Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.

Started 4 months ago | Questions
photokarl
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Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
4 months ago

I will be traveling to Europe (Budapest, Vienna, Prague) this summer with the OMD-EM10. Although the Oly 12-40 2.8 would seem to be right, I am concerned about the weight and size. I would prefer to travel a bit more light, if possible. I have looked a few other posts on the matter but am still confused.

I need some advice on a lens kit for the trip.

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Bob657
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

The problem is there are too many choices!  The Oly 12-40 is a wonderful lens (I have one) but it is on the larger size compared to other m4/3 lenses of its' range.  If you want similar quality but a bit smaller (and less range), the Panasonic 12-35 might be an option.  I would think you may want the wider fl of 12mm, if not there are many less expensive lenses like the Panasonic 14-45, Oly 14-42 of various types, or even the Panasonic 12-32 (very small and light but perhaps not as sharp as the 14-45 although some really like it).

I suspect others will suggest primes, there are many good choices there as well.

If you want a light, good quality (but slow) and inexpensive longer fl, the Oly 40-140 is really a good option, a step up with a faster lens would be the excellent 35-100 2.8 Pannasonic.

Hopefully others will give their opinions and help narrow it down for you.

Bob G

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JeanPierre Martel
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

photokarl wrote:

I will be traveling to Europe (Budapest, Vienna, Prague) this summer with the OMD-EM10. Although the Oly 12-40 2.8 would seem to be right, I am concerned about the weight and size. I would prefer to travel a bit more light, if possible. I have looked a few other posts on the matter but am still confused.

Allow me to insist: I too, at first, thought that the M.Zuiko 12-40mm was too heavy. After one week, I got used to it. If you can afford it, get it: it's the best normal zoom for m4/3 cameras that have IBIS.

If that's really out of the question, then you could get the Lumix 14-45mm or maybe the new Lumix 12-32mm.

You could also bring a good telezoom like the M.Zuiko 40-150mm.

May I suggest also the excellent Lumix 7-14mm. You won't need it often but it's invaluable for narrow streets and to get ceilings in European churches, especially if your normal zoom starts at 14mm.

A fourth lens could be a fast prime for nighttime photography: Lumix 20mm or M.Zuiko 17mm F/1,8, or Pan-Leica 25mm, for example.

That would be the perfect kit for your next trip. Have a good time.

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MFiftysomething
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, 4 months ago

Lumix 20mm F1.7

Lumix 12-35 F2.8

These would be versatilve but it depends really on what style of photography/video you like.

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SkiHound
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to Bob657, 4 months ago

I think this is a good summary. For a single lens it would be hard to beat the 12-40 or 12-35. Relatively fast, they cover a very useful range of focal lengths, and offer good IQ. I'm reading good things about the new Panny 12-32 and that would give you a much smaller, lighter, alternative. I've at least been reading better things about it than the new Oly 14-42 pancake, but I have no experience with either. If you go for one of the pancake zooms I'd really think abourt taking one of the fast normalish primes for lower light work. I enjoy going out and shooting with primes but I think it's hard to beat a zoom when taking casual travel pictures. Taking 3 primes doesn't really help you with weight and size, changing lenses when touring can be a pain (and if you're with people they may not want to wait for you when you change lenses), and you can't always zoom with your feet.

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baxters
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

With all the excellent options available, we get caught up in having the best of the best, even if it's not going to be needed. Unless you plan to enlarge all your travel photos to pixel peeping sizes, the pedestrian 14-42 II or the smaller EZ 14-42 is more than adequate. The 12-50 is longer, but light and gets you wide angle.

All of these are slow lenses, but the EM10 is a fast camera. Carry a small fast prime for lower light.

You could also carry the versatile 14-40 zoom, although my personal view is that the larger size doesn't justify the few times I use a zoom above 50mm for travel shots.

I prefer to keep a small fast prime lens on the camera, and the 40-150 zoom can be switched in when needed. Sure, I have to carry it and be ready to change lenses, but that has never bothered me.

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Zensu11
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, 4 months ago

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

photokarl wrote:

I will be traveling to Europe (Budapest, Vienna, Prague) this summer with the OMD-EM10. Although the Oly 12-40 2.8 would seem to be right, I am concerned about the weight and size. I would prefer to travel a bit more light, if possible. I have looked a few other posts on the matter but am still confused.

Allow me to insist: I too, at first, thought that the M.Zuiko 12-40mm was too heavy. After one week, I got used to it. If you can afford it, get it: it's the best normal zoom for m4/3 cameras that have IBIS.

I agree, I adjusted to the weight very quickly and am reaping the reward of excellent images.

If that's really out of the question, then you could get the Lumix 14-45mm or maybe the new Lumix 12-32mm.

You could also bring a good telezoom like the M.Zuiko 40-150mm.

