Advice for Holidaying Lens


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Jan 16, 2009
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#1
Just booked a tour at the Natas Fair, going to Greece for my 2nd honeymoon in May. Planning to bring my new K10D along, but wondering about what lens to bring. Currently I have:

Pentax SMC-M 40-80 f/2.8-4
Tokina 70-210 f/3.5 (manual)
Pentax DA 18-55 f/3.5-5.6
Pentax FA 50 f/1.4

I don't think I want to deal with a manual lens while on holiday, the kit lens is probably too limited. I love my new FA50, nice small and great quality, but primes are probably not suited for holidaying.

So it looks like I may have to consider buying another lens. I'm not on a very tight budget but I don't really with to spend too much since photography is still a new hobby to me and I'm not sure if I'm going to be serious about this for long. If it is a good value then I can probably consider especially if it has its uses after I come back from my holidays.

I've looked around and it seems an 18-200mm lens may be what I'm looking for, perhaps the Tamron one, price on Adorama/B&H seems to be ~$400 before shipping. I've found this on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/Tamron-AF-18...hotographic_Accessories?hash=item360135090766 which is ~$385 including shipping but not sure how trustworthy the seller can be. I don't mind a second hand, but not sure how many people have this lens (or perhaps the Sigma version) and looking to sell. I may also consider loaning just for the trip also.

Any advice?

Other lens I can consider maybe? Should I consider buying first hand from a local shop for the warranty? I doubt many of them will have stock for the Pentax mount version though. Maybe should camp the BnS more?

Thanks
 

skypacker

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Oct 18, 2006
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#2
If you are willing to spend a lot of $$, a DA*16-50 and a DA 55-300 would be pretty much all you need.

Or, depending on the focal length range, DA*16-50 and DA*50-135. Not a lightweight kit, but it's weather sealed so you can shoot virtually anywhere, and the results from good copies of the lenses are excellent.

Other options.
DA 16-45 and DA 55-300.
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#3
loan may be the best option if after the trip the lens may stay in the drybox most of the time.

for me, the 24-105 range is the go everywhere lens if budget not really a lot.
 

scorpioh

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Jul 17, 2007
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Woodlands
#4
If you wish to stay away from the heavier zooms, the DA21 may be a good walk around lens, both in built-up places and open sceneries. Couple it with your FA50 should do. My travel kit was a sigma17-70 mainly. Almost could get 95% of the shots in Japan.
 

Sep 24, 2008
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#5
Don't discount on your FA50!

You'll need that lens for truly lowlight photos. Ambient lighting creates a mood unlike flash.

Personally, i feel that my FA50 has great iq, so in essence, it can be cropped all the way to about the focal length of a 70mm from a zoom lens while still maintaining the same sharpness :think:

If i had a "dream team" lens kit, it would be the FA 31ltd, DA* 50-135, DA12-24 or DA10-17 fisheye. 3 lenses to give you everything. Almost.
My last trip to south africa i was running on only FA50, 75-300mm. Yes i know i missed a chunk of landscaping, but it is regrettable i have limited budget as a student :thumbsd: Will be getting the 10-17mm fisheye soon, a lens design unique to only Pentaxians! :lovegrin:
 

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pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#6
Save your money and stick with what you have.
Bring a tripod (light one like Slik sprint pro which is around $100)

I would take :
Pentax DA 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 (the general walk around lens)
Tokina 70-210 f/3.5 (manual)

Your focal length will be well covered.
Likely stuff you will cover will be largish spaces, massive buildings, huge interiors that require a wide lens, so the 18mm will be needed. Next would be the "been there" portrait shoots, so 28-55mm will generally do, go for 70-100mm using the Tokina if you need for the portraits. 150-210mm range, I would think is seldom used.

Use the tripod (impt to be light so it doesn't kill you :) ) to take shots when you cannot hand hold. If you don't use a tripod, brace yourself against the wall/pillar/bench/railing/etc, you'd be surprised how low a shutter speed you can go by bracing.

If you'd want to purchase a new lens for the trip, 16-50 of course is good (fast lens, excellent quality and wide). Else I would think 10-20 or 12-24. Don't underestimate your 50/1.4 either, for this one, it depends on how you can work around and compose the photo.
 

hjbyeo

Senior Member
May 5, 2006
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#7
As you take more and more pictures and understand your style of shooting, you'll find that there's just some focal length you use more often, and your perspective of what's a good set of travel lens.

And I am just going to add to the mix, but that's just my own preference after trying out the different lenses...

1. A wide angle --> DA 12-24 (or you can choose the Sigma 10-20, and 75% of the time it'll be your main lens)
2. A normal --> FA 43mm (when you need the speed, and a good street photography lens, not intimidating and will get you the candid shots!)
3. A telephoto --> FA 77mm (you'll be surprised that it's quite an accomplished landscape lens as well)

you've got a 50mm which should replace item 2. So there's really only the wide and the telephoto you need to consider.

Cheapest option? Just go for the Pentax dual kit!
 

creampuff

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
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#8
Travel light and carry a lot of memory cards or a storage device.
When holidaying, I find that there is just so much to shoot and time is of the essence.
I think bringing AF lenses will allow you to shoot quicker with less fiddling about.

A one lens setup like the Sigma 17-70mm would be able to cover 90% of your shooting needs. The Sigma will give the wide angle to portrait range plus it has some pretty good close-up capability. If you want a longer lens, the DA 50-200mm is light, compact and allows more reach in the telephoto range.

