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12-12-2008, 07:27 AM   #1
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Smaller Travel Kit

Hi All:

Planning a cruise in Feb with my family. Was looking to pick up a new lens to make a small travel kit. The two ideas I had were:

1.) Keep my FA 50 & DA 70 and add the DA 21 for a small/light prime kit.

2.) Keep the Tamron 28-75 and add a Sigma 10-20

Zoom kit will go down wider (which I like) and only two lenses (not a big deal), primes are better quality (which I really like) and probably lighter.

So...what would you suggest or do you have an option "3" that I have not considered?

12-12-2008, 09:04 AM   #2
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That first one is a great kit. I myself use the DA21 + DA40 + DA70.

It depends though if you're a prime lens shooter.
12-12-2008, 10:19 AM   #3
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My "light travel" kit is the Sigma 17-70 F2.8/4.5; the Pentax "A" 70-210 F4.0; and the 43mm ltd. The 17-70 is the walkaround, the 70-210 is the long and the 43 ltd is the fast. Sometimes I throw in the Zenitar 15mm fisheye for ultra wide. It doesn't distort much and is quite small.

NaCl(it's a good "all round" kit)H2O
12-12-2008, 11:15 AM   #4
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Primes for Me

I also like the first option. I have a DA21, FA31, FA50, M100 kit at the moment but would love to add the FA77. The DA70 would be at the top of my list but I shoot film and need an apeture ring.
I like the DA21 but it doesn't have the same pop as the FA31. Of course it is less than half the price!

On the other hand, a good zoom cuts down on time changing lenses and for a family vacation/cruise, that may be more important.

12-12-2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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do you have family that mind you constantly switching lenses? or are you in areas where changing lenses isn't the best idea? best to stick w/ a zoom if either is true

for me, i take the 3 x FA L, all i need really
12-12-2008, 12:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kpfeifle Quote
Planning a cruise in Feb with my family. Was looking to pick up a new lens to make a small travel kit. The two ideas I had were:

1.) Keep my FA 50 & DA 70 and add the DA 21 for a small/light prime kit.

2.) Keep the Tamron 28-75 and add a Sigma 10-20
I like the idea behind #1, but question whether these are the most optimum focal lengths. Everyone sees/shoots differently, so maybe that would work well for you. But the hole you are leaving between 21 and 50 is right where I do the majority of my shooting. I'd be switching lenses quite often and usually not being satisfied. If it were me, I'd prefer to have a 28, 31, 35, or 40 in the mix somewhere if I were going with a prime kit.

My own basic kit is M28, DA40, and M100 (all f/2.8). The 40 stays on most of the time when I'm shooting people; the 28 when shooting scenery, and the 100 when I'm shooting specific things or people not right in front of me. Given you already have the 50 and 70, I'd be thinking about adding a 28 or 31 and expecting that to get an awful lot of use. Of course, that leaves the wide end completely uncovered. I'm hoping to get the DA15 when it comes out.

Since you specifically mention liking to shoot wide, maybe the 21 really would be better for your than a 28 for this trip, but that might not satisfy your wide cravings long term, so that's worth keeping in mind.

Tough call!
12-12-2008, 12:55 PM   #7
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Thats a very interesting question.

I've been on a 6 day cruise ship once, from LA down along the Mexican coast. Didn't have anything but a point and shoot at the time. We stopped at 3 harbors and the visits were limited to 8 hour shore trips, then back on the ship. Don't know where your cruise ship is going, but I found the ships like to stay far from land except when they are actually making a stop, which means forget any views from the ship except when anchoring or tying up alongside a pier. When you get to ports, the cruise ships like to encourage you to sign up for their tours which means bus travel and large groups. Its often better to go with a few friends and explore the neighboring town, i think then get on long bus tours. But you need a light kit that doesn't stand out. And try not to look like a professional photographer :-)

I'd suggest this:
3) Something like the Sigma 17-70 F2.8/4.X, and a fast portrait lens like a FA 50/1.4, and perhaps a long prime, manual or AF

please note that motorized ships are always vibrating and therefore you won't be doing any tripod work onboard ship. A short tripod that you can perch, when on shore, on a table or bench would be easily transported and would be all one would need. Due to these conditions, fast lenses and fast zooms are useful.

My wife loved the cruise, and the food was great. But i detested the need to have to get back on board within 8 hours and the inability to explore any one locale as much as i would like. The port visits all felt rushed, perhaps that was due to the company i dealt with, which i won't name :-)

If you haven't paid for tickets yet, consider going to one locale at a hotel/resort, and spending a week exploring the area on your own. Definitely my preference, i very much doubt that it would be any more expensive.

Phil
12-12-2008, 01:06 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
But the hole you are leaving between 21 and 50 is right where I do the majority of my shooting.
Interesting...and I don't disagree. Like most of us, I don't have unlimited funds , but I could get the 35 limited macro in place of the 21. I don't own a macro and that might be fun...just have to decide if it's wide enough.

