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08-17-2018, 11:08 AM   #1
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Request for advice on what lenses to bring on trip to Canada

Hello All

We will be taking a tour of 3 cities in Canada along with a cruise on the Saint Lawrence river. We will be visiting Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City with the cruise in between Montreal and Quebec City. I am looking over all of my lenses that I satisfied my LBA over the years and deciding what to bring for use on my K-3. The trip will be geared toward the cities and architectural and cultural sites and not hiking and wildlife. I want to pack light since we will be on the move with this tour and cannot carry a lot of equipment. My lens choices are:
Zooms: DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM
Primes: DA limiteds; 15, 21, 35 macro and 40. Also F 28mm and FA 50 f1.7
The Domke F803 satchel pack I will be using can fit the two zooms or one zoom and two of the primes. Any thoughts from the group who either live there are are familiar with the three cities appreciated. It seems like including the 16-85 is a no brainer but would I be better in these places just using small primes? Is there any use for the 55-300 PLM for what I will see there?

My inclination is to take the 15 Limited, FA 50 f1.7 and the DA 16-85 but would welcome any recommendations.

08-17-2018, 11:16 AM   #2
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You know, I love my DA 15 SMC. It's lovely. But with a 16-85, with it's versatility and WR, I think you might be just fine with the 16-85 and an F 28 for wider portraits, normal street shooting, really anything you could do with a 28mm on a crop body. Which is nearly everything!

16-85 + F 28. Court is adjourned.
08-17-2018, 11:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
I want to pack light since we will be on the move with this tour and cannot carry a lot of equipment. My lens choices are:
Zooms: DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM
Primes: DA limiteds; 15, 21, 35 macro and 40. Also F 28mm and FA 50 f1.7
The Domke F803 satchel pack I will be using can fit the two zooms or one zoom and two of the primes. Any thoughts from the group who either live there are are familiar with the three cities appreciated. It seems like including the 16-85 is a no brainer but would I be better in these places just using small primes? Is there any use for the 55-300 PLM for what I will see there?

My inclination is to take the 15 Limited, FA 50 f1.7 and the DA 16-85 but would welcome any recommendations.
I have not visited either city - but I have been to Toronto and NYC and other cities and rivers. The DA 16-85 is in fact a no brainer. The DA 15 is a hard one to leave behind for me due to the great flare handling, but I might leave it behind on this trip. The DA 21 would be stellar for street shooting if you like those kinds of shots. I always want a macro with me, so I take Raynox stuff at a minimum but you may not need this. The 50 is of course a great option for portraits and low light. The 55-300 only gets use while on the river portion for wildlife or in the city for architecture details above street level or long range candid head shots etc.

Given all that if I were building the kit I'd probably take the 16-85, the 50 and the 21. I would miss the 15, but the 21 isn't a bad starburst lens and handles flare well too. (Which version HD or SMC do you have of these?) I would give up the wildlife photos and be happy.
08-17-2018, 11:32 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
Hello All

We will be taking a tour of 3 cities in Canada along with a cruise on the Saint Lawrence river. We will be visiting Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City with the cruise in between Montreal and Quebec City. I am looking over all of my lenses that I satisfied my LBA over the years and deciding what to bring for use on my K-3. The trip will be geared toward the cities and architectural and cultural sites and not hiking and wildlife. I want to pack light since we will be on the move with this tour and cannot carry a lot of equipment. My lens choices are:
Zooms: DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM
Primes: DA limiteds; 15, 21, 35 macro and 40. Also F 28mm and FA 50 f1.7
The Domke F803 satchel pack I will be using can fit the two zooms or one zoom and two of the primes. Any thoughts from the group who either live there are are familiar with the three cities appreciated. It seems like including the 16-85 is a no brainer but would I be better in these places just using small primes? Is there any use for the 55-300 PLM for what I will see there?

My inclination is to take the 15 Limited, FA 50 f1.7 and the DA 16-85 but would welcome any recommendations.
A lot depends on your shooting style, but I don't think you'll find the 55-300 too useful for urban subjects. Can you pick up or borrow a 24mm prime (35mm equivalent, reckoned to be 'ideal' FL for street photography). That, the macro and the 16-85 should do nicely.

I have shot for a couple days each in Ottawa and Montreal. Ottawa has plenty of open vistas, Montreal can get really tight especially in the old parts.

