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06-23-2015, 01:10 PM   #1
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Germany Trip - Thoughts on Lens Combo?

Heading to Stuttgart | Schwabish Gmund | Munich | Bern for a week or so next month. Have recently built up some good lenses and am making a plan for what to bring. My wife will have the camera with her for the first few days as she traipses around Stuttgart waiting for me to join, so I want to keep it as easy as possible without forgetting anything. Other possibilities include renting a lens if the need is not met by what I have:

What I have:
  • DA-L 35mm
  • DA Limited 40
  • 18-135 WR
  • 55-300 WR
  • Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
  • Pentax-A 50mm f2.8 Macro

My thoughts were to take the two WR and the DA40. I didn't think I needed anything faster than the f2.8 on the 40 for what I'm doing, I like how small it is, and am not sure I want the 50mm focal length as a walkaround vs. the 40.

The plan is city-viewing, some back country, a concert (Melissa Etheridge) and some snow peaks. Lots of people shots, lots of architecture shots, not a lot of animal / nature / high action shots.

Anything I'm missing that might be helpful? Anything I'm taking that isn't useful? Anything I should try to talk the wife into letting me rent?

Thanks in advance!

06-23-2015, 01:28 PM   #2
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In my opinion. For traveling light the two WR is a good choice. I am not sure if you need more that the 135mm. I would choose the 35mm over the 40 just for the 1/2 f stop faster.
Also are you considering letting your wife only bring the 18-135 and the prime (35 or 40) and then you bring the 55-300. If she is like my wife, she does not want to carry 2 lenses let alone a third.

My 0.02.
06-23-2015, 01:34 PM   #3
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I just got back from a Rhine River cruise. In prepping for the trip my aims were flexibility, reducing the weight of my carry-on camera bag, and eliminating as many lens changes as possible, so I took a Sigma 10-20, a Sigma 18-200, and a DL 35/2.4. I used the 18-200 almost exclusively, the 10-20 for a few interior shots, and the 35 not at all. My shooting plan was pretty much the same as yours (sans concerts), although I did miss 300mm for a few birding ops I ran into. So based on my experience I think you'll find your WRs generally the most useful on the list.
06-23-2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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I regularly travel overseas. My basic kit is an all-around zoom lens and a fast fifty. For your lens line-up, the DA18-135mm and 50mm f/1.7 sound the right setup. The all-around lens 18-135mm would be typically mounted all the time, with the fast fifty in your pocket, for evening and night time shooting.

There are trips where I know in advance that I need some specific lenses, but these are rare. For example, I shoot tidal bores in France and the bores arrive a sunset and sunrise: thus I choose accordingly my lenses with a short tele (FA77mm f1.8) and a longer lens (FA*300mm) + TC. Otherwise my default kit is DA18-250mm and Voigtlander Notkon 58mm f1.4.

By the way: you will be travelling in summer time, when the weather is dry. WR is not a 'must'.

To sum up: all-around lens + fast fifty is the best combo to travel light.

Hope that the comment will help.


Last edited by hcc; 06-23-2015 at 03:31 PM.
06-23-2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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I'd bring both WR zooms and see if you can get something wider if at all possible to go with it.
06-23-2015, 02:41 PM   #6
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Sounds like a good plan. Its good to bring along a prime or two, for the higher image quality and brighter aperture (depends if you shoot in low light, indoors, after dark). I traveled a bit in Germany and mostly used DA 35mm and Samyang 14mm (was a bit wide sometimes and its a heavy lens). When it comes to DA 35mm vs. DA 40mm, the question is mostly about which FoV is better suited for your needs, or if you have a personal preference for one of the lenses.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 06-23-2015 at 02:54 PM.
06-23-2015, 03:24 PM   #7
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Germany Trip - Thoughts on Lens Combo?

I was in Germany and some neighboring countries over the winter holidays and was well served by my 18-135 WR and FA 31 Limited. I got rain and snowed on multiple times and kept happily snapping pictures with the weather sealed setup. Once the sun went down or when indoors I switched over to the prime and kept on trucking.

