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08-19-2013, 01:42 AM   #1
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How much zoom or width is needed for vacation?

I currently have the DA 35mm f/2.4 prime and DA 18-135mm WR f/3.5-5.6 for my K-30. In about 5 weeks I'll be on a vacation with the family. We plan to take lots of family, architecture, and landscape/nature photos while we're there. My question is, what level of zoom do I need? Is the 135mm long enough or will we find ourselves wishing we had 200, 250, or maybe even 300mm? On the other extreme, for landscapes and architecture will the 18mm be wide enough?

08-19-2013, 01:53 AM   #2
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18mm would be enough for normal family shots. But when I was on my vacations, I only took my 15mm. Maybe you would want to couple an UWA with your 35mm. that would be enough.
08-19-2013, 01:54 AM   #3
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The 18-135 should suffice for most scenarios, use the DA35 for group shots if you have the space, IQ is loads better.
08-19-2013, 02:43 AM - 1 Like   #4
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DA 18-135 is fine, more than fine. Don't over think this.

08-19-2013, 02:56 AM   #5
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As twitch posted - don't over think it. There are always going to be situations where you may want something else. Just work around it and continue. Photography is an exercise in compromise.
  • When you find the need for something wider - stitch with the camera in portrait mode, with 2 or more overlapping frames, and then use Microsoft ICE (a free download), to create a single result.
  • When you find the need for something longer - use the longest length you have, and then crop accordingly when you get home.

08-19-2013, 03:17 AM   #6
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The 18-135 is very versatile and has the added benefit of WR. On vacation at the beach its a great choice. On vacation looking at museums in Venice, I'd want something wider (add the 10-24 for me). On vacation in Yellowstone I'd want something longer along too (55-300 is great for such use as its got good IQ and is light). What I'm saying is the 18-135 is a solid all-arounder but your circmstances will speak to what else you might need.
08-19-2013, 03:44 AM   #7
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I am taking a cruise in the fall. New England and Canada. I am planning on taking the DA15, DA 18-135, DA 55-300. And either the FA 43 or DA*16-50 for interior and low light. Actually, If you can only take one lens or just do not want to haul much, the 18-135 is a great choice. I would like to take a trip with just my 4 primes but the convenience of the zooms is pretty nice during shore excursions and such.
08-19-2013, 03:46 AM   #8
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Depends where you are vacationing! Docrwm explained well
I usually have my DA L 50-200mm with me for the rare times I need tele, and some wider primes for most of the actual photography. 35mm, 40mm, maybe even the 14mm, if I feel like lugging that tank around. Oh, and the M 50mm f1.7 for indoor, low light and night photography.

For architecture and landscapes I really like to use my 40mm XS, because it is so sharp and has no distortion. Wider than 35mm is mostly needed in tight cities with narrow streets. So if I were you, I would take the DA 35mm for most photography, and then use the 18-135mm for the times when you absolutely need different FoV. 135mm should be good enough. Don't overthink it, it will work out

Last edited by Na Horuk; 08-19-2013 at 03:56 AM.
08-19-2013, 06:35 AM   #9
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Rerence what Docrwm and Na Horuk have already said, I believe the 18-135mm would be adequate for most situations on a vacation. That is indeed the one I bring along myself plus, presumably a single prime, depending upon where I go.

As they state: "Don't overthink it" - but do think about the follwing:

  • Are you willing to carry around a heavy payload of lenses on a vacation? (I am definitely not).
  • Do you really like to change lenses every now and then when walking around on vacation? (Me, I hate it).
  • Don't expect to shoot much wild-life with a 135mm lens. If wildlife is on the agenda also, I would bring one of my longer telephoto lenses as well.
  • Would you like to be able to shoot at ambient light in low-light situations? In that case I would bring my FA 50mm f/1.4 but don't underestimate what you can do in low light with your 35mm f/2.4 on a K30 and high(er) ISO.
08-19-2013, 06:59 AM   #10
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I feel most confident photographically with my full shoulder bag. But my shoulder does not thank me. On my visit to Chicago this last weekend I used a small shoulder bag convertible to a waist bag with my 18-135 doing almost all the work. The only other lens in my bag was my 55-300, and my monopod doubled as a walking stick with its mini-ball head for portrait mode mode and a quick release. I also carried a sling pack for our picnic lunch and a water bottle.I was on my feet nearly non-stop for two full days with warm sunny weather.

We toured the campus of the University of Chicago, some of downtown, Navy Pier with the Tall Ships Festival and sailing competition. The only time I used my 55-300 was at 300 to capture a 4-mast ship under full sail. I probably could have bumped my shutter speed up, shot at 135 and cropped with almost equal results.

One other tip, I have a camera straps with a removable extender. With the extender in place I wear the camera cross-body, I also have a second quick release mounted to the waist belt for my bag. When I am walking, not actively shooting but still want my camera immediately available, it is connected to the waist belt. It keeps the camera from being accidentally banged around and eliminating the sway is also less stressful to my body. The hood is mounted and the front lens cap safely in my pocket. The lens is pointed down along my leg when carried this way and the front element picks up surprisingly little dust.
08-19-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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A 17-70 is usually one of the only lenses I need on most trips.
If I had a 28-75 2.8 or in and around that focal length it would be my first choice

Good luck

08-19-2013, 07:38 AM   #12
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I think those two lenses make an awesome vacation pair. I take my 18-135 and my Sigma 30 with me everywhere, and it is rare I "need" something different. I usually pop my 15 into the bag too, but only because it is the best lens ever. Ok, so just get the 15 too, and you're all set.
08-19-2013, 09:22 AM   #13
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Your combo of lenses is great for travelling. And no matter what you bring you can always wish for something wider/longer/faster. I'd say stick with what you have.

But if you are willing to pay the price, carry the weight, and change lenses there's nothing wrong in buying more lenses.

The DA15 limited is light and excellent - and quite pricey. The Sigma 8-16 is nice for small spaces, but is big and heavy.

The DA*300 is excellent for wildlife, but rather expensive. A DA55-300 is good, lighter and cheaper, but still quite heavy if it ends up as dead weight in your bag.

IMHO, of course
08-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #14
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This depends so much on both where you are going and how you shoot. Last week at Glacier National Park for example the 70 DA was by far my most used lens followed by my wife's 10-20 Sigma where I think all of her shots were with her 16-45 DA. I should say all of our Pentax shots as we were shooting film in MF and LF.
08-19-2013, 10:22 AM   #15
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For a week in and around Yellowstone last month, I took my DA12-24 and my Promaster 70-300 on the K100D. Although there was a lot of swapping, it worked well. I also took my Oly XZ-1 and my Pentax WG10 for rafting. All told, I had about 1100 pics between the three, plus a few hundred snapshots my spousal unit took with hers... :-)


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