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11-01-2007, 07:01 PM   #1
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Best lens combination for travel.

Hello I have a question about the following;

I will be backpacking India next May (I know terrible time to go) I have a k100D and Pentax DA 16-45mm f/4.0 and wish to add a second lens for travel, I like portraits most of all ... so I was considering the Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact Lens. Though various people have said I will want better reach in India, thus stearing me toward a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO.

Excuse my evident newbiness.

Ardy.

11-01-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
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I spent about three months in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos last winter with a Pentax 10-17, 18-55, and 50-200. I ended up using the 50-200 as my 'walk around' most of the time. And I pretty much quit carrying the 10-17 unless I was headed to a large building (temple/fort) where I was concerned that I couldn't back up enough to get everything in the frame.

I've been traveling in Asia for the last 25+ years and find longer lenses very useful. I made one trip with a Minolta A100 (max 200mm eq.) and another where my main camera packed it in and I had to shoot for a month with my backup Fuji F10 (max 105mm eq.).

I missed a lot of shots that I wanted.

I'm taking off in a couple of months with a Tamron (or Pentax) 18-250. I'll take the 10-17, just in case....

(Boy, I wish those 18x superzooms were better at higher ISO settings.)

BTW, I like longer lenses for shooting portraits/people. Getting into someone's face with a wide lens tends to make them tighten up. I find it better to stand back away and let them relax. Different if you're shooting people you know or are comfortable being photographed.
11-01-2007, 08:27 PM   #3
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If you have the 16-45, a 40 sounds a bit redundant except for the extra stop. The Sigma 70-300 is a decent budget zoom with a quasi-macro mode. The Pentax 50-200 has slightly better IQ and is much more compact - though with less reach and not very close focusing.
11-01-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
If you have the 16-45, a 40 sounds a bit redundant except for the extra stop. The Sigma 70-300 is a decent budget zoom with a quasi-macro mode. The Pentax 50-200 has slightly better IQ and is much more compact - though with less reach and not very close focusing.
Thanks for the info, I hadn't even considered the 50-200mm... the slightly less reach doesn't bother me, but by not very close focusing do you mean macro? I read that the 18-125mm has better IQ but would it be worth purchasing in pairing with the 16 45.


Last edited by Ardy; 11-01-2007 at 09:24 PM.
11-01-2007, 09:05 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob Wallace Quote
I spent about three months in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos last winter with a Pentax 10-17, 18-55, and 50-200. I ended up using the 50-200 as my 'walk around' most of the time. And I pretty much quit carrying the 10-17 unless I was headed to a large building (temple/fort) where I was concerned that I couldn't back up enough to get everything in the frame.

I've been traveling in Asia for the last 25+ years and find longer lenses very useful. I made one trip with a Minolta A100 (max 200mm eq.) and another where my main camera packed it in and I had to shoot for a month with my backup Fuji F10 (max 105mm eq.).

I missed a lot of shots that I wanted.

I'm taking off in a couple of months with a Tamron (or Pentax) 18-250. I'll take the 10-17, just in case....

(Boy, I wish those 18x superzooms were better at higher ISO settings.)

BTW, I like longer lenses for shooting portraits/people. Getting into someone's face with a wide lens tends to make them tighten up. I find it better to stand back away and let them relax. Different if you're shooting people you know or are comfortable being photographed.
Very helpful. SpecialK seems to agree on the 50-200mm I have some time to shop around, so I will certainly research that, I only was considering the 40mm due to the size... I am always banging my damn 16-45mm into passerbys, its huge with the bloody hood.

thanks again.
11-01-2007, 09:55 PM   #6
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I never felt like the length of the 50-200 w/lens hood was a problem

Having to change lenses while walking around was. I missed shots becuase I had the 18-55 or 50-200 mounted when I needed the other....

Back in 2001 I went to Cambodia, Thailand, and Nepal with an Oly C2100z, 38-380mm eq. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven. All that range mounted on the camera was a dream.

Of course a 2 meg, small sensor camera has its limits. But the lens versitility was incredible.

My sister has a Tamron 18-250 and I really enjoyed shooting it while she was visiting. Plenty wide for most stuff at 27mm eq. and lots of reach at 375mm eq. Image quality is excellent. It's hard to imagine a better travel lens.
11-01-2007, 10:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob Wallace Quote
I never felt like the length of the 50-200 w/lens hood was a problem

Having to change lenses while walking around was. I missed shots becuase I had the 18-55 or 50-200 mounted when I needed the other....

Back in 2001 I went to Cambodia, Thailand, and Nepal with an Oly C2100z, 38-380mm eq. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven. All that range mounted on the camera was a dream.

Of course a 2 meg, small sensor camera has its limits. But the lens versitility was incredible.

