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05-16-2019, 09:12 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Forget FOMO, what about FOBTWL?

Fear Of Bringing The Wrong Lens

a variant of the more general FOBTWG

Fear Of Bringing The Wrong Gear

I'm leaving tomorrow on a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg. For months I was going back and forth between bringing medium format or 35mm (yeah, I shoot film, but this is ultimately a lens discussion). I've settled on the Pentax MZ-S 35mm camera because my Bronica lenses were just too darn heavy for a wide range (40, 50, 60, 75, 150, 35mm/full frame equivalent 24, 28, 35, 45, 90, and the zooms are far worse.)

Part of me wants to go light. I have two zooms that might do the job--the Pentax FA 24-90, and a Tamron 28-200 (I also have smaller range lenses like the F-35-70 and F-35-105, but neither go wide enough.) I'm trying to decide is the wider (24 vs 28) more useful or is the longer end (200 vs 90) more useful? This will mostly be city, architecture, street photography, very little time spent outside the cities (a day trip to a small medieval town--Suzdal)

But part of me suffers from FOBTWL, I've also convinced myself to bring some primes because I like them and because they are faster than the zooms, which would make for some more option at night--and F-28/2.8, FA-35/2, FA-50/1.4, and FA-100/3.5 macro. Before you know it, I'll have all my lenses with my, which seems excessive.

Believe it or not, I can fit all those lenses along with the MZ-S, a small-ish rangefinder for B&W (Kodak Retina IIIC), three polarizers to fit 49, 62, and 67 which covers all the above lenses, hoods, and lens cleaning stuff in a not too large bag (Domke F-803). The bag is too stuffed that way to be particularly useful in the field, but I'm thinking of bringing all of the above (not the medium format obviously) and then daily, picking three or four lenses and leaving the rest in the hotel. That way, if I take out the wrong lens, the right lens isn't 10 time zones away.

Am I over thinking this? (ok, obviously I am, but am I thinking wrong?)

05-16-2019, 09:48 AM   #2
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How about bringing the 24-90, either 35/2 or 50/1.4 depending on your preference, and maybe the macro. At least for my way of shooting I rarely use focal lengths of over 100 in a city. My usual travel kit is a main lens between 28-35, then a longer lens around 100, and maybe an ultra wide (all 35mm equivalent)
05-16-2019, 10:04 AM   #3
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Less is more. Why shoot film? If you are shooting film, you don't need the Retina, just B&W film.
The 24-90 would make a ton of sense.If you want to save space or be inconspicous, go wide, 35. You could take just that lens. It's fast, light, and probably sharp enough.


Forget the Macro. You wont use it.
Not sure if you would need the polarizers in city. Consider bringing the one that fits the 24-90 and a step ring. Will you really need a lens hood?
05-16-2019, 10:12 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Less is more. Why shoot film? If you are shooting film, you don't need the Retina, just B&W film.
The 24-90 would make a ton of sense.If you want to save space or be inconspicous, go wide, 35. You could take just that lens. It's fast, light, and probably sharp enough.


Forget the Macro. You wont use it.
Not sure if you would need the polarizers in city. Consider bringing the one that fits the 24-90 and a step ring. Will you really need a lens hood?
+1 for this^. The 35mm f/2 is a great lens and a very versatile FL for 35mm film use. It provides fine quality even wide open, great for low light situations. The FA 24-90mm is a very good quality and very versatile zoom lens. Compact for its zoom range.

05-16-2019, 10:43 AM   #5
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Why two cameras? With the MZ-S you can rewind mid roll, change film and finish it later. Just keep a small keychain sharpie at hand and write the number it's at on the canister once you rewind, then you know where it was. Just take enough rolls with you and mark each how you want it. If you exposed it at rated speed, or if it's going to have to be pushed or pulled during developmentÖ it's right there on the metal. No confusions and less on your mind.
Yes, as other have said, less is more. Carry just a few lenses. I use an ultrawide IRIX 15/2.4, FA 50/1.4 which is on most of the time, and a 70-300 sigma apo lightweight zoom. Perhaps throw in the FA 31/1.8 limited. That covers pretty much any situation. And you don't want to be swapping lenses often. Just try to stick to one and work with that. Try to push yourself, take it as a challenge. Isolate, simplify, minimize. That helps a lot with composition. Less gear to worry about means a clearer head to observe your surroundings and make better decisions.

05-16-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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As for your lens list, you already have all you need. F-28/2.8, FA-35/2, FA-50/1.4, and FA-100/3.5 macro. I would leave the 35/2 out since it's so close to the 28/2.8, and the 50/1.4 is the most light gathering, but if 35mm is your preferred focal length, then leave the 50 out.
I really like having a macro at hand, because there's always some interesting bug or flower around and it still doubles as a portrait lens.

