Travel lens advice

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by judywisconsin, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. judywisconsin

    judywisconsin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2013
    We're doing a Russian River cruise in Sept. I want to bring as few lenses as possible. We'll be seeing river landscapes, museums & churches etc., as well as general street scenes.

    I'm looking for lens recommendations, as well as which lens(es) to use in which situations.

    I have an OMD EM5, along with various lenses:
    12-50 kit lens (f3.5-6.3)
    12-35, f2.8
    15, (body cap lens)
    17, 1.8
    25, 1.4
    75, 1.8
    75-300 4.8-6.7

    I've been told the 40-150, 4.0-5.6 might be a good one to have.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    You have a nice set, I would go with the following:
    Single lens 12-35 weather seal, wide and fast enough.
    Two lens set 12-35, 75 for size and performance or 75-300 for nature shots.

    The 40-150 is redundant because you can crop the 75 and get close quality.
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    My travel lens #1 is the 9-18.
    Wide, fast.
    My travel lens #2 is the 12/2
    Versatile, zoom.
    My travel lens #3 is the 14-140, but one of your 12-xx lenses would suffice.

    Re 40-150 that is really not as versatile as you might think. 80mm/35 equivalent is a short telephoto and will not work in many street situations. And, for a trip like yours where wildlife is not an emphasis, you may find little use for the 300mm end. If you do want wildlife, of course the 75-300 can be there for you and is better for that purpose.

    The only thing I don't see on your possessions list is a fast wide lens like the 12/2. IMHO you really can't capture a sense of interior space with anything longer than 24mm equivalent, and interiors are often dark -- making my 9-18 somewhat inadequate. With the good low light capability of the OM-D you might find that your 12-35 works, especially if you're carrying a monopod.

    For travel, particularly with a group, you have so little control over your shooting points and your movement that IMHO primes are not generally a good choice, particularly if you are shooting only one body. There's just not time to be changing lenses all the time.
  4. tomas

    tomas Mu-43 Regular

    Two more lenses for Russia

    I've done that trip. It's a great trip.

    In addition to the 12-35 and the 75, I suggest that a 9-18 or 7-14 wide angle zoom would come in very useful for building shots. I had the 9-18 and sold it to get a 7-14 so you can see I think the latter is more useful in my travel kit.

    The 75 is a fantastic lens; the 35-100 2.8 a little more versatile. I leave my 75 home for such trips and take the 35-100 unless I know that I'll be wanting to take photos in indoor performance venues.

    For very low light interior shots I suggest either the newer Olympus 17mm 1.7 or the Panasonic 25mm 1.4. The latter is faster; the former is smaller.

    If you'e going to be taking 2+ lenses, consider a second camera body. It's no fun changing lenses all the time with one camera body...and you will want to change lenses a lot.

    Blackrapid makes a camera strap, the Yeti, which is great for carrying two m4/3 cameras.

    My usual travel kit is the 12-35, the 35-100, the 7-14, and the 17 with two em5 bodies and the Yeti. It's not too big or too heavy for me. When I really want/need to go smaller and lighter it's the 12-35 and the 35-100 during the day and the 12-35 and the 17 at night.

    I don't think you will need the 75-300 very much; even for photos of buildings on shore taken from the boat the 35-100 will handle well

    Hopes this helps; everyone's situation is a bit different.
  5. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I understand you will be on a ship most of the time since this is a river cruise?

    12-35, 75-300, 17 1.8 or 25 1.4 depending on your preference for low light street.

    Leave that 75-300 to use on the ship and carry the 12-35, 17 or 25 combo when you disembark.
  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    The 12mm lens is pretty darn pricey for someone who already owns the 12-35mm f2.8. I would seriously doubt that 1 f-stop is worth $600 for all but the most specialized professional application. I've yet to shoot an interior where I couldn't brace the camera on something like a chair or church pew.

    IMHO, the 12-35mm and the 75mm would be a great, space efficient combo, and if serious available light shooting was needed, bring the 25mm as well.

    Out of my own kit, I'd bring my 7-14mm, my 20mm, and my 45-175mm, but if I owned the 75mm, I'd sub that for the 45-175.
  7. rfortson

    rfortson Mu-43 Veteran

    You've got a great setup. If you want to minimize lenses, I'd take the 12-35 for walking around and the 75-300 for shots from the ship to shore as you're cruising. I'd be tempted to add the 45/1.8 to cover the distance between 35 and 75.

    Are you wanting to limit the size of your kit so you don't have to worry about changing lenses? The physical size of your kit isn't that great. I'd be tempted to just take it all. Of your kit, I guess the 12-50 and the 15/8 are the least useful.
  8. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    For me it's going to be two lens only:
    12-35mm f/2.8 (wide and interior shots, landscapes, normal walkaround)
    75mm f/1.8 (telephoto, street)

    I would not bring the 75-300mm unless I specifically have an agenda like shooting wildlife etc., Although yes this might come in handy on the cruise.
  9. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I would take these:
    12-35, f2.8
    17, 1.8
    75-300 4.8-6.7

    I would bet that 90% of photos will be taken with the 12-35 though. Such a versatile lens.
  10. Rfinley33

    Rfinley33 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 8, 2012
    Salt Lake City
    Took that trip last year--it was great. Took most of my pictures with 12mm 2.0 and some with a 45mm. I would recommend the 12-35 and the 75. Wouldn't bother with the 75-300.
  11. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    Well, if you really want to bring as few lenses as possible, that would mean 1. To shoot what you mention above, I don't see why one would need anything other than your 12-35.
    Or your 12-50, for that matter, and then you'd also gain a bit of reach, weather-sealing on you EM5, and macro.
    With either one of those lenses, your EM5 always ready on a wrist strap, no lens changing, you're going to come home with just as many great photos as you would if you brought your whole kitchen sink.
    If you've never traveled with a single camera and a single lens, give it a go! Keep it simple, and take full advantage of such a compact system...
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