1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Which lens to bring on a holiday?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by melonbread, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. melonbread

    melonbread Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Aug 27, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Jannette
    Hi there - I'm a long term lurker but finally got myself up and joined this forum.

    My old kit consisted of a Nikon D7000 (and many lenses), and a Yashica Mat 124G.
    I saw the beautiful images on the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 thread and I just couldn't help myself and took the plunge (tax returns - win). The main reason though was because my partner and I are going on a 5 week holiday to Europe, and the thought of wandering the streets with a giant heavy camera bag around my neck (with the added battery grip) was just... too much. So he agreed for me to get the Olympus, and I'm sure the fact that he normally ends up carrying the bags at the end of the day has something to do with it ;)

    I ended up getting the Olympus E-P3 with the 14-42mm kit lens and also the Olympus 45mm f/1.8.

    The last thing is that we are both… Architects. Which makes us horrible to travel with, as we spend a large amount of time staring at bricks. Because they are interesting like that.

    So I’m wondering if the lenses that I have will be good for travelling the streets of Europe - so food, Christmas markets, the interesting people we will meet, landscapes and of course, architecture.

    Would you recommend any other lenses as well? I could probably afford one more lens to bring with me (or leave one of the ones I have at home). Probably one that will stay on the camera most of the time.

    I would really appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks - sorry about the long post!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Geoff3DMN

    Geoff3DMN Mu-43 Veteran

    IMHO for a 2 prime lens 'budget' kit it's pretty hard to go past the Olympus 45mm f1.8 and the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 and the wider field of view wouldn't go astray if you like looking at buildings. It's very reasonably priced too!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I recently came back from a trip to California (not quite the narrow streets of Europe) with the following lenses: 7-14, 12-50, 25/1.4, 45/1.8. Guess which lens spent the most time on my camera?

    It was the 7-14, followed by the 25, and then the 45. You've got the people covered with your 45/1.8. The 7-14 will be very handy for landscape and architecture...
     
  4. melonbread

    melonbread Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Aug 27, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Jannette
    Ill have to check out the 7-14 and the 14mm f/2.5 - Was looking at all the reviews and people kept mentioning the panny 20mm pancake so I did get confused :)

    Thanks!
     
  5. larsjuhljensen

    larsjuhljensen Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Jun 26, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Generally when traveling in cities, in particular European ones with narrow streets, I find wide-angle lenses to be much more useful than tele lenses. This is especially true for crowded places like markets. I thus doubt you will need anything longer than the 45mm that you already have. Since you write "Christmas markets", I assume that you will be traveling Europe during the darkest part of the year and that you will want to take photos in the evenings too. A fast prime lens that is wider than the 45mm would thus in my opinion be by far the best addition to your kit.

    If budget is not an issue, the Olympus 12mm would probably be the best choice, as it would really bring a lot to the table. It is 2mm wider and more than 1.5 f-stops faster than the 14-42mm zoom at its widest. This would make it great for indoor architectural shots, narrow streets, crowded markets, and low-light in general. It is expensive, though.

    The cheaper alternative is the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 that has already been suggested. It is great value for money, but also does add less capabilities to your kit than the Olympus 12mm. That extra 1 f-stop over the kit lens (f/2.5 vs. f/3.5) will be very useful, though. Also it is absolutely tiny - the E-PL3 with the 14mm pancake will fit comfortably in a pocket of your jacket.
     
  6. larsjuhljensen

    larsjuhljensen Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Jun 26, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    The 20mm is an awesome lens for low-light situations. It is probably the lens I use the most. But for shooting architecture in European cities it is just not wide enough.
     
  7. melonbread

    melonbread Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Aug 27, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Jannette
    I think ill have to look at both of these. The 12mm may be out of budget though :) - thanks! You're right, it would be quite dark that time of year, and I did figure I would need a wider lens.
     
  8. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi
    I agree with Geoff , Olympus PL45 and Panny 14 will cover most of ur needs . If u have surplus tax return just add Panny 20 mm or Pl25 to the list and u have a deadly combo . In telephoto range Panny 45-175 seems to be a value for money . Congrats on EP3 , its a beautiful camera. personally would carry 14mm Panny , 20 mm Pany and 45 mm Oly .
    Cheers
    Bhupinder
     
  9. Loksi

    Loksi Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Aug 1, 2010
    Sydney
    Ross
    I have both the Lumix 7-14mm f/4 and the Lumix 14mm f/2.5. For me both are great and both are useful, however for travelling to Europe I think the 14mm may be a perfectly satisfying choice. As everyone has mentioned, it is tiny and incredibly light weight. There are oodles of them available online (eBay) and typically cost around AUD160 landed (any of the higher rated sellers with good feedback should be reliable). These lenses have been split off from kits and consequently arrive with front and back lens caps, but no original packaging. :smile:

    Ross
     
  10. melonbread

    melonbread Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Aug 27, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Jannette
    I had no idea they were so cheap on eBay - suddenly goes on top of my list.
    Thanks!
     
