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02-03-2016, 12:45 PM   #1
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Possible trip to Honduras. What to bring?

An old college buddy called today. He's been working in Honduras on and off for 15 years developing a charity to help the people in rural areas get an education.
He wants to do a photo project and fly me down there for a week next month. Sounds like a really interesting gig! The work is volunteer but they will buy my ticket. He wants more landscape and scenic shots of the area in addition to photos of people. They have some people shots already so I'd be concentrating mostly on the scenic/landscape end of things. That suits me very well! This will be in a relatively safe countryside, not the crime ridden big cities, although we will pass through the capital on the way to our destination.

I'm already agonizing about gear choices. I've got the crop side of things covered well with some sealed lenses and bodies but my MF kit has no WR lenses which I think would be good to have. It might be wet or it might be dusty. I was already considering the 55 WR prime but this really makes me want the 28-45 even more than I already do. I might be able to buy one (on credit) or maybe just rent although that won't be cheap either.

So I'm looking for ideas on the kit to bring, probably in addition to a crop kit I think I already have all the pieces for (KS-2/K-3 and DA* 16-50/18-135/60-250, and some DA/FA primes). Keep in mind my budget is slim so if I were to just buy that lens I'd be putting myself into debt to do it. I'm hoping the images might bring more business in or generate more of this kind of work, but I have to accept it may not.

What would you do?

---------- Post added 02-03-16 at 12:54 PM ----------

Here's a little piece about the organization and what they do. This guy Greg is my friend.



Last edited by mattb123; 02-03-2016 at 12:55 PM.
02-03-2016, 01:33 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
An old college buddy called today. He's been working in Honduras on and off for 15 years developing a charity to help the people in rural areas get an education.
He wants to do a photo project and fly me down there for a week next month. Sounds like a really interesting gig! The work is volunteer but they will buy my ticket. He wants more landscape and scenic shots of the area in addition to photos of people. They have some people shots already so I'd be concentrating mostly on the scenic/landscape end of things. That suits me very well! This will be in a relatively safe countryside, not the crime ridden big cities, although we will pass through the capital on the way to our destination.

I'm already agonizing about gear choices. I've got the crop side of things covered well with some sealed lenses and bodies but my MF kit has no WR lenses which I think would be good to have. It might be wet or it might be dusty. I was already considering the 55 WR prime but this really makes me want the 28-45 even more than I already do. I might be able to buy one (on credit) or maybe just rent although that won't be cheap either.

So I'm looking for ideas on the kit to bring, probably in addition to a crop kit I think I already have all the pieces for (KS-2/K-3 and DA* 16-50/18-135/60-250, and some DA/FA primes). Keep in mind my budget is slim so if I were to just buy that lens I'd be putting myself into debt to do it. I'm hoping the images might bring more business in or generate more of this kind of work, but I have to accept it may not.

What would you do?

---------- Post added 02-03-16 at 12:54 PM ----------

Here's a little piece about the organization and what they do. This guy Greg is my friend.
ABOUT THE LAZOS EDUCATION FUND - YouTube
Matt, If I was as good a photographer as you I would be able to handle anything that might come up with the gear you already have. This is a people and places photo shoot, not a wedding where you only get one chance. You will have a few days and can relax and take your time. You're going to capture something very special down there and you've shown many times on this forum that you have the technical skill. Now you'll catch the passion.... Good luck to you and thanks for sharing the video.
02-03-2016, 01:53 PM   #3
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Thank you for the kind words!
02-03-2016, 02:06 PM   #4
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You're likely to find that WR is a really good idea if you haven't been in the tropics before. The humidity can be overpowering and not just to your equipment. If you'll be in mountainous areas, the temps may be more tolerable, but the humidity is generally powerful. This being the "dry" season, you're less likely to have sudden drenching downpours of the June-Oct "wet" season. But coming from the lovely dry mountain air of Colorado to the tropics will be a change.

Which is just to say, take your WR equipment and only take something else if you think you'll be indoors for lens changes. You'll likely want to use heavy-duty zip locks and silicon packets to absorb moisture for everything. Or a dry box if you have one, but I wouldn't buy it just for one trip.

The other thing, as you mention, is dust. Amazingly in humidity, there's often a fair amount of dust. Yucatan's limestone dust gets everywhere. It's fine and powdery. Honduras has a similar limestone geology. So, WR. Did I say it enough times?

Your KS-2 or K-3 and DA*16-50 / 18-135 / 60-250 will be good. The 18-135 would avoid lens changes on extended outdoor excursions. The two heavier lenses could be used when not traveling far. Maybe one low-light prime could be added to the list of what you have. I doubt if you really need a new lens for this particular work, but if you can swing it, go ahead.

Will there be a secure room or place where equipment can be locked away in your absence? Petty theft is a much bigger risk than violent personal crime.

Bring highly-rated insect repellent. Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, West Nile, and Malaria risks demand repellent full time. Also, Hepatitis vaccines, tetanus up-to-date. Avoid stray dogs unless you've had a rabies vaccination. Review the CDC link. It is very realistic, especially the part about postexposure rabies prophylaxis possibly not being available in rural areas for animal bites.

Health Information for Travelers to Honduras - Clinician view | Travelers' Health | CDC

You'll have a blast on this trip. Sorry if I'm depressing, not intentional. You've got to be prepared for things we don't frequently encounter in the USA.
I'm sure your friend will take good care of you. Can't wait to see the photos!

