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03-20-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
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Going to Siem Riep Cambodia - what to bring?

Hi all - I'll be visiting Siem Riep Cambodia (Ankor Wat) in about a week (3 nights and 4 days). Can you recommend what kind of gear I should be bringing with me. I would like to stay light as much as possible. Have a look at my current gear in my signature.

Do I really need an external flash and tripod?

Thanks in advance!

03-20-2011, 10:49 PM   #2
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Its usually very bright there, except when it rains. When I was there it was blazing bright and hot. Its not really possible to use a tripod, as it gets quite busy. The problems I faced were mostly related to overexposing of the sky. A graduated ND filter will help in this regard. As regards flash, you may need one for fill light, pop up flash may be quite okay for this.
At the temples of Angkor, I saw many tourists carrying upto 3 cameras, tripods, flashes, huge lenses etc. How they managed to lug all that useless gear along in the heat was quite beyond me. Travel light and keep cool and hydrated.
03-21-2011, 01:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Its usually very bright there, except when it rains. When I was there it was blazing bright and hot. Its not really possible to use a tripod, as it gets quite busy. The problems I faced were mostly related to overexposing of the sky. A graduated ND filter will help in this regard. As regards flash, you may need one for fill light, pop up flash may be quite okay for this.
At the temples of Angkor, I saw many tourists carrying upto 3 cameras, tripods, flashes, huge lenses etc. How they managed to lug all that useless gear along in the heat was quite beyond me. Travel light and keep cool and hydrated.
Thanks, selar. Good idea about the ND filter. I might bring two bodies then a K100D and K20D to avoid switching lenses should I decide to bring only primes.
03-21-2011, 02:04 AM   #4
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If you are early before the tourists, by sunrise, the temples are beautiful and have good light in 20-30 minutes. Wide angle. Good idea about ND filters. During day time/sunny, it's hard to cover dynamic range from dark to light. I will definitely get a flash with radio trigger with me next time. Some of the encription in stone would be better lit by a flash from side angle to increase the contrast. A fast lens for DOF or portraits within the temples.

I visited few years ago with film body, 28mm shift and 50f1.4, but that's it. The royal palace was not finish then.

03-21-2011, 02:56 AM   #5
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I'll echo the above, the tripod will be a pain - keep light.
Remember your lens hoods and I'll add another thing, a telephoto.
I went to Cambodia on Honeymoon and had a super zoom. It was great to get macro details of the carvings and aging found at the temples, alot of details are hard to get to as you are restricted in what you can get to sometimes.
I reckon a 55-300 would be a great general purpose zoom which is pretty light.
Also although it is bright there a few unlit sections in the temples so any 50 1.7/1.4 will do but make sure the focus distance is short enough. Don't worry about about the long FL inside as it will be the small details you will want to capture.
Enjoy, its a fantastic place!
03-21-2011, 09:57 AM   #6
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From your gear list, at least the 10-17 and 35 Limited.
03-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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I concur on the wide angle lens recommendations. I was there last October for 2 days. For the bigger temples, like Angkor Wat, a 50mm is nice to have, esp. for the interiors which are quite dark. For Ta Prohm and some of the others, a 50 is too narrow. My 18-55 was the ticket then. The advice for going out early is good, too. It's the dry season there, so you won't get too many clouds, most likely.

If you want to see my keepers from my trip, they're here.

Have a great time!
03-21-2011, 01:01 PM   #8
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I was there for a few days in March and it was extremely hot and humid. But I brought quite a bit with me - 2 bodies, a tripod, and usually had 4 lenses with me at all times. I found the tripod key in several instances - twilight and sunset where shadows were pronounced. And that made an graduated ND filter very important. In hindsight, if there are a lot of crowds cluttering up your shot, a very dark ND filter combined w/ a long shutter speed may be enough to make the crowds disappear. The highlight of my trip was sunrise at Bayon... truly amazing.

The mosquitoes are voracious - bring lots of bug spray and sun lotion if you burn easy. There were a couple times when I was too absorbed by shooting and I wasn't drinking enough fluids... it's hot, you will sweat a lot so drink a lot! Heat stroke sucks and will waste a lot of valuable time. Plus it doesn't feel too good either

Hope your trip goes well!

03-21-2011, 11:17 PM   #9
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I will be there next week as well (27-31 Mar)..most likely i will have my 12-24, FA35 and 50-135
03-22-2011, 01:35 AM   #10
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I will be there for a couple of days at the beginning of June, before I go on to Vietnam. I plan to take the following:

Tamron 17-50 (walkaround)
Pentax 18-55 WR (walkaround when wet)
Pentax 55-300 (zoom range for distance & small detail)
M50 f1.4 (low light / portraiture)
M85 f2 (portraiture / street)
M28 f3.5 (a manual lens closer to normal, for walkaround)

I reckon this has all the bases covered. Itīs a lot of lenses but the Ms are all small, as is the WR kit lens. I will also have a tripod, but more so that my GF & I can get shots together, rather than for stability.

Donīt forget to post some pics when you get back, and let us know how the trip was.
03-22-2011, 08:18 AM   #11
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My tips for visiting Angkor:

Photo tips for visiting Angkor Temples, Cambodia


you might find something useful there
03-22-2011, 08:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewportPreacher Quote
If you want to see my keepers from my trip, they're here.

Have a great time!

really nice pictures Derek. A bit too much "old photo" treatment for my taste,
but shows you went out there to visit the distant temples as well.
I really like your gallery.

Andrew


my pictures are here: Angkor Temples, Cambodia
03-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I reckon this has all the bases covered. Itīs a lot of lenses but the Ms are all small, as is the WR kit lens. I will also have a tripod, but more so that my GF & I can get shots together, rather than for stability.
Thats what your Tour Guide is for....
03-22-2011, 09:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Thats what your Tour Guide is for....
I have lots of MF lenses and thinking of bringing few Takumar or K mounts. The likelihood for a tour guide to know how to operate MF lenses is virtually nada

I might just bring a cheapo tripod just for that purpose.
05-08-2011, 08:03 AM   #15
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Hey all - after few delays, we finally made it. Many thanks to all of you who gave precious advices.

I posted some of the snaps here
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