  11. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Lucille Sanchez
    the panny 14mm should find it's way into everybodys bag...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. David

    David Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Jun 22, 2011
    Sydney
    I did a recent travel with the EMP1 and 14mm and 45mm oly lens. Needless to say
    14mm was use 90 % of the time.
     
  13. HENNIGArts

    HENNIGArts New to Mu-43

    1
    Aug 28, 2012
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I totally agree. Living in Germany, I have traveled a lot of european cities and wide angle lenses are really a must. The Olympus 9-18 would be suggestion.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Though you've got the kit lens, the 14mm prime would be a nice and inexpensive addition. Personally I would recommend the 9-18mm (reasonable cost relative to the 7-14mm, though still up there). You'll definitely want as wide as possible. When we went to Italy 2 years ago I had my Pentax 15mm, 43mm and 70mm primes - 80% of over 3000 photos taken were with the 15mm (which is 22.5mm equivalent, or about an 11mm equivalent in m4/3 terms of lenses). The 9-18mm would cover a great range, especially in Europe where the streets are narrow and the buildings worth a multitude of photos.

    Even most of our portrait type photos were shot with the 15mm to get the backgrounds in. To put it in perspective, I shot perhaps 75 photos with the 70mm (closest to the 45mm in terms of focal length).
     
  15. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    What kind of pictures do you like to take? If you like wide angles a lot for getting in architecture in context, then a 7-14mm, 9-18mm or maybe Oly 12mm / Panasonic 12-35mm might work really well for you. If you like getting in tight shots of bricks across a city street, a longer tele or superzoom would be nice to have.

    Personally my go-to travel & do-everything lens is the Panasonic 14-140mm, but everyone is different. I just got back from Alaska and by far the most used lenses were the 14-140mm and 100-300mm (the longer lens was for wildlife primarily). The wide range of focal lengths is really useful in my experience. I got literally everything in with the 14-140 on this trip: landscapes/scenery, portraits, wildlife. The flip side though is it's a slower lens - so while it worked fantastically hiking and sightseeing outdoors in Alaska with 15+ hours of daylight, I'd have been using the fast primes or my 12-35mm had there been less available light.

    Based on your responses and original post, my recommendations to check out would be:

    1) 14mm pancake: affordable, a little faster aperture than your kit lens, and *tiny*
    2) 9-18mm: more affordable and smaller/lighter than the 7-14mm (which is otherwise my preference for a wide angle), and offers UWA view at f/4.0
    3) 20mm: not as wide as your kit lens, but fast enough for low light/indoors without a flash, more suitable for 'normal' view photography

    Which one(s) to go for in your case would be based on budget and which things are more important to you. With the 14-42 and 45 you can do great portraits, so the remainder of consideration in my mind would be the low light capability or wide angle for the scenery/architecture. If the wide angle is most important then the 9-18 is probably best bet (I'm assuming the 7-14mm is out of budget since the 12mm is). If low light is most important then the 20mm is the best bargain out there for a fast lens. If budget is a primary concern, then the tiny 14mm can't be beat for price and it's sharp, a little faster than what you have, and easily pocketable.
     
  16. mossie

    mossie Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Feb 14, 2012
    Sometimes the brick is several stories up....

    I am not an architect and by no means take any decent pictures, but I did just get back from a holiday hauling lots of lenses in Europe including 7-14, 14, 20, and 14-140 with a OM-D. I was using Nikon D60 before, and a GRD user so I could practically shoot at 14 without aiming. The subject would be somewhere in the frame, that is.

    That's too many lenses to carry around for sure. I found the pics taken with 7-14 very awesome, and definitely my favorites, but the long end is just not satisfying for a one-lens solution. 9-18 is probably a more versatile choice for a walk-around.

    My most used lens is the 14-140. It felt even heavier than Nikon 18-200 VR, but as a single-lens solution it's hard to beat. Consider Olympus 14-150 since you have the e-p3. Leave the kit lens at home.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. melonbread

    melonbread Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Aug 27, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Jannette

    Thank you for your responses everyone!
    I am probably more interested in photographing people, stalls etc, which was why I was drawn to the 45mm lens in the first place. The architect in me can't be killed though so that's why I was also considering a wide (plus my partner would be really, really upset if he couldn't take any photos of buildings because my camera couldn't take them in - hes more architect-minded than I am).

    The 14mm is unbelievably affordable (and tiny and light!). I was thinking that one could replace the kit lens, which I could then at home. I will also look into the 9-18mm, it hadn't come up before so I will definitely check it out.

    Its a few months out till the trip so I imagine I'd take them all out for a spin and see which ones I gravitate towards. I do have a budget for some lenses but I feel that the 12mm Olympus may be too much :)