What would you bring to France?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by riverr02, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Hello everyone,

    Apologies in advance for another "which lens" thread : )

    I'm traveling to France with my wife and three children for two weeks, with stays at Disneyland, the french countryside, and Paris. Right now, I'm bringing a Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L AW backpack and will be bringing my OM-D, P12-35 and P35-100. Two questions for everyone. If you were in my shoes, would you:

    1. bring the P25 or the O17 1.8 for your low-light prime, and
    2. bring the 7-14

    I'm torn between traveling as light as possible given that it's a family trip and even considered just bringing the 12-35 and 35-100. But, I thought I'd need a low-light prime at night, and was wondering on the merits of FL vs IQ for the two options. Finally, while I probably wouldn't get much use of the 7-14 while I'm out and about, I had thought of "trying" to wake up early to photograph the French countryside.

    Thanks in advance for all your comments and suggestions,
  2. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I was in Paris last summer and got tons of use out of my 7-14, mostly but not exclusively for interiors and architectural shots. It produced probably 10-20 times as many "keepers" as my telephoto zoom (the Oly 40-150mm), and if I had to choose between the two, it would be no contest. I think a fast prime is a good idea for night time street shots, and for that the 17 will probably be more useful than the 25.
  3. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Agreed. 7-14, 12-35 and 17. If you insist on bringing the 35-100, fine. But it's the one that gets left home first.
  4. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Base on my trip to london last year I would go:

    7-14 or 9-18.
    17 prime.

    I found I used the wide angle during the day a lot. And at the other extreme I wanted 100. If you wanted to pack less you could buy a 14 Pany and take it and the 35-100.

    you would lose pretty much 3/4 of a stop, but you would get a really compact lens to carry in your pocket.
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I would bring a hot lady. They tend to love France
  6. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Everything, except Champagne.
    They have lots of that locally !

    Have a nice trip,
    Rafael from Brussels (don't bring beer to Brussels, we have lots of that here too)
  7. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    They have excellent red wines as well - but of course the best of them are not cheap
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    A giant shopping cart! :biggrin:
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    It really depends on what kind of photography you like to take. I lived in Paris for 10 years and never felt a compulsion to have a ultra wide lens.

    I would take the two fast zooms and the 25... then again the 17 is so small I would throw that in as well..paris is a great street photography venue

    Unless you really like the wide end of the 7-14 I would leave it at home

    enjoy your trip

  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    The three most important things I would suggest for visiting France:
    1. An appetite
    2. An appreciation for wine
    3. Stylish yet comfortable walking shoes

    As far as photo equipment goes, the beauty of :43: is that the weight penalty for bringing along your full complement of lenses is minimal. I would tend toward bringing all five lenses you mentioned. If I wanted to cut down weight, the O17 would be the first to be jettisoned followed by the P7-14.
  11. gs94121

    gs94121 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2011
    In regards to your concern for m43, I just returned back home from Paris a month ago. I brought Oly 9-18, Panny 12-35 & 35-100 with me for shooting scenic places such as Louvre, Arc deTromphe and Eiffel Tower. Be sure to photograph at night(s) as they're awesome than ordinary daytime photos. Sunset occurs around 10pm in Paris (it is summer here) so be sure to hang out till around 12 midnight or 1am especially Lovure you'd to shoot without any crowds in presence. Best of luck on shooting in Paris.
  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Pretty much my thoughts. You carry one lens on the body in your hand or on a strap (keep an eye on it!), other lenses in the LowePro bag. You decide you don't need ultra wide or long lenses for the day, leave 1 or 2 lenses in the hotel for the day.

    Unless I know exactly what I'm going to be shooting, the whole point of using m4/3 as a travel system is I can bring everything from 7-300mm in my bag without breaking my back or leaving all my socks at home :cool: 
  13. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    €€€€€€ and lots of it!!
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    just one tip... DO NOT sit down at a outside table at a cafe in a busy tourist spot with the family... it will cost you big time....step a block away from the main drag and you will get a better price and a more genuine french experience.

  15. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    I wanted to sincerely thank everyone for your input and suggestions. After considering all your comments, I'll be going with all three zooms (including the 7-14) and the 17 1.8 prime. Jay's post makes me wonder if I shouldn't see if I could fit the 75-300 in there : )

    Doug, Keith, & Rafael- we do hope to enjoy as much red wine as we can. The house we rented for a week is not too far from Bordeaux- since we'll be traveling with not only our 6 year old daughter AND our twin 7 month old girls AND another couple with their two daughters, I'm sure much alcohol to calm our nerves will be in order! And Kevin, thanks for the tips, especially with regards to avoiding the tourist traps. I'm hoping to get some good shots, and will post the best when I return.

    And Doug, I told my wife she was the hot lady I was bringing- brought a smile to both our faces ; )

    Thanks again,
  16. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    I would bring a 'vacation zoom', especially around a park like Disneyland where you might not want to drag a backpack. I just carry my camera in its full body case.

    For the rest of your trip, the 12-35 is de rigueur of course. The 35-100 is your portrait lens which you will need since it is a family vacation. If you go to visit monuments, the 7-14 will be helpful. I'm not sure about needing low light lenses as the sun sets quite late in Paris during summer.

    Be careful with pickpockets in busy places.

    Enjoy your vacation!
  17. gnb40

    gnb40 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 9, 2011
    You might want to rethink the backpack. I love them, but in Italy and Spain they were a pain... always inspected and at most museums had to be checked. My brother in law had a small backpack, while I carried a messenger style bag. Consistently he would have to check his bag while I walked in and rarely had my bag even searched. I asked one security guard about that and he stated that backpacks are take to long to search properly so they make people check them. I use a small PacSafe bag with a padded camera bag insert I got from Amazon. Because it didn't look like a camera bag, I had little problems getting it in places.
  18. trailguru

    trailguru Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2012
    Somerset, England
    I wouldn't get too excised about it. Take the lot, they're not going to be a burden. I've just got back from motorcycling around France and took 9-18, 14-42 and 40-150. Compared to the DSLR kit I took last year it was a delight to have such a neat little system.

    I also had a Vanguard Nivelo 204SL travel tripod. It's a great piece of kit.
  19. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    I took 7-14, 14 and 20 with GF1 and G3. The 7-14 surely saw some actions. I also brought a small tripod.





    If I were to go back, I might be lazy to take one body and lens - 12-35. If I decide to bring more than one, 7-14 will surely go with me.
  20. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Thank you all for the recommendations. Marcl, I thought of bringing a super zoom, but (1) I don't currently own one, having sold my 14-140 a while ago, and (2) I personally prefer the subject isolation capable with the zooms I currently have (and primes) as compared to possible with the darker superzooms. Still, I can surely see the appeal for such a lens. And I'm with you on looking out for pickpockets- especially after a run in I had with one in Genova many years ago.

    Gary, unfortunately the other bags I have (a sling and smaller camera bag) don't carry all my gear, so I'm going to hope for the best- let you know how that fares.

    Trailguru and Dave, I've decided thanks to everyone's input to bring the 7-14. Especially after seeing some of your photographs- mighty nice work Dave. Wish I could get some of my own pics of Paris late at night- but with twin infants, I doubt I'll have many options there ; )
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