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need some advice on mft lens for travel

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Islesfan91, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    I'll apologize in advance for this, but I'm stuck as to what, if any, other lens I should be looking at for the olympus em1 for travel. I'm currently using the 12-40 f2.8 and we head to vietnam/cambodia in october for 3 weeks. I'm not sure if I should be looking at a wider angle for landscapes (which I intend to take a lot of photos of) or something longer like the 45 1.8 or 75 1.8 for portrait shots of some of the people of those countries.

    my main concern was weatherproofing as I believe it could be quite wet in the middle of the country at least at that time, however with the 12-40 I can always put that on the camera if it's raining.

    I really want a sharp lens, I have the 40-150 4.0-5.6 and frankly I'm unhappy with the photos I've got using it. I really would like to limit the amount of lenses to carry as we're backpacking, but I'm unsure of which to look at.

    Ideally I'd prefer to keep the cost under 1k for another lens, but have looked at the other two pro lenses, although the f2.8 makes me wonder if I should look at a prime for low light.

    totally torn here. any advice?
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    If you want to keep it simple, use the 12-40 and get the Panasonic 35-100/2.8. It's small, weathersealed and can be found for right around 1k or less depending on new/used.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8 and 7.5 fish could be had for under $1k.
     
  4. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    hadn't thought about those two! I'll do some checking on ebay and amazon and see what I can find for pricing, I'm in Canada so our dollar has tanked, but will see if I can find some reasonable prices. Thank you!
     
  5. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    There is a 35-100 on the board and another over on FM plus Amazon and eBay of course.
     
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    My travel lens if only one is the 14-140mm. Adding a second one, I take the 9-18mm.

    Re sharpness, the nature of travel is that you often don't have time to change lenses and you often can't "zoom with your feet." Hence I am a believer in having as much zoom range as possible. I believe that the picture I do get is far superior to the picture I might have gotten if I were closer or farther away from the subject as would suit my lens limitations. Ditto the well-framed picture I get at the long end of my zoom is superior to a tiny patch of pixels cropped out of the middle of a frame and enlarged in attempt to get a subject my lens couldn't reach. Obviously YMMV.

    For low light, my solution is to carry a good carbon monopod and to also use it as a hiking staff. (If you're interested in this, be aware that some hiking staffs are sold with a 1/4-20 stud and advertised for double-duty as a monopod. I have never seen one of these that is tall enough to really work. Also, almost none of them will collapse short enough to fit in a 22" carry-on bag. So start by looking at real monopods.)

    One thing maybe reducing your needs on the wide end: Stitch pano landscapes are easy to shoot hand-held. It is only when there is a lot of stuff close to the camera that you have to worry about pano heads, nodal points, etc. If you're not already doing this, try a few and see what you think.

    Re weather, I am a bit of a wuss. I have an excellent rain poncho that easily protects my cameras. Pulling them out to shoot in mist or light rain has never been an issue for me with non-sealed equipment. I avoid going out at all, much less shooting, in heavy rain and storms. Again, YMMV.
     
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think I'd be fine with just the 12-40. Since you aren't sure whether you want a wide or a telephoto probably means you aren't missing either very often.
     
  8. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    that's true, I would really like a long telephoto lens, but I'm not sure how often I'd use it. I find for most of what I'm doing the 12-40 seems to cover me fairly well. I think it's mostly not knowing what else I might wish I had with me when we travel. I'm leaving the 6d and lenses at home for sure due to the size and weight, so I won't have that as an option there.

    The 35-100 is a really interesting suggestion and I’m going to look at that, as well as the 7.5mm fisheye


    I’d love to have the 7-14 f2.8 to take along but I don’t think I want to spend that much.
     
  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    One nice thing about the 35-100 and 7.5. They hold their value at this point. You could buy then now, use them for a month or so and sell them off for less than you could rent them for a week or two.
     
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    No matter what you bring you will probably find some scenario where if you had lens X or Camera Y you could take a certain picture that you have imagined. However, I think we all know that whatever lens we bring, we can find a good picture in any scene.

    Some people say that a 14-140 or similar is ideal for travel because the focal length is more versatile. Well that is true, but the aperture is less versatile. So in that sense, the 12-40 is just as versatile in a different measurement.