My sister has a Tamron 18-250 and I really enjoyed shooting it while she was visiting. Plenty wide for most stuff at 27mm eq. and lots of reach at 375mm eq. Image quality is excellent. It's hard to imagine a better travel lens.
oh yes, the 18-250 is my NO1 choice, only the price isn't... the whole trip to India and Japan is running me very much to the final penny. I will just have to be quick with the change, I think 50-200mm will be the way to go.
11-02-2007, 07:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ardy Quote
Thanks for the info, I hadn't even considered the 50-200mm... the slightly less reach doesn't bother me, but by not very close focusing do you mean macro? I read that the 18-125mm has better IQ but would it be worth purchasing in pairing with the 16 45.

39 inches (about 1 meter) and no "macro" mode. Apparently I did not post the link to my informal Pentax 50-200 vs Sigma 70-300 test...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/4768-lens-comp...-70-300-a.html

11-02-2007, 10:28 PM   #9
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I just recently came back from a semi-backpacking trip to Singapore and Sydney. I ended up using the 18-55mm kit for a good majority of my shots, mainly using the 18mm end of it for my shots as I was mainly taking landscapes.
For those hard to reach distances, I would use the 50-200mm. And that's all I had. Worked well for me. I took many a picture of Australian koalas and Singaporean birds with the 50-200mm.

It really all comes down to the shots you plan to take. I think the DA 40mm Limited prime is not a bad idea if you're doing indoor shots (I just bought it, and I love it! superb lens). However, the 16-45mm you already own would probably suffice for most of the shots you want to take, indoor or outdoor (unless you want that extra edge in Image Quality and don't mind being stuck to a single focal length, and really want the F2.8. Then consider the prime).

That all being said...for travel, I'd probably bring out a decent zoom.

I think Bob is right in that the 18-250mm is a great travel lens. Story for ya: I was at Bondi Beach in Sydney and had to change lenses. However, a slight wind kicked up and sand was flying everywhere. That mean I had to retreat a few blocks before I could change lenses without having sand get on my sensor (mind you, I STILL managed to get some dirt in there. ugh). That being said, I think the 55-200mm is great if you're on a really tight budget (save money for those AA batteries also!!), but if you have the money, you cannot be the Tamron 18-250mm for a travel lens.

My pics in case you're interested. All these shots were taken with the kit 18-55mm and the Pentax DA 50-200mm zoom. I mainly used the 18-55mm when I was doing landscape and scenery shots, 50-200mm for animal closeups, etc.:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/13567-vacation-pics-part-i-singapore.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/13569-vacation-pics-part-ii-sydney.html
11-02-2007, 10:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ardy Quote
Thanks for the info, I hadn't even considered the 50-200mm... the slightly less reach doesn't bother me, but by not very close focusing do you mean macro? I read that the 18-125mm has better IQ but would it be worth purchasing in pairing with the 16 45.
Close focusing distance refers to the minimum distance a lens can focus to. For example, the close focus on my Super Takumar 200/4 is about nine feet. The close focus on most of my 50mm lenses is about a foot and a half. Anything inside those distances and I have to back away from the subject.
11-02-2007, 11:45 PM   #11
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I have been living in South-East Asia for more than 20 years. During all these years, I have been traveling a lot and visited most of the countries in Asia.

The lens I have been using the most with my K10d is a fast 50mm (FA 50/1.5, SMC Takumar 50/1.4 or, my favorite, Porst 55/1.2). There are so many dark places in Asia: narrow lanes, old shops, markets (lots of night markets in Asia), temples, museums, interiors of houses, and even the rainforest, where light is really scarce. Usually, when the sun sets around 6pm or 7pm, you will have many photo opportunities because lots of people go out to enjoy the cool evening in the streets. I don't like using flash and I think that a fast lens is a must have in these circumstances.

With the fast 50mm, bring along a wide angle prime (FA 20/2.8) or a wide zoom as well as a small macro telephoto (Tamron 90/2.8 or Voigtländer Macro Apo-Lanthar 125/2.5) or a telezoom.

Here are some recents pictures taken in Bali: Zenfolio | Abbazz | Bali - October 2007

Cheers!
11-02-2007, 11:53 PM   #12
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I will be going on a trip to Japan at the end of the year and I have kind of decided to take my two kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200) and FA50/1.4 for low light. I have also bought a Gorillapod for the trip. I am still trying to decide if I want to bring my AF360 flash or not.

I have also thought about 3-prime kit, DA14, FA28 and FA50, but because I don't have DA14 and don't have money for it so I scrapped that idea.

cheers
Kenny
11-03-2007, 12:41 AM   #13
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If I had the spare money I'd bag a Pentax 50-135mm. Yes I know the reach isn't quite there but it's better than a 40mm prime and it is a constant f2.8 weather proof lens. My K10D is arriving in a few days and I got it with a 16-45 f4 so I'll either pick up the 50-135mm f2.8 and a tele-converter or wait for the 60-250mm f4 to come out filling the gap with a 50mm prime. Because you can't wait I'd get a Pentax 50-135 f2.8, that my opinion.

Tim H
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