Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

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Martin Ocando
MOD Martin Ocando Veteran Member • Posts: 6,264
Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective
24

Recently having city hopping in Europe, this was my experience regarding a travel kit. I brought:

  • E-M5 Mark II sans grip. I wanted the less weight possible, and clipping it to my capture clip on my backpack shoulder strap was a lifesaver. Both to avoid robbers and to lighten the load on my hand and arm.
  • 12-40mm f:2.8. It was the most used lens by far. The weight was a real burden when the day got long and we were tired of walking, but again, the capture clip worked wonders.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As for the bag, I took the Peak Design 5L sling, and it was great to hold everything, and a few other things as well.
  • 2016 15in MacBook Pro with an external 1TB SSD for dual backup when importing files into Lightroom.

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. 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 carried everything inside my Peak Design 45L travel backpack with a small camera cube. Although only used it for air travel and not for exploring. Is way too large as a daypack. I simply used a minimal backpack to carry water, food and whatever we ended up buying while walking around the city. Used a wire lock on it 24/7. My wife was in charge of getting stuff in and out of the backpack. Then I emptied the backpack and put it on my suitcase for air travel.

There were a few issues that I'd like to avoid or improve on my next trip:

  1. Changing lenses in a real inconvenience on dry/windy/rainy situations. Or at all. I rather kept shooting with one lens instead of swapping it when I had my hands full, or I didn't have a place to rest my camera. I used the 5L Sling a lot for that, and also the capture clip.
  2. Lugging around a full-size 15inch MacBook Pro is not very comfortable
  3. Dust in the sensor was very noticeable on some pictures (blame changing lenses for that)

So, this is my plan for my next trip:

  1. Get an E-M1 Mark II or a Panasonic G9. Still hasn't decided on which one will be. Mostly because my old E-M1 is already pretty banged up. It has endured lots of events and is time to retire it as a backup. More pixels and a better battery is a plus. Kind of leaning towards the Oly, since the G9 seems a bit heavier and larger, and don't know if it's going to fit inside my 5L bag.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. I'll take the E-M5 Mark II as a backup as well, also stripped from all grips. Just as minimalistic as possible, with maybe 1 or 2 batteries. They are different from the E-M1 Mark II or G9, so can't share between them. I can also put the 7-14mm on, and bring both bodies minimizing changing lenses. Can't say if they'll both fit inside the 5L sling, though.
  5. I'll also bring the 20mm f:1.7, as it proved pretty convenient for just strolling around the cities in a minimalistic way. I can even leave the bag, and just clip the camera to my chest, and throw an extra battery in my pocket.
  6. Will take my son's 2015 MacBook Air instead of my MBP.
  7. I'll keep the 45L travel backpack as it proved very convenient for air travel, and it freed my hands, which was convenient to help my wife with her bags. Otherwise, I couldn't have done it.

That's it. If you have more ideas, I'm open to suggestions.

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

Madrid Royal Palace

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Martin
"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
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Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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bluevellet Senior Member • Posts: 2,916
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

That mirrors a lot of my experience.
Brought two cameras two years ago on a big trip. D600 with only a 35mm prime and an EM5II with a trio of lenses (7-14, 14-150, 25). The D600 gave great pictures but 35mm was too limiting; Works great at home but not abroad. Same story with the 25mm with Olympus. I liked the 14-150 for its convenience, but felt it could be wider and IQ (edges) could be sharper. 7-14 was a bit bulky and not used as much as I had thought.

Last year, went on a similar trip, but I ditched the D600 entirely. I brought a GM1 with a 12-32mm for casual shots in planes and airports, but my main camera was the EM5II with just two lenses: the 12-40 and 8mm. It worked great. The 12-40 did the heavy duty, got splashed a lot and it took it. The 8mm worked much better than I had imagined. This was a suggestion from this forum that it could downsize my 7-14 and use the FE lens as a great landscape lens, but I also used it as a low-light option. I also had brought a tripod along for some hi-res shooting, more of a mixed bag, but I'm glad I still tried it,

 bluevellet's gear list:bluevellet's gear list
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NCV
NCV Veteran Member • Posts: 8,811
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective
1

I often visit Italy's "art cities" as a work trip bonus. My camera bag is usually my briefcase which works better than a proper camera bag sometimes.

