3 lens travel kit.
/forum/topic/713215/2

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Daniel Heineck
Registered: Oct 20, 2007
Total Posts: 1574
Country: United States

Braniac... I'm seriously tempted to move that direction. As I stand right, I'll be taking to Europe:

24-105
70-200 non-IS
Oly 50/1.4 (unless I find another brand 50/1.4)
Rokkor 28/2



Andrew Gough
Registered: Jun 10, 2005
Total Posts: 2057
Country: Canada

Canon, 16-35mm, 24-70mm (still one of my fav's) and 70-200mm F4 IS. Possibly a 14mm, 85mm or 135mm if my back can take it.



Ulff
Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Total Posts: 840
Country: Germany

Zeiss 21 2.8 or 28 2.8
Olympus 50 2.0
Zeiss 100-300 on sunny days or Zeiss 85 1.4 on cloudy days...



koenrutten
Registered: May 30, 2006
Total Posts: 217
Country: Netherlands

5D + ef 35/2 + ef 100/2. autofocus, nice iq and pretty small and 2 great focal lengths. Sometimes I throw in a 28-105 3.5/4.5 for versatility.



Stu Warner
Registered: Dec 28, 2005
Total Posts: 174
Country: Denmark

Hi guys, I haven't posted for a while because I've been doing a lot of reserach into devloping EXACTLY this system. After much consideration of the 5DII, etc, I finally decided upon the following....

On a Leica M8:

- 35mm f/2 summicron aspheric (to be replaced by the 1.4 'lux in a few years)
- Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Color Heliar (bargain lens with fantastic quality)
- Zeiss 18mm f/4 (need to sell some of my Canon stuff to get this one, but my decision has beeen made already because it gives punchy high-contrast images with outstanding resolution)

This will give me a classic 24, 50, 100 kit in terms of eFOV. Each lens weighs about 250g, and the M8 body is about 600g. Total weight of the entire bag (Billingham) with spare battery, polarising filter and orange filter is a shade over 1.5 kg. This setup is wonderfully discrete (I have already taken street photos and portrats of complete strangers that was never possible with my dSLR), it focusses like a dream in low light once you get the hang of it, and consistently offers me at least 2 extra stops hand holding over an SLR due to no mirror slap. Since any camera/lens combination weighs under 1kg, I can use relatively inexpensive tripods and gorrilapods with good results.

Some of you may not be familiar with the M8s IQ, so let me chime in with my experience (as a keen ammateur only): ISO 1600 is perfectly usable, but 3200 is really "emergencies only". B&W jpg images straight out of the camera are just amazing at all but ISO 3200. This is especially the case if you don't use an IR filter as the M8 sensor has quite a bit of IR sensitivity (comparable to some of the best B&W films), which really gives amazing depth to the shadows. There really is a B&W film feel to these files. On the other hand, for colour shooting the jpgs out of camera are absolutely rubbish, but the dng (open format RAW files) are superb. Even forgetting for a moment that they are just 10MP, the files display great clarity, sharpness, and vivid colours.

Finally, the feel of the camera is exactly what I was looking for. I've found recently that I was spending as much time shooting an OM1 as my Canon dSLR. The small and "non-pro" form factor and direct easy access to shutter speed, aperture, smooth manual focus, accurate markings for zone focussing, etc made me reach for the OM1, but I was always frustrated at not being able to choose colour balance and ISO freely between shots, and I did miss the digital darkroom when required.

I know there are a lot of mixed opinions about the M8, but after saving for three years for the 5DII I realised that what I really wanted was a superb travel camera suitable for street shooting, candids and landscapes, not a heavy camera with video capability or 20MP monster files (I have enough photos on my hard drives as it is... ;o). I freely admit that my current setup does use a sensor which is two years old, but I have no complaints in terms of IQ for what I need, and most importantly it fulfils the size and weight criteria I set myself for a comfortable travel set-up, and the old-school feel and appearance I have got used to with the OM1. If your priorities are the same as mine, I recommend a closer look at a second hand M8, for the same cash you would be spending on a 5DII. Yes, the Leica M lenses brand new are extremely (prohibitively) expensive, but one can achieve very good results with old thread mount lenses from a variety of respectable manufacurers stretching back 50 years (older coatings = low contrast = great for portraits or sunny day shooting) or new Cosina Voigtlander lenses (even better price/performance ratio than 2nd hand OM Zuiko glass IMHO - and the CVs are new). The short focal plane allows for some really nice optical designs in the rangefinder format.

Anyway, this post has turned into a bit of an advertisement for the M8, but it was intended only as an explanation of my targetted three-lens travel kit. It is sufficiently different to everyone else's posts so far that I should offer at least some kind of discussion of it's merits and weaknesses. :o)



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

The M8 sounds great. For me it is not an option since I shoot a lot of macro and RF+Macro does not work well. For general travel it sounds like a wonderful setup.

