Recommendations for travel kit

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by judywisconsin, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. judywisconsin

    judywisconsin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2013
    I'm leaving soon for a European river cruise. I have an OMD and the following lenses:
    12-50 f3.5-6.3
    12-35 f2.8
    75 f1.8
    17 f1.8
    25 f1.4
    9-18 f4-5.6
    75-300 f4.8-6.7

    I don't want to take ALL my lenses - would like to pare it down to 3 or 4.
    I'll be visiting museums & churches, as well as walking around cities, and floating on a river. Suggestion(s) as to which lens to use when will also be very helpful. And if you prefer one lens over another that I have, I'd be interested in your reasoning.
    I'm thinking I'll take the 12-35, the 9-18, and the 75-300. I like the 12-50 because of its weather-sealing, and its macro function. I also like the 75 because of its f1.8, and the25 for the f1.4.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    My considerations:

    9-18 - Indoors/church lens par excellence, despite it being slightly slow.
    12-35 - Much better lens than the 12-50, also weather sealed. And a river cruise is not a particularly 'macro' destination per se. Only holidays I've been on that I regretted not having a macro have been to rainforest areas with lots of very tiny animal life. i.e. not Europe
    75-300 if you love your telephoto, otherwise the 75/1.8 will yield great low light performance and candid photography/details ability. 600mm reach is great if you're a birder or are going to a wildlife destination (again, not so much the case for European river cruises).

    My own 'moderately sized' setup is 12-35 and 7-14, adding a 100-300 if there's real wildlife, and 20/1.7 if I can bear the AF (really not great in low light) and want something pocketable. Although that usually ends up being the RX100 anyway. If I had the 25/1.4 and/or the 75/1.8 I would take one or both of those along as well, probably the latter as it doesn't overlap the standard zoom lens. My 'one lens' solution is the 12-35.
  3. nathan_h

    nathan_h Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    If I was traveling super light, I might just go for the 12-50. My experience in city vacations is I seldom need more tele reach than that, it gets plenty wide, can do macro, has weather sealing, and while people will tell you it's not the sharpest or fastest, it's pretty good, imo.

    But MFT lenses being small, I'd probably compromise and instead take the 12-35 (faster, sharper than the kit zoom), the 9-18 (great for getting the whole of an indoor scene)... and then something with a little tele reach if I had room left, but as I say, I don't find lots of need for much tele reach when in urban areas. Ymmv.

    For traveling light, I stick with zooms, since they are more flexible.


    otoh, if you are not going to be changing accommodation locations much, just bring a few more for special situations, and leave them in the room except on special need occasions, like a long tele if you know your are going to be in a situation that day when it will be helpful.
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    9-18 for wide
    25 for shallow DOF/low light
    70-300 for far...

    When I travel, I travel extremely light...with my DSLR setup it was always a UWA and a fast prime (usually the 16-35L II and the 100 f2 on a 5D Mark II)...with my OM-D it's the 9-18 and the 45 1.8.
  5. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    I think your first instinct selections are right on. I'd probably add your 17mm for a small, flexible, low light prime. And I'd consider subbing the 75mm for your tele-zoom, even though nothing beats the flexibility of a zoom when traveling.

    Have fun.
  6. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    BTW, I see no point in taking both the 12-35 and the 12-50. Sure, the 12-35's a tad shorter, but it's weathersealed *AND* it's a lot faster and has better IQ...I know if I had those two lenses, the 12-50 would just collect dust.
  7. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    Real Name:
    I would take the 12-35mm as my one lens solution.

    Maybe add the 9-18 for churches, though I would use it as a 9mm prime.

    I didnt find a need for tele when I when europe for holidays.

    Sent from my GT-N7105 using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    Swapping lenses when you're visiting is a pain IMHO. Especially if you're not travelling alone (and therefore might not have as much time as you'd like) it's better to go for convenience.

    I'd go for the 12-35mm, and the 9-18 for the occasional wide shot. Leave all the rest behind, spend less time looking inside your camera bag and swapping lenses, look around you and enjoy your vacation instead. Unless you plan on visiting a zoo I don't see where you'd be using the 70-300. ;)
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I would take the 12-35 for its weather sealing and speed, as well as the 25 because it's also fast and therefore useful in low light. Then perhaps the 75-300 for longer shots or close-ups of detail.
    I always prefer faster lenses because of the possibility of overcast, gloomy days and dark interiors. The 25 is also a good walk around lens - it rarely leaves my E-P3. :cool:
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'd take the 12-35mm/2.8 and 75mm/1.8, then add either the 9-18mm/4-5.6 or 25mm/1.4.

