Preferred travel zoom for m4/3?

Started Apr 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 28,202
My preference

Jim in Hudson wrote:

Which zoom lenses do people like for travel? I know the 12-40/2.8 is highly lauded but I'm not sure I want to plunk down $1000 for my first lens if I buy a m4/3 camera. Are the 14-140 and 14-150 lenses good (I ask as I'm leery of 10:1 superzooms). If yes, what is best to pair for indoor-oriented shots? Many thanks in advance.

Thinking back over a few years of trips.......

Pre M4/3, travelled Japan with only a Panasonic LX3, great to travel with and results were good, but that 24-60mm equivalent range left me a little frustrated for tele action.

Next trip there E-PL1 and Mk1 kit lens but bought the 14-45mm Panasonic while there and used that a lot as well as an Oly 14-150mm (very useful for travel in good light). Often frustrated by small apertures and low light so the recent 12-40/2.8 will answer all prayers in that department being the range that 95% of my shots happen.

A following trip to NZ was E-PL5, 14-45mm and 45-150mm and that worked very nicely but still had a few low light problems.

So next major trip will be November (to Japan again of course, can't get enough of that) and will be two E-PL5 bodies (I only use LCD now, never use viewfinders any more) with 12-40mm and 45-150mm stuck on them, and the 9mm body cap fisheye for the rare wide fun shot. Other wide shots below 12mm will be stitches or video pans.

Basically the 12-40mm is so darn good on the E-PL5 that I see all the rest of my kit lenses accumulated now as never to be used again. Sure the thing is chunky but that is a good feature as it adds some mass to the camera and lets me seem to get slower shutter speeds before I need to turn on stabilisation. The 45-150mm is good enough for the odd tele shots that I do and most of them are in daylight so that's OK.

My light "day kit" is this small snoot bag containing E-PL5, 12-40mm, 45-150mm under a flap inside, and the FL-300R flash and spare battery and bits in the front pocket.

For my "heavy kit" a small shoulder bag (not shown but is Kata DC-441 ) can contain two bodies with lenses on and lots of other bits and pieces and still weighs in at about 2kg, easy to carry all day with no shoulder pain. And nearly always a belt pouch with the Panasonic LX3 or Casio 24-300mm equivalent pocket camera, just in case I need it.

Regards.... Guy

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