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04-09-2010, 01:20 AM   #1
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Travel Lens? Which to buy?

I will be going to Europe this summer for the first time...and am having thoughts of buying either a lens or a P&S to take with me.

I'm deciding between:
- tamron 28-75mm
- sigma 28mm 1.8
- canon s90
- none

Which would be more useful to me?

What I have right now:
- Pentax k-x + kit lens
- vivitar 28mm 2.8
- pentax-A 50 1.7
- vivitar 55mm 2.8
- pentax-fa 100-300mm
- tamron 10-24mm

04-09-2010, 01:29 AM   #2
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How many len's can take?
04-09-2010, 01:52 AM   #3
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Have you considered just getting an all in one lens? The Pentax or Tamron (essentially the same lens) 18-250mm has pretty good image quality throughout most of the range and you wouldn't have to worry about changing lenses while travelling. Otherwise I would go with the Tamron 28-75mm, it's a great lens to have with you and the value keeps going up. Of course you would lose your wide angle if you got it too.
04-09-2010, 03:03 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by damanteo Quote
I will be going to Europe this summer for the first time...and am having thoughts of buying either a lens or a P&S to take with me.

I'm deciding between:
- tamron 28-75mm
- sigma 28mm 1.8
- canon s90
- none

Which would be more useful to me?

What I have right now:
- Pentax k-x + kit lens
- vivitar 28mm 2.8
- pentax-A 50 1.7
- vivitar 55mm 2.8
- pentax-fa 100-300mm
- tamron 10-24mm
I don't know where you are going and what you are going to do.
There are so many places and there are so many different ways to spend your time.

If you do not need small and light, I'd say you've got all that is needed (except for a flash maybe).
I'd take the 10-24mm, the kit lens, fa 100-300mm and A50 f1.7 for low light.

IF you need small and light weigth (typically in cities you'd need to walk a lot), the suggestion of the 18-250mm is the best option I can think of.
Still I'd bring the 10-24mm as well. In old cities or indoor in churches wide is good!

Have a nice trip!

- Bert

04-09-2010, 05:36 AM   #5
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I'm doing the same thing, and I am chewing on whether to take both film and digital, but I will leave that for another post.

I honestly did not use a long lens very much for travel in Europe. I did numerous photo tourism trips in the film days, and shot thousands of slides. By the later trips, I found I had taken so few from shots from my 80-200 at anything near the long end, that a shorter, high quality lens made more sense in an urban setting. I could crop from the 100mm macro to get what I needed for the few times I needed it.

Personally, I would not spring for an 18-250 if I already had version II of the kit. It just adds a lot of weight for length that will seldom be used. The kit plus either a 50-200 or 55-300 plus a fast prime in the middle would make sense, or the kit plus a quality tele prime and a fast prime in the middle or slightly wide end.
04-09-2010, 05:55 AM   #6
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For me the question is on what FL did you find more userful when on other vaction? I have three lenses in my kit. They are in my kit for pretty specific reasons. my 50 1.4 and 105 2.8 are great indoors and give me a couple wider aperture options for indoor shots; e.g. museums, zoos etc. My 18-250 is on my camera when I am outside for the wideangle and being able to zoom without having to zoom with my feet in crowded areas.
04-09-2010, 06:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I'm doing the same thing, and I am chewing on whether to take both film and digital, but I will leave that for another post.

I honestly did not use a long lens very much for travel in Europe. I did numerous photo tourism trips in the film days, and shot thousands of slides. By the later trips, I found I had taken so few from shots from my 80-200 at anything near the long end, that a shorter, high quality lens made more sense in an urban setting. I could crop from the 100mm macro to get what I needed for the few times I needed it.

Personally, I would not spring for an 18-250 if I already had version II of the kit. It just adds a lot of weight for length that will seldom be used. The kit plus either a 50-200 or 55-300 plus a fast prime in the middle would make sense, or the kit plus a quality tele prime and a fast prime in the middle or slightly wide end.
I'd say it depends on what type of photos you make and what you are going to do.
Wide lenses are a must in old towns / cities with small spaces.
Long lenses will give you the opportunity to take a "native" european from a distance, zoom into a top cornerstone of a church etc.
Fast lenses will give you the ability to literly shoot with candle light in old buildings / churches or night scenes.

Some examples from random European places to make my point:



















04-09-2010, 06:34 AM   #8
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Seems like you have a good range of focal lengths already covered with your kit, with a noticeable gap between 55-100. That's a very useful range so I'd look for something to fill that gap, like a DA70 or FA77...

04-09-2010, 06:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
I'd say it depends on what type of photos you make and what you are going to do.
Wide lenses are a must in old towns / cities with small spaces.
Long lenses will give you the opportunity to take a "native" european from a distance, zoom into a top cornerstone of a church etc.
Fast lenses will give you the ability to literly shoot with candle light in old buildings / churches or night scenes.
If you have limitless space and a strong shoulder, then you can bring lenses for any occasion. On my trips at the height of my film photo fanatacism, I walked all over Europe with a two foot long bag full of bodies, lenses, flashes, etc. As my shoulder and neck got older, I started to take a good, hard look at just how often I used some of this gear. Yes, I took some nice shots of building details (like the ones you posted) at 200mm on film, but those were a very small portion of my shots. Most of the people shots were at closer to 100mm. A 250mm lens on APS-c crops to a view equivalent to a 375mm lens on film. For a zoo or a safari, that may be too short, but how often will I really use that in an urban setting, and is it worth carrying the extra size and weight everywhere I walk while sacrificing quality and speed? For some it may be. For me it is not.

