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08-14-2016, 03:24 PM   #1
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Going to Rome, What lens' to bring

Any ideas on lens to bring?

This is a once in a lifetime trip. My mother-in-law is renting a house for a month. My wife will be there the whole month. I will be there for 12-13 days. As for where will we go. Of course Rome, Venice, Pompeii and several small towns north of Rome. I have a K-10D with Kit lens, a pentax fast 50mm , and a Tamron 70-300 telephoto-4.0-5.6. I also have a Flash

I would rent any lens that you guy think I need.

08-14-2016, 04:00 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mi2nc Quote
Any ideas on lens to bring?

This is a once in a lifetime trip. My mother-in-law is renting a house for a month. My wife will be there the whole month. I will be there for 12-13 days. As for where will we go. Of course Rome, Venice, Pompeii and several small towns north of Rome. I have a K-10D with Kit lens, a pentax fast 50mm , and a Tamron 70-300 telephoto-4.0-5.6. I also have a Flash

I would rent any lens that you guy think I need.
I've been on a similar trip many years ago, it was a surprise to the Mrs and I actually proposed to her in Venice, it's all beautiful and wish we had more time there. If I had a capable camera at the time or if I could do it all over again, I would say bring an everyday "walk around" lense that can go wide. I have experience with the *16-50 (dunked it and dead now), 20-40 and the 16-85. I did enjoy the *16-50 quite a bit for the width, it was my favorite for a long time but it is a big and heavy lense. The 20-40 is the more natural walk around choice and is quite light, does a good job but not as wide or long. The 16-85 might not be a true walk around so to speak but it's affordable and the most flexible. The 16-85 quickly became my not sure what I'll run into but I can only bring one lense lense, does a great job.
08-14-2016, 04:10 PM   #3
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A good WA is really useful. A DA 15mm would be fine, but if you really want to capture the wonderful interiors, I would highly recommend any one of the following (not necessarily in order of preference: 1) 10~17mm fish-eye (very compact, it is possible to defish almost completely in PP); 2) Sigma 8~16mm (coverage side-to-side @8mm essentially identical to the 10~17 @ 10mm with far less distortion, but a much bigger, heavier lens); 3) Sigma 10~20mm (a fine WA zoom, but discontinued in K-mount for some time so it is hard to find one).

Other WA options: Samyang/Bower/Rokunar 14mm f2.8: excellent IQ, reasonably priced, but manual-focus only if that bothers you.
Pentax 14mm, significantly more expensive that the S-B-R 14mm, not necessarily better IQ, but it has AF
Samyang/Bower/Rokunar 8mm fish eye; very good IQ, less distortion than most FE lenses and slightly more side-to-side coverage; manual-focus only. These are sometimes available second-hand at a very reasonable price.

My experience in Rome: I used the 8-16mm Sigma frequently for interiors, the Pentax 10~17mm occasionally. I probably could have done all the interiors with either one, but I preferred the lesser distortion of the Sigma.

The 15mm is super compact. You can make-up for its more limited FOV by taking several images then stitching them in PP. Taking the images to be stitched as verticals will cover more of the sometimes interesting ceilings.

KEEP IN MIND: The majority of buildings, cathedrals, Pantheon, palaces, museums, etc. do not permit tripods or monopods.
08-14-2016, 04:11 PM   #4
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I just did a trip to Europe, including a few days in Rome. I had three lenses along: the Sigma 10-20, the FA20-35, and the F50/1.7.

I had the 20-35 on the camera 60% of the time, the 10-20 got the nod 35% of the time, and the 50 a mere 5%.

If I were to do it all again, I'd swap the 50 for the F35-70.

In your shoes, I'd want something wider than 18mm, for church interiors especially.

Also, for low-light interior shooting, I'd pick up a used K5 series body. You'll notice a huge benefit over the K10D.

