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06-16-2012, 02:16 PM   #1
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Vacation in Washington DC

I'm heading to DC for vacation and I need some advice on a lens combo to take with me. This is what I have so far. Pentax A 28mm 2.8, M50 1.7, F50 1.7, A35-105mm, kit combo 18-55mm and 55-300 mm. Cameras I have are the K-X and K5. I know I'm going to do a lot of walking so I'm trying to only take two lenses with me. Can you give some suggestions.

06-16-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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Get one of those baseball caps with solar cells on top and a little fan that blows on your face. You'll need it. And maybe an icepack vest.

As for just two lenses to take, that's tough. You'll be indoors at times, so the 18-55's coverage and a 50/1.7's speed would be handy. Some shots will need reach so the 55-300 would be vital. If you can stretch to 3 lenses, take those.
06-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Definitely the 18-55mm. I was there two years ago and did all of my shooting with it both outdoors at the monuments/memorials and indoors at the Smithsonian. I did have the 50-200mm and while I didn't use it, it was available if needed.

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06-16-2012, 04:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the ideas. I've been thinking about the 50 and 18-55. The 55-300 is in the running. One question? Is the 28mm not a good option for the museums? I've decided against the 35-105mm as it's to heavy.

06-16-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bass3587 Quote
Thanks for the ideas. I've been thinking about the 50 and 18-55. The 55-300 is in the running. One question? Is the 28mm not a good option for the museums? I've decided against the 35-105mm as it's to heavy.
As a stand alone lens and at F 2.8 the 28mm can be used in the museums although the 18-55mm has that focal length covered but it isn't as fast. I found though, when going through the Smithsonian (Air and Space, American History) that the zoom capability of the 18-55 was helpful in framing shots especially with some of the larger exhibits.

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06-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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Just to add, here are a few pictures, all taken with the 18-55mm. Not sure what your time frame is while in Washington but if you are able, the National Museum of the Marine Corps ( The National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center ) in Quantico is well worth a side trip.

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06-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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The wider the better. As usual, I recommend the 12-24 :-)
06-16-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for the images. We are planning to visit Annapolis also, so I might as well take a trip to Quantico. The "fast fifty" is back in the mix for the low light shots I know will come up.

06-16-2012, 09:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bass3587 Quote
I'm heading to DC for vacation and I need some advice on a lens combo to take with me. This is what I have so far. Pentax A 28mm 2.8, M50 1.7, F50 1.7, A35-105mm, kit combo 18-55mm and 55-300 mm. Cameras I have are the K-X and K5. I know I'm going to do a lot of walking so I'm trying to only take two lenses with me. Can you give some suggestions.
Funny enough I have many of these lenses and I used to live in the Washington area (but not when I owned these lenses). If you are going to want to shoot indoors in the museums you need the 18-55. The 28 is okay, but not wide enough on an APS-C camera. You might get away with in a museum like the air and space where you can see the same objects from many vantage points, but the 18-55 will give you a lot more flexibility. It is also a fairly bright museum - not all are. The wider range will also help you frame some of the outdoor shots. As to a second lens, a lot depends on itinerary. For low light priority the F50. For a small, wider, walk around lens you could take the A28, but it doesn't give you that much over the 18-55. The one advantage the 55-300 will give you is that if it is blistering hot, and Washington any time past June can be, you can shoot a lot of the "tourist" pictures without having to walk to every item of interest, but can capture it from a bit further out. I'd probably give the nod to this lens over the F50, unless you can really think of low light areas where you'll want the fast lens. But in a lot of cases, like the galleries, it may prove to be not wide enough to be useful. Aside from lighting issues, the galleries can get very crowded which limits how far back you can stand to take any picture without lots of people wanting to walk in front.

BTW, just north of the galleries is an outdoor sculpture and flower garden worth visiting. I can look it up if you are interested.
06-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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Thanks MSL. I only have a few weeks before I go, hmm I should have saved some cash and bought the 18-135mm lens, that would have save me a lot of grief and space in my bag.
06-17-2012, 05:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bass3587 Quote
Thanks MSL. I only have a few weeks before I go, hmm I should have saved some cash and bought the 18-135mm lens, that would have save me a lot of grief and space in my bag.
That would have been a good option. I still think that no matter what 2nd lens you take, the 18-55 is the one you are going to use most. I guess another option if you want to spend money would be one of the faster 18-70 (or thereabouts) that either sigma or tamron makes.

Oh - take the lens hood for the 18-55 and a good hat as you are likely to get overwhelmed by the sun, heat and haze.
06-17-2012, 05:57 AM   #12
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Has anyone ever ran into an issue when using a tripod in or around the DC area. According to the various law enforcement agencies in the area - it is actually illegal to use one without a permit - no joke. As a matter of fact one of the DC park police there actually cited the reg.

Although also noting that most leo's would in fact turn a blind eye and all.
06-17-2012, 08:44 AM   #13
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We have another trip planned for the fall to take a cruise so hopefully by then I'll have another lens to add to my collection. It looks like my next purchase will be the Pentax WR 18-135mm then work on my prime collection.
MFP I know at some of the parks now if you bring a tripod they will charge you to enter. I think you're considered a pro if you have a tripod
06-17-2012, 07:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Has anyone ever ran into an issue when using a tripod in or around the DC area. According to the various law enforcement agencies in the area - it is actually illegal to use one without a permit - no joke. As a matter of fact one of the DC park police there actually cited the reg.

Although also noting that most leo's would in fact turn a blind eye and all.
Most museums prohibit the use of tripods, for fairly obvious reasons. I doubt you'd have a problem on the Mall as long as you didn't block a sidewalk.
06-17-2012, 07:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Virginia Bill Quote
Most museums prohibit the use of tripods, for fairly obvious reasons. I doubt you'd have a problem on the Mall as long as you didn't block a sidewalk.
Strangely enough, a few years ago when the WWII Memorial opened, I went with my dad to see it. I had a tripod with me and when I opened it up to get a portrait together, a Park Ranger approached and informed that it was illegal to "erect a structure" on National Park property.

After some polite inquiry as to how one could consider a tripod a structure, I packed up and moved on. Later I asked another Park Ranger if he had the same interpretation. Curiously, I didn't get the same response.

I guess that doesn't apply now to "Occupy Wall Street." But maybe they don't have any tripods in their camps. . . .
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