Which lens for an Island trip?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WT21, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    My wife has a conference on the Cayman Islands, so me and the kids get to tag along.

    I am thinking maybe I could use a wider angle lens than my current 14.

    My options for my EPL5 are:
    • P7-14: but have to deal with purple flare.
    • P12-35: not very wide, but SUPER sharp, and would probably be the only lens I'll need while there
    • O9-18: cheap and light. no purple flare.
    • Fisheye: Rokinon likely more than the Panny. Very cheap and small. Would be fun for sure, but would want to defish some of the pics later, and limited in it's use.

    I have a waterproof Panny point and shoot for snorkeling, so I just need this camera for on/around the Island. It is not likely I'll keep it, as I don't use these kinds of lenses except for trips, so I'd probably buy used and sell used.

    Any opinions/thoughts/lenses I missed? Or should I just stick with my P14 and be happy :)
     
  2. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    I just bought the 20mm f1.7 for my upcoming trip to hawaii.
    I figured it would be flexible enough for landscapes and close quarter portraits with my wife.
    The sharpness and compactness is what sold me and I'm hoping the slow focus won't be a problem.

    I'll probably bring my 12-50 kit lens just in case.

    Here I thought my 20 would be wide enough. Besides, I might try using the panoramic with the 20 if I need a real wide shot.
     
  3. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Nov 19, 2012
    MA
    Yefim
    You will love it there, it is a nice place. I went there in December with family and had a great time. I definitely recommend going to Stingray City - not sure how old your kids are but my 2 and 7 year olds had a blast there swimming and touching stingrays. Definitely bring your waterproof camera if you go there, I have Nikon AW100 for underwater/pool/sand/etc. that I used there for in-water shots and video.

    I took my OM-D with a kit 12-50mm lens which is sealed so it was safe with water and sand around. I also had Panasonic 20mm lens that I sold since then but I haven't used it much on the trip. You definitely want something wide to get the nice scenery shots and you want something long to get closeups on kids etc. My kit lens with 12mm on the wide side was not bad, but there were a few times when I wish I would have something wider. Since then, I bought Oly 9-18mm and it should be wide enough for me.

    I am going to St. Marteen in two weeks and planing to bring 9-18mm, 12-50mm (just to feel safer around water/sand), 25mm, and longer cheap 40-150mm. This should cover my needs and I am leaving other stuff at home.

    To give you some samples, here are some images I took with kit 12-50mm lens at Grand Cayman. This kit lens is really pretty damn good in my opinion:

    First vacation with OM-D

    Have fun!
     
  4. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    Bring the P12-35mm.
     
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Hmmmm... 12-50 is an idea. I've got an EPL5, so the weatherproofing wouldn't really help at all, but it's certainly affordable (relative to the 12-35) has a great range, and there's enough sun down in the Caymans. I could bring the 12-50, PL25 for evening shots, and maybe the 100-300 for any telephoto.

    edit -- I see now your comments on the 9-18. Yeah, that was my thought. We vacation on Cape Cod every year, and I always find an UWA useful there.

    Is there any flaura and fauna worth bringing a long telephoto for, on the Caymans?
     
  6. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Nov 19, 2012
    MA
    Yefim
    Honestly, I did not feel the need for a long telephoto except a few times when I wanted to capture parasailers/boats and cruise ships docked in a distance, during those times my kit 50mm limit was definitely short. My wife went parasailing and I stayed on the boat to take some shots and videos and again wished for a longer zoom since she went up quite high. Also, coming back from Stingray City trip the boat passed an area with some trees that had a lot of iguanas chilling in the branches and again my 50mm was too short to capture them. Those are the only few times when I wanted longer reach. With that said, I also have Panasonic 100-300 that you have, and honestly I think it would be a beast to bring along for this trip. I would recommend a $99 (currently on QVC) Oly 40-150 which is cheap and pretty good for outdoors as an alternative. It is much more compact to bring along. Same goes for the UWA - the 9-18mm Oly is very compact comparing to 7-14 Panasonic and doesn't have a non-removable hood. It also accepts filters so if you want to take those silky-smooth sunrise ocean shots it would come in handy.

    In my opinion, you want to travel light especially on the island. So most of the time it would be one lens on the camera and one in the pocket/bag. I don't like switching lenses to much in these situations, but rather enjoy and take pictures. I even considered getting Oly 14-150mm as a one lens solution for travel like these, but I am not impressed with reviews and IQ.

    If you already have 12-35 I would bring that and get 40-150 for a long end. Fisheye would also give you a nice UWA but you may either defish later or be careful framing to get a cool shot. Fisheye can actually be fun on the island.
     
  7. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    I love having an ultrawide when I travel, which is why I bought a 9-18 (what I haven't really used so far :( I need to remedy that..) It would be a good choice for your trip. And despite the common wisdom that polarizers and ultrawides are a bad combination, with the tropical island waters, they are worthwhile, so an advantage over the 7-14.

    Another cheap, small option you could look into (although it didn't seem to be in stock when I checked a month or so ago) is the wide converter lens from Panasonic for your 14mm lens. It gets you to 11mm.
     
  8. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    You should take the 12-50, and hope that you find it wide enough. On my 2 trips to Hawaii with my formwe Nikon gear, my Sigma 10-20mm was my most used lens by quite a bit, followed by my 35mm f/1.8. So, you'll use the 20mm a lot, but wider is good for the landscapes. But, I also had different telephoto lenses on the two trips, and combining the count of the 2 is higher still, so maybe a cheap 40-150 would be good to add as well....