Planning for a trip to Japan

cephotography

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Well gang, the Mrs. has manage to book us for a tour of Japan for next March (plus 3 days in Hong Kong) so i am trying to plan my camera gear for the trip. This past summer, we went to California and I took my E-M1 MkII + the 12-100 f/4 zoom (rented). Great range, but as a lens, meh.

So I have a couple of scenarios all using my Pen-F:
  1. Take my Tamron 14-150mm f/3.5-5.8 Di III + 17mm f/1.8 ($0)
  2. Take my 7-14mm f/2.8 + 12-40mm f/2.8 + 75mm f/1.8 ($0)
  3. Take my 7-14mm f/2.8 + 25mm f/1.8 + 75mm f/1.8 ($0)
#1 has great range, is very light to carry and the lenses are pretty good.
#2 is heavier, but the lenses are higher quality and I have more wide coverage.
#3 is a compromise, swapping out the middle zoom for a prime.
A fourth alternative involves picking up a Leica Tele-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 (I would probably have to sell my 7-14mm to do that) + 25mm + 75mm. I've seen reviews that the 8-18mm has almost no distortion at the 18mm end and can be used for street.
 
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From those four options, I would choose #2. The 12-40 will likely live on your Pen, but there will be times when you'll need the extra width of the 7-14. I would be tempted to add the 17/1.8 to the bag too for the extra stop and the sneaky size.

Is this your first trip to Japan? Where will you be going and folk you have specific subjects that you hope to photograph there?
 

Peter LO

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It depends much on which part of Japan she's going. #2 should be a very good choice for cities like Tokyo or Osaka (and Hong Kong as well), and the 7-14 will be very useful for temples. On the other hand, she may also need the extra reach of, say 100-300 or 100-400, if she also shoot landscape or parades (such as the "Fire-walking Festival at Mt. Takao in March).

BTW, welcome to Hong Kong!
 

cephotography

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Thanks guys. I am trying to keep the weight down, but I am partial to #2 as well. Once I decide that, the quest turns to finding a comfortable backpack that carries all of that plus a Lenovo ideaPad4 14" laptop (my FOSS Photography workstation, I'm proud to say). This is our first trip to Japan and we are going with friends on a tour starting in Tokyo and ending in Osaka. Hong Kong is first and kind of on our own.
 

Jon Li

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For my JPN trip in late October , my lens selections are P7-14/4 , O12-40/2.8 n P35-100/2.8 and may be Samyang Fisheye 7.5/3.5 with 2 bodies ; GX8 n E-M1 or GX7 . Weights are the over riding considerations .

Our trip will start in Osaka n end in Tokyo with Nara , Kyoto , Shiga n Nagoya in between .
 
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cephotography

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For my JPN trip in late October , my lens selections are P7-14/4 , O12-40/2.8 n P35-100/2.8 and may be Samyang Fisheye 7.5/3.5 with 2 bodies ; GX8 n E-M1 or GX7 . Weights are the over riding considerations .

Our trip will start in Osaka n end in Tokyo with Nara , Shiga n Nagoya in between .
We are doing this in the opposite direction. Plus a side excursion to Hiroshima.
 

masayoshi

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March is a shy earlier for cherry blossom season for Osaka and Tokyo, but you may see some in Hiroshima (esp, Miyajima), if your going end of March.
If you have a chance, my suggestion is to include a few days in Kyoto or Nara. Osaka is just a big city with very little historic sites (all burnt during the war).
It's up to what you like to see, but I'm just talking my preference.
 
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cephotography

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March is a shy earlier for cherry blossom season for Osaka and Tokyo, but you may see some in Hiroshima (esp, Miyajima), if your going end of March.
If you have a chance, my suggestion is to include a few days in Kyoto or Nara. Osaka is just a big city with very little historic sites (all burnt during the war).
It's up to what you like to see, but I'm just talking my preference.
Thanks for the tips. I have to check the tour schedule and see where it takes us. Unfortunately, we are going March 6-16. So probably no cherry blossoms for us unless global warming lends a hand.
 

