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12-05-2011, 05:35 AM   #1
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Well, it's travel time again. Another 'what gear should I take?' thread.

The title says it all
I'm not quite decided on which gear to take on our upcoming trip. Singapore/KL/Penang/Bangkok/Nepal/New Delhi

Fleur (the missus) likes the K-x and the tamron 18 -250, so thats easy.

I will take the K-5 (and possibly the K-7 body as well, but I'll have the K-x body as a back-up I guess)

Definately the 60-250

Definately the 12-24

Either one of the - 18-55 WR - or - Sigma 17 -70 F2.8-4.5 - or - Tokina 28- 70- F2.8) Kit is light and WR, but not stellar; Siggie has the best range and quasi macro function , but not fast at the long end; Tokina is fast over the range, but heavy and not as wide as the other two. I'm leaning towards the Sigma for the overall range, but its a close run thing.

DA15, Mind control says I have to.

DA21, too small not to take. Very useful for 'shoot from the hip' street shots.

One of DA 35 or FA31. DA is smaller, lighter and has macro, but the FA is...well its the FA31

The DA40, or FA43, too small not to take. Tough choice which to leave behind. I love the colour pop of the DA, but I love the rendering of the FA...

Maybe the FA 50 for extreme low light F1.4 (doubtful)

FA77 - dont leave home without it

DA100 macro. Mainly becasue it's my newest toy, and besides a WR medium length Tele has to be useful in it's own right, never mind the Macro capability...right?

Both 1.4x and 2x TC's

A travel tripod that I have, it can fit in my suitcase

A flash, probably.

Polarisers for each lens, ND's, and I'm keen to play with a long exposure shot of the Thai temple called Wat Arun (see my gallery) so I'll take the 9 stopper.

I guess I could just take the 3 zooms (12-24, 17-70 and 60-250) and be covered, but how can one be a Pentax shooter and leave the primes at home? It seems far too CaNikonian.

I'm trying to cover all eventualities, and sad as I am to admit it, my much loved 50-135 looks like staying home, replaced by the 60-250 as an all round zoom.

I'm trying to keep the weight down, but I'm failing.

Any thoughts? My lenses are listed in my sig.

12-05-2011, 05:46 AM   #2
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Given that some of your travel is going to be out away from cities with limited shelter and such I'd opt for the WR over the other issues among the lenses you are debating. While the Kit WR lens may not be as high IQ as the options it IS WR and will allow you to keep shooting if you run into a period of fairly constant rain.

Oh, and if you decide on all those Primes - a Sherpa, for sure.
12-05-2011, 05:49 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Definately the 60-250

Definately the 12-24
Take them and add the FA31.

/end thread.
12-05-2011, 06:56 AM   #4
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I guess I will ask what your intended subjects are, and shooting situations?

without that, you leave us up to our own preferences and devices to tell you what to take.

You also need to tell us whether you have to carry your gear at all times, or whether you have secure bases to operate from during your stops. That is really important, and can make or brake your vacation.

If you have secure bases where you are stopping, (hotels with safes in rooms / lock boxes etc) you can take more gear, and only carry your daily needs, if you don't, you are packing all your gear all the time, so think this through.

If I was taking that trip, here is what I would take
(out of your kit)

12-24, 60-250 and what ever of your middle zooms you like the best, along with both the K5 and K7 bodies. keep 2 lenses mounted at all times, but the selection will depend on shooting subject, and location, don;t change lenses change bodies, that way you are not pre-occupied with lenses etc, when you are out, this is a great advantage, in terms of pickpockets and snatch and grap artists. the less distracted you are the better.

This also helps with moisture and dirt , and you are going to some humid environments sl the less times you change lenses the better. Note that weather sealing not only keeps stuff out, it can keep it in too!

with the 2 body 3 lens setup, you can then add to this the few essential extras, such as a fast prime, and TC and still manage to carry it all relitively easily.

