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08-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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Travel lens kit help (primes + DA*s)

Hi all,

I'll be traveling to Budapest for a week in Sept., then going to Melb., Australia for 5 weeks at the end of October (and likely a few surrounding countries during that time such as New Zealand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, etc). Then next year around April/May I'll be going to Malaysia for a couple weeks, hopefully followed by Spain.

So, lots of traveling in the books. For the upcoming travels I'm trying to figure out what a good travel lens setup would be. I currently have the DA* 50-135, F 50 f1.7 and 35 f2.4. (Prob. wouldn't bring the 50 or the 35 in my travel kit.) I sold my K-x and the kit lens so I need to cover the wide end of things. My thoughts so far are to get the DA* 16-50 and DA* 55 (I'm getting these in a couple weeks no matter what).

So I'll have DA*s covering 16-135mm (and yes, WR is important as I don't like nasty weather to stop me. see here ). I figured these would be my standard travel kit and, yes, I'm aware it'll be rather heavy — it doesn't stop me.

However, are there any primes that might be fun or recommended to bring to some of these countries? I was thinking about the 15mm ltd but perhaps the 12-24mm f4 or Sigma 8-16mm would be more complimentary to my kit. I've just read so many good things about the 15 ltd that it's drawing me in...

Are there any other recommendations for primes in the lower end of the focal range (below 50mm)? I only want to add one, maybe two (if the second one is small/light) lenses as this kit will be heavy enough as it is.


Last edited by jremick; 08-25-2011 at 03:05 PM.
08-25-2011, 03:03 PM   #2
Ash
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You have the DA 35 f/2.4 already - it's good for travel purposes: good IQ, small, lightweight.
The DA 15 is quite special: same advantages, but really small for an UWA lens. Can't go wrong with it IMO, and would complement your travel kit quite nicely.
08-25-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
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why not grab a fisheye like the 10-17mm or samyang 8mm? It gives you something completely different to play with compared to the two DA*s
08-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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You have a heavy load with you. So nothing to need on the long end? DA*200mm/f2.8 maybe.



I hope you know that Malaysia and Spain aren't anywhere near eachother Nice travel arrangements.

08-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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There is nothing wrong with getting 16-50 but if you prefer primes, you are my blood type.

My travel this year consisted of either DA14 plus FA24 or DA15, M20 plus FA35. As much as I prefer the first two for reports and event coverage, the latter combination is superior IMO for general travel photography. Only the M20 should probably be replaced with DA21.
08-25-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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If it were me, I'd take the two DA* zooms, the Da55, get myself something prime and wide (such as the 15mm) and probably even a 1.4 or 1.7 teleconverter to give you length on the 50-135 without bulk. I also own the DA40 which I would take as it is almost weightless, and very discrete.
08-25-2011, 04:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You have the DA 35 f/2.4 already - it's good for travel purposes: good IQ, small, lightweight.
The DA 15 is quite special: same advantages, but really small for an UWA lens. Can't go wrong with it IMO, and would complement your travel kit quite nicely.
I won't be bringing the 35 f2.4 as it's not really going to add anything unique enough that the DA* 16-50 doesn't already provide (same for the smaller 50mm I have). Maybe I'll get the 15 ltd and one other prime.


QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
why not grab a fisheye like the 10-17mm or samyang 8mm? It gives you something completely different to play with compared to the two DA*s
I've used the 10-17mm fisheye and although it's a lot of fun, it's pretty heavy and I wouldn't use it that often in the places I'd be traveling to. I'd like to get that lens later for planned purposes though. I've not used the Samyang 8mm, but it'd probably melt my brain (very creative for me). Both these lenses would be fun, I just wouldn't think to use them nearly as often as something more general use for landscapes or architecture.


QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
You have a heavy load with you. So nothing to need on the long end? DA*200mm/f2.8 maybe.

I hope you know that Malaysia and Spain aren't anywhere near eachother Nice travel arrangements.
Yeah, it'll be pretty heavy but I think it'll be okay. I took a redeye flight to NYC not long ago and carried my MBP, all my misc electronics (iPhone, batteries, misc power cables, SD cards, etc), K-5 w/ both shoulder straps (normal + blackrapid sport), all my current lenses, some basic cleaning stuff, an extra t-shirt w/ deodorant (NYC was very hot and humid compared to SLC) and some misc smaller things. I brought all that on the flight, got in at 6am and walked around NYC until I caught a train at 10pm down to Delaware. So it was about 12-13 hours or so of walking with all that stuff (excluding the flight and any of the time I spent with the backpack off my shoulders).

That worked really well for me so I figure with the added weight of a battery grip, DA* 55 + 16-50, and two small primes (minus the 18-55mm kit lens, 50mm 1.7 and 35mm 2.4), it'll add a bit more weight but still be easily manageable for a shorter period of time.

And, no, I don't need anything on the long end right now (especially for traveling). I don't really shoot at the long end right now anyway. Although, that and the 300 are on my list for my "home" kit.

Oh, and yes, I know Malaysia and Spain are far apart. I have a company meetup in Malaysia and a friend who lives in Spain, so I'm planning to travel back to Spain with him after the meetup and stay there for a couple months.


QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
There is nothing wrong with getting 16-50 but if you prefer primes, you are my blood type.

My travel this year consisted of either DA14 plus FA24 or DA15, M20 plus FA35. As much as I prefer the first two for reports and event coverage, the latter combination is superior IMO for general travel photography. Only the M20 should probably be replaced with DA21.
I prefer primes when I feel like I have time for them. When I might be rushed or don't know what to expect, I stick to zooms. Hmm, so from your experience it sounds like I'd do well going with the 15 ltd and either the 21 or the 35. Maybe it would just be better to scratch the idea of getting a second small prime and just get the 15 ltd to keep the weight down a bit more.

I guess that would be a pretty good set of lenses to cover just about everything I'd typically shoot.


QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
If it were me, I'd take the two DA* zooms, the Da55, get myself something prime and wide (such as the 15mm) and probably even a 1.4 or 1.7 teleconverter to give you length on the 50-135 without bulk. I also own the DA40 which I would take as it is almost weightless, and very discrete.
Do you, by chance, have a link to the teleconverters you'd recommend? I know about them but haven't really researched them a lot.

- -

Okay, so is there any lenses you guys would recommend instead of the 15mm ltd?
08-25-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
- -

Okay, so is there any lenses you guys would recommend instead of the 15mm ltd?
The Da15 is unique, there is nothing else to compare it to.

I guess you could look at the DA 14 f2.8, but it is huge by comparison, and for some reason does not enjoy the same stellar reputation as the slower, but tiny, 15mm.

08-25-2011, 04:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote

Do you, by chance, have a link to the teleconverters you'd recommend? I know about them but haven't really researched them a lot. instead of the 15mm ltd?
The Tamron Pz-AF Mc4 is a 1.4 TC that I use.

It is important that whichever TC you look at, it has the two inner contacts which drive the SDM motor on the DA 50-135 (or on older Power zoom lenses, the power zoom)

The Pz (powerzoom?) prefix is the clue.

(I also have a 1.7 Kenko, but without the contacts)
08-25-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Sound like an incredible trip. I wouldn't want to shlep around the 16-50 and 50-135 but then i don't like zooms too much. My travelling kit is 12-24 (walk around), DA15, FA31, DA70 or FA77, maybe a 18-55WR to rainy days. On a actual outing I wouldn't take more than 3 of these at once, more likely 2.

I've got a few of flickr galleries of Melbourne which may help you get a feel of what's here to shoot, probably 200 pics, most of these were shot with the DA15, way behind would be the DA21, DA70, DA40 and a couple with the 12-24. Maybe because it's my home town, I'm usually not dragging my family around when I shoot, but I barely use zooms for Melbourne, and can't remember a time I needed longer than 70mm.

Melbourne architecture by day
Melbourne architecture by night
Street

Last edited by twitch; 08-25-2011 at 05:44 PM.
08-25-2011, 05:41 PM   #11
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The DA 35 does offer one unique advantage. Size. you can just grab your camera and the prime for a casual sightseeing trip where you might take pictures instead of taking everything. similarly the DA15 offers this and is ideal for architecture.
08-25-2011, 07:13 PM   #12
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I never travel without the 10-17mm. Other lenses may change but the 10-17 is always in the bag. I consider a light travel kit to be DA* 16-50, DA 55-300 and the 10-17. I like to use zooms for travel .........
08-26-2011, 02:30 AM   #13
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I'm travelling a lot and weight of my photo equpiment is very important thing.

In Asia a use 4 lenses vivitar 28mm (based lens) 50mm (portrait) sigma 10-20 (landscape) basic 70-300 for fun... Now I use DA ltd line (based line) 21+40+70 and Sigma 10-20 (and for fun animals sometimes 70-300). Travellng with 3 DA LTD is very comfortable and you are not frightening natives with your big lenses and photobag... (also Big lenses=big thieves interest).

If you really like your Da* line the obvious choice is:
16-50 + 50-135 + tele converter and maybe Sigma 10-20...
08-26-2011, 03:13 AM   #14
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Hahaha oh dude! Same scenario as me, big travel coming up and lens selection is driving me nuts! You're one step ahead though, you already have some lenses! Good luck with your choices though. Any reason you choose zooms over primes most of the time? I understand the 50-135, I keep reading that its a wonderful lens
08-26-2011, 04:47 AM   #15
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My main (and that would include travel) kit is FA*24 + DA*55. If needed FA100/2.8 comes along but no too often because of it's bulk. If you will be getting 55 I highly recomend getting 24 of some sort. It's a great pair IMO. DA14 would complete the line up perfectly IMO.

Mind you, 2 years ago I went to Egypt and 10-20 + 31 + 50-135 were my kit (along with 2 bodies) and I was really happy with it...

I'd say it all depends how much do you mind bulk/weight. If you are fine with it and are getting *s 16-50, 55, 50-135 then some UWA along 8-16/10-20 or sugested FE10-17 would make sense... DA15 doesn't quite cut it if you have 16mm covered IMO... And as I said if you are going with primes then 14-24-55-100 is excellent line up

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