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My lens selection for trip to Italy. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Zubz, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Zubz

    Zubz Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 13, 2012
    Hi All,

    A couple months back I made a post asking for opinions on a lens I should buy for an upcoming trip to Italy. I got some very helpful replies and ending up making 2 purchases. My setup is as follows:

    Oly 14-42 kit lens
    Panasonic 20 1.7
    Oly 40-150

    Bear in mind I am a relative amateur photographer just getting into the hobby. This was a fairly inexpensive lens selection I was able to put together. My goal was to have a variety of lenses to cover the various settings that Italy has to offer.... Rome, Venice, Florence, Tuscany.

    So the question is, did I make good choices and will I have any regrets with my choices when I end up on my vacation? I don't mind picking up another lens and maybe resell after my trip is something is really lacking.

  2. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What kind of photography? Landscape? Architecture? Street? Different styles often dictate different lenses.

    One thing I would suggest is to get the 14-150mm and use that instead of the two kit lenses. I love mine and it makes it easy to switch from a wide to a tele.
  3. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Sounds to me like you're all set. The only other thing I would consider might be an electronic viewfinder for your E-PL2
  4. Zubz

    Zubz Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 13, 2012
    Those cities I mentioned will cover all of the above mentioned styles. Is there a downside to the 14-150 lens vs the two that I currently own?
  5. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    No time lost due to lens switching.
  6. Zubz

    Zubz Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 13, 2012
    I've been considering this. With the current rebate promotion I think I will pull the trigger on it. Thanks for the reminder.
  7. Empireme

    Empireme Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 25, 2011
    LA, CA
    And it'll help to practice shooting with your lenses now so when you're there you can be better prepared. Better to enjoy the sights rather than fumble with your camera...
  8. justin4192

    justin4192 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2011
    Fairfax, VA, USA
    I think you have a pretty good kit. My wife and I went to the Tuscany region and Rome for our honeymoon last September. The majority of the time I used the 12-50 lens on my E-M5 and your 14-42 will work well too. The other three lenses I used were the Panasonic 20mm, Samyang 7.5mm fisheye (excellent for cathedral interiors!), and the Olympus 40-150 telephoto. When walking around, just sight seeing and not having a set scene or vision in mind, the zoom is ideal. I switched to the 20mm in the evenings, some low light interiors, and times I wanted more creative control. I actually got a lot of use out of the 7.5mm. I found so many good opportunities to use it from cathedral interiors, Roman ruins, to beautiful vast scenery. This would be a lens I would recommend adding if you were to only add one more. I used the 40-150 the least, but I was able to get a handful of photos that my other lenses could not have created. In particular in Florence, going up to Parco Bardini for an amazing view of the city during sunset and being able to bring in distant subjects such as the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

    I really enjoyed this kit and having it all fit into a small camera bag. I bought a used Domke F-803 just before the trip to have a comfortable shoulder courier style bag. All my camera gear and some other daily travel gear all fit in the bag easily. I highly recommend a comfortable bag since most likely you'll be walking and carrying it a lot. With my previous 4/3 kit, I used a camera backpack, but found that to be much less convenient. A shoulder bag lets you so easily put the camera away and access what you need without taking a backpack off.

    Have a great trip to Italy!
  9. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Should be a great trip. Such a beautiful country. Your lens kit is fine by me. That's all I had for a long time and all I really need fpr a trip.

    My take on the 14-140 that it's more suited for a trip to the America's National Parks than Old Europe, where the people and the sights are packed in tight. So you're carrying the longer length of that zoom but likely to be using it at the wide end. Not that it's that big, being about the same size as the 40-150, but when I go into a store or shop carrying a camera, I would rather have a pancake lens. Out West, we're in parks and on the road. There, I could carry two or more cameras and not care.
  10. Zubz

    Zubz Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 13, 2012
    Thanks for the comments. I am still trying to figure what bag I'll want to use while our there. I want some sort of multi purpose bag. A sling bag that can hold the camera gear and other items we may want while walking around. I'll keep looking around.
  11. I find that I get a lot of use out of an ultra-wide angle zoom when travelling.
  12. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Good choices! One inexpensive addition I would consider is the 14mm/2.5. It is good for nighttime architecture where the 20mm may not be wide enough.
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have not found one other than price and a slightly slower max aperture in part of the range. The 40-150mm is about 1 stop faster from 40mm-75mm or so then it catches up to the 14-150mm. The 14-150mm is almost exactly the same size and weight as the 40-150mm. But for packing and transporting halfway across the globe it can make a big difference.
  14. tomas

    tomas Mu-43 Regular

    Panasonic Zooms Rock in Italy

    Was in Italy for most of last October. The lenses I used most, in diminishing frequency:

    Panasonic 12-35, Panasonic 7-14, Oly 75, Panasonic 25. I brought and used two Oly EMD bodies. I kept the 12-35 on one and the 7-14 or the 75 on the other.

