This lens is usually bought as a step-up lens from the kit lens with the entry-level digital SLR cameras from Nikon. I got one as well before my first trip to Öland because I was still waiting for my 18-200/3.5-5.6 lens to arrive in the mail. As it turned out I would have to wait for more than six months for that beauty so I had some time to use the 55-200 and get aquainted with it.
Photographing the Archipelago
A slow boat to the archipelago
There is a fantastic opportunity for you when in Stockholm to get some greate scenery, take one of the boats into the archipelago, there are several different companies that makes day-tours or similar that you may go on. Most of these boats will take you through the archipelago which is thought of being one of the most beautiful things you can see here in Stockholm.
There are mainly two companies you can check for taking you around the archipelago, one is ”Waxholmsbolaget” and the other is ”Strömma Kanalbolag”. The ship shown here is from Strömma. On the Internet you can find a plethora of information about these two lines, also in English, just follow the links.
There are mainly two types of cruises, one is the get there as as fast as possible and the other is we take it slow, enjoy. I prefer the slow cruises and to have dinner on the ship as well as a great opportunity to view the archipelago.
- Wide-Medium lens 18-70mm (24-105)
- Telephoto lens 70-200mm (135-300)
- Hot-shote flash
- Cleaning equipment for lenses
For equipment I would recommend to get both a wide-angle and a telephoto lens. There are lots of beautiful scenery that does the wide angle justice but at the same time you may want to reach out with a telephoto lens and get the shot from far away, there are hundreds and thousands of small islands that you may enjoy through the telephoto lens. Focal lengths should probably be about 18-70mm for your wide angle (DX camera body) and 24-50mm for the full frame camera. The telephoto should probably range 70-300mm in an idea situation although DX cameras may get away nicely with a 200 mm.
If you can not pack two lenses, go for a superzzom, something like 18-200mm and use that extensively. Normals and fixes lenses do have their uses but they are more difficult to use from the boat and better used when you are ashore again where you may use them as you would in any other situation.
Hot-shoe flash is not a bad idea at all, can be used to lighten shadows and for interior shot of the ship as well as good to fill in when taking shots of people for portraits.
Tripod while I almost always recommend bringing it is not very useful on the boat for shooting telephoto, the boat has a lot of vibrations from the engines and the rolling of the waves at sea does not help. However it may be quite useful for you when you are ashore again – though I think that for this kind of trip you might be better off without it.
Cleaning equipment is very much necessary, you may get brackish water sprays at sea and you need to get that off the lens before it dries in and form saline crystals that may scratch your lens badly when you polish it later. Wipe off the water, rinse with lens cleaning fluid and wipe that off as well.
Keep a standard platsig bag for you whole camera if the weather is bad or could become bad, you may want to shoot in the rain anywyay and always bring the towel.
Best places to go
It depends a lot on what you are looking for. My personal favourites are to go to Birka, the old viking city where you have a lot of things to see and photograph, Waxholm is another nice place to go to over the day and of course Fjäderholmarna and the ”Thousan Island Cruise” can be warmly recommended!
If you have more tips you are welcome to leave them as comments!