I carry two EM5 bodies with the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 on one and the Olympus 7-14 on the other. I chuck the 35-100 in the bag too.

This set up for me is unbeatable for city tourism as far as I am concerned.

I experimented with the D810 with the 24-120 lens, but it has too many limitations for dark interiors.  FF is for "slow photography", not tourism.

Two small EM5 type bodies each with the smaller Panasonic 2.8 lenses mounted is more ductile I believe than a bigger G9 or EM1 and the larger heavier normal and long Olympus 2.8 zooms. My sort of set up avoids risky lens changes dusty outdoor places is mostly avoided.

EM5's are very cheap at around €250 SH I have three of them for when I use a camera bag on trips where I use the car.

The smaller M43 cameras are unbeatable coupled with the more compact Panasonic fast zooms for travel, which is what cameras are used for 99% of the time. That is why I have become such a fierce critic of Olympus which seems to be going down the "bloatware"  road with their late offerings rather than keeping a fantastic camera like the EM5 up to date or offering compact 2.8 zooms like those two Panasonic jewels.

 NCV's gear list:NCV's gear list
Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon D810
Martin Ocando
OP MOD Martin Ocando Veteran Member • Posts: 6,264
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

NCV wrote:

I often visit Italy's "art cities" as a work trip bonus. My camera bag is usually my briefcase which works better than a proper camera bag sometimes.

I carry two EM5 bodies with the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 on one and the Olympus 7-14 on the other. I chuck the 35-100 in the bag too.

This set up for me is unbeatable for city tourism as far as I am concerned.

I experimented with the D810 with the 24-120 lens, but it has too many limitations for dark interiors. FF is for "slow photography", not tourism.

Two small EM5 type bodies each with the smaller Panasonic 2.8 lenses mounted is more ductile I believe than a bigger G9 or EM1 and the larger heavier normal and long Olympus 2.8 zooms. My sort of set up avoids risky lens changes dusty outdoor places is mostly avoided.

EM5's are very cheap at around €250 SH I have three of them for when I use a camera bag on trips where I use the car.

The smaller M43 cameras are unbeatable coupled with the more compact Panasonic fast zooms for travel, which is what cameras are used for 99% of the time. That is why I have become such a fierce critic of Olympus which seems to be going down the "bloatware" road with their late offerings rather than keeping a fantastic camera like the EM5 up to date or offering compact 2.8 zooms like those two Panasonic jewels.

You know, I've been considering the 12-35mm for quite a while now. Is considerably smaller and lighter than the 12-40mm, and if is as good as my 35-100mm, it should be a stellar lens. Sadly there is no easy way to sell the 12-40mm here in Panama.

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Martin
"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
NCV
NCV Veteran Member • Posts: 8,811
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

Martin Ocando wrote:

NCV wrote:

I often visit Italy's "art cities" as a work trip bonus. My camera bag is usually my briefcase which works better than a proper camera bag sometimes.

I carry two EM5 bodies with the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 on one and the Olympus 7-14 on the other. I chuck the 35-100 in the bag too.

This set up for me is unbeatable for city tourism as far as I am concerned.

I experimented with the D810 with the 24-120 lens, but it has too many limitations for dark interiors. FF is for "slow photography", not tourism.

Two small EM5 type bodies each with the smaller Panasonic 2.8 lenses mounted is more ductile I believe than a bigger G9 or EM1 and the larger heavier normal and long Olympus 2.8 zooms. My sort of set up avoids risky lens changes dusty outdoor places is mostly avoided.

EM5's are very cheap at around €250 SH I have three of them for when I use a camera bag on trips where I use the car.

