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02-15-2011, 05:33 PM   #16
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I vote for the 35mm. Back when I got into photography (long ago, zooms were new), every SLR photographer had at least one 'normal' lens. I still think a normal lens is a good one to have.

02-15-2011, 05:38 PM   #17
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DA15 or DA21. The 55-300 can handle portraits. If you want 2 lenses then there isn't much that can't be handled by a DA21/DA70 combo.
02-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #18
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I'm for the DA35 Macro as the ultimate all-in-one solution, especially if you want to take some macro shots. However, it isn't wide enough if you want to take a landscape shot from a breath-taking vista, for example. However, the 18mm on your zoom would already take care of that in most situations. If you need to go wider for super wide-angle, cost-wise the DA 12-24 is more but it would be the ultimate solution for wide-angle landscape photos. But size-wise, the DA15 would be the better alternative.

I'm sorry I probably didn't clarify anything, but your choice ultimately depends upon what subjects you enjoy the most, and I would argue that Hawaii would have the best of all worlds, photographically speaking.
02-15-2011, 06:32 PM   #19
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I just got back from a 3 weeks trip in Hawaii. I take the following lenses:
18-55, DA35ltd, 50-200WR, FA77.

They also get used in that order. I didn't have the time to change lenses too much and wanted to avoid changing lenses in beaches, rain, etc. One advise: bring CPL!

I wish I have the 18-135WR on that trip though... and sometime, just forget about getting "that photo" and enjoy the trip... I would put aside the camera and just jump into the water!


02-15-2011, 07:39 PM   #20
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People keep mentioning wildlife - it's kind of weird in Hawai'i. Whales are seasonal. Someone will always claim to see whales way early or late. The marine sanctuary does a count in January, February and March, the likeliest time to see them. In some places you can see them fine from shore, especially if you can get up on a cliff. Boats are supposed to stay at least 100 feet away.

The mongoose is almost as common as a squirrel would be on the mainland. Tiny green geckos are around a lot. Tons of different birds are around, with a different mix on each island. The Hawai'ian goose (nene) is incredibly rare, except on Kaua'i, where you might see one strolling on golf courses. You won't see pigs but they're around. Some islands have animals that were introduced for hunting, such as Axis deer and goats. And chickens.
02-15-2011, 08:42 PM   #21

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get an A50mm f1.4 - feel the smooth manual focus, play with shallow depth of field, revel at the image quallity.
02-16-2011, 12:18 AM   #22
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Wow what a forum, thanks everyone for all of the advice. I made a list of all of the recommendations so I am gonna do some research. Thanks again everyone for all of the help. FYI I we are going in the spring as it is an annual trip. Last time we went to Kauai and we DID see whales on a catamaran only a few miles off the coast at a range of less than 50ft. Not sure we will get that lucky this year but I will definetly post some of the shots when I get back. Also, my wife just informed me that I am not allowed to spend more money on one lens than my whole kit a few of the options are pushing it a bit but I am going to get something nice. Thanks again everyone,

02-16-2011, 12:41 AM   #23
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+1 for 15mm Ltd...with the 21mm Ltd second and the 35mm Ltd a close third...but you already have the latter focal lengths covered.

i'm from Hawaii also and IMO wide angle is a must for landscapes, especially if the lens resists flare. the 15mm Ltd will handle the hot hawaiian sun and you'll also be able to get more of the landscape/scenery into the frame for any posed shots. sunsets are just awesome with wide angle lenses. sunrises are just awesome with wide angle lenses. horizon shots are just awesome with wide angle lenses. every extra millimeter you have on the wide end impacts the angle of view more and more. and if that's not enough reason for you, many believe that this lens has that "magic".

the 21mm Ltd is still fairly wide and also handles flare very well. like the 15mm Ltd it can give you pretty starbursts too (when stopped down to f8 or smaller). the focal length is more usable as a walkaround than the 15 but this is just my opinion.

the 35mm Macro Ltd is just a joy to use. it's a sharp, consistent lens that just takes great photos. the pictures that come out of this lens make me look like i'm a much better photographer than i actually am. it also comes in handy with all the flora around here with its true macro capability

if you are considering zooms, i'd opt for the 12-24mm.

Last edited by typical8o8; 02-16-2011 at 12:50 AM.
02-16-2011, 01:24 AM   #24
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DA35/2.4. best money can buy without costing you an arm. plus, the focal length is flexible for wide use and portraits. I think you can buy it for only $180.

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