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05-23-2018, 05:13 AM   #1
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Leaving for Europe a week from today... Any last minute suggestions?

My wife and I are flying out a week from today.

It will be my first time out of the country; so I'm naturally a bit anxious, but very excited!


We will be in Switzerland for 4 days (Lucerne, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Jungfrau), then Italy for 12 days (Milan, Florence, Rome)

I'm planning to bring the following gear:
  • Thule Covert Backpack
  • Moman Mini Tripod and Benro ballhead
  • 32GB Lexar SD Card (2)
  • D-LI90 Batteries (4)
  • D-LI90 Charger
  • Power Converter for Switzerland/Italy - US
  • Pentax K-3ii
  • DA*300mm
  • HD 1.4xTC
  • DFA 100mm Macro
  • HD DA 70mm
  • HD DA 35mm Macro
  • SMC DA 15mm
  • DA 16-85mm
  • Rocket Blower and numerous lens cloths...
  • 77mm circular polarizing filter and stepdown ring for 16-85mm
  • Remote Shutter
  • Peak Design Sling strap



Things I'm leaving at home:
  • D-BG5 Battery Grip
  • Full sized tripod
  • Full sized monopod
  • Flash





I need some opinions from the travelers on this forum!


Am I bringing too much gear?

Should I leave behind the DA15mm and bring the flash instead?

Do I need to pickup another 2 memory cards before I leave as backup?

Is 4 batteries likely enough? (we will be in hotels every night so I'll be able to charge them daily)

I am not bringing a laptop... Only an iPad... Should I make room for the laptop to be able to push photos off the memory cards each night?
They make SD card readers for iPad so might pick one up so I can push my photos into LightroomCC and not have to lug around my heavy 15" laptop for 2 weeks!

Do I need all those lenses?
Ideally if I owned a 70-200 F2.8 I would bring that and the 16-85 and call it done...

I think the DA*300 will be appreciated for landscapes.
Not sure about the macro opportunities there... But I RARELY leave without the DFA100 just because it's just a gem of a lens!
The DA70 is compact and a great street lens in my opinion.
The DA35 is also fairly compact and a good street lens... But if I have the 16-85 do I need the 35 or the 70?
Too much overlap?
Again, with the 16-85 would you bring the DA15 regardless for potential starburst shots?



As you can tell by my frantic questions above I need piece of mind over anything else haha.
There are things I can pickup off amazon within the week like extra batteries or extra memory cards, etc.



I'm mainly worried I'm bringing too much and will regret lugging this stuff around for 16 days...




For reference, we will be staying in nice hotels and will not have to worry about leaving gear in the room while we go out.
We will be traveling by train primarily once we get there.
All of out other luggage is carry-on, so 4-wheel 20" roller bags, no large checked items to lug around.

It's wrapped around our 2-year anniversary so photography isn't the primary objective, but my wife keeps saying how excited she is to see my photos - I don't want to disappoint her! lol





Thanks for the help folks!
Any advice is appreciated, even if it's not photography based...



Cheers!
Logan


Last edited by UserAccessDenied; 05-23-2018 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Forgot one item in gear list! :)
05-23-2018, 05:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
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How exciting

That sure sounds like a lot of lenses to be taking, though, given that photography isn't your primary objective.

Do you really think you'll need something as long as the DA*300? That's a chunk of a lens, right there. I'd have thought you could easily get away with just the 16-85 and maybe the 100 macro. That should cover 99% of situations and scenes you'll want to capture.

I'd actually be inclined to take the flash rather than the additional lenses, as you'll almost certainly want to take some back-lit portraits of your wife and you'll need to fill in the shadows.

As for memory cards, it's better to have too many than too few, and bear in mind that one might fail when you least expect it to.

Lastly, if you have a compact camera with a reasonable focal length range, take that too - just in case the K-3II fails, or you drop it, or it gets stolen (all unlikely, but possible)... at least you'd be able to take some holiday snaps (smartphones are fine, but you're generally stuck with one or two focal lengths).

Have a great time!
05-23-2018, 05:36 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I don't know if you need an actual "Power Converter" brick, just a plug adapter will do. Check the tiny print on the back of your D-LI90 Charger. It should say something like "100V-240V" and"50-60Hz" which means the charger can handle the wall-socket voltages and frequencies found around the world. So all you need is a tiny adapter that plugs into Switzerland/Italy wall sockets and lets you plug the battery charger into the adapter.

More memory cards are always welcome. I rotate my cards on a daily basis during a trip so that most of the cards (and photos) are in the luggage and only a couple are in the camera or camera bag (which is a greater target for thieves and easier to lose). If you are truly paranoid, get one large card and put it in a small SD card box on a lanyard around your neck. At the end of each day, copy the day's photos to the large card as a safe backup that is always under your shirt.
05-23-2018, 06:00 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
How exciting

That sure sounds like a lot of lenses to be taking, though, given that photography isn't your primary objective.

