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02-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #1
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"Perspectives" for EU Travel

I am in a bit of predicament, but have some time to seek input from you guys:

I will be traveling throught Holland, France, Belgium in Sept/Oct for 7-9 days. My wife and little one (then to be 9 months) will be along. So, in lieu of the anticipated diaper-bag accompaniment (and some baby-bjorn like device), I would like to know if:
1. I should consider the DA 15mm to take in the sights,
2. Only take the 18-55 ALII (non-WR),
3. I may be able to get a used Sigma 10-20/F4-5.6 locally for about $375, but it is a HUGE lens,
4. Consider a point & shoot (if so, which one?),
5. or go for a mirrorless kit (like Olympus with 14-42 kit)?

At this time, I was thinking K5 with ZK35/F2 and 18-55, as most folks here have rarely felt the need to go longer in these places (space being limited).

Also, in order to be in a portion of photos myself, I was considering a tripod. So lightweight suggestions here would be helpful. I was thinking of a total of $350-$450 (realistically) as a budget. ANY other suggestions are always welcome.... If this thread needs to be re-located, then by all means it should. Thanks in advance!

Cheers!


Last edited by subidoc; 02-11-2013 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Addendum
02-11-2013, 08:21 AM   #2
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Lately I have been using my K-01 for travel. Its IQ is great, but it doesn't look like a big expensive DSLR (so people don't really want to steal it). Its also small and has focus peaking and at this point, costs as much as a bridge camera.
About lenses, you are right, the DA 15 will be very handy in cities. The ZK 35 sounds awesome, but I would almost suggest getting a longer AF lens. Like a FA 50mm f1.4 or DA 50mm f1.8. That way you get AF, its a little tele, its fast (good for low light and indoor situations), and is overall better than the kit lens. With my K-01 for visiting cities (Barcelona, Strasbourg, ...) I used my DA 35mm for everyday (which wasn't wide enough for some architecture or landscape shots) and the M 50mm f1.7 for when it gets dark. I also had my DA L 50-200mm with me for those times I needed the 200mm, but I am usually not happy with that lenses' output.
But the kit lens is also a good idea, when traveling, a zoom is just very convenient. Also, kudos to you for visiting three countries in 9 days with a baby. Hope you find the time for photography
02-11-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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The DA15 is great for cities. I have used the cheap and cheerful F35-70 to complement it - it's a nice small lens and has a bit more reach than the kit lens at the long end, is sharper, and has a decent pseudo-macro facility.

But a mirrorless system is very tempting for travel. A used NEX and 16mm could cost considerably less than the DA15 alone! It's also a great companion to MF lenses.
02-11-2013, 08:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips.... I do have access to my sis-in-law's FA50/1.7 (and I do have a Nokton 58/1.4). I did not mention these, as I thought they would be a little on the long side, but what you say makes absolute sense from the perspective of low-light performance. It may obviate the need for a tripod. Handing the camera to a stranger to take a picture makes me nervous (THEFT!). Maybe I should look into a K-01.... although I really like OVF.

Lets see what other folks have to add...

02-11-2013, 08:44 AM   #5
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In cities, I have had good experience with the DA 15 and DA 40 (K-r). I just have not found the need for anything longer on trips. Today, I should get my K-01 and 40xs....I hope this turns out to be the travel setup I think it will be.
02-11-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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I would surely take the DA 15 ltd. Tiny lens with such a nice wide view is ideal for the compact EU cities and sites. And I've fallen in love with its rendering, so I would use any excuse to take it along. I usually pair it with the DA 18-135, because it has enough tele when/if needed, it's actually small for a motorized ultrazoom, and it has WR. (Holland or Belgium + September = continuous rain and wind.)
02-11-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I(Holland or Belgium + September = continuous rain and wind.)
Really.........???? What a bummer... I could borrow my sis' 18-135 WR I guess. Maybe I should get that and the DA 15 and call it a day.
02-11-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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I used my Samyang 14mm with the kit lens (between 22mm and 40mm, where it shines at f8) for a trip to Spain. I occasionally used the Samyang 14 with the DA 40mm. I think the DA 15mm would be very useful in conjunction with either something like the DA 40mm, or the kit lens or a pair of primes (28mm + 50/70mm).

Someone suggested the DA 16-45mm--very good option as well, and wide enough for most situations.

But I think the Sigma 10-20mm would be perfect... The Samyang 14mm is superb, but heavy, and I was thinking of buying the Sigma 10-20mm for travel; however, I decided to wait to see the UWA zoom Pentax has on the roadmap. And, who knows, maybe Sigma's going to release a new, lighter and better version of their 10-20mm (a "Contemporary" version).