    I suppose the slow telephoto would do you fine if you're always shooting outdoors in bright light. I tend to stay away from slow telephotos, as lens speed can be rather important at those lengths.
  11. nathan_h

    nathan_h Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    Good point. My 12-50 was collecting dust, and now has a new home, since I started using the 12-35....
  12. darrellc

    darrellc Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I'd bring 12-35, 9-18 and a fast low light prime. I have both 17/1.8 and 25/1.4, and prefer the 25 IQ but feel the 17 is a better focal length in tight urban environments (just came back from a trip to San Fran, and should have brought the 17 instead of the 25).

    I haven't used the 75-300. I have the 35-100 and would bring that as well. I have the 7-14 instead of the 9-18, and my travel kit is OM-D plus 7-14, 12-35, 35-100 and the 17 or 25. I have the 75/1.8 and love it, but find the 35-100 zoom is better for travel and IQ is very, very good (better than 12-35 I think, relative to good primes in same focal range). But I'm sure you would get fewer but better shots with the awesome 75, so maybe go for it!
  13. nathan_h

    nathan_h Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    Yep, upon reflection, that is what I would do, as well.

    The OP will know whether he is a fan of using a tele lens, which might change things. Other than wildlife, I seldom use one beyond what a 35mm (=70mm equiv) can buy me.

    And if you are with a group of non-photographers, and want to keep up, changing primes is just going to limit your photo ops, increase the likelihood of someone lifting a piece of gear, or a piece of gear getting dirty, etc.

    Or, if you are like me, you'll have to pass on a shot because you have the wrong lens on the camera, and no time to make a switch (the taxi is leaving, the table is ready for you now, we need to get off the tram because this is our stop).... at which point, for the rest of the vacation, your primes will sit unused in your luggage because a zoom would have meant you would have gotten that 'shot that got away' and you don't want to miss one like that again.
  14. LowTEC

    LowTEC Mu-43 Regular

    9-18 and 1235 is all you need, i would throw in a 75 just in case. I don't see how a 300 would benefit you if you ain't birding or heading to a zoo
  15. tbr48

    tbr48 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013
    Suggestions for a travel kit

    Earlier this year I took 3 week trip to China. I bought my OMD E M5 specifically for this trip so I didn't have to lug around a heavy and obtrusive DSLR. Anyway before going I looked the focal lengths of photos taken on other trips and found nearly 90% were taken at 100 mm or less, and most of those were 50mm or less Given this I took a 12-50mm and a 25mm 1.4. The latter I used indoors and in dim light. The 12-50 stayed on the camera almost all the time. Next Feb we will be in South America and I plan on taking the same set of lenses.
  16. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 28, 2010
    The beautiful northwest Georgia mountains
    Real Name:
    Dave Jenkins
    Take 12-35, 9-18, and 75. Definitely!
  17. Trankster

    Trankster Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 19, 2013
    Irvine, CA
    Real Name:
    I have similar plans and dilemma. 12-35mm for my everyday lens, and deciding between 25 f1.4 and 20 f1.7 for indoors, low light and night time. My concern is the 25 is not wide enough for indoors.

    Sent from my SM-T310 using Tapatalk 4
  18. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Flexibility and wide... is what I favor in travel. 9-18 and 12-35 give you UW and a really nice quality 24mm equivilent, plus a very high quality semi-wide to normal to mild telephoto capability. 75-300 to pull in stuff in the distance. you will use this the least unless this is very specific to your style or you are going to the bullfights... so to speak.

    9-18 f4-5.6
    12-35 f2.8
    75-300 f4.8-6.7

    Zoom with your feet between 35 and 75mm.


    Give yourself over to primes. If you go this route, consider a second body.

    17 f1.8
    25 f1.4
    75 f1.8

  19. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 2, 2012
    I just got back from Scandinavia with water cruising aplenty. Since you are on a ship you can take them all but I recommend the 12- 35. The 30 -50 is also good if you want a day lens on a side trip on a sunny day. Slip in the 17 in case you go into a church. The 75 is a deadly candid lens even in low light.Leave the 25 home. Or take it if you leave the 12-35 home. The 9-18 is fun but you can get a lot of weird pictures.

    Most of all take the 70-300 as you will be in a position to take a lot of over the rail candids of passing ships and people on shore,or in small boats.
  20. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I only used my 25mm and 14mm with ECU1 once on our trip, the rest of the time it is 12-35 and 14-140mm for me and my buddy (he also brought other lens like 12mm, 75mm)