Preferred travel zoom for m4/3?

Started Apr 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
krugman Contributing Member • Posts: 957
Re: Preferred travel zoom for m4/3?

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.

I don't know what will suit you best, and I notice that there is a variety of recommendations in this thread. What you as an individual prefer is crucial: people's style and approach to travel photography varies a great deal with their personality and specific circumstances ( traveling alone or with a group; personal photography  trip or travel with a group not specifically for photography; business trip where there is little time and where being non-geeky can be important).

Here  therefore are my own preferences, which may or may not not apply to you:

I myself like small and light, inconspicuous and very sharp lenses.

The kit zoom I have, the Oly 14-42 IIR is not sharp enough to suit me.

The very good long zooms are a bit conspicuous in my opinion, and to make matters worse, they trombone as the focal length gets longer.

The superb 12-40 is too heavy to suit me; unlike using a couple of kit lenses, all the weight is always on the camera. I find it conspicuous because of the huge front lens staring at the person being photographed; it looks like a professional lens for a professional photographer.

I will travel with the EM10 with my Pana 20mm f1.8 and my Oly 45 f1.8 and that's all. Both can serve as normal lenses in my experience, so I don't have to change lenses if I don't want to, and both are fast, so again I don't have to change lenses for low light photos.

This combination is fast, sharp, small, light, and inconspicuous, all of which are very important to me when traveling.

These are just my ideas and my preferences, every one is different and so it is very important to choose a combination of lenses that suits  your personal style.

I try to avoid using camera bags. They add weight, bulk, attract attention, and tempt one to carry too much stuff. I put the Oly EM10 with the Pana 20 in a Manfrotto Nano VII, and the 45mm in a small Kodak zippered lens pouch. Each will go into  a pocket.  For long trips I put them in my PacSafe VentureSafe 2 travel bag along with maps.

This is not necessarily the best way to do things but I find it simple and workable.


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