Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?

Started 7 months ago | Questions
Paulmorgan
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Re: Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?
In reply to wilsc, 7 months ago

wilsc wrote:

In 7 months time I'll be leaving for an 18 month world packing packing trip and can't decide what lenses to take. The trip is going to be a mix of everything (hiking in the Himalayas, European cities, snowboarding in Japan, SE Asia....) as will my photos.

At the moment I'm taking my EM5 with the 12-40mm and the 9mm fish eye body cap (takes up no space and is cheap).

I want to take one more prime with me, the 45mm or the 75mm? I don't want to take both because I'm backpacking and weight/space will be an issue. If you could choose one of these for my situation which one would it be?

Well if it has to be one of those two it would be the 45mm for me, its small and its light.

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EarthQuake
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Re: Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?
In reply to wilsc, 7 months ago

wilsc wrote:

In 7 months time I'll be leaving for an 18 month world packing packing trip and can't decide what lenses to take. The trip is going to be a mix of everything (hiking in the Himalayas, European cities, snowboarding in Japan, SE Asia....) as will my photos.

At the moment I'm taking my EM5 with the 12-40mm and the 9mm fish eye body cap (takes up no space and is cheap).

I want to take one more prime with me, the 45mm or the 75mm? I don't want to take both because I'm backpacking and weight/space will be an issue. If you could choose one of these for my situation which one would it be?

Both, the 45mm weighs essentially nothing, and the 75mm will be very useful if you're not taking a tele zoom or anything else.

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Skeeterbytes
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Re: Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?
In reply to jalywol, 7 months ago

jalywol wrote:

My suggestion? Pick up the Oly 40-150mm for times when a longer lens is needed. It's cheap, has excellent IQ and is very light.....

-J

Will second this thought, although if you own the 45 and 75 and definitely want to take one, then it's the 75. The 45 is not significantly different from the 12-40 zoom at 40 to justify taking it.

OTOH if you don't own the primes yet, then the 60 macro would be a good option, and weatherproof.

Cheers,

Rick

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Jacques Cornell
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Re: How dedicated are you to the photographic part of your trip? Take both.
In reply to Dave Sanders, 7 months ago

Dave Sanders wrote:

Jacques Cornell wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

The truth is, if you're not going to put the time in to get decent photos, just take your 12-40 and a tele zoom and be happy. If you want to spend a bit of time focusing on photography, go with a couple of primes.

While I agree that the added discipline needed to use primes can sometimes focus the mind in a way that results in better photos, I disagree with the implication that excellent work can't be done with zooms.

That isn't totally what I mean to imply. On an extended trip, if photography isn't part of the game plan and one isn't willing to dedicate time/days to it, any tele zoom will be just fine. No amount of optical excellence will make up for lack of thought in executing one's vision.

This is true. But, the converse - that dedicating time/days to photography requires primes, is not true. Your suggestion that a more dedicated shooter should, ipso facto, use primes strikes me as odd. It's not a dedicated shooter who should use primes. It's a dedicated shooter who needs the specific advantages of primes who should use primes. I use both as appropriate and could shoot much of my work entirely with one or the other.

Primes have two main advantages:

Three

1) more light gathering, and 2) shallower DoF.

3) (generally) sharper at any given aperture and, in the case of the 75, infinitely sharper at 1.8, 2.0, 2.8, 4.0 and 4.5 when compared to the zooms which have been recommended.

In principle, I agree with you. However, my m43 zooms are so good - better in some cases than my comparable L glass - that a viewer would be unable to see the difference in an 18"x24" print. Often, the resolution advantage can only be seen at 100% on-screen.

For shooting in good light with deep focus, primes are simply inconvenient.

Yes, they can be. On extended trips I usually have 'photography days' where I dedicate myself to making images and other days where I don't take photos at all. I also give myself 'wide angle day' and 'telephoto day' where I put one FL on my camera and challenge myself to compose around it. Over the years my special 'days' have resulted in my best and most memorable images.

That, really, is the third advantage of primes, and what I was referencing in my first paragraph - the psychology of temporarily imposing limits on one's way of seeing. I found the same thing happened when I shot B&W film. Even though the viewfinder presented a color image, my visual imagination shifted to B&W mode, and I took very different photos than I would have if the camera had been loaded with color film. This is one reason why photography teachers, including myself, have long urged beginning photographers to start out with primes rather than zooms - to learn different ways of seeing and perspectives.

For shooting in low light or using selective focus, primes help. The choice really has more to do with the location, time of day, subject, and the photographer's visual style than with whether one wants to "put in the time to get decent photos."