The smaller M43 cameras are unbeatable coupled with the more compact Panasonic fast zooms for travel, which is what cameras are used for 99% of the time. That is why I have become such a fierce critic of Olympus which seems to be going down the "bloatware" road with their late offerings rather than keeping a fantastic camera like the EM5 up to date or offering compact 2.8 zooms like those two Panasonic jewels.

You know, I've been considering the 12-35mm for quite a while now. Is considerably smaller and lighter than the 12-40mm, and if is as good as my 35-100mm, it should be a stellar lens. Sadly there is no easy way to sell the 12-40mm here in Panama.

The 12-35 is the lens that keeps me in M43. IQ is great too.

Great with the EM5 slung over my shoulder for family trips.

I am lucky I can sell stuff when I want a change, as we have a good SH market here.

 NCV's gear list:NCV's gear list
Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon D810
Ghost1999 Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective
8

Hi Martin,

Nice pano!

Everyone has their own apporach to their travel photography kit. Its a cold wet day here, and I can't even work out in the yard, so I've written a fairly extensive set of comments / suggestions. I'm sure some won't apply to you, but take what you find useful!

  1. Don't city hop if you can avoid it. If you have to, minimize your therbligs! Especially the amount of photo stuff you carry. I find when I stay in one place for a while, I use a wider range of lenses (and my tripod). I also get better pictures, as I go back to places over and over. I will also go out for a couple of hours with just one or two primes. I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but I find it makes me look at things more carefully, and get better vantage points and perspectives.
  2. If you can, stay somewhere central, and be prepared to go back at least once in the middle of the day for a rest. You can change up the gear you are carrying then as well. Get a pass for the local tranist as well if you can. Even if you are only taking it 6 or 8 blocks it can help keep you fresh.
  3. "Will take my son's 2015 MacBook Air instead of my MBP." Ye Dogs Man! If you can avoid it, don't take a laptop at all! Your smartphone will handle most internet tasks (get a sim card at the airport). If you have to have a bigger screen, or want to download/process as you go, take an iPad mini, and/or a backup drive. And leave them at the hotel/apartment when sightseeing.
  4. About focal length: You use LR, so you can get plugins (e.g. Jeffrey Friedl's ) to plot the focal lengths you use most often. Use the data to see what focal lengths you really used on the trip. You may find that you used your 35-100 mostly at the shorter end. If so, maybe you need to think about a 12-60 or some such.
  5. Dust and dirt: I try really hard to avoid changing lenses outdoors in most European cities. I will often use washrooms, cafes, shops, or churches just to change lenses. Another option is to get a lens changing bag. I find using a clean plastic grocery bag is much much better than nothing. And it can be a lifesaver if it starts to rain unexpectedly! I also carry a rocket blower, and a sensor brush just in case. They stay at the hotel, but I do carry lens wipes and a lens brush with me.
  6. For city hopping, try taking more cameras and fewer lenses. Preferably fairly light cameras. Put your 12-40 on one, and your 9-18 (or new 7-14) on the other. Under those circumstances, I use a GX8 with a 12-60, and a GM5 with the 7-14. (I have a 14-140 that I used for travel for a while, but so few of my images were taken at lengths over 60mm, and so many at 12 to 14mm that I decided to switch. I will probably drop the 7-14 for a 9 or 10mm prime sometime soon, again based on the data.) Having two cameras means:
    1. I flip back and forth from one lens to the other much more readily than if I have to change.
    2. Dust is much less of an issue.
    3. If one camera breaks down, you have a backup.
    4. I spend more time taking photos, and less managing my loadout. 

I think that's enough for now! Happy travels.

Ghost

Martin Ocando wrote:

Recently having city hopping in Europe, this was my experience regarding a travel kit. I brought:

  • E-M5 Mark II sans grip. I wanted the less weight possible, and clipping it to my capture clip on my backpack shoulder strap was a lifesaver. Both to avoid robbers and to lighten the load on my hand and arm.
  • 12-40mm f:2.8. It was the most used lens by far. The weight was a real burden when the day got long and we were tired of walking, but again, the capture clip worked wonders.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As for the bag, I took the Peak Design 5L sling, and it was great to hold everything, and a few other things as well.
  • 2016 15in MacBook Pro with an external 1TB SSD for dual backup when importing files into Lightroom.

