Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/24

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Italy: Camera/lens advice
From: "Tom Schofield" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 18:34:47 -0800
References: <>

Having been in each of those cities (minus Pompei) last May, I feel that I
can speak to your question:

Go Wide!

Those narrow city streets in Florence, Siena, Venice cry out for the 21 or
even 15mm.  $400 or so for a used Heliar will be well spent, and fun.  35mm
is long, 50mm is telephoto.  A fast 50 and fast film are nice to have for
museums, cathedrals, etc.  I'd take the Leica with 35, 50 or 90 and get a
used Heliar.  What's the use having it if you can't enjoy it!?!  Take 100
and 800 speed films.  You'll want the quality for daytime shots, and more
speed than 200 for interiors (unless you want to invest in a Noctilux!).

Don't carry the Leica in plain view, not so much for security reasons, but
prices go up!  Really!  They know what a Leica is there, unlike in the US.
I like stretching the strap to its max, and putting it around my neck and
under the opposite arm, so it can be concealed under a jacket or
photo/travel vest.  But, be on the watch for young children (called gypsys)
who are pick pockets, especially the further south you go and in tourist
spots.  If you see any group of 2-5 youngsters ( Young - age10-15!), be on
your guard -- they can be bold and persistent.  I think they are more after
wallets and money than cameras, but I wouldn't set my camera down.  For
passports, money, credit cards, etc.  I purchased a little pouch that has a
small belt-loop strap with a steel wire through it.  I would put that
through the belt loop, then flip the pouch over, inside my pants, and I had
no problem -- nothing in my pocket to pick!  I would carry the cash I
thought I would need for the day in my shirt pocket, which buttoned.  For
cash, use your ATM card rather than travelers checks.  Pleanty of ATMs
there, and you get the best possible exchange rate that way.  Get a little
cash from your bank or AMEX to have on hand at arrival, so you don't have to
start off looking for an ATM -- just take advantage of them as you go along,
carrying only enough cash for your anticapated needs for the next few days.

I found the small gadget-bag sized tripod, like the Leia small tripod, or a
less costly alternative, to be indispensible, for night shots, interiors of
cathedrals, etc.  You may want to consider a vest to carry your equipment

Tom Schofield

In reply to: Message from "Peter A. Klein" <> ([Leica] Italy: Camera/lens advice)