My last trip (which included the Netherlands, BTW) I was at the pinnacle of my "light" phase, and I took only the lens that came with the camera. I'll do a good deal more than that this time, but for the few times I use it, I don't see hanging 250mm around my neck at all times. The 17-70 is a pretty darn good universal lense, but if someone wanted to make a compact, high quality 18-100 as a travel lens, that would be just about perfect.

Last edited by GeneV; 04-09-2010 at 06:54 AM.
04-09-2010, 07:13 AM   #10
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kit lens is enough, if you wanna go compact and sharp, DA 21 is great.
04-09-2010, 07:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
If you have limitless space and a strong shoulder, then you can bring lenses for any occasion. On my trips at the height of my film photo fanatacism, I walked all over Europe with a two foot long bag full of bodies, lenses, flashes, etc. As my shoulder and neck got older, I started to take a good, hard look at just how often I used some of this gear. Yes, I took some nice shots of building details (like the ones you posted) at 200mm on film, but those were a very small portion of my shots. Most of the people shots were at closer to 100mm. A 250mm lens on APS-c crops to a view equivalent to a 375mm lens on film. For a zoo or a safari, that may be too short, but how often will I really use that in an urban setting, and is it worth carrying the extra size and weight everywhere I walk while sacrificing quality and speed? For some it may be. For me it is not.

My last trip (which included the Netherlands, BTW) I was at the pinnacle of my "light" phase, and I took only the lens that came with the camera. I'll do a good deal more than that this time, but for the few times I use it, I don't see hanging 250mm around my neck at all times. The 17-70 is a pretty darn good universal lense, but if someone wanted to make a compact, high quality 18-100 as a travel lens, that would be just about perfect.
I think your argument supports my earlier post that bringing a 18-250mm plus his 10-24mm is a good combo.
Bringing a fast small prime for night shots (leaving it at the hotel room during daytime) can be a good thing also.
I own a Tamron 18-250mm which is ideal for such a trip I think.

The other route the OP suggested, a P&S camera can be good as well.
I like the Lumix FZ-35 super zoom a lot. Very fine optics!

- Bert
04-09-2010, 07:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by damanteo Quote
I will be going to Europe this summer for the first time...and am having thoughts of buying either a lens or a P&S to take with me.

I'm deciding between:
- tamron 28-75mm
- sigma 28mm 1.8
- canon s90
- none

Which would be more useful to me?

What I have right now:
- Pentax k-x + kit lens
- vivitar 28mm 2.8
- pentax-A 50 1.7
- vivitar 55mm 2.8
- pentax-fa 100-300mm
- tamron 10-24mm
In looking at your present kit, and what you have above as possible purchases I think you have 2 or perhaps 3 options.
Option 1
the lowest cost is to take the K-x and kit lens plus the 10-24. I would NEVER consider going to europe without an ultra wide. It is just too useful.

Option 2
If you want better low light performance up to the portrait range and a little extra reach over the kit lens, the tamron is a good option, Since it is not very wide at the wide end (28mm) it is not overly heavy and uses a relitively small 67mm filter.

since you have a 10-24 the gap between 24 and 28mm is not too great and you could get away with just these 2 lenses.

Option 3
You could take either option 1 or 2, plus a P&S of some form. I would never take a P&S on it's own because it does not go wide enough. See above I would never go to europe with out an ultra wide lens, but for some occasions you may feel the SLR is too big (I don't but you might). It is also useful to have a back up of some form especially since this is your first trip.


I would leave all longer glass at home unless you have some specific wild life objectives in mind, but for me, travelling to europe is all about visiting cities and looking at landscapes, so you don't really need a tele, but youo will appreciate the ultra wide
04-09-2010, 07:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
I'd say it depends on what type of photos you make and what you are going to do.
Wide lenses are a must in old towns / cities with small spaces.
Long lenses will give you the opportunity to take a "native" european from a distance, zoom into a top cornerstone of a church etc.
Fast lenses will give you the ability to literly shoot with candle light in old buildings / churches or night scenes.

Some examples from random European places to make my point:
Am I mistaken or are some of these from Prague?

I spent a couple of days there 2 years ago took only my K10D, sigma 10-20, Tamron 28-75 and SMC 135F2.5 (small light and fast medium tele)

the 10-20 was on the camera for 70% of all shots I took. although I dod some with the 135 it was brought just in case,

If I had to do it again, I would take only the 10-20, 28-75 and my 85F1.4 plus SMC-F 1.7x AF TC. I didn't have the 85 on my last trip, but it great for isolation of people in random street shots, and performs well with the AF TC attached if I need length, making it more versitile although heavier than my 135 F2.5

you really only need 3 lenses like this for all your shots unless your trip specifically has a requirement for a really long tele.
04-09-2010, 08:35 AM   #14
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Just for travel purposes, I bought a lightly used DA 18-250 more than 6 months ago. It turned out to be an excellent copy across the focal length. However, then my LBA kicked in and now I have a lot more glass and no money left to travel:ugh:
04-09-2010, 08:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Am I mistaken or are some of these from Prague?

I spent a couple of days there 2 years ago took only my K10D, sigma 10-20, Tamron 28-75 and SMC 135F2.5 (small light and fast medium tele)

the 10-20 was on the camera for 70% of all shots I took. although I dod some with the 135 it was brought just in case,

If I had to do it again, I would take only the 10-20, 28-75 and my 85F1.4 plus SMC-F 1.7x AF TC. I didn't have the 85 on my last trip, but it great for isolation of people in random street shots, and performs well with the AF TC attached if I need length, making it more versitile although heavier than my 135 F2.5

you really only need 3 lenses like this for all your shots unless your trip specifically has a requirement for a really long tele.
There is one of Prague, the clock.
The photo's are made in Rome, Köln, Rome, Prague, Riga, Kopenhagen, Sevilla, Bruges, Lisbon, Moscow, some place north of spain....
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