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04-19-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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What lens to take on holiday?

We are travelling to national Parks in USA in June this year, Yosemite, Bryce canyon etc and LA, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Should I carry around the 15mm, 31mm and the 77mm or just take the standard issue 18-55mm? (along with the 55-300mm)
not only do the primes create more carriage, but I am forever having to change the lens, when the zoom would take decent photo's without the hassle. bt having spent all the money on the lens it I am very tempted to take them.
First posting, I value your advice. Best wishes from, England.

04-19-2011, 01:49 PM   #2
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Another option is the DA18-250mm (or the Tamron 18-250mm). The lens will give you one body/one lens system that is very convenient during holidays. No lens swapping, nor heavy bag to carry, and a huge focal length range.

Food for thoughts...

Last edited by hcc; 04-19-2011 at 02:59 PM.
04-19-2011, 01:56 PM   #3
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IMO, based on your travel destinations I would take the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses plus the 15mm. For city walking I would use the 18-55mm. For national parks, wildlife and nature scenes the 55-300mm is invaluable. Cathedrals, museums and other indoor activities I would use the 15mm. Hope this helps!
04-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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I would take the 15, 31 and 55-300.

You may find that you will only need to have either the 15 or 31 on the camera most of the time and image quality will be great even in crops.

As you are aware the 15mm ltd is on its on when shooting into bright lights the sun etc.

take a look at this thread....



04-19-2011, 02:17 PM   #5
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my first trip to the Grand canyon and Vegas I was disappointed with being limited to 18mm on digital.

I took my PZ-1 as well, as my 18-35 was a full frame lens in any case.

ALso if you go around the grand canyon, to the north rim, zion, brice and the glen canyon, wild life is also abudnant, you might want something long as well as a flash,.
04-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #6
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If it were me I would definitely take the 15, 31, and 55-300. I would only take the kit lens if your body and lens are WR, otherwise not. I don't typically shoot in the 40-90 range, so I wouldn't get much use out of the 77mm on a holiday like yours. The 15 covers your landscapes, the 31 low light and general use, and the other for tele/wildlife, etc. Have fun!
04-19-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
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I'm faced with a parallel challenge: What 30 or so lenses shall I take on a two-month drive around the SouthWest USA? But I have a well-tested approach: Use the DA18-250 for initial drive- and walk-throughs, to shoot "the sights". Then mount something more specialized, or a lens-of-the-day, for follow-up shooting: use a special prime for an hour or two, then switch to another. And faster and wider lenses as needed.

On a similar journey last year, I tool 25+ lenses, but primarily used, in order 1) DA18-250, 2) Zenitar 16/2.8, 3) Nikkor 85/2, 4) FA50/1.4, and 5) M28/2.8. This year I expect to get much use from some lenses I didn't have then: Tamron 10-24, Vivitar 24/2, Nikkor-O 35/2, K50/1.2, Super-Takumar 105/2.8. And some slower lenses: Isco Westron 35/2.8 (13 iris blades) CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (silver preset, 12 blades), Enna Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5 (10 blades), Jupiter-11 135/4 (11 blades).

My suggestion: Take your primes, and get an 18-250 -- that's my basic lens, all others are specialty items. And you might look for something decent in the 100-135mm range also.

For instance, I find that my small Enna 100/4.5 is ideal in San Francisco's Chinatown during the day, and my Nikkor 85/2 is perfect for dusk and night there; my Tamron 10-24 just grabs too much context when I need to concentrate on details. But that Tamron or the Zenitar (or your DA15) are just right when shooting under redwoods or waterfalls or casino marquees, in Zion and Escalante canyons, with a group at a restaurant table, etc. And give yourself entire in-city days when you shoot ONLY with your FA31 for its 'normal' vision. That's a great tourist lens.

BTW, I rather dislike using the 18-55 and 55-300 (or for me, a 60-300) pair, because I do much shooting between 35-70mm, and I hate swapping lenses to go to either size of 55mm. So my cheap F35-70 is always on hand too. It's especially good for streets that are wider than Chinatown but narrower than Sunset Blvd, when I don't want the obtrusiveness of the 18-250. But in a pinch, I could probably get by with just the 10-24, the 18-250, and the 50/1.2. And a Raynox.
04-19-2011, 03:01 PM   #8
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Very simple, as you guessed, your 18-55 and 55-300 will do just fine. You will probably end up keeping the 18-55 on your camera most of the time. We did a similar trip last summer and that's how it ended up.

04-19-2011, 03:15 PM   #9
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Something at least as wide as 15, if not wider. As usual, I recommend the 12-24, and whatever else you want to bring.
04-19-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Nothing beats the convenience of a zoom. Not having to swap out lenses on the fly means no chance of dust getting inside. Another potential problem that can happen is imagine swapping out your 31 with your 77 when one of them slips out of your hand...
04-20-2011, 12:45 AM   #11
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Thanks for the Advice, I'll probably leave the 77 at home and lug the rest around, but just when I thought I had got over the LBA, what is this DA18-250, i'll never have money in the bank!!!!
Thanks once again, Gary
04-20-2011, 01:15 AM   #12
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Last summer I did the San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and then Highway 1 trip. I took a Sigma 10-20mm, an FA 35mm and a DA 18-250mm. I never felt I was missing anything. I was able to go from ultra wide to short tele and had a high speed normal for low light. You can take your 15 for wide and the 31 for low light and normal view and the kit lens for most shots. You will need to decide if you want to lug the 55-300 for tele shots. I found that the 18-250 was my most used lens, so I would recommend taking the tele.
The Pentax DA 18-250mm is the same as the Tamron 18-250mm. I like it very much. It is available used and sells around $350 -$400 on ebay. I think this is the best travel zoom available for Pentax. It has more range than the 18-135mm and sells for less. I find the IQ of the 18-250 to be quite good and recommend it.
04-20-2011, 08:25 AM   #13
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I would take the 55-300mm for all the outdoor shots, and the 31mm for indoor shots (like shots of great food in a fancy restaurant).
04-20-2011, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #14

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Why not just take one prime? You wll get used to it, and just look for photographic subject that will suit the prime, instead of just zooming in and out hoping to see something worth photographing
04-20-2011, 09:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Junah Quote
Thanks for the Advice, I'll probably leave the 77 at home and lug the rest around, but just when I thought I had got over the LBA, what is this DA18-250, i'll never have money in the bank!!!!
Thanks once again, Gary
I agree, leave the 77 at home. The 18-250 superzoom is about equal to your 18-55 as a standard zoom (each has advantages), and a definite step down as a telephoto compared to the 55-300mm. If you ever go for a superzoom, I recommend the 18-135 instead (I own both).

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