My zooms are similar, and a typical trip like this I would take Sigma 10-20, TYamron 28-75 F2.8 and sigma 70-200F2.8 plus 1.4x and 2x TCs. I Too have a K7 and K5 and would take both, as well as my 8mm fisheye, perhaps my 14F2.8, and my 85F1.4 plus the 1.7x AF TC.

the three primes, I may substitute for other MF lenses perhaps K50/1.4 and K135F2.5 etc... but I would limit it to no more than 3 zooms and 2-3 primes.

The High ISO performance of the K5 makes interior shooting much easier with slower zooms so fast primes are not as critical unless you want something compact for night shots

12-05-2011, 09:11 AM   #5
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i am from Singapore and just came back from KL 2 weeks ago..all i can say is you need the WR lens! Its the monsoon season right now and it can really rain for half the day..

btw, when you are in Singapore..you can try to take pics of the christmas lights at Orchard Road at night..its quite nice
12-05-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
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DA15 (WA, plus its so tiny you can just pocket it...) + FA31 (never owned the 43...but 31 is too sharp so you can just crop it to 43 FOV... or even more) + 77mm (my fav ltd) or 100 WR if you really want macro as your core prime
50-135 + 1.7x tc or 60-250 for your long end
I have the 12-24, I love it to death but sometimes it is too cumbersome to carry it especially on vacations. With DA15 and FA31 you pretty much cover all that range (well you do lose the 12mm but gain FA31 )
Why bring so many lenses, this way you can cover everything and bring them all together in 1 bag
12-05-2011, 11:01 AM   #7
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15, 21, 35 or 43, 77 & 60-250 + TCs ... done. Plus plastic bags and rubber bands (or buy a WR cover before you go). That's all going to fit in a small camera bag.
12-05-2011, 11:21 AM   #8
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15+31+50+100
/end thread

12-05-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I suspected I would get disparate and conflicting replies. You have not let me down.

Docrwm - good point re the WR of the kit lens. I'm thinking it may get a gurnsey in a suitcase as a backup for my partners' non-wr 18-250. This looks to be a self sherpa trip though.

Tougefc- man you are way too minimilist. I think I would have a form of buyers remorse if I left all those beautiful primes behind. I mean, why buy them if not to take them to the most picturesque places? I appreciate your line of thinking though, and it would certainly solve the weight connundrum. If I had your talent as a photographer it would make me more confident about a minimilist kit.

Lowell - I'm aiming to cover as many eventualities as possible. Street, landscape, architecture, portrait, etc. Given the nature of the trip and the places we are going, I think I want to have every potential subject covered. I'm not sure I will have safe storage 100% of the time. Certainly I should be ok in the better Hotels we have booked in Singapore, Penang, KL and Bangkok, but the Nepal leg is a pre-paid all inclusive type trip, where we have no control over the choice of hotel. In New Delhi, a brother in law of an Indian friend is arranging thing, so again we have little control over the quality of the hotel. I am a lot more confident than I am for Nepal though.

Yamakasi - thanks for chipping in. I may even PM you with a few questions about Singapore and places to shoot/see if you don't mind. I would love to be able to tag along on one of the Singapore Pentax group's get togethers. I don't think I mentioned we are getting the train from Singapore all the way to Bangkok, vial KL and Penang. Do you have any advice or experience for this trip?

Azzy - thanks for your contribution. I can and do fit all the lenses mentioned in one bag - a Lowepro slingshot A300. It gets a little heavy, so my usual method is to do as Lowell suggests and make a choice for the day out of the selection and leave the rest at 'base camp'. I'll ponder your suggestion about leaving the WA zoom behind. I may take it and the 15mm out for a landscape 'shootout' and see if I can live without the 12-15mm range.

Frogfish - thanks to you too - but...but ...I just bought the 60-250 and 100WR, can I possibly leave my newest 'toys' behind?? Not sure what you mean about plastic bags and rubber bands. My lenses all travel in their individual padded bags.

Rio - my friend for you I should have listed my classic manual focus lenses. How about the beautiful tiny Takumar 200 F5.6 preset? A50-135? SMC 28 F2.8 etc. I'm not sure I have the vision or talent to limit myself to just four lenses, as practical and light weight as your suggestion is.

I mentioned the slingshot bag, but I'm thinking about buying a more knapsack type bag. The slingshot concept has its place, but from experience having all the weight on one shoulder can get tiring on a long days sight seeing.

