Lens suggestion for a Hawaii tour

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ig7, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    391
    Aug 24, 2011
    I am going on a 2 week group trip to Hawaii visiting all 4 islands. Debating if Pany 100-400 will be needed. I am also debating bringing Oly 25 1.2
    It is my first trip to Hawaii so I would appreciate the advise
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Are you interested in seeing wildlife at all? Hawaii has some spectacular ones. I'd take the PL100-400 for that, it can also get a bit wet in the tropics so weather resistance is useful.
     
  3. JDS

    JDS Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Nov 11, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm heading to Maui in April, my second trip to Hawaii but my first since returning to photography. I'm interested to hear responses as well. I was thinking O12-40 Pro, P45-175 and Rokinon 7.5fe and probably the P12-32 for around town, plus maybe the O25 f1.8 for a low light lens. Yes?
     
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  4. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    You appear to have a number of bodies, I'm guessing you're taking a Pen or GM as well? Otherwise I wouldn't bother with the 12-32 if you're already taking the 12-40...
     
  5. JDS

    JDS Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Nov 11, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    You are right- GM1 with the 12-32 is a great pocket camera.
     
  6. WhidbeyLVR

    WhidbeyLVR Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Feb 14, 2014
    Whidbey Island
    Lyle
    If you want photos of the humpback whales during their season (especially around Maui in winter), a long telephoto lens is a must, so take the 100-400.
     
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  7. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    Hawaii
    Stephen
    For your everyday walk-around lens,
    the 14-140/150 by either Lumix or Olympus is ideal.
    I live here and it's the lens I grab first.
    And I have a nearly complete asst. of high-end glass from both companies.
    It works for landscapes, both broad and intimate,
    works for close-ups - flowers and such,
    works for street, works for people / portraits,
    works for landmarks, etc.
    You'd need one or two fast primes for nighttime and dark interiors.
    And of course any specialty lenses,
    like a 100-400 for wildlife if you really are going after that.
    The 14-140 doesn't have the last degree of I.Q., it's not a "pro" lens,
    but it takes beautiful photographs and has very nice bokeh if used right.

    The reason I would recommend it over equivalent higher grade lenses
    is size, weight and convenience.
    Everyone is different,
    but while I love a photogenic new place to visit,
    I want to experience the place as well as photograph it.
    Especially if I am with someone else.
    The 14-140/150 is a lens you can throw on one camera
    and walk out the door knowing that given even halfway decent light
    you can get a quality photograph of most anything you will encounter that day.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Of course, if you're OCD about your photography,
    (not that there's anything wrong with that),
    you will have to bring the fastest, sharpest, longest and widest lenses you have.
    For those pristine perfect images and to be prepared for any possible situation.
    Unless your trip is really primarily a photo expedition, don't do it.
    You have to lug all that stuff around,
    you have to be ever vigilant about thieves,
    (yes, we have some here and they do target tourists -
    camera equipment is a favorite),
    and it will detract from your ability to just relax
    and enjoy our little piece of Paradise.

    Aloha!
     
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  8. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    391
    Aug 24, 2011
    spdavies, considering I will have free time on each island to explore, can you recommend places besides whale watching I can find a lot of birds/wildlife? Do we need the 25 1.2? Any situations you think that low light lens might be needed over Oly 12-40 or 12-100 that both JDS and I already bringing?
     
  9. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    964
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    Chris
    I would not worry about the 25/1.2. If you wanted a 25mm. the 25/1.8 is almost as sharp for f1.8 and above and you don't necessarily need f1.2 on your trip. Size and cost are issues here as well as dragging lenses around.

    For a beautiful spot like Hawaii, you want a wide lens. I am usually happy with 12mm at the wide end and will stitch panaromas when I need wider. I have the 7-14 Pan but rarely take it on a long trip because of the few times I actually need it.

    The little 12-32mm lens is a real gem that gets you a relatively sharp 12mm for landscapes in a tiny package.

    For longer range shots, you have to decide how much lens you want to carry. I use the 40-150 Oly or 100-300 Pan but realize there are many other options. These options are relatively light and cheap but may not be what you want. In general, I find the wide end, showing the location in context, more important than the long telephoto end in my travels. Your mileage may vary.