QuoteQuote:
If you haven't paid for tickets yet, consider going to one locale at a hotel/resort, and spending a week exploring the area on your own. Definitely my preference, i very much doubt that it would be any more expensive.
Sadly it's booked and paid for, but I think it will be good. Southern Caribbean, different island every day. I think we will tend to stay away from the "packaged" day tours. I know that my wife and daughter will spend some days on the beach, which will free up at least a few ports for me to explore and take pictures on my own. We were on a cruise quite a few years ago and I thought I would hate it! Turned out to be a great trip, so I am looking forward to it (and getting away from work).


Last edited by kpfeifle; 12-12-2008 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Poor Spelling Ability
12-12-2008, 01:29 PM   #9
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Yes, I agree wwith some of the above comments, have a lookat the Sigma 17-70. A great walkabout lens, and fairly easily found at a reaonable price. Highly recommend this lens.

I dont know what length you felt you need to go but a DA 55-300 with the above would go rather well. Light and easily transportable, and gives very good results.
12-12-2008, 01:39 PM   #10
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I used a Sigma 17-70 on a cruise and didn't use the 70-300 or 50/1.4 I bought with me FWIW...
12-12-2008, 02:12 PM   #11
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Since someone has already brought the subject of tripods up, if you want to take a tripod with you, I would suggest getting a Gorillapod or something similar. With the Gorillapod, the legs flex, so you can wrap it around posts, railing, etc.

On the question of lenses one idea I've got for you that hasn't already been mentioned is to take the 28-75 and 50, and then get a 21 for wider stuff. I also like the idea of a 2-lens kit ala the 17-70 (Sigma or Pentax) and the 50, if you don't think you're going to need anything longer than 70.

If it were me that was going on a cruise, from my kit, I would most likely take the 16-45, 55-300, and 43. If I thought that I might need macro capability, I would throw in the DA35 or see about picking up a Raynox macro adapter that I could use on whatever lens I happen to have mounted on the camera at the time.

One reason that I would focus more on zooms is that with the fast pace of some tours, you may not always want to fool with switching lenses.

HTH,
Heather
12-12-2008, 03:18 PM   #12
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I like both ideas you have. At the moment I'm using combination since I don't own wide prime (widest I have is 28). Problem is that you have lenses which are overlaping (28-75 vs 50&70.
My late travel kit was: Sigma 10-20, DA40ltd, Sigma 105. I may throw in Tokina 28 now.
Anyway, back to you. It all depends on:
a - how wide do you want to go? 21 is decent but sometimes it definitely won't be wide enough! On the other hand, with 10-20 I'm finding myself often too short. 12-24 would be better choice IMO
b - how fast do you want/need? with zoom setup you'll only have f4 on vwidest end (going down to 5.6 @ 20mm that's 1 and 2/3s stop slower than DA21)and then 2.8 on rest. Prime setup is faster (sometimes even that half stop makes the difference!)
c - how often do you want/can you change lenses. Lately I'm getting into habbit of puttin one lens on and leaving it there for better part of the shoot. I'm learning to see what the lens does see to keep lens changes down to minimum (with primes though it's practicaly inevitable to change). Is your family patient enough to wait for you while changing lenese?
so, you have quite something to consider...
in your place, I'd get 10-20 (maybe 12-24 if I could afford) and then take 10-20, 28-75 and 50...
good luck
BR
12-12-2008, 03:52 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
in your place, I'd get 10-20 (maybe 12-24 if I could afford) and then take 10-20, 28-75 and 50...
good luck
Axl: I like that. I know that I have quite a bit of overlap having two primes in the same range as the zoom, I probably should have thought that out a little better. That is a strong case against the DA 35, then I would have three lenses in the same range. Maybe I should see if I can increase the budget to the get the 12-24. Those two plus the fast 50 would be a nice kit. Then I'm sitting with f2.8 for the main lens, f1.4 when (and if) needed and a landscape lens that has a very nice range (and Pentax glass to boot). Well, I guess I'll get through Christmas, see what the bonus turns out to be and get something in Jan.

Last edited by kpfeifle; 12-12-2008 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Thought of something else
12-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #14
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my full travel lens kit is 4 zooms

sigma 10-20
pentax FA-J 18-35
tamron 28-75 F2.8
sigma 70-200F2.8
plus a couple of TCs

to lighten the load if I am not doign any wild life, I cut out the 70-200 and the TCs plus the 18-35, i.e. you r option 2, and add in an SMC135 F2.5 for tight shots.
12-12-2008, 05:00 PM   #15
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Just to echo what Lowell said, I also have the T70-200/f2.8 and man that lens is heavy!! My hand hurts after hand holding for 20 mins

My travel kit currently is DA14, Tamron 28-75 and DA50-200.

I am still contemplating where to get the DA50-300 or the DA18-250 to complement my travel kit. Carrying a 70-200 is definitely no fun if going on long excursions.
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