Travel fun "vacation" with a single focal length?

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

  1. I used (in Italy) a 5cm/1.5 and a 25mm/1.4 with M 4/3 camera for a 50mm and 100mm crop. It wowked out very well for me.
  2. Actually my children are grown with children of their own. Heritage? We are the old-times, the ancient generation, so my wife and I are the "heritage." The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, but my "old country" has changed a lot in 290 years. Germany, Switzerland and Ireland (Scotland removed) are no different than Tennessee or Montana at this point.

    My younger brother is an avid photographer, so when the opportunity arose, we traveled together to Iceland, strictly for photos. I took everything I could fit in a single bag, including a spare body an 7 or 8 lenses, from 16 mm to 200 mm, plus a large tripod.

    It was not always so, and I took my children, later grandchildren, to places I though they would enjoy. We traveled across country, stopping at places of interest along the way. That presented many new photo opportunities. Bopping around town I might take a single, wide-angle lens to record memorable moments, but select an entirely different lens (or lenses) for parks and monuments.

    For me a vacation, or just about town, presents a plethora of photo opportunities. It is my challenge to "see" things and photograph them in a way which others might enjoy, and which fixes the moment or sense of place.
  3. I recently completed a three weeks visit to the UK and took with me my 5D11, wide angle zoom and a 70-200 zoom. Just before leaving Australia I bought a 40mm f2.8 pancake lens and put it on the camera - it stayed there for the entire visit! The 5D11 immediately became an easy to walk around with camera. Without this lens the camera would probably have been left at the hotel and I would have used my phone camera
  4. Update,

    I am now looking for a "tweener." Something between my P&S and my D7200+18-140, for weight reduction.
    I am considering the D3400 + 18-55. This kit is 64% of the weight of my D7200+18-140, a significant weight reduction.
    While I would like a bit more range, like 18-70, I think I can live with the 18-55. I can always swap in my old 18-70 if I want more range, but the VR on the 18-55 will be hard to give up.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  5. I vacation to take photos in an area away from home. Everything else is incidental. Depending on the circumstances I might take a single lens and leave the bag in the car (or a museum or check point). Bags below a certain size are sometimes permitted. I've used a fanny pack in Spain, Since then I bought a small shoulder bag that holds 2-4 lenses (e.g., two large zooms) without a camera, which is carried on a strap. A ThinkTank "Hubba Hubba Hiney" fanny pack holds a 70-200.
  6. When I am vacationing with a group, it doesn't feel right to try the extreme minimalist path. - It is of course absolutely wrong to go for maximum fuzz & effort photography i.e. tripod, countless primes and a single body or maybe even a compendium shade and ground glass focused LF.
    • Traveling with a group should* mean "run & gun". [*=Health assessment: I'm a middle aged physically unspectacular slacker. If forced into mountain goat mode, I might be the slowest (and should almost forget about photography for that reason), but on paved flat paths I'm still able to circle a mixed group.]
    • The mission would be documenting both the environment and the people you are traveling with, swiftly, handheld and if possible not too obnoxious and interfering.
    • Picking a kit for that kind of photography is of course a question of taste and options within your reach. I 'd say you can't go wrong with something like a D750 and it's sane tourist zoom (is that a 24-120/4 VR?) - Get an ultra comfortable strap and an option to pack it when things might get bumpy. - I don't use Nikon. I am not even able to do so spontaneously, since I don't get along with their menu system. IDK if tourism shouts for FF but that combo looks like a good deal for a bridge camera substitute. A pair of Fujis covering 16-230mm weighs the same (or even less). - I'm just not sure if the contemporary bodies improved far enough to make the 230mm end really enjoyable; on mine the focusing is too slow. Betting on Leica M means missed shots and shouts for at least 2 bodies, so it probably gets expensive.
    I don't get the entire "I'm with family, so I'll bring close to nothing" logic.
    • If I don't shoot them, who will?
    • In the past I benefited from having a 200 mm to aim at one family member distracted by another and firing away. - I like collecting the full range of their facial expressions. So yes, 18-140 on DX is probably a great idea too.
    Back in the 80s folks went for fixed 35 mm prime compacts or stuck to their fixed 50 mm heritage cameras (or were too lazy to use anything else than 50mm on SLRs they carried). - I always got the feeling that the 35 mm FOV became a bit annoying, when I had to flip through about 3 rolls of 4x6"s in a row. - It is a nice and handy focal length but if you plan to tell a story toss a few others in once in a while.

