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05-19-2011, 11:26 PM   #1
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Going to China - what to bring?

Hi guys - I started the thread "Going to Siem Reap - what to bring?" and your suggestions really helped me to take the right equipments with me for the trip so I would like to ask for your help once again

I'm heading to China in a couple weeks with my wife - June 07th 2011 to be exact. I'll be on a tour with about 20 other people. My tour lasts 7 days and 6 night and we will be visiting 4 cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou.

I would like to travel light if possible so by having a look at the equipment that I have listed in my signature, could you please recommend which body and lenses to bring with me?

Many thanks in advance!

05-19-2011, 11:28 PM   #2
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Oh one more thing, I just bought the Sigma 10-20 f4-f5.6 so count that one in the equipment pool as well
05-20-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
Going to China - what to bring?
As you're on a tour, you have to consider that other people in the group may not be willing to wait for you while you are swapping lenses. In your position, I would take the Sigma 10-20 and the Pentax FA 24-90. Oh, you don't have the 24-90? Then take the 30/2.8 and the 85/1.8. If you need macro and a bit more reach, you can add the 100/4 as well.

Cheers!

Abbazz
05-20-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
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Not quite sure how applicable this is, as I have a K-x, you have other Pentax cameras. If it were me, I'd want to go lightweight. I would carry one ultrawide zoom + DA70.

I recently took a trip, and I realised the DA70 performs so well that as long as you're willing to stop down the lens and crop the image in post, it works wonders to make up the 'longer tha 70mm' range.

05-20-2011, 04:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
As you're on a tour, you have to consider that other people in the group may not be willing to wait for you while you are swapping lenses. In your position, I would take the Sigma 10-20 and the Pentax FA 24-90. Oh, you don't have the 24-90? Then take the 30/2.8 and the 85/1.8. If you need macro and a bit more reach, you can add the 100/4 as well.

Cheers!

Abbazz
To be even faster, I would say 10-20/DA35/DA70.
05-20-2011, 05:18 AM   #6
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I just got back from China last week. I took 6 lenses including the Sigma 10-20, a long zoom, a 50/1.2, a 100/2 and a 90mm macro. I took perhaps 5 or 10 photos with each of those lenses. And about a thousand with my Tamron 17-50.

Southern China (Guangzhou, Hong Kong) is incredibly hot at the moment - 35c and 95+% humidity. Be careful how much you carry around
05-20-2011, 05:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
As you're on a tour, you have to consider that other people in the group may not be willing to wait for you while you are swapping lenses.
Absolutely--and you'll miss shots! Although I see you're a prime sort of guy I really think a good zoom (longer than 20mm) is essential for this sort of touring. On our Spain trip, I took the Sigma 10-20mm, Tamron 28-75mm & DA 55-300mm (and some primes, of course ;~).

I'll be taking a very similar China tour in June/July, btw but I'm less concerned about traveling light. Although it'll be my 3rd trip to the PROC, this is really my first (and probably last) chance to make it a photographic expedition.

I'm taking: DA 15mm, DA 21mm FA 31mm, A 50mm f2.8 macro, FA 77mm, Tamron 28-75mm. Sigma 50-150mm, Tamron 1.4x TC, 20mm extension tube, Gitzo monopod.
05-20-2011, 06:31 AM   #8
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I suggest you take as many lenses as you can. It's not only for taking pictures. This way you can get more attention both you wanted and don't wanted and taste more of China.

By the way, summer in China is very hot almost everywhere. So be prepared. As to the weather, it used to be very pleasant when I was a kid. I think the economy makes the weather hot. When I started working at California 10 years ago, it is very hot, every year there were 10 years hot record and 30 years hot record. Now we are still having rains and we are keep hitting record chilly very often.

^_^

^_^

05-20-2011, 07:17 AM   #9
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I'm in China. In terms of usefulness, I used the Sigma 18-50mm 80%, DA 50-135mm 15% and Sigma 10-20mm 5%. Hope this helps.
05-20-2011, 08:02 AM   #10
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Wow a lot of responses! Thanks for your time and valuable suggestions, guys. Looks like we have a majority consensus on a mid-range zoom like 18-50 or so.

