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08-14-2012, 02:01 AM   #31
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I think that others have said many wise things, so I will add only very little.

You should travel light so as to be nimble and able to get to where you want to go without being burdened down by gear. It's warm in that part of asia, you'll be sweating droves even without several Kg of gear.

Also, you say "we will be ..." so you are not traveling alone. Nothing ruins a vacation with a partner or friend more for that partner or friend, if you will be absorbed by swapping lenses, or hindered from going somewhere because you're exhausted/lugged down.

When "we" travel - and mind you, "we" are both into photography - I bring one body and three zooms (10-17, 16-50 and 50-150) maximum. I often have the flash (360) on the camera for fill-in, toned down to -2. And that, I already consider "going too heavy". Unless we are going somewhere on a specific day where I know I'll need longer focal lengths, I will leave the 50-150 in the hotel safe, often also the 10-17 - and just worked around what equipment I have.

I consider it part of the fun: making do

The only thing you can't bring enough of is memory cards and batteries, though.

08-14-2012, 07:38 AM   #32
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If you do want to travel light, a 17-50 ish f/2.8 zoom is far and away the most valuable lens to have on your DSLR.
08-14-2012, 12:45 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
I think that others have said many wise things, so I will add only very little.


The only thing you can't bring enough of is memory cards and batteries, though.
When I travel (with my primes, I take 4 on the trip to cover a range of lengths, and several sets of batteries AND a charge for them.

I take a laptop (for business reasons) so I only have a spare card in case of a disaster witht he first.
08-14-2012, 01:16 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
When I travel (with my primes, I take 4 on the trip to cover a range of lengths, and several sets of batteries AND a charge for them.

I take a laptop (for business reasons) so I only have a spare card in case of a disaster witht he first.
Well, when I travel for business reasons, I bring the Q with the 01-02 and fisheye, and a laptop (+iPad), as photography is at best something that happens in an accidentally idle moment.

When I travel for fun, I let the laptop be home, to not be tempted to do work-stuff but do try to regularly transfer photos to the iPad & upload to my servers. Alas, I try to not trek to the opposite side of the planet for fun, to spend time in front of even an iPad, so I lug in the amount of 20ish SD cards with me. Yes, I shoot in raw only

08-14-2012, 08:50 PM   #35
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OK well I picked up a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 yesterday, I am pleasantly surprised so far by the size of the lens and its performance. It really isn't much bigger than my 18-55 WR kit lens I am going to take it out over the next couple of months to see how I really like it in practical use (instead of testing which I have only done so far).

Another thing I have been looking into is tripods but it hasn't had much coverage here. You may not like taking tripods but I personally find them indispensable.

Edit: FYI I have a Velbon Sherpa 250R but its too big and heavy for travel.

Some of the specs that I have come up with are: total weight less than 1.5Kg, Min folded length less than 50cm, Extended Length 150+cm Price $400-500, Capacity (based on heaviest set up K-7 (750g) + Sigma 150-500 OS HSM (1900g) + Kenko 2X TC (250g) + Metz Flash (363g) = 3260g) give a safety factor of 2X =6.5KG

See Attachment (attached XML if you can't read PNG): Here are the ones I have found so far, and currently the Feisol CT-3441S + CB-40D Ball Head looks to fit my needs the best.
NB: Red indicates worst in category, green the best.

Are there any others that I should be looking into or are there design/build issues with the Feisol CT-3441S?
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File Type: xml Tripod Comparison.xml (12.4 KB, 90 views)
08-15-2012, 12:15 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
OK well I picked up a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 yesterday, I am pleasantly surprised so far by the size of the lens and its performance. It really isn't much bigger than my 18-55 WR kit lens I am going to take it out over the next couple of months to see how I really like it in practical use (instead of testing which I have only done so far).

Another thing I have been looking into is tripods but it hasn't had much coverage here. You may not like taking tripods but I personally find them indispensable.

Edit: FYI I have a Velbon Sherpa 250R but its too big and heavy for travel.

Some of the specs that I have come up with are: total weight less than 1.5Kg, Min folded length less than 50cm, Extended Length 150+cm Price $400-500, Capacity (based on heaviest set up K-7 (750g) + Sigma 150-500 OS HSM (1900g) + Kenko 2X TC (250g) + Metz Flash (363g) = 3260g) give a safety factor of 2X =6.5KG

See Attachment (attached XML if you can't read PNG): Here are the ones I have found so far, and currently the Feisol CT-3441S + CB-40D Ball Head looks to fit my needs the best.
NB: Red indicates worst in category, green the best.

Are there any others that I should be looking into or are there design/build issues with the Feisol CT-3441S?
Good luck with the Tamron. You may be glad you have a few months to get to know it before your trip. My experience is that it tends to under-expose by around half a stop, but in bright/contrasty conditions it can underexpose by up to 2 stops, but it's hard to predict. Focus at f/2.8 is also hit-&-miss. Of course, all of this is on a K200D, which does not have the best AE or AF anyway. I would expect (hope for) better performance on a newer DSLR. I'd also recommend testing the AF carefully and fine-tuning if needed.

Don't let that put you off though, it's a lens that can perform very, very well.

As for tripods, I have a Slik, but I don't know the model and don't have it to hand to check. It cost about 90 so it's a fairly cheap one. It's light, small, strong, the central column can be reversed for macro, and it happily supports a DSLR, grip and the Tamron 17-50. Not ideal for long exposures, but no travel tripod is.
08-15-2012, 12:25 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
it tends to under-expose by around half a stop
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Focus at f/2.8 is also hit-&-miss
Cheers Jonathan,
I have noticed a slight under exposure and noticeable vignetting but a lightroom profile should fix the latter, and careful use should sort out the former. Focus is actually quite fast compared with other lenses I have used probably due to the short throw, although HSM is still faster, but for screw drive it does well on my K-7.

