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Bought an EPL5-Need Some Advice for a roadtrip

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Kenny, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Kenny

    Kenny Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    KL Malaysia
    Hello Everyone, Im a new member here who just bought an EPL5 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm(saw the landscape photo of Yosemite here and decided buy this lens) for $689 thanks to black friday! :biggrin:

    I also bought neoprene pouches for my lenses.

    This winter break my friends and I are going to a road trip. Basically our roadtrip consist of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.

    Im not from USA, Im currently doing undergrad here, so this could be a once in a lifetime trip.

    So before starting my journey, I want to be fully prepared in terms of equipments and knowledge of photography.

    Along the roadtrip, I'll be shooting:
    1. Environment potraits of my friends and I (day and night).
    2. Landscape of Yosemite(no hiking just using the public shuttle to go around) and all the cities.
    3. Fireworks (new year's eve at las vegas).
    4. Bars and concerts.
    5. Some sunset/sundown timelapse.
    6. Some video (day and night) just for fun.
    7. Long exposure at night

    Before this, I was using canon s100, but sold it because it has limitation in terms of changing lens and setting.

    So my questions are(links to the products are always welcome):
    1. What kind of lens should I add to my current kit?
    2. What kind of filter should I buy for the lenses?
    3. Suggestion for a small, cheap and capable tripod.
    4. Suggestion for a cheap useable remote for timelapse.
    5. Suggestion of an affordable small messenger bag (it's better if i could side-attach/fit a tripod in it, has rain cover, some room for small souvenirs). I also have a normal messenger bag, but there's no padding, no rain cover. Anyone has experience using camera padding with normal messenger bag is welcome to give idea.
    6. Is lens hood necessary?
    7. Third party battery suggestion.
    8. Any further advices are welcome.

    I've been saving for quite some time and I have usd1500 to spend(including camera). I dont mind going over it but this is my optimum budget. I also will be using this setup for my 3 years left in the usa, so below usd2000 is okay for me but let's hope it's not gonna happen, lol. (I might upgrade to the next pro-omd before leaving usa because the price in my country is ridiculous).

    Im so sorry for a very long post and I hope you guys can help. In return, I will be posting pictures after the road trip. THANK YOU SO MUCH IN ADVANCE! :smile:
  2. nylife

    nylife Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 20, 2012
    my 2 cents for what its worth

    1. Olympus 45mm f1.8, perfect lens for portrait work
    2. I personally dont use or like filters so i cant recomment it
    3. I use this and it works well Amazon.com: Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod: Camera & Photo

    4. Plenty on Ebay or consider TriggerTrap device/software
    5. Too many to list, sorry its very personal preference
    6. I like to use one i think it helps
  3. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Nice buy for $689. That leaves you $800?

    Pick up a pair of third party BLS1 off ebay for $10-14. Won't even count against that nut.

    You could use a brighter lens for the bars and concerts. I find the 45mm good for the latter. Use it in digital 2X mode if you must. I bought mine new for $329 from Korea via ebay, but cametaauctions has a refurb on ebay for the same price. Their regular site is sold out of refurbs. For the rest of the night scenes, consider the Panasonic 14mm, Sigma 19mm, and Panasonic 20mm.

    Cameta.com does have the WCON PO1 attachment for your 14-42 on stock for $69. Gives you around 11-12 mm. Could be fun for the vistas out West.
  4. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    1. What kind of lens should I add to my current kit?
    The classic is the pancake P20 1.7 that is very good for most of your needs.
    For UWA you can get the Rokinon 7.5 fish-eye which is very good but a bit tricky.

    2. What kind of filter should I buy for the lenses?
    The most basic are polarizer and ND for water falls you can get one that fits your larger lens and step down rings for the rest.