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. 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 carried everything inside my Peak Design 45L travel backpack with a small camera cube. Although only used it for air travel and not for exploring. Is way too large as a daypack. I simply used a minimal backpack to carry water, food and whatever we ended up buying while walking around the city. Used a wire lock on it 24/7. My wife was in charge of getting in and out of the backpack. Then I emptied the backpack and put it on my suitcase for air travel.

There were a few issues that I'd like to avoid or improve on my next trip:

  1. Changing lenses in a real inconvenience on dry/windy/rainy situations. Or at all. I rather kept shooting with one lens instead of swapping it when I had my hands full, or I didn't have a place to rest my camera. I used the 5L Sling a lot for that, and also the capture clip.
  2. Lugging around a full-size 15inch MacBook Pro is not very comfortable
  3. Dust in the sensor was very noticeable on some pictures (blame changing lenses for that)

So, this is my plan for my next trip:

  1. Get an E-M1 Mark II or a Panasonic G9. Still hasn't decided on which one will be. Mostly because my old E-M1 is already pretty banged up. It has endured lots of events and is time to retire it as a backup. More pixels and a better battery is a plus. Kind of leaning towards the Oly, since the G9 seems a bit heavier and larger, and don't know if it's going to fit inside my 5L bag.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. I'll take the E-M5 Mark II as a backup as well, also stripped from all grips. Just as minimalistic as possible, with maybe 1 or 2 batteries. They are different from the E-M1 Mark II or G9, so can't share between them. I can also put the 7-14mm on, and bring both bodies minimizing changing lenses. Can't say if they'll both fit inside the 5L sling, though.
  5. I'll also bring the 20mm f:1.7, as it proved pretty convenient for just strolling around the cities in a minimalistic way. I can even leave the bag, and just clip the camera to my chest, and throw an extra battery in my pocket.
  6. Will take my son's 2015 MacBook Air instead of my MBP.
  7. I'll keep the 45L travel backpack as it proved very convenient for air travel, and it freed my hands, which was convenient to help my wife with her bags. Otherwise, I couldn't have done it.

That's it. If you have more ideas, I'm open to suggestions.

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

Madrid Royal Palace

rsf3127 Regular Member • Posts: 298
My take

I visited Amalfi Coast an Sicily recently and took EM10III + 12-40mm2.8f + 20mm 1.7f + 40-150mm kit lens.

Used all my lenses with a slight predominance of the 12-40mm to avoid changing lenses.

Everything went ok and I would take the same kit on my next vacations.

Sunny places are amazing because a good cellphone takes care of most of the photographic documentation. Only good photo opportunities justify taking my camera out of the case in dusty Sicily.

BTW, there were plenty of marvelous landscapes. Sicily on springtime is covered by wild flowers of thousands of colors.

Had little time to process some pics: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmxYA7mN

Cheers.

 rsf3127's gear list:rsf3127's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony a6000 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Tamron SP AF 180mm F/3.5 Di LD (IF) Macro Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM +14 more
danmitch
danmitch Contributing Member • Posts: 512
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

Interesting reading your experiences - and great panorama picture.

My city / Europe travel kit is the E-M1ii and 12mm f2 with the 25mm f1.8 in my pocket - unless I'm expecting bad weather, only then would it be the 12-40 2.8, I definitely notice the weight and bulk.

I have tried slings and backpacks but still keep coming back to a small shoulder / cross body bag, not sure why!

-- hide signature --

Best - Daniel
A few photos and thoughts at https://www.danmitch.photography
Latest photos on https://www.instagram.com/dangramit/

 danmitch's gear list:danmitch's gear list
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esco Senior Member • Posts: 1,808
My Kit Along With Some Examples
5

Epm2 and the Panasonic 12-32
Leaving behind the FF stuff and a barrage of lenses from either system was probably the best decision for me.