Carrying a tripod can help with low light shooting, panoramas, self-portraits but it really depends on personal use and how much gear you want to carry. It pays to carry your gear discreetly and not shout "photographer", which is just being street smart.
 

mckenzy

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Feb 14, 2005
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#9
bring a spare p&s as well...
 

Baracus

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Mar 24, 2008
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#10
As you take more and more pictures and understand your style of shooting, you'll find that there's just some focal length you use more often, and your perspective of what's a good set of travel lens.

And I am just going to add to the mix, but that's just my own preference after trying out the different lenses...

1. A wide angle --> DA 12-24 (or you can choose the Sigma 10-20, and 75% of the time it'll be your main lens)
2. A normal --> FA 43mm (when you need the speed, and a good street photography lens, not intimidating and will get you the candid shots!)
3. A telephoto --> FA 77mm (you'll be surprised that it's quite an accomplished landscape lens as well)
That's pretty much what I'm aiming for for my upcoming trip. Trouble is, I have none of them. (I considered bringing my MF lenses, but I'd miss too many people shots fiddling with it.) Any kind sponsors, please flood my PM. (alternatives appreciated too) :lovegrin::bsmilie:
 

Jan 26, 2004
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#11
woefulwabbit: I'll take the 50mm along, for low light and evening shots, the superzoom and most other zooms will struggle mightily.

Another thing to consider is weight and bulk: whether you mind traveling with big fast zoom lenses. Primes are only limiting if they don't suit your style; they can and do work. (I saw a vacation series shot using only the 21mm and 70mm on another forum; the pixs are stunning.)

The 17-70 or 18-250 are good choices if you are more inclined towards zooms.

baracus: If you need the 10-20, let me know. Don't use it that much now. :p
 

#12
All different advice... :bsmilie: so listen to who...

My advice... get urself a wide angle and bring ur 50f1.4...2 lens is enough, u wont missed too many... remember its a holiday to relax and enjoy, not a specialize photography trip/outing...
 

fengwei

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Aug 25, 2004
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#13
Greece? Nice place to visit, wish I could go again ;p

If you don't wanna spend any more money on photo gear, just bring your kit lens plus the FA50, that'll be enough to handle all your photo needs. I bet you'd use the kit lens to cover most of the trip :)

I agree w/ flowerpot, it's your holiday, relax and enjoy are more important than taking photos. Most travel photos are just for "到此一游" purpose anyway, don't really need to think too much lah.
 

Jan 16, 2009
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#14
Thanks for all the advice. Lots of different advice but it seems there is a consensus that I should bring my FA50 (I definitely want to bring this, my favourite lens so far) plus one more lens that can cover wide angle (which is probably more important than telephoto).

I could bring my kit lens for wide angle, but not sure if I would want to use telephoto also. I don't see anyone advising a superzoom like 18-200 or 18-250, is there a reason to avoid this? The price seems 'okay' to me.. at least compared to a dedicated wide angle lens.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#15
Thanks for all the advice. Lots of different advice but it seems there is a consensus that I should bring my FA50 (I definitely want to bring this, my favourite lens so far) plus one more lens that can cover wide angle (which is probably more important than telephoto).

I could bring my kit lens for wide angle, but not sure if I would want to use telephoto also. I don't see anyone advising a superzoom like 18-200 or 18-250, is there a reason to avoid this? The price seems 'okay' to me.. at least compared to a dedicated wide angle lens.
I used a 28-200mm for my Mz-5n for 4-5yrs as a travel lens; but it was also my only lens :) . Good coverage of focal lengths in 1 lens and no hassle of changing lenses. Low light situations, I used a tripod. I seldom used from 100mm onwards. It all depends on shooting style and what you prefer in terms of convinience, weight, performance, etc.

IMO, if you get a 18-200, its too much of a duplicate of what you already have for slower lens performance. Weight wise, its not going to be much lighter vs your 18-55 + 70-210.

The only place I would have liked having a 200mm or better was South Africa (safari); At that time I was not into photography, I only brought a compact. :D
 

Sep 24, 2008
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#16
^ He's right about the Safari.

I think i was always at the end of my telephoto which is 300mm at many places in South Africa, and even so, still not enough ;p If you're shooting in a busy town/city as compared to country side, you won't be losing much with the FA50 at all. Everything will be very tightly spaced.
But if you're going to the countryside area of greece, chances are you'll be entering quiet towns, with alot of space between you and your subject. Get a nice telephoto around 200mm or so and start sniping!! :thumbsup:
 

JavaBeanz

New Member
Jul 11, 2006
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#17
I brought only a FA35/2 for my trip to Taiwan.
I liked its FOV better than my FA50 which was a bit too tight for indoor. It is good for street, food, indoor, low light, portrait, landscape... covered most of the shots I wanted to take on a holiday :D
 

scorpioh

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Jul 17, 2007
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#18
I would love to agree on that. FL of 28-35 just works great on cropped sensor for walk-around shots.
 

Ben Loke

New Member
Aug 26, 2004
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Guilin
#19
Just booked a tour at the Natas Fair, going to Greece for my 2nd honeymoon in May. Planning to bring my new K10D along, but wondering about what lens to bring. /QUOTE]

Leave all your gear behind and just bring a compact digital cam. After all, it's your 2nd honeymoon and enjoy the trip your wife lah!

Later then pack all your gear to the Pentax outing.
 

Feb 5, 2008
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#20
I found that my preferred one-lens set-up is the Pentax FA 28-105. It's cheap, light and easy to carry around. Because of this lens, I haven't been using my DA 50-200 that much. :( However, bring the kit lens too as I figure Greece will have beautiful landscapes!!! ;)

Enjoy your trip and don't forget to the most important thing... spend time with your wife!
 

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