The 40-150 would be the perfect mate to the 12-40 IMHO. These are the two lenses I always carry. Then your focal length range would be from 12mm to 150mm, or in FF 24mm to 300mm.

May I suggest also the excellent Lumix 7-14mm. You won't need it often but it's invaluable for narrow streets and to get ceilings in European churches, especially if your normal zoom starts at 14mm.

A fourth lens could be a fast prime for nighttime photography: Lumix 20mm or M.Zuiko 17mm F/1,8, or Pan-Leica 25mm, for example.

A small fast prime for dark lighting situations would be nice to have and the 3 mentioned above are all excellent from the images I've seen posted on forums such as these.

That would be the perfect kit for your next trip. Have a good time.

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lighthunter80
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

EM10 plus the 12-40/2.8 is really not a heavy travel kit and perhaps one of the most versatile available. Lighter is only possible if you A go with small and light primes (max 2) or B go with a less bright zoom like one of the cheaper kit options.

Option A has the problem that IQ won't be significantly better, you drop more money and you loose the flexibility. This option works only is you would be ok to substitute the zoom with e.g. a 17/1.8 and 45.1.8 combo. But if you need the full range then this option doesn't work. All primes from 12 to 40 would be at least 4 primes (12/17/25/45) and then not lighter all together.

Option B, to go with a less bright zoom has the weight advantage but I really wouldn't want to drop the all f2.8 availability. DOF is already scarce in m4/3 and f2.8 is what you should at least have.

To conclude: I would take the EM10 plus 12-40/2.8 as basic travel kit and add only perhaps one tele zoom (40-150) and one fast prime for low light and DOF (e.g. 25/1.8 or Pana 25/1.4).

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NCV
NCV
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

I have a Lumix 12-35 glued to my EM5. Does almost everything, and the 2.8 aperture is more useful than you may think.

http://nigelvoak.blogspot.it/

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Lawrence W
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

When I travel to these cities, I will put on a wide angle as the magnificent buildings are too big for a standard FL lens to capture in full (you may not be able to zoom that far with your feet).

I mount the 9-18mm on 1 camera, and the other camera will have a fast prime (especially shooting in museum or church), or a longer zoom for more detailed architectural features that are far away, like a clock tower or a church spire.

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sparklite
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In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

All in if you want to take a single lens the 12-40 really is spectacular. I travelled on a hiking trip through Utah last May and didn't have a good zoom but took some lovely primes. For that trip I carried the panasonic 25 f1.4 (the new oly f1.8 is lighter and has good review); 17mm f2.8; 12 f2; and 75mm f1.8. All in my kit with camera was lighter than my colleague with his cannon 7D and two lenses. If you are not a bokeh junkie then the 12-40 + one lens with longer reach would be a great combination and would likely weigh less than taking a large collection of lenses.

Best word of advice I can give you: take the best lens you can afford and don't be disappointed with the results after traveling so far. If I were doing the Utah trip today i'd probably take my 12-40 + 75mm  (longest reach I have in my m43 kit).

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SunsetBk
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

Tphotokarl wrote:

I will be traveling to Europe (Budapest, Vienna, Prague) this summer with the OMD-EM10. Although the Oly 12-40 2.8 would seem to be right, I am concerned about the weight and size. I would prefer to travel a bit more light, if possible. I have looked a few other posts on the matter but am still confused.

I need some advice on a lens kit for the trip.

My perfect kit would be: pansonic 12-32 for day/ general shooting, olympus 40-150 for telephoto, for wider portraits/ general purpose/ low light panasonic 25mm, and if for evening/ going out panasonic 14mm 2.5.  I like the 2.8 zooms but they are not essential in good light, they make the camera not pocketable and if ultimate quality is a concern they aren't better than the panasonic 25mm.  Yes when travelling sometimes you need a zoom, but usually that's in good light, and them the 12-32 90 gram pancake will be indistinguishable from the huge 390 gram  olympus 12-40.  It's also a lot more discreet.

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Hudsonhites
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to SunsetBk, 4 months ago

The first thing you need to do is determine  what you like to photograph.  You could go to

Flickr and do a search of Prague to see how others have photograph it to determine what you

might like to do.

If you're not sure then a kit like a14-140 lens and a 20 f1.7 should be a decent kit.

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dougjgreen1
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Re: Thoughts
In reply to sparklite, 4 months ago

sparklite wrote:

All in if you want to take a single lens the 12-40 really is spectacular. I travelled on a hiking trip through Utah last May and didn't have a good zoom but took some lovely primes. For that trip I carried the panasonic 25 f1.4 (the new oly f1.8 is lighter and has good review); 17mm f2.8; 12 f2; and 75mm f1.8. All in my kit with camera was lighter than my colleague with his cannon 7D and two lenses. If you are not a bokeh junkie then the 12-40 + one lens with longer reach would be a great combination and would likely weigh less than taking a large collection of lenses.