RachelleK

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Thanks for the tips. I have to check the tour schedule and see where it takes us. Unfortunately, we are going March 6-16. So probably no cherry blossoms for us unless global warming lends a hand.
March is a shy earlier for cherry blossom season for Osaka and Tokyo, but you may see some in Hiroshima (esp, Miyajima), if your going end of March.
If you have a chance, my suggestion is to include a few days in Kyoto or Nara. Osaka is just a big city with very little historic sites (all burnt during the war).
It's up to what you like to see, but I'm just talking my preference.
I agree. If you are going to Japan you have to see Kyoto. It’s the most amazing city in Japan. But, maybe I have spent too much time in Tokyo.

For lenses, another vote for option 2.

R
 

cephotography

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Just checked the itinerary and the last four days are in Kyoto. Osaka is just the airport we depart from. I found this Manfrotto backpack at a local store (Digital Goja) and despite the claim that it only holds a 13" laptop, I was able to fit my Lenovo ideaPad4 14" with a neoprene sleeve easily into the bag. Right now I have it configured with option #1 for my upcoming trip to NYC (PhotoPlus 2017). Trade show fun and some NYC street photography. Hopefully the weather is good.
 

hazwing

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My vote is also probably 2, plus could throw in the 25/17mm in case you need the extra stop of light or a light weight option.

However, in what scenarios do you envisage using the 75mm 1.8? You could bring it, but for me it's not a very versatile focal length.

To throw in some another options how about: 7-14, 14-150, 17/25?
 
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any follow-up to this tokyo adventure?

i ask because i am headed there in early november and i am also wondering about which lenses to bring.

i am using the g7 which has me slightly concerned about stabilization.

i was going with the daylight oriented kit zoom lenses (14-42 & 45-150).

for street, especially at lower light levels, i was thinking the 25mm/1.7 and the 75mm/1.8.

a small flash setup, a small plug in mic for vids, a tabletop tripod for vids and maybe selfies.

my other camera tools that i am bringing is my iphone 6s+ and the ricoh gr2 which offers me 18mm (28mm effective) with a apsc chip.

any and all thoughts are appreciated.

thumbs up.

rob

(perhaps reviving this older thread is the wrong place to post and i should start a separate thread?)
 

tkbslc

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I used a camera with lens ranging from 24-105 for my last trip to Japan, and I couldn't see a big reason for needing anything else. 90% of my shots were at the wider end, honestly. You'll be walking everywhere and taking crowded subways in Tokyo, so the smaller bag you can carry, the better.

Edit: just to clarify, I meant 24-105mm equivalent, or 12-50-ish in m4/3 terms.
 
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thanks for the sharing.

much of what i think will occur could be handled by the very capable ricoh gr2.

it is thinking about employing the 75mm/1.8 which also excites my imagination.

thumbs up.

rob
 

tkbslc

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thanks for the sharing.

much of what i think will occur could be handled by the very capable ricoh gr2.

it is thinking about employing the 75mm/1.8 which also excites my imagination.

thumbs up.

rob
I don't know if you would need the fast aperture of the 75mm very often, but that's up to you. If you gear signature is correct, and you don't yet have a 75mm - just take your 60mm f2.8 and save your money for the trip.

I would agree that your GR can probably handle the bulk of it. But I would be too chicken to bring only that with me.
 
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I don't know if you would need the fast aperture of the 75mm very often, but that's up to you. If you gear signature is correct, and you don't yet have a 75mm - just take your 60mm f2.8 and save your money for the trip.

I would agree that your GR can probably handle the bulk of it. But I would be too chicken to bring only that with me.
gr2 + g7/14-42/45-150/25/75 should still fit in a small non-descript shoulder.

fingers crossed!

rob
 

DaveEP

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Images from my last trip to Japan were mainly in the 12-40 range. Sometimes I wanted a little wider. It wasn't often I needed longer, and for those I could usually just crop.
 

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