The 12-32 proved to be plenty sharp - none of these have additional sharpening done.
Most of the processing was to extract dynamic range in some of these, cut through some haze or flare etc. . . I think if you're decent in the processing part then even some of the older cameras are quite fine for this use. The shutter shock did rear it's ugly head however but it wasn't a dealbreaker most of the time.

-- hide signature --

Photographer first, gear second

whumber
whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,363
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

Martin Ocando wrote:

So, this is my plan for my next trip:

  1. Get an E-M1 Mark II or a Panasonic G9. Still hasn't decided on which one will be. Mostly because my old E-M1 is already pretty banged up. It has endured lots of events and is time to retire it as a backup. More pixels and a better battery is a plus. Kind of leaning towards the Oly, since the G9 seems a bit heavier and larger, and don't know if it's going to fit inside my 5L bag.

For travel, if you're open to getting the Olympus 12-100 for a single lens kit then I would go with the E-M1ii; otherwise I would recommend the G9. You get a much nicer EVF that isn't going to misbehave if you wear polarized sunglasses, excellent video quality and better smartphone connectivity. My experience is that you'll give up some C-AF performance and a tiny bit of stabilization performance but the C-AF difference won't really matter for travel and the stabilization difference isn't really significant, plus it may end up being better if you can pair it with a dual IS compatible lens.

  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.

I would definitely consider the 8-18 as well.

Finally, grab a 35-100 f/4-5.6. It's extremely tiny, shockingly sharp for what it is, gives dual IS with the panasonic bodies, and you can get the silver ones on ebay for a bit over $100.

 whumber's gear list:whumber's gear list
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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 10,873
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

I also shoot a lot on my travelling. Europe as well as the Middle East always be my favourite locations due to their long history, grade A preservation of historic building, different culture and religion from my home city in Asia.

After quite many travelling all over the years, I also find certain issues similar to yours.

  • Adapted MF lenses been ruled out long ago. Native M43 been too good already.
  • Thanks to the good stabilisation fast prime lenses something like f/1.7 is not have absolute advantage on low light shooting especially on non IBIS Panny bodies. I can use slower shutter speed on 14~45 on non IBIS bodies than 14 f/2.5. Now have GX85, so bought 15 f/1.7 to give it a try again. 
  • Long reaching, if not for BIF or wild life, is not always needed on usual travelling. For my type of travelling >=100 accounted for less than 1~2% of all of my shooting. But it is something we needed if we need the reaching. Hence, I replace the heavier 45~200 by 45~150. My wife is very happy with her 14~140.
  • I like ultra wide angle a lot for the indoor, architecture and huge mounment, narrow street and old town etc. For the size and weight I pick 7~14 f/4 instead of f/2.8.
  • WR? I never have a camera failed due to the rain before upgrade. Good to have but not really important IMHO.

As size and weight be essential on my type of travelling (on foot a few hours everyday), I shall give first preference on the size and weight to be kind to my aging body. I always am looking for the best balance to have carry enough lenses allowing me to enjoy my shooting, and not to slow me down. I shall try my best to limit the size of camera bodies, and pick the smaller size lenses of similar class. Hence 7~14 f/2.8, 12~40 f/2.8, 12~100 f/4, 35~100 f/2.8 or 40~150 f/2.8 are all eliminated from my choice. My current setup:

Gx85 & 14~140 for my wife. I use the GX7 & 7~14 f/4, 12~35 f/2.8, 45~150 & might be 15 f/1.7 for next trip. GF3 & 12~32 be our backup and if wish to go light weight.

I swap lenses a lot. Other elements around me are not a concerned. So dusty, rain, snow... Thanks to the good dust removal system of M43, proper after caring has kept my sensors clean.

In order not to miss a shot because of lens swapping, I always believe the proper swapping routine and camera bag can help instead of using multiple main cameras to defeat the purpose of using M43. A shoulder bag be my first choice. A sling bag which can put in front of us easily is also good. All back and front cap of lenses be removed in advance to every shooting session. Have a place to store the unmounted lens is also the key to shorten lens swapping time. I manage to change lenses within 2~3 second max. Might not be much slower (1 second or 2?) than put down the camera, put up another camera to shoot...