Indeed, those are all very important variables...but if they don't put in the time, they won't get decent photos and their lens choice won't matter. That was more my point.

I put in plenty of time and work hard to get good photos, and I do it mostly with zooms. But, not always.

Agreed: I'd say getting good photos relies upon whether or not the photographer is willing to put in the time and effort to get good photos, regardless of lens...prime or zoom. I prefer primes for travel because they are small, sharp and fast.

I can understand that. I liked my Contax G2 for that reason. However, when I'm walking through a new landscape that I may never see again, I really want to have the full focal length range 7mm to 100mm+ to be ready for whatever might inspire me, and that's hard to do with primes. I'd need at least a 12, 17, 25, 45 and 75, and that would still leave out long tele and ultra-wide.

All that said, if the OP isn't worried about $1k, the Panny 35-100/2.8 would be an excellent lens to consider.

I have one and it's wonderful.

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Guy Parsons
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The Pana 45-150mm
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, 7 months ago

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

jeffharris wrote:

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

C) a M.Zuiko 40-150mm (to zoom on distant objects).

Panasonic 45-150mm. It's a better lens. It's more compact and uses a 52mm filter. The 40-150mm uses a 58mm.

We have to take into account that the OP would use that zoom on an OM-D. Olympus cameras have a weak UV filter (contrary to Panasonic's cameras). Moreover, many Lumix lenses are prone to chromatic aberration because Panasonic rely on automatic Chromatic-aberration correction (which is not done by Olympus cameras).

I am sure that you're getting very good results with your Lumix 45-150mm on your Panasonic cameras. Probably as good as the results I'm getting with my M.Zuiko 40-150mm on my OM-D e-m5. But since the OP is also using this same camera, if he buys the Lumix 45-150mm, my suggestion would be to add a 52mm Haze 2A filter to it.

In a year of using the 45-150mm on my E-PL5 I have yet to see any CA worth worrying about, but then, I don't go pixel peeping looking for problems.

Regards..... Guy

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Guy Parsons
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Re: The Pana 45-150mm
In reply to Guy Parsons, 7 months ago

Guy Parsons wrote:

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

We have to take into account that the OP would use that zoom on an OM-D. Olympus cameras have a weak UV filter (contrary to Panasonic's cameras). Moreover, many Lumix lenses are prone to chromatic aberration because Panasonic rely on automatic Chromatic-aberration correction (which is not done by Olympus cameras).

I am sure that you're getting very good results with your Lumix 45-150mm on your Panasonic cameras. Probably as good as the results I'm getting with my M.Zuiko 40-150mm on my OM-D e-m5. But since the OP is also using this same camera, if he buys the Lumix 45-150mm, my suggestion would be to add a 52mm Haze 2A filter to it.

In a year of using the 45-150mm on my E-PL5 I have yet to see any CA worth worrying about, but then, I don't go pixel peeping looking for problems.

This time I'll get the post I want in the right thread, did this in another thread by mistook, sigh....

Anyhow, I opened the door and took this shot which should enhance any CA with the 45-150mm...

At 150mm f/5.6

And now a 560 x 560 100% crop of the top left corner...

AfterShot Pro on the RAW, fiddled over-sharpen to try and show CA, no CA removal attempted.

I think that's why I've never seen CA with the 45-150mm on my E-PL5.

To me it always seems that the Panasonic lens is better than the cheapie Olympus lens for both mechanical and optical reasons, plus that handy OIS to use on the E-PL5, and that despite me being a bit of an Oly fan-boy. Luckily for me the Panasonic lens is cheaper than the Olympus one in Australia, but even if reversed I'd still buy the Pana 45-150mm.

Regards...... Guy

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Ulric
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None of the above
In reply to wilsc, 7 months ago

The 45 and 75 are great, but I wouldn't take them. I think a shorter (moderate wide - normal), fast prime would be much more useful in low light. And the 40-150 which has been suggested covers longer focal lengths and weighs very little.

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secretworld
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My thoughts
In reply to Jacques Cornell, 7 months ago

If I travel with three lenses, those are the 7-14 20 and 45. Thing is when the 20mm is not long enough, the 45 isn't either. I would love to have the 75mm instead but it is to expensive for me. Instead I now have the 40-150 oly lens. It is slow, but sharp, light and focusses fast.

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Acrill
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Re: 14-140 + 20 ... or LX7 + FZ200
In reply to Jacques Cornell, 7 months ago

Take the 12-40mm and be done with it.

