Rethought the concept - not the leses - of a travel lens set

dancebert

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[Oops - the subject should be 'not the lenses']

Too many lenses, too many wants, too much time (I'm retired), enough money and a spreadsheet faced off against how much weight I was willing to carry. No conclusions were reached.

The heavier sets didn't appeal to the traveler in me, the lighter sets didn't appeal to the photographer. Then an 'ah-ha' moment resolved everything. There is no need to carry all the lenses all the time. I usually wake early and shoot near my lodging in morning light before breakfast and shower. At the end of the day, I'm also out wandering in the good light. For those two times, I fine with a fast wide and a fast short tele. Outside of those times, the IQ on a very wide zoom plus a kit zoom is sufficient. Four lenses, carried two at a time. D'oh!
 

Anthon

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Three lens in the bag is my kit for traveling, but I usually left one in the car/room and only carry with the 17mm (which is on the camera 90% of the time) and the 12-50 zoom
 

zensu

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Three is my preference too but I keep the Oly 12-40 zoom on the E-P5 on a sling strap and if I see it's not wide enough out comes the Rokinon 7.5mm and if it's not close enough out comes the Oly 75mm. The Oly 12-40 and Oly 75 take up about the same amount of space in a smallish bag.
 

dougjgreen

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Generally speaking, I travel with an E-PL5, the 14mm, 25mm f1.4, Sigma 60mm (which doubles as my macro lens with achromat diopters), 45-175mm, and a Sony wide converter that makes the 14mm into a 10.5mm. For any given outing, depending on if I expect to shoot more long or wide, I will either leave the wide converter and/or the 45-175mm at home, and occasionally the 25mm as well. The kit I just about will always carry is the 14mm and the 60mm.
 

mattia

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I have a travel camera set :)

The E-M1 and 12-50 handles general purpose shooting, the 7-14 for ultrawide destinations and 50-200 if there be wildlife. And the A7r and pair of native primes for everything else. I could easily see myself just using the A7r, upcoming 16-35/4.0 Zeiss zoom and 55/1.8 for most non super telephoto travel shooting. But I do slightly prefer the handling on the E-M1, which is by far the more refined of the two.
 

LowriderS10

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That's nice if you don't mind spending the time going back and forth between whatever you want to shoot and your hotel.

When I travel, I leave my hostel at around 8 and don't return 'till at least midnight. So far my travel kit has been: 7.5FE, 9-18 (most of the shots), 45 1.8. I've been thinking of ditching the 9-18 in favour of the 14 and 20, but this setup is so small and light and has served me so well, I'll likely just keep going with it.
 

tjdean01

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Screw two lenses, I often take only ONE! If I can't get the shot then I can't get it. I'll go back to that spot next month :)

Granted, I often pack up the 12-32 + 135/3.5 or else the 28/2 + 50/1.7 + 15 BCL, but going to the zoo with ONLY the 135/2.8 or going in the woods with only a 40/1.8 will give you a lot of shots you would have never thought to take if you had the range covered. I enjoy the limitations.
 

LowriderS10

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Screw two lenses, I often take only ONE! If I can't get the shot then I can't get it. I'll go back to that spot next month :)
Unless you can't go back in a month. ;) As much as I'd love to go to most of the places I've been to every month, most times I'm acutely aware (perhaps too much so) that I may not see what I'm looking at for another 10-20 years, or ever again.

Other than that, if I'm tooling around a place I can easily return to (ie: around Korea or Canada), I'll grab my 20 1.7 and the 14 2.5 (or one of my zooms) and away I go! :D
 

LowriderS10

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"Travel lenses": Use your best lenses at home, where you shoot the same stuff as you always do. Then you travel to exotic places, see vistas you don't normally see. Maybe even places very few people actually see. You bring one crappy superzoom.
A 9-18 is hardly a "crappy superzoom." Besides, it's tiny, light, nobody notices it and I use the heck out of the 9-12mm range, something no other lens in my line-up can provide me. In fact, I'd have to step up to 14mm to get a lens that provides me with better IQ....the 9-14mm range is about 90% of my travel shooting...after years of travelling, I think I've got this down. ;)
 

usayit

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When I travel, I keep most of my equipment locked in a hard case chained and hidden in my hotel room. When I am ready to head out, I think really hard what I intend to shoot... then I just carry that. I try not to think about the shots I may or may have taken. Often its a single camera and a single lens. More often its two lenses 24mm and 50mm equiv.
 

zensu

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A 9-18 is hardly a "crappy superzoom." Besides, it's tiny, light, nobody notices it and I use the heck out of the 9-12mm range, something no other lens in my line-up can provide me. In fact, I'd have to step up to 14mm to get a lens that provides me with better IQ....the 9-14mm range is about 90% of my travel shooting...after years of travelling, I think I've got this down. ;)
I sold my 9-18 zoom to get funds for the 12-40. I love the 12-40 but I do miss the 9-18. If Olympus ever brings the 7-14 f2.8 lens to market at a price that I can save up for I will buy that puppy. I admit the 7-14 looks like a huge lens compared to the super compact 9-18 (which also takes filters). Hmmm, Lowrider you've got me rethinking this super wide zoom thing gosh darn it!
 

