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05-20-2017, 10:34 PM   #1
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Travel kit: have I got it right?

I'm off to northern Italy on a holiday soon, and my OCD is getting the better of me. It's my first time to the Continent, so coming back with great photos is important, but not the primary reason for the trip. It will be early summer, so weather resistance is probably not crucial, although we will be around water a lot.

Last year, for a trip to the UK and Ireland (including me taking on semi-official photographic duties at a friend's wedding), I packed my LowePro Nova 4 AW with the K-1 and DA10-17, DFA15-30, FA31, DA*55, DFA100WR, HD55-300, AF540FGZ-II and Sirui tripod. It came in at *just* under the 7kg limit for carry-on bags, was a solid but manageable carry, and certainly did the job admirably and I had a blast.

This time I want to be lighter and less conspicuous, as especially in Rome and Florence I gather thieves are an issue.

My current front-runners for such a kit are:

KP + spare battery and charger
Same bag, tripod and flash
DA 10-17 (because fisheye)
SMC DA 21 limited (landscapes and street)
HD DA 35 macro limited (normal and macro)
DA* 55 (portraits and low light)
HD DA 55-300

All that, along with filters, rocket blower and cleaning kit, comes in at just 5.5kg. I'll probably also bring a smaller, less camera-ish bag to deter thieves in the big smoke, and my wife will have the Q7, 08, 01 and 06.

Part of me really wants to pack the FA31 and DFA100WR instead of the HD35, but the latter is a one stop crop shop.
Although the DA21 gives me the flare resistance and starbursts, leaving the DA15 behind also rankles somewhat. Anyway, the DA10-17 @ 17mm de-fishes to match the DA15's field of view almost precisely.
I could take a smaller flash (AF201FG), or just rely on the on-board flash of the KP for the occasional times I am likely to want it.

Then again, the DFA15-30 is the sine qua non for architecture, and there will be a lot of that. But it would lead me back to the full frame kit I had last time....

Or maybe I should just make do with the Q system

HELP!

05-20-2017, 10:50 PM   #2
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I have travelled several times to Europe in last 5 years, with my K-7 and K-3. I typically limit myself to one body and 2-3 lenses. After refinement, I selected for my last trip three lenses:
-Pentax DA15mm f4 Ltd
-Voigtlander Nokton 58m f1.4
-Pentax FA77mm f1.8 Ltd

I did not need anything much longer and these three primes worked well. I love to shoot primes and this above might reflect some bias. At an earlier trip, I took my DA18-270mm and VL58mm instead.

The DA15mm was great for wide angle. It will work wonder in Paris, at Versailles and in the cities generally.
The FA77mm is a great medium tele. Fast in low light. Superb for portrait.
The VL58mm is the ace of trumps.Great IQ. Excellent in poor lights (fogg, smoke, smogg). Very good in low light.

I know that zoom lenses are more convenient, but .... I value very highly (1) the IQ of my lenses and (2) I want to travel light.

Hope that the comment may help.

Last edited by hcc; 05-20-2017 at 11:08 PM.
05-20-2017, 11:32 PM   #3
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I'm facing the same dilemma for later this year, but a little further afield in Europe (Italy's not on the map this time). I'm considering selling my K-3 for the advantages the K-P offers so I'll be interested in your results. That aside, I'd probably be taking the DA15, FA31 and my old Tamron 28-200. In the past, I've taken the DA*16-50 and DA*50-135, but the ISO advantage of the K-P probably negates the value of those lenses.
05-21-2017, 12:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
My current front-runners for such a kit are:

KP + spare battery and charger
Same bag, tripod and flash
DA 10-17 (because fisheye)
SMC DA 21 limited (landscapes and street)
HD DA 35 macro limited (normal and macro)
DA* 55 (portraits and low light)
HD DA 55-300
Pretty sure you are going to be wanting wide rather than long, and I would probably pass on the 55-300. I would opt for the 100 over the 55, as well. So, 10-17, 21, 35, 100. I'm guessing the 21 will get the most use when you get tired of swapping :-).

05-21-2017, 12:44 AM   #5
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I did many trips there but they were pre-digital and before I was a convert to fisheye lens. Now with the ability to do iso 1600, significant crops, and defish w/ fisheye hemi, it is a lot simpler. [And given your camera/list of lenses] I would take the fisheye, the 21 mm, and the 35 mm macro. (For me) that would cover most of what I am interested in there--namely architecture, street photos, and art/museums/churches, and it wouldn't be a lot to carry.

Actually there are lots of variations considering the combination of the Q and the KP, that would cover much ground and be very compact.
05-21-2017, 01:00 AM   #6
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How about 10-17, 21, 43 and 100?

Argh, I can't stand it!

---------- Post added 21-05-17 at 05:32 PM ----------

I could always throw the Q-K adaptor in Joan's bag and use the 100 for super-tele if needed
05-21-2017, 01:06 AM   #7
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I travel a lot, and also have the same dilemmas.

Wide angle: I have a good sharp copy of the DA 20-40 Ltd. It has three advantages - light, WR, good IQ. Last trip I took the DA15 and DA21 but basically didn't use them, as I ended up being very happy with DA 20-40 images. Sean Reid of Reid Reviews wrote a review of the DA 20-40 where he concluded it was a modern iteration of the Leica Tri-Elmar i.e. it should be considered three primes in one.

