What to take on long haul?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Petrus61, May 8, 2013.

  1. Petrus61

    Petrus61 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Sorry to repeat but......I will be going to the States for the first time in 25 years and I need some advice on which lenses to take. Space and weight are limited but I am visiting Seattle and the wine areas - large vistas. Napa, Oregon, Stags Leap etc etc
    I have OMD extras batteries, back up cards, lens wise - Oly 9-18, Pan 25, Oly 12-50, Oly 60, Oly 75, Pan 35-100 - really annoying as I use them all but I suppose 9-18 a must, 25 for low light, 75 for cristal sharp and 35-100 for the zoom - doesn't save me much - might as well take all.......
    Tripod - another problem- have gitzo Carbon but space a problem - do people recommend a small gorilla or table top...I like night pics so essential really.
    Any advice would be welcome as I think filling my luggage weight allowance with "camera stuff" wold not go down too well...
  2. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    9-18 a must, 25 for low light, and 35-100 for the zoom; small table top tripod gets my vote. The lazy SOB in me says that I'd forgo mounting my Oly 75 if it were me, as it's a specialist lens; one to do a few shots with and switch out of, or thinking about how much use it will get at all while on the vacation. Mind you, this is thinking along the lines of minimal carry, else the 75 definitely goes for the ride.
  3. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I would do 9-18, 25, 35-100.

    There is no macro there, but unless you use it a lot I wouldn't bring it.

    The 12-50 is a jack of all trades but master of none.

    The 75 is one focal length that the 35-100 does. Unless you need to shoot a stop faster then don't bring it.
  4. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Just a quick note - it has been known to rain in and around the Seattle area; the 12/50, being weatherproof, might prove worth the weight if you plan a number of outdoors activities. If you have other weather protection, or do not plan on getting into inclement conditions (good luck with that in Seattle :biggrin:) then leave the 12/50 in London.

    The "old guy" photographer in me says bring an absolute minimum of camera gear, make a few images, but spend most of your time enjoying your vacation, not being concerned about mounting the "right lens", unless it's purely a trip for photography.

    I think the 9-18, 25, 35-100 would be my choice, given the bits that you've listed, and get a ZipLoc bag for rain protection.

    As for the tripod, Seattle has more than one camera store (Glazer's, Tall's, etc.):

    Welcome | Glazer's Camera

    Welcome To Tall's Camera

    I would contact one of the local brick and mortars near your initial stop and see about picking up an inexpensive rental or used tripod, returning it upon departure. Compared to the price of an over-the-pond ticket and the aggravation of transporting a tripod on board a modern jet the cost would, I think, be justified (and minimal). If you're not returning to Seattle for departure, buy used and sell it locally before boarding the flight home.

    Enjoy your trip to the colonies, spend lots of money, and don't forget to visit the gift shop before returning home.



  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    First some quick questions: Is the purpose of your trip primarily photography? Are you travelling by yourself or with family/friends? What exactly are you planning to see?

    And now my comments...

    This is good advice, except that rain in Seattle is a fairly seasonal thing. If you're visiting in the summer (roughly mid-June through late-September) then you're not all that likely to encounter precipitation. Also, if you bring along the 35-100 you can use that should you encounter rain.

    These are the three lenses I would choose, leaving the 12-50 and 75mm at home. I understand wanting to have the O75 just because it's such a "special" lens, but I would have a hard time justifying the weight given that you have the 35-100 which is "just" a stop and a third slower. The OM-D does well enough at higher ISOs that you can rely on pushing that if you need a longer focal length in low light.

    I'd avoid Tall's. Glazer's is a good shop and has a great rental department. They'll set you up with a set of legs for $40/wk (or $120/mo) if you can find room in your luggage for your own ball head. You might also consider renting from LensRentals.com or BorrowLenses.com.

    Heck, depending on your schedule (and mine) I've got a Benro Travel Angel that you could probably borrow if you're flying in and out of Seattle.
  6. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    If i was you, i'd take the 9-18 the 25 and 75mm. nothing more. that will push you to get good shots. Sometimes zooms and their convenience makes us lazy, and we take 5 or 10 shots of the exact same thing at different FOV but at the end you will edit them and end up with one of those shots not the 5 or 10 shots you took. save space, weight, have fun and think more.
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    just personal opinion...travel a lot... always take too many lenses... trying to narrow down to taking just 3 on any trip... did tokyo recently with just 17, 25 and 75.. though the 12-50 came along and never came out the bag.

    wandering thoughts

    My minimal choice for my style of photography would be

    12-50 - good coverall lens - did Napa with it

    25/1.4 - good fast social lens

    75/1.8 - will deliver the signature images of your trip

    a gorillapod is not a bad thing to have... though again for my style of photography I have only used it occasionally.

    Only you know what kind of photos you want to take... in the end any trip is about the experience... taking photos may be part of the experience but they are not a substitute for enjoying the moment

  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I always like having some macro capability, and the 60 is quite small, but that's me. Or, a Marumi closeup lens for the 35-100 if space challenged.

