp 45 days
Aug. 19, 2010 Eurodam Amsterdam to NYC via North 18 days
Sept. 17, 2008 Zuiderdam Mediterranean 24 days
May 25, 2008 Volendam Alaska Southbound 7 days
May 16, 2008 Veendam Alaska Northbound 7 days
Aug. 3, 2005 Volendam Alaska Glacier Bay 7 days
Feb. 5, 2000 Ryndam Western Caribbean 7 days
Nov. 28, 1994 Maasdam Panama Canal 14 days
Feb. 2, 1994 Maasdam Western Caribbean 10 days