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08-26-2016, 05:39 AM   #1
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What to carry for Cuba trip?

Hey guys,

you helped me a lot with the decision what to bring to Namibia earlier this year so I ask the same question for Cuba again.

In the opposite to Namibia where I mostly captured landscapes I plan to capture a little bit of the life and the people in Cuba. Beside of that I want to shoot some landscapes and seascapes as well. We will travel in the second half of October (Maybe this could be important for weather sealing, etc.). We plan to see mostly central Cuba because two weeks are rather tight for seeing the whole country. It would be great if we can see the Sierra Maestra but I rather doubt it. We want to travel with the Viazul buses between the destinations and hike or take taxis there. What we plan to see is Valle de Vi˝ales, Havanna and Trinidad. We are open for good tips for 14 days arriving and leaving in Havanna (OT)

My current gear is:

Pentax K5
Sigma 10-20 3.5
Pentax 16-50 2.8
Pentax 31 1.8
Pentax 70-210 4-5.6
Pol 77 mm
Pol 49 mm
Formatt-Hitech 100 mm system with Pol, 0.6 GND and 0.9 GND
Sirui Travel Tripod

More and more I tend to take enough time to take the pictures as long as my girlfriend or the schedule allows it . My experience of landscape/travel photography in northern Europe is that you better take some time and wait for the beautiful light even til the blue hour. Unfortunately I didn't have that much time in Namibia in February, but I think it's advisable to take pictures around sunrise or sunset there as well. As I did some research on possible subjects in Cuba I got the feeling that travel photography might be a little different there as you capture more in midday sunlight and more people and street sceneries.

What are your experiences with taking pictures there and what gear would you choose? Is security an issue? Maybe an addition to the existing gear is necessary?

Thanks in advance!

Sebastian

08-26-2016, 05:14 PM   #2
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I would pack my copy of Virgil Suarez's book of poems, Spared Angola, which begins with his childhood experiences in Cuba. And then I'd select some photo gear. However, since my equipment choices are different from yours, I can't really advise about that.
08-26-2016, 06:09 PM   #3
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If you visit Havanna, city sightseing, you will have old buildings and car, need the Sigma and the 15-50 for sure and some polariser because that water and sun are extremly present. For me that it's.
I have been there.
09-02-2016, 04:27 AM   #4
Seb
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Thank you!

I've ordered the poem book right after reading the post! I'm looking forward to see your point after reading it.

I think I will keep it simple and bring the 16-50 for general landscape and travel stuff and try to capture the street scenes with the more inconspicuous 31. Maybe I bring the 70-210 for additional landscapes or wildlife.

As we plan to visit Vi˝ales and Topes de Collantes I bring thy tripod and GND and ND (waterfalls..).

Sebastian

09-02-2016, 05:33 AM   #5
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Seb, there is quite an interesting literature written in English by Cuban exiles. Suarez was still a child when his family left Cuba, first for Spain, and then for the USA, but I think his impressions of Cuban society, his neighborhood, and his family offer some insights into the complexities of life in Cuba in the years not so long after the Revolution. As for life in his new country, there are interesting resonances with the challenges of all exiles, transplanted to some environment other than the place they remember as home and that their families call "home." Will the Cuba you see, look like the one Suarez describes? I suspect that in many ways it will be different, but, if you get a chance to talk with Cubans about their earlier lives and the roots of their families, there will be some connections, whether similarities or contrasts, whether spoken or unspoken.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of your pictures on the forum when you get back!
09-07-2016, 02:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Seb Quote
Hey guys,

[snip] We want to travel with the Viazul buses between the destinations and hike or take taxis there.[snip]

My current gear is:

Pentax K5
Sigma 10-20 3.5
Pentax 16-50 2.8
Pentax 31 1.8
Pentax 70-210 4-5.6
Pol 77 mm
Pol 49 mm
Formatt-Hitech 100 mm system with Pol, 0.6 GND and 0.9 GND
Sirui Travel Tripod

[snip] Maybe an addition to the existing gear is necessary?
Given that you are going to actually carry your gear at least part of the time, I would suggest traveling light. To me, traveling light means ONE zoom (or maybe a couple of small primes) - and no tripod, either. I can usually find a sign post, a wall, or a stick to help me steady the camera for slower shutter speeds and HDR.

For me, the question to ask would not be 'What else should I take?' - but rather - 'What else can I leave at home?'
09-07-2016, 04:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by runswithsizzers Quote
. . . and no tripod, either. I can usually find a sign post, a wall, or a stick to help me steady the camera for slower shutter speeds and HDR. . . . .
Some monopods make good walking sticks, when they aren't supporting a camera. In that capacity, a monopod might help one cover more ground at that intimate street level.
11-24-2017, 10:08 AM   #8
Seb
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Location: Wuppertal, Germany
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Hey guys,

I finally started a little photography-travel-blog and I can show some pictures from my trip. I'm going to publish some more stuff little by little and will let you know.

Here are some examples from Havana and Valle de Vinales:

In den Stra▀en von Havanna – Stra▀enfotografie mit kleinem Besteck – Raus Klick Boom!

Kuba – Valle de Vi˝ales – Raus Klick Boom!

It is written in German so let me know if you have any questions.