  9. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    All depends on your shooting style - MFT is so lightweight that even taking everything along remains a viable option. Which is what I did last trip. What got used was the 12-35. And the odd wildlife shot with the 100-300. And a bit of 7-14. Since the candid low light stuff was done with the rx100, the primes stayed in the bag.

    I don't have a lot of time for 35-100 focal lengths, and prefer a prime at the tele end (135L is the long canon lens i will not part with, having sold a 70-200/2.8 and 100-400). I would agree with the 9-18, 25, 75 setup, looking at your lenses.
  10. I've never taken a tripod travelling. It's such a big chunk of weight and space and even less useful now given the capability of the E-M5 IBIS and sensor. A small gorillapod would be as far as I would go.
  11. Petrus61

    Petrus61 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Thank you for your help

    Thank you all for your quick answers - the trip is primarily business but as I'm a wine merchant some people might see it differently....the main point is to visit vineyards and taste loads of wine so the vistas and photo opportunities should be numerous.

    Hopefully the weather will be clement as we arrive beginning of June for a couple of weeks. The idea of renting or buying a tripod seems a good one but we arrive in Seattle on a sunday so I'm sure the shops will be closed and as we fly out SF makes it difficult.

    The offer to borrow is stunning but I'm sure I will manage - what a community!

    I think the final selection will be 9-18, 25, 35-100 - well thats the thought today....I am tempted to take the 60 for macro but don't really know if I'll have many occasions to use it. I suppose could take the 12-50 for bad weather and macro.

    this is hard work.......I will go and have a look at a gorilla pod - have always been tempted but I like the Gitzo and Arca. I feel for night shots better have something........especially with the alcoholic shakes

    thanks once again -
  12. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
  13. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    That will be a good well rounded setup. The 35-100 is also sealed so I wouldn't worry about bringing the 12-50mm. I've generally found my pentax 50-135mm (same equiv focal length as the 35-100) extremely useful for landscapes - you can't always get close enough, and don't always want everything in the frame either - wide angles are great for landscapes with an interesting/unique foreground subject, but sometimes missing a parking lot or road or unsightly building in the picture is ok too :)

    I also think the 75mm is too specialized a lens to take for some general travel photos - you can still get good subject isolation with the 35-100 at 100mm, and will have the 25mm for a fast aperture.
  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound

    If you are actually in Seattle on Sunday, then Glazer's Welcome | Glazer's Camera is open, and is easily accessible from downtown by bus or trolly. You could save yourself the trouble of packing something and purchase what you need there, if that is more convenient.

    While it has been years since I traveled by plane with a tripod, I think that unless it was a photographic trip (like shooting BIF), then I would probably go with something like the Novoflex BasicBall (or RRS TFA-01) and a compact ball head. Manfrotto makes some affordable table tops units, but as I also want to be able to use this set up with my D300, I ended up with the Novoflex. For m4/3rd's only, the Gorilla pod would probably work well, but I have not used one myself, so cannot offer personal feedback.

    Good luck,

  15. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    Tabletop tripod

    I've had one of these for years and it works well. You can prop it against the side of a tree or building, on a railing, etc.
  16. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Me too, I use it with a Novoflex mini ballhead. Almost always something to put it on or press it against. Total weight about 300g.
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The 60mm is also weather sealed though. It would be the better choice for both macro and poor weather in my opinion, as you would never sacrifice, optical quality, or lens speed even if it's raining. I'd rather sacrifice a bit of convenience and need to back up with my feet due to lack of zoom, than to sacrifice performance for convenience. Especially since you have the 35-100mm. That also gives you a good range in a weather sealed zoom. The 12-50mm isn't even a macro lens, and also when the weather is poor you'll want a wider aperture than that slow lens. Both the 35-100mm and 60mm are f/2.8, which is not blazing fast but is fast enough to counter the overcast skies of a rainy day.

    Yeah, I'm the type who rarely ever takes a tripod but for traveling I find it pretty essential. My best scenic and landscape shots are going to be longer exposures around dusk or dawn, not the "snapshots" I take during the day. The majority of my shooting takes place in the studio or at events as that is my job, so I'm very accustomed to hand-holding and am very proficient with it. However, travel and leisure is tripod time for me. My landscape photography totally sucks if I can't get in a longer exposure.
  18. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    9-18, 25 and 35-100 seems to be a solid combo as others have pointed out. I wouldn't mind swapping the 35-100 with a 75 though.
  19. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    For Seattle and the wine countries, I would take a kit zoom, come-on O12-40!; the 12-50 would be great as well. Others have already commented that it is weather sealed. A O12 or wide angle zoom, 17/25 prime, plus a 045. I would leave out the tripod, O60 - O75, and the medium zoom.
  20. jime

    jime Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    Jonestown Texas
    For the wine country I would take a designated driver so that I could drink!

    Everybody has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film. -- (Steven Wright)