Travel fun "vacation" with a single focal length?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by RaymondC, May 30, 2017.

  1. Hence the words - holiday vacation for fun, not a solid photography trip but photography that coincides with it.

    I know this is me and not you but I like your views on this topic. I had a look at my Lightroom exif data, other than family get togethers and functions which I have used the 70mm and 200mm FL. My most used focal length was 35mm and followed by the 50mm.

    I have been using a dSLR for every trip away and full frame stuff have gotten larger, and so have some of the newer lenses which I have not got. I have also tended to shoot less while I travel with a dSLR - overseas, using public transportation etc. I have gotten less photographs walking around and tended to focus on strategic shots - I find a nice location and I come back later in the golden/blue hour but in the day time I have just walked around with my gear and shot relatively less.

    I was thinking about using a Ricoh GR or one of the Fuji X100 for daytime and when I have something specific in mind I go back to my hotel and grab my interchangeable system camera and the travel tripod.

    Thoughts? Thanks.
  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Hello again -

    I travel (i.e. 'vacation/holiday' travel) with a Canon 5D series body; 24 to 105/4L and usually one other EF lens, most often the 16 to 35/2.8. I also carry my Fuji x100s: this was the second main reason I bought it.

    I used to travel with my EF 35/1.4 and second DSLR body. The Fuji replaces the 35/1.4 and also my need for the back up DSLR body. I take the Fuji everywhere - I do not just limit it to "daytime" often using ISO3200 and F/2 and yes sometimes I leave the DSLR in the hotel, or the car:

    Some Fuji x100s "holiday samples":

    Schloss Hohenschwangau Bavaria Germany


    After the Concert - Subway Vienna Austria


    Considering your recent other thread asking about Leaf Shutters, another reason way I choose the Fuji x100s was its particular usefulness with an Hoya R72 Filter:



    The other aspects I particularly like about the Fuji is the quietness of the Leaf Shutter and the camera itself is quite "cute" and is often mistaken for "old school" (i.e. film).

    Images © AJ Group Pty Ltd Aust 1996~2017 WMW 1965~1996
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  3. Yes, thanks. Both the Ricoh GR and X100 have leaf shutters with a flash. I have been thinking about getting back my sanity by using lighter cameras and actually enjoy the holiday more. A lot of my pictures felt like I have a couple of postcards here and there but there wasn't a feeling that I was there.
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  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't look at the Ricoh GR when I was considering what to buy, so I am not commenting that the Fuji being better in any way shape or form.

    I did buy a dedicated Fuji Flash for mine. the In-Camera Flash is OK but as with all not really 'powerful'. I made some test shots using the Fuji's In-Camera Flash, for Flash as Fill: those could still be on my office server, I will have a look later this week and post them on this thread if I find them.

    Another consideration, if you have Canon DSLRs, the Off Camera Cord for Canon Speedlite Units, fits exactly to work with the Fuji Flash Units.

    I know what you mean about sanity and enjoyment, the Fuji is actually reasonably "large" for the type/classification of camera but i still can sit in my pocket, I just enure that the clothes I wear have bulkier style pockets.

    Good luck with your choice.

  5. Not so sure then that the Ricoh GR would suit you since its focal length is a 28mm equivalent. I purchased the GR with the intent of being the camera I always have with me but must admit that most of the time it just sits idle at home. I usually take it along on vacations for those situations where I don't want to carry a larger camera or don't want to attract attention to one. Initially, the camera was intended as my substitute 28mm lens; now that I've got the 28mm for the Sony A7II, that's no longer the case.

    At some point, I had thought about a Fuji X100 but then decided against it. Partially due to cost, partially because I realized that a "rangefinder-style" camera doesn't suit me well, and partially because the X100 isn't all that small. The X100 and the GR were the only cameras I considered since I had no intention to choose a format smaller than APS-C (though that might have changed had Nikon actually shipped the DL 18-50).
  6. My personal inclination would be only the GR. Use it when it is appropriate and otherwise just enjoy the sights.
  7. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    The only way I can do it, is by leaving my DSLRS at home. I have a Ricoh GXR and a few modules. If I take only that and the 4.9 - 52.5, small and compact but 10MP, if I use the 15.7-55 I get 16MP, but about half the size of DSLR. I have tried going on a trip with GXR and DF -- I constantly defaulted to the DF. "Did you ever have to finally decide..." as verse of the old song goes!
  8. I just returned from a Danube river cruise with days in Budapest before and in Prague, after. I took one camera body, my Nikon D 800e, and two batteries for it.

    I had three lenses with me: Nikon 24-85 f3.5-4.5 AF; Nikon 20mm f1.8; and Nikon 70-200mm f4. I used the 70-200mm f4 only for shots from the river cruise ship. If I had not been on that, the lens would have stayed home. I never used it in cities. It stayed on the ship.

    My guess is that I used the 24-85mm for 95-98% of the outdoor shots with a lot of these at 24mm to 40mm when I was in cities. It was used indoors when light was strong enough and focal lengths made sense. This lens is my main travel lens. It is small, compact and light and image quality is very good.

    The 20mm f1.8 was used mostly inside churches and buildings when I needed the wider views and faster apertures given low light inside. For some of these inside shots at low light, I switched the image area on the D 800e to 1.2x to give me a longer effective focal length. I could have used the DX image area (1.6x) too, but I did not do that. The 20mm was used outdoors when I needed the wider viewpoint like for buildings and churches and for river shots in Budapest and other cities.

    I took about 400 images a day or about 5000 over the length of the whole trip.

