Travel lenses choice - what you'd do?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by laser8, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    I'm leaving tomorrow for few days in Sicily. I have the following pool to pick from: P14-42PZ, P12-35, P45-175 on the zoom side, P25 and P45 on the prime side. Usually I leave house with one or two lenses with me, I do not feel very comfortable with a lot of choices once I'm out, so I'd like to use the same philosophy this time too.

    I'll be mostly wandering around Palermo and Siracusa, and no big plans for photography (it's supposed to be quality time with the best half), so will be leaving ND filters, flash and tripod at home. Obviously, will still be on the lookout for interesting scenes. I think the minimum set to take is the 12-35 for general use (+CPL filter) and the 25 for evenings/nights. I'm 50/50 on the tele zoom though...

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

  2. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    The 12-35mm and 25mm would be a nice combination. If you have the room in your bag for the 45-175 it might come in handy.
    My basic travel kit is the 12-35mm, 35-100mm and the Nokton 25mm. These 3 lenses cover 95% of my needs, all I am missing is an ultra wide angle. Have fun on your trip.
  3. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'd actually drop the CPL and bring a fixed ND for the ability to use your PL25 more open during the day. I don't know about your other half but mine likes having some nice photos of her in these exotic locations, so I'd definitely want to use the PL25 (and maybe even the O45). The tele-zoom is always first to go when I leave lenses home. Do you use your PZ normally? If so, have you considered using the PZ during the day if you're mostly just spending time with your other half? I say this because the 12-35 is not exactly a discrete and easily tucked away lens.
  4. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks Gilly. @wjiang, I may even leave the CPL at home, but I like its functionality when there's a lot of water/nature. I may even leave it on all time during the day, and pull the 25 in the evening. I'm not a fan of ND use for shallow dof, as I'd rather shoot two stops down than raise the ISO too high, all else being equal. Re the PZ, I am not a fan of the rendering and put it on when I go to work or similar, just to have the camera with me with not much bulk.
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    12-35, 25/1.4 for evening shots. Last time I was in Sicily, the 12-35 hardly ever left the camera, occasionally getting swapped for the 45/1.8 for lower light and a little extra telephoto reach. Occasionally I missed having more telephoto, but that was literally for a small handful of shots. I would bring the CPL.
  6. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    Real Name:
    The 12-35 plus a 25 will be a lean and efficient travel kit. Throw in the 45 cos it's so small and will be great for low light details of architecture. I would bring the CPL too.

    Sent from my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  7. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    I used my PL25 almost exclusively this Christmas, with only a very few shots taken with the 45 when I wanted a tighter shot. But for travel when I'd want some more environmental shots, I can see the 12-35 being very handy. In fact, the 12-35 would probably do for almost everything. As much as I have fallen in love with the 25, if I was only going to take two lenses, it would probably be the 12-35 and the 45. If my bag could hold another lens as well, I'd take the 25.
  8. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    The 12-35mm for sure. You could do without the 25mm but I would take it. I love it! Leave the tele, you could do without it...
  9. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    Two that I would be sure to take are the 12-35 and the 25. Anything else will depend on space.
  10. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    I've used the PZ during travel before, and the size is very nice. Perhaps not the same image quality as the others, but during the day have the compactness and range is handy. If size isn't an issue I'd go with the 12-35 though.

    You probably won't need a telephoto, but I'd lean toward the 45 over the 25 just because it gives you low light and a bit longer reach if you take the 12-35. But if you think you'll be doing more shooting indoors, the 25 would be better.

    If you decide to take the PZ, I'd go with the 25.
  11. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks to all! It seems we have similar "tastes" for lenses...

    Funny how almost everybody automatically thinks the 45 is Olympus and not Panasonic - poor panaleica, it is a very good lens, you know? :)
  12. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    I'm sure it is. It is also much more expensive and not as fast, and not nearly as big a seller from what I see here.
  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Personally I'd just bring everything except the PL 45mm. The 12-35mm and PL 25 make a great combo as already noted, and you can always leave the 45-175 in the hotel room or in a bag just in case. The whole point of m4/3 for travel to me is that it's so light and compact you don't have to leave the gear at home :tongue:

    On the ND filter: I like shallow DoF portraits but it occurred to me a couple of vacations ago that the whole point of location photography on a trip is generally to include context. As a consequence I shoot almost all my vacation photos with deep DoF anyway, so I'm not missing much if I can't shoot wide open mid-day. The ND filters I do bring are for doing long exposures - fortunately my wife is extremely understanding and patient :biggrin:

    Tripod: I bring one for 2 reasons: long exposures, and getting photos with my wife and I together. Until I started carrying a tripod the last couple trips, we would get lots of landscapes and great photos of my wife... and next to nothing of the two of us. To me it's worth bringing a tripod just for the ability for us to get shots together. Just a thought.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    I just went through this dilemma on a trip to England (more to see family than sites). I ended up taking the 12-50, 14, 17, 45, 25, 75 40-150. (I used to only worry about taking the 12-60 & 50mm F2 w/ my 4/3rds kit).

    I never used the 40-150. A few places I could have used it, but was too lazy to swap lenses and they were evenings/sunset.

    I was reluctant to take the 75, but I'm very glad I did, in the end. Got some great portraits for xmas. I ended up using all the rest of the lenses, in part because I hadn't really tried out the 14 & 17 yet and it was a perfect opportunity to. I left a few lenses behind at the house each day (usually the 40-150 & 75). The 25 is a must and your 12-35 will get the most use for sure.
  15. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    You're right all the way. I got it primarily for its macro capabilities, and learned to appreciate it as a "normal" lens down the road. And it happened to be the best rendering lens so far!

    Thanks, very good reasoning. And the tripod bit too - I'm almost non-existent in our family pics...

    Thanks - I just made my mind and took the 25, the 12-35 and threw in the 45-175, just in case, plus polarizers. BTW I just got a Lowepro compuday 250 (it has a side opening with a small compartment for the camera) and I managed to fit in the three lenses and body in half of the available space! The compartment can be regulated so I have more space inside the backpack for cannoli and marsala... Eat your heart out, FF crew :)

    Thanks again all, hope I'll manage to have something to show you next week!
  16. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    I know you don't have the lens but I went in Thailand this Xmas and shot nearly everything with P7-14mm and PL25mm and hardly needed reach. On vacation and for all kinds of leasure situations, that two lenses combo is killer!
  17. ornithology

    ornithology Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    Any input on the 12-35 vs the 12-40? I'm guessing the oly will be too large?
  18. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I never go anywhere without some telephoto ability. But that is me and my style of photography.
  19. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    Real Name:
    like everyone said.

    I have that combo and it's incredible, they're blood related as far as I am concerned
  20. TransientEye

    TransientEye Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 18, 2013
    Real Name:
    I am going to be curious as to the results... Palermo is a fascinating place, with an amazing mixture of old and new and ruined.

    We had a weekend in Palermo last October and shot almost exclusively with a 25mm prime. In a town like Palermo, asking what lens is use is a bit like asking what flavour of ice-cream I should like - everything is good!