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Traveling with only 25mm (50mm eqv.) lens: is it possible?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Braza, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Braza

    Braza Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2013
    Hello all!

    Just want to talk about this. If you could have only one lens, and it is a 25mm prime (Oly or Panny, for example) and you going to travel somewhere. Will you regret or not?

    Are there someone, who really did or do it? :) 
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I do frequently.

    Sometimes I go out with just a 35mm equiv FOV. Some of the greatest photographers of years past would shoot a single focal length to near exclusivity.
  3. Braza

    Braza Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2013
    Yes, I know. But these photographers mainly were shooting for art, and not for "I was here". :)  And I'm talking about shooting casuals most of the time in travel.
  4. profgregorio

    profgregorio Mu-43 Regular

    May 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    I have gone on a number of photowalks in my travels using mostly my Pana Leica 25 1.4. While the image quality of the 25 is certainly better, I now prefer to travel with my Lumix 14-45. I missed too many great photo opportunities in Siem Reap and Beijing with the 25 that I would have been able to get using the zoom. There are just too many instances when you cannot "zoom with your feet" using a prime lens.
  5. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    I would usually travel with Panasonic 20mm and Olympus 40-150mm, I find I can usually zoom with my feet in the range up to where the 40-150mm comes in.
  6. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    I can put like this; those times i traveled and when I go through the pictures. The ones that got 5star rating is those from the PL25. Awesome lens. Its just something about the mix of f1.4 and fov and that sweet contrast.
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    It sounds like you may have answered your own questions. It appears that a single lens does not sufficiently allow you to shoot for "I was here" when in travel.

  8. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes... you have a point and I agree with the other post. Seems you have already answered you question.
    Btw... The photographers I had in mind were mostly journalists.
  9. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I'd take a 17mm over a 25mm for "I was here" type shots. The fifty is good for photojournalism when you want to focus on a story but in my opinion you'd miss too much of "the big picture."
  10. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    I'd challenge you further and say yes to the 50mm AND leave the camera on manual AF selection, manual exposure, and spot or center-weighted metering. Better yet... "Sunny 16" everything. You'll have a greater appreciation for the "keepers" from the trip.

    Show that electronic photographic marvel who the boss REALLY is!
    • Like Like x 2
  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I shoot with one prime a lot, and sometime exclusively when I go out shooting street. My favorite on the Olympus OMD EM5 is the 17/1.8.

    If I am shooting my Nikon Df, I normally have the 50/1.8D on it.

    I very rarely deviate from those focal lengths unless I see a pressing need.
    If you are comfortable with your gear and your shooting style, then you'll get the images you want because your mindset will be in a happy place. If you take too many choices with you, you'll be agonizing over which lens to use and most likely be missing shots.
  12. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Regret traveling? Probably :biggrin:.

    Regret having a 50mm equivalent as my only lens? Nope.

    I spent a year overseas (from the U.S.) with a Pen FT and a 38mm lens as my only kit. Missed some shots (no telephoto capability, no ultra wide angle capability means some lost shots) but the ones I got were quite satisfying. And I was shooting "I was there" photographs, not photojournalism shots. (The Pen FT was a 'half frame' 35mm film camera, the 38mm was equivalent to 55mm 'full frame' point of view more or less).

    Reference: http://www.theatreofnoise.com/2012/04/comparing-olympus-pen-lenses-40mm.html

    A single prime = no heavy kit, no changing lenses while others in the travel party fume, no time spent juggling lenses in an attempt to get the 'best' focal length mounted on the camera, no weighty zoom lens... I'm admittedly biased but I would be all over taking a single prime and "making do" with it. :2thumbs:

    It would not be the preferred scenario for many photographers, however - a good zoom might be a better choice or a trio of primes - everybody's mileage is going to be different on this one. I would be comfortable doing it because...I've already done it :biggrin:.

    (I did take a single lens to Alaska on a cruise a few years ago but it was a short zoom (27-83 equivalent); I missed some shots due to the lack of a longer lens :frown:. However I didn't spend anytime swapping lenses or thinking about which lens would be the 'best' choice. I could've swapped out the zoom for a 35mm Nikon without losing too many of the shots I brought home).


  13. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Depends on wha you like to photograph . It's too narrow for entire building a. I would prefer 35mm instead , but even then 28 is probably better for architecture.
  14. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I did a few months in Asia with a fixed lens 35mm back in the film days (Yaschica T4 super with a fantastic Zeiss tessar). You will learn your focal length well. 50mm seems flexible enough. Unless you are the type to obsess over a shot you missed (that's not me at all), go for it! And this was also a conscious choice... I had a Nikon kit I left at home.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
  15. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    It depends on the trip really. Mostly walking around? A 25 will make it no problem (imho). Boat trip, cruise, or other situation when you're limited with your mobility (to frame the shot)? 25 and longer zoom, as suggested. I like wider angles too, but to me, they take a lot of time to frame properly, therefore not suitable when other people are with me.
  16. TransientEye

    TransientEye Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 18, 2013
    I think that it is very personal choice, and you need to try it to find out if it will work for you.

    A year ago we did a trip to Sicily where I took 12/25 and 45mm prime lenses plus a 12-50mm zoom (in case it rained). 95% of the resulting images were taken with the 25mm lens. As a result I now usually travel with just a 25mm or 50mm full-frame system, unless there is something I need specifically.

    One advantage of using a single prime is that camera becomes more "automatic". I find that the constraint of a single focal length helps make the camera more transparent - less fiddling with settings, more focus on the actual images. Sometimes having fewer choices is a good thing.
  17. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    For years I only used a 50mm on film cameras, even after I got more lenses I found the 50 was the most used lens. Would I regret only having a 25mm on a trip no but I would most likely take at least the Panasonic 12-32mm as well it takes no room so why not.
  18. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    For me, it would boil down to either of these three, 28, 35 or 50 as one prime lens. I have traveled with a 50, has done the job well. A big vote for 35 as an all-rounder. A 28 if the place you are going calls for more wider focal length. Having said that, a single zoom lens 12-35 solves a lot otoh.
  19. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    When I traveled light with the heavier Canon, I would take the 24-105L with a 50 f1.4 on a 5D FF. Probably something to consider as an alternate. The 24-105 was a great walk around lens and a tad lighter than my 24-70 with better range. The 50 is relatively easy to pack and fast.
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    • Like Like x 1
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