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11-13-2015, 01:16 PM   #1
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Two telephotos, tough travel choice

In December/January I'll be taking a 3-week trip to Hong Kong, possibly with some time in Macau. Last time I was there I shot with my Nikon F2. The longest lens I had was an 85mm, although near the end I managed to pick up a 135mm Nikkor for a good price.
Anyways, there where a few occasions where I felt a longer lens would have been useful -
Visiting the Macaques at Shing Mun
On top of Tiger's Head, Lantao
Photographing a sailing race

All of these situations are likely to re-occur, and since I'm a much better shot than I was last time around, I want to do them more justice. The two lens options are
135mm 2.8 Nikkor
200mm 3.5 Tamron adaptall
They can both be mounted to a plain adapter or a speedbooster, so either way I'm basically getting two FL's for the effort of carrying one lens.
My question is, for those of you that have shot similar things while traveling, will the 135mm (205mm FF) be enough reach, or would it be wiser to pack the 200mm (310mm FF) along?
The 135mm is about 2/3rds the size and weight, but the 200mm (at least adapted to X mount) seems to give sharper results and brings some extra reach.
The Nikkor has the benefit of taking 52mm filters, which it could share with all my other lenses. The 60mm has a step-up ring and the 17mm isn't threaded for filters. Both telephotos have built-in hoods.
A tripod MIGHT come along, but for shooting moving subjects (monkeys and sailboats) it may not be terribly helpful, and strict minimalism is important on this trip.

Also, I know that ultimately we always have to answer our own gear questions. Any stories about similar experiences or mention of concerns/factors I'm overlooking would still be very helpful.

FWIW the rest of the kit is going to be -
X-Pro1
XF18
XF35
XF60
Tamron 17mm SP (on speedbooster)
Polarizer
Nikon 52mm Hood
5 Batteries
Charger
Cards
All in a domke insert inside an army surplus messenger bag.

11-13-2015, 01:31 PM   #2
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If minimalism is important I'd be inclined to favour the 135 over the 200 (2/3 the size and weight). You can always crop but you cannot magically step back later. Also, your 135mm was not long enough last time, but now your 135 is behaving like a 200 in FOV terms and that may see you through.

I have taken a bulky 18-250 superzoom on a trip and I have taken a 40mm pancake at another time. The superzoom paid for its size and weight penalty with flexibility when it was really badly needed and I think I wouldn't have got anywhere near as good pictures with the pancake. The pancake on its own coped very well with what it was asked to do on that separate occasion, but I might have done still better with the superzoom.

Remember that on this occasion also, you may find a local lens for a good price. I would, in your shoes, take the 135 and leave the larger, heavier 200 home. Just my 2 cents worth.
11-13-2015, 01:54 PM   #3
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I think you're on a very good track, and I feel much the same. The additional factor of easier hand-holding of the 135 is also in it's favor, as a tripod is almost entirely out of the question.

With the 18-250 did you take many shots towards the extreme telephoto end?
11-13-2015, 06:48 PM - 1 Like   #4
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The superzoom was all over the place - its flexibility shone - but yes, I got to do quite a bit at the tele end. It helped that the weather was sunny and/or the light good much of the time and even f/6.3 didn't handicap me much. There were a few times I wished for the 18-35 1.8 Sigma I almost bought early this year, but they were few and far between.

11-13-2015, 07:31 PM   #5
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We just came from a Korean trip, I originally intended to bring 2 cameras (1 for my wife), tripod for groupies, limiteds 21 35 70 and my 18-55wr, it turned out that the most usfeul lens was the kitlens since it was raining for almost 3 full days. Now I am beginning to think to upgrade my kitlens to either the 18-135 or the new 16-85, being wr and no worries in changing of lenses
11-14-2015, 05:22 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Now I am beginning to think to upgrade my kitlens to either the 18-135 or the new 16-85, being wr and no worries in changing of lenses

My take on the 16-85 vs 18-135 thing is to favour the 18-135 unless you KNOW from experience that your shots are ALWAYS wanting more width. I'm sure you know from the pictures you were taking how this falls out for you. Of course if the 16-85 had had something else - if it had been a constant f/3.5 or f/4, for example - that would have changed the equation, but it is no faster at either the long or the short end, both offer me acceptable IQ, both are WR, and I find myself always wanting more reach.
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