    So far I traveled with manual k mount SLRs, TLR 55 & 135 mm + 75 mm MF RF, Fujis, Leicas, APS SLRs. The least I ever carried was a normal lensed RF. I'm not sure what to pick next. I know I can be an entire day on my feet with 2 bodies and maybe 4 not overly bulky lenses, but shooting FF DSLRs seriously (with f2.8 zooms & similar) is a different topic; I fear sore arms after a few hours. I neither have kids for whom I'd be supposed to lug diapers, toys and catering around, nor am I hiking with my entire luggage.
    While I like the JPEGs from my Fujis (M & E1) a lot, the AF at the 230mm end gets annoying as soon as I shoot 2 subjects in a row. - Why does it have to crawl through the entire range? And when flash is required the cameras become vexing. I followed reviews and believe to have read the T1 wasn't there yet either. - So I might scoop up a used T2 once they dropped to 500 Euro/$. I feel no rush and too invested in other systems to seriously pick up Fuji. - With short primes there is no distinguishing difference between them and my Leicas. The 56mm on Pro2 didn't convince me AF speed wise and the 60mm is reported to be even worse? So all worth getting might be a good short zoom like the 18-55?
    I own some P&Ss because their previous owners switched to phones. They aren't great but sometimes capable of capturing an on screen memory. In general I am happier shooting something else.
    My bottom line of advice: Switch down to some compactish APS camera but don't sacrifice UI or AF performance for size. Think twice before you skip OIS / IBIS. Maybe look at A6500 with Sigmas? Or stick with your SLR brand's offerings. If you are currently shooting a big DSLR; Have you tried out the lightest plastic zooms available?
  7. I somewhat tend towards extremes. We were in southern France & Italy a couple of weeks ago and I loaded myself down with... my iPhone.

    My key combo for travel is currently D5 + 24-70 f/2.8. Even with other lenses this one will get the bulk of the shots and it's not unusual to take only this combo. I'll sometimes also take a 70-200 f/2.8. I love shooting people around a city with the 70-200 though a 200 f/2 would likely serve me better as this lens spends most of its time @ 200 f/2.8 or f/3.2. A third or more lens will be either 85 f/1.4, 135 f/2, or 300 f/2.8. I'll sometimes take a TC or two but these rarely get used. I've built a collection of Phottix & Lumapro speedlights so I'll sometimes take one or more of these. I once had 5 of them with me and had fun pressing some standers by in to service holding them. I fear one day someone will run off with one.

    This leaves a big gap between my iPhone (that I always have and always shoot with) and DSLR + 24-70. I bought my wife a Nikon 1 J5 and some lenses that she really likes and I've taken it a few times. I have a love hate relationship with it though. I'd like a viewfinder on it if for no other reason that to stabilize it against my face. Image quality is sometimes nearly indistinguishable from my iPhone and sometimes better but never as good as D5, D800 or D810. That said, I still like it and still use it.

    I'm hesitant to invest in something else to fill the gap right now though. There are rumors of significant improvement coming in the next iPhone (XI ?). The OLED display will allow them to put the sensor deeper in to the camera which will allow a better sensor and better lens. Given some AI stuff in the works I wouldn't be surprised to see some photo tech in an iPhone that goes beyond optical and uses dot projection to create amazingly good photos. At what point will an iPhone be good enough for many things that we think need something bigger today?

    I also expect we'll see significant improvement in Mirrorless.
  8. WA
    That is similar to situation that I have; the P&S on one end, and the D7200 on the other end.
    The P&S is a convenience camera, not a camera where I would want to take GOOD pictures. For the GOOD pictures, I haul out the D7200. But the P&S ends up getting used more, because it is smaller and easier to carry.
  9. I have a similar situation where I can use my wife's cell phone on the lower end and a 6x7 on the high end. So I opted for a Sony RX100 with Zeiss glass (zoom) and 20MP as an in between camera. Love it.

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