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09-11-2009, 06:59 AM   #1
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If you only had 2 lenses.......

As I may have mentioned before, I am getting married next month and honeymooning in England. We will be visiting a lot of castles, churches, ruined abbeys, and touring the yorkshire area countryside. I am only allowed to bring 2 lenses. I have 4, so the question is, which 2? All 4 have positive and negative aspects, so I need help choosing. Alternatively, I am open to purchasing a new moderately priced lens that would work for the conditions I need.

My choices are:

Pentax 18-55 mk1. = good all around, but doesn't do anything particularly "well." I don't get nice "pop" from this lens; but it isn't bad. Probably most versitile.

Pentax 16-45 = Great wide angle; nice color rendition; but big, heavy, and not so good in low light.

Pentac 1.4 50mm = Excellent colors; fast; wonderful in low light; avoids high iso; however, do to fixed focal length, it is not always suited to shooting indoors where a wider angle is needed. By far my favorite lens when I do not need to go wide.

Pentax 50-200 mm = good color and speed, but not always my first choice for architecture or landscape shooting. I probably under-utilize this lens.

--Right now I am leaning towards taking the 16-45 and the 1.4 50 mm.

What I would really like is something that is wide and good in low light.

I appreciate your thoughts/comments/suggestions.

09-11-2009, 07:05 AM   #2
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First, congrats on getting married! I'm going on 2 years myself, so still relatively newlyweds.

I think those are wise choices. (16-45 and 50mm). It's going to be tough though, because I bet that the English countryside would provide plenty of opportunities for that 200mm focal length to come in handy, to get intimate landscape or scenery shots. But you'll definitely need that wide angle, so can't get rid of that...and a fast fifty will be necessary come dusk.

Chooses lenses for trips is always a difficult one, but I just think you need to take 2 and do the best you can with what you take, and don't worry about any missed photo ops because you didn't have that 50-200.
09-11-2009, 07:07 AM   #3
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If the 16-45's heavy for you, you may be in for a surprise when you start getting into more quality zooms...

From your choices, I'd take the 16-45, the FA 50/1.4 AND the 50-200 (sorry, that's 3 I know, but none of them should be left at home IMO). You may miss having the telephoto ability, particularly travelling. The 50-200 is a really compact zoom, you wouldn't be able to make any room for it in your bag?

If you don't use it too often, then you've already made the decision yourself (which is yours to make anyway) and you can enjoy your holidays...
09-11-2009, 07:07 AM   #4
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There's no choice there:

16-45 and 50-200

The FA 50f/1.4 is not a good indoor lens because itīs too long. Won't be useful IMHO. But it's so light and small you can tuck it into a pocket and carry it anyway.

09-11-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
If the 16-45's heavy for you, you may be in for a surprise when you start getting into more quality zooms...

From your choices, I'd take the 16-45, the FA 50/1.4 AND the 50-200 (sorry, that's 3 I know, but none of them should be left at home IMO). You may miss having the telephoto ability, particularly travelling. The 50-200 is a really compact zoom, you wouldn't be able to make any room for it in your bag?

If you don't use it too often, then you've already made the decision yourself (which is yours to make anyway) and you can enjoy your holidays...
I agree with those 3--the FA 50 is small enough you can hide it at least until you get there.

Then she'll forgive you because she loves you.

It's what guys do in a marriage! Seven years experience
09-11-2009, 07:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
I agree with those 3--the FA 50 is small enough you can hide it at least until you get there.
I like the way you think. ....Might be time to invest in a larger carrying case (right now I just have a square purse-looking thing--it can hold 2 spares with the K10d, but was a tight fit--so it would be even tighter with the K20).

Just for sh!tes and giggles--and because I seem to have developed a involuntary compulsion to buy camera accessories--what is there in terms of a good wide-angle, low-light prime out there?
09-11-2009, 07:38 AM   #7
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Taking the 16-45 and the 50-200 and smuggling the 50 1.4 in a pocket may be the best way to start your marriage on a firm basis of, "but honey, it's small so it's not REALLY another lens..." and I think we all know that's a practical skill that you should set precedence for early.

