It is always a tough decision choosing between the Minolta and Pentax but unless there is a reliability consideration, I'd choose your Minolta lens options. Good luck!
See if you can get hold of a Pentax-M 135mm f3.5 to extend your range a bit, they're tiny, light and sharp and as it was a standard telephoto they're plentiful on ebay. You can find minty ones for not a lot of money so don't pounce on the first you see, I have a near perfect one here which cost me about the same as three rolls of decent film.
The Pentax-M 100mm f2.8 and 120mm f2.8 are very lovely but rather harder to find (therefore much more expensive). I have the earlier K 120/2.8 which I would never sell, it just feels spot on with my K2.
I would bring 1 Minolta with 3 lenses: 24, 35 and 85, and 1 Pentax with the 20 and 50, both with colour film, possibly one slide film and one colour negative. Shared in two it's a small weight, and you are going in winter. As a possible addiction the second X-700 for the occasional B&W shot. Holiday trips are the colour domain, generally speaking I would give up B&W and I wouldn't give up the 20.
The Minolta 58/1.2 is heavy and not really needed on holiday.
If you can add weight, then it's better 2 X-700 (the second for B&W) and 1 Pentax and to leave the 58/1.2 at home.
Quite often. Traveling for me is about the experience and not being (technically) prepared for each and every photo opportunity. I would take the Minoltas and get another 50 since the 58 is heavy, big, expensive, hard to replace and 1.2 vs. 1.4 is nearly nothing. Maybe get the 100/2.5 or the 85/2. Personally I would take a 2.8 zoom lens because of the versatility and speed of operation, but that's me on a more modern system (EOS3) with more lens opportunities.
Originally Posted by jakeblues
Very rarely. I've missed a shot or two but so what? Overall I enjoyed the travel.
Originally Posted by jakeblues
I'm not one to talk about camera system weight when traveling- I took a 5x7 camera plus tripod, six lenses, and a dozen film holders, plus a 35mm rangefinder with two lenses with me to Argentina. I could have gotten away with only three of those lenses for 85% of my shots, and probably gotten 95% (or equivalent images that I would have been just as happy with in the long run) with just two. But at the point you're hauling a view camera halfway around the world, what's a couple extra lenses? I've also taken the 5x12 to San Francisco before. But it's funny- I don't think I'd feel happy packing a 35mm camera with JUST a 50mm lens, but a 240mm on 5x7 is just fine as a sole optic. The more I work, the more I'm liking the idea of a single focal length prime lens as the one and only lens I've got, because it pushes my creativity and makes me think more about my composition.
If you're shooting in low light, those faster lenses pay off big time when it comes time to focus. I know I botched a night shot I was taking out in San Francisco because the lens' maximum aperture (this was on a 5x7) was f8. The shots I did with my f4.5 lens were much more accurately focused and stayed tack-sharp.
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Both of these kits are incomplete for what you have in mind.
Originally Posted by jakeblues
1. You said; " The Canon is out because I just don't love the rig."
" Here's my dilemma: Minolta for the great lenses, or Pentax for portability ?"
What counts, in the end is the quality of the image.
Swap the Canon & Pentax systems for what you need, for the Minolta system.
Or swap the Pentax lenses for something sharper like the Tamrons mentioned
here, & get rid of the Minolta system too.
Do put a motor on 1 of your 2 bodies. It gives you enormous capabilities,
but instead of removing it, when necessary, just keep one body motor free.
2. Get her, her own camera, like an Olympus XA.
3. I would look at getting a Tamron 90 mm f 2.8 Macro. You don't seem to have
any Macro lenses for your kits. It is incredibly sharp, but test the mounts by shooting
slide film with them first, they can be wonky exposure wise, ( even new ones ),
but once you find a good one, ( they have a 6 yr warranty on the mounts ), it should be fine.
Most camera stores will not give you any grief when swapping mount for mount, same brand,
if you bought the mount from them.
4. You would be well served to get a Tamron 80 - 200 mm f 2.8 ASL zoom lens,
if you can find one, ( try eBay ). Incredible sharpness, but keep in mind what I said
before about the mounts.
5. What about flashes ? You might do well to get an Auto Only flash, like a
Vivitar 285 HV. BUY USED ONLY ! Look at the bottom of the flash. It will say where
it was made. AVOID THE CHINESE MODELS ! If you can get a " Made in Japan " model,
do it. If the hotshoe has been modified, so much the better. The original hotshoe is
the weak point of this flash. However by doing this you will then need a flash bracket
as the hotshoe on the camera, will no longer be usable.
You could also find the high-end Sunpak 120 J TTL.
These would give you TTL flash capability, & the Sunpak would give you a better quality of light,
that doesn't requires a bunch of light modifiers like other flashes need to duplicate the quality of the light
available with the Sunpak 120 J TTL flash unit.
The Sunpak has interchangeable flash modules that will provide you TTL for your Minoltas, or Pentaxes.
6. For handholding a long-lens tripod flash use look at a Stroboframe VH2000.
Just replace the plastic nuts with flat washers, wavy washers & lock nuts.
This is an advantage in lighting & reliability;
In Lighting, because it keeps the flash above the lens whether shooting horizontally or vertically.
In Reliability because it keeps the weight of the flash from tearing out the camera's hotshoe.
7. For flash remote power, a Quantum Turbo variant will suffice.
These purchases will work for you, years after your trip is just images on film.
If you want tripod or monopod recommendations E-Mail me.
You're really trying to load the guy down with a lot of crap he doesn't need. He's got pretty decent rigs in either the Pentax or Minolta kits as is. There's no need to go around hunting Tamron adapt-all mounts to fit a lens he's probably not familiar with and doesn't have time to find, test, and get used to. And there's not a chance in hell he'd want to be hauling around a Quantum Turbo battery on VACATION! I wouldn't take one, unless I were going on a paying assignment. MAYBE I'd get a compact flash unit that would provide bounce capability and fill flash, but there would be lots of places he might want to shoot in that either would not allow flash to start with, or no on-camera strobe no matter how powerful would be able to illuminate.
Originally Posted by Vanishing Point Ent.
Have a look at some images shot with the standard Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 then tell me if there's a Tamron which is sharper with the same focal length and compact size...
Looks like the OP had a good trip with a camera and lenses which take up very little space. If you liked the ME Super and want something longer to complete the outfit then look for the 75-150mm f4, it's similarly tiny for a lens of that focal length, weighs very little, takes 49mm filters and is very well-regarded.