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02-19-2014, 11:08 AM   #1
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7-day countdown to Borneo

In 7 days, Mr frogoutofwater and I will be flying to Malaysian Borneo for our joint 50th-birthday adventure trip. This trip has been planned for two years (originally scheduled for 2013 and re-scheduled for 2014). Part of our long-range planning was to give each other decent cameras for Christmas in 2012 and then learn how to use them. I picked out a K-30 for him and a Sony NEX-5R for myself. I love my NEX but I ended up getting really into photography in 2013 and decided to upgrade to a more fully-featured and better quality camera, so my dad gave me the K-3/18-135 package as a combination Christmas/50th birthday gift.

By ourselves or as a couple, we have taken some adventure trips before, but this is the first time we'll be doing a fairly lengthy, photography-focused trip - and it will be my first time spending an extended period of time in a tropical/muggy environment. (We've travelled in very hot, dry environments before like Morocco, Egypt and Oman - I've got a higher tolerance for dry heat than wet heat.)

I can hardly wait for this trip to start. I managed to redeem United miles to fly 1st class to Singapore and business class home. And I also managed to redeem Hilton points for a 4-night stay at the Conrad in Singapore.

It was hard to choose where to go in Borneo and how much time to spend, but we decided on a 3-week trip that includes 3 nights in a riverfront rainforest lodge (Sukau), 4 nights diving on Lankayan Island, 3 nights in Kuching and 4 nights in Singapore, plus some "stopover" days in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan. Photographically speaking, the main areas of focus for the trip are: 1) animal life; and 2) city life/street photography/spontaneous portraits. Landscape is not my forte but I'll give it a try. I also like doing some macro photography, so I may experiment with photographing the more exotic flora. Bugs creep me out, but maybe if I photographed them I'd get appreciate them more.

Any suggestions for a) keeping your gear in good shape in a tropical rainforest environment; and b) keeping your sanity when confronted by leaches, mosquitoes and things with too many legs would be appreciated. Also, if there are any Pentaxians who live or have visited the places we're going and can recommend their favourite "never would have known about it" location for photography, I'd love to hear about it. In Singapore, is it worth shopping for deals on camera gear?

My camera gear packing list includes:

K-3
Lenses: WR 18-135; WR 55-300; Limited 15; Limited 77; Sigma 90mm macro
WR Pentax AF360FGZ II flash
Sirui T-025x
LowePro Photo Sport 200
Tamrac Aria 3 (also doubles as my purse)
Lots of SanDisk Extreme 80MBS/sec 16GB cards; high speed card reader; card wallet
2 batteries for camera; plus batteries for flash
Gary Fong light diffuser and pair of small (12") reflectors
Silica packs
Rocket blower; soft wipes
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sacks
Asus 11.6" Vivobook loaded with Lightroom (and probably Photoshop) - for backing up images and a little light editing (I'll try to wait until I get home to do most of this work, but I don't think I'll be able to resist looking at some images and posting them to smugmug and Facebook)

(Some of this gear will be lugged by Mr frogoutofwater, aka my Sherpa). In addition to his K-30 and a couple of lenses (Tamron 18-270, 50mm 1.8), he's bringing his new GoPro for the dive part of our trip.

Does anyone think I'm missing anything? Any suggestions for where I could cut back? I know it seems like a lot of lenses to pack, but given the variety of scenes and subjects, it seems appropriate to me. Perhaps the one lens I could think of leaving off the list would be the Limited 15, since landscape photography is probably lowest on my list of priorities and I could probably get by with the lower end of the zoom range on my 18-135. We're also debating whether or not to bring the tripod - since neither of us tends to use tripods much (I know we should, but we don't)

02-20-2014, 06:28 AM   #2
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Add your battery charger for the camera and voltage/plug adapters if needed. The charger is rated for 110 and 220 but the plug may not match up with local electrical outlets. This if course also applies to anything else you have that is electrical in nature like the computer, hair driers, curling irons, shavers, etc.
02-20-2014, 06:39 AM   #3
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Looks like a good set up. My brother and I made our own Risk board with 20 or so extra counties and the possibility to form navies, and Borneo was one of our chief countries as a good place to launch naval attacks from. The result of which Borneo has an importance in my mind which has nothing to do with it's place in the cosmos. I look forward to seeing some pictures of the real Borneo.
02-20-2014, 07:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Add your battery charger for the camera and voltage/plug adapters if needed. The charger is rated for 110 and 220 but the plug may not match up with local electrical outlets. This if course also applies to anything else you have that is electrical in nature like the computer, hair driers, curling irons, shavers, etc.
A yes, chargers and adaptors. Mr frogoutofwater is responsible for sorting out electricity but I will remind him. Thankfully, I'm fairly low maintenance, so I will not be packing any personal care items that require electricity - but of course we need chargers and adaptors for computers, phones, cameras, etc.

02-20-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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Great Kit! I use similar... I would add

LCD protectors on K-3 (I cut up unused ones from old cell phones that were not used) for tom and rear LCDs, 58/62mm UV or protectors (nano coated), and 58/62mm CPL. You CAN use a 58-62 stepup ring on the 55-300 to reduce the need for 2 cpl's, but I would have full time protectors on the glass. Also 2-3 NEW microfiber cloths (WITHOUT print, which can be abrasive ink) for non-objective wipedowns... Possibly a Handstrap as well, faster to deploy and carry weight in the bush....
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