Do you really think you'll need something as long as the DA*300? That's a chunk of a lens, right there. I'd have thought you could easily get away with just the 16-85 and maybe the 100 macro. That should cover 99% of situations and scenes you'll want to capture.

I'd actually be inclined to take the flash rather than the additional lenses, as you'll almost certainly want to take some back-lit portraits of your wife and you'll need to fill in the shadows.

As for memory cards, it's better to have too many than too few, and bear in mind that one might fail when you least expect it to.

Lastly, if you have a compact camera with a reasonable focal length range, take that too - just in case the K-3II fails, or you drop it, or it gets stolen (all unlikely, but possible)... at least you'd be able to take some holiday snaps (smartphones are fine, but you're generally stuck with one or two focal lengths).

Have a great time!

Thanks for the response!

Leaving the DA*300 at home would lighten the load significantly!
And I forgot to mention, I do have the HD 1.4xTC so that paired with the DFA100 would give me essentially 140mm F4 and macro...

Enough to separate landscape backgrounds for dramatic effect?
Probably less so than 420mm, but still lighter and smaller pack for travel.


I'm probably gonna pickup two more SD cards.


I've never really been fond of using a flash, only own the AF201 which is better than nothing!
I only have a cable extension for it, but maybe it's worth bringing anyways...


Thanks again for the tips!

05-23-2018, 07:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Personally, I would just take the 16-85. The 15 would not add weight or bulk and might be better inside churches, etc. I would also set the K-3 to save your images to both cards in case of failure or loss. SD cards are fairly cheap now so I'd bring a bunch. How about a bulb blower to clean the mirror and sensor? Remember that there are stores and such in Europe to buy things you have forgotten.

Don't forget to save a few images in your head to savor later and so you don't see everything through the viewfinder. And most of all, have a great time!
05-23-2018, 07:42 AM   #6
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First, have a great trip! I agree that that is a lot of gear for a trip to Europe. If you're traveling by train, and in general, you'll be doing a lot of walking in crowds. It can sometimes be awkward to change lenses.

I find that I rarely use a long lens when I'm in cities and that's where you'll be spending the bulk of your time. So... DA 100 because you like it so much, 16-85 which will probably stay on your camera most if the time, and whatever is light and fast for night shots and inside churches.

It's good you're getting more SD cards. I would load up, like more than 2 more. You could always buy one there but who wants to spend time looking for one and possibly pay a lot more? But then, I use my SD cards as a backup and don't take a tablet or computer so I make sure I have more than I need. 4 batteries is more than enough but I'd bring them all and a plug adapter. I personally wouldn't bother with a flash but that's me.

I like using a lens pen and always have one with me when I'm out shooting. You will get some fantastic shots - even with one lens you would get some fantastic shots, it's Europe!
05-23-2018, 08:06 AM   #7
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I would take just the 16-85. That should cover the vast majority of situations you will encounter.

The weight adds up quick when you are hauling gear all day. Also my rule of thumb is never take anything on a trip you aren't prepared to lose.

Have a great time! Europe is a wonderful place to visit.
05-23-2018, 08:07 AM   #8
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you just need 2 batteries
more sd cards
no da*300 as its more city work your doing
tc give or take, its small so no problem
skip the 35 macro as its covered by the 16-85

i've been numerous times were you're going so unless you do some wildlife its just scenery and city/street life, just keep in simple and compact. My prefered lens for those places is the 20-40mm

05-23-2018, 09:13 AM   #9
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The more I've traveled with cameras, the more I've concluded that less really is more. You won't have time to utilize most of that gear, and I suspect when walking around (the time you'd actually be taking photos) you're likely to end up leaving most of it at your hotel.

I think, unless you have a very specific goal in mind, you should carry what you can comfortable carry with you at all times. I would do something like:

K3ii
DA 70
DA 35
DA 15
2 SD cards
2 Batteries (should be plenty)
Rocket blower + lens cloth
Small side bag that can hold all (backpacks can be annoying going in and out of museums and sites, some require you to check).

If I brought this set up, I would guess I would use the 35mm for 70% of all shots, the 15mm for around 20% and the 70mm for only around 10%. But the lenses are all small enough that I think it is worth it to have a telephoto option.
In fact, I have often been perfectly happy for a 2 week trip with a single normal lens.

A friend of mine recently did a 9 month cycling trip. After a huge amount of debate, he decided to bring a full frame camera and a single 35mm lens. Upon return, he said he had never regretted it nor felt the need for anything else. I've done many trips with a Rolleiflex and a light meter; not having multiple lenses allows you to focus on actual photography - framing, seeing, thinking.

Personally, I don't particularly care for zooms unless they are considerably telephoto. I get better results with 1-3 primes and my feet. Of course, others differ.
05-23-2018, 09:24 AM   #10
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I'd leave most of that at home and just bring the body, batteries, 16-85, small tripod, and optionally another prime or two for special needs like UWA and low light/portraits. Maybe a ND filter if I have one. Batteries and a small charger like the Wasabi one is a good backup in case that isn't enough batteries.

