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Hi,

I am in the fortunate position of travelling to South Africa (near Cape Town).  Photography is not the purpose of the trip but it would be ‘rude’ not to take a camera.

I have a cl, which I am excited about.  It is a recent purchase with the kit 18mm lens.  It replaces my Fuji x100t which I really enjoyed but I wanted to be able to change lens’ and I preferred the cl to Fuji x-pro 3.

i just like having a camera in my jacket pocket, hence the 18mm.  Physical, it makes the cl very similar to the X-100 series.

Now for the questions:

  • Is the 23 Summicron significantly better quality than the 18mm (I cant find the physical length lens so will pop into shop to see)?
  • Is the APO-VARIO-ELMAR-TL 55-135MM considered to have a ‘good’ IQ?
  • Should I be looking at other L-Mount lens?  I have a SL2 and the 35mm Summicron, the 24-90 and an underused Sigma 14-24, but I would rather travel with something more compact and in line with the cl.

The photography I like is mainly landscape but of course, a bit of street and social photography too.

Thank you for your help in advance.

 

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Sjz, welcome to the forum.

Don't have the 18; do have the 23mm and very impressed. But for general non-specific photography, do consider the standard zoom. See the CL picture thread for examples of work with many different lenses.

In my view the standard zoom would be my choice for travel augmented by a faster prime lens for low-light situations inside museums homes etc. So there is a case for having the 23mm and standard zoom. The longer zoom is outstanding, but not as a second lens to an 18mm. The longer zoom should go on your wish list if you stay with the excellent CL

Edited by wda

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I have had both 18mm and 23mm, but not at the same time, so I can't compare them from my own experience (I have neither now). The IQ from the 18 is said to be not up to the other TL lenses - the compromises of getting down to that size. However, I used the 18mm mainly for social and casual photography, so perfection in IQ was not a priority, nor would I have been able to see it - late night shots on the street or in low light indoors do not bring out the best in any lens IQ.

I sold the 23mm to get the 18mm for reasons of size, not IQ; the 23 is definitely not pocketable (assuming normal sized pockets).

The 55-135 is said to be superb, but again I have no experience of it (I have the other two TL zooms).

I have the 60mm TL for portraits and macro - great for this purpose, but not small in CL/TL terms. I have just bought the Summilux 35 TL, and I can already see it will live on my CL (or jointly in my bag with the 11-23), as a fast 50mm-equivalent standard lens. It's only problem is that I can't fit the CL and it in my evening-wear Fogg Flute bag!

Edited by LocalHero1953

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If travelling light is the main objective, then stick with the CL plus 18mm. However, I would recommend taking a polariser. The light is bright this time of year in the Western Cape Province and a polariser will make the most of the clouds. 

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I do not own the 18mm but I currently use both the 23mm TL and the 18-56 zoom with my CL. I find the latter being the real travel lens covering the most used (at least. In my case) focal lengths, with a really surprising IQ despite being only an f/3.5-5.6 (on APSC sensor I’d add). The 23mm is definitely more pocketable and An f/2 but if I have to bring with me only one lens that is the 18-56, no doubts.

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Thank you for the replies, guess I will

  • go to add the 18-56mm, I will need to find a protective case for it.
  • keep the 18mm as I do like having the camera in a jacket pocket.  I have ordered a wrist strap for it as it is a little slippery and I don’t want to cram a neck strap into my pocket along with the camera.
  • great call about the polariser - never thought about it - doh!

really appreciate the advice.  

I am still way down the learning curve on the camera, even so it does somehow make logical sense.  I need to practice and learn what it can do really well and where the edges of that envelope are.

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If I HAD TO, the CL and 11-23 would work just fine for me.

My two favorite lenses with the M262 outfit are 35 and 21mm, which the 11-23 covers with everything in-between and a little extra wider to spare. It's like me having the M262 and the 18, 21, 24, 28 and 35mm lenses, without all the lens changes and the image quality is impeccable.

Last time I traveled to White Sands National Monument I used my Olympus E-M1 Mark II and the 12-100mm f4 to avoid all the lens changes in the blowing sand environment. Probably 85% or more of the images were captured at the single widest 12mm setting. I could walk the dunes all day with the CL, 11-23, a couple of extra batteries and never miss a beat.

Traveling to the San Francisco area next month to visit my daughter, will spend at least a day in the Napa area and will have the CL, 11-23, 35mm f1.4 and maybe the 55-135 for when it might make sense. It's all so light in my Think Tank Retrospective 20 sling there's no excuse to not take it all

Edited by Gregm61

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The 18 mm is the smallest TL lens, but with the weight and volume of the TL2 camera, I don't think it's comfortable to wear it in the jacket. It would be more practical a padded cover and hang it on the belt.