    3. Suggestion for a small, cheap and capable tripod.
    I use Slik Travel it is small and lite.

    4. Suggestion for a cheap useable remote for timelapse.
    Get on Ebay for 20$

    7. Third party battery suggestion. Ebay

    8. Any further advices are welcome.

    Learn the camera before you travel. And shoot in RAW.
  5. Kenny

    Kenny Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    KL Malaysia
    WCON P01 definitely a life saver! Will definitely buy that, thanks! Could you give me the link for the 45mm?
  6. rfortson

    rfortson Mu-43 Veteran

    I love the 45/1.8. It's an outstanding lens for the money.

    If you want to save a few coins, I'd go with the (much maligned) Oly 17mm f/2.8. Yeah, it's a cheap lens but it's tiny and given the high ISO capability of your camera, f/2.8 isn't that much of a problem.

    Other lenses to consider:
    Sigma 19mm f/2.8 - no experience, but I hear it's good and only $200
    Sigma 30mm f/2.8 - I have this and it's great for $200
    Panny 14mm f/2.5 - no experience but hear it's great, plus you can find it cheap on ebay

    For bags, I use a Crumpler $2M and $3M Home. Those are small for what you want, but you could go to the $5M or $6M Home as those are bigger. Well padded and durable.

    For a tripod, you could use a Gorillapod. Your gear isn't that heavy, plus the wrappable legs come in handy. For a "proper" travel tripod, I use a Benro Travel Angel. I never use a remote release as I just use the built-in timer if I need that. Though remotes should be really cheap.

    Really, with the 14-42 and 40-150 (and a third, fast(ish) prime), you'll be set for lenses and gear. Those lenses will give you great images especially if you're comparing to a P&S.
  7. tbyork2012

    tbyork2012 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 14, 2012
    Oxford, UK
    1) Get a fast prime (20/1.7, 25/1.4 or 45/1.8) to allow for low light shooting (i.e. indoors or dark venue).
    2) Normally a UV filter to protect the lens. I've bought circular polarisers before but never tended to use them. Variable ND filter could be a good investment if you intend to take landscape with water flow and need to slow the shutter speed down to make the water look 'misty'. I've been considering the Heliopan Variable ND filter but it is not cheap (more to allow me to shoot video at larger apertures outdoors to blur the background out).
    3) Consider the Velbon Ultra Maxi M or L which are both under 1kg weight, short enough when retracted in to fit in a camera bag, and quite sturdy (I've used it in the past with the Canon 7D+15-85mm lens+Canon flash).
    4) Search eBay. Personally I use the Pixel TW-282 which allows me to use the remote with Sony, Canon, Nikon and Olympus (just by buying the correct cable for attaching to your camera). It can be programmed for multiple shots, time lapse and even long exposures such as for astrophotography. It even can be used for wireless triggering.
    5) Lowe Pro Event Messenger 200 is certainly big enough. I personally use the Event Messenger 100 which can carry my OM-D with numerous lenses (and sometimes my modded E-PM1 to shoot IR or UV as well).
    6) Depends on the lens you use, but better to use if the lens does come with one. It may help with the contrast and flare control.
    8) If you intend to use the E-PL5 for some specific types of shoots, it may be worth experimenting with certain of the scene modes which Olympus created specially for certain occasions (includes beach/snow, fireworks, candle, sunset etc.) I've not had a chance to experiment myself with these modes, but I'm certainly going to try these when I get a chance. It is certainly worth getting to know your camera well to get the maximum out of it. Also may be worth getting a flash to do fill-in flash or for indoors (one that can do high speed sync and remote flash e.g. FL-36R, FL-600R).

