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Two lens kit travel combo


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So, inspired by this thread, I’ve looked at the EXIF data from past photographs, determined my most and least used focal lengths and apertures, the utility of having all coded Leica lenses with the same filter size, scoured the used market to sell and buy, read reviews and recommendations, tried to lighten my kit, and considered my actual use of lenses (street, travel, documentary, environmental portraits, and some architectural and landscape) rather than aspirational use.  I’ve sold the remainder of my least (almost never) used kit and found some good buys, so for digital I’m now down to 2 bodies and 3 lenses as follows:

  • Leica M10 Monochrom
  • Leica M10P
  • Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar Lens
  • Leica Summilux M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH FLE Lens
  • Leica Summarit M 90mm f/2.5 Lens

This means I can carry one body (depending on whether I mainly want to shoot color or B&W) and the three lenses in a very small and light Billingham Bag (I obviously have become obsessive about this), but it works best for me for every day carry and travel. YMMV. 

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I recently travelled abroad and took 3 lenses with me. Never took the 35 FLE off the camera. This isn't a 35 FLE plug...a plug for traveling with one lens. As a photography teacher I respect said: "If you travel with one lens, the right lens is always on the camera. If you travel with more than one lens, the wrong lens is always on the camera."

If I was going on a trip and could only take two lenses I think today I would grab the 28 Elmarit ASPH and the 50 Summilux ASPH, but I would struggle not to take the 35 FLE instead of the 28 as it's my favorite lens and different enough from the 50 to nicely compliment it. However I've grown to love the little 28 Elmarit ASPH these past few months, and for travel it's just such a perfect balance of size and performance in an economical package. Also the 28mm focal length is just so practical f

I found this post, and I enjoyed reading it a lot. It was such great information. But most of all, it was fun to read all the different feedback, kits, incongruences, workflows, GAS, and the paradoxes of choices 😂 , so I also want to tell you my honest opinion. A brief background first to let you understand my main point. As a storyteller, for my job, I use Nikon D5, and my lens kit is 35mm f/1.8 and 58mm f/1.4... As a statistic, during an event/assignment, I use the 35 for about 65-75% of

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Since my original post, I had a trip to Scotland and Ireland. I took my M10-P, Summilux 35mm, APO Summicron 50mm and Sony RX100VII (back and 20mm equivalent zoom). The Summilux 35mm never left my M10-P body. I used the Sony RX100VII for about 50 images of the 3,500+ that I shot.

For my next trip, I will take my M10-R, Summilux 35mm, APO Summicron 50mm and an extra battery. My new iPhone 12Pro will work just fine for my snapshots and any video. The Sony will stay home. I will carry this reduced kit and my iPad Pro 10" in my Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 bag with plenty of room to spare.

That said, when I vacationed for two weeks this summer visiting National Parks in Utah, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, I took my Leica SL2 and 24-90 and 16-35 Leica zooms in a Peak Design back pack. I knew that I would be shooting a lot of landscapes. The convenience of the zooms and IBIS of the SL2 worked great. I now have a number of fine additions to my travel landscape portfolio. We had an SUV as we travel, so I mostly just carried the SL2 and 24-90 with a neck/shoulder strap. The bag stayed in the car. This was great, but I still prefer the more compact M10 for most travel needs. Great to have choices.

Regards,
Bud James

Please check out my fine art and travel photography at www.budjames.photography or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/budjamesphoto

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What and how we see are I guess the principle determinants of our ideal two lens kit. I am currently on the road with a 50mm Summicron (type 1) and 90mm Tele-Elmarit (thin), and finding this a good kit, although have missed the 135mm a few times already...

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On 6/14/2017 at 9:22 AM, a.noctilux said:

Some months ago, I would say MATE (Tri-Elmar-M 28-35-50) and Macro-Elmar-M 4/90 .

 

Now it would just be something else but even lighter : Summaron-M 5.6/28mm and Summarit-M 2.5/50 on two bodies.

How about now in 2021?  Your two bodies, I guess, would be M10 and Ma?

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2 hours ago, Shu_downunder said:

How about now in 2021?  Your two bodies, I guess, would be M10 and Ma?

Two M-A with two different focal lenses on each ... one at a time,  and more films.

Sometimes, I use digital M but I have far less pleasure than with film (or kind of meditation without destination).

 

As side note, I take less pics but savouring each frame.

Side note two, the results are much less important than before.

I understand now, better than in the past, the words of Winogrand 'pocket full of rolls of film', then he neglicted the processing after that.

( so why he left thousands of rolls to be processed, or ...not ).

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8 minutes ago, a.noctilux said:

Two M-A with two different focal lenses on each ... one at a time,  and more films.

Sometimes, I use digital M but I have far less pleasure than with film (or kind of meditation without destination).

 

As side note, I take less pics but savouring each frame.

Side note two, the results are much less important than before.

I understand now, better than in the past, the words of Winogrand 'pocket full of rolls of film', then he neglicted the processing after that.

( so why he left thousands of rolls to be processed, or ...not ).