A



makron
Registered: Jul 01, 2005
Total Posts: 399
Country: Singapore

Stu Warner wrote:
Hi guys, I haven't posted for a while because I've been doing a lot of reserach into devloping EXACTLY this system. After much consideration of the 5DII, etc, I finally decided upon the following....

On a Leica M8:

- 35mm f/2 summicron aspheric (to be replaced by the 1.4 'lux in a few years)
- Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Color Heliar (bargain lens with fantastic quality)
- Zeiss 18mm f/4 (need to sell some of my Canon stuff to get this one, but my decision has beeen made already because it gives punchy high-contrast images with outstanding resolution)

This will give me a classic 24, 50, 100 kit in terms of eFOV. Each lens weighs about 250g, and the M8 body is about 600g. Total weight of the entire bag (Billingham) with spare battery, polarising filter and orange filter is a shade over 1.5 kg. This setup is wonderfully discrete (I have already taken street photos and portrats of complete strangers that was never possible with my dSLR), it focusses like a dream in low light once you get the hang of it, and consistently offers me at least 2 extra stops hand holding over an SLR due to no mirror slap. Since any camera/lens combination weighs under 1kg, I can use relatively inexpensive tripods and gorrilapods with good results.

Some of you may not be familiar with the M8s IQ, so let me chime in with my experience (as a keen ammateur only): ISO 1600 is perfectly usable, but 3200 is really "emergencies only". B&W jpg images straight out of the camera are just amazing at all but ISO 3200. This is especially the case if you don't use an IR filter as the M8 sensor has quite a bit of IR sensitivity (comparable to some of the best B&W films), which really gives amazing depth to the shadows. There really is a B&W film feel to these files. On the other hand, for colour shooting the jpgs out of camera are absolutely rubbish, but the dng (open format RAW files) are superb. Even forgetting for a moment that they are just 10MP, the files display great clarity, sharpness, and vivid colours.

Finally, the feel of the camera is exactly what I was looking for. I've found recently that I was spending as much time shooting an OM1 as my Canon dSLR. The small and "non-pro" form factor and direct easy access to shutter speed, aperture, smooth manual focus, accurate markings for zone focussing, etc made me reach for the OM1, but I was always frustrated at not being able to choose colour balance and ISO freely between shots, and I did miss the digital darkroom when required.

I know there are a lot of mixed opinions about the M8, but after saving for three years for the 5DII I realised that what I really wanted was a superb travel camera suitable for street shooting, candids and landscapes, not a heavy camera with video capability or 20MP monster files (I have enough photos on my hard drives as it is... ;o). I freely admit that my current setup does use a sensor which is two years old, but I have no complaints in terms of IQ for what I need, and most importantly it fulfils the size and weight criteria I set myself for a comfortable travel set-up, and the old-school feel and appearance I have got used to with the OM1. If your priorities are the same as mine, I recommend a closer look at a second hand M8, for the same cash you would be spending on a 5DII. Yes, the Leica M lenses brand new are extremely (prohibitively) expensive, but one can achieve very good results with old thread mount lenses from a variety of respectable manufacurers stretching back 50 years (older coatings = low contrast = great for portraits or sunny day shooting) or new Cosina Voigtlander lenses (even better price/performance ratio than 2nd hand OM Zuiko glass IMHO - and the CVs are new). The short focal plane allows for some really nice optical designs in the rangefinder format.

Anyway, this post has turned into a bit of an advertisement for the M8, but it was intended only as an explanation of my targetted three-lens travel kit. It is sufficiently different to everyone else's posts so far that I should offer at least some kind of discussion of it's merits and weaknesses. :o)


Thanks for sharing your insights. You've got me thinking seriously about the M8 again.... I'll check again. In my case, i'm going for a one-lens-one-camera setup (never like to change lens in the field) although i'm mentally weakening towards a 2-lens setup.



Spyro P.
Registered: Mar 24, 2008
Total Posts: 2822
Country: Australia

Hmmm the zui 24/2.8 for almost everything.

Then your favourite close focusing fast fifty, and a small flash. I find everytime I've lugged anything longer than 50mm to a trip it didnt get much use. Maybe a gorillapod and some cokins if you're into long exposures and you still have room left.

