The Frugal Tourist

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by montaggio, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    Heading back to Italy and Austria this summer. It will be the first time with a mft camera. In the past, I had taken big Nikon bodies - most recently the since sold D2H. Great shots, but a bit bulky - and that heavy glass!

    Personally, I prefer fast primes with a bit of length - the 58mm Voightlander being my favourite with a 50mm Zeiss a close second on the D2H. Despite them being my favourites, they were a bit long in quite a number of situations. So much so that I always took a good mid range zoom with me for walking around day trips.

    After shelling out for the 4 of us to go for three weeks again this summer, funds are a bit tight for me to justify spending alot on new lenses for my OMD. I would like to find one nice prime to pretty much live on the camera - prefer AF. I love my Canon MF lenses, but getting lazy in my old age.

    Here is what I am thinking:

    14-42 kit lens as a walking around zoom - convenient and I actually quite like it

    Canon 135/2.5 From my AE-1 for those couple of reach shots that might come up

    Sigma 30/2.8 which I just ordered on a great deal from Henrys. I'm thinking that this might be a lens that will pretty much live on th E-M5.

    Have a number of wider Canon MF lenses as well, but trying to keep it pared down.

    Without breaking the bank (which we are already doing on the trip) do you think I have things covered adequately? Tempted to add the Sigma 19mm and leave the little zoom at home. Thoughts?
  2. Hudsonhites

    Hudsonhites Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 14, 2011
    I find that I use my fast normal or telephoto length lenses from my fullframe Nikon system on the OMD more because of the doubling of the focal length. The doubling of the vocal length works against my wide angle full frame lenses turning them into normals.

    I suggest getting a used Panasonic 20mm f1.7 it's faster and the shorter focal length gives you more working room indoors where usually you need fast glass.

    I'd take the kit zoom, Canon 135 and a Panasonic 20mm however there's quite a gap between 42-135 but if you tend to the wide angle you should be OK.
  3. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    If I could only have one prime lens for m4/3, it would be the Panasonic 20mm f1.7. (But for a walk-around zoom I like the Oly 14-150.)
  4. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    Hmm - yes, the Panasonic 20/1.7 - consistent with my thoughts on the Sigma 19, but faster. To a certain extent, I was holding out for the black version of the Oly 17/1.8. That isn't out until this fall though, which is too late for this trip. Good suggestion on a used 20/1.7 - going to give that a try - should be able to pick one up, use it for the trip and get most of my money back if I decide to go to the Oly in the fall.

  5. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I'm planning on carrying 3 lenses when travelling the Mediterranean later this summer. Going to be in Italy, Greece, then flying back to the UK via Germany.

    9-18, 14-150 and 17/1.8.

    I would probably be happy with just the 14-150 and 17/1.8.
  6. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    That sounds like a solid plan. You need nothing more than those three and can probably get away with 14-150 and the 17.
  7. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    I find it ironic that I am trying to pare down a MFT kit for travel, after spending so many years slugging my DSLR around :D
  8. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    In the narrow streets and small squares in Italy and Austria, wide is useful. I prefer the 9-18, but the kit lens is fine. Since you prefer longish normal, though, I think you might really like the Sigma 30. I bought one because I felt I might have too large a gap between my 9-18 and the O45.

    It turned out I hardly used it: 1 or 2 steps forward or back was fine for me.

    But the IQ was great and the price is very attractive: get a used one and sell it for what you paid for it.
  9. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks BigTam - good point about a few steps forward or back. Reality is that the FOV difference between the two isn't much more than that.

    I ordered the Sigma 30 from Henry's here in Canada. Seems to be a great deal with both the 19 and 30 still available (Gen 1) at $129 new. Hoping it will be a good walk around lens, but things do get tight in those back alleys - as you have mentioned. I guess if I find it too tight, I will (grudgingly) put the 14-42 on.

    The more I think about it, the more I think I may grab one of the Henry's 19mm copies as well. I really like good, fast glass - but it's the black 75/1.8 that I need to own. So probably best to get the seemingly bargain Sigmas for the wider FOV and put the extra cash into the 75mm.
  10. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    Ok, so I went ahead and changed my order to add the Sigma 19 as well. At that price, why not?

    What tipped the scale for me was the thought of a couple of steps forward, a couple of steps back. I can always walk forward, but not always back. So, it will be the 14-42 kit lens (just because it is both versatile and pretty good), the Sigma 19 and 30 (although I worry about them being fast enough, the E-M5 has some good higher ISO performance).

    The Canon FD 135/2.5 will stay home. To be honest, it will end up being a binocular - and I have a set of those. It probably weighs more than the rest of my kit combined and likely won't even get mounted. Although I really like that lens :)
  11. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    For travelling, i feel a wide zoom, fast prime for low light and a tele zoom.

    the 20mm is a good travel prime. compact and good IQ.

    for me, i always go with oly 9-18mm, pana 25mm and the pana 35-100mm.

    Have a great trip.
  12. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Glad to see that you came to your senses on the FD 135 f2.5. It seemed like a unusual choice. I own one and unless I was going to Italy to shoot soccer, it wouldn't make my first or second cuts either.
  13. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    Yes, an odd choice, I just love shooting with it. Thought it would be great for architectural details on some of the higher buildings, churches, etc.

    Won't miss the weight though! :smile:
  14. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    Well, the Sigma 19 and 30 have both arrived. Still some attractive pricing out there on the Gen 1 lenses.

    Initial thoughts in playing with them a bit is that overall, the 30 looks quite good. Looking forward to using it. Sharp, good contrast. closer up / farther away. For the 19, closer up shots look great. This is good, because I expect to use it in some fairly tight quarters during our trip. For wider, landscape type shots, the lens seems fine, but not stellar (IMO). That's fine too, it is a limitation that I will keep in mind and account for if there are some landscape shots that I really want to nail.

    I think I'm all set to go!
  15. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I travel all over the world (in Italy currently AAMOF) and carry
    - 8/3.5 FE: small, unique, great for capturing both wide expanses and close focus is amazing
    - 12-35/2.8: may as well be welded to the body
    - 20/1.7: such good IQ, fast, so small - how can you NOT have this lens?
    - 45/2.8: but after this trip, I'm not carrying it any more. It will stay at home as the "watch macro" lens
    - 45-200: no matter how much you "like" wide angle (and, frankly, I don't) there are many times you can't use it - crowds, bad lighting, uninteresting background. A tele (or a macro) can save the photographic day - no matter how bad the light, or whatever else is going on, you can ALWAYS zoom in on an isolated, interesting subject and end up with some good pictures of your trip. Throw in the need for reach in those (many) instances where you can't zoom with your feet, and I consider a tele an absolute MUST in any travel rig