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09-05-2015, 04:48 PM   #1
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Question: Travel photo gear - Useful accessory items

In October I'm off to my first European trip in almost 35 years (I really hate to fly.). Most travel threads seem to focus on what camera gear to take. I've already determined what gear (body, lenses) to take; however what I might be missing is any ancillary items to include. Unless I missed that thread...

My goal is keep it simple, my main carry-on bag plus my day pack (as my "personal" item) where I'll have the camera gear, and maybe the Macbook Air 11". No checked luggage. I know from talking with friend who travel frequently, things have changed a *lot* since my last trip.

My current checklist has:
* battery charger and 2 extra batteries
* Euro plug adapter
* extra memory cards (I have 6 in a hard-shell carry case)
* Other?

The "other" items I'll pack in the main carry-on. I'd hate to get flumoxed by something as simple as a smear on a lens. Suggestions (other than camera body, lenses are appreciated.

Steve

09-05-2015, 04:55 PM   #2
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I don't know if you are packing a small tripod. Something like a small one --- say a Gorillapod --- would surely come in handy.
09-05-2015, 05:08 PM   #3
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How long will you be in Europe? If you want to do the full stereotypical American Europe trip just carry on luggage and a daypack might be a bit small?
09-05-2015, 05:12 PM   #4
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You mention lens smears
Your cleaning kit should have a blower, lens cloth, brush, lens pen, etc. At least the lens cloth in your day bag, the rest with your other stuff.
I like to have a multi-tool (leatherman or other ) but without checked luggage not sure how you can get it on the plane.

PDF of your camera manual on your MacBook?
I'm sure others will have some great ideas

09-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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You may already have included this in your lens kit, but under 'Other' I'd certainly bring:

- 1 x Lens pen;
- 1 x small micro-fibre cleaning cloth (perhaps one that is 18% grey);
- 1 x small grey card;
- 1 set of front and rear lens caps.
09-05-2015, 06:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I will not be taking a tripod, even a small one. I'll make do without. Although the Joby ones are interesting. All the "lens support" items either I have or likely will add. Either I'll take the Mac Air or an iPad mini with all manuals on them. I lean toward the Mac Air so I can backup the SD cards (it has a 120BG SSD).

As to packing, the tour will be only one week (8 or so days). Yes, you *can* get by with one carry-on. I believe in packing as light as possible. I've packed less stuff for a six week motorcycle trip. If it won't fit in the carry-on or my day pack it is *not* going with me.

Most (all) of my traveling for the past 25+ years has been by motorcycle. I've learned to pack tight and light. My bikes do not look like the Klampett family vacation when packed. While motorcycle touring is not necessarily the same as an overseas tour, many of the lessons can transfer.

edit: I'm a fan of the Rick Steves (and others) philosophy of traveling light.

Steve

Last edited by shuber; 09-05-2015 at 06:17 PM.
09-05-2015, 06:19 PM   #7
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+1 on the light travelling tripod - on reflection it seems that travelling holidays are the only time I have ever attempted to do night photography - last trip ended up using the hood of the grandsons push chair to hold the camera - not very accurate.

+1 on the lens pen - had a child reach up and wipe a grubby finger all over a lens last week while I was otherwise occupied - lens pen to the rescue.

I use one of those neoprene zip bag/satchels to hold all my cables and chargers - just a good way to keep organised. Colour coded double sided Velcro straps to separate out all the cables and chargers. Red for body one, yellow for body two, green for tablet, blue for mobile phone.

A laminated list of all cables and gear so when packing to move to next spot I can check contents quickly to make sure I haven't left the battery charger plugged into the socket behind the night stand where it is not in sight when doing a quick scan before leaving the hotel room for the last time - lesson from experience. (Cleaning staff found it and hotel arranged courier for it to the next stop thank goodness. Panic worth avoiding however.)
09-05-2015, 06:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arjay Bee Quote
+1 on the lens pen - had a child reach up and wipe a grubby finger all over a lens last week while I was otherwise occupied - lens pen to the rescue.
Ouch! And yes, lens pen and cloth will be in the kit. As to cable organization; well, I won't have that many cables but I do have enough pouches (or zip-lock bags) to store them.

My vow is to *not* be this guy:


Or these guys:



Last edited by shuber; 09-05-2015 at 06:37 PM.
09-05-2015, 07:48 PM   #9
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I packed for two weeks a week in Paris and a week in Brussels. Paris as tourist and Brussels as a speaker and attendee at a commercial and academic conference so I needed dress clothes casual clothes etc and a k100d super with two lenses (18-55, 50-200) a laptop etc all packed in a small carry on and another personal bag. I used a wash dry fold service in Brussels.
09-05-2015, 08:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I packed for two weeks a week in Paris and a week in Brussels. Paris as tourist and Brussels as a speaker and attendee at a commercial and academic conference so I needed dress clothes casual clothes etc and a k100d super with two lenses (18-55, 50-200) a laptop etc all packed in a small carry on and another personal bag. I used a wash dry fold service in Brussels.
Now *that* is traveling! My guess is the photography didn't suffer, nor did your back from schlepping equipment.
09-05-2015, 08:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuber Quote
Now *that* is traveling! My guess is the photography didn't suffer, nor did your back from schlepping equipment.
I had a great time with my wife and the only downside was in Brussels she was kind of adrift since I was working for the week.
09-05-2015, 11:27 PM   #12
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If not taking a travel tripod then a bean bag.
09-05-2015, 11:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
If not taking a travel tripod then a bean bag.
The bean bag should take care of your snacks too. By the time your trip is over, your stuff would probably be a pound or two lighter.
09-06-2015, 02:13 AM   #14
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Everyone seems to have mentioned the essential stuff. I would recommend a 7" tablet for looking up google maps etc. and a portable battery pack for charging devices during the day if required. It probably wouldn't be necessary to have the charger but being in a foreign country i reckon its better to be with than without.
09-06-2015, 04:53 AM   #15
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A beanbag is handy as a tripod also. I like take some night shoots. I also suggest to carray a CPL filter for your normal lens. It reduces reflections on shopwindows for example. I always have a flash in my bag, but I rearly use it on trips.
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