    Sure I looked like a geek. I'm 70 years old. What do I care? Besides virtually everyone is sporting at least one camera around his/her neck.

    For nighttime shooting I would carry the 25 and the 75 and one body.

    I really needed the 7-14 for a lot of shots of buildings. The squares in Italy are usually not big enough to capture the local duomo, town hall, etc. without going wider than 12mm.

    I was on a tour, with a lot of time to wander away from the group for shots and to visit other venues.

    Most of the museums and churches I visited in Italy didn't allow interior shots so the primes, Oly 12, and Oly 45, were not used at all. Most of the time when I could shoot inside, the Pany 12-35 was all I needed, with the 75 or the 25 being used occasionally

    Since then I've acquired the Panasonic 35-100. If I go back to Italy, I'll bring the following kit: Panasonic 12-35, 35-100, 7-14, 25. Oh, and a set of polarizing and graduated filters (B+W) in 58mm for the two main Pany zooms. I really like the Blackrapid single and double strap systems and will use them all of the time in the future.

    If I could find the room, I'd also bring the Oly 60 and 75, but I don't think they would get enough use to justify bringing them.

    For the kind of travel I tend to do, zoom lenses are more versatile since I have to compose and shoot fairly quickly, often without time or opportunity to get closer/farther away from subjects. Yes, my primes are faster and sharper but with the OMD's low light capabilities I needed the 25 only occasionally and the Pany zooms are quite sharp.

    Came home with 5200+ photos. I tend to shoot two shots of everything, so the real number is closer to 2600. My lens selection handled virtually all of these shots with flying colors. After editing, fewer shots remained, but usually not for sharpness or exposure reasons. I still have to kiss a lot of frogs before I meet that princess of a shot.
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Zubz

    Zubz Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 13, 2012
    Wow. That's a lot of information. I don't think I'm at a point to take advantage of it all, but thanks for sharing.
  16. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010

    We spent 2.5 weeks in Italy (same places, plus sorento) - I shot about 3K photos (and I am generally reserved with the press of the shutter). At the time I was using my pentax gear, and 80% of my shots were taken with the pentax 15mm f4 limited. That is 22.5mm in 35mm equivalent, or about an 11mm lens on m4/3. I would strongly recommend at least switching out the 14-42 for the 12-50mm kit lens - 2mm on the wide end adds a significant amount. If you can spring it, I would really recommend getting the olympus 9-18mm - I gaurantee it would be on your camera for a majority of your trip. The cities and indoor spaces are much smaller and more intimate, and require generous use of wide angles to get many shots.
  17. Zubz

    Zubz Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 13, 2012
    The 9-18mm does seem very appealing for Italy. I didn't want to spend that kind of money but maybe it is worth buying a used one for the trip knowing I can resell. I'll mull over. Thanks!
  18. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    I can also vouch for the 9-18's usefulness - and excellent quality. By all means, get a used one, but don't be surprised if you can't let it go afterwards :) 
  19. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I think you are set. I spent 10 days there a couple years ago and my setup at the time was a Canon 40D with 70-200mm f/4 L IS and the Canon 5Dmk2 wth Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS. I also had the 50mm f/1.8 and a Gorilla DSLR Tripod. I never "couldn't" take a good shot. You might find yourself changing lenses between wide zoom and the telephoto zoom, but it's not like the buildings and architecture are going anywhere! Have a great time. They don't know how to make bad pizza or serve bad wine there. It's all good.
  20. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I should add, now that I've switched to m43, going back, I'll find a lot of use for my Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye. So those suggesting the Oly 9-18 aren't out of line. I could get by fine with that and the 40-150 and one fast prime in the 30-60mm focal range, I think.
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