With 18-56 I would have covered a wider range of photography, but this lens with the original lens hood tends to be somewhat bulky unless I find other alternatives to suppress the lens hood, or carry larger bags-

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2 hours ago, Dopaco said:

this lens with the original lens hood tends to be somewhat bulky unless I find other alternatives to suppress the lens hood, or carry larger bags-

Here we go: this cheapo one bought on the bay works perfectly for me both on the 18-56 and 23 TL

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37 minutes ago, Dopaco said:

That looks better.

But at what sacrifice in performance ?

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9 minutes ago, wda said:

But at what sacrifice in performance ?

To be honest, I have not noticed any significant drop in performance using this hood. 

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6 hours ago, Dopaco said:

The 18 mm is the smallest TL lens, but with the weight and volume of the TL2 camera, I don't think it's comfortable to wear it in the jacket. It would be more practical a padded cover and hang it on the belt.

With 18-56 I would have covered a wider range of photography, but this lens with the original lens hood tends to be somewhat bulky unless I find other alternatives to suppress the lens hood, or carry larger bags-

Any smallish hood solution works, you can even go without for the vast majority of shots, the lens is quite flare-resistant.

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I cannot speak to the 18mm, but the 18-56mm is underrated and will serve very nicely as a travel lens. I had it, but sold it to help finance my 75mm SL lens.

 I have the 55-135mm, its an exceptional lens on the CL and a very nice walk-around  lens for the SL2. Its larger than the 18-56mm, but the IQ is better.

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Welcome to the CL club! 

I'm a traveler who likes to shoot and keep things light as well. I guess it's down to which has priority: shooting or traveling light? Both has compromises and it sounds like you would put traveling light over shooting for this trip.

"Jacket pocketable" also has so many connotations:

- must you only carry camera system in one jacket pocket? Will you be carrying any day bag of any kind? If so, then CL+18 in pocket and another lens in lens pouch in day bag is so easy

- sometimes I would separate the body into one pocket and the lens in another while walking and not in shooting mode. When in shooting mode I put lens on camera and cross sling while shooting. The back to separating when not in shooting mode. This gives more flexibility on lens size and even bringing 2 smaller lenses, without day bag.

Personally, I've tried all 3 scenarios for different situations and occasions. They all have pluses and minuses. 

 

As for lenses, I have the 18, 23 and 11-23. I don't find any difference in IQ between 18 and 23 but maybe that's just me. The 11-23 is superb although a little biggish. 

It sounds like you should stick with the 18 for easy "pocketability" and for street; then for the other lens, just pick a focal length you would normally use for landscape whether at the long end or the wide end.  And for this you could consider an M lens (with T adapter) which is smaller (don't really need AF for landscape?). For example I have the Voigt 15mm v2 which gives me 22mm on the CL - great for when the 11-23 is too bulky.

 

Good luck!

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Sjz,

I have all the three TL zooms, and they all are very good. I have the comparison of the Apo 55-135mm with the 135 Tele-Elmar M. The first Photo is the Apo 55-135mm, and the second one is Tele-Elmar M. 

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Hi,

Thank you for the guidance and the welcomes, greatly appreciated.  
 

I would be happy to have camera plus 18mm in one pocket and a small zoom in the other. 
 

Maybe I will end up with a small bag but that would not be ‘Plan a’. 
 

From what I have read above, and again thank you for taking the time to help, I think I will go for the 18-56 (with a cute hood) as going for the longer zoom will leave too big a gap between the 18 and the 55-135 (although the IQ in that photo above is tempting). 
 

I saw one today in Heathrow (for a slightly lower price than online) but I had left it too late and had to head to gate.  I travel frequently so will make more time next week. 

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"Pocketable" is a relative concept --- depending on the destination I might not have any garments with large enough pockets.  In warm climates, wearing just a T-shirt and light trousers, not even my little Ricoh is comfortably pocketable.  So I have given up on trying to achieve a pocketable solution.

Instead I use a very small bag or a smallish bag.  The first is just right for the CL & wrist strap plus one of: 18-56, 35 or 23.  I guess I could squeeze more in if needed.  I prefer to use a bag because it protects the camera, e.g. when sitting down at a cafe or strolling along the beach.  When actively photographing I keep the camera on my wrist (it's that light).

The smallish bag is for tourist walking around.  It will hold two lenses as well as other tourist paraphernalia: passport, wallet, sun glasses, kindle or ipad etc.  Still very light but gives me the option of a second lens e.g. for indoor or wide-angle use.

The only exception to the above is if I am going on a business trip and just want to add a light camera to my business bag.  The CL+23 does that just fine.

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Hi Rob,

I think I am going to be in a similar position, winter jackets can take quite a lot but a small backpack for the summer months may be in order (when I am not lugging my work bag around). 
 

Thank you 
 

 

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