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12-08-2010, 09:14 AM   #1
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Cruise: Lens choices. Help needed

Help: Lens for a Cruise Trip

This will be my first time on a cruise. [Carnival line] Rather suddenly planned by someone else. Will be to Jamaica and Cayman islands for 5 days. No idea what to expect. Not sure what lenses to take.

This will be a trip with extended family [7 adults 4 kids]. So I need to take plenty of family pics. Wont be able to spend too much time on carefully planned landscape shots but I would like to take some on the few trips off the boat. I plan to take just 2 lenses and my new k5. Having too many choices on a trip does not work for me I have found. My lens choices are as follows.

Option 1:
  • DA 70mm –my favorite lens
  • DA 35mm
Advantage: easy to carry, takes good pics.
Disadvantage: will I miss wider angle? But will there be any opportunities for those as we will only be doing few trips off the boat? How easy is it to take pics on the deck? Also difficult to shoot running kids with these 2 lenses.

Option 2:
  • Da50-135mm-for shooting running around kids, this does a better job than the two small prime lenses for me. A weather proof solution if I am walking around on a beach or around the pools and waterfalls. Disadvantage: big lens. Looks expensive. Not sure about theft on a cruise or on the islands.
  • DA35mm
Option 3:
  • Da70mm
  • Sigma 18-200: Takes fairly good pics. Can go wide angle if needed. But I wind up with lots more pics that are deleted too with this lens. Have not used it much lately.
Sorry for being long-winded. Life was simpler when I only had the sigma 18-200. Still waiting to get my long-planned normal zoom and that maybe another choice. Now I have gotten picky. What would you choose? Thanks in advance.

12-08-2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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Will I be first to suggest the DA 18-135? It's WR, plenty of range, probably good enough with the K-5 to crop to ~200mm.
12-08-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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I'll be honest, when on a cruise ship my 17-50 is on 90% of the time. Though ships are massive, they make very efficient use of their space on deck and inside.

On shore visits, I'd suggest the DA*50-135 to follow the kids in the waterfalls in Jamaiica and the DA35 for the falls themselves and the usually very narrow Caribbean cities and villages.

If getting an extra cam is in the books, I'd highly suggest a waterproof point and shoot like the "W" series. Though it's image quality is nowhere near your K5, they are built like a tank, take awesome pics under water (swimming with the rays in Grand-Caiiman!) and can be taken in the falls and in the ocean at the beach by the kids themselves if they are old enough. I also found my W60 quite useful on the ship itself when I did not want to drag my K20 around (like at formal dinners).

A cute fishy while snorkeling in Grand Turk taken with my W60


PS: I'll be doing the same cruise this winter (Jamaiica and Grand Caiiman), but on Celebrity =D

Pat

Last edited by ve2vfd; 12-08-2010 at 10:39 AM. Reason: So many typos!!!!
12-08-2010, 10:00 AM   #4
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Ah heck, just take them all. That's what I do. No need to figure it out or wish you had the one you didn't bring.

12-08-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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On a cruise having more than two lenses should be easier than when traveling in general as you can keep what you don't carry in the cabin. Something fast and relatively short should work onboard, the 35mm should work (a fast normal zoom like the 16-50 1:2.8 would be ideal). The 18-200 would seem like a covenient general purpose outdoor piece for trips and on the deck.
12-08-2010, 11:57 AM   #6
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thanks for the replies so far:

re; 18-135mm: maybe too slow in indoor shooting. Not sure whether it would be a nice fit with the rest of my lenses.

re:17-50 and 16-50 fast normal zooms: just buying a fast normal zoom for the trip was a secondary option. Anyone has the newest sigma 17-50 2.8 dc os hsm lens? How does it compare to the pentax 16-50?

re: taking many lenses. I could do that but it has not worked in the past. I really need to take just two. If I take too many I am wasting too much time thinking of what the shot would look like with the another lens.
12-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Option 3 because it's the only one close to having a wide angle, and that is barely...

I would recommend a 12-24 from the markletplace that you can later resell if you somehow decide not to keep it. It is a very versatile range.

