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04-20-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
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Going to D.C. What kit?

We're off to Washington D.C. on Friday for a family vacation. I will be taking my trusty K100D. Question is what else do I need for the trip? I'm trying to keep the weight down.

My choices are :

Pentax - A 1.4 50mm
Asahi Pentax-M 3.5 135mm
Pentax -DA 3.5-5.6 18-55mm
Quantaray 4-5.6 70-300mm

Opinions?

04-20-2010, 07:25 PM   #2
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What kind of stuff do you shoot? I guess I would say that you should bring the kit lens for easy trip touristy kind of shooting, and maybe the Quantaray for some zoom that you might want if you visit the white house and capital and such. I don't think you would use the manual focus lenses as much as you think right now.
04-20-2010, 07:29 PM   #3
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I suggest the DA 18-55 and your quantaray 70-300. However, if weight is your concern, then you might want to consider a superzoom (18-200 or 28-200).

Also, if you have one, a hot-shoe flash. It'll be useful for indoor work.
04-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #4
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Hello, new to the forum but have some experience in DC. I took my K100D to DC a couple of years ago and was happy with just the DA 18-55MM. You are right to worry about weight. even maps seem to get heavy at the end of the day. You might want to plan one day to take the zoom. I would also carry the 50MM F1.4, I wish I had one for inside some of the museums. You can use a flash in most places but if it is behind glass or plastic you have to worry about glare. Plus there are some areas that are very large but dark and a flash won't do you much good.

The other thing that I would recommend is a hand-strap. For me a neck strap is a pain getting on and off the subway and walking any distance. I ended up improvising a hand-strap so I could carry the K100D just about everywhere and not have to worry about it falling over a railing or getting jerked out of my hand.

Have fun!

04-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #5
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18-55 is a great lens for travelling, enough already, have a good trip!
04-20-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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I'd add the 50mm to the kit lens and the Quantaray.

The 18-55 and 70-300 will be plenty for the outdoors in good light (rain is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday, BTW). However, if you want to take photos indoors, such as museums and places where flash isn't practical or allowed, you should also keep your fast 50mm even if it is manual.
04-20-2010, 11:03 PM   #7
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I live in that area and I either use the 18-55 II or the Tamron SP 24-135. Only at the Zoo do I carry something longer also.
Kent Gittings
04-21-2010, 07:47 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for their help. I love using this camera but as everyone knows it's a pain to carry around all day. I think some of my best shots have come from my iphone simply because I had it with me at the time.
I'm tempted to leave the big zoom in the hotel except for when we go to the zoo. Would having a fast lens in the museums be an advantage or just bring my hot shoe flash?

04-21-2010, 08:16 AM   #9
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I'm not positive but I don't think you can use flash in the museums. Maybe not in all places but I do know that there are certain places you are definitely not allowed to use them. I live in the area and frequently go in to the city to just walk around and shoot. I rarely pull out anything longer than a 135, and most often my Takumar 105 is as long as I go. With the buildings and monuments, wide angles are really fun to play with for a different perspective. I second the recommendation for saving the longer zoom for the zoo.
04-21-2010, 08:21 AM   #10
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I worked in DC for 20yrs... take the 18-55 for monuments/landscape n street, 50mm for inside museums, 70-300 for the zoo.
04-21-2010, 08:30 AM   #11
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On an urban vacation trip I find I don't use a long lens very much. The kit lens will probably be the lens you use the most, and on the wider end. The 50/1.4 will be nice for inside shots but it's a little long for museums. Museums are usually crowded and people are always walking in front of you. Again, the kit lens will be the one you will end up using. I would leave the big zoom in the hotel as you mentioned. Maybe at the zoo but the 135 is pretty light. For a family vacation like this, a quality P&S with a good zoom range really shines.
04-21-2010, 08:49 AM   #12
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...I live in the area too, and on a recent trip into the city I was quite happy with the reach of my 16-45 on the camera, and FA50 f1.4 in my pocket which didn't even get used much.
04-21-2010, 08:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
On an urban vacation trip I find I don't use a long lens very much. The kit lens will probably be the lens you use the most, and on the wider end. The 50/1.4 will be nice for inside shots but it's a little long for museums. Museums are usually crowded and people are always walking in front of you. Again, the kit lens will be the one you will end up using. I would leave the big zoom in the hotel as you mentioned. Maybe at the zoo but the 135 is pretty light. For a family vacation like this, a quality P&S with a good zoom range really shines.
There are a lot of places in DC where there's not really that "urban" feel. The mall is pretty wide open and you can shoot the major things from a distance (capitol, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial etc). In fact, with the exception of the Washington Monument, no building is taller than the capitol dome.

As for museums, since you are going before school is out, if you will be there on weekdays, I highly recommend those for visiting. You'll have some school groups but not the hoard you'd have on the weekends.

But yeah, probably your kit lens will be the most used. So I guess I'm just rambling needlessly (and thinking I need to take a little trip into DC again for some more shootin' fun).
04-21-2010, 08:58 AM   #14
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I will be headining to DC myself for vacation as well. I will be bringing my kit along with a friend's 15mm I plan on borrowing. I think that for most cases my current kit will do nicely but I want the 15mm as an option for those pictures on the mall and monuments. Also I want to try some night shooting with the 15mm and long exposures. Can anyone who lives in the area provide any insight on this for me? Thanks!
04-21-2010, 09:11 AM   #15
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Wow with all these people heading to DC I think those us of already in the area need to plan a shoot on the Mall or something.
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