  8. bigkidneys

    bigkidneys Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2010
    Pensacola, florida
    having had the Oly 17/2.8, I'd go with the Panny 14/2.5 for wide. Someone is selling one on here for $160. For discreteness and personally what I consider a do-all lens, I think the Panny 20/1.7 is a great lens and can do portraiture as well. The Oly 45 seems mostly good at portraiture and can be found between $320-350 which make it a little more expensive than the 20 and having two lens that close in focal length together may be somewhat redundant. This is what I would do:

    *Panny 14/2.5 for landscape
    *Oly 45 for portraiture type stuff (Panny 20 can do it somewhat)
    *ND filters to help shooting long exposures (can even get a 10 stop ND filter and use it during mid day for some great landscape cloud movement stuff) Would go with 49m filters as they are cheaper and most of the affordable M4/3 lenses that I've mentioned are 46mm so a step up ring from 46-49mm would make it all work.
    *Crumpler 5million dollar bag for $50 to put it all in.
    *You can get cheap remotes on amazon.com for time lapse or long exposure stuff
    *Not sure of the name but I have a small lightweight tripod I used for my Nex system that is great and only paid $50 and it's high quality and folds up into maybe 1.5ft.

    For a trip like this though, you could easily get away with the Panny 20 and 14 with what you have and the filters. The panny 20 is a do all lens for me and since it's so small makes it a bonus. If I buy an EPL5, I'll buy a 20 just to keep on it as I have the Panny Leica 25 now with my OM-D but it's rather large compared to the 20.
    panny 20/1.7 as the lens I would keep on most of the time
  9. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    I agree with all the posts about getting a fast prime lens first. For traveling to all those scenic spots an ultra wide lens like the Olympus 9-18mm takes awesome pictures. Unfortunately, even used, they are quite pricey and will use up most of your budget. :( 
  10. Kenny

    Kenny Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    KL Malaysia
    Im leaning more to 20 1.7 because Im more into environmental portrait where the viewer can see the background. The 45mm maybe in the future and it's too narrow if I want to take pictures of my friends in the bar.

    Should I buy 14 2.5 or Olympus wide angle converter for my 14-42? What's your take on this?
  11. bigkidneys

    bigkidneys Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2010
    Pensacola, florida
    I never liked the 14-42 kit lens. On something small like the EPL5, you can't go wrong with smaller lenses so if it were me, I would go with the 14/2.5. You can get away with landscape and even use it as a walkabout street shooting lens but for me, the 20 was perfect for that.
  12. Kenny

    Kenny Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    KL Malaysia
    I came across this link
    saying that the old pen series have some issues with 20mm 1.7 for low light focusing. So Im kinda hesitate now. It would be awesome if someone that has epl5, 20mm 1.7 and 14mm 2.5 to do some testing. Btw my camera is coming this friday, Im exicited! :biggrin:
  13. Kenny

    Kenny Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    KL Malaysia
    I have decided to buy this step up ring Amazon.com: Fotodiox Metal Step Up Ring, Anodized Black Metal 37mm-58mm, 37-58 mm: Camera & Photo. However, I have no luck on finding a cheap good 58mm nd filter. Most of the review on amazon said the filter will cause some softness or unwanted color production. I have never buy nd filter before because my canon s100 is built in with in camera nd filter.

    For timelapse and long exposure, Im considering this shutter remote http://www.amazon.com/NEEWER%C2%AE-Shutter-Release-Control-OLYMPUS/dp/B003LYLTFW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=20CA7K53ECBEH&coliid=I14DZ06OTV433O. However, Im really afraid of compatibility. Anyone has experience before?
  14. Leif

    Leif Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 28, 2012
    For ND and ND Grad filters I like the ones from HiTech. I'm just not sure how easy it is to get those in the US. Here in Germany I had to import them from an UK Shop. You can get a holder for them or just hold them with your hand in front of the lens if you shoot from a tripod.
    Camera Filters: Buy high quality camera filters from Formatt here

    Their quality is between Cokin and Lee. Better than cokin, but much cheaper than the very expensive (almost handmade) Lee Filers.

    And take enough batteries and SD Cards with you. I would prefer multiple small SD Cards (8 or 16 gb) over one big one. It's more secure if one gets an error, which happen rarely but still can happen. The E-PL5 works with the new BLS5 and the older BLS1 batteries.
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