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02-11-2016, 06:04 PM   #1
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Travel Necessities

Howdy folks.

I'm going to Spain for two weeks in May having never traveled internationally before, and I'm in the process of deciding what I need from a photographic standpoint. I currently have a small kit comprised of a Pentax K-50, a trio of primes and some accessories. I would like to be able to back up the files on a daily basis in case of any problem with my equipment (mechanical or otherwise), and plan to bring a laptop and external drive with me. Since the places we're staying will also have internet access, I'm considering cloud storage for another layer of redundancy.

So far my kid includes:

-Pacsafe Z16 backpack
--K-50
---DA 35mm f2.8 Macro LTD
---SMC-A 50mm f1.7
---SMC-M 135mm f3.5
--Spare battery (x2)
--Lens cloth
--32GB SD Card (x3, probably will buy a fourth before I leave)
--Giottos Rocket Blaster
--Charger

My laptop ain't much, but I turbo-charged it with a cheap 120GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, plus a fresh install of WIndows 10. I am currently eyeing 1TB external drives, though I could conceive of buying a very large thumb drive--I can't imagine I'd shoot more than 256GB of images in 11 usable days. I also have access to an Amazon Prime account, which will let me upload an unlimited number of photos to their web servers. Surprisingly, it recognizes Adobe DNG files as pictures, so I can theoretically back up my entire trip and still have all my photos even if my camera equipment is lost or stolen.

To distill it all down, I suppose I have three basic questions:

-What am I not considering that I should?
-Are Amazon Web Services reliable enough that I don't need to look into other cloud storage options?
-What physical backup device would you recommend? I have yet to purchase either an external 2.5" drive or USB flash drive.

Any other advice is appreciated, of course.

02-11-2016, 07:01 PM   #2
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Looks pretty good to me. Do you have any sort of extra camera to take for backup?
02-11-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
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You might not want to hear this but I don't travel without a tripod. I use a Slik carbon fibre travel tripod, which is light and compact but you could get something quite a bit smaller if you were willing to trade off a bit of stability.


I also agree with Mr Bassie that a back up camera is a must have.
02-11-2016, 07:43 PM   #4
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If you are from the USA, then remember Europe runs on different electricity voltage. 220v 50hz rather than 120v 60hz. So you will need power adapters. Simple adapter USUALLY works for chargers and so on but you need to verify that before going. Hair dryers and other stuff that run off mains rather than through a charger will NOT work. Well, they will but they will work really fast for a short while and then catch on fire. Trust me.

I would be fine with Amazon for cloud backup. However, I would test up and down on DNG files before doing it to make sure everything comes through correctly.

As to what else to take, I think you are mostly good. More stuff means more stuff to carry. If I were to add anything it would be a wider lens, 35mm is awful long for your only wide angle. If you have the 18-55 kit lens, take it along weighs nothing and might get you a shot you could not otherwise. If you don't have it consider picking up one second hand, might cost $50 or so.

02-11-2016, 08:06 PM   #5
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I think you'll miss not having a wider option than 35mm.

For what it's worth, I am going overseas in a few months too, and this is what I think I'll be taking:

LowePro Nova4 AW bag - everything below fits in it (well, the tripod sits on top)
Sirui T-025X tripod
Rocket blower and lens cleaning kit
Charger, spare batteries (2) and SD cards (several)
K-3 with DA10-17, DA21, FA31, DA*55, FA77, DFA100WR, HD55-300
58mm + 49mm polarisers, 49mm black glass
AF 540 FGZ II flash with foldable reflector and Better Beamer

The whole lot weighs just under 7kg, so it's fine as carry-on.

