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50mm equivalent for travel?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jpcairns, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. jpcairns

    jpcairns Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Jul 21, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Joshua
    I was wondering what your take is on using a 50mm equivalent lens for travel.
    I am buying a NEX (I know I know... sorry everyone) and it will be my travel camera. The reason I ask is I either get the NEX-5N right now with the large 18-55mm lens and buy the 35mm f1.8 lens that is coming out, or I wait until January 2013 and get the new NEX-5R that will come with the collapsible 16-50mm lens. Size matters as I will be bringing these with me on all future travels, and the 35mm f1.8 lens looks great (~52mm equivalent). The NEX-5N + 35mm f1.8 will end up being close to the price of the NEX-5R + 16-50mm collapsible.

    In summary, is a 50mm equivalent lens suitable for travel or is something wider preferable? I can't help but think more of a 35mm equivalent being more appropriate.
     
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Depends what you're going for. Unless you are used to and comfortable shooting with a prime, I would suggest against. Primes are good for capturing a particular perspective (e.g. wide, normal, etc). But when traveling, you usually are presented with a wide variety of different scenes, many of which do not lend themselves to a single perspective.

    DH
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Lucille Sanchez
    none of the above...

    rather....

    score the new Sony RX1........and call it a day...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I think this is a personal thing... I personally would find traveling with only a 50mm equivalent lens to be pretty tight and would prefer a 35mm equivalent, if I could take only one. But, isn't this the whole advantage of ILC camera systems, that you can take more than one lens? Especially in the case of m4/3, you could take the P14, P20 and O45 along with you and have stellar IQ in a small camera bag.

    You will probably get better NEX-specific advice over in TalkNEX. I have the 35/1.8 on order and I am expecting it to be good. I am not as confident in the 16-50 power zoom... expect it to be pretty compromised given the size.
     
  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    What about a PEN and the new 17mm Oly lenses that will be coming out?
     
  6. jpcairns

    jpcairns Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Jul 21, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Joshua
    I am actually waiting on the EPL5 to see that as an option. The ONLY thing holding me back from the oly's are their 30p framerate for video as being the only option. I enjoy doing video, and always try to make an effort doing good travel videos, and this is definitely a bit limiting. I enjoy 60p as well for slow motion. But the EPL5 does look tempting... and that 17mm lens when it comes out will surely be a perfect travel lens.
     
  7. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Aug 6, 2012
    Are you traveling alone? As a couple? As family with kids?
    Do you plan to maintain two systems (NEX and m43) when epl5 comes out?
     
  8. jpcairns

    jpcairns Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Jul 21, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Joshua
    Traveling as a couple - no kids. Maintain only one system. Need satisfactory video quality (NEX-5n or above for Sony, Olympus OMD-EM5 quality-equivalent or above for all other systems) and good photo quality with high dynamic range (as I do a lot of hiking/mountaineering - the GH2 failed horribly in this area). Budget is around $1000 max.

    Obviously as it's for travel, it has to be compact. Panasonics aren't really an option as I need image stabilization for video and I would like to use primes.
     
  9. jpcairns

    jpcairns Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Jul 21, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Joshua
    Obviously I'm torn between a huge mishmash of cameras. Nex-5n.... Nex-5R... OMD EM5... EPL5....

    Money of course is a factor between all these. The NEX gives me 24p and 60p, and great ISO performance. But I hate taking RAW photos for travel and OOC JPEG quality from olympus is hard to beat, as well as IBIS (although it looks like the EPL5 won't have the same 5-axis system as the OMD).
     
  10. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Sep 15, 2010
    I usually travel with PL25 and a zoom that has a wide end, and I find myself using both about 50/50.

    if you are traveling with a partner then i would more strongly suggest a wider lens with zoom since inevitably someone other than you would be handling the camera. One of my wife's favorite question is "how do I zoom?" ("It doesn't") followed closely by "how come it doesn't zoom?" ("I switched out the zoom lens") then by "why don't you put on the zoom lens?" ("Okay, okay")

    wider lens is also easier to take couple portraits with one arm.
     
  11. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Aug 6, 2012
    For me, I sold off my Nex-5N and moved to OM-D... and my 'good pics ratio' shot up through the roof. OMD's IBIS is a huge gamechanger... it gives steady-cam look on the videos and coupled with the fast AF, significantly increases the number of tack sharp pictures for me. Selection of lens is another huge win for m43, especially since I only use native AF lenses.

    If OM-D is an option for you, I'd really recommend you look into that (and try it!) than NEX-5.
     
  12. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Plus the OMD is weather resistant.
     
  13. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    I used a GX1 and PL25 for 85% of my NYC trip. I had the Panasonic 14mm that fit nicely into my shorts pocket. I think a 50mm equivalent is pretty nice for general purpose travel. Wish I had a ultra wide for that trip also but that's what I had to work with. The fast aperture was great for low-light shooting. Nowadays I would probably use the 12-35 for most everything and the PL25 for night. I think a wide-normal zoom is by far the most optimal.
     
  14. Based on the collapsible lens that Canon put in the G1X, I remain cautiously optimistic that it would be possible for Sony to come up with something similarly good with the 16-50. I suppose that we'll just have to wait and see.
     
  15. jpcairns

    jpcairns Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Jul 21, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Joshua
    From initial testing, apparently it appears to have better IQ than the 18-55 so at least it should be decent..

    I think this comes down to nex5n for 500 and tough out the 18-55 and watch for the future lenses, get the Omd for 1000, or wait for the nex5rl in January's which will be 900 after tax and come with the 16-50.
     
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    X2 - I travel internationally for work quite a lot, and as such, my "tourism" is mostly from the back seat of a car driving to one plant or another. In the rare instance I have some time to do actual tourism, I usually opt for a double decker bus tour so I can see as much as possible in as little time. I MUST have a zoom, as it is literally impossible to "zoom with your feet".

    My point is, it depends on what "kind" of tourist you are. Primes are fine for a "street" photographer with lots of latitude in where to stand to frame the shot, but not at all good if you don't have that option.