Lastly, always in the jacket pocket a good, responsive film P&S like a Ricoh Gr1 or something like that, along with a couple of rolls of B&W for those split-second candids... old school

Edit: Oh and looking at people's choices in this thread is amazing. Swap the digicams for a rangefinder and you're back in the 70's... round and round it goes eh?



prashant
Registered: Apr 10, 2006
Total Posts: 469
Country: United Kingdom

I plan to take my Zuiko 24/2.8, 35/2.0 and 85mmEF/1.8 with 5D this time to india. Let's see.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15107
Country: Germany

I travelled through Egypt for two weeks with a 5D, 17-40L, Leica 50/2 (newest), and Leica 80/1.4. Worked great...

...but it was a bit bulky, so when I returned, I sold it all and bought an M8. Now I travel light with 3-4 lenses, being either CV15 or WATE, and then 28/2, 50/1.4A and 90/2A. Great kit, and even with the WATE, smaller than what I used to carry around with the 5D. The weight of the 4-lens setup is probably not too different though, unless I take the CV15 instead of the WATE.



Steve Spencer
Registered: Nov 08, 2006
Total Posts: 7245
Country: Canada

For me it would be

OM 24mm f/2.8
Leica 50mm summicron
Leica 90mm elmarit (and I would cheat and take an elepro 3 closeup lens and a 2X teleconverter)



Mike Webster
Registered: Apr 19, 2003
Total Posts: 82
Country: United States

While it's probably my vision, I've owned the M6TTL, M7 and M8 and don't believe the Leica viewfinder compares favorably with that found on any of the Canon full frame cameras. That said, what is your recommendation for a light weight 3 lens kit for any of the Canon FF cameras? And by "light weight" I assume the 70-200/2.8L w/or without IS is disqualified?



davidearls
Registered: Mar 09, 2006
Total Posts: 3507
Country: United States

Anden wrote:
The Zuiko 135/3.5 is small and sharp. Nice little lens. I tend to grab the 135/4.5 macro though...


Andreas,

I think that at the end of the day, the Zuiko 135 f4.5 is probably my most favorite lens. Is there a pair of Olympus extension tubes that let it function as a short tele? The telescoping extension tube is hefty, though I love the flexibility it gives..

Definitely, I'd put the Zuiko 28 f3.5 on my list, and probably the Zuiko 50 f1.4, which is small, fast, and chock full of egg tempera color. If a pair of extension tubes will mount the 135 and enable short tele, I'm there.



eosslr
Registered: Mar 29, 2007
Total Posts: 423
Country: United States

typical setup for when running around a city
canon 5d
nikon 20/3.5
canon 24-105l
leica 180/2.8 or 180/3.4

now if we're talking hiking then it's a different story



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

davidearls wrote:
Anden wrote:
The Zuiko 135/3.5 is small and sharp. Nice little lens. I tend to grab the 135/4.5 macro though...


Andreas,

I think that at the end of the day, the Zuiko 135 f4.5 is probably my most favorite lens. Is there a pair of Olympus extension tubes that let it function as a short tele? The telescoping extension tube is hefty, though I love the flexibility it gives..

Definitely, I'd put the Zuiko 28 f3.5 on my list, and probably the Zuiko 50 f1.4, which is small, fast, and chock full of egg tempera color. If a pair of extension tubes will mount the 135 and enable short tele, I'm there.


For infinity you need about 65 mm extention. Just add until you get enough. The MFD will be quite long though.

A



flash
Registered: Dec 10, 2002
Total Posts: 2157
Country: Australia

General Travel:

24-105
70-300DO
50mm 1.8

Wildlife:
12-24
35mm
50-500 (Bigma)

Who am I kidding. I take as much as I can carry and one change of clothes....

Gordon



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 20251
Country: Canada

Last week in the UK I used a 5D with CZ 28/2.8, SMCP-A 50/1.4 and EF 135/2L. I also took a Zenitar 16/2.8 FE and SMCP 18/3.5, but I really didn't use them. Next time I might take a CZ 85/1.4 instead of the 135L.



Antony
Registered: Jun 06, 2005
Total Posts: 666
Country: Australia

5D with: 24mm f/1.4, 45mm ts-e and 85mm f/1.2. Well maybe it won't quite fit in the bag.



dphilips
Registered: Jun 25, 2004
Total Posts: 52
Country: United States

21/50/90 on a 5D:
Zuiko 21mm f/3.5
EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro

The Tamron is by far the largest of the three and if I leave the bag then it stays behind, either the 21mm or the 50mm is on the camera with the other in a pocket.



Grenache
Registered: Dec 18, 2008
Total Posts: 1854
Country: United States

My answer in large part depends on what I will shoot.

Hiking/landscape/macro:
Canon 17-40/4L
Canon 100/2.8 macro
Canon 200/2.8L
Infrared and vis camera bodies

Portrait:
Canon 24-70/2.8L
Minolta 58/1.2
Canon 200/2.8L

I would love to have a Contax 100/2 or Leica 90/2 to "have to" lug around with me.

Jim



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