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Upcoming Smithsonian Visit
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Nov 26, 2021 08:45:47   #
BrHawkeye
 
The only one I can think of where a long lens might be even remotely likely to be useful is the Native American Museum, one of the newest Smithsonian museums on the mall. It has an open atrium with galleries on several levels semicircling it. Sometimes there are performances in the atrium that you might be tempted to take photos of from higher levels. That museum has the most interesting cafeteria in my view of all the museums on the mall; the menu is food from the Americas, North, Central and South. You probably will want to take some photos from the balcony at the Air and Space Museum but an 85 lens would be fine for that. Overall, I think a 24-85 is the best lens. And I agree, no flash.

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Nov 26, 2021 08:51:47   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
A large aperture would be good, since there will be areas with less light.

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Nov 26, 2021 09:00:51   #
John Maher
 
EddieE wrote:
Planning on a trip to Washington DC and will be hitting some of the Smithsonian Museums (Flight, Space, and Natural History for sure), and I really want to take only one lens so I don't have to mess with carrying a lot of gear. I usually carry around my 28-300, but I also have a 24-85. Nikon D750, so I can crop if necessary, but do I need the extra reach?


Don't carry any sharp objects. I had a 2" pen knife and they went bonkers.

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Nov 26, 2021 09:10:01   #
BebuLamar
 
I was in Wahington DC in 2018. I did visit the Smithsonian but not all of it. They have several museums. I didn't need any lens longer than the 24-85mm I had. I didn't use the flash. The light was decent. Long lens you would have problem with the light as it's indoor.

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Nov 26, 2021 09:35:05   #
BrHawkeye
 
spaceylb wrote:
Planning on a trip to Washington DC and will be hitting some of the Smithsonian Museums (Flight, Space, and Natural History for sure),


If you like air and space museums, you should consider also the National Air and Space Museum Annex near Dulles airport. It is bigger than the museum on the mall and is crammed full of fascinating stuff.

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Nov 26, 2021 09:57:21   #
JBRIII
 
Depending on which museums you visit, most on mall, but A&S out at Dullies airport for big craft and on mall, the objects of interest can vary from a stamp to A11 jet, in otherwords, small behind glass to huge out in the open, A11, space shuttle, Enola Gay. You could easily spend more than a week on the mall alone.

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Nov 26, 2021 09:57:44   #
EddieE Loc: Dallas, TX
 
nimbushopper wrote:
https://flightaware.com/squawks/view/1/7_days/popular_new/87023/The_Smithsonian_Air_and_Space_Museum_will_close_for_at_least_six_months_in_2022


Thanks for the info. Fortunately, I'm going in December.

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Nov 26, 2021 10:06:53   #
JBRIII
 
EddieE wrote:
Thanks for the info. Fortunately, I'm going in December.


Sister in law said it is the one out at Dullies with the big stuff, don't know if that is correct, but there are two A&S museums, one in DC and one near airport.

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Nov 26, 2021 10:59:25   #
bobmcculloch Loc: NYC, NY
 
EddieE wrote:
Planning on a trip to Washington DC and will be hitting some of the Smithsonian Museums (Flight, Space, and Natural History for sure), and I really want to take only one lens so I don't have to mess with carrying a lot of gear. I usually carry around my 28-300, but I also have a 24-85. Nikon D750, so I can crop if necessary, but do I need the extra reach?


I'd take the 24-85 (In my case 10-18 on T8i), there are 2 flight museums, try to get to the one out by Reston, IMHO it's the better,

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Nov 26, 2021 11:03:32   #
bobmcculloch Loc: NYC, NY
 
EddieE wrote:
Planning on a trip to Washington DC and will be hitting some of the Smithsonian Museums (Flight, Space, and Natural History for sure), and I really want to take only one lens so I don't have to mess with carrying a lot of gear. I usually carry around my 28-300, but I also have a 24-85. Nikon D750, so I can crop if necessary, but do I need the extra reach?


An aside and possibly another stop, US Army Museum, a few minutes south on 95, very interesting and well done, I didn't end up shooting anything there but great visit with our oldest grandson. free admission and free parking, timed entrances.

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Nov 26, 2021 11:39:43   #
par4fore Loc: Bay Shore N.Y.
 
EddieE wrote:
Planning on a trip to Washington DC and will be hitting some of the Smithsonian Museums (Flight, Space, and Natural History for sure), and I really want to take only one lens so I don't have to mess with carrying a lot of gear. I usually carry around my 28-300, but I also have a 24-85. Nikon D750, so I can crop if necessary, but do I need the extra reach?


Just got back, 24-85! You need the 24mm end more than anything.

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Nov 26, 2021 13:29:56   #
sb Loc: Florida's East Coast
 
Be sure and check the schedules. Many of the museums are only open 3 or 4 days per week. Enjoy!

http://www.si.edu/museums

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Nov 26, 2021 13:50:27   #
JBRIII
 
I checked and it is the one on the mall that is closing. One wing from March to fall, then other wing until 2025.

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Nov 26, 2021 15:10:13   #
cbtsam Loc: Monkton, MD
 
EddieE wrote:
Planning on a trip to Washington DC and will be hitting some of the Smithsonian Museums (Flight, Space, and Natural History for sure), and I really want to take only one lens so I don't have to mess with carrying a lot of gear. I usually carry around my 28-300, but I also have a 24-85. Nikon D750, so I can crop if necessary, but do I need the extra reach?


I imagine the 24-85 will cover most of everything inside any of the museums on the mall, which include several Smithsonian buildings and the two National Gallery of Art buildings, and at the very least the great majority of everything else you might want to shoot. There's also the US Botanic Garden just east of the southeast corner of the mall, across a street or two, with a lovely and huge greenhouse ... if it is open.

About four blocks north (and slightly up hill) of the mall - between 7th & 9th Streets NW - you could visit the Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum which have been joined into essentially one building by a covered atrium. They usually have one or more photo exhibits at any given time, and other items of interest as well, not to mention several lovely restaurants in the area.

If it is the sort of thing you find interesting, I'd suggest you try some architectural studies of some of the buildings from the outside as well as the inside. I have found the American Indian Museum, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, and the Hirschhorn Museum pretty interesting, and, while I haven't shot the African American History and Culture Museum yet, it looks pretty interesting architecturally as well.

If you're going in warmer weather, there are some lovely gardens behind the Smithsonian Castle (which houses the Visitor Center), between the Arts and Industries building and the Hirschhorn, and some other spots on the mall. And there are two sculpture gardens on the mall, one in front of the Hirschhorn Museum, and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden directly across the mall from the Hirschhorn.

I've spent many an hour shooting and enjoying the contents of the exhibits, the buildings, and the gardens, and every time I go back, I am sucked into it all over again. I don't think you can miss having a spectacular time. Just be sure to take several memory cards!

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Nov 26, 2021 18:00:09   #
williejoha
 
24-85 for museum. You will be quite close to objects so you need all the wide angle you can get. IMHO
WJH

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