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Another ?-- lens for China/Tibet trip?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by cameranut, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. cameranut

    cameranut Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Mar 14, 2013
    Virginia Beach, Va
    Joe
    As a senior citizen about to take a one-time vacation trip to China and Tibet, I am having trouble deciding on which lens to take for my OM-D. [Sold my Nikon gear 5-6 yrs ago-- too big-too heavy-- and went M 4/3]. The trip is a small group [10-12] sightseeing vacation. I have maybe too many lens-- the Oly 9-18, Pana 20 1.7, Pana 12-35 2.8, and Pana 45-175.

    I have checked what ranges I often shoot. On other trips in the last few years [when I had the 9-18 and the Pana 14-140], about 70% of my "keepers" were between 12 and 40mm, with <10% at 9-12mm and 20% at 45-140mm. I then got the Pana 20 and loved the speed, quality, etc, so I just bought the Pana 12-35 for good speed/quality also.

    I will take the 20 and 12-35 for sure, but not sure about the others... want to travel light BUT hate to not have the correct "gun" when needed! Any opinions re what type of sighseeing pics I will most likely encounter and what lens to take/not take will be appreciated -- Tks !
     
  2. SteveG

    SteveG Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Apr 9, 2013
    NJ
    There's a lot of stuff you can't get close to in that region that has some great detail. I would recommend the 45-175 just in case you want the reach.
     
  3. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I went to Tibet in 2007 with a Canon A630 point and shoot with a 4x zoom. You want a fast standard/wide prime to shoot indoors and then the 12-35 and that should be enough for 90% or more of the shots you will take. You can MAKE a lot of great shots with shorter or longer, but most of the time you can get by without them. Ideally you could add the 45mm or 75mm prime (or the 35-100 zoom). I would leave the 45-175 at home. Personally, my shooting rarely calls for of long zooms, but it is also a slow mid grade lens so I would think its just extra weight. I went to a lot of Tibetan temples, and many are pretty dark. Natural light from small windows and butter lamps is all there is, so the faster the lens, the better.

    From what I have read, the Oly 9-18 is not as good as the 12-35 optically, so you have to decide if the 3mm wider angle is worth taking.
     
  4. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    12-35, 20, 45-175. It's no bigger than the 12-35 and is the best of the 150ish zooms IMO. Just watch out for that double imaging thingy. I don't get that on my EM5, though. Not sure what body you have. On an EM5, you might not need the 20, but it's small enough to put anywhere.
     
  5. cameranut

    cameranut Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Mar 14, 2013
    Virginia Beach, Va
    Joe
    Thks for your opinions on the subject! It does help to get outside comments on things--- I tend to get too close to things and sometimes [often?] do not think clearly....

    Juangrande-- I have the OM-D E-M5 [like yours I think]
     
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    X2 - I think tele is VERY under-represented on this board which seems to have a disproportionate number of UWA fans.

    The 12-35/2.8, 20/1.7, and 45-175 (or 45-200) are what I would take.

    If I was taking another lens, it would be the 8/3.5 fisheye
     
  7. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    There's only one "OMG" as was said in the King of the Jungle thread. black/silver option though
     
  8. tomas

    tomas Mu-43 Regular

    Get the 35-100

    Been to China 2x.

    Go with your 9-18, 20, 12-35 and get the 35-100.

    There isn't much wildlife in China beyond the coast. The air pollution is so bad that a real long telephoto won't get much use. If you have the OMD, the IS and the extensive ISO capacities marry well with the two Panasonic zooms for most shooting situations.

    Many venues are tight in China. If you have the $, get the 7-14 and leave the 9-18 home.

    If you want to travel really light go with just the 12-35 and the 35-100. With the OMD and those two lenses you won't need the extra low light capabilities of the 20 very often.

    I always bring two camera bodies and extra batteries and memory cards for any serious trip. My usual travel kit is 7-14, 12-35, 35-100, and the 25--all Panasonic. If I know I'll be shooting evening entertainment photos, I'll also bring the Olympus 75.

    I leave my 45-175 home unless I'll be shooting wildlife. I leave the 12, 45, 60 home unless I'll be doing a lot of low light or macro shooting. Typically on the tours I've been on, there's not a lot of time to keep changing primes. Nor do I like carrying a lot of lenses (or worrying about the ones left behind in the room safe.)

    I have a personal property insurance policy which covers my camera equipment in case of loss or damage so I will leave the 25 or the 7-14 behind in the room safe from time to time--but never the 12-25 or the 35-100--the lenses I use most of the time on a trip
     
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    think you answered your own question... the 9-18 doesn't warrant a place in the bag by your shooting preferences

    the 45-175 unless its a humungeous beast deserves a place and the focal length offers some useful tools for really focussing in on a subject... long lenses arent just for wildlife.

    I would see you use the 12-35 the most, switching sometimes to the 45-175 as the subject requires. The 20 is a no brainer for low light and more social photography where you dont want to intimidate folk

    enjoy your trip... I am currently doing a tokyo trip with only 17, 25 and 75 :)

    but everybody has their own style


    K
     
  10. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Lots of good advice so far. Me? I would take the 12-35 and the 20 and leave it at that. If you must have some telephoto ability you can toss the 45-175 in the bag as well. If you can afford it, the 35-100 may be the best there is in that focal region for micro four thirds right now. But, as others have said, the air pollution is bad enough in China to make a really long zoom superfulous - which also makes the f/2.8 pf the 35-100 even more useful.
     
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX

    Clearly you have only been to the big cities. The air pollution is not so bad if you get out of the cities, and even then, I find tele nice for isolating architectural details.

    Kind of off topic, but there is really no point to leaving things in the hotel safe. Who are you trying to keep from stealing your stuff? Housekeeping? You mean the people with the "master key" to your room safe? Management? You mean the people in and out of the main safe all day? The whole point of m43 is that it is smallER enough to bring it with you so you don't have to take that risk.

    I do agree that zooms > primes for travel photography.

    Hmm ... Need to upload some of my China photos ...
     
  12. tomas

    tomas Mu-43 Regular

    Smog in China

    I agree, a telephoto is great for isolating details. For the most part the 35-100 or the 75 will do that, unless you're after that one special roof guardian where you need an even longer lens, but is it worth lugging the 45-175 around for that?

    The 75 is a sweet lens and handles reasonable cropping well. I thought we were talking about the needs of a prosumer tourist who wants to take a compact kit, not a professional photographer.

    I also agree that smog is the greatest in the large population centers. The countryside away from large cities and Tibet is probably cleaner, I don't know, not been there in China. I do know that on flights from city to city in China, the smog is there, miles and miles away from the cities.

    I don't take my four lens kit everywhere all of the time on a trip, it depends on what I'll be shooting at the time. Security of one's possessions/money/etc is always an issue on trips. TC, your sarcasm simply suggests that you have not been ripped off--yet.
     
  13. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    The 45-175 is lighter than the 75 and smaller than the 35-100. For a long zoom, it's tiny!