Travel kit?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tkbslc, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've got 3 trips coming up soon, all to urban and touristy places in the U.S and I'm trying to decide what gear to take. I'd like to take my smaller bag that has room for 3-4 lenses.

    Here's my kit:

    7.5mm f3.5 Fisheye
    15mm f1.7
    25mm f1.8
    45mm f1.8
    60mm Macro
    P 14-42 II
    P 45-150

    If the 45-150 or 60mm comes along, I can probably only fit 3 total. If not, I can fit 4 of the smaller lenses double stacked.

    What would you take with these options?
  2. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    Sounds like it's vacation, so I'd want as much flexibility with focal lengths without having to change too much, with the odd low light ability thrown in...

    P 14-42 II
    P 45-150

    then either 15mm f1.7 or 25mm f1.8 depending on your personal preference.

    My last vacation I was surprised just how much the 14-140 stayed on and I got lots of shots I couldn't have done by swapping primes around because the moment would have been gone.

    Since you have 3 trips coming up you can always modify the plan for the second and third.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Real Name:
    Recent evening walk around at a city event, I found 25mm tighter than expected and I wished I had my 17 with me. F2.8 proved a little slow at night, keeping the 12-40 off of the camera and I was wishing I had my 17mm with me.

    So I think Dave has offered good advice. Two zooms for convenience and your 15mm for low-light opportunities.
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    I took my 12-40 and 2 legacy lenses (50 and 135) with me on a trip in France. When I went for a walk or a drive, I took mostly 1 and some times 2 lenses. Keep the body and lens with a sling strap close to my body, no fear of losing the gear, or it getting stolen, no hassle of heavy and cumbersome bags and the greatest benefit zoom with my feet and thus being forced to prepare a bit more.

    Like all those people with their iPhone, they have 1 lens as well :)
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    travel=zoom for me. 9-18, 14-140 Mk. II, 100-300. I just sold 12, 20, and 45mm primes after putting 20,000++ airline miles on them without any of them ever being put on a camera. Slow learner, I guess.
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  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    Up until lately I was using the combo 9mm BCL, P12-35 and O75. But now I will likely use 8mm 1.8, P12-35 and P35-100. Although I might well go with just 8mm 1.8 P251.4 P35-100.
  7. Scotsman

    Scotsman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Real Name:
    You don't indicate what body you have, however, I really enjoy the lightweight kit I've been using lately. It's comprised of my E-M10 body and 17 f1.8 and 45 f1.8 lenses. The 17 is always on the camera and the 45 comes out to play when desired. I have found this combo to be very liberating, a lot of fun, and I don't feel I'm missing much by not having my bigger/heavier kit with me. It all fits in a very small bag and is so light, it goes with me my car, on my motorcycle and when out for a stroll. Indeed, I'm liking this combo so much, some other very nice lenses are being somewhat neglected.

    In your case, you might consider the 15 f1.7 and 45 f1.8. You might also throw in the excellent 7.5 f3.5 fisheye(as it's also quite small) to create some unique and memorable shots. You could have a lot of fun with these lenses and with the light weight and small size of this kit, you won't mind taking it almost everywhere, where it will not(because of the small size/weight) detract from your overall vacation experience.
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  8. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    Some places I go 'zoom with your feet' would seriously 'detract from the overall experience'. "Prepare a bit more" means getting your will in order. :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    If it was me: 7.5, 15, 25, and 45

    However, without more details on exactly where you're going, what sort of photography you're into, and how much time you will have for photography it's hard to give recommendations for what you should take.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    If it were me, I'd probably go with something like 15/25/60. But that's only because that's my dream kit! ;)
  11. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'm travelling every week for work with the GM5, 7.5FE, PL25, O45, and either the PL15 or P12-32, depending on what I feel like. On actual trips, my most used stuff is the E-M1 with 7.5FE, O12-50 (with CPL), P45-175 (with CPL) and PL25.
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Yes, that phrase gets used quite a bit but the concept is quite impractical in many situations. You're not going to get out of the game drive vehicle or go over the zoo fence to "zoom" closer to the lion. You're not going to leave the marked paths in the Galapagos to "zoom" closer to a marine iguana or a cranky sea lion. You're not going to "zoom" past the IDF kids with M16s in order to frame a better shot in Hebron. The bird in the tree is probably not going to wait patiently while you crash through the bush to get closer. ... the list goes on and on.

    The other thing about travel is that one is often moving. With a group, in a taxi, on a train, etc. and you have to take the shot that's available using whatever lens you have on the camera and from your current vantage point.
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  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    If you're not planning a zoo, sporting event, or the like I might leave the 45-150 home. Though if they are multi day trips you could always stuff it in a sock in your suitcase.

    Of the rest:
    7.5 is the widest so that goes
    60 macro would be the longest and macro so it goes, though you could replace this with the 45 for speed over macro
    14-45 because you can't always zoom with your feet
    Pick one of the 15 / 25 / 45, since you would have the 14-45 I'd probably pick the 25.

    For that matter you could put any number of lenses in another bag and swap stuff out for the day as needed. This is exactly what I tend to do. I have a Domke J-810 that I put my smaller bag and optional stuff in AND tablets, chargers, cords, etc. All the electronics we all tend to travel with these days.
  14. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    If you don't have an established personal style (which I assume you don't, since if you did, you wouldn't ask the question) the zooms cover a very full range and the 25 gives large aperture for low light. Long focal length lenses are not just for reach; they can give a different look. Try picking a subject, then shoot it at focal lengths, and move closer and farther away so that the subject always fills the same amount of the frame.
  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    My current travel kit is:
    9mm BCL
    75-300 (for wildlife, otherwise 40-150 that I almost never use or nothing)

    So personally I would take:
    14-42, 25, 7.5 (even if I know that I will take only a few shots...), 45-150 (even if I know I won't use it...)

    This is not a very rational list, just what sound right.
    In theory the 15mm f1.7 for low light should be better, because you can use it indoor more easily but I just prefer the 25 :) and I can use it as a "main lens" in the afternoon too. And small DoF it's not the only thing that matters but can make a difference in many shots.
  16. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Real Name:
    I never understood the "zooms are better for travel" mentality. Depending on one's style of photography and one's preference for primes, zooms or a combination of both, shoot what's most comfortable to your own needs and preferences.

    Each time I travel, I either carry the same gear I use on a daily basis or leave it all behind and just take my Ricoh GRD3 which has a fixed 28/1.9 lens.
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  17. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    Points well taken, particularly with the wildlife. However, the OP is going to urban touristy US locations, which IMHO, are well suited for primes.
  18. bluzcity

    bluzcity Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    Real Name:
    Two bodies, one with 12 - 35, one with 75, and 25 for low light. Depending on where I'm going I might switch the 75 for the 75-300. I really like a zoom on urban trips.
  19. luck002

    luck002 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2015
    Somewhere in Indonesia
    Real Name:
    My recent set-up:
    - E-P5 : PL 25mm.
    - GM1 : Samyang 7.5mm (main), P12-32mm kit (secondary).

    I have P45-200mm, use it once when I went to Borneo jungle.
  20. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    I would consider getting a second body to minimize lens changes and as a backup. I currently have a Nikon Coolpix A (with 28mm equivalent fixed lens) and an E-M10 with 25 and 45. Having one body with a wide attached (in OP's case, the 15) and another with either a normal or tele (25/45) works for me for most situations.

    If carrying only one body, I'd probably stick with zooms, but probably would upgrade to a 12-35/12-40.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015