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Klarno
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75mm
In reply to wilsc, 7 months ago

I'd go with the 75mm. 45mm is close enough to the range of your 12-40 that you will never, ever use it and it will be wasted space.

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Martin.au
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Re: 75mm
In reply to Klarno, 7 months ago

Klarno wrote:

I'd go with the 75mm. 45mm is close enough to the range of your 12-40 that you will never, ever use it and it will be wasted space.

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+1.

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JeanPierre Martel
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Sorry: You are right
In reply to Guy Parsons, 7 months ago

Guy Parsons wrote:

I think that's why I've never seen CA with the 45-150mm on my E-PL5.

I've found on ePhotozine a technical review that gives another proof that you are right (and that I'm wrong): chromatic aberration is not a problem with the Lumix 45-150mm:
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lumix-g-vario-45-150mm-f-4-0-5-6-lens-review-20221

So thanks for your correcting my wrong view about this lens.

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Len_Gee
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Re: Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?
In reply to Henry Falkner, 7 months ago

Henry Falkner wrote:

wilsc wrote:

In 7 months time I'll be leaving for an 18 month world packing packing trip and can't decide what lenses to take. The trip is going to be a mix of everything (hiking in the Himalayas, European cities, snowboarding in Japan, SE Asia....) as will my photos.

At the moment I'm taking my EM5 with the 12-40mm and the 9mm fish eye body cap (takes up no space and is cheap).

With that mix of purposes, in my perception an ILC is just an unnecessary distraction.

Even here in Auckland I have seen one tourist wasting a whole ferry trip with selecting lenses, he did not get a single shot. I got stills and movies during the same trip on my P&S.

With hiking in the Himalayas and snowboarding on the itinerary I would look at a Tough pocket P&S.

Henry

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What is an ILC?

Is it some kind of special camera or lens?

Regards.

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jeffharris
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Re: Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?
In reply to Len_Gee, 7 months ago

Len_Gee wrote:

Is it some kind of special camera or lens?

Regards.

ILC = Interchangeable Lens Camera

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Len_Gee
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Re: Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?
In reply to jeffharris, 7 months ago

jeffharris wrote:

Len_Gee wrote:

Is it some kind of special camera or lens?

Regards.

ILC = Interchangeable Lens Camera

Jeff,

Thanks!

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Michael Meissner
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Hopefully the OP got the answer he/she wanted
In reply to wilsc, 7 months ago

Its been 24 hours since the original question, with no additional feedback from the OP about various alternatives. Hopefully the OP's question was answered, but I feel the replies are starting to repeat themselves.

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LMNCT
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Re: Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?
In reply to wilsc, 7 months ago

I would take the 45 1.8, but I would leave your heavy lens home and find a 12-32 (from the GM1) for the wide to mid range and then either a 20 1.7 or 17 1.8 for low light.  I have found that most travel shots are done in the wide to mid range...and the 45 is actually a short telephoto. That combination would give you the optimum weight consideration.  Your back would probably thank you.

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Skeeterbytes
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Re: Hopefully the OP got the answer he/she wanted
In reply to Michael Meissner, 7 months ago

Michael Meissner wrote:

Its been 24 hours since the original question, with no additional feedback from the OP about various alternatives. Hopefully the OP's question was answered, but I feel the replies are starting to repeat themselves.

Maybe he typed the question while packing.

Cheers,

Rick

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Sorry: You are right
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, 7 months ago

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

I think that's why I've never seen CA with the 45-150mm on my E-PL5.

I've found on ePhotozine a technical review that gives another proof that you are right (and that I'm wrong): chromatic aberration is not a problem with the Lumix 45-150mm:
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lumix-g-vario-45-150mm-f-4-0-5-6-lens-review-20221

So thanks for your correcting my wrong view about this lens.

No need for apologies, lots of legends about things float about and we all get confused by them. Like - I guess I should be terrified of shutter shock, but yet to see a problem and I take no care to avoid the "critical" shutter speeds.

Regards..... Guy

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Hopefully the OP got the answer he/she wanted
In reply to Skeeterbytes, 7 months ago

Skeeterbytes wrote:

Michael Meissner wrote:

Its been 24 hours since the original question, with no additional feedback from the OP about various alternatives. Hopefully the OP's question was answered, but I feel the replies are starting to repeat themselves.

Maybe he typed the question while packing.

He's leaving in 7 months, so we have plenty of time to totally confuse him about lens choices, unless that total confusion has already been achieved.

All I can add at this time is to make sure there's a pocket camera along for the ride as well for backup and when a quiet, discreet camera would be more appropriate. In my case a Panasonic LX3 lurks for those moments.

Regards..... Guy

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