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12-11-2006, 01:50 PM   #1
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Foreign travel - which setup to take?

For those of you who travel via aircraft to foreign countries with your camera gear, what would you take? I'm scheduled to take a bus tour of Italy with the wife and daughter next spring and am not sure what to take along.

Here are my choices:

Lenses:

1.) The 'pancake' kit. Includes the DA21, DA40, DA70, and either the FA50/1.4 or the A50/1.2 (the fast one).

2.) The DA18-55, DA50-200, one of the 50s, and possibly a Tamron 1.4x tc.

Either of these 'kits' would fit into a fanny pack (unused lenses in the fanny pack, one lens on the body, in my hands at all times with the Hakuba hand grip).

Body:

1.) K100D (AA batteries and lightweight)

2.) K10D (10Mp and greater flexibility - would leave grip at home)

Application would be typical tourist snapshot photography. I was thinking of the pancake kit, but after a few weeks of using the 'kit', I can see how the constant lens changes would probably get old. Maybe the two-zoom kit would be enough, especially for simple, uncreative and uninspired travel photography of the family and old, ancient buildings.

The K100D has the advantage of AA batteries as well as not being so heavy (weight). Six megapixels is probably enough. Cropping should be minimal, especially with zooms. Both have Shake Reduction, so that is a wash. The K10D is a more flexible camera, but how much would I need that flexibility. Focus speed shouldn't be an issue at all.

What do you think? Which setup would you take on a trip overseas where you want to limit what you carry. Thanks for any insights you can offer. I'm having a difficult time deciding what to take.

12-11-2006, 02:38 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
For those of you who travel via aircraft to foreign countries with your camera gear, what would you take? I'm scheduled to take a bus tour of Italy with the wife and daughter next spring and am not sure what to take along.

Here are my choices:

Lenses:

1.) The 'pancake' kit. Includes the DA21, DA40, DA70, and either the FA50/1.4 or the A50/1.2 (the fast one).

2.) The DA18-55, DA50-200, one of the 50s, and possibly a Tamron 1.4x tc.

Either of these 'kits' would fit into a fanny pack (unused lenses in the fanny pack, one lens on the body, in my hands at all times with the Hakuba hand grip).

Body:

1.) K100D (AA batteries and lightweight)

2.) K10D (10Mp and greater flexibility - would leave grip at home)

Application would be typical tourist snapshot photography. I was thinking of the pancake kit, but after a few weeks of using the 'kit', I can see how the constant lens changes would probably get old. Maybe the two-zoom kit would be enough, especially for simple, uncreative and uninspired travel photography of the family and old, ancient buildings.

The K100D has the advantage of AA batteries as well as not being so heavy (weight). Six megapixels is probably enough. Cropping should be minimal, especially with zooms. Both have Shake Reduction, so that is a wash. The K10D is a more flexible camera, but how much would I need that flexibility. Focus speed shouldn't be an issue at all.

What do you think? Which setup would you take on a trip overseas where you want to limit what you carry. Thanks for any insights you can offer. I'm having a difficult time deciding what to take.
If I had all that equipment, I would take the k10, the DA21 for landscapes,
DA 70 for some nice portriats of your family, and the DA 50-200 for everything else. I think the k10's 10 MP would be a better choice in case you need to crop something up close.

just an opinion,

cheers

randy
12-11-2006, 09:02 PM   #3
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When I went to Turkey, I decided to take both my DS and DL to avoid having to change lenses too often. My Timbuk2 messenger bag/camera bag can hold both with an extra lens or two (and pages torn from my guidebook - I had to give up on carryig the whole book due to too much camera gear). I also took my 10-17 FE, 18-55, 50-200, 50mm, and 100mm macro. Probably didn't need the macro, though I did put it on a few times because I had it with me. The 10-17 and 50 were a great combo for interior shots - mosques, markets, etc. and I enjoyed using the fisheye more than the kit lens for landscapes, ruins, etc. because it seemed to create more "dynamic" shots. The 50-200 was probably my third most used lens - pulling things closer (I like details). Don't know if this is helpful at all for your choices. Have a great trip.

pics here if you're interested - Turkey - Fall 2006 Photo Gallery by betsypdx at pbase.com
12-11-2006, 09:43 PM   #4
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I usually take 3 lenses in addition to the standard (FA 28-105mm F4-5.6) one that's on my camera: generally a tele zoom, fast prime, and ultra-wide angle prime or zoom.

Here's the setup from my last trip (wasn't big on DA back then):

-SMC Pentax 15mm F3.5
-SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8
-SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4
-SMC Pentax-FA 80-320mm F4.5-5.6

Next time it'll likely be:

-SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4
-SMC Pentax-FA 24 or 35mm F2 (depeding on which one I "acquire )
-SMC Pentax-FA 80-320mm (or the DA 50-200, but it's fairly redundant if I also have the DA* below)
-SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F2.8 (possibly)

All in addition to the 28-105.


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12-11-2006, 09:50 PM   #5
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For the last short trips I have made I brought a minimum of stuff. I have always put my stuff in a camera bag - I don't like the idea of having a camera in my hand all the time, for several reasons. So, one single shoulder bag with room for the camera and two or three lenses. Now it is easier for me not being interested in macros and stuff.
1: K100D, Zenitar, FA35
2: K100D, Zenitar, FA35 and A50/1.2
I know many don't like to switch lenses all the time but i don't mind that. I also don't mind moving around to get a better perspective or getting closer.

I may edit this post later if something comes to my mind.

In any case I really hope you all have a great trip!
12-11-2006, 11:35 PM   #6
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It depends.... if I understood you correctly, you consider this trip more family vacation than a serious photographing tour?

If so, K100D + kit + 50-200, nothing more.