Best word of advice I can give you: take the best lens you can afford and don't be disappointed with the results after traveling so far. If I were doing the Utah trip today i'd probably take my 12-40 + 75mm (longest reach I have in my m43 kit).

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If I had the Oly 12-40mm zoom, I'd take it - along with any one of the following that meets your needs:

Panasonic 45-150,  Panasonic 45-175,  Olympus 40-150,  Panasonic 35-100,  Olympus 75mm f1.8

As I do not have the 12-40mm lens, I tend to shoot with primes.   My personal light travel kit is:

Panasonic 14mm (feel free to substitute the Olympus 12mm),

PanaLeica 25mm (feel free to substitute the Olympus 25mm),

and either the Sigma 60mm or the Panasonic 45-175mm (feel free to substitute from the same list of longer lenses I mentioned above to compliment the 12-40mm)

Sometimes I travel with both the Sigma 60mm (which is also my macro lens, using screw-in diopters) and the Panasonic 45-175mm zoom.

I also sometimes travel with my Sony VCL-ECU1 wide converter that turns my 14mm into a 10.5mm

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fraserhadden
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

You don't mention carrying a second body of any sort. Travelling to places one may never visit again with no redundancy always strikes me as strange. Thus I suggest:

(a) 9-18 and 14-150 lenses for daytime use

(b) XZ-2 or similar for night-time use and dark settings during the day.

Fraser

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Henry Richardson
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In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

The new Olympus 9mm f8 fisheye body cap lens is small, light, and does it all.  Just mount it on your E-M10 before the trip and don't take it off for the whole trip.  Voila!  Travel lens extraordinaire!

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Russ Houston
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

It depends on the purpose of the trip.  If it's to spend a vacation with your family, then look for simplicity.  I use a superzoom (the 14-150) for all my walking around, and I'll stick a small prime in my pocket for indoor shooting.  That way, you're covered for 95% of the shooting you're likely to do and your family isn't waiting around on your hobby while you swap out the right lens.

If, however, photography is one of the stated goals of the trip, then have at it!  I'd say something light like the Oly 40-150 in case you need a telephoto, then go with prime around the 12mm to 45mm range.  Or take the Oly 12-40 and the 40-150 (the cheap/light one).

Whatever you wind up taking, don't worry about what you can't shoot, rather have fun with the shots that you can take.  There are unlimited photo opportunities out there whatever lenses you take.  Have fun!

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riderfanreturns
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Re: Help on lenses for travel with the OMD-EM10.
In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

I think you might find the 12-40 doesn't balance well on the EM10 unless you add a grip (for me the grip is mandatory when using EM5 + 12-40 combo).

If you really want to keep your kit light and small then consider something like the following:

Oly 9-18

Oly 40-150 (or similar)  although I am debating whether to substitute my 75/1.8 as my long travel lens since it would be "long enough" and add other capabilities to my kit - unfortunately it adds more weight

Pan 20 1.7 (or any f1.x prime in the 17-25 range).

One added feature I would like to mention about the 12-40 is it gives you very nice close focus capability.  If you are into flowers or other close range photography then you may want to consider this combo:

grip for EM10

Oly 12-40

Oly 40-150

Optional (in order):

Pan 20 1.7 (or any f1.x prime in the 17-25 range).

Oly 9-18

Once you have your lenses figured out you'll have to ask yourself if you have the right bag.  IMO there isn't much point trying to trim your kit down to a nice small/light size and then throwing it all in a +1 kg (2.2 lb) bag!

Good luck with your decision.

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Paul De Bra
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In reply to photokarl, 4 months ago

then never mind the size and weight of the 12-40 f/2.8. If you want the best pictures this is the first lens to get. Especially for city visits you will likely want something wider as well. I use the 9-18 quite a bit. Not sure how much you would use a long lens. I took my 75-300 on a trip to Rome and have maybe 3 or 4 pics taken with that lens.

For short business trips where I think I will occasionally take some shots the 12-40 stays home and I will use the Panasonic 14-42X pancake zoom instead. The Olympus 14-42EZ is the logical choice now but it was not available when I bought the 14-42X long ago.

So my "serious" travel kit is 9-18 + 12-40 + 75-300 and my light travel kit is 9-18 + 14-42X.

I'll thrown in one or two small primes if I feel like it.

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ernieF
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OP made it clear that the 12-40 was too big/heavy
In reply to Paul De Bra, 4 months ago

I Love the tiny Pana 12-32 on my EM10, and  find it perfect for general daytime use-- including landscapes.  This combo fits nicely in my medium weight outdoor jacket pocket.  If some lens speed is needed, I'd add the Pana 20 f1.7.  And don't forget that the EM10 has a built in 2X TC that produces very good results-- so you then effectively have a 12-128mm lens.  And, as near as I can tell, the 2X TC does not degrade image quality.

Cheers

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