Backpacking/world travel 45mm or 75mm?

Started Mar 10, 2014 | Questions thread
Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Forum Pro • Posts: 10,603
14-140 + 20 ... or LX7 + FZ200

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?

As others have said, I wouldn't take either. 18 months is a long time, so I'd be inclined to get exactly what's needed rather than try to shoehorn the 12-40 into the kit. My two lens choice for traveling would be a 14-140 II and a 20 f1.7 (on a body with IBIS), no question. If I were an ascetic/purist, a 12, 20 & 45 (they're tiny). The 14-140 covers pretty much everything in decent light. The 20 is for interiors and nighttime street shooting. If I had to take the 12-40, I'd complement it with a 45-150. For tele, it's more useful than a 75, and the 75 is too long to be much help in low light.

That said, if you're not a pro and don't print bigger than 12"x16", you might consider an FZ200 and an LX7 for much less than the price of a 75. Gives you a backup if one gets stolen or fails, and it gives you a pocketable (LX7) and a long tele zoom (FZ200). I've made nice 16"x24" landscape prints from an LX5 and really like the LX series. The LX7 is great for street shooting - AF is fast and it shoots RAW at 11fps.

Speaking of which, how are you going to store and backup all these photos? If you have access to computers on your trip, I recommend bringing or buying along the way a few cheap portable HDs and periodically DHLing your photos back home.

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