I hadn't looked at any silk tripods so I might add them into the mix, just to ensure I get a large sample space and don't miss any that suit me.
08-15-2012, 12:45 AM   #38
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You mentioned testing the Tamron 17-50. Definitely check for front/back focus if you haven't already done so. I like mine a lot but it needed a -5 AF fine adjustment.

08-15-2012, 02:01 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
You mentioned testing the Tamron 17-50. Definitely check for front/back focus if you haven't already done so. I like mine a lot but it needed a -5 AF fine adjustment.
Yeah I tested (quickly) it before purchase, I have not noticed any FF/BF issues on my K-7 nor had the previous owner on his K-5. I will do some further investigation but as I said nothing noticeable just yet.
08-15-2012, 03:08 AM   #40
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Tripods - I have Benros, Siriu and Fancier (all Chinese) and all have been excellent, there is no need to go anywhere near your US$500 budget (US$100 - 150 should be more than enough) - you only need a travel tripod (and I think Benro has one that can convert to a monopod too) capable of handling your camera and heaviest lens. If you need better after you return then sell it and buy another one (you just need to stay as light as possible for your trip).
08-15-2012, 04:08 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Tripods - I have Benros, Siriu and Fancier (all Chinese) and all have been excellent, there is no need to go anywhere near your US$500 budget (US$100 - 150 should be more than enough) - you only need a travel tripod (and I think Benro has one that can convert to a monopod too) capable of handling your camera and heaviest lens. If you need better after you return then sell it and buy another one (you just need to stay as light as possible for your trip).
Hhmmmm - to replay an old record, I seriously wonder if a tripod is a priority. (Wait for the howls ... ) I've lugged a Slik Sprint Pro through many continents and hardly used it. These major trips involve trade-offs. Difficult decisions. How many tripod shots will you really need/want to take? How does that balance against the need to cart the bloody thing all round Asia? Leave it at home, I would. Feel the liberating effect of not having a load of junk to carry around in a hot and humid climate.

I remain amazed by the weight of the combinations recommended by many in this thread. Have you ever tried looking for a hotel wrongly detailed in the Lonely Planet in some far-flung Cambodian label on the map late in the afternoon when it's getting dark after a long journey with all that stuff on your back or hanging round your neck? Maybe I'm getting cynical ...
08-15-2012, 04:15 AM   #42
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Timo. I only added the tripod recommendations because the OP says he wants to take one. Personally I either take a monopod or I don't take anything support-wise at all (though I have a beanbag now that weighs virtually nothing - so that will be worth a try).

Last edited by Frogfish; 08-15-2012 at 06:55 AM.
08-15-2012, 04:20 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Timo. I only added the tripod recommendations because the OP says he wants to take one. Personally I either take a monopod or I don't anything at support at all (though I have a beanbag now that weighs virtually nothing - so that will be worth a try).
Yes. You are right. The beanbag has a great deal to recommend it. Goes well with live view.
08-15-2012, 05:00 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Benros, Siriu and Fancier
I had a look at the Siriu, and they have some very well spec'd tripods and reviews have all been very positive! I'll have to update my comparison. I had already considered the Benros but I have found they don't get low enough at min height which I would prefer for macros. They were light and pretty compact which is good.

QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
there is no need to go anywhere near your US$500 budget
I based my budget off preliminary research I did a few months ago, I have made allowance for up to that mark if I find the right set-up. Obviously if I found something that met my wants that was cheaper I would be really pleased (Siriu might have done this)

QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Benro has one that can convert to a monopod too
Sirui Have this feature also, one of the legs unscrew which is a neat idea.

QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
Hhmmmm - to replay an old record, I seriously wonder if a tripod is a priority.
Tripods are not everyone's flavor, for me as I am still training my photographic eye I find that my shots are significantly better when I force the use of a tripod. It is not the added sharpness and depth of field it allows, but it slows me down for important shots. For example, I come across a nice scene, without a tripod I tend to just snap and be done with it. With a tripod I have to actively pick where the tripod goes, pick what height it is set at, and then frame my shot. This added time allows me to stop and think about my composition, settings and subject. The added effort of carrying an extra 1.5kg is marginal to me. I am fit, young and healthy and have done numerous 3-4 day hikes in 30-40 degree Celsius heat with a 25kg+ (55lb) pack with no trouble at all.
On the other hand I do realise it can be fiddly, it draws attention and is an added cost which might be key criteria for someone else, but I have weighed those factors already.
08-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #45
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Whilst I adhere to those questioning the sanity of schlepping along a tripod (or monopod) on such a trip, if you absolutely must, then I've had great use from http://www.gitzo.fr/ my Gitzo tripod and monopod.

Someone recommended Silk on this thread also. I've had two, both of which broke quickly, both of which were so flimsy and unstable that even looking at the camera angrily would make it shake and wobble. I guess that there were two redeeming factors to the Silk tripods, though: (i) they were light, and (ii) seeing of how little use they were, I was never encouraged to schlep them along and so never burdened by them

This may, of course, not be true for all Silk tripods - my point being simply that a tripod, which is useful for its purpose of supporting a camera, dampening vibration, generally is sturdy...and sturdy generally means heavy.....
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