Anyway, what are we calling reasonably priced?

Maybe only bring the telephoto zoom and buy a faster wider prime?

The Sigma 24mm f/1.8, 28mm f/1.8 or 30mm f/1.4mm have all looked appealing to me and are readily available, or you can search around for an FA 35mm f/2.0 (which is what I've already got and love). 24 to 40ish primes make excellent walk around lenses indoors and out, they just won't cover truly wide angle needs without stitching multiple shots.

Of course, if you're going to buy a lens and smuggle a lens, you can't beat taking both of your zooms and smuggling the 40mm limited 2.8 in a pocket. "No honey, those are just filters. Filters with lens caps."
09-11-2009, 07:53 AM   #8
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I think you need to give up the 1.4 eventhough it's a very nice lens. besides, I don't think you would be shooting that often under lowlight, just use a flash instead. remember that this is a honeymoon trip and not a photography session.

so my take is the 16-45 and 50-200. the zooms comes in handy on trips like these where you are limited by number of lens that you are going to bring. otherwise, bring all that you can handle. btw, I will say that you will not be able under-utilize the 50-200.

09-11-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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+1
I had a A501.4 and while it was a lovely lens after not using it for about a year (too long on the digital) I sold it.
09-11-2009, 07:56 AM   #10
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09-11-2009, 07:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I think you need to give up the 1.4 eventhough it's a very nice lens. besides, I don't think you would be shooting that often under lowlight, just use a flash instead. remember that this is a honeymoon trip and not a photography session.

so my take is the 16-45 and 50-200. the zooms comes in handy on trips like these where you are limited by number of lens that you are going to bring. otherwise, bring all that you can handle. btw, I will say that you will not be able under-utilize the 50-200.
Forgive me for my mind going in this direction, but a honeymoon trip is EXACTLY the occasion when one might want to have a readily available fast lens that shoots in low light without a flash. You know, for hotel rooms, and...such.
09-11-2009, 08:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
+1
I had a A501.4 and while it was a lovely lens after not using it for about a year (too long on the digital) I sold it.
I use my 50 1.4 mostly for long exposures at night--just gorgeous colors.




It is also decent for indoor low light if you can get back far enough.



I lot of historical sites/museums will not let you use a flash indoors--hence the need for a good low light lens. For instance, we are going to visit York Minster--I will probably not be able to use a flash and will need to handhold to shoot.
09-11-2009, 09:50 AM   #13
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I agree with the idea of finding a way to make it three. Since you mention the 16-45 being on the large side, I'd make that the bargaining point - agree on the 16-45 and 50-200, then observe that the 18-55 and the 50 *together* add up to about the size/weight of the 16-45.

As others have said, 50 is not ideal for most indoor use, so if you're OK with the three lens idea (and I think you should be :-), then maybe the one additional modestly price lens could be something shorter - either DA40 is the budget stretches that far (or FA35 if you can find one), or else a manual 24 or 28.
09-11-2009, 10:01 AM   #14
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My vote is for the 16-45 and 50-200. This is the maximum flexibility given only two lenses. The 16-45 is a very good lens according to all the reviews and the 50-200 has been known to be used by professionals for professional gigs. The only drawback to the 50-200 is the slow aperture at 200mm, but you can always crank up the ISO a bit to compensate, and with the shake reduction on, get a decent shot. In a building you would really miss the extra 2 mm, believe me.

Read up on all the hand held steady shot tricks and use them. Lean against something. Put the base of the camera on a door jamb or a pew back, etc.

Have a great time. Don't forget that this is a honeymoon, not a photo gig. Treat her like the princess she is. Remember "Yes, dear!" is the best phrase you can ever use. My 44th anniversary was July 24th, and we are still together.
09-11-2009, 10:04 AM   #15
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it's the only honeymoon you'll ever have (hopefully) so why not get the best pictures possible. Think of all the low light romantic dinners in those beautiful little restaurants that a flash would just ruin. Put the 50 in her purse without telling her, if her purse is like my wifes she wouldn't find it for weeks even if she was looking for it...She'll forgive you when she see the images.
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