    From my lens group, I would travel with the Pan 12-35 for general use, the P20 for a small package for going out at night (dinner, etc), and the 40-150 f4-5.6 for some telephoto shots (decent for whale watching).
     
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  10. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Bring macro capability. There are going by to be many things you'll want macro shots of.
     
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  11. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I'm going to Maui in two weeks and will be bringing my EM5II, Panasonic 12-32mm, Panasonic 25mm f1.4 (low light general use), Panasonic 42.5mm f1.7 (portraits and semi-macro) and probably the Sigma 60mm (just because). I like that they all use the same polarizer with step-up rings. If I had an all-in-one zoom I would bring it and a fast prime, but I don't and have no interest in buying one just for the trip. I'll probably keep the 12-32mm on the camera most of the time.
     
  12. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I see you also have an Oly 12-100. That should cover you for most things nicely. For wildlife, the main things would be whales and birds. If you're going to Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai, you'll want a long lens to catch the seabirds. Looks like winter is nesting season so it should be a good time. You'd want a long lens for this, but it's up to you whether it's worth dragging it around. Seasons of Wildlife - KÄ«lauea Point - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    For Waimea Canyon, you'd have to be lucky to catch it during good weather. Otherwise, you can get some moody atmospheric shots when clouds fill the canyon. :)

    A moderate long lens is good for whales, if you're going on a whale watching tour. This is the time of year for it. However, motion and blur will be issues, especially on a boat. You want good IS and fast shutter speeds, as well as quick reflexes and steady hands. Good luck! You might be lucky to get shot from shore, in which case a longer lens will work great. Weather sealing is a good thing! The 100-400 should serve you well as long as you're willing to carry it around.

    In Volcano National Park on the Big Island, you could try capturing birds. To find native birds, you'd need to trek into the forest on one of the many trails and be patient and lucky. They are there, but they are small and flighty. Tough to catch. Nene geese are easier. :) Many beautiful flowers and plants, so close-up ability is good. Bringing a small flash and diffuser would be helpful.

    Be prepared for rain. After all, it is our winter time. :) Although you can sometimes be blessed with gloriously clear weather when there's a north wind. It can also get cold sometimes (for us 65 is cold!). Volcano National Park can get quite chilly. So bring a water-resistant shell and a thin layer. Although it's winter here, the sun is still strong, so protect yourself. I'd wear a hat and use sunscreen. Don't forget to pack a water bottle.

    For night scenes and street, the 25 f1.2 should work, but my preference would be for a moderate wide angle like the 17 or 15.

    Don't leave anything valuable in your car. Take it with you, so plan for each day and lock the rest up in the safe.
     
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  13. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Another suggestion for whales from land. Hiking the Makapuu Lighthouse trail (easy hike) or up Diamond Head on Oahu may also yield some good whale views. The latter is great for wide views of Honolulu and the south coast. Bring a small, light pair of binoculars, too.
     
  14. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    391
    Aug 24, 2011
    Holoholo55, thank you for the suggestions. I will try to get to the spots you mentioned in my free time if the tour does not take us there. I know we are definitely visiting Oshu and Volcano national park as part of the tour.
     
  15. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    True, on a tour your choices may be limited. If you have free time, there are always other things you could do. Sounds like fun!
     
  16. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    @Ig7@Ig7 If you don't mind me asking, what do they have planned for your two week tour? Do you have a copy of the base itinerary (minus identifying info). Just curious what they consider to be the essential highlights. If you don't want to post, message me.

    Mahalo,
    Walter
     
  17. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    391
    Aug 24, 2011
    I don't mind at all. Here is a link to the itinerary: The Best of Hawaii tour
    Much easier then typing it all out. We are doing the optional helicopter tours. In fact, if you have any suggestions for the free time, I would really appreciate it. I am not a beach person so besides snorkeling I would rather go and see or do smth instead of sitting at the hotel. I am going on this trip with my mom, so had to pick a trip that was more easy pace. I hear it is beautiful so looking forward to the trip.
    Thanks
    Irina
     
