Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

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Martin Ocando
OP MOD Martin Ocando Veteran Member • Posts: 6,261
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

kaphinga wrote:

What a great trip report! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.

A few comments from my experience:

  • 35-100mm f:2.8. Used very little. I'd say 30-50 frames out of 3,000. Tops. But the range was really useful when needed. And I avoided switching to it out of exhaustion, or I simply left it at the apartment when I wanted to be super light. Some extra reach would have been good, though.

I used the 35-100 f/2.8 a lot when I went to Carnival in Venice a few years ago. For regular trips, though, I generally don't take it.

  • Rokinon 7.5mm f:3.5. This was a very useful lens for museums and churches. Not very fast, but I handled it. And coupled with today's defishing algorithms in Lightroom makes it ideal.

I am not a big wide angle shooter, and even less a fisheye shooter, but in Europe I always like having something wider than 12mm.

  • Panasonic 20mm f:1.7. Only used on rare occasions when I needed to be super light, like when we were exploring just the city and not visiting special places. It was not very used really, but a bit more than the 35-100, due to its size and weight.

I usually take the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 for the same reasons.

  • 2016 15in MacBook Pro with an external 1TB SSD for dual backup when importing files into Lightroom.

Yep, I always travel with a MacBook, too I work for a small company where I am the only tech person. More often than not, I have to fix something during the course of a trip. An added bonus is that I can import my images nightly for quick keywording and culling.

I also brought the 9-18mm and 45mm 1.8, but they lever left the camera bag. It was not a real burden since they are very light, but next time they'll stay at home.

I *do* use the 9-18mm for travel. Like you, I always take the 45mm f/1.8 but rarely use it.

Also brought the E-M1 Mark I, just to have a spare body, but never used it either. 6 batteries in total, which proved excessive. 3 are more than enough for a full day of shooting, and charging them with the Watson dual charger makes them ready for the next day in a couple of hours.

I usually take two bodies and 3 batteries. I rarely have to change batteries during the day. I keep one spare in my bag, just in case.

  1. Changing lenses in a real inconvenience on dry/windy/rainy situations.

Totally agree. And I encounter rain and/or wind on every trip, which makes me really appreciate weather sealed bodies and lenses. It makes me smile every time when it's pouring down rain, and I can keep shooting while my traveling companions are running for cover.

  1. Get an Olympus 14-150mm f:4-5.6 II. Definitively weather sealed lenses are a must if you are walking around. You never know when the rain will catch you unguarded. Also, the extra reach was needed, and I will avoid changing lenses almost completely unless I walk into a museum or a church in which I will be already somewhat protected from the elements. Why not the 12-100? 1.: reach, 2.: price, and 3.: size/weight

A big thumbs up for the 14-150mm for travel. I recall hiking Mt. Vesuvius on my first trip with m4/3 gear. I made it to the top with my two kit lenses. I really wanted to use my long lens to take pictures of the hissing fumaroles at the top of the mountain, but there were gale force winds that made it a challenge just to stand up straight. There was no way I was going to change lenses in strong winds with all kinds of volcanic dust. I made up my mind at that moment get the 14-150mm. I have never regretted that decision. The 14-150mm has been a faithful companion on many subsequent trips. (I bought the 12-100mm last year, but I haven't yet had an opportunity to take it to Europe.)

  1. Get a Panasonic 7-14mm f:4. Yeah, I know, purple blob. I don't plan to be shooting outside too much with it anyway. But the extra range, AF, and being rectilinear is a plus.

Have you considered the Panasonic 8-18mm? It's not that much more expensive than the 7-14mm. (I just got the 8-18mm, and I am still getting used to it.)

And as a reward to reaching this far, a pano from the trip, and a spoiler of my next Europe thread

And that's a beautiful pano shot!


The 8-18mm keep springing out here and there. I'll check it out.

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"One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it" - Galen Rowell

 Martin Ocando's gear list:Martin Ocando's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS +10 more
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