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01-10-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
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USVI wedding/vacation lens recommendation

I will be in St. Croix next week to get hitched. I've been there before and I know how beautiful it can be. Last time I was there, I didn't have a camera.

Now I do, and while I wouldn't be taking photos of my own wedding, somebody will and I can tell you I will be taking pictures at every other moment.

I'm considering renting a lens; if I order today it should be in for the trip. I found a site that carries pentax lenses and is around $30-$50 for 10 days. I'm trying to think about which lens I could use.

Here is what I have in my bag:
Sigma "A" 75-300m 4-5.6
K 24mm 2.8
M 50mm 1.4
DA AL 18-55 3.5-5.6
DA ED 50-200mm 4-5.6

I personally think that is a well-rounded collection for my purposes. But, does any lens come to your mind where you would say "you know what, for this trip i wouldn't leave home without..."

i was kind of thinking a wide-angle like a 12-24mm, or maybe a 15 prime for landscapes; landscapes would be the primary target there. Then I thought well, maybe a long telephoto like a 150-500 would be great - but what would I use that for? [i suppose shots of interesting birds might come into play here]

So, let's see - I’ll be hiking, going to shallow tide pools where coral exist, possibly island hoping, dining, snorkeling and kayaking (but the camera would stay home for these), sugar plantation, rum tour, maybe a botanical garden, and laying on the beach.

ALSO: recommendation about cameras/lenses on a plane
-I can’t imagine not taking my equipment on the place as a carry-on. Has anyone had to deal with this lately? By lately I mean since the most recent wave of security measures put in place? Any problems? Anything to think about before I get to the airport?


Last edited by Capslock118; 01-10-2011 at 01:04 PM.
01-10-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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W90? For snorkeling and kayaking I mean.
I can't recommend the extreme telephoto for such a trip. It's heavy and best only to take it when you go shooting wildlife on purpose. Not a general vacation. Without it you may miss few shots but probably not the best ones.
Wide angle is allright. Both DA12-24 and DA15 are fine. But why everybody keeps forgetting about DA14?
01-11-2011, 03:48 AM   #3
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Looks like a good kit! But we all have our preferences. My most-used lens is the DA18-250. My LEAST-used is the Lil'Bigma 170-500 -- what a beast! You're unlikely to need anything beyond 200-300, which you already have covered. You could probably even leave your 50-200 at home. What's not covered is ultrawide. I've used my Zenitar 16/2.8 and DA10-17 a lot, but I just got a Tamron 10-24 that will probably supplant them. Also not covered: macro. The simplest fix is a Raynox DCR-250.

So I look at my basic kit (out of 170+ usable lenses): DA18-250 and Tam10-24 for general use; Zenitar 16/2.8, Vivitar-Komine 24/2, DA50/1.4 or Tomioka 55/1.4, Nikkor 85/2 for dimmer light; Raynox DCR-250. And an Olympus 770-SW for going underwater down to 10m / 33 feet. And my bride. Don't forget the bride.
01-11-2011, 05:59 AM   #4
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First, congratulations!

Now, regarding lenses. You have a pretty well balanced kit, I'd say. The only real limitation to it is the tendancy towards MF. That will not bother you, but it can be complicated if you ask someone to take a picture of you (happened to me...)

To determine if you need other lenses, ask yourself if, in real life shooting situations, you sometimes find yourself wishing for something else. A faster lens, a smaller lens, an AF lens, another focal length, a macro, etc. That should guide you.

Also, discuss with the miss beforehand the amount of time you're allowed to take pictures. Better that than getting her mad stopping every two steps to snap a shot

I agree about the advice to get a w90, though. We own the w80 and it's an amazing tool for difficult situations, very reliable. And it shoots decent videos.

You could also consider getting a weatherproof lens, like the 18-55 WR.

Regarding travel, cameras are understood and respected in airports normally, you shouldn't have any problem.

01-11-2011, 06:55 AM   #5
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I will not leave my camera in the checked luggage. I don trust them. I carry on all my lenses and cameras. The security people see cameras everyday. The only hand inspection I've had was for a small table-top tripod.
01-11-2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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Ive been to the Bahamas a few times and I took my 18-55wr for boat cruise. Aside from that just my 50f1.4 and my 18-250 were all I needed.
01-12-2011, 04:31 PM   #7
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For that kind of trip I would recommend that just your two kit lenses will be more than enough. Most of the time you will just use the one lens. Less can be best, and certainly more portable. Your fast fifty would also be handy for evenings, and is small and light.

Have fun!
01-12-2011, 05:05 PM   #8
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For such a trip you are missing a wide option; 12-24 or DA15 would fill the need. I would leave the 70-300 at home, no need for it and the 50-200. I agree with taking a small WR P&S too.

I would also definitely take a table top tripod, I got many of my favourite shots on vacation using one.

Also, never check through camera bodies and lenses, always take them as carry on.


Last edited by twitch; 01-12-2011 at 05:13 PM.
01-12-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Another way to do this: if you have WR Pentax camera, rent both the Pentax da 16-50 and 50-135.

You can always go back to St. Croix. But this is the only one time you will have the same kind of glowing spouse and glowing location together again.
Take plenty of portrait type shots with the 50-135. They will turn out lovely. The 16-50 is fairly versatile and maybe enough for your other needs. They are different filter sizes though.

I took these 2 lenses on a recent cruise. It rained the first day and with these lenses I walked around with no problems...
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