dancebert

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That's nice if you don't mind spending the time going back and forth between whatever you want to shoot and your hotel.
I would mind that too much to even consider it. Reread my post. The lens swaps will happen at times when I'd be in the guesthouse even if I didn't have a camera.
 

jurgen

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One body, one lens is my approach. Too much thinking, lugging, switching, fretting, zooming, not looking otherwise. Cartier Bresson shot almost exclusively on a 50. Good enough for him, good enough for me!
 

dancebert

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"Travel lenses": Use your best lenses at home, where you shoot the same stuff as you always do. Then you travel to exotic places, see vistas you don't normally see. Maybe even places very few people actually see. You bring one crappy superzoom.
I do travel photography because I enjoy it, not to produce large prints or publication quality. I've never needed great shots, but if I did, Google Images probably has them.

The last time I witnessed a once in a lifetime occurrence that few will ever see, my camera stayed in my pocket for 20 minutes, because I wanted the full impact of the experience. Six condors in the wild, on the ground, 20 feet away: http://www.shga.com/forum/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=16459&sid=3340fdc807fbdaaadf0202d58f8582d2 Not my photos.

For you birders, the condors landed for the same reason the hang glider pilots hadn't launched yet - not enough lift. The site is next to a gap in the mountain range. They couldn't gain the altitude needed to cross it so they and we waited for the lift to 'turn on' in pilot lingo.
 

Droogie

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My travel kit is my Oly EPL2, VF3, the Sigma 19mm and a legacy 50mm. Which is either my Minolta 50mm 1.4 Rokkor X or my Olympus OM 50mm 1.4. All tucked nicely away in my Domke 5XB rugged wear bag.
 

Rasmus

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I do travel photography because I enjoy it, not to produce large prints or publication quality. I've never needed great shots, but if I did, Google Images probably has them.

The last time I witnessed a once in a lifetime occurrence that few will ever see, my camera stayed in my pocket for 20 minutes, because I wanted the full impact of the experience. Six condors in the wild, on the ground, 20 feet away: http://www.shga.com/forum/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=16459&sid=3340fdc807fbdaaadf0202d58f8582d2 Not my photos.
I pixel peep just as much when I travel as I do when home, so if I don't bring it all I make sure to bring my best lenses. Last time I went abroad I used my 400/4.5 nearly all the time.
 

LowriderS10

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I sold my 9-18 zoom to get funds for the 12-40. I love the 12-40 but I do miss the 9-18. If Olympus ever brings the 7-14 f2.8 lens to market at a price that I can save up for I will buy that puppy. I admit the 7-14 looks like a huge lens compared to the super compact 9-18 (which also takes filters). Hmmm, Lowrider you've got me rethinking this super wide zoom thing gosh darn it!
I bought the 9-18 right off the bat (I bought body-only plus the 9-18) because it was tiny. Since then (been into M4/3 for over a year), I've played with and seriously considered both the 7-14 and the 12-40/12-35s countless times. I've come thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to purchasing copies of all three lenses multiple times. But the 9-18's quality is so awesome (I've sold A2 prints out of it), and it's so light and tiny that I simply can not justify the extra price/weight of the other lenses. Plus, the range is just awesome...9 is certainly wide enough (I used to shoot ultra ultra wide all the time, and it became boring and repetitive), and 18 gets you "close enough"....slap a 45 next to it in the bag and you've got an awesome travel set (heck, I did 3.5 weeks in Europe, including the Swiss Alps for 2 weeks on just the 9-18 and the 45 and never felt my kit was lacking).
 

Lawrence A.

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When I go back to Laos in November after three years, I'll take 2 bodies (to cover myself in case one breaks and to keep different lenses on) 3 primes (the oly 25 and 45, and Panasonic 14) and 1 pancake zoom. I'll end up doing most of my shots with the 4/3 equivalent of the nifty fifty, but the 14 will be essential indoors in some of the temples, where the Buddhas are big but the rooms not necessarily so, thus requiring a wide. And I want the 45 for portraits. The entire kit will be very small. I'm likely to walk around with the 25 on an E-M5 and the 14 or pancake on the E-PM2, with the 45 in the bag if I need it. To travel that far, perhaps for the last time in my life, with one lens and one vulnerable body would be limiting in a way I'd prefer to avoid in those circumstances. Around town at home, one camera with a prime on it is usually how I leave the house. But it is not a 20 hour trans-continental flight to get back to Old Town.
 

Listener

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My wife and I will be visiting Eastern Canada in a couple of months. I expect that we'll carry

Panasonic G6 + Olympus 60mm macro + Panasonic 100-300mm (one for each of us)

1 Panasonic 14-140mm lens (the newer one)
1 Panasonic 12-42 kit lens

Maybe a Panasonic FZ50 bridge camera.

And lots of batteries and memory cards and chargers.

Our main interests are wildflowers, insects on them and wildlife in general.
 
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