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03-23-2014, 09:53 AM   #1
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Travel lens selection (film & digital)

Hi All - Yet another 'Lenses for travel' question I'm afraid, but hopefully slightly different.

I'm traveling soon and looking for suggestions about lens options when mixing film & digital bodies. Last time I took my K-5 (without grip) and DA17-70/4 which was sufficient for almost everything (I would have liked my M135/3.5 for a bit more reach when it mattered). As I might be mixing film & digital bodies, the above won't be sufficient and I need another plan. Most of my shots will be either wide-angle or at long end of the longer lens (if it's a zoom).

I'm limited to quite a small bag (by preference as much as anything else) and have space for two bodies and 3 lenses. My FA20-35/4 is a given as this covers the wide ends of film & digital sufficiently and i'd like to add to this a fast prime and a longer lens (or 2x TC). My A35-105/3.5 would be ideal but it's too bulky & heavy (I'd probably have to leave the fast prime behind). I'm preferably looking to use only 49mm & 58mm filter sizes. I'm not looking to add to my lenses, an FA77 or K/M85mm might be ideal but aren't options right now.

Fast prime choices are: FA35/2, FA43/1.9 & FA50/1.4
Longer lens choices are: M135/3.5, F35-70/3.5-4.5, Tamron ADII 35-80/3.5, SMC-TAK105/2.8 (not ideal) & FA50/1.4 + 2xTC.

Whilst the FA43 should be a given, I feel the 50/1.4 might be more versatile (and an option with the TC) considering I will have the FA20-35. The FA35/2 is basically covered by the 20-35 and is unlikely.

My current plan is to go with: FA20-35, FA50 & M135/3.5 - although since typing this I'm thinking I might be able to swap the M135 for FA43 & 2x TC - making FA20-35, FA43, FA50 & 2x TC.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

John.


Last edited by johnha; 03-23-2014 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
03-23-2014, 10:26 AM   #2
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I think you left out the major piece of the puzzle--what do you want to use film for vs digital for? As an example
-- I use film more at wide angle shots--where the FF advantage and wider DR both are often important--e.g., landscapes/buildingscapes with sky present.
-- On the other hand digital is better where the view is isolated-telephoto lens (often smaller DR and the cropped sensor is advantage) and/or more difficult exposure so the ability to view result immediately.
Once you identify the strength of one of the camera's--you may have identified which lens works best.
I also suggest you take a vacation day by day in your minds eye (a virtual tour), and set up the shots, and see what lens(es) you pick.
03-23-2014, 11:20 AM   #3
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John,

For what it's worth:

If you've got the 43, it would be a crime not to the it.
FA20-35 is great on both formats.
For tele, take the little M135.

So: 43, 20-35 and 135.

Bin off the TC, and that should see you through without compromise!
03-23-2014, 03:30 PM   #4
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I applaud your chutzpah mixing your bag like that. I assume you have already vetted the TC with your lenses on both cameras. Those things always look good on paper.
So, 20-35, 43, and 135. And since that 50mm is almost the same size as the TC you were going to take anyway, ditch the TC and bring the Fifty.

03-23-2014, 03:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure whether I'll be using film or digital for any particular type of shot - I really want to take two film bodies (mono & colour) and the K-5 on my travels but might only be able to carry two bodies at once (due to discretion among my traveling companions). As such I'm considering two of the same film bodies to minimise the amount of 'apparent' gear I'm taking - and swap them over as required.

Obviously the FA20-35 lends itself more to wide shots on film than digital, and my M135 would suit long lens digital shots better.

I've been trying various combinations out recently and settled on the FA20-35, FA43 or FA50 & M135, beyond 50mm I mostly jump straight to the longest lens I have.
03-24-2014, 08:03 AM   #6
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just a thought.....but have you looked into the Tamron 24-135 zoom? It is full frame and works nicely on the digital body too..... would give lots of flexibility and it's only 1 lens.

Good luck with whatever you select...
03-24-2014, 09:43 AM   #7
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A pair of black MX bodies is just what you need for the "old switcheroo". If you don't have those, ME Supers are widely available and nobody would suspect you of owning two of them. You can cram two M bodies into one compartment of just about any camera bag.
03-24-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
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I'd have a hard time leaving behind the 43 too. If you really enjoy the 20-35 then bring it. I pwersonally would enjoy a prime as much as a zoom with such a short range, so I'd bring my own 21 instead The 35 would not be wide enough so I guess you're stuck with the zoom.

The 135 is pretty much a given too. So my answer would be 20-35, 43, 135.

03-24-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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Thank for the suggestions. The FA20-35 is really my only wide option for digital and it makes sense in preference to a 28mm (if I was only shooting film my K28/3.5 would replace it). Thanks for the info on the Tamron 24-135, I can't justify more lenses and my only other choice is an FA PZ 28-105 (which I think is too big and not wide enough on APS-C). I've binned the idea of the TC and looking at the FA20-35, FA43 & M135 at the moment.

Film bodies wise, I may take two chrome MXs (black would be better but aren't available!), I should really be taking my LX though...

John.
03-25-2014, 10:49 AM   #10
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With the 20-35 on the film camera, and the 43mm on the digital camera, you'll be ready for at least 90% of what comes your way. The 135 will be a nice tele option. Might as well bring the 50 along, as well... such a nice, versatile length on film... but don't listen to me - I'm the guy that took a 70-210 f4 to another continent and didn't take a single picture with it, preferring the 135 every time...
03-25-2014, 05:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
With the 20-35 on the film camera, and the 43mm on the digital camera, you'll be ready for at least 90% of what comes your way. The 135 will be a nice tele option. Might as well bring the 50 along, as well... such a nice, versatile length on film... but don't listen to me - I'm the guy that took a 70-210 f4 to another continent and didn't take a single picture with it, preferring the 135 every time...
Thanks, there's a limit to what I can carry when I'm there, but I might be able to take more kit on my travels (the P67 will have to stay at home though!). A long zoom is not an option but I will probably find space for the 50 somehow but my day bag is now full with 20-35, 43, 135, K-5 (no grip) & 2x chrome MXs.
04-09-2014, 02:52 PM   #12
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An update after returning from my travels:

In the end I welched out of my original plan, only taking my LX, FA20-35/4, FA43/1.9, M135/3.5 and my MX-1. The FA20-35 was hardly off the camera - only using the M135 for a few shots and the FA43 wasn't used at all. I didn't shoot as many shots as I'd expected - it wasn't that kind of trip in the end (nothing to do with the gear I took/didn't take). Next time I'd probably do likewise.

Thanks for the comments/suggestions.

John.
04-12-2014, 07:24 AM   #13
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