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My thoughts on lenses for Florida/Disney trip

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WT21, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Just wrapping up a week in Orlando with the family. Hollywood Studios, Universal Islands of Adventuer/Harry Potter, and Seaworld, and some visits to retired relatives.

    I brought four lenses: 14/2.5, 20/1.7, 45/1.8, 40-150

    I also brought a wrist strap, shoulder strap, small camera bag, large camera bag and cargo shorts.

    After trying a number of variations during these theme park trips, I found the best carry system was a shoulder strap (camera bags just slowed evrything down too much and added bulk) and, at most, a second lens, battery, SD card and lens pen in a sealable water proof 1 gallon glad bag in the cargo shorts. The bag was in case of flume rides, etc. For visiting relatives, I brght the full bag, but mainly used the 14 or 20 for group shots.

    As for lenses at the theme parks, by far the most used was the 14mm. I just always wanted to get wider. I tried the long telephoto for outdoor shows at Seaworld, but stayed almost entirely on 40mm, as the theaters are small, and the orca and dolphin action too quick to track effectively on the long end of LCD shooting. I eventually just moved back to the 14 again. The 20mm was second most used, especially in the Harry Potter stuff, which was dimly lit. Another reason to shoot wider is that environmental portraits are really key for theme parks like these, it seems to me. An isolated portrait just doesn't add meaning. Wide shots brought in all the fun. Therefore, the 45 was rarely touched.

    If I could do it over again, though, I think the 9-18 would actually be better, and/or the 12mm/2.0. Maybe the 9-18, 40-150 (i did take some wildlife shots, including an alligator we found in the wild near my dad's house) and 20/1.7 would be the three I would bring if I went again. Even a fisheye would be a lot of fun.

    May post some pics later, but anyone else have any thoughts/experience on family shooting at Theme parks? One thing for certain - m43 compact system size is hard to beat.
    • Like Like x 8
  2. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    We have an upcoming Disneyland trip in July. I definitely see the point of carrying a UWA for such trips (among many other situations where it will be fun to have one). The delay in the shipping of the OM-D E-M5 is giving me time to ponder about canceling my preorder from B&H. I have always been attracted to the idea of having a UWA, the Panasonic 7-14mm in particular. Now if only there is one on sale for a decent price here in the forum...I might be tipped over into canceling the E-M5 and buy a good glass instead. My trusty E-PM1 has not failed me yet.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. jbuch84

    jbuch84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2011
    Orlando, FL
    Just went to universal islands of adventure in Orlando with my gf2 and 20mm and 45mm. I def used the 20 more than the 45, although did pull some nice portraits with super heros using the 45. Was a few times that I missed having a zoom.. But for the most part I think I would have been plenty happy having just the gf2 with the the 20mm on it.. Fits in the pocket and no need to worry about running back and forth to an expensive locker or having to lug around an extra bag. Not to mention if you bring any sort of bag of have to get in a much longer line at the entrance than if you jus stuffed the camera in your pocket! Just a heads up!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. emirabal

    emirabal Mu-43 Regular

    We have an upcoming trip and i was debating on what to bring and needless to say these two posts by WT21 and jbuch84 really helped me out. I have my GF3 with a 20/1.7, 14-42mm standard with camera, and a 45-200mm, i know its not a lot of lenses, but i like to pack lite as to avoid losing things, and if i wont use it then dont bother is my opinion. All be it we will probably do Disney World for sure and maybe a safari trip. So ultimately i think i will take the 45-200mm with me and keep it secured just incase, but will just use the 20mm.

    Thanks for the help guys.
  5. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    It's consistent with my experience as well. Wide angle is what is mostly used, although I had telephoto lens with me. I didn't have UWA in Cape Canaveral and wished I did :smile:. The only telephoto shots worth mentioning were of some animals and birds in Animal Kingdom and Seaworld, and a couple of shots of Magic Kingdom Parade. The most success on orca and dolphin shows I had with Canon 40d + 100/2.
    Samples (been there 3 times last 3 years): last time with E-P1, with 40d, another on with 40d
  6. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I experienced pretty much what everyone else is echoing here too.

    I recently went to Japan for 8 days with the 14-54MkII, 20mm, PL25, and 45mm. The first thing I did when I got back? Bought an Oly 9-18mm! When you're "touristing" and looking at the sights, 14mm is just not wide enough. There are a lot of restraints on time and location, so "zooming with your feet" is not an option often.

    I also found I never used the 45mm on the trip. The ZD 14-54MkII was good enough.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Hmm thanks for your thoughts. I'm planning on going to Disneyland soon with my girlfriend, and I think I'll just go with the 20 1.7. The reason why you didn't use your Oly 45 is exactly why I've been hesitant to buy it... it's just isn't wide at all.
  8. DizzyV6P

    DizzyV6P Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    I did 10 days of Disney World with my Canon 40D, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, and 85 f/1.8. I left the 70-200 f/4L behind this time. It was too HEAVY...lol.

    The 85 f/1.8 only came out when I went on the Safari in Animal Kingdom. The rest of the time the 17-50 was good enough.

    I go there every year so I'm quite familiar with almost all the sights there. I would recommend one low light lens for the night parades and night scenes, one mid zoom, and one long zoom if you want to take pictures of animals. OR get the one lens to rule them all...14-150...LOL. Although, I hear its a bit hefty as well and lacks the low light features.
  9. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    One other thought -- I tried using the longer lenses for some kids/group shots by stepping back a bit, but there are just soooo many people in the parks, that it's nearly impossible to do this approach effectively, which is another reason the wide angle is so effective.