Maybe I've said too much.

P.S. I echo what Woody said!

02-03-2016, 02:18 PM   #5
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Thanks, my family is from Australia and I've traveled in Mexico and also spent some time in Hawaii so I'm pretty familiar with tropical conditions. I have a dry bag that fits my smaller cameras so I'd definitely bring that. Good reminder about the vaccinations. I'd probably just go ahead and get all the shots to be safe. You don't sound depressing at all, just realistic!

I'll check about a secure location for gear with Greg. I imagine there is at least something at the school.

If I just go with what I have already then that may be risky for my 645D kit with no WR lenses. That is where my gear may be lacking for this. I could also just bring a minimal D kit and keep it sealed up until conditions are good and only get it out for special shots (sunrise and such).
02-03-2016, 03:47 PM   #6
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You also need to mindful of security. Be careful and try and be with others when shooting.

This is the UK FCO advice:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/honduras
02-03-2016, 04:20 PM   #7
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Informative and helpful advice so far. If I were you I'd look into renting rather than buying a wr 645 lens of appropriate focal length range. Also, if you'll be staying in an air conditioned environment, you might want to isolate the camera and lenses from the chilled temperatures and the resulting condensation inside your lenses and cameras when taken outside in warm humid conditions. Maybe several cheap Styrofoam coolers with warm water in sealed bottle to provide some thermal mass to minimize cooling while in the room would do the trick. I mention this based on an experience I once had in New Orleans...it seems to take forever for gear to warm up enough to eliminate the fog/condensation that instantly appeared once I stepped outdoors. Also, it's pretty unnerving to see everything fogged up, knowing fungus loves that kind of environment.

Last edited by darylk; 02-03-2016 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Better clarity of meaning.
02-03-2016, 07:58 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I know you're excited and these choices can be agonizing but you know your photography really well so trust your instincts and experience. In my view, it's better to bring it and not use it than need it and not have it. I've backed off that a bit lately in deference to advancing age but you're young and in good shape. Approach it as a "chance in a life time" sort of thing because, you know, it sort of is. Needless to say, I'm envious. ;~)

02-03-2016, 08:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
An old college buddy called today. He's been working in Honduras on and off for 15 years developing a charity to help the people in rural areas get an education.
He wants to do a photo project and fly me down there for a week next month. Sounds like a really interesting gig! The work is volunteer but they will buy my ticket. He wants more landscape and scenic shots of the area in addition to photos of people. They have some people shots already so I'd be concentrating mostly on the scenic/landscape end of things. That suits me very well! This will be in a relatively safe countryside, not the crime ridden big cities, although we will pass through the capital on the way to our destination.

I'm already agonizing about gear choices. I've got the crop side of things covered well with some sealed lenses and bodies but my MF kit has no WR lenses which I think would be good to have. It might be wet or it might be dusty. I was already considering the 55 WR prime but this really makes me want the 28-45 even more than I already do. I might be able to buy one (on credit) or maybe just rent although that won't be cheap either.

So I'm looking for ideas on the kit to bring, probably in addition to a crop kit I think I already have all the pieces for (KS-2/K-3 and DA* 16-50/18-135/60-250, and some DA/FA primes). Keep in mind my budget is slim so if I were to just buy that lens I'd be putting myself into debt to do it. I'm hoping the images might bring more business in or generate more of this kind of work, but I have to accept it may not.

What would you do?

---------- Post added 02-03-16 at 12:54 PM ----------

Here's a little piece about the organization and what they do. This guy Greg is my friend.
ABOUT THE LAZOS EDUCATION FUND - YouTube
My instinct would say to bring everything but then there are the practical limits. Having travelled with gear in the past, as you well know it is a nightmare getting through airports and then to log the stuff around. I am always pins and needles knowing that when traveling, there are always people out there who are looking to relieve you of your beloved gear. If it were a paid assignment, then you take out insurance to cover any losses but in this situation it is all on you. As Much as I would love to bring the 645 system, I would forgo the 645 and bring the DSLR with the minimum number of lenses. This will ensure a light package that I can keep on or near me all the time. From your list, I would bring the KS-2, the K3, 16-50, 60-250 and one or two fast primes. This will give you a wide-range of coverage. The K3 is no slouch either, if you decide to print or publish landscape shots. I would also bring at least one light source preferably with remote triggering capability. I hope this helps.

Good luck. It is a worthy cause and you will have tons of fun.
02-03-2016, 09:02 PM   #10
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Would love the chance to go back was there in 1990 was in a more rural area than where you will be beautiful country. I was there from Jan. to Mar. was very hot and very dry extremely dust.
02-04-2016, 07:07 AM   #11
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I traveled through Central America for three weeks in 2008 with my K10d and a non WR lenses. No problem whatsoever. I would bring what I think is useful and not think more about it.
02-04-2016, 08:06 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
I traveled through Central America for three weeks in 2008 with my K10d and a non WR lenses. No problem whatsoever. I would bring what I think is useful and not think more about it.
Cool, that is where I'm leaning now. It's the dry season and my friend says that where we are going it's not especially dusty except when you are on the road. That sounds like summer here!

Thanks for all the tips and info everyone! I'm making lists and getting excited! Hopefully my wife won't worry too much. This is different from the usual risks I take. I need to practice my Spanish too!
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