New lens for San Francisco?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by TXJeff, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. TXJeff

    TXJeff New to Mu-43

    Jul 28, 2013
    Round Rock, TX
    Real Name:
    I'll be going to San Francisco next week. I plan to take the 12-50 and 75-300. I am thinking of getting a fast prime also. We are going to visit Alcatraz, so I think I may need something faster than what I have. I own the 4/3 14-54 mk II also, but have not bought the adapter as I am trying to sell the lens due to its size. I'd like to hear your recommendations on what prime would be best for SF, or am I good with what I have?
  2. tomas

    tomas Mu-43 Regular

    The new Olympus 17 mm or the Panasonic 25mm. I have both. The 17 is smaller and the 25 is faster. I used to take the 25 on trips but now it's the 17 because of its size and wider p of v.
  3. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    My urban kit is: O17/1.8 + kit lens and O12 and/or O45.
  4. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I live in the city and the PL25 is one of the lenses I use most often. I also have the new Oly 17 but I still prefer to take out the PL25 b/c it's slightly faster.

    FYI - on Friday nights the De Young Museum is open late and doesn't charge to go into the tower (you still have to pay to get into the exhibits though). As long as the fog isn't too bad, you can get some decent sunset panos from the tower.
  5. gs94121

    gs94121 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2011
    Ditto about San Francisco I reside in city, your 12-50 & 75-300 lens is sufficient to cover everything. Also, bring the lightweight tripod with you (hopefully, the tripod is sufficient and stable to hold and prevent vibration & shaking during exposure on your m43 camera) for night time shots in downtown SF, Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge and so on. Have a safe trip to San Francisco !!
  6. TXJeff

    TXJeff New to Mu-43

    Jul 28, 2013
    Round Rock, TX
    Real Name:

    Thanks for the tips . I may get the 17mm or 25mm. Need to try them out. Any recommendations for light tripod setup that is stable enough?
  7. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    Been there a lot (son moved there and love it). The 12-50 will probably be good for most of your daytime shots. Need something faster for indoors and at night. Probably get away with the 12-50 at Alcatraz - unless it is a very overcast day.
    I have the 17-1.8 and the 14-2.5. The 17 is faster as far as aperture and AF. The 14mm is smaller.

    BTW - to all those saying that the Pana 25/1.4 is "faster" than the Oly 17/1.8, let's be real here. We are talking ABOUT HALF A STOP - not even close to being significantly "faster". Amazed that several people used the term "faster" when comparing the aperture speeds of these two lenses.
  8. gs94121

    gs94121 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2011
    I brought Benro A150EXU tripod with me to overseas travel couple months ago, weighed about 4 lbs, and will fit into checked luggage if you're going to fly to America's Favorite City. Very convenient for me and the m43 camera.
  9. RajC

    RajC Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2013
    No need for new lenses

    I've shot in SF for decades. You're fine with what you have, so don't use SF as a reason to get a new lens.
    Regarding tripods- I carry a Slik mini.
    The best view of SF is from Treasure Island.
    If I had visitors coming in from out of the area I'd skip Golden Gate Park.
    Definitely hit the Wharf and Fort Point, and Broadway at night.
    Alcatraz is ok but overrun by tourists, so plan on shooting a lot of close ups.
  10. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    Hey TXJeff, welcome to the forum...
    Just so you know, forums like this (or Nikon Cafe, or take your pick of many others...) are an excellent place to let other people talk you into buying gear you probably don't really need.
    I'll side with those that say you're fine with what you've got. The 12-50 lens is a pretty versatile lens. The more I use it, the more I think it's a great travel lens. I've never thought about it being "fast" enough; with IBIS and shooting high ISO I do just fine. Sometimes a wider aperture would be nice for DOF, but just as far as gathering enough light goes, I don't have problems with the 12-50.
  11. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    No lens recommendation, but if you want to go to Alcatraz you almost always have to get tickets days in advance.

    Have fun and be sure to share when you get back.
  12. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    The only thing I would recommend, if you don't already have one, is a flash. But that is good to have anytime, not just for SF.
  13. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Some people like to use an upcoming trip as an excuse to augment their collection of photo gear. (I know this because I'm one of those people.) Nothing wrong with that, but I would advise choosing a lens based on what you think you'll use most for your style of photography over the long term, not because you think it will be particularly useful on a single trip.

    If you really do want to buy something that would be valuable for your SF trip, I second the suggestion that you prioritize a travel tripod over a faster lens. Some of the city's classic photo opportunities will require a tripod. Examples:

    --Interior shots of Ft. Point (much more interesting than Alcatraz, in my opinion, and easier to get to)
    --Golden Gate Bridge at dusk and evening from Conzelman Rd. turnouts in the Marin Headlands
    --Bay Bridge from the Embarcardero and Telegraph Hill (especially now with the bridge light sculpture installed)
    --Bay Bridge/Downtown from Treasure Island (sculpture not so visible from this angle)
    --Downtown from Twin Peaks at night/dusk
  14. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    I had a great time shooting in San Francisco and at Alcatraz with my old Panasonic LX-5. Nothing else. I didn't feel lacking in focal length. There's no darkness in Alcatraz to speak of. We meandered in and out during a sunny day.
  15. Sig

    Sig Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 11, 2012
    A travel tripod to consider is the 57" Dolica Traveler from Costco. I bought mine last year for $69.99 and I now see they have it bundled with a slingbag, on sale, for $79.99

    It folds down to 12.5" and fits in my backpack.

    Dolica 57â€￾ Reversible Traveler Edition Tripod Bundle

    One tip about SF. If you've never been there or driven there before, know that you must curb the wheels when parked on a >3% grade.