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08-17-2018, 06:04 AM   #1
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First overseas travel trip, gear advise....

Hi, I'm going to Spain/Portugal for 2 weeks in September, and as it is my first overseas trip, I'm struggling to decide what gear to take.

To be kept in mind, is that I'm still not 100% after a quadruple coronary bypass (which happened shortly after I bought the plane tickets), and not very fit at this stage.

I'm taking a very lightweight Canon camcorder, and a very capable Canon G7Xii, with one inch sensor, and 24-100mm (FF terms) zoom.

I'm struggling to decide whether I should take my K5iis on the trip, with DA35 2.4 and DA 70 2.4 ltd, with my kit 18-55 WR lens in case of rainy days. As the trip will be concentrated on visits to cities and architecture, museums etc, I don't think I need lenses with longer reach, as it will only make the decision more complex.

The K5iis with the lenses will be about 1.5kg I have to carry around all day, while still not very fit, but on the other hand it will be a once in a lifetime trip.....

I at one stage thought of buying into MTF system, to get lighter gear, but due to cost, I would have to dump my K5iis at not too favorable price, to fund that, and with only 30 000 clicks, I'll have to say cheers to Pentax system, which I've used since 1981.

For possible future trips, I'll have to plan and save for a smaller ILC system, as getting older, it is starting to become a chore to carry around all the weight, and that is not conducive to an enjoyable photographic experience, at least in my mind.

Any thoughts and tips will be appreciated.

08-17-2018, 06:40 AM   #2
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Glad to hear you'll be well enough to go, Altopiet.

Do you have a link to your portfolio or similar so we can see your shooting style?

08-17-2018, 06:45 AM   #3
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First of all, wishing you a continued, speedy, complete recovery!

As for the gear, could you perhaps pack the kit, and spend a weekend carrying it (and of course, shooting!) around your current city to see if it will be feasible for a longer period of time? It'll be a good endurance test, AND an excuse to loaf and take photos for two full days.
08-17-2018, 06:45 AM   #4
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First of all, wishing you a continued, speedy, complete recovery!

As for the gear, could you perhaps pack the kit, and spend a weekend carrying it (and of course, shooting!) around your current city to see if it will be feasible for a longer period of time? It'll be a good endurance test, AND an excuse to loaf and take photos for two full days.

08-17-2018, 07:54 AM   #5
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In 2016 I took my family including a pair of teens and a mentally disabled adult and a 75 year old father-in-law to London and Paris for two weeks. Actually scratch that, my WIFE took all of us - it was her dream to take her daddy and we went along.

With that large of a group and the gear needed I left all DSLR stuff behind. I took only my Panasonic LX-7 - which has a tiny sensor compared to your 1" Canon. It worked great. The LX-7 has a fast Leica lens (24-90 equivalent, f1.4-2.3) and it is small. It allows for an add-on viewfinder and has really good capability including RAW. I have some pics posted on flickr that are the low res jpg's SOOC for the most part.

Here's one of the albums - https://flic.kr/s/aHskxezBJQ - this one has a lot of interior shots. The LX-7 has a very small sensor but the faster lens combined with this tends to give reasonable handheld exposures with modest ISO and shutter speeds that were able to keep things steady. I personally think you will be well served by what you have already picked out. I wore a belt pouch (not a fashion statement!) to keep the camera at hand and easy to grab. I also equipped my camera with a pacsafe strap that had a stainless steel braided wire inside to prevent cutting it free by pickpockets (around the Eiffel tower it is awful these days). I made sure I had extra batteries and a charger and lots of SD cards and a nice ziplock bag to plop it all in if the rain started up.
08-17-2018, 08:06 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery

I recommend the lightest set up you have

take "photos " with the mark 1 eyeballs and store the image in the brain

then try to use a camera

do you have any one who would be able to assist you in carrying the gear
08-17-2018, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Thanks for the well wishes and feedback...

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Do you have a link to your portfolio or similar so we can see your shooting style?
Nothing of note, just shooting what I can when I have time...https://www.flickr.com/photos/66668141@N03/

QuoteOriginally posted by ephophex Quote
As for the gear, could you perhaps pack the kit, and spend a weekend carrying it (and of course, shooting!) around your current city to see if it will be feasible for a longer period of time? It'll be a good endurance test, AND an excuse to loaf and take photos for two full days.
Ii walked around town for a morning with just my K30 and M50 lens on it, and I must say, it got to me a bit, but I still have about 3 weeks before the trip, to improve my fitness, but my answer probably says it all, I should probably just leave it.

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I made sure I had extra batteries and a charger and lots of SD cards and a nice ziplock bag to plop it all in if the rain started up.
Nice tip, I'll definately remember the ziplock bag....

QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I recommend the lightest set up you havetake "photos " with the mark 1 eyeballs and store the image in the brainthen try to use a camera
Perhaps you're on the dot, as long as I have some images to bring back memories in future, no matter the quality, it is all that counts. My wife will be able to help, but I don't want to burden her with my hobby, I want her to enjoy the time, she's already had to put up with a lot as a result of my condition
08-17-2018, 09:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by altopiet Quote
. . . I walked around town for a morning with just my K30 and M50 lens on it, and I must say, it got to me a bit, but I still have about 3 weeks before the trip, to improve my fitness, but my answer probably says it all, I should probably just leave it. . . .

Perhaps you're on the dot, as long as I have some images to bring back memories in future, no matter the quality, it is all that counts. My wife will be able to help, but I don't want to burden her with my hobby, I want her to enjoy the time, she's already had to put up with a lot as a result of my condition
the worse situation would be that you are out and about and the gear gets too heavy

what would you do then?

cut your activities short ?

discretion may be the best choice


I would strongly suggest using just the point and shoot

08-17-2018, 09:47 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I would just take the Canon stuff. Either that or just the K5IIs and kit lens. You don't need a lot of gear to take good photos, and in your case it might actually hinder you.

Whatever you decide have a great time! Europe is a lovely place.
08-17-2018, 12:03 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Get well soon, enjoy the experience and leave the DSLR at home.
08-17-2018, 12:51 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Judging by your photographs, and having been to Spain and Portugal, I can tell you that you will get some absolutely great shots with just the Canon. Enjoy your trip!
08-17-2018, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Echoing all the good wishes above - and adding that it would be a very good idea to take the widest-angle lens you have, or can afford to buy, because Spanish/Portuguese (and most other European) towns & cities have a lot of very narrow streets and tall buildings, for which you need a very wide-angle lens (unless you want to do a lot of stitching!).

In that context, using an APS-C Pentax body, I always take my 10-20 Sigma - and it gets used an awful lot at pretty wide settings.
08-17-2018, 10:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
Echoing all the good wishes above - and adding that it would be a very good idea to take the widest-angle lens you have, or can afford to buy, because Spanish/Portuguese (and most other European) towns & cities have a lot of very narrow streets and tall buildings, for which you need a very wide-angle lens (unless you want to do a lot of stitching!).

In that context, using an APS-C Pentax body, I always take my 10-20 Sigma - and it gets used an awful lot at pretty wide settings.
Thanks, that 10-20 is another 580g to carry....I thought of the DA15ltd, but don't have enough money for it.

At this stage it seems as if the compact G7xii will be the one, but it would probably be a last minute decision in 3 weeks time, to see how fit I am at that stage.

Another plus for the compact, is that I have a small joby tripod to use with it, and if I take the K5iis, I would probably have to take something more substantial to handle it, probably another 1kg+...
08-18-2018, 01:58 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by altopiet Quote
Thanks for the well wishes and feedback...



Nothing of note, just shooting what I can when I have time...Christo Pietersen | Flickr
Obviously you could do the whole trip just with the little Canon (I have a G7x myself), Christo, but you're such a good and versatile photographer that if you can take the K7 IIs and lenses, I'd love to see your results! Your longer focal length pics are just as interesting as the closer ones.

Have a great trip whatever you do, your stage of recovery will obviously decide if you're only up to carrying a light kit.
10-12-2018, 02:39 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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Hi, just to report back on my trip.

Up to the last minute I kept my options open, as I had enough space, and baggage weight would not have been a problem, but in the end decided to go with just the Canon G7xii, and how glad I am in the end about that decision.

First of all we walked an average of 10km per day for 2 weeks. The last 5 days in Lisbon with it's "hilly" streets, was a bit difficult, but we made it and overall had a memorable experience.

As a first trip into the unknown, we made use of a lot of "free tours" to the most visited tourist spots, and in both Spain and Portugal, I was astounded at the volumes of tourist around.


The problem of "seeing" a place in this way, is that you don't really have any time to make or take great images, it is more a record of events to reflect upon, once you are back home and settled into the everyday routine.

In all I took about 3000 photos, with the Canon and my mobile phone, and mostly in daytime, and I'm quite satisfied with the camera performance. I do not think carrying around another 1.5kg would've improved the quality of any of the images I took.

Looking around, I saw a majority of Canon DSLR's, and interestingly, with young people using them, obviously teens and a bit older. The few Sony mirror-less, and other compact and smaller bridge cameras, were mostly used by older people.

The only real find was meeting a gentleman from the States, with a Rollei camera, which he apparently bought just before his trip, busy quietly sitting on his spot, taking some shots, would've loved to see the results, but the fleeting moment didn't allow for exchange of details.



I have not had a chance to go through all my shots, but after visiting these old cities with very narrow streets and massive old buildings, would guess that probably 90% of my shots were in the 24-50mm range, with the others zoomed to get more detail of certain aspects in the old buildings.








Thanks for all the tips before, and looking at the outcome

Last edited by altopiet; 10-12-2018 at 02:51 AM.
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