Looking for lens suggestions for vacations

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Allie, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Allie

    Allie Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 24, 2013
    So coming up I am going on two vacations and want some lens suggestions on what to get for them. This month I am going to Mardi Gras for a few days this month and then to Dinah Shore in April for a few days there too. So, I plan to take my new to me GF2 with the 14mm lens that I have(only native lens I have atm). I have a few MF lenses but I doubt I would take them(inconvenient), but I kind of feel the 14mm would be a bit limiting, specially if zooming with my feet is not possible. So, I am looking for some suggestions on what other lenses to maybe take. I don't want to spend to much either(my budget is maybe $400 or so).
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    The 14mm moderate wide angle will get a lot of use IMO, it's a very useful focal length for vacation documenting, and will probably be faster and better in low light than most lenses in that price range. Are you comfortable with more primes? An Olympus 45mm f/1.8 portrait/moderate tele would complement the wide angle nicely. A cheaper option would be the Sigma ART f/2.8 lenses, either 30mm normal/tele or 60mm moderate tele.

    You could also pick up a used kit zoom for some versatility at low cost, the Panasonic 14-45mm is probably the best OIS one of the bunch in range. There's also the Panasonic 45-150mm OIS and 45-175mm OIS if you want decent telephoto reach. Don't bother with the 45-200mm, it's not as good optically as the other two and would be way too big on your GF2.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. darcius1

    darcius1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    Agree with wjiang that Olympus 45mmm would be a nice accompaniment to the 14mm. Probably take care of most situations under budget.
  4. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    It depends on what kind of photography you will be doing. 14mm is perfectly fine for general walk around photography. That was the only lens i took to visit Oktoberfest a year ago. You can see results on my website. I thought it was pretty spectacular.
    If you want a bit more reach , the new small Panasonic 14-42 is getting rave reviews.
  5. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    I think you can get away with 14mm most of the time, but if you need a zoom lens and you shoot mainly in daylight is the Olympus 40-150mm f/3.5-5.6 IIR. It's cheap, small, light (around $99 to $120) and optically decent sharp. 40mm @ f/3.5 is a tad slower than your 14mm f/2.5, so you need to push 1 ISO stop higher to shoot in the dark seemingly because the 14mm is already a f/2.5 lens. So in a way, you have both a 14mm and 40mm for wide and short telephoto with the 150mm as your daylight telephoto zoom if you need to reach far. Both will provide AF.

    Personally I would skip the 14-42 because most of the time you will use the mid end (20 to 25mm) and that you can compensate by moving closer to the subject with your 14mm. I do that all the time with my Coolpix A.

    I shoot with my Coolpix A, which is a 28mm lens like your 14mm and I have cropped between 35mm to 43mm no problem, so I let my E-PL1 take the telephoto zoom lens.
  6. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    I have been to a few short trips with just the 12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8

    I think the two make a nice combo, and sometimes being out with just those two I wonder why exactly do I have so many more lenses.

    So my vote goes to the 45mm f/1.8 for some nice portraits and really shallow DOF.
  7. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    The 14-45 is a bargain, should be gettable for about $150, the other option I suppose would be a 14-140 if you want an all in one solution. With the 14-45 you could possibly get a used Oly 45mm and that is a superb lens, it depends on your feelings about lens changes too as you could get away with your 14 and the 45 and cover a lot. I guess an alternative would be a cheep used body and the 45mm to save on lens changes, saves time on lens changes but extra weight.
  8. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    All good suggestions above. I'd vote for the Oly 45mm 1.8 so you get a completely different FoV and larger aperture, or Sigma 30mm if you want to save a bit of cash. Or pick up the 14-45mm if you just want one lens and happy using the flash in low light.
  9. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Pany 14-45 / +1
  10. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Not to get too off topic, but how is the handling the 14-45mm on a smaller m4/3 camera like the later GF models, GM1, or the E-PMx line? I know it was the kit with some of the GF1, but that camera was a bit more balanced body wise.
  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    It will be fine.
  12. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    If I was going to bring just 1 lens to compliment the 20, I'd bring the 9-18. If I was going to bring 2 lenses to compliment the 20, I'd bring the 9-18 and the 45.
    However, if I were to bring only 1 single lens, I'd probably bring my 12-50. Or any old kit lens for that matter.
    Of course this is only my humble opinion stemming from my shooting style and proven trial and error results.
    Happy travels...
  13. nang3

    nang3 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2013
    What's the general consensus on the Pana 14-140 or the Oly 14-150 ? I want a nicely sized decent quality lens to cover wide'ish to moderate zoom focal lengths.. a 10-300 f/2.0 would be nice haha but probably cost the earth..........

