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11-10-2018, 11:37 AM   #1
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Packing Light, World Tour....if you could take just ONE lens...

I have a trip coming up in April. We are traveling to Paris for a few days, India for two weeks, and Rome for a few days. Packing light is essential. And during the days I will have a small pack, but can't carry much. If you could take *just one* lens on this kind of adventure, what would you take? I'm thinking two would be a stretch, and both would need to be fairly compact if I took more than one. Thoughts?

ETA: I have a K-S2 (about to be sent in for aperture block failure) and most of the photography will likely be architectural, as that is the focus of most of our tour, so something with some sharpness and width is what I am leaning toward.


Last edited by KierraElizabeth; 11-10-2018 at 01:25 PM.
11-10-2018, 11:47 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Are you planning to buy a new lens or using what you already have? Would help to know what you have availabe to choose from.

My smallest kit is using 2, 3 or rarely all 4 lenses from the DA limited 15, 21, 40 and 70. When I expect wet weather and can't change lenses much I use the 16-85. But the zoom+camera is much bulkier than any limited kit version, because it makes a single large object that can't be re-arranged depending on the bag.
11-10-2018, 11:49 AM - 4 Likes   #3
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I did several around the world trips with just one lens.

With a crop sensor camera it would be the 16-85. With a full frame it would be the 24-70.


I've done it more than one time so I am not just speaking out of theory.
11-10-2018, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I’d take the Sigma 18-300.

11-10-2018, 12:51 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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D fa28-105, kp.

Caps suppressed by iOS Update.

.:
11-10-2018, 01:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
Are you planning to buy a new lens or using what you already have? Would help to know what you have availabe to choose from.

My smallest kit is using 2, 3 or rarely all 4 lenses from the DA limited 15, 21, 40 and 70. When I expect wet weather and can't change lenses much I use the 16-85. But the zoom+camera is much bulkier than any limited kit version, because it makes a single large object that can't be re-arranged depending on the bag.
I have a K-S2 (about to be sent out for Aperture Block Failure :/). I'm not opposed to buying the "right" lens for the trip, as I don't have anything now that I think would be particularly great. I really want some versatility with sharpness, and most photos will be landscape/architecture, so I'd like to take something on the wider end. I don't have anything too fancy, and would like to stay under $400 on a new lens. Current list:
Sigma 18-135 (a great walkaround lens, but definitely lacks sharpness at the ends of its range)
Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 70-300mm (again, leaves a lot to desire in terms of sharpness, and it's heavy as can be)
Pentax 100mm f/4 Macro (probably going to sell, as I've used it about 3 times since I got it, and not suited to this trip anyway)

I'm also planning on bringing my handy Pentax Q with the standard Zoom and fisheye lenses for my husband to use.

I'm wondering if something like the Sigma 10-20 might be a good choice, paired with my 50 mm? But as I said, I'm very open to options.

---------- Post added 11-10-2018 at 01:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I did several around the world trips with just one lens.

With a crop sensor camera it would be the 16-85. With a full frame it would be the 24-70.


I've done it more than one time so I am not just speaking out of theory.
Thank you! Is this the WR version, or standard? Is there much difference in IQ that you know of?

Last edited by KierraElizabeth; 11-10-2018 at 02:00 PM.
11-10-2018, 01:07 PM - 1 Like   #7
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You don't say what camera you have but any case, for a world trip travelling very light, I would be tempted getting a Ricoh GR II or III.
With the gear I have I would probably take the K-01 with DA 40 (and maybe a DA15 to go with it). If photography was going to be a key focus of the trip then I would take my K-1 with DFA28-105 and a FA35 f2 (as this is a relatively compact but still very capable combo).
11-10-2018, 01:11 PM   #8
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For full frame - DFA 28-105 with filters. Light, sharp, and weather protected. AF is fast and precise. Small travel tripod to complete the kit.

11-10-2018, 01:59 PM   #9
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Just one? DA 16-85 would be my recommendation. I take 85% of my travel shots in that range, and it is an excellent lens.

If I could take one more, it would be the DA 10-17 FE. It's just a fun lens, nearly rectilinear (or correctable) in the 15-17mm range, and encourages creative shooting.
For a really small addition, take the DA 40XS.
11-10-2018, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by KierraElizabeth Quote
If you could take *just one* lens on this kind of adventure, what would you take? I'm thinking two would be a stretch, and both would need to be fairly compact if I took more than one. Thoughts?
The Sigma 16-50 2.8. I had the Pentax 16-50 and the Sigma out performs, at least for my lenses. The Sigma is sharp throughout its range. and that wide aperture will come in handy for low light shots. It's on sale and can still be had for less than $400. the Pentax is much more expensive but it is a water resistant lens while the Sigma is not.

A lighter lens that is also very good is the Pentax 20-40 limited and it's a wr lens. I have traveled to Italy with this and was very happy with the results, but I would take a small prime, such as the 15mm along with it and I'd be tempted to also take the light weight plastic fantastic 50 for something a bit longer.
11-10-2018, 02:36 PM - 1 Like   #11
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For really only one lens, I’d do the 16-85.

For 1+, I’d do the 10-20 and something else... the 20-40 limited would be really nice, but more reach might be handy.

Last time I was in Paris, I took my MX, a 24-35, a 50mm F1.4, and a 135 f3.5. I didn’t use the 135 ever, and it was 3:1 or so in favor of the 24-35, and even then it wasn’t always wide enough. Obviously, that’s full frame film, so different field of view at 24mm...

Paris just loves wide angle and low light photography...

Have an awesome trip...

-Eric
11-10-2018, 02:59 PM   #12
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I have a K-5 and recently got a brand new SMC-P DA L 18-50mm DC WR RE and am quite happy with it. Better starbursts and silent, plastic (lightweight), compact when stored and cheap (60-80 bucks). Add a DA 15 Limited and you're all set on the wide end.
On the long end for detail, the Sigma 70-300 APO DG is cheap, sharp and lightweight (plastic again), too.
For architecture I would recommend a good tripod, and a tilt-shift lens, but those don't come light nor cheap. Maybe the Venus 15/4 Laowa macro*?
*If you consider it, remember to correct for distortion while noting the shift and focusing distance. Full frame test pictures can help with that.

11-10-2018, 03:13 PM   #13
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Of the lenses I have, I could recommend the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8. As wstruth noted it is sharp across most of its focal length range and from wide open. However, it is not WR. If I absolutely needed WR, I would go with the DA16-85 (a lens I don't own) as others have suggested. I was just in Ireland and the Sigma held up fine during the day and a half of rain we had, using appropriate precautions.


One comment on the architectural aspects of your planned trip - I would not worry about having an ultrawide lens. For buildings that won't fit in a 17mm frame, getting back as far as you can, I would prefer to use around 35-50mm focal length and put together a hand held panorama. That seems to produce a better perspective, at least for me, than when I use my 12-24 at the wide end. However, YMMV.
11-10-2018, 03:15 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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You can always make a lens wider by stitching together a panorama. Something to keep in mind.
11-10-2018, 03:27 PM   #15
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one lens on crop would be a 16-50 converted to screwdrive.
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