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06-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
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Would you travel with just a DA21 and KA50 ?

Hi fellow Pentaxian ...
I have not joined the dSLR club yet, but getting closer ... maybe later this month. I have my mind set on a K-r and a DA21 as my general purpose kit.
I'll be in Central America for 10 days this summer, not as a tourist, but more for a short term humanitarian reason. I'll be in close contact with people, and also the surrounding environments.
Since I want to have my camera with me as much as possible, I want it to be real light and comfortable to carry. I plan to leave the 18-55 kit lens at home and just bring the 21 and the A50 f1.7 with me.
Did anyone of you good people ever traveled with something similar ? Would this be sufficient ? I would love to add a DA70, but unfortunately, I don't have many loose coins lying around

Thanks in advance ...

06-16-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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I just did 10 days through NY, London, Berlin, Krakow and Budapest with almost what you are describing - a DA21 and an FA50 on a K5.

Worked perfectly. Camera and two lenses went in my messenger bag along with the other stuff I was carrying - very small - the DA21 doesn't scream "Big Expensive Lens" - and my FA50 with a weird rubber lens hood didn't scream loudly either.

I don't think I actually wished for anything different - I cut my teeth on primes so I'm used to not zooming. Plus, the IQ is going to be significantly better than the 18-55 kit lens (I know some people think the 18-55 is good - but I honestly think it's crap compared to the DA21 and a prime 50).

No complaints.
06-16-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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Sounds interesting. If it were me, I'd also take a cheap longer zoom like my 28-90 Macro that cost me $35 shipped. Its not heavy but the reach out to 90mm would be welcome on a trip given my history. Its inexpensive and if I were caught in a downpour but still wanted to shoot I wouldn't be too worried about it like I would with the two you have mentioned.
06-16-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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I have done a lot of shooting in the past with my FA 50 1.7 and more recently with a K24mm 2.8. and those two can handle a lot of situations for me. One suggestion, I recently acquired a near mint M135 3.5 for about $30 (fleabay) is surprisingly small and I am really enjoying it. So maybe consider a three lens kit?

06-16-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Use your two primes and jamb your kit zoom in with your socks in your suitcase, it takes up little room and then you have it as a safety blanket. Lately I have either my A 50mm 1.7 or 43mm ltd on my camera all the time. I think you will be just fine with 2 primes and I would wager a guess you could probably get by with just the 21 if need be.
06-16-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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Go for it

I agree that most of your needs would be covered with these two lenses. The DA21 is well-suited for travel photos, especially when you want to take a picture of someone in front of a landmark with both in focus.

However, I would recommend using in-camera lens correction unless you have some way of correcting this when you get home. The DA21 has noticeable barrel distortion, unfortunately.
06-16-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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I've done Vegas with just the DA21 and FA43 and have done some other trips and it worked very well for me. The Da21, 50/1.7 should be a fine set up.
06-16-2011, 06:46 PM   #8
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That will definitely do if you want to stay light and compact. Zooms add a lot of bulk and if it will be to cumbersome those lenses will do just fine and will yield great photos.

06-16-2011, 07:04 PM   #9
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I wouldn't. I would leave the 18-55 at home as well, but I would make sure I'd bring something like the 55-300 along. Of course, it all depends on the place you're going to and your shooting style.
06-16-2011, 07:14 PM   #10
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No way. The kit zoom and a Fast Fifty are about the minimum for people-places-things shots. On most of my drives to Guatemala and beyond, I had only an equivalent to the kit zoom: barely adequate for focal length. If you haven't been to C.A. before, you'll find that it's much larger than you imagine. You'll be very limited if you only have two primes, one each moderately wide and moderately long.
06-16-2011, 07:35 PM   #11
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I'd say go for it too. I took 4 lenses to Italy - 15mm, 43mm, 70mm and 18-55 (for weather sealing) - 80% of shots were with the 15mm, but the 21mm is a generally more usable focal length. Beyond that, the 43mm was my next most used lens, followed by the kit lens (when it was raining) and the 70mm. The 21mm and 50mm would be a solid, light pair for your trip too!
06-16-2011, 08:25 PM   #12
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I took just a 24 and a 40 on a trip to California, and that was plenty for me. I would think 21 and 50 would work as well. But I would be tempted to pack the 18-55 too, just in case.
06-16-2011, 09:10 PM   #13
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I've done lots of trips with just the DA21, and have always been happy with the results. It's one of the best for a one-lens kit that is really compact. The camera is hardly noticeable with such a small lens. Having the 50 along might come in handy, but for what you described you'll probably find the 21 is fine. I have the DA40 too, and I've done trips with just that one too, but I think the 21 is a little more versatile. If I had to choose only one it would be the 21. Don't forget the hood - it does a great job of keeping fingerprints and stuff off the front element.

I don't understand the comment about distortion - I think the lens works fine. (Note: I've never shot a test target.) The in-camera correction takes a long time to process, if it's what I think it is. My K-7 has some sort of setting that I tried once and then turned off. It seemed like to took forever to process to the card.
06-16-2011, 09:29 PM   #14
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I did several trips while working for Lonely Planet with just a wideangle and a short tele - often a 28 f2 and 85 f2.

all that i ever needed.

these days, i think i will be fine with the DA15, FA31 and FA77. *maybe* I would swap that FA77 for a DA 100 macro WR, just for versatility?
06-17-2011, 01:45 AM   #15
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Depending on the trip offcourse, but I would even be confident to travel with just one lens on my camera. Being either the DA 40mm/f2.8 or DA*55mm/f1.4.

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