05-16-2019, 11:19 AM   #7
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I’m shooting film because I don’t really shoot digital any more. The Retina is going because, for B&W film, it’s one of my all time favorite lenses, plus I don’t want to change films to shoot B&W. The MZ-S can switch rolls mid roll, but it’s not something you do on the fly for one or two shots. It will be nice to just have the Retina in my pocket, at the ready whenever I see a shot I want to take in B&W.

I haven’t really been in a large city in bears, and certainly not with a camera and lenses to choose from. My biggest question is comparing the zooms, which will be on most of the time, is wide more useful or tele? I’m guessing wide. Probably my minimalist setup would be the 24-90 plus 35/2 and 50/1.4. That would give me a reasonable zoom for most day shots, and a couple fast lenses for the evening. But I’m thinking of bringing the other lenses in case I change my mind when I’m there.

Thanks for the input, I have until tomorrow morning to make up my mind.
05-16-2019, 11:46 AM   #8
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Donít forget the KISS principle: keep it simple stupid. You donít need half of that gear.

Bring the Bronica with the 40 or 50 and the 75 and youíll be set for probably 90% of the shots youíll probably take. The remaining 10% will force you to get creative with what you have.

For the Pentax Iíd bring the 28 and the 50 and leave the rest. Maybe bring the macro but itís an extra, not a need. Consider a close-up filter for the 50 for detail shots.

Iíd either bring ektar 100 or Portra 400, unless I knew I was spending a lot of time indoors then bring Portra 800.

05-16-2019, 11:56 AM   #9
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Take lenses in anticipation of expected subjects. If it were me shooting the MZ-S in either city, I would take the FA 35/2 as a walk-around (my favorite urban lens) and my Tamron 28/2.5 (02B) for the wide end and perhaps my Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye for fun (also very compact). My Tamron 70-150/3.5 (02A) might go in to cover the longer end.

Your Tamron 28-200 might serve as an omnibus solution, but is too bulky to be fun. I can see the Retina IIIc, but not if there is any question about reliability and whether you might want to risk loss (theft) or damage.

I take a very small bag for urban travel (looks like an insulated lunch bag).


Steve
05-16-2019, 12:12 PM   #10
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Iím not bringing the Bronica. I like the idea, and it has given me some amazing photos, but itís too bulky and heavy. Iím going to be on my feet most days, most of the time, and the weight difference adds up.

My mention of the FA-100/3.5 macro was only because it is a compact 100mm prime. I donít actually expect to do any macro shooting, I just wanted a short tele that wasnít bulky. It can be a very slow focusing lens (like a lot of macro lenses) and is probably the first lens Iíd drop off the list if paring down.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Your Tamron 28-200 might serve as an omnibus solution, but is too bulky to be fun.
Actually the Tamron is pretty compact. A little smaller than the FA-24-90. I know Tamron made three or four versions of that lens, and the early ones were bulky, but the one I have (the last one) is a very usable size.

I had this discussion on film a few months backóI have some Ektar, Portra 400, and Fuji Pro 400H. I also have a few rolls of Fuji Superia 800 and 1600 for evening shooting. Pushing the portrait may work as well, though Iíve never tried it.

Maybe, both zooms, plus the 35 and 50. Then decide on which zoom to take when Iím there. Iíd love to just put the 50 or 35 and leave it all day, but given that I may never get back here, I donít want to lose shots due to lack of focal length.
05-16-2019, 12:37 PM   #11
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For me, more is more!

Unless you think an added lens will truly slow you down (FOMOBOE -- Fear of Missing Out Because Of Exhaustion), bring'em all! The soreness from carrying too much will only last a week. The pictures you shot with the lens you would have left behind will last a lifetime.

Zooms are great for travel. That 24-90 will probably be your most used lens for architecture and street and the 28-200 will let you zoom in on distant stuff.

However, given your use of film, the added speed of a prime (and your preference for them) makes them essential, too. I like Torashi's analysis on the 28, 35, 50, and 100 macro.

Enjoy the trip (& suffer for your art)!
05-16-2019, 02:47 PM   #12
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As a fellow Retina owner, itís a great camera. Donít be afraid to take it.

Iíd take the 24-90 and the 35 f2. The Retina has a 50mm

Iíd also probably take the 100 and then wonder why I never used it... but with the 24-90, you wonít need it.

Have a safe, fun trip...

-Eric
05-16-2019, 03:02 PM   #13
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I could go all prime, add a Sigma 28/2.8 and a DA70 (which does pretty well covering full frame) but the Sigma flares like crazy and the DA70 doesn't have an aperture ring (the MZ-S can't manually adjust aperture without an aperture ring.)
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