Well you start to enjoy purely now. While I’m still in the early stage,  with lots of ‘purposes’, recording life, work, learning, etc, which I enjoy as well though. 

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10 minutes ago, Shu_downunder said:

Well you start to enjoy purely now. While I’m still in the early stage,  with lots of ‘purposes’, recording life, work, learning, etc, which I enjoy as well though. 

Enjoy your present life, Shu.

Live in present time, as said the sage.

Remember we have only ONE life not re-placeable or repeatable.

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On 5/10/2018 at 1:49 AM, SiggiGun said:

Really, an interessting question!

 

In my Leica live, I changed 3 times my preferred 2 lens travel combo:

 

  1. 35LUX + 90MACRO
  2. TRI-ELMAR 28-35-30 + 90MACRO
  3. 28CRON + 50APO

I found many replies in the thread shows this trend, as the photographer getting more experienced, their favorite lens get wider. 
 

Could it be the reason - this is just my humble guess - that the as more experienced photographer can emphasise the subject, or focus point, with even more context. Thus wider lens. 

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vor 9 Minuten schrieb Shu_downunder:

I found many replies in the thread shows this trend, as the photographer getting more experienced, their favorite lens get wider. 
 

Could it be the reason - this is just my humble guess - that the as more experienced photographer can emphasise the subject, or focus point, with even more context. Thus wider lens. 

I guess you're right. My experience is now in a spirit of "reportage" and less "esthetic". However I love changing the combo. Maybe inva near future I will take (if delivered..) the new APO35M and the APO75M.... Will see

 

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24 minutes ago, Shu_downunder said:

I found many replies in the thread shows this trend, as the photographer getting more experienced, their favorite lens get wider. 
 

Could it be the reason - this is just my humble guess - that the as more experienced photographer can emphasise the subject, or focus point, with even more context. Thus wider lens. 

I hope that one day, Shu, you would find that only ONE lens is enough for so many things.

No worry to "change" anything.

But having choices for that ONE lens can be tough when travelling 😉.

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3 hours ago, Shu_downunder said:

I found many replies in the thread shows this trend, as the photographer getting more experienced, their favorite lens get wider. 
Could it be the reason - this is just my humble guess - that the as more experienced photographer can emphasise the subject, or focus point, with even more context. Thus wider lens. 

I would not generalize. Some photogs "see" in 35mm for instance, others in 50mm etc. Not sure if it depends on experience. AFAIC i've been used to carry three main lenses since the seventies: 35, 50 & 90. Now i sometimes replace a 35 by a 28 or 21 or a 90 by a 75 or 135 but my favorite field of view remains 50mm. YMMV.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

I hope that one day, Shu, you would find that only ONE lens is enough for so many things.

No worry to "change" anything.

But having choices for that ONE lens can be tough when travelling 😉.

Interesting you saying that. Spending the past 2 days reading though this interesting thread, I have been actually trying to find THE ONE lens I will use in one of my most important travel in a few years time. 
 

In that travel, weight control is most important, gear liability comes second, and last but not least, quality. 
 

I’m therefore thinking of a maybe weird set:

The ONE lens set is 

M10 + 35 FLE , and

M-A + F5.6/2.8 + a few rolls of 800 film as backup ( in situation such as no power to charge battery for continuous 3 or more days )

 

The whole set would be under 2kg  including chargers and spare batteries.

In normal life I’m yet to get to the ONE LENS phase. Still need variety of bodies and lenses for different purpose. 
 

I’m looking forward to the coming of that day when I am comfortable with ONE lens only without any anxiety, I’m just not in a hurry to get there though.

 

Edited by Shu_downunder
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Shu maybe good or bad choice which can vary with time.

You are the only one to decide.

 

Me when I'll travel again?

I'd choose only one Monochrom (plus 28+50) over M10 for fun travelling, no need backup anymore.

or ...

With M10, I'd take Summarit-M 2.5/35 or 50 for their compactness and good for the job from f/2.5

With M-A I'd prefer more "light" with Elmarit-M asph.28 (or why not the "sweet" 28mm Summicron-M which can be used on M10 also, when needing 28mm and more light gathering).

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On 11/19/2020 at 5:47 PM, molto1 said:

My travel kit is :

Elmarit 28 2,8 and APO 50 2,0 with Leica SL2

Same lenses with M10.
I suppose your Elmarit is the recent Asph, not the old pre-Asph.

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2 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

Shu maybe good or bad choice which can vary with time.

You are the only one to decide.

Indeed it’s personal, and all depends on type of travel, and available gear, and many other things...

 

2 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

no need backup anymore

Why? M10 is reliable enough? Or backup is not important to you?

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Posted (edited)

I don't need backup anymore for two and a half reasons :

a - my wife takes the backup for us, well the second "system" of my choice if I can convince her to take M10 (other M would be fine)

I think she would take MATE the lens she likes a lot

b - when I take Monochrom, never need a backup in digital, if something can go wrong, let's see

b' - I would take a film M anyway with Monochrom and some more films if need be

Edited by a.noctilux
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