    DizzyV6P -- if that's your travel kit, what do you use when not on the road? :eek: 
  10. DizzyV6P

    DizzyV6P Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Hence the reason why I just sold all my Canon gear and have an E-M5 pre-ordered from BH Photo :) 

    The only thing left is the 40D body. It feels real nice to have all this nice crispy cash in hand. Too bad its going all into the E-M5, 12-50, 40-150, FL-300R and I'm gonna have to throw in another $300+ to find a gently used Panny 20 f/1.7 or a 9-18 ( I haven't decided which one yet). Even my big Lowepro Fastpack 350 is being shipped out tomorrow. 10 days in Disney World with two kids and a double stroller just about killed me...:rofl:
    • Like Like x 1
  11. luxco

    luxco New to Mu-43

    Oct 20, 2010
    Just wondering, does anyone have experience with the Oly 12-50 with the E-M5 in those parks? I recall getting more than soaked on some of the rides, but never submerged.... Would/does the E-M5 and 12-50 work OK in those situations?

    Still waiting for my silver kit, supposed to be her by end of April but....

    Cheers to all and (try to) stay a bit dry!
  12. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    That would be the ideal situation for that combo!
  13. DizzyV6P

    DizzyV6P Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Considering that the E-M5 has just starting to ship, I highly doubt anyone has made it to the parks with one yet. However, judging by the pictures of the surf at Lake Erie and the soaking one member got with their E-M5 and 12-50, you shouldn't worry about some minor splashing.

    I personally would still stick it in a gallon ziplock bag on those rides. The 12-50 shouldn't have any problems at the parks. I frequently walkaround with my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 at Disney World w/o any issues. With an actual length of 24-100, the 12-50 is ideal.
  14. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    I know this might be thread necromancy, but I'm heading to Orlando in Nov, and wanted to get some opinions.

    I have the 20mm, but it seems people are recommending wider angles. I was looking at three other solutions... the 14-45mm Lumix (that was shipped with the GF1/G1), the 14mm Lumix, or finally the one I've seen recently on B&H, the Bower or Rokkinon or Samyang 7.5mm 3.5 Fish eye

    The 14-45mm I hear is actually a very nice lens (better than the oly 14-42 original kit lens, which I have... not for long...), which in theory could stay on the camera for most of the trip, barring situations when the 20mm would be better (lower light etc). The 14mm is another prime, and a decent one too I hear, but I'd lose out at the 15-19/21-45 range. The 7.5mm 3.5 fish eye is the wide angle, but then I'm losing out towards the 45 range again.

    I went two years ago and the year before that, with a D40, 17-55 and 55-200, and both came in handy, although way too much faffing, swapping and having to dump the bag in lockers at times.
  15. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    9-18 or 7-14 + 20/1.7 would be my suggested 2 lens combo. At the very least the kit + 20.

    I would also suggest a second body. Maybe a GF3 (even rent one!). Cuts down on lens swapping. Get a small bag to hold both small cameras, and you are good to go!
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    I have a GF1 as a spare (I never seem to get round to selling it!) so that's a point. If I shoot in RAW (bit scared of RAW but still) then I won't lose the olympus look of the jpgs. Just a shame those two wide angle zooms are so expensive! I'll have to see if I can get them on Ebay.
  17. Shutterdad

    Shutterdad Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Big D
    As of today, I'm going to carry my EPL1 w/14-42 because it's all I've got!:rofl:

    I've been carrying a DSLR to Disney for probably the last 10 trips and that's what led me to buy into a :43: system. I was tired of lugging gear around. I wanted something smaller!

    If I had a "money tree" growing in my backyard, I would purchase a 9-18 and a 20mm lens.
  18. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands

    That's the problem I had. It wasn't that much compared to the big Nikons, but a D40, spare batteries, two lenses and the extras weighs you down, not to mention I then had to wear a backpack, to store my ID/cash/etc in too. I do miss DSLR use, they seem easier than fiddling with settings on the EP2, but the size is just right!

    If I had a money tree, I'd get an OMD. I saw one in the 'flesh' for the first time, and was thinking "how much more debt can I accrue?"
  19. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    My standard 3-pack:

    Samyang 7.5mm fisheye
    Canon 50mm f/1.4
    Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 macro

    They all fit together with the camera body nicely in a small camera bag and give me wide, portrait, and short telephoto ranges that are ultra-sharp along with a low-light option and a macro. Everything I need on a vacation. :) 
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Great thread WT21. :thumbup:

    I think two bodies with the 9-18 and 14-45 would be just great for such an occasion. This way, no lens swapping would be needed at all. They're each small, lightweight, quite competent, and together they cover a very useful range.

    I certainly wouldn't bother trying to juggle primes under such circumstances and, as much as I love my 7-14, I think the 9-18 is better suited to this kind of thing... and is more versatile for the circumstances. I'd leave my 12-35 off of the day's carry list, as well. The 9-18 and 14-45 will do the job magnificently, are not quite premium-grade lenses price-wise, and will not subject the uber-premium 12-35 to the rigors of amusement park travails. :wink:

    The 12-50 kit lens is also an excellent choice for such duty... its not so special as to worry much about and it covers a great range of focal length... plus a little splash-protection as well.

    Personally, I like at LEAST 24mm equivalent WA coverage, if not more. Therefore anything that offers at least 12mm, if not wider, coverage is a big plus for me.
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