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03-12-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
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what lenses for Egypt?

Hi guys,
so we finaly booked our honeymoon trip with my wife. We had our wedding in November last year, and catholic service will follow in August. Straight after we are going for honeymoon to Egypt. It's first time we've decided to go anywhere else then home (we live in London but we're not English!)...
Now this got me thinking a bit. Will changing lenses be OK in such conditions? If yes, I'm happy to take quite a part of my collection, or should I invest to some good universal trawell zoom like DA17-70 or DA*16-50 or maybe Sigma 24-70 to take with my Sigma 10-20 to minimise the lens changes?

any advice/opinion is more then welcome

BR
Peter

03-12-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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Hi Peter, what a great place to be going for your honeymoon.
As long as you take into account the heat and air con (and taking the camera between the two) I think you should be ok as long as you take the usual precautions.

Just don't try and change lenses in a dust storm or within spitting distance of a camel. Large ziploc bags might be a useful standby to have in the case of dusty conditions.

I do think you need to take a longer lens though in addition to the lenses you have mentioned.
03-12-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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Hi Peter,
I envy you - always wanted to see the pyramids. Gadafi wouldn't let me across Lybia
I have travelled quite a lot in Algeria and across the desert into Niger and Nigeria.
I imagine the conditions in Egypt will be much the same. Your problem will be DUST, DUST and more DUST. I used to hop back into the truck cab to change lenses.
Try for the most useful zoom you think you will need and keep changes to a minimum.
Does your camera back have the dust shake?? Watch out for heat as well - an insulated camera bag or box is a bonus. Just take care - you'll come back with some great pictures!!

All the best

GG
03-12-2009, 11:01 PM   #4
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wow, awesome trip!
My wife and I also honeymooned in Egypt back in '93...it was memorable.
I had a lousy camera then, of course, sure wish we could go back and take some better photos.

as Gary said, dust/sand is everywhere - i mean everywhere, so be careful . Remember the heat will be intense. I recall it being 125+ degrees at the mortuary temple of queen Hatshepsut - BTW, one of the most striking temples to photograph on the West Bank of the Nile.

also, keep all your valuables on your body - there are thieves, even the small children are sometimes expert pickpockets, etc. dont want to scare you but there is much poverty in some parts and well, people get desperate...

ok, if you hit the Egyptian museum in Cairo, they do not permit flash and possibly no tripods, so you'll need fast glass and high ISO, especially in the dark galleries.

Also, inside tombs and pyramids, no flash is permitted, so also adjust accordingly. If you must get that flash shot of the grand gallery of Khufu's pyramid, I am aware you can bribe the guards and they will look away while you flash - did i say that? I wouldn't do it in tombs where the walls are painted because of the obvious damage this causes over time.

If i were going again, i would have the circ polarizer with me as well to control both the intense outdoor sun as well as reduce some glare on the gold artifacts in the museum.

hmm, what else? you are a lucky couple! have a great time.

03-13-2009, 01:30 AM   #5
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thanks for tips and advices...
sadly though, I don't think we'll get to see pyramids
we booked cruise on lower Nile I believe, but I'm well excited anyway....

BR
03-13-2009, 02:09 AM   #6
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I envy you, Egypt is a beautiful country to visit.

As I understand, you will do a cruise on the Nile, probably Luxor - Aswan.

An extreme wide angle lens is not really a must. Last time, I took the DA16-45 and it did well. The 16mm allows to go a bit closer to the temple (leaving the crowed behind), but the wide angle distortion will not make very appealing results.

If you do want to make "life scene" photos of the villages, fields,... along the cruise on the Nile, a lens around 300mm would be welcome.
03-13-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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Bribes

The "No Photographs" signs everywhere do not indicate that you can't take photos, only that the guards need 5 or 10 pounds to take them.

I have some fantastic photos from the Cairo Museum King Tut exhibit. The guard sent everyone out and gave me 5 minutes to photograph what I wanted.

I lived there for approximately a year and shot about 2500 photos (pre-digital), remember that the average monthly income is approximatly 200 pounds so tip accordingly. Not too much or you will increase the cost for the locals, but not too little.

And bargain.

Oh these are Egyptial Pounds not GBP.

And expect the heat, it got to 54 degrees Celsius in Aswan one day. Also wear long sleeved shirts and long pants at all times out of respect, same with your wife. Buy some light cotton clothes when you are there, the quality is excellent and they are dirt cheap.

And a wide brimmed hat.

As for a lens I would take a 10-20 or 12-24mm and a long lens.

Last edited by omega leader; 03-13-2009 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Added advise about a hat.
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