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01-14-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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Two pancakes; hold the syrup

I'm headed to Africa in June to do some research on villages and landscapes. I want to travel light, including the camera itself, which I'd like to slip in and out of my pocket. I don't mind switching primes, and need something in the slightly wide to slightly telephoto lengths.

So here's my notion: pack ONLY the DA 21mm and a DA 40mm pancake lenses.

What do you folks think?

Ken

01-14-2009, 06:56 PM   #2
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Sounds like you may not be going on safaris and such, but the 40mm max focal length may be a bit limiting. Some other suggestions: maybe add a 50-200mm (very compact and light for what it offers); maybe add a DA 70mm; maybe substitute a 17-50mm, 17-70mm, or 28-75mm type zoom for the two primes. Lots of options, but only you know what uses you'll really need to cover.
01-14-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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My travel kit is DA 21, 40 and 70 - combination that works well and I can carry painlessly all day long.

I do wish Pentax would introduce a DA 100-125ish Limited (maybe f/3.0 or so) to get more reach; about the size of an M 135/3.5 would be terrific. Nothing like that on the roadmap, however.

Jer
01-14-2009, 07:11 PM   #4
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If you're really into primes, I would suggest either the DA70 or the DFA100. While you don't want to be hauling around a whole lot of unnecessary gear, you don't want to "limit" yourself too much, either.

To see what you can do with a short/mid tele lens and landscapes, you might want to pick up the February 2009 issue of Popular Photography and check out the article TELEVison : a long lens brings a new perspective to scenics (p. 24), which explains how you can use lenses 70mm or longer to shoot landscapes.

Especially if you were to go with the DA70, I don't think you'd have a problem fitting everything into a smallish fanny pack.

HTH,
Heather

01-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #5
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I like the minimal prime idea, and often do walkabout just with whatever is on the camers (lately 43/1.9). I like the 21/70 suggestion above, but would offer another possibility: 35/2.8 and 77/1.8. The 35 gives you macro and the 77 low light and telephoto. Or I could see myself carrying 21/43/77. I like the fast glass though...
01-14-2009, 08:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by krt1 Quote
I'm headed to Africa in June to do some research on villages and landscapes. I want to travel light, including the camera itself, which I'd like to slip in and out of my pocket. I don't mind switching primes, and need something in the slightly wide to slightly telephoto lengths.

So here's my notion: pack ONLY the DA 21mm and a DA 40mm pancake lenses.

What do you folks think?

Ken
That makes a lot of sense (especially since you can get away with quite a bit of cropping with either of these lenses) -- although FWIW I'd add a manual focus film body for backup, use an FA43 instead of a DA40, and throw in a film-compatible short tele lens (77-100mm-ish or maybe the 135/3.5).
01-14-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I like the 21/70 suggestion above, but would offer another possibility: 35/2.8 and 77/1.8. The 35 gives you macro and the 77 low light and telephoto. Or I could see myself carrying 21/43/77. I like the fast glass though...
I would second this combo as stated it's small light weight plus this gives you just about everything that you may need. Minus the zoom capabilities. The combo of DA 35mm & DA 70mm almost never leaves my bag. It's usually the only two lenses that I carry.
01-14-2009, 09:00 PM   #8
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Those are the only ones I really use: the DA21 and DA40. I should use the DA70 more and now that I just got the DA35 I'm all confused... in a good way

It depends on your style, I for one could live with the DA21 mounted 80% of the time.

01-14-2009, 09:03 PM   #9
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I've taken on a few family trips just my DA 40mm and a Vivitar 24mm. Worked out fine. I suspect you will be too, with that combo. I like to shoot flowers, and my vivitar will do 1:4 macro, but you could just take a close up lens.
01-14-2009, 10:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
Those are the only ones I really use: the DA21 and DA40. I should use the DA70 more and now that I just got the DA35 I'm all confused... in a good way

It depends on your style, I for one could live with the DA21 mounted 80% of the time.
What he said, but I think I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I'm on the second day with the 21 and I just am not "seeing" this focal length. The 43 las been on my camera most in the past month or so, and I love the 77 though it often is a tad too long. It might be that to get the shots I see the 21 just puts me too close to the subject. My antisocial tendencies
01-15-2009, 01:05 AM   #11
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Great choice of lenses,
as for 40mm being limiting: I don't think so... I'll let you take almost any shot you want. The FOV is great and rendering of that lens is just stunning...
01-15-2009, 01:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
What he said, but I think I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I'm on the second day with the 21 and I just am not "seeing" this focal length. The 43 las been on my camera most in the past month or so, and I love the 77 though it often is a tad too long. It might be that to get the shots I see the 21 just puts me too close to the subject. My antisocial tendencies
Get in there, close, and push in tight, that's the secret with the 21
01-15-2009, 01:24 PM   #13
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I'm impressed. This is a very generous community of photographers. The word 'convivial' comes to mind. Thanks for all the great advice -- lots to think about!

I'm leaning strongly toward the 21mm. And the 70mm is an option I hadn't considered, yet it's very compact. Macro capability (thanks Nick) is also important to me, but it looks like the DA 35mm is a bit too bulky...maybe another brand? I know I'm slogging around with an SLR, but I need to be as subtle and lightweight as possible; 'palm-ability' is what I'm looking for.

Thanks again everyone.
01-15-2009, 01:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
That makes a lot of sense (especially since you can get away with quite a bit of cropping with either of these lenses) -- although FWIW I'd add a manual focus film body for backup, use an FA43 instead of a DA40, and throw in a film-compatible short tele lens (77-100mm-ish or maybe the 135/3.5).
+1 on the backup body, troyz. In fact, last night I spied a Craig's list ad: a K1000 with 50mm and 70-205 Vivitar, for $30, all in great shape. 20 minutes later I was the proud new owner of a classic, but clunky, Pentax. Happy times!
01-15-2009, 02:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by krt1 Quote
I'm leaning strongly toward the 21mm. And the 70mm is an option I hadn't considered, yet it's very compact. Macro capability (thanks Nick) is also important to me, but it looks like the DA 35mm is a bit too bulky...maybe another brand?
How about 21 + 40 + 70 + Raynox 150 or 250 to use with the DA70?

Note the 21 & 40 by themselves turn your DSLR into a Panasonic LX3, more or less. if you think you'd be comfortable with just those two focal lengths, the LX3 would be worth a look too.
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