    Of the 130 people on the cruise I was the only one with a DSLR with interchangeable lenses. One other passenger had a DSLR. About 10% used point and shoots. The rest used cell phones.
  9. I went on two trips, since i went digital, where I restricted my equipment to a APS-C Canon and the EFS 17-85mm.

    Had to do some sneaker zoom, but it was a delight (since the trips were for business, not photography) to travel light for a while.

    It was like the time my Nikkormat failed and left me with a Rollei 35 (link)
  10. It does raise the point to me of if I bring the dSLR with me for specific outings, the temptation might be to take it out with me more often which just goes back to the same situation of being a boat anchor bother.

    Ever thought about the Fuji XT? I've been thinking a XT and maybe a one of these premium compacts might be the way to go.

    Time for drum roll ... I generally average no more than 100 photographs per day.

    I just haven't shot much really. I find my spot while walking all day with my stuff, come back at 1hr before sunset drop my bag and set up my tripod and shoot and pack up and head back to my hotel. I have carried a 70-200 f4 Nikon when I travelling in my own country with a car but never overseas. It's actually more the dSLR's bulk than the weight but that helps also. So I carry a dSLR with a 18-35 and a 50 and maybe a cheapo 80-200 or an 85 and a Gitzo Traveler every day all day. In the day each time I took a photo I had to walk to the side, drop my tripod down and then take the shot. Even things like in the plane or in the train dragging that dSLR out with the 18-35 (77mm lens cap) was just a mission.
  11. Not in earnest. No advantage to me over carrying a D7200 with 18-140 lens (or just a 35). Which is pretty much the minimum I'd carry on a vacation.
  12. To me the single focal length travel idea is either about 15mm selfies or not appealing. To shoot others and stuff I'd love to bring at least 21 / 35 / 90mm. Urged to wager low I'd pick a Samsung / Pentax with kit zoom or Sigma 18-70.
    Why? Aren't the Gitzo Travellers shipped with a strap so one can just keep them shouldered? Or did you need lots of DOF at base ISO?
  13. My one the 1558 I think it is didn't come with a strap. I took it out thinking I would save time instead of coming back to my hotel and grab it later. It is for sunset and blue hour shooting cityscapes.
  14. Have you considered a micro 4/3 with some zoom. I used the original Olympic E-PL1 on trips and didn't know I was carry in on a neck strap. Recently I got a Sony RX100-4 (1" sensor) with 4k and 1080p movies. That one slips into my shirt or pants pocket although I also have a neck s trap setup for it. I make slide shows that I show on my 4K 75" UHDTV and either camera looks great for both stills and movies. Both camera have later models with additional features. Good luck.
  15. I can challenge myself for fun with a single lens a lot closer to home. In fact I do it on a regular basis, though which lens is a last minute decision at the destination. On vacation, where photo opportunities might never be repeated, I demand more flexibility. As a practical matter I might pull out a single lens for a photo op and leave the rest in the car. My single-lens sessions help a lot in making that decision. By mid-week in Iceland I raised that to two lenses (at a time) - a 24-70 on the camera and a 70-200 in a (large) inside pocket, or occasionally a 16-35 or prime lens. Vacations are not "fun" for me unless I can take the pictures I want.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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  16. Single lens rather than single focal length. As I use a mid-range zoom as my "normal" lens on my SLR/DSLR.
    Back in the 70s I used a Nikon 43-86 on my Nikkormat FTn then my Nikon F2.
    5 years ago it was a Nikon 18-70 on my D70S.
    Today it is a Nikon 18-140VR on my D7200.
    The 18-140 is a single lens alternative, to my 2 or 3-lens kit with the shorter 18-70 and 43-86 zooms wanting a longer lens.

    Even my P&S has a 3:1 zoom. I carry this when I don't want to carry/take a DSLR.

    The only time when I did not use a zoom was on a Nikon 35AF compact 35mm camera. It had a fixed 35mm lens.
  17. Don't you in some way or form do family with kids type holidays? Maybe also with extended family, tracking the heritage etc .. where they were brought up etc....

    I can see if it is a vacation that you can decide and mould to your own timetable / itinerary... but surely there are those vacations when you are simply with others.
  18. Yes, I have looked at the RX100 but at times I find that I want to simple things down with a fixed lens. It is for walk and about photography in the cities, in malls, tourist sites, museums, around the market, having a kebab stick, a cup of coffee etc. It's not like even within that vacation period to do a getaway trip for a day or two with something exciting to photography. If I was for those days or when the light be better and I have some time I may take the proper camera out.
  19. I have done exactly what you are describing, and for me, my choice for opportunistic grab shots has been the Sony RX100 Mk5. It's just quicker to whip out that little Sony versus my D800e. Also, grab shots don't necessarily equate to crap shots -- the RX100 IS a proper camera. Some of my favorite photos from a recent trip to The Maritimes are from that little Sony.



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  20. Reread your OP

    I would carry a P&S or "tweener" (something between my P&S and my DSLR) during the day as my "walk about camera."

    I currently have a Canon A3300is P&S, and a Nikon D7200 DSLR.
    I found that MANY times, having a "grab camera" makes all the difference in getting a shot or not. So carrying a small but decent P&S fill that niche. I can put the Canon A3300is into my briefcase or computer case without taking up a significant amount of space.

    Next step up is a "tweener." Something between a small P&S and a DSLR.
    A high end compact, or a mirorless, or a small DSLR with a small lens might fit this niche.
    More functionality than a P&S but more compact and lighter than the standard DSLR.
    • High end compact: Canon G series.
    • Mirorless: Nikon 1-V2 with 10-30mm lens,
    • DSLR: Nikon D3300 with a 18-55mm lens. Big, but smaller and lighter than the D7200 + 18-140 lens.

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