Thanks a heap for your replies gents. You have given me a lot to think about.
12-05-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Rio - my friend for you I should have listed my classic manual focus lenses. How about the beautiful tiny Takumar 200 F5.6 preset? A50-135? SMC 28 F2.8 etc. I'm not sure I have the vision or talent to limit myself to just four lenses, as practical and light weight as your suggestion is.
I wasn't totally serious, mostly lampooning some other minimal suggestions. And had I known you had the fine two-ring preset TeleTak 200/5.6, I'd have included it: 15+31+50+100+200. Notice the near-doubling of focal lengths in that series, a simple way to cover a wide range.

(NOTE: When I'm in a ~200mm mood, I must choose between a big fast Vivitar-Komine 200/3.5 (18 iris blades) but it's too heavy; or the TeleTak which is great and sharp; or the smaller and much lighter Meyer Telemegor 180/5.5, for more pop. Or even the lightweight Enna Tele-Ennalyt 240/4.5, also lots of pop. But I digress.)

Are various ways to build travel kits. I must do so soon, as I'll be heading to the Arizona-Sonora border for a few months, and may also drive around Mexico and Central America again. I'll be self-powered and won't worry about weight limits. So my questions are more like: How many 50s to take, and 28s, and ELs, and which bellows?

But I also must distinguish between the many lenses I can use around my border village, based in the historic adobe I'm trying to sell, and the few lenses that I'll want to schlep into posadas and hostels -- and around quaint towns, because I don't EVAR leave ANY gear (except battery chargers) inside said posadas and hostels.

So I start off with a few givens. DA10-17, Tamron 10-24, DA18-250. Some fast primes: 24/2 (but not 28/2 CF nor 35/2); FA50/1.4 (but not K50/1.2); 85/2; 135/2.5. The Raynox DCR-250. And my (evolving) mini-kit of smallest lenses, just because they all fit so well into one cargo pocket, slower 35-50-75-100 beauties weighing under 450g / 1lb total. I need an ultralight 28 in there too; searching...

Add flash (maybe), lightweight tripod, filters, P&S's, mini-laptop etc, and that's about the max I'd want to lug around. It boils down to my three priorities: 1) coverage, 2) speed, 3) character -- in as small a package as possible. Ay yi yi.

Last edited by RioRico; 12-05-2011 at 02:56 PM.
12-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #11
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For backpack I use kata 3n1-30, fits a ton of things and works as backpack / sling. Very comfy I think I had ~5kg of gear in it hiking for whole day and didn't have any back pain afterwards. I think the new revision has laptop compartment as well
12-05-2011, 03:06 PM   #12
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For places where it is secure, you might want to consider a small shoulder bag. Look for a knapsack for carrying it all, but make sure the chest strap and hip belt fit you correctly
12-05-2011, 04:13 PM   #13
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Wow, you guys like to pack a lot heavier than I'd ever consider, unless the trip was to a single place that I'd always be within a few miles of!
Is this intended as a vacation where some pictures will be taken, or a trip to take pictures?

With the expected weather, I'd take the 60-250, the Tokina 28-70, the kit 18-55 for backup WR wider angle, the DA15 and perhaps DA35. Add the 1.4x TC. If you're using the 2x, you've already got the range covered by your 60-250.
Anything else you've already got covered and it's just extra space unless there's some truly special picture that's screaming for a specific lens. With your collection of primes, you could potentially leave the Tokina at home as well, but bring the 18-55 for the WR.

Camera on shoulder with a zoom, much smaller day bag with at most a couple of the shorter primes and a single zoom, and you're good for the day trips. Tripod or monopod only for 'special picture days,' museums, exhibits, etc. Your wife will also have the 18-250, so it's not like traveling light(er) is going to leave you completely without the ability to get a shot, if not the perfect one in your head.

Just IMHO, of course..
12-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #14
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A trip like that is why you bought a DSLR - you take your best lenses, end of.
12-05-2011, 09:53 PM   #15
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I would do something crazy and either only bring the 31 or the 21.
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