02-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by subidoc Quote
Really.........???? What a bummer... I could borrow my sis' 18-135 WR I guess. Maybe I should get that and the DA 15 and call it a day.
No it ain't that bad. last few years, sept/okt have seen better weather than june/july here in Holland.

But what are you planning to see? With the kid being 9 months, there might be a lot of crawling, so a zoom lens will be very handy. I do not know how the kit lens is. But I have the 16-45, and it a great lens (big though). The DA15 is certainly wide enough for the cities, but I think the 21 would also do just fine. the 21 with the 50 f1.7 would be a nice set to take. But then again, with some one crawling, you could use a zoom.

And for asking about the pictures, just get a second hand P&S, and do not need to worry when handing over the camera.
02-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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When I'm traveling alone, I love using primes. Smaller, lighter, better IQ. With someone else, I don't like to change lenses nearly as much, if at all, so something like a k-01, da 18-135 plus a nice prime or two would be a great travel kit. I'm getting my k-01 + 40mm today, and am going to probably spring for the 15mm next. And something like the Sirui T-025 tripod.
02-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
And for asking about the pictures, just get a second hand P&S, and do not need to worry when handing over the camera.
I think that this idea is indeed very practical.Thanks. If the 21 and 50 become adequate, then I may just bite the bullet and use the kit lens with my borrowed F50 - that way both are light AF options. Macario - if you don't mind, I started a thread on specific travel aspects in the Photography/Groups section. Would you mind adding some insights?

Thank you all for suggestions thus far...
02-11-2013, 11:35 AM   #12
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Three countries in 9 days, busy, busy, busy.

Consider what you want to see.

Countryside I'll go fore the 18-55. City architecture the 15mm, City people the 40mm. The 40mm on a K5 is great.
02-12-2013, 09:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pontax Quote
Three countries in 9 days, busy, busy, busy.

Consider what you want to see.

Countryside I'll go fore the 18-55. City architecture the 15mm, City people the 40mm. The 40mm on a K5 is great.
I am thinking of limiting to Holland and a little of Paris if I can find the time. Not sure I am going to spring the $$ for a 15mm when I have the kit lens. I don't often shoot that wide (but I have never used the 15mm). As for the 40mm, I used to have an Ultron (Voigtlander) but sold it - big mistake.
02-13-2013, 01:29 AM   #14
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You had the Ultron and sold it, oh my. The 40mm XS is a great lens for its incognito appearance and you can catch some candids on the city square.
02-13-2013, 03:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by subidoc Quote
I am in a bit of predicament, but have some time to seek input from you guys:

I will be traveling throught Holland, France, Belgium in Sept/Oct for 7-9 days. My wife and little one (then to be 9 months) will be along. So, in lieu of the anticipated diaper-bag accompaniment (and some baby-bjorn like device), I would like to know if:
1. I should consider the DA 15mm to take in the sights,
2. Only take the 18-55 ALII (non-WR),
3. I may be able to get a used Sigma 10-20/F4-5.6 locally for about $375, but it is a HUGE lens,
4. Consider a point & shoot (if so, which one?),
5. or go for a mirrorless kit (like Olympus with 14-42 kit)?

At this time, I was thinking K5 with ZK35/F2 and 18-55, as most folks here have rarely felt the need to go longer in these places (space being limited).

Also, in order to be in a portion of photos myself, I was considering a tripod. So lightweight suggestions here would be helpful. I was thinking of a total of $350-$450 (realistically) as a budget. ANY other suggestions are always welcome.... If this thread needs to be re-located, then by all means it should. Thanks in advance!

Cheers!
I live in Europe and travel frequently throughout.

My opinion is to get the widest, fastest lens that you can, for starters. If you're looking for an all in one, then simply bring a 2.8 constant zoom for the ride. The reason is one that people only realize once they are over here: things are very close together and often, streets very narrow so that you can't easily even walk across the street to view things. Inside of structures, such as museums, you will deal with close quarters and darkness, so a fast lens is quite welcome to keep the ISO low (and shutter speed high).

Most all of my stuff is done with an FA35, but it did limit me and for the really wide stuff, I was using my Nokia N8. However, I got a Tamron 17-50 and used it in Innsbruck for my recent vacation there.

So coming from the US, I'd say that a wideangle zoom (not UWA) with a 2,8 constant aperture, a normal, such as a 35mm F2, and something like a 77-85mm will cover you for nearly everything.

By the way, I was in Cincy a couple months ago. I found using the FA35 similarly limiting there, so judge from the short distances you have there to understand just slightly what I mean.
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