08-14-2016, 04:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gabriel_bc Quote
Also, for low-light interior shooting, I'd pick up a used K5 series body. You'll notice a huge benefit over the K10D.
. Ditto on the K5 if you can.
08-14-2016, 04:25 PM   #6
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Those cities feature narrow streets and high buildings,the 18-55 kit lens would be fine in most situations, if the 50mm opens to at least 2.8 you'll be Ok indoors, IIRC, a lot of places ask that you not use a flash indoors. Otherwise a UWA is definitely a good idea in the cities and for panoramas, I love the 10-17 as well, but the 15mm would be a good alternate. I can't imagine using the 70-300 at all, but my style always tends to wider shots.
08-14-2016, 04:33 PM   #7
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A word of caution. Italy is known for its pickpockets and petty thieves, especially in Rome. Guard your gear, whatever you take.
08-14-2016, 04:47 PM   #8
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The Sigma 15 2.8 fish prime also seems really nice but probably not easy to find as a rental. Otherwise, yeah, DA 15mm prime would be my pick.

That's the kind of trip where something like the Sigma 30 1.4 might be nice; low light, interior stuff, and something wider than a 50mm on crop.

08-14-2016, 04:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
A word of caution. Italy is known for its pickpockets and petty thieves, especially in Rome. Guard your gear, whatever you take.
And V-A-V that warning, some locations are notorious for thievery, notably the Spanish Steps.

And I also agree with the recommendation that upgrading to a K5 II will significantly improve your images, especially hand-held, high ISO interiors. And I also doubt that the 70~300mm will be used enough to justify taking it along. Were I to assemble a going-to-Rome set of lenses from scratch, I would select either a Pentax 18~135mm or 16~85mm plus a Sigma 8~16mm.

Below: interiors of St. Peter's taken with the 8-16mm
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08-14-2016, 05:09 PM   #10
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My first choice, and likely mostly used, lens would be the 18-135. Followed by something like the 12-24, and maybe a fast prime like the 43 or a 50. That would be about it. I wouldn't even bother with the Tamron for city shooting if you want to travel light. But that's just me.

I'm going to Barcelona in October and the kit above is what I'm thinking about.

And I echo the suggestions to pick up a K5 or K5II.
08-14-2016, 05:34 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Ha, so basically the peanut gallery has told him that his entire kit is wrong, has to be encouraging.
08-14-2016, 05:42 PM   #12
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On my next trip I can tell you exactly what I am taking.

K-1 merely for high ISO abilities in low light.
24-70 zoom
3 amigos and if they come out with a wide fast prime anytime soon add that to the list.

Wide and fast is definitely good. Versatile is even better. If you can find a good 17-50 that is constant f2.8 you will be well served. I am not a huge fisheye kind of person but in a place like Rome it could go off pretty good.

I wouldn't bother with anything over the 70 to 100mm-ish range. You will be lugging around heavy and useless lenses in that environment if you take long lenses. Cheat everything toward wide (and flexible) and you will come home happy.
08-14-2016, 05:53 PM   #13
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There's a Tamron 17-50 shipped from Japan to the USA on the bay of e's right now for just over $200 on a buy it now deal. Renting a pair of lenses for a trip like this would probably cost the same on this way it'd be an owned lens instead of returned. That single lens might be fairly sufficient for a trip like this.

I agree that a K10D is not going to be so great vs something newer, but, it's probably a big ask to suggest a body swap, and the lens department really needs help here.
08-14-2016, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mi2nc Quote
Any ideas on lens to bring?

This is a once in a lifetime trip. My mother-in-law is renting a house for a month. My wife will be there the whole month. I will be there for 12-13 days. As for where will we go. Of course Rome, Venice, Pompeii and several small towns north of Rome. I have a K-10D with Kit lens, a pentax fast 50mm , and a Tamron 70-300 telephoto-4.0-5.6. I also have a Flash

I would rent any lens that you guy think I need.
You will want something wider, like a 12-24.
08-14-2016, 06:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
K-1 merely for high ISO abilities in low light.
As he currently has several APS-C lenses, the far less expensive K5 or K5 II is a more reasonable upgrade than a K1, if he is in a position to upgrade. If he's limited on funds, a WA is the best pre-trip purchase.
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