Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/03/25

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Subject: [Leica] Lens kit for europe
From: pklein at (Peter Klein)
Date: Tue Mar 25 22:55:25 2008

Gene:  On my trips to Europe, pre-M8, I took the following:

M film body, 35 and 50 Summicrons, 90/3.5 VC , and either a 21/4 or 25/4 VC.

This has been all I needed or wanted.  It's also a light enough kit that I 
have no qualms about carrying it around in a small bag (Billingham Small 
Hadley or an equivalent size LowePro fanny pack).  I shot most with the 35 
and 50. The VC lenses are so small and light, they did not add that much 
extra weight.  Sometimes I would leave the 90 in my socks in the hotel room 
to lighten my load.

These days, with the M8, I've been taking virtually the same outfit on 
domestic trips, adjusted for the M8 crop factor:

M8, 35 and 50 'Crons, 90/3.5 VC, 28/3.5 VC (stunningly good despite the 
lack of a red dot)

If I'm going to be doing significant available light, I take my 35/1.4 ASPH 
instead of the 'Cron so I'd have one fast lens.  If it's going to be all 
urban, I might leave the 90 behind, as the 50 will probably suffice--it's 
surprisingly tele-ish on the M8.

I would not schlepp a Noctilux around Europe.  Unless my primary goal was 
people photography in dark cafes.  Even then, I still might not take it, 
since I've got the 35/1.4.

Really, this boils down to what kind of shooting you do.  What do you use 
around town at home?  Take that into account.  Also, look back at your 
pictures from Germany.  What lenses did you use most?  That might tell you 

Here's what I might advise (and I don't know what lenses you already own).

* M8
* 35/1.4 Summilux ASPH
* A 28 or 24mm lens.
- 15mm VC
- A 75 or 90.  Maybe I'd dispense with this since your wife is using the 
80-200. In that case I'd take a 50 Summicron.

Now, let me completely shock you.  Another viable outfit would be one of 
the newer 4/3 cameras, plus the Olympus 11-22 f/2.8-3.5 and 50/2 
macro.  Or, if you don't need the extreme wide end, just the 14-54 
f/2.8-3.5, or the newer 12-60 zoom.

I've never been able to pare down to only two lenses for a major trip.  For 
an afternoon, yes, I may just put one lens on the camera and another in my 
pocket.  But when I'm going to so many places, I'd miss what I'd left 
behind.  Because my widest and longest lenses are small, slow VCs, why not 
take them?


Replies: Reply from Frank.Dernie at (Frank Dernie) ([Leica] Lens kit for europe)