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10-30-2010, 09:25 AM   #1
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Lenses for Paris

I am traveling to Paris this winter and right now I am in the process of deciding what lens kit to get with my Pentax Kx, should I get the 18-55 only or the one that comes with the 55-300 as well? I also was wondering if there are any lenses I should be looking for that are a must when traveling to Paris?
Any help would be appreciated!

10-30-2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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It really comes down to what you use and your own preferences. I wen to Madrid earlier this summer and used the K-x with mostly primes from 15mm to 70mm. However, the convenience of the 18-55 + 50-200 was much appreciated as an easy-shot alternative.

The addition of the 55-300 really makes a nice kit, if you can afford the extra cost and bulk. Some very good friends just came back from Paris where they used a K100d plus 18-55 plus 50-200 I loaned them. They seemed to have gotten the shots they wanted and the upgrade from their P&S photos was obvious.
10-30-2010, 10:16 AM   #3
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What are you going to shoot, and what finish you want the photos to have will dictate the lens you need. Do some research before of the places you want to see, check the weather at that time of the year, search for photos in here, flickr or elsewhere.

The 18-55 kit is a nice lens, but if you're also thinking of telephoto shots getting the 55-300 is a good idea.

Take a look at the pentax 17-70 which might also be a single-lens solution. (Without a tele-photo, though)
10-30-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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When I want to travel light, I bring my Tamron 28-75/2.8. It has enough length for most shots and is wide enough for city scenery.

If you plant to visit the Louvre or other museums, you will want to bring faster lens than the kit lenses. For indoor areas like Notre Dame, you need a steady hand or sneak in a tripod.

Last edited by klh; 10-30-2010 at 11:56 AM.
10-30-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
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During my trip to Paris a few months ago I exclusively used my da 16-45mm. If you want to shoot people, a tele-photo can help; otherwise, subjectively, the perfect focal range for a city of large boulevards and impressive imperial buildings like Paris would be 12-75mm (or 12-50mm; I think the 50-75mm would be less essential). If the 16mm of my DA 16-45mm made me realize something, it was that I wanted a true UWA lens. This, again, is subjective, and for my first trip there the 16-45mm was excellent.
10-30-2010, 11:30 AM   #6
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I have visited Paris several times. I think a UWA lens is essential. My last trip was with my sigma 10-20 my tamron 28-75 and my vivitar 85F1.4 which I used to do candid shots of people on the street

In all honesty this is all you need
10-30-2010, 11:35 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have visited Paris several times. I think a UWA lens is essential

A very recent thread on DPreview about the same subject: Best lens for PARIS: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
10-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #8
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We went to Paris this summer and even though I took a few lenses (like the 55-300) the lens I used exclusively was the Sigma 17-70. I guess it depends on your shooting style. For my tastes I like to tell the story in wide angle shots. I do wish for a constant 2.8 17-70 for those museum shots.

10-30-2010, 01:50 PM   #9
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I am in Paris 4-5 times a year and usually all I take is my Tamron 17-50/2.8, but admit there are some times I would like to have a longer zoom, also 2.8...but would settle for the 55-300.

Getting back to your original question, the 18-55 and the 55-300 with a steady hand will make a nice kit until you consider other options.

10-30-2010, 03:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
When I want to travel light, I bring my Tamron 28-75/2.8. It has enough length for most shots and is wide enough for city scenery.

If you plant to visit the Louvre or other museums, you will want to bring faster lens than the kit lenses. For indoor areas like Notre Dame, you need a steady hand or sneak in a tripod.
I shoot all manual primes, but that 28-75 is an incredible lens, and is one of three zooms I would consider buying.
10-30-2010, 06:25 PM   #11
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thank you all so much for your help, I certainly have a lot to think about!
10-30-2010, 06:31 PM   #12
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The 55-300 is a good lens, and one you will not need :-)

You will need something wider than the kit lens, however, and personally I would recommend a 12-24, used if funds are tight. But, you are taking a European vacation, so they can't be that tight. And you can always sell it later.
10-30-2010, 08:45 PM   #13
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I last visited Paris in 2007... and had a Canon S3 IS superzoom at the time. The camera's zoom range was 36-420mm (equivalent). And the truth is, I rarely used the long end and found 36mm wasn't nearly wide enough. I kept having to take (sometimes many) steps back to get buildings into the frame.

Which brings us to your K-x purchase. I agree the two lens kit with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses is the way to go. But that's because I think you'll find the 55-300mm will be a fine lens for your use in the future. You just won't need it in Paris.

The Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 is an excellent lens - if you can afford it - but it's $700 new. The Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 is a good second choice... at around $479 new. The Pentax DA 15mm f/4 Limited prime can also be had for about $500. Nice and small... a nice companion to the 18-55mm kit lens.

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