That and your 70.
12-08-2010, 12:24 PM   #8
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I had a similar situation when I went on my honeymoon cruise two years ago. I really just used my DA 16-50 for most, and then my DA50-135 on some excursions. Even if the zoom might seem a bit short, you have so much resolution you can crop to get closer. Also WR sets your mind at ease with all of the humidity and occasional water spray. I never was in a situation where I thought 16mm wasn't wide enough, I wouldn't carry around another lens just for that either.

I would recommend a circular polarizer for the normal zoom. The sun is so bright when you're on the beach, it really brings out the blues in the skies and ocean.

12-08-2010, 12:31 PM   #9
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I wouldn't think you need anything LONGER than the 35, even for the shore excursions

Not for those destinations.
12-08-2010, 01:15 PM   #10
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I took a lousy Carnival cruise 1.9 years ago, Long Beach CA to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan (driving there was more interesting) and Cabo San Lucas. I took a crate full of lenses (because after the cruise I drove across Mexico). What I *used* on the cruise, aboard and ashore, were: Zenitar 16/2.8, DA18-250, FA50/1.4, Tak-B 135/2.5, and a Raynox DCR-250. Inside the ship demanded width and speed. Off the ship demanded the superzoom. And my old 5mpx Sony DSC-V1 P&S saw a lot of use.

Were I to repeat that crappy experience with my current and prospective lens kit, the line-up for my K20D would probably be: Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, Vivitar 24/2, DA50/1.4, Nikkor 85/2, and the Raynox. And maybe the Tak-B 135/2.5. And a whole lot of hashish, to kill the onboard tedium. Samuel Johnson called sailing "imprisonment, with chance of drowning". Carnival also supplies vast amounts of not-first-class food. Oy. I mean, ahoy!
12-08-2010, 05:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions.

RioRico
I took a lousy Carnival cruise 1.9 years ago

Well: I was not really interested in a cruise but I have to go with the extended family. I would definitely prefer a road trip. I only agreed because I thought I could disappear and take some pics here and there...

alfdog
I had a similar situation when I went on my honeymoon cruise two years ago. I really just used my DA 16-50 for most, and then my DA50-135 on some excursions.

Sounds tempting since I had been thinking on and off of getting the 50-135 its mate...but that would be 2 big lenses. Not sure whether I want to chance it on another sdm lens even though I have not had any issues with one.

Ira
I wouldn't think you need anything LONGER than the 35, even for the shore excursions

I suppose, except that I want to shoot running kids and the DA 35 and 18-200 are slow. Also shooting with longer lenses, in my thinking may give pictures that dont look like what the rest of the family is doing with their point and shoot things. Hence my consideration of the 50-135.
12-08-2010, 07:17 PM   #12
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you can get a used 16-45 or Tamron 17-50/2.8. and tag along your 50-135. you need a wider FOV around the ship and a longer focal length for distant shot close-ups. ultimately, you will use the 16-45 85% during your trip due to large group shooting and background views. personally, the 16-45 should be enough. since you have a K-5, faster shutter speed shouldn't be a problem. just use the K-5's excellent DR or just boost-up the ISO to 6400. you should be fine. yes, just bring one lens.
12-08-2010, 10:40 PM   #13
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Don't know why you're limiting yourself; or perhaps I should say, I don't think you need to decide. Take everything in a few camera bags; take a big camera/lens back-pack plus a smaller camera bag to use during the day; take a tripod if you have one. What you won't be using the next few hours can all sit in your cabin in the closet.

Take a look at my gear list. I took almost everything on it on my last 10-day'er in the Baltic (I didn't have the 70-200/2.8 yet at the time tho). Cruises are one of the rare modes of vacation travel where you're not limited in the number or weight of bags you take. A real pleasure after the restrictions I had in weight and size when going to Tanzania.
12-09-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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Definitely a waterproof camera. I would be too paranoid to bring my dslr. Just too many people in the same place
12-09-2010, 08:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucyGoosey Quote
Definitely a waterproof camera. I would be too paranoid to bring my dslr. Just too many people in the same place
I did like my waterproof W60 for water use, but the weatherproofing on the K's is good enough that when I went on a walking tour of San-Juan in the *pouring* rain when our ship stopped there. I had the K20d was around my neck the whole time.

You have no idea how many Canikon folks told me I'd ruin my camera and then did a double take when I told them it was weather resistant.



Pat
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