12-21-2017, 09:10 AM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15
QuoteOriginally posted by Seb Quote
Hey guys,

you helped me a lot with the decision what to bring to Namibia earlier this year so I ask the same question for Cuba again.

In the opposite to Namibia where I mostly captured landscapes I plan to capture a little bit of the life and the people in Cuba. Beside of that I want to shoot some landscapes and seascapes as well. We will travel in the second half of October (Maybe this could be important for weather sealing, etc.). We plan to see mostly central Cuba because two weeks are rather tight for seeing the whole country. It would be great if we can see the Sierra Maestra but I rather doubt it. We want to travel with the Viazul buses between the destinations and hike or take taxis there. What we plan to see is Valle de Vi˝ales, Havanna and Trinidad. We are open for good tips for 14 days arriving and leaving in Havanna (OT)

My current gear is:

Pentax K5
Sigma 10-20 3.5
Pentax 16-50 2.8
Pentax 31 1.8
Pentax 70-210 4-5.6
Pol 77 mm
Pol 49 mm
Formatt-Hitech 100 mm system with Pol, 0.6 GND and 0.9 GND
Sirui Travel Tripod

More and more I tend to take enough time to take the pictures as long as my girlfriend or the schedule allows it . My experience of landscape/travel photography in northern Europe is that you better take some time and wait for the beautiful light even til the blue hour. Unfortunately I didn't have that much time in Namibia in February, but I think it's advisable to take pictures around sunrise or sunset there as well. As I did some research on possible subjects in Cuba I got the feeling that travel photography might be a little different there as you capture more in midday sunlight and more people and street sceneries.

What are your experiences with taking pictures there and what gear would you choose? Is security an issue? Maybe an addition to the existing gear is necessary?

Thanks in advance!

Sebastian
I've done a lot of traveling in Central America whose weather is similar to Cuba. If your 16-50 is the weather-sealed version, I would take it and a dry sack.
12-21-2017, 09:39 AM   #10
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Pentax 16-50mm and tripod if compact plus some filters. I tend to manage all my travel (meaning cityscapes) with 28-35mm focal lenghts as I gathered from Exif when shot with zoom or just simply using my Pentax-F 28mm. My experience is that carrying a tele zoom is usually only good to help burn fat while carrying.
My last trip to Malta was entirely shot with a 35mm lens and I do not feel I missed anything, but not carrying extensive amount of gear was a relief both in terms of weight and lack of gear options that distracts you.
12-21-2017, 10:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Seb Quote
Hey guys,

I finally started a little photography-travel-blog and I can show some pictures from my trip. I'm going to publish some more stuff little by little and will let you know.

Here are some examples from Havana and Valle de Vinales:

In den Stra▀en von Havanna – Stra▀enfotografie mit kleinem Besteck – Raus Klick Boom!

Kuba – Valle de Vi˝ales – Raus Klick Boom!

It is written in German so let me know if you have any questions.
I think the OP has been 'There and Back Again " but replies to this thread could be helpful to others interested in the same or similar trips

my comment was going to be to check ahead, perhaps with the local embassy and see what photos might be off limits

in some countries trying to photograph air ports, police stations, port facilities, bridges, things connected to the government or military might get you into trouble

in preparation to our trips overseas I have read such advice in various guide books
12-22-2017, 08:13 AM   #12
Seb
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Wuppertal, Germany
Posts: 22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
I think the OP has been 'There and Back Again " but replies to this thread could be helpful to others interested in the same or similar trips

my comment was going to be to check ahead, perhaps with the local embassy and see what photos might be off limits

in some countries trying to photograph air ports, police stations, port facilities, bridges, things connected to the government or military might get you into trouble

in preparation to our trips overseas I have read such advice in various guide books
Hello Aslyfox,

thanks for that good thought. According to our travel guide book its forbidden to photograph military facilities. Further you have to ask for permission when you take pictures of factory buildings, traffic facillities, research facillities and the police. Maybe one can continue the list based on personal experience.

I hope my pictures are not off limit in order not to bring someone in trouble.



---------- Post added 12-22-17 at 08:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Zivelot Quote
Pentax 16-50mm and tripod if compact plus some filters. I tend to manage all my travel (meaning cityscapes) with 28-35mm focal lenghts as I gathered from Exif when shot with zoom or just simply using my Pentax-F 28mm. My experience is that carrying a tele zoom is usually only good to help burn fat while carrying.
My last trip to Malta was entirely shot with a 35mm lens and I do not feel I missed anything, but not carrying extensive amount of gear was a relief both in terms of weight and lack of gear options that distracts you.

I brought my 16-50 2.8 with me and I didn't regret it. When we relaxed on the beach I never bothered that sand may come into the lens or camera. The range is very useful and the 2.8 may come handy every now and then.

I agree with you that a 31 or 35 on an APS-C body can be all you need. I did it in Tunesia years ago and I still love the thought of minimalism in it. I did nearly all of the Havana shots I've shown you with the 31 1.8.



---------- Post added 12-22-17 at 08:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jaybird01 Quote
I've done a lot of traveling in Central America whose weather is similar to Cuba. If your 16-50 is the weather-sealed version, I would take it and a dry sack.
That is what I did. Good advice.

Sebastian

Last edited by Seb; 12-22-2017 at 08:36 AM.
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