To be frank, I'm not a zoom guy as you can see from my equipment list but I guess being part of a tour I won't have much time to switch primes lenses a lot hence I'll probably have to deal with a zoom somehow. I will definitely not taking the kit 18-55 with me but a friend of mine has the Sigma 17-70 so I'll probably borrow it from him and pair it with my Sigma 10-20. The DA35 and DA70 will probably have their place in my bag as well as they are very light and the DA35 might be helpful for some macro situations.

Should I bring the DA10-17 FE along?
05-20-2011, 08:52 AM   #11
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Bring your DA 35 and 70 Limiteds. The 35 is also a macro so you're covered there. Bring the wide angle of your choice. I love my DA 10-17 and would bring it but also a non fishy wide angle. How much do you want to lug around? You have a ton of choices. I'm surprised no tele zoom in the list.. they are handy for travel shooting for those unexpected moments.I find I rarely use a long lens on a trip unless I plan on (or hope to) get wildlife shots. For myself, I would also bring along a quality P&S zoom that I could have in my shirt pocket all the time just in case.
05-20-2011, 08:58 AM   #12
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You have two weather sealed bodies but no weather sealed lenses, I'd do something abour that.
05-20-2011, 09:01 AM   #13
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Hi ducdao,

I was in Beijing and Tianjin last year. You are right to bring the sigma 10 - 20, this is especially so when most of the historical building / palaces are very huge. You will definitely need this if you visit TianAnMen, the largest square in the world ( i posted some photos in this forum last yr ) , Temple of Heaven, the wall which has a portrait of Chairman Mao Tse Tung, etc. FA / DA 35 , would be good, as you can do macro , or close focus with both lens. I also brought the DA 50 - 135 f/2.8, ( otherwise the Sigma 50 - 150 ) which you may use in the palace to take pictures of the various frawings on the walls, murals, etc. it is also useful at the Great Wall of China.

Hope whatever i have mention is useful to you in finalising your equipments. Have a pleasant trip.
05-20-2011, 10:38 AM   #14
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I went to China with a K7 and 17-70SDM. I did not have any other lenses anyway. Hopefully June isn't too hot yet. I was there in July and the heat/humidity was terrible, and it created a haze.

An all-around zoom is probably the best or two semi-all-arounds. I found myself doing mostly wide angle shots because of the beautiful scenery (Great Wall, the Bund (I think its called), Forbidden City, Summer Palace, West Lake, TV Tower, etc). I seldomly zoomed, except in the gardens and in the museums (zoom on the smallest this or that). If you're on a guided tour, you will not really have lots of time to stop and replace lenses. Heck you may not have lots of time to set up too many shots actually. Depending how full places are, the simple force of humanity will push you forward. Also, the cities are pretty dusty.

Night shots in the West Lake would be nice and also if you do the river cruise at night.

Enjoy the trip and wear the Pentax strap with pride. I did. I was the only one with a Pentax on the Great Wall. If you go there, you'll see.
05-20-2011, 11:46 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Hi Ducdao,

I live in Shanghai and frequently go to Hangzhou (less than 2 hour drive or less than 1 hour on the supersupersuperfast train) and Suzhou is around a 1 hour drive - all depending on your starting point in Shanghai of course (both of those are much further from Pudong than Puxi).

You will need your 10-20 and the 17-70 you are going to borrow, both are absolute must takes. I had to look at your other lenses but you have wide covered unless you want to throw in a light prime - whatever you prefer.

You will need a low light lense - lighting anywhere in China (except good hotels & restaurants) is very poor in the evenings because they use very low wattage lightbulbs to save electricity - 15W instead of the standard 60W in the West ! Your favourite 50 or the K30 i would suggest.

Finally, and I know you're a prime guy, but if you can get your hands on a DA 55-300 then there WILL be shots at distance you want and you will need the reach. This lense is so small and light it's the perfect travel zoom with reach.

Any other info on the cities just PM me.

BTW - temperatures this week have been very hot, 3 days this week hit 34C, 36C and 38C today as i stood by the car for 30 mins waiting for the police to stop blocking up the motorway again for yet another VIP ..... high humidity of course as (except for BJ) all of those cities have a LOT of water !

A few Hangzhou XiHu (West Lake) shots are here : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/126657-landscape-sunset-...west-lake.html

Last edited by Frogfish; 05-20-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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