  18. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    Hawaii
    Stephen
    If you are planning any night shooting - clubs, restaurants, street, at the hotel, etc. - the 25 would give you a speed advantage, but I shoot night street and club all the time with a 2.8 lens, so it's not strictly necessary. I would leave it behind - one less expensive piece of glass to worry about. I'll say again, your 14-150 will come in very handy - that extra 50mm over the 12-100 will be useful many times.
    Whale watching is a fun experience but usually disappointing photographically. You have to be fast on the shutter, have a long lens, and spend a lot of time looking at empty water to catch the occasional breach or tail slap - and many of those photos end up looking rather boring, distant and same-same after a while - just my opinion, of course. Volcano National Park is a good place for birds, as noted. But again, the beautiful native bird shots you see are usually taken by experienced photogs who spend a lot of time in the forest, know what they're looking for and have a honed technique.
    There is going to be so much beautiful scenery, flowers, people and such to shoot that if it were me, I wouldn't schlep the heavy and expensive extra gear you need for the specialty stuff, like wildlife, birds and whales (I'm thinking of the 100-400). Again, just my preference - you have the lens and may feel it is worthwhile to carry it around for the times when it would be useful.
    One thing you should not miss on the Big Island (besides Volcano Park) is the stunning ocean entry of the current eruption that is going on. A massive river of hot lave plunging off a cliff into the sea in a great cloud of steam and explosions - quite spectacular. It's a 4 mile walk on a decent road to get to the viewing area, but you get fairly close. They rent bicycles for those who would rather not walk.
    Go to the Facebook page Big Island Photographers Alliance to see the kind of photography being done on this island - scenics, oceanscapes, sunsets, lava eruptions, birds, street, etc. - there are some world-class photogs here.
     
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  19. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    391
    Aug 24, 2011
    Thank you so much for the reference. The river of hot lava sounds amazing!
    Planning to have 12-100 on the E-m1ii most of the time. I Our tour has it's own bus so I can leave any extra gear, like the 100-400, and not to worry about it being stolen. I am also thinking about living the Oly 25 at home. I can increase the ISO if I have to. As far as 14-150, I am definitely taking it for the times I need a little extra reach but don't want to deal with the 100-400. In fact, i sold off a few lenses and primes to minimize the amount of lenses I carry once I figured out that I am more of a zoom then prime person but I cannot part with the 14-150 I have.
     
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  20. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Well, that's quite an itinerary, but glad to see that they built in some free time. Actually, you should allow yourself some free time to relax, walk around the town, etc. Especially with your Mom with you, you want to give yourselves some downtime.

    The itinerary is not specific about what you'll do in each place. So, it's hard to say what you'll see. @spdavies@spdavies is right about catching birds in the Volcano Park, especially if you're looking for native birds. I've tried on occasion, but only got a few fleeting shots. But, you can certainly enjoy their music. Walking through the forest, you'll hear them all around you.

    Unfortunately on Maui, Iao Valley was devastated from a storm last fall and I don't think they reopened the park. They'll probably have something else scheduled.

    The Iolani Palace tour will really be something. They organization responsible has been doing a fantastic job restoring the palace. They probably won't allow flash photography in the palace. Not sure if they prohibit photography. Haven't been inside in a while.

    Doesn't look like Waimea Canyon is on your itinerary for Kauai. That's at least a half day trip. Maybe you'll see it and the Na Pali coast on your helicopter tour.

    Looks like your Volcano visit will be pretty much a drive through. They have you landing in Hilo, boarding a bus to Volcano Park (about 30 miles out of Hilo), then driving back back through Hilo and along the Hamakua coast and then arriving at your hotel along the Kohala coast in the evening. It'll be a nice drive, but it looks like you will have only a few hours in the park. The helicopter tour is probably your best bet to see the lava flow. The bus may stop at Nahuku (lava tube) and the Volcano Observatory (to see Halemaumau). The drive across Kilauea Caldera is closed because of fumes from the active eruption in Halemaumau. You may see Nene geese. You might stop at Waipio Valley, which is worth a good look.

    Doesn't sound like a whale-watching tour is on your itinerary on Maui, but maybe you'll have time for it during your free time on your own. As @spdavies@spdavies noted, getting a shot of a whale breaching or tail waving is a matter of luck and patience. It may well be worth it just to go on the tour just to see the whales. Getting a photo will be a bonus.

    Not sure it's going to be worth bringing the 100-400 along. You may not have time or opportunity to make good use of it. Your wide to tele zooms will likely get the most use.
     
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