Last edited by PenTex; 06-23-2015 at 05:06 PM.
06-23-2015, 05:01 PM   #8
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What camera do you have?

I would take, as a minimalist kit, the 18-135 for all round usefulness and the DA40 for something light, small and somewhat faster, unless I felt really confident about working the 50mm manual lens fast enough to not miss fleeting opportunities. You could substitute the DA 35 if space were not an issue and you wanted the extra FOV and half stop but the 40 is so small it really is a dream to handle as a walkaround, especially on smaller bodies.

06-23-2015, 05:28 PM   #9
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I never go anywhere without the pancake 40. It makes our cameras as unobtrusive as a point and click.

There is something to be said for ( in my opinion) " I'd like to take some shots today but I dont want to be weighted down ".
06-23-2015, 06:05 PM   #10
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My travel kit consists of the DA 18-135, DA 40, and DA 70.

On my last two trips to Europe (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, and Russia) the 18-135 handled about 95% of the shooting, and could have handled 100%.

I've since acquired the DA 35 Plastic Fantastic and just recently added a Tamron 10-24. Both will be part of the travel kit but I expect the 18-135 will continue to do the heavy lifting, supplemented mainly by the Tammy.
06-23-2015, 06:24 PM   #11
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Yeah, when I was in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany last year the 18-135 handled most everything, with the Sigma 8-16 and Tamron 70-200 getting a bit of use too. Next time I am there I imagine the kit will be about the same. Too bad no one has a 16-135 WR f/2.8.
06-23-2015, 10:48 PM   #12
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Another vote for the 18-135. I also just returned from a Rhine River cruise early this month plus 3 days in Basel,SW and used the 18-135 exclusively, took over 3000 photos. It would have been nice to have something a little wider. Also took a 55-300 but never used it.
06-24-2015, 12:37 AM   #13
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I think 18-135 and 35mm would be a good choice. Last time in Croatia I used 35mm and 15mm lenses only.
06-24-2015, 02:26 AM   #14
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You'll need 18mm for the Porsche and Mercedes museums. The wide angle view is quite flattering for cars. The Mercedes museum is better because it's a history of modern Germany in cars. And it's a totally honest history. It doesn't gloss over the wars. And if you're in Germany try and get to some classical music concerts. It's what they do best (apart from progressive house). You can see Melissa Etheridge anywhere.
06-24-2015, 02:58 AM   #15
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Lenses are too heavy for the trip over. Pack light!

QuoteOriginally posted by thepachman Quote
Heading to Stuttgart | Schwabish Gmund | Munich | Bern for a week or so next month. Have recently built up some good lenses and am making a plan for what to bring. My wife will have the camera with her for the first few days as she traipses around Stuttgart waiting for me to join, so I want to keep it as easy as possible without forgetting anything. Other possibilities include renting a lens if the need is not met by what I have:

What I have:
  • DA-L 35mm
  • DA Limited 40
  • 18-135 WR
  • 55-300 WR
  • Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
  • Pentax-A 50mm f2.8 Macro

My thoughts were to take the two WR and the DA40. I didn't think I needed anything faster than the f2.8 on the 40 for what I'm doing, I like how small it is, and am not sure I want the 50mm focal length as a walkaround vs. the 40.

The plan is city-viewing, some back country, a concert (Melissa Etheridge) and some snow peaks. Lots of people shots, lots of architecture shots, not a lot of animal / nature / high action shots.

Anything I'm missing that might be helpful? Anything I'm taking that isn't useful? Anything I should try to talk the wife into letting me rent?

Thanks in advance!
Well, I'm thinking something a bit different . . . you should "forget" all the lenses except for perhaps a kit lens. Then it would be just like the airlines losing your luggage -- you buy new as you go. I'm pretty sure that Leica and Zeiss have factory outlet stores, just like the big names do in the US, and you can probably pick up primo lenses at 60-80% off! Also, they won't realize you're not German fast enough to hide the "secret" Pentax lenses they don't sell to the rest of the world.

Don't forget to post a follow-up telling us about all the awesome lenses you scored while you were there.

Also, while taking in the shows, don't forget David Hasselhoff -- I hear he's a big rock star in Germany.
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