Kit zooms vs primes vs pro zoom dilemma

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
BDavis Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: Kit zooms vs primes vs pro zoom dilemma

My main consideration when I have traveled was as small and cheap a kit as possible in case of damage or theft. I would not take my "work" equipment.  I also like to blend in, so I do not look like "the guy with the camera". And it has to fit in with 3 other family members stuff jammed in the trunk, backseat, etc

Some of my wideangle solutions in the past have been:

Unknown lens with a "fish-eye converter" picked up decades ago cheap/ Worked great at Carlsbad Caverns with the E-510 years ago. Long exposure using the IBIS and propping against the handrail. Not sharp, real bad edges. Who cares. I could afford it as I already had it and no loss if it fell down or got scratched, or lost.

9mm f/8 olympus bodycap lens. Do focus this lens using the magnification feature in body. It is more critical than you think.  Trip to Alamo, Fredericksburg , San Antonio.  Sharper than you would think. Fix the fish-eye effect later in software or leave it alone. Although f/8, i did hand held night shots under party lighting (hanging bulbs) 20 feet away, indoors in the touristy places, outdoors in the fog at state parks, Enchanted Rock. It will definitely get it all in and show where you were.  So small on the Em1, it looked like a little point and shoot camera.

SLR Magic 8mm f/4.  Great little lens.  Rectilinear, so no fish-eye.  About as sharp as the body cap lens at 5.6 and 8.  F/4 is usable, f/11 is diffraction. Focus critically using the magnifying option in body. Great for travel if you can keep your fingers off the glass.  I use this to shoot dance action indoors as a wide option in well lit areas. Loss of contrast with strong backlight. Wide enough to get it all in.  Some stretching at edges, but straight lines. Definitely a step up from these first two. More cost than the body cap lens, but it is a step up from that lens on several fronts.

Olympus 9-18mm 4/3 lens , one of my work lenses, but not so cheap as the others.  Much larger than the others, Panasonic makes a small one I think. I would hate to lose this one so I would not take it with me. Rectilinear, sharp, great lens, just don't need it for vacation, unless I was getting paid. I would really not want to travel with this lens. Just my opinion.

For vacation travel, I am not seeking perfection, more of a record of what I was seeing and doing for later enjoyment with the family. For perfection, I would be taking a whole different set of lenses and it would be a whole different ballgame.

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