    I recently borrowed the 40-150 to use alongside my Pana 14mm but found the 40mm end to be too narrow and changing lenses was a pain in the ass, so would prefer an all in one travel lens.. I also have the 12-50 but find the zoom lacking..

    Are the 14-140/14-150 reasonable lenses in terms of optical quality, or are there just too many compromises in order to achieve that focal range?
  14. I'm pretty happy with my 14-150; it's actually better than my kit 14-42 at all focal lengths. Compared to my 40-150, it's better at some focal lengths and not quite as good at others. Both long zooms get a bit soft above 100mm, but sharpen up quite well if you stop down to f8. This is borne out by the SLRgear test results. At 20mm the P20 prime is of course better, but not dramatically so in my pixel peeping.

    My gallery has quite a few shots taken with the 14-150. Here's one taken at 150mm f5.6 that is also cropped 1:2 ...

  15. Allie

    Allie Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 24, 2013
    I was thinking maybe a prime lens(would really love the new 12-32mm or Oly 14-42mm pancake, but price). So, between the 17mm f2.8, 19mm and the 30mm, which is the better option in terms of speed, and quality?
  16. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I'd recommend the 45 - it's a great lens and you won't regret it. The 30 would be a good companion to the 14, but if I were carrying only two lenses I'd want a bigger spread in their focal lengths. 60mm FOV is weird to me, too long for normal and not long enough for tele.
  17. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Hi Allie!

    Have you considered renting rather than buying?

    Sites such as lensrentals.com (I have no financial interest in the site :frown:)


    list a number of :43: lenses.

    The downside, they want the lenses back :biggrin:; the upside, you can test out lenses w/o making a large financial outlay. The Olympus 14-150mm for example may be rented for four days for $34.00

    Just my 2 cents.


  18. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    To me, it's a no-brainer that Travel=Zoom.

    • You often don't control your vantage point.
    • You often don't control your movement, especially if you are traveling in a group of more than 2 or you are in a moving vehicle.
    • You don't control your subjects. Photo opportunities can appear and disappear quickly.
    • Changing lenses is time-consuming and, in dusty surroundings, not always a good idea.

    Agreed. I started with the 14-45 and the 45-200 Pannys. 45 is not short enough for many indoor shots and not long enough for many outdoor shots, so using this pair involves a lot of changing or a lot of missed opportunities. I quickly sold the pair and bought a 14-140mm

    I agree with peter124. If I were to travel with only one lens it would be the 14-140.

    Like TetonTom, my next lens would be the 9-18mm

    After that, it depends on the objective. The 100-300mm for wildlife. The 12/2 if I was photographing a lot of interiors like churches, caves, ...

    Speaking for myself, no. The reason is that it is easy to buy (used) what I want and to resell it after I return from a trip. With a little patience and care in buying and selling, this approach will be a lot cheaper than renting. Also it will be a lot cheaper if I lose or damage the lens. I did this a couple of years ago for an Africa trip, bought and resold a G1 and a 100-300mm, for a total cost of $30. That involved a little luck, but I'm sure renting those for three weeks would have cost well north of $100. You can certainly buy and sell at a net cost of less than that.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Yeow! Oldracer you made out quite well on that!

    The problem I have with reselling gear is that I never get around to it...the stuff ends up in my photo closet. Only a complete system change to :43: from Nikon a couple of years ago made me box up all of the years-in-collecting Nikon kit and send it off to B&H for sale. Selling on the forum or on E-Bay or on Craig's List simply isn't in my skill set - the stuff would be collecting dust after I turn to dust if I had to make such an effort. Had I not been able to work out an equatable deal with B&H then I'd probably still be shooting Nikon...and complaining about the heavy lifting :biggrin:.

    Renting may not be as cost effective (one can insure the rented lenses against loss or damage for nominal fees) as buying used when needed and selling when no longer needed, but it is simpler. Order the gear, get it at the front door, use it, put it back in the box, slap on a pre-printed label, and give it back to the nice man in the truck :biggrin:.

    You made out very well on your African trip...but for me it wouldn't work. Not only don't I have the energy to buy and sell gear, I don't have the energy to travel to Africa :biggrin:.

    However if the O.P. does have the energy then your method is certainly a cost effective one (not to mention being able to play with different gear :thumbup:) and I'd recommend checking out the possibilities of following in your footsteps.


  20. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    The two Sigmas are about equal, and superior in every way (except maybe size) compared to the pancake 17mm.
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