If your wife and daughter has more tolerance to your photographing work than wifes and daughters usually do, and you thus can concentrate more seriously into photographing while travelling, then K10D + other real serious stuff :-)

I keep these two separated due to a practical experiences travelling with my wife and family :-)

I was with my wife last summer in Bavaria and Austria. No childrens. This time I had packpack full of lenses with me. It was agreed while planning this tour that I will be taking photos while walking in mountains. So peace prevailed. Last time with all family at Crete I had just the basic set with me and even then there was some voices in the air about taking photos all the time..... :-)
12-12-2006, 05:51 AM   #7
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Kit 2 would be the easier of the two and it would give you the greatest flexibiltiy in terms of the available focal lengths you could work with. That said, I'd bring either the 40mm or 21mm pancake along with the zooms as they won't take up that much more room and there may be instances where the extra sharpness or smaller size might be beneficial. I'd leave the 50's at home.

If you have two batteries for the K10d and can charge them along the way, then it really comes down to which one you're more familiar with, and decide according to that. Otherwise, the K100 and 3 or 4 packs of the lithium AA's would be your best bet.
12-12-2006, 09:36 AM   #8
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WOW! Great advice from everyone. You've folks have given me a whole lot more to think about. Thank you very much.

12-12-2006, 11:21 AM   #9
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I don't edit, I just add instead...

The reasons for me to travel very light is that I don't see these sorts of travels as photo journeys. I'm with Harald and others there: the most important thing must be the experience. Travelling with family should be just that: something you experience together.
To me that is easier to achieve with not too much junk in the bag. Space is important and your family will appreciate if there is room for a map and passports in the bag as well as for the lenses. With just 2 or 3 primes I have missed on photo opportunities when being away with Elisabeth and the kids somewhere. OTOH they have payed back by showing some patience when I really wanted a picture. They have also enjoyed (at least sometimes) new discoveries when I have made them take a few extra minutes and steps to find another vantage point needed due to lack of long lenses and stuff. Sometimes the camera helped as to new places, thanks to not being too dominant. A Hakuba wrist grip on the camera, and then down with it in the bag, walk hand in hand instead of holding the camera all the time.
Ah well, I think you see my point.

Again, have a nice trip!
12-12-2006, 11:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B:
The reasons for me to travel very light is that...
Thank you. You're right, of course!

I was thinking that any, or most, of the shots I do end up taking will have the family members in them. Recently, I started scanning old slides from 30-years ago. (Who uses a slide projector these days?) I quickly found that the most important slides that I wanted to spend time converting and wanted to keep are those with family members in them. Pictures of flowers, landscapes, famous sites, expansive vistas, etc. did not have that same emotional connection today as they had when I took the picture.

I remember thinking, "these are nice, but who would ever want to look at and enjoy them". People will look at pictures of family members, ponder them, think about the person and what they mean to them or who they are . . . but will only briefly glance at a 'pretty picture' for a microsecond or less if they have no connections to the subject matter of the image.

So, when I take pictures on travel, I will make sure that either my wife or daughter is in the scene. Those will be worth keeping for future generations.

Thanks again, Jonas. Good wisdom.
12-12-2006, 12:01 PM   #11
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I agree with Steven above regarding having people (especially loved ones) in pictures. That's why I try to include people (even people I don't know) into my photographs - adds that human element.

Anyways, back to the topic. I guess the travel kit really depends on your photographic style. If you're traveling with family, or want to have quick shots, zooms are the way to go; or if you have time, like to plan out your shots more or don't mind quickly changing lenses then primes are well suited. But I find a good medium is a zoom/prime combo kit:
1. 18-55mm/16-45mm
2. 55-200mm
3. 30mm/1.4 or 50mm/1.4
4. 85/2 or 135mm/2.5
That way you have the zooms for shots where you want to change quick focal lengths and time is an issue, while you still have the primes for when you want them (portraits, low light, etc).
12-15-2006, 12:59 AM   #12
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When I was away for 5 months a took my DS, 16-45, Sigma 55-200, A50 1.7. This was pretty good for most situations. I would have liked a teleconverter but didn't have one

If I had the choice of a DS or K10 I would take the K10. I got my DS wet while I was away. Would have loved the weather sealing

With the little use I've had of my K10, I would not be able go without SR. I think in museums and churches etc it would be invaluable


Out of the options of kit you gave, the following is what I would take:

2.) The DA18-55, DA50-200, one of the 50s, and possibly a Tamron 1.4x tc.
2.) K10D (10Mp and greater flexibility - would leave grip at home)
12-15-2006, 04:42 AM   #13
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My travel kit.. if I really need to travel light as possible.. Though it is hard to leave the FA35/2 at home...

DA21/3.2
FA28-105/3.2-4.5
F*300/4.5

out of your kit I would take the 21,40,70 and 50-200... (I hope to get the 70 soon myself ;-)
12-15-2006, 05:50 AM   #14
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If I were you, I would take the pancake series

It is just way lighter and these pancakes produce amazing images.

Especially on the flight or along some ferry trips, weight of the camera gear is always the issues.

Travelling long distance abroad is always taking its toll on our bodies. I prefer to travel light with subperb lenses. Great lenses produce higher keep rate for photos as well.

My set-up for next overseas trip is to abandon all the canon gear

My pentax lenses to be brought along are

da 14/2.8
fa 31 f1.8
fa 77 f1.8
Bigma 50-500

I cannot wait
12-15-2006, 09:57 AM   #15
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Great thread. I and the fiancee are planning our honeymoon in Turkey and I am agonizing over which lenses to get for the trip. Currently I just have the 18*55 and 55*200. All of your advice to the OP has been very helpful to me.
Now I just have to make up my mind. Does anyone have experience with the Sigma 18-50 2.8?
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