08-17-2018, 11:56 AM   #5
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For old cities and architecture I always feel like I never have enough wide angle, even with the 15mm.

The 21 would be nice for a compact street lens that is lighter and less conspicuous.


I'd leave the 55-300 at home, take the 16-85 and two of the 15, 21 and 50.
08-17-2018, 02:58 PM   #6
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I would take 16-85, 15, and 21. I would think the 16-85 slould get a workout. But the 15 & 21 when you want to travel lighter will be useful.
08-17-2018, 02:58 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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You are taking a cruise on the St Lawrence River a very large river. A lot of History & Scenery on both shores and a lot of Marine Traffic. A good distance between Montreal and Quebec City 145 miles a few hour cruise. I would definitely take a 55-300 for that portion of the trip.
08-17-2018, 03:04 PM   #8
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to add to your decision making

enter the contest and win the K 1 or K II

consider renting any lens you might want to take but don't own

I have used LensRentals.com from Tennessee with good results

there may be other companies

I would take the 16-21 and the limiteds ( they are small after all )

any thoughts on macro ? the 35mm macro may not be your best choice

what are you planning on photographing ?

08-17-2018, 03:04 PM   #9
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I’d take the 2 zooms 16-85 for when your ashore and 55-300 for when your cruising.
08-17-2018, 03:06 PM   #10
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My suggestion is 16-85, 50/1.7, and optionally the DA 21.


16-85 is the obvious and smart choice. You could do the entire trip with just that lens.


The 50/1.7 is your fastest lens. Bring that if you want to shoot handheld at night, or you like thin depth of field.



DA 21 is compact for street photography. You'll get people as well as their surroundings at this focal length. Or, skip the 21 and just use the larger 16-85 for street photography.
Are you planning to do any night shooting in the cities? The DA 15 has the famous starbursts but then you might need a tripod to avoid shooting at overly high ISO. Since you mentioned packing lightly, skip the tripod and therefore skip the DA 15, since the 16-85 already covers general wide angle usage.

55-300 won't get used in a city, unless you like isolating architectural elements on buildings. It might get used if you see wildlife on the boat ride but it's probably not worth packing a lens that will get such limited use.
08-17-2018, 03:56 PM   #11
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You definitely want the 16-85... great lens! I agree that you won’t have much use for the 55-300 in the city but I think it will get used on the cruise portion of your trip. I would probably vote for the 21 mm, but I don’t have the 15 for comparison. The 21 mm is a nice little lens when you want to travel light. Much more inconspicuous compared to the 16-85. Sounds like a fun trip. Enjoy!
08-17-2018, 04:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
Hello All

We will be taking a tour of 3 cities in Canada along with a cruise on the Saint Lawrence river. We will be visiting Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City with the cruise in between Montreal and Quebec City. I am looking over all of my lenses that I satisfied my LBA over the years and deciding what to bring for use on my K-3. The trip will be geared toward the cities and architectural and cultural sites and not hiking and wildlife. I want to pack light since we will be on the move with this tour and cannot carry a lot of equipment. My lens choices are:
Zooms: DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM
Primes: DA limiteds; 15, 21, 35 macro and 40. Also F 28mm and FA 50 f1.7
The Domke F803 satchel pack I will be using can fit the two zooms or one zoom and two of the primes. Any thoughts from the group who either live there are are familiar with the three cities appreciated. It seems like including the 16-85 is a no brainer but would I be better in these places just using small primes? Is there any use for the 55-300 PLM for what I will see there?

My inclination is to take the 15 Limited, FA 50 f1.7 and the DA 16-85 but would welcome any recommendations.
If you can fit the 35 as well, do so, thought the 16-50 is pretty competent. I don't think you'll see much use for the long telephoto.
08-17-2018, 04:49 PM   #13
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Take the two zooms and the fifty for low light. The longer would be the one for any birds you encounter along the river if you're into that. Animals are always fun.

08-17-2018, 05:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by torashi Quote
Take the two zooms and the fifty for low light. The longer would be the one for any birds you encounter along the river if you're into that. Animals are always fun.
Just what I was going to vote for. Chances are the DA 16-85mm will do very well for you most of the time, with the other two for more extreme situations.
08-17-2018, 05:29 PM   #15
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I wouldn't mind bringing a tripod and the 15, though. But that's me and I like cityscapes at night. The drawback is always time and the other's patiente while you set everything up and take the shot, if they're not into photography.

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