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Trip to Prague... your thoughts ?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Amamba, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    We're planning a trip to Prague this spring. Kids are old enough that they may enjoy a trip to Europe.

    So, the eternal question comes up - what lenses to bring.

    1) 18-105 and 16+UWA - this seems like a no brainer, however I am not sure that I would need the extra reach, and may be able to get away with a smaller package.

    2) 18-55 and 16+UWA - this would give me a far more compact package with little loss of convenience and IQ. Although in the 18-40mm range, I'd say 18-55 is perfectly capable of holding it's own against 18-105.

    3) I could try & get a decent price on a used 20/2.8, which would give me 15mm with UWA. Every report I read says it's better than 16mm, the question is, is the increase in IQ worth the money (they seem to sell for well over $200), and is 15mm going to be wide enough ?

    4) I could also shop around for a used 1650, again the reviews say it's not bad between 20-40mm and is a whole lot more compact than even 1855, so this would make for a very small trip package.

    Any ideas ?
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    611
    Aug 7, 2011
    I went to London in November with my m43 kit. I had 4 main pieces of equipment:

    1) Oly 9-18 was my #1 used lens. I used 9mm A LOT, which would be like 12mm in APS-C land. I still preferred the zoom, as it was quite handy. Therefore I would suggest a 12mm Rokinon or a 10-18/4. Buy one used and resell it when you get home, and consider the amount lost (on fees and shipping) as the "rental" cost. In a pinch the 18-55 could do this. I did a trip in Boston once with the 16mm, and as long as you don't pixel peep, it's OK. But, I live near Boston. If Prague is a once in a lifetime trip, then don't skimp, and consider the lens as part of your trip cost.

    2) Panasonic 20/2 for low light, indoors, etc. IMO, the 20/2.8 does not stack up to the Panasonic 20mm. I know it's more money, but I am LOVING the 28/2 on my a6000. It's not as small, but it's proving as optically attractive as the P20. The Sigma 30/2.8 would be better than the 20/2.8 IMO. The 20/2.8 has some complex "moustache" distortion that's hard to correct, though it is of course compact.

    3) I brought the Panasonic 45-150, and got a few, but really critical shots. Your 55-210 would be the equivalent here.

    4) I brought my RX100. It was great for easy 28mm/1.8 shooting.

    I think the 18-105 is too "in between" where you want to be, or too slow. I found myself either wanting ultra wide, telephoto, or fast lens for people shooting.

    My thread on mu-43.com of London is here London with (mostly) m43 (img heavy!!)

    The last pic is St. Paul's Cathedral using the telephoto, as an example of why I think you shouldn't neglect the long end.
     
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I vote option #1. The 18-105 is very versatile FL, not that heavy of a lens (big yes), better IQ that the other options and does great portraits at >70mm (so you could be at a distance) with beautiful bokeh ;)
     
  4. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Shooting with an a6000, on the last couple of trips, shooting landscapes, 100mm was the longest focal length that I used the most. Rarely going for more with a 55-210. When I needed to walk about with a minimum of stuff, the 18-55 and a 100mm f/2.8 prime (both with CPL's), worked very well. I would have loved to have a 12mm UWA for some dramatic shots, but that was the only lens that was lacking.

    I concur the 18-105 G would be a great candidate for a day of shooting. If I could only have one more lens, then maybe the 35mm f/1.4 for night and portrait shooting.

    I'd skip the 1650, given you have the 18-55. The 1650 isn't as bad as people slam it as kit lens crap. It's software-optimized, compact, and the shots are pretty good. Get it if you need compact size only. The lens performed fine for me on a 2.5 month bike tour.
     
  5. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular

    74
    Dec 23, 2014
    I did Prague a few years ago with just a standard zoom, there was at no point that it felt limiting apart from not being fast enough when the sun went down. I now travel with an A7 standard prime and the 50mm unless I am going to a place that requires a tele such as a zoo. I would be tempted to get the rumoured 2.8 24-70 if its a reasonable weight, I had a Fuji S3 and Sigma 18-50 combo that I used for a good time it was superb. That being said I would be half tempted to use the 18-105 if its not too much weight to carry, it might come in handy if you use the tele end a lot.
    I can recommend the Kafka museum it was quite interesting, the trams are great and it was damned cheep for a multi day pass when we went although a lot is in walking distance.
     
  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I don't know if I have a bad 18-105 or a really good 18-55, but as long as the light is OK my 18-55 seems a tad sharper (or perhaps has more contrast which makes it seem sharper).

    Of course it's not as good in low light and terrible past 55mm.
     
  7. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I've always loved the rendering, contrast and colors of the 18-105 when I had it... Plus the bokeh!

    ...But I hated the powerzoom :D
     
  8. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I was toying with idea of selling 18-105 and getting Hasselblad version of 16-70, they are cheaper than Zeiss. But I am not sure it's a better lens.
     
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  9. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    282
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Last summer my wife and I traveled in Europe from Rome to Barcelona. Many times I passed up a shot because another lens would be better but I did not have time to switch lenses. I made a note to self: when traveling, more lenses leads to fewer photos. It sounds like you are already thinking along these lines.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    611
    Aug 7, 2011
    Not sure I follow? I had 3 lenses with me at all times in a shoulder bag, and the UWA zoom was the workhorse, only switching to the fast normal indoors and the telephoto for some specific architectural stuff. Why would having lenses with you cause you to pass up on a shot?
     
  11. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    282
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    It is about having time or place to safely switch lenses. It happened most, of course, on arranged tours where I could not stop. I recognize that this is all dependent on both travel style and photography style.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular

    74
    Dec 23, 2014
    I think if you are on a time limited thing like an organised tour then you may have a few seconds to grab the shot, others are quite happy to wander around with just one prime. I guess a lot of people will also not be so interested in swapping lenses all the time or find it inconvenient, working with primes I prefer to carry two cameras so I can speed the process up, but then I will still only have 3 lenses with me and 95% is done with a 50mm. It is easier if you have a partner with you who understands that is how you work and not having one who is hurrying you along too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. izTheViz

    izTheViz TalkEmount Top Veteran

    537
    May 10, 2013
    Paris
    Yannis Marigo
    I go to Prague quite regularly. I did shoot with the 5N and the A7. Based on my experience I would stick to the 18-55 and 16 + UWA.
    You will need some WA for some shots.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    So, we've been in/around Prague and some nearby historic places since Monday. I was going to travel with 1855, 1650 as a backup, 16+UWA and 30/2.8 (a lot of lenses but all very small). At the very last moment I threw my 18105 in the bag and oh boy, am I glad I did ! This has been my most used lens, by far. Every now and then I'd switch to 12mm but mostly I am using the 18105 and I am using it's entire range. The fact that it is a constant f4 is also very helpful in dark places. There are many situations where I'd be having hard time trying to use a kit lens.

    This also kind of reignited my dilemma "should I sell 18105 and find a Hasselblad copy of 1670". On one hand, sometimes I wish it was 16 mm and not 19mm. On the other hand, I often use it at 105mm and would be a bit short at 70.

    The 30mm sees very little use. It is sharp and that's great but the focal length is very limiting for a trip like this. Which kind of makes me think twice about eventually getting a 35/1.8.

    Here's one photo uploaded straight from camera and quickly straightened on the iPad.

    image.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Loved that lens! Very versatile FL - for me its the perfect APSC walk around lens ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1