    There's just no right answer, but I think if you wanted to carry a lot of gear, you'd be packing the 6D kit.
     
  11. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    you are correct, and I may be overthinking this, as well as dealing with a touch of longing for a new lens :)
     
  12. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Try to bring one indoor or night lens like a 15, 17, 20, 25 f1.x. F2.8 is still a little slow for some situations.
     
  13. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    On my last trip, I took my EM1, 12-40, 9-18, 17 f1.8, and 40-150 f4-5.6 R. The 12-40 got 90% of the exercise, followed by the 9-18 and 17. I never even mounted the 40-150. Not because I didn't need it at one point or another, but because I didn't always carry it with me. The 12-40 and the EM1's capability in low-light situations was sufficient to get handheld shots in some pretty marginal light conditions. I avoided using flash where possible.

    I was on a very busy school trip with my son and just didn't have a lot of time to set up for shots. It was more like shoot while walking, or shoot during a pause. Changing lenses was a bit of a luxury, but the 12-40 was good for most of the shots. I used the 9-18 with good effect in some interior tours. I brought a table top tripod, but hardly used it. A monopod would have been more useful.

    I used my sling strap with a lens pouch clipped to it most of the time, instead of my bag. (we had to go through a lot of security checkpoints) Since I only brought one small lens pouch (my mistake), I usually carried the 9-18 or maybe the 17. If I'd brought a bigger lens pouch, I could have brought the 40-150. Lesson learned.

    I agree with another poster that cropping in post processing yields much poorer results than shooting with a longer focal length, even if the lens isn't the sharpest in the world. I tried cropping a shot with the 12-40 in PP to get an eagle in a treetop and the attempt failed dismally. There are some times where your feet cannot substitute for a zoom, and the 12-40 just wasn't long enough. I would have been far better served with the 40-150 R, but I just didn't have it with me. So, their advice to carry a single 14-150 or similar lens is worth considering. The new weather resistant Oly 14-150 II looks interesting and would have been perfect for a one-lens solution on that particular day.

    Anyway, I dunno if that helps, but that was my experience. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  14. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    To repeat what I've said here before, I've never been sorry that I left something home. Rather the opposite. The less you take the better especially backpacking. Every ounce counts. I took the 12-50 and 40-150 last time and used the 12-50 at least 95% of the time or more. Now I have a 14-150 so I'd take that and my 9-18. Frankly I think the new weather sealed 14-150 would the one to get and it's only ½ your budget.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
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  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I was in Cambodia last year with 12-40, 40-150 (small), 20/1.7, BCL-9 and also the Oly 60(!). Too many, but two are extra small.
    The 12-40 took 99% of the shots, a couple with the BCL-9, five with the P20 and only because I decided to use it. Never used the tele zoom and the 60.

    You can pick up the small 40-150 just in case or if you plan to go to see wildlife. You are missing a fast lens, the 45 could be a good space/quality/versatility compromise but the speed difference is not huge so you are going to notice it only in really dark situations, like 1200 ISO vs 3200.
    You could add an UWA, but the 9-18 overlaps a lot with the 12-40 and the Pana 7-14 is quite bulky. But in the right places the 9-18 can be the ideal lens to keep on the whole day.

    About weather sealing: usually when it rains you first try to find a repair for yourself and you are quite limited with the shots that you can take. The camera is fine, but the shoes, backpack, clothes, etc. a little less. In Cambodia usually it rains for half an hour to a couple of hours and then it clears up completely. I think weather sealing is more useful for shooting on the beach, for events that you can not miss, rather then for casual shooting while it rains.
     
  16. Lionroar

    Lionroar Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Nov 10, 2014
    I don't see why you would need any other lenses if you are going to take the 12-40.
     
  17. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    it does seem like if someone has the 12-40 that they end up taking almost all their shots with the one lense. Still pondering
     
  18. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Available for $399 at Olympususa.
     
  19. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    You will probably find the same. I ended up taking 90% of the photos with the 12-40 on a recent trip. Still, there are times when you need extra range at either end.
     
  20. Lionroar

    Lionroar Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Nov 10, 2014
    You just need to believe that any shot that doesn't work in 12-40 isn't a shot worth taking anyway. And it's not like the world will end in a huge nuclear explosion if you fail to take that one telephoto shot (which wasn't going to be National Geographic material anyway).
    .