My 2 cents.

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Albert

 alcelc's gear list:alcelc's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +9 more
Pete Berry Veteran Member • Posts: 3,491
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective
3

I'm of the "belt and suspenders" and two-body/no lens changing camp, and have traveled the world since the dawn of m4/3 with my adapted superb, heavy, rarely seen 4/3 P-L 14-150/3.5-5.6 "bag of slow primes" on a sliding cross-chest sling, and other body w/ 7-14 4.0 in a belt bag - or more recently on a belt Cotton Carrier twist-lug mount, No bag - just a couple of batts, chips and plastic baggies in pockets.

Changing lenses can be a precarious and occasionally dangerous thing, leaving you totally vulnerable - esp. in crowded Asia, SE Asia, India, not to mention dust and poss. water intrusion. I carried a 20/1.7 for a while in Europe but never used it.

For a month in NZ's S. Is last year with much birding, a G9 w/ adapted Canon 100-400-II on the sling and GH5/P-L 14-150 on the belt. A lot to carry, but I was only 78 then!

Pete

gary0319
gary0319 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,647
Another idea...

Martin Ocando wrote:

Recently having city hopping in Europe, this was my experience regarding a travel kit. I brought:

  • E-M5 Mark II sans grip. I wanted the less weight possible, and clipping it to my capture clip on my backpack shoulder strap was a lifesaver. Both to avoid robbers and to lighten the load on my hand and arm.
  • 12-40mm f:2.8. It was the most used lens by far. The weight was a real burden when the day got long and we were tired of walking, but again, the capture clip worked wonders.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As for the bag, I took the Peak Design 5L sling, and it was great to hold everything, and a few other things as well.
  • 2016 15in MacBook Pro with an external 1TB SSD for dual backup when importing files into Lightroom.

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. 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 carried everything inside my Peak Design 45L travel backpack with a small camera cube. Although only used it for air travel and not for exploring. Is way too large as a daypack. I simply used a minimal backpack to carry water, food and whatever we ended up buying while walking around the city. Used a wire lock on it 24/7. My wife was in charge of getting in and out of the backpack. Then I emptied the backpack and put it on my suitcase for air travel.

There were a few issues that I'd like to avoid or improve on my next trip:

  1. Changing lenses in a real inconvenience on dry/windy/rainy situations. Or at all. I rather kept shooting with one lens instead of swapping it when I had my hands full, or I didn't have a place to rest my camera. I used the 5L Sling a lot for that, and also the capture clip.
  2. Lugging around a full-size 15inch MacBook Pro is not very comfortable
  3. Dust in the sensor was very noticeable on some pictures (blame changing lenses for that)

So, this is my plan for my next trip:

  1. Get an E-M1 Mark II or a Panasonic G9. Still hasn't decided on which one will be. Mostly because my old E-M1 is already pretty banged up. It has endured lots of events and is time to retire it as a backup. More pixels and a better battery is a plus. Kind of leaning towards the Oly, since the G9 seems a bit heavier and larger, and don't know if it's going to fit inside my 5L bag.
  2. 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

Good choice...very capable lens with fine IQ, and small for the reach. I’ve now added the 12-100 to my kit, but still opt for the 14-150 if small and long is the requirement.

  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.

I opted for the Olympus 8mm 1.8 Pro fisheye as an alternative to my Rokinon 7.5. Smaller than the 7-14 (not unlike the 14-150), f/1.8 for low light and night shots, and super close focus were the main reasons. But the added bonus was the ability to switch from fisheye to rectilinear-like with the incamera fisheye compensation in the E-M1 II .... assigned the switch to an unused button, just amazingly handy. Compose both ways and shoot whichever looks best. Really versatile ultra wide....and small.

