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07-12-2011, 07:02 AM   #1
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Another trek to disney...

Last time I did disney. i had my k10 with a blackrapid strap and my lowepro 200....brought with me, but didn't always carry around the parks, my 10-20, 10-17, 50-135 and 16-45 lenses. i probably had the 40 limited in there too...

wife just told me today that she doesn't want to see the 200 on my in the park when we go in August....says its too large, and I guess on me it looks like i have a humpback. I can't totally disagree with not wearing it, in the heat it does make me sweat, so that's not a bad thing to leave it off....she also griped about the blackrapid because it left the camera at a level where my nephew hit himself in the head when he was walking too close. but i am not giving up that strap, its just too functional.

so, here's what I want to do.....
take lots of shots, likely mostly with the kids and characters, but i know i want to try and get fireworks shots from our hotel roof too. nothing too demanding, not an african safari.

here's what i was thinking of doing (i'd like to spend very little, but some allow for some spending)
1-buy a lowepro or caselogic type camera holster, big enough for the k-7, attached lens and little else. i think this is a must-do, if i leave the 200 behind, i want to have some bag protection for the camera in the parks, for the times when i do put it down.

2-buy/rent either the 17-70 or 18-135 and take that lens in place of the 16-45. now, i don't dislike the 16-45's been on my cameras for the majority of the pictures i've taken. however, there are times--and i expect there will be those times in disney too--where i will wish for a little more reach, and shuffling my feet enough will not be easily done, if at all feasible. i have rarely had an issue where the lens was not wide enough....from what i have read, both alternatives seem to be about the same as the 16-45, just with more reach. but are either really worth the $300 plus, over what i have?

3-Buy the case above, but add in a lens bag, and bring along the 50-135 as well. figuring that for the few seconds of lens switching time, it's a worthy trade-off....since i don't even know how frequently i'd end up changing lenses.

or...i could just skip it all, and bring our sony and olympus point and shoots...certainly small enough.... (some sarcasm there....)

any thoughts are welcomed.....

07-12-2011, 08:50 AM   #2
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We're annual passholders and I go a bit so my thoughts are based on my experiences.

Waist belt based holders for dSLRs are a real pain when you have to sit for rides with limited room, belts, and bars. Avoid them and go with a sling or shoulder bag. The Sliplock Lowepro shoulder units work well but the shoulder strap on them is worthless IMHO so I put a good Swiss Army strap from my work bag on and it makes a great deal of difference.

The Lowepro sliplock system has lens bags that are really inexpensive, attach to the camera bag and detach easily so you can mix-and-match your lenses, and serve as storage when not in use. I'd get a size 1 which will hold two small primes or 1 moderate zoom.

I think 18-135 should cover a great deal of what you can reasonably expect unless you want big landscape/building shots close up. For those I use the 10-24.

Don't forget a couple of sets of Eneloops and have a blast
07-12-2011, 09:17 AM   #3
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We just got back from a trip to Disneyland (including California Adventure) and we kept it simple. We used a small backpack and used two cameras - a Fuji superzoom (HS10) and a K20D (battery grip removed and no hot-shoe flash) with a Sigma 24-60 F2.8 EX DG lens. The cameras nested with each other in the backpack and it was easy to stow by my feet during rides.

The Fuji worked for HD video, wide shots (if we needed wider then 24mm) zooming (if we needed longer then 60mm - don't remember too much of that) and quick shots (stick it on auto and just fire).

The K20D was for better photography opportunities - when I had time to work in M mode and use the pop-up flash for fill as needed. It had enough reach for what we did in the parks over three days, which was pretty much everything (my girls are 6 and 10).

I think the combination worked well, though I haven't edited any of the 3000 photos (including Sequoia, Kings Canyon & Yosemite NP) yet - we got in late Sunday and I haven't had time to do much more then download and sort so far. I plan to post some shots when I have time.
07-16-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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The 18-135 will cover most of the range that I ever use at Disney. Something wider can be great, but to properly scope out and setup a shot like that I find I both lack the time (with a toddler) and people get in the way. The only place 135mm will feel short is at Animal Kingdom for obvious reasons -- but it's hard to get a lot during Safari ride anyway because it's so bouncy -- those are the best potential shots because of the lack of barriers/glass etc.

I agree having some sort of small bag even if it's just for protection is critical. A find a top-loading bag like a Crumpler provides what I need, and even a Crumper 5 million isn't too big or heavy spending a full day at the parks -- especially if you're packing a light, you could have a smaller and lighter bag. It sounds like having something that looks normal will appease your wife (and mine!) as well. I managed to pack in a K20D, 16-45, F 50 1.7, M-120 and a Canon HV10, mini-tripod and extra batteries and cards. It was tight (the camcorder was packed under the other lenses -- now that I have a K5, I'll just pack extra memory cards!)

What I highly recommend:

- A mini-tripod, great for night time and fireworks. I used trashcans to get the height required. I have a Manfrotto 709B that works well (for what it is.) Pay attention though, my K20d still has a scar from when I wasn't!

- A pop-up flash diffuser -- for both fill-flash (where feasible with the sync speed) and especially indoor fill-flash. Even an AF360 is just too bulky for me in this situation -- and certainly for what you're after. I might try a AF200T though -- Manual. 1/8th power with a diffuser. Might still be too bulky for your purposes.

- A fast wide-ish prime. The DA 40 will be OK -- It could be faster, but it will certainly be in-line with your size and weight requirements. Once it gets dark, I use this almost exclusively, as the VF and AF will start to be problematic on anything slower, and there's not much need for a long FL.

- A good strap -- don't let your wife compromise that!

I would absolutely leave the 50-135 at home -- (or, at least in the hotel most of the time.... ) With the 18-135mm you can create some DOF by just shooting longer. You'll miss it, but for what you're going for, it's just not worth it.

07-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #5
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Ah -- And a remote, especially for the fireworks, but useful elsewhere as well. I use a generic Ebay IR remote that was $2 or so.

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