What lenses for southwest USA?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by e_kjellgren, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011

    Im leaving for a trip to the national parks of Utah, Arizona and California.
    Thinking of what lenses i should bring, my setup consists of the following:
    oly 14-42
    oly 40-150
    oly 45
    oly 75
    pan 14
    pan 25
    sam 7.5
    toy 25

    Maybe I could live with pan 14, pan 25, oly 40-150 and sam 7.5?
    Oly 75 is relativelly heavy and environmental portraits perhaps could be done with the 40-150?

  2. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    When I went there a couple of years ago, I took 95% of my photos with a 12-105 focal length on full frame. You want wide - as wide as possible for some shots.... (7-14 type wide...)
  3. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    Yep, wide is most definitely what you want.

    And for the love of all that's holy, don't miss Sedona -- it's the most beautiful place on earth.
  4. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    It depends a lot on if I were driving or flying. I would take a lot more if I were driving.
  5. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    You should have good light most of the time, so I'd bring the two zooms you have and either buy or rent a 9-18. And bring a lightweight tripod.
  6. Hudsonhites

    Hudsonhites Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 14, 2011
    If you're driving don't worry about it take everything.

    I'm not a believer in the school of thought that wides angles are for landscapes and telephotos are for portraits. I taken and seen many wonderful landscapes captured with a telephoto lenses and portraits taken with a wide.

    A photo of a flower, animal or rock out cropping can be as much a portrait as a photo of a person.

    Myself I tend to shoot across a wide range of focal lengths depending on situation and what I want to express with the photo.

    You don't have any galleries of your worked linked so its differcult to tell how you work. Judging from your lens list it seems pretty broad.

    Besides its micro four thirds so its light and small just take it all!
  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Au contraire, that would be Yosemite.

    What is often overlooked is Kings Canyon. While lacking the variety of Yosemite, a walk through Kings, in the early morning mist, will bring clarity to the words: God, Earth, Nature, Creation, Time, Space and man's place in the universe.

  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    1) Where are you coming from?

    2) Is this a family vacation or a photo expedition?
  9. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I was there in April with the 7-14mm, 20mm, Oly 45mm, 14-42 kit lens, and Oly 40-150. All lenses got some use, but in order, I got the most keepers from the 7-14, 14-42, 20, 45 and 40-150 (very few with this one). Zooms are useful because it can be hazardous to change lenses in the dusty desert conditions.
  10. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    Coming from Sweden, flying to Denver to pickup the rented car, then starts the adventure!
    Moab (Arches)
    Page (Antelope)
    Big Sur
    Reno to return the car and fly back to Denver and Stockholm.

    It's a combined family/photo trip :)
  11. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    You missed Monument Valley. IMHO do NOT miss Monument Valley (2.5 hour detour from Page).....

    And Death Valley....
  12. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    2/3 of my shots on a very similar itinerary were on DX with a 16-85mm (equivalent of a 24-120mm FF lens). But that's just me. Used 11-16 (16-24 equiv) a bunch and 70-300 (105-450) a little.

    My trip: Denver, Black Hills/Rushmore, Little Big Horn, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Salt Lake City, Bryce, Zion, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Owens Valley, Yosemite, Napa, San Francisco.
  13. RajC

    RajC Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2013
    Lens choices

    I'd bring the widest and the telephoto zoom.
    If your family is going along they may get tired of waiting for you to change lenses frequently. Remember, this is a trip for them, too. I doubt that having "the wrong lens" will be an issue and spoil your trip.

    I'd be mostly concerned about having good polarizers on the lenses.
    As for a tripod, i wouldn't bring one. Just buy a small tabletop tripod when you land. Skip the gorillapod (I never use mine).
    And don't forget that we use 110 AC here so you may need a converter for your battery charger, etc.
  14. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    I hope you have a month! At least!! :smile:
  15. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Don't leave the 75. Unless you do wildlife I would leave the 40-150. However you will see some unique birds,so maybe not. If you bring a little tripod you can get shots like this. Carlsbad_3.jpg Carlsbad_2.JPG
  16. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    + 1 You have a nice kit, use it all. I would not leave the 40 - 150 at home, there will always be a shot where you need a little reach. Wide is not everything when it comes to landscape. Case in point: my wife went to a conference in Palm Springs and I suggested that she take the 40 - 150 with her. She thought that I was nuts and only took the E-PM1 w/kit lens and the 40 - 150. Most of her best shots were with the 40 - 150, hills that were too far away, wind turbine farms, etc. FWIW - I would have taken a different body and at least 3 more lenses.
  17. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Well, my first trip out to the U.S. Southwest did not include going through customs, and it was before 911 (though it was during the first Gulf war), but I brought a 4x5 and 20 holders, a Hasselblad with three lenses, and an OM1 with a 28, a 50 and a 135. It was a lot, but if part of the reason for the trip is to photograph, I'd take a good selection of those nice primes you have. Heck, you can fit two m4/3 bodies and 5 lenses in a still rather small package.
  18. lawa222

    lawa222 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 3, 2013
    Having traveled that area a fair amount, this is a great point. You'll probably be fine as long as you have something wide and something out to short-telephoto, but you'll be a heck of a lot better with good polarizers. Many days you may not see a single cloud, and the skies will get very boring if you can't bump up the blue/contrast with a CPF.
  19. RajC

    RajC Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2013
    Wildlife images while traveling

    A previous comment mentioned unique birds and the possible need for a telephoto.
    If you are hitting the usual tourist spots I would not count on seeing much in the way of unique wildlife, unless you a) are going to a zoo or b) consider crows/deer to be unique wildlife.
    While we all want to be the next Marlon Perkins (I'm showing my age), crowds and wildlife do not go together. And if you are traveling with your family you may not have the opportunity or desire to go someplace quiet by yourself and be patient.

    And for goodness sake, don't go into water above a waterfall w/o completing your will.
  20. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    oly 14-42
    oly 40-150
    oly 45 OR oly 75
    pan 14
    pan 25
    sam 7.5 Only if you have some fisheye images in mind

    I would bring a tripod the best photos are early and late during magic hour where a tripod makes a big difference, and circular polarizer filters. If you are leaving soon be prepared for HEAT especially in Arizona. Some people have said you will miss Death Vally but I would not suggest going there in summer.

    Have fun, carry and drink lots of water!
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