  1. I'll take the E-M5 Mark II as a backup as well, also stripped from all grips. Just as minimalistic as possible, with maybe 1 or 2 batteries. They are different from the E-M1 Mark II or G9, so can't share between them. I can also put the 7-14mm on, and bring both bodies minimizing changing lenses. Can't say if they'll both fit inside the 5L sling, though.
  2. I'll also bring the 20mm f:1.7, as it proved pretty convenient for just strolling around the cities in a minimalistic way. I can even leave the bag, and just clip the camera to my chest, and throw an extra battery in my pocket.
  3. Will take my son's 2015 MacBook Air instead of my MBP.
  4. I'll keep the 45L travel backpack as it proved very convenient for air travel, and it freed my hands, which was convenient to help my wife with her bags. Otherwise, I couldn't have done it.

That's it. If you have more ideas, I'm open to suggestions.

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

Madrid Royal Palace

 gary0319's gear list:gary0319's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +8 more
Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 16,091
Olympus 14-150mm is wonderful
2

I have traveled a lot over the years. I have been telling people for a very long time here that the Olympus 14-150mm is a wonderful lens for travel. For most people there is just not the opportunity to be changing lenses a lot. It is fairly small, light, splashproof, good quality, focuses fast, and matches well with most m4/3 bodies. For the last few years my standard travel kit has been the following:

  • Olympus E-M10II + ECG-3 grip
  • Olympus E-M10 + ECG-1 grip (I wish both cameras used the same grip because then I would only carry one grip)
  • 4 batteries and charger (both bodies use same batteries)
  • Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 II
  • Olympus 9-18mm f4-5.6
  • Olympus 25mm f1.8 or Panasonic 20mm f1.7
  • Olympus 9mm f8 fisheye

I have taken the same travel kit on many trips. Sometimes I carried my PEN-F or E-M5 as my main camera though.

Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Agius FOTO
Agius FOTO Senior Member • Posts: 2,472
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

Very good write up and rationale about the lenses you did and didn't use.

I'm surprised about your leaving the 9-18 in the bag though, it was my most used lens when I went to Malta.

Martin Ocando wrote:

Recently having city hopping in Europe, this was my experience regarding a travel kit. I brought:

  • E-M5 Mark II sans grip. I wanted the less weight possible, and clipping it to my capture clip on my backpack shoulder strap was a lifesaver. Both to avoid robbers and to lighten the load on my hand and arm.
  • 12-40mm f:2.8. It was the most used lens by far. The weight was a real burden when the day got long and we were tired of walking, but again, the capture clip worked wonders.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As for the bag, I took the Peak Design 5L sling, and it was great to hold everything, and a few other things as well.
  • 2016 15in MacBook Pro with an external 1TB SSD for dual backup when importing files into Lightroom.

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. 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 carried everything inside my Peak Design 45L travel backpack with a small camera cube. Although only used it for air travel and not for exploring. Is way too large as a daypack. I simply used a minimal backpack to carry water, food and whatever we ended up buying while walking around the city. Used a wire lock on it 24/7. My wife was in charge of getting in and out of the backpack. Then I emptied the backpack and put it on my suitcase for air travel.

There were a few issues that I'd like to avoid or improve on my next trip:

  1. Changing lenses in a real inconvenience on dry/windy/rainy situations. Or at all. I rather kept shooting with one lens instead of swapping it when I had my hands full, or I didn't have a place to rest my camera. I used the 5L Sling a lot for that, and also the capture clip.
  2. Lugging around a full-size 15inch MacBook Pro is not very comfortable
  3. Dust in the sensor was very noticeable on some pictures (blame changing lenses for that)

So, this is my plan for my next trip:

  1. Get an E-M1 Mark II or a Panasonic G9. Still hasn't decided on which one will be. Mostly because my old E-M1 is already pretty banged up. It has endured lots of events and is time to retire it as a backup. More pixels and a better battery is a plus. Kind of leaning towards the Oly, since the G9 seems a bit heavier and larger, and don't know if it's going to fit inside my 5L bag.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. I'll take the E-M5 Mark II as a backup as well, also stripped from all grips. Just as minimalistic as possible, with maybe 1 or 2 batteries. They are different from the E-M1 Mark II or G9, so can't share between them. I can also put the 7-14mm on, and bring both bodies minimizing changing lenses. Can't say if they'll both fit inside the 5L sling, though.
  5. I'll also bring the 20mm f:1.7, as it proved pretty convenient for just strolling around the cities in a minimalistic way. I can even leave the bag, and just clip the camera to my chest, and throw an extra battery in my pocket.
  6. Will take my son's 2015 MacBook Air instead of my MBP.
  7. I'll keep the 45L travel backpack as it proved very convenient for air travel, and it freed my hands, which was convenient to help my wife with her bags. Otherwise, I couldn't have done it.

That's it. If you have more ideas, I'm open to suggestions.

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

Madrid Royal Palace

-- hide signature --

My flickr account.....in its infancy as of March 2015. Feel free to comment!
https://www.flickr.com/photos/130003647@N03/

 Agius FOTO's gear list:Agius FOTO's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS +1 more
Martin Ocando
OP MOD Martin Ocando Veteran Member • Posts: 6,264
Re: My Kit Along With Some Examples

Very nice photos. It encourages me to keep traveling and shooting. OMG, I miss Europe so much.

-- hide signature --

Martin
"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
Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 38,615
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective
1

Wait for the em 5 m kiii instead of g9 or em1 mk 2

-- hide signature --

Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- I photograph black cats in coal mines at night...
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” - George Orwell

Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,890
When I went to Scotland

I took the following:

E-M5 with both grips.  It's a pain taking off the landscape grip to swap batteries, so I put up w the extra weight of the battery grip.

12-50 and 40-150 swapped between them a lot, wish the 14-150 II was available then!

45/1.8 my fastest lens at the time, but just too long most of the time.  The 17/1.8 would have worked better for me, but I didn't own it yet.

9-18 actually got a fair bit of use out of this lens.

E-PL1 w a 20/2.5 as my backup... Never took a shot with it.

Left my 100-300 home, and while there were a couple times I wished I had taken it, I would not have had it with me when I needed it, so leaving it home was just as well.

Traveling now, I'd take the E-M1/II and 14-150 as my main combo, the 9-18 for wide, the 17 for night, and maybe some close up filters for macro.

I'd take the TG-5 as a backup, because it's coming anyway for underwater.

Not taking the E-M5, as it means taking more batteries and a different charger. (The tough charges in camera)

Not taking the 100-300 unless I expected to do a good deal of birding.  Not taking the 60 macro, 45 or 20, weight is not the issue, just more stuff to keep track of that won't get a lot of use.

Now the fisheye, hmm.  Nope, that can stay home and I'll just make due w the 9-18

-- hide signature --

Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

 Art_P's gear list:Art_P's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +4 more
Kaso Veteran Member • Posts: 4,291
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

If you were leaning toward Olympus, this would be my suggestion:

E-M1 II (*) + 12-40mm f/2.8, or 12-100mm f/4 PRO

That's it, for anything similar to the city-hopping trip you described.

(Lightroom can tell you which focal lengths and which apertures you use most often.)

You may realize that you may not need all kinds of lenses which burden you with things and excess weights. And lens swapping is a pain in the rear end.

(* or better still: E-M5 III whenever...)

TN Args
TN Args Veteran Member • Posts: 8,029
Re: Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

Martin Ocando wrote:

  • E-M5 Mark II sans grip. ....
  • 12-40mm f:2.8. It was the most used lens by far. The weight was a real burden ....

So, this is my plan for my next trip:

  1. Get an E-M1 Mark II ....
  2. Get an Olympus 14-150mm f:4-5.6 II.....

Well that combo is going to weigh MORE, and take worse photos 95% of the time.

They are your priorities, but I still question whether you are prepared for the consequences I described above.

My travel walk-around is E-M5 II and 1240PRO. So I understand your comment that it is not a feather all day walking, and I agree that the weight is detectable, but where does it become a driver for suffering and major changes.... I don't agree.

 TN Args's gear list:TN Args's gear list
Sigma dp0 Quattro Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +7 more
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