I'm still deciding whether I should pack my 15" laptop, or just shoot JPEG + RAW and save the serious processing for when I get home.
I might also smuggle my Q7 with 03, 08, 01 and 06 into my suitcase as a backup.
02-11-2016, 08:20 PM   #6
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My son has been to several European cities including Madrid in the last couple of years and has been happiest with wide angles lenses, like the Tamron 10-24, and the 18-55WR to travel real light. I also like the idea of a travel tripod, I did not have one on a recent trip and really regretted it. Especially because sometime night is the best time for shooting. Remember in Spain they siesta in the afternoon and night is when things happen, at least that is what I have been told.
02-11-2016, 08:23 PM   #7
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I'm supposed to shoot engagement photos for a friend and I was planning on charging him a lowly sum (just enough to cover a 21mm LTD, if I can swing it). I have also looked into Lens Rentals and Borrow Lenses--Lens Rentals at least rents out the DA 15mm f4 LTD. And I'm accustomed to "zooming with my feet" so even though the 35 isn't particularly wide, its macro capabilities and the way I've trained myself to shoot mean I'll be just fine even if I don't get any flatter glass in my bag before May.

Thanks for the reminder on the voltage differences. I'd already checked my devices and anything with a DC transformer will accept an input voltage up to 240, so I should only need the plug adapters.

No plans for a second body, as it's not in the budget. If everything goes to hell, I'll simply shoot what I can with my Sony Xperia Z3 and hope for the best. No plans for a tripod either as I'm usually a much more mobile photographer than that. It's also extra weight I'd rather not shoulder, and any money I spend on my kit from this point forward will probably either go toward lenses or small necessities (such as additional SD cards).

I have done some testing with the Amazon Cloud Drive stuff, and have uploaded and downloaded a few hundred MBs' worth of DNG files successfully. I don't plan to wipe the SD cards while on the trip unless it's absolutely necessary. And again, I will be backing them up to a local drive on my person as well which should leave me with three copies:

-the originals on SDHC;
-the local backups on an external drive; and
-the remote files hosted via Amazon Cloud Drive

An additional question for y'all--does anyone have experience with the Peak Design line of products, including their straps and handles? I've been eyeing the Clutch (hand strap) and even demoed it a bit at my local shop, but I'm not 100% sold. I want to get away from the traditional neck strap and am interested in both hand straps and wrist straps. I find that traditional neck straps are cumbersome and block my view of the finder more often than not.
02-11-2016, 08:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Architecture Quote
And I'm accustomed to "zooming with my feet" so even though the 35 isn't particularly wide, its macro capabilities and the way I've trained myself to shoot mean I'll be just fine
I've never been to Europe, but I have spoken with and read articles by a good few who have. Streets are narrow, sight-lines limited in the towns. Everything I have heard says a wide angle is a must as you cannot zoom with your feet when there is a wall in the way.

QuoteOriginally posted by Architecture Quote
does anyone have experience with the Peak Design line of products
No experience with Peak Design, but take a look at the Op/tech line they have both sling straps that I use as well as hand straps. Just another option to look at. OP/TECH USA - Straps

02-12-2016, 03:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Architecture Quote
. . . additional question for y'all--does anyone have experience with the Peak Design line of products, including their straps and handles? I've been eyeing the Clutch (hand strap) and even demoed it a bit at my local shop, but I'm not 100% sold. I want to get away from the traditional neck strap and am interested in both hand straps and wrist straps. I find that traditional neck straps are cumbersome and block my view of the finder more often than not.
I have always had a significant problem with neck straps. I got a Camdapter hand strap for my k200d and never looked back; I ordered another one for my K50. I'm not certain that the other hand straps mentioned are significantly different; it just depends on whether you need a specific type of tripod adapter for the mounting plate and what style you like. Note -- Pentax makes an "official" hand strap, leather, for about $25.00. It would be nice except it has lots of extra "flexibility" and comes with no directions whatsoever. I was so shocked I did significant googling to find several threads on this site and others asking how to attach it. I guess anyway that works would be great, but it looked "wrong" no matter how I did it.
03-20-2016, 11:21 AM   #10
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I ended up buying the PD Slyde and calling it a day. I do like the idea of a hand strap, but support and feeling of safety with a sling strap won me over.

Got a good tip from the salesman at the local shop the other day about covering up my camera's identifying marks with black gaffer's tape.

Also ordered a DA 15mm Limited and seriously considering the Mefoto Road Trip. Are there any other good tripods in the sub-$200 range which y'all would recommend?
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