I personally like primes, and have some very good ones I use, but when travelling size and weight and coverage are the compromises.

Portait - I also have a VL58/1.4 and I am considering a DA*55/1.4 for my next trip. I think the advantages the DA*55 gives over the VL58 are autofocus and WR.

I generally carry my HD DA55-300 WR lens when travelling. It is a relatively light lens and just gives that reach when you need it.

Where I have landed at the moment is:
APS-C camera
2 lens kit DA 20-40, DA*55 although my DA70 is a another option - light, great IQ but not WR
3 lens kit DA 20-40, DA*55, HD DA 55-300 WR (or the PLM)

Note both these kits cameras and lenses are WR.

If I was taking a 3 lens prime kit I think it would be the DA21, DA35 Macro, DA*55 which is equivalent to the classic 35, 50, 90 focal lengths from film days.

Best wishes for your lens selection and a good trip.

Ross
05-21-2017, 01:20 AM   #8
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Sandy, your bag is disproportionately loaded (whatever combination of lenses you decide upon) compared with your wife's.
Certainly throw the Q-K converter in your wife's bag, and encourage her to share the load (since she will have the advantage of some nice lenses from your kit.)


(ducks, runs, hides from possible backlash)

05-21-2017, 01:45 AM   #9
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If Joan had her way she would not be carrying a camera at all. Adding to her kit is out of the question

---------- Post added 21-05-17 at 06:56 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
I have a good sharp copy of the DA 20-40 Ltd
I should have specified that buying another lens is also out of the question. In addition, I have previously owned a DA20-40 and didn't warm to it.
05-21-2017, 02:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
In addition, I have previously owned a DA20-40 and didn't warm to it.
I think it is that kind of lens. It took me about 6 months to tune in to it - mainly because I was using my primes more. One memorable day under Niagara Falls on the boat trip it all clicked into place with me and I have enjoyed using it since
05-21-2017, 02:53 AM   #11
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first have fun and don't concentrate on photography at all times

I have a thought, can you afford an additional battery and charging cord. I am a firm believer in " Murphy's Law " ( anything can go wrong, will go wrong ) and Finnigan's Corollary to it ( Murphy was an optimist ) so I would add an additional battery and charging cord. If your camera would take AA batteries or has a grip that would take AA batteries I would check out the cost of that as an alternative

I also pack way too many memory cards and backup equipment and make multiple back ups during the trip in case a back up goes wrong. If you are carrying a laptop (be advised that might have to go into checked luggage on the way back ) I would back up to that and also to a separate external hard drive.

Never been to Italy but I think Special K has a point, think about what will be your interests in photography during the trip and plan accordingly.

have fun

looking forward to seeing your photos
05-21-2017, 03:10 AM   #12
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i wouldn't bother with the 55-300 as you will spend most of the time in cities. For the last couple of years we had our holidays in Italy. I brought the lot with me but ended op using most of the time the 15ltd, 20-40 ltd and the dfa100. About 90-95% of the shots were taken with the 20-40 ltd.
So in your case stick to the 10-17, 21, 43 and 100.
05-21-2017, 04:15 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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If one can jog with a K-1 and 70-200/2.8, one can travel around Italy with a 645Z. Thieves won't give it a second look, as they'll assume it's some old large thing.... not a trendy sony thing......
05-21-2017, 04:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote

. . .

Finally, many of the neat settings restrict photography. So always show your "camera" and ask permission to photograph. When taking a similar trip as yours, I found many docents/guards considered my Q7 a toy and said, OK. Others around me carrying a DSLR got a "no" and had to check their kit in the coatroom. . . .
good point on checking local restrictions

often we make the assumption that the "rules" are the same everywhere. doing that in certain countries while taking "normal pictures" of train stations, or bridges or dams or airports or governmental buildings might end up with confiscation of equipment and perhaps arrest.

check with the State Department or local embassy about any restrictions and obey all posted signs. you may be glad you did.
05-21-2017, 04:45 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
How about 10-17, 21, 43 and 100?

Argh, I can't stand it!
This is a better choice - small and lightweight

We went to Rome three years ago; I took 10-17, 18-135, A24, F50. Used a Domke F-5XB and a sling strap.
45% of images were with the zoom, of which 85% were in the range 18-53.
38% were with the A24
16% were with the fish-eye
I used the F50 for 2 photos!

When we go back I will take the 10-17, 15, 20-40, 43 and 100macro

10-17 for churches/Vatican/colosseum/Trevi fountain/pantheon is a definite
I would now take the DA15 (or de-fish 10-17) for the Roman Forum (18-24 not wide enough here all the time) and other structures
21 for you (or 20-40 in my case) for street stuff/riverside
43 for the evening/portrait (plus its so small)
the 100 because most of my other images with the 18-135 were around 85-115 (tops of columns/obelisks/detail shots)

I wouldn't overly worry about the security side of things - there are thousands of other people all wandering around with photographic equipment.
Just take sensible precautions like keeping your camera bag shut and not leaving it lying around in crowded areas etc.
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