Of course this depends on how and what you shoot but I find in a city I never need more than 100mm and usually make do with a 18-135, UWA, and fast prime like the 50/1.7.
I like a small shoulder bag (Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home) for carrying my gear in a fairly inconspicuous way.

Unless you have very specific gear needs, less is often more when traveling. Have a great trip!
05-23-2018, 10:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
I am not bringing a laptop... Only an iPad... Should I make room for the laptop to be able to push photos off the memory cards each night?
You can connect 2.5" external hard drive like Passport to iPad and transfer the data from SD card to Passport. So you need iPad and external hard drive. Note 2.5" external hard drive take power from USB port, so you do not need to carry power adapter.

D-LI90 Charger
I think this works with 240v also. I remember using it in India where voltage is 240v/60Hz.


Make sure your password has not expired
05-23-2018, 10:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxfall Quote
You can connect 2.5" external hard drive like Passport to iPad and transfer the data from SD card to Passport. So you need iPad and external hard drive. Note 2.5" external hard drive take power from USB port, so you do not need to carry power adapter.

D-LI90 Charger
I think this works with 240v also. I remember using it in India where voltage is 240v/60Hz.


Make sure your password has not expired

I figured I could load all my images to LightroomCC since it's cloud based and I have the storage... Might have to test that before I leave and make sure it works the way I'm imagining it.

I like the final comment... Taking a stab at my user name?>?

---------- Post added 05-23-18 at 02:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
I'd leave most of that at home and just bring the body, batteries, 16-85, small tripod, and optionally another prime or two for special needs like UWA and low light/portraits. Maybe a ND filter if I have one. Batteries and a small charger like the Wasabi one is a good backup in case that isn't enough batteries.

Of course this depends on how and what you shoot but I find in a city I never need more than 100mm and usually make do with a 18-135, UWA, and fast prime like the 50/1.7.
I like a small shoulder bag (Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home) for carrying my gear in a fairly inconspicuous way.

Unless you have very specific gear needs, less is often more when traveling. Have a great trip!
Good call on the small shoulder bag... Just found a Thule shoulder bag on B&H on sale for $50; I'm gonna buy it right now! haha...
I've been thinking this whole time I'll be exploring Europe on foot with a 20lb backpack of gear at all times. That's insane...

I think the 16-85 will be the primary lens used on this trip.
Might bring the DA15 for potential starbursts or tight spaces and the DFA100 with TC for potential wildlife in the city and separation in landscapes when in the countyside.

Thanks again for the help!
05-23-2018, 11:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
I figured I could load all my images to LightroomCC since it's cloud based and I have the storage... Might have to test that before I leave and make sure it works the way I'm imagining it.

I like the final comment... Taking a stab at my user name?>?
You'll probably want to be selective about uploading images to the cloud. Hotel WiFi can be notoriously slow. Reviewing and selecting images for upload will take a bit of time out of the vacation as you sort through images at the end of the day.

P.S. I never ever delete images or format cards whilst on vacation. The chance of a mistake is too high and there's not the time or tools on hand to fix a mistake. I format all the cards before I leave. Once a card if full, I lock it.
05-23-2018, 11:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
First, have a great trip! I agree that that is a lot of gear for a trip to Europe. If you're traveling by train, and in general, you'll be doing a lot of walking in crowds. It can sometimes be awkward to change lenses.

I find that I rarely use a long lens when I'm in cities and that's where you'll be spending the bulk of your time. So... DA 100 because you like it so much, 16-85 which will probably stay on your camera most if the time, and whatever is light and fast for night shots and inside churches.

It's good you're getting more SD cards. I would load up, like more than 2 more. You could always buy one there but who wants to spend time looking for one and possibly pay a lot more? But then, I use my SD cards as a backup and don't take a tablet or computer so I make sure I have more than I need. 4 batteries is more than enough but I'd bring them all and a plug adapter. I personally wouldn't bother with a flash but that's me.

I like using a lens pen and always have one with me when I'm out shooting. You will get some fantastic shots - even with one lens you would get some fantastic shots, it's Europe!
Thanks for the tips!!

I picked up another 64GB Sandisk Extreme Pro card and a shoulder bag for day-to-day walking around.
I'm primarily a wildlife shooter so leaving the DA*300 behind will be tough, but I think it's the right call...

I'm bringing the smaller Wasabi charger I have since the dedicated Pentax one takes up a good bit of room in the bag.

Hopefully these are all the right calls!
At the end of the day, if the camera fails I'm not worried cuz I'll have an incredible time exploring and relaxing with my wife and that's what is most important on this trip!


Cheers!
Logan
05-23-2018, 02:19 PM   #15
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I like to take the 16-85 and one fast lens. I like the Sigma 30/1.4 for inside. Used ones are cheap. I also like the Sigma 24/1.8, but it’s heavy and hard to find.
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