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Technical Questions

Travel Kit

Discuss technical aspects of photography
Posts: 29

Travel Kit

Post Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:05 am

I have an upcoming trip next month to Greece and Italy, and I am seeking opinions/advice for what equipment I should take with me. I like to travel light. If possible, I prefer not to check any luggage. I am a serious amateur photographer, and I mostly enjoy landscape/cityscape/architecture photography, but I also like to slip in some candid/street photography if something interesting pops up.

My photography kit consists of the following equipment: 5D, 30D, EF 24-105 L IS, EF 70-200 L IS ( F/2.8 ), EF 28- 300 L IS, EF 50 F/1.4, EF 100 F/2.0, SIGMA 18-200 OS, SIGMA 12-24 EX DG ASP HSM, Bogen-Manfrotto tripod and head, and Dynex tripod. I have a backpack that will carry my notebook computer and all of my bodies and lenses except one of the following two lenses: the EF 70-200 or the EF 28-300. This backpack is great for transporting everything to my destination, but way too heavy to use onsite.

My favorite approach to photography when visiting a city is to strike out on foot with a map. I will hop the subway or take a cab if there is a great distance between two points of interest, but I prefer to hike as much as possible to experience the real essence of a place (and get a lot of unplanned shots)

Last year on a trip to Europe ( ), I carried my 5D with the EF 28-300 lens. By the 2nd or 3rd day my back was aching from the weight of carrying this monstor combo for 8+ hours at a stretch. So this spring when I visited New York City ( ), I carried my 30D with the Sigma 18-200. And while the Sigma is pretty good for a light weight hyperzoom, especially with the right light, my results on this trip could have been better, I think.

IMO, my 5D with the 24-105 L is the best walk around combination for extensive trekking on foot from a image qulaity, flexibility, weight standpoint, and will cover 90-95% of the shots I typically take. The 30D with the 70-200 L is perfect for most of the rest, but is it worth toting a second body and lens, especially keeping in mind that the 70- 200 F/2.8 is a very heavy lens?

What would you take from the above list for this trip, given the type of photography I like to do? Any other suggestions or advice?

The itinerary for this trip is as follows:

1 day to Delphi, 1.5 days in Athens, 0.5 days for the Temple of Posiden and the National Archaeological Muesum, 1 day to Pompeii, 1.5 days in Rome, 0.5 days at the Vatican.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Posts: 352

Re: Travel Kit

Post Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:38 am

Disregard this post, see posts below this.

Have you considered a teleconverter, such as a 1.4x ? It would add a bit of magnification to the 24-105 without adding a huge amount of weight.
Last edited by shawnkraus on Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 3780

Re: Travel Kit

Post Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:09 am

shawnkraus wrote:Have you considered a teleconverter, such as a 1.4x ? It would add a bit of magnification to the 24-105 without adding a huge amount of weight.

Umm... Not wanting to contradict Shawn, but you might want to check compatibility, and possible distortion problems before considering a converter with a lens going down to 24mm. Most converters are matched to 100mm & longer. It's doubtful a Canon converter will mount to this lens, due to it's design. It's highly possible protrusions from both converter & wide angle lens will contact causing damage. It might be possible to use a Kenko Pro 300, but it's still not optically matched for shorter lenses.

As far as suggestions, I'm old and tired. If you want to travel light, get a quality P&S for vacation and enjoy. :D

Posts: 352

Re: Travel Kit

Post Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:22 am

You are absolutely correct. The 1.4x teleconverter will not work with the 24-105mm lens. I checked the canon specs so that is not an option. :(

Posts: 3780

Re: Travel Kit

Post Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:22 pm

Hi Shawn,
No problem. Converters are one of the things I just happened to research extensively when adding to my set up.

For Mike's dilemma,
There's much more qualified people than I who can suggest his best options from the equipment he has on hand, including you, Shawn. So, I'll back out and hope others will offer some advice.

Posts: 16

Re: Travel Kit

Post Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:34 pm

Actually this is the kind of way I take pictures, prepared to the unexpected. It is a tough decision.

I flew to Singapore with only the 5D + 35 1.4, really liking this lens - for daylight and night light.
but I realized that I missed some wide angle zoom, plus getting candids is not always easy with a wide angle.

So I got the 16-35II on a shop (try different ones on a store before choosing the good one, the second was sharp enough).
don't buy this lens by internet, it's too risky to me!
One advise: on the shop aim at the ground with your lens: if they have a carpet it is a good way to see the uniformity.

Also, I was tempted by the 85 1.2L II but then on the street you get spotted from far away.
Furthermore, the focus being quite slow, the person will notice it so quick you will be quickly uncorfortable as for him/her. bye bye candids.
The only choice is to ask people first and show them the picture later.
This way brings you nice shots also, and a nice direct look of the model.

Eventually, I had to change of tactic because the 85 1.2 with only one body is very so restrictive. (here with your 2 bodies you are more prepared).

So I would advise you to get different combinations for the daylight/nightlight :
the 16-35II on the 5D + 50 1.4 on the cropped frame body. (or even the 85 1.8 or the 70-200 2.8 IS ).
A nice accesory to get your extra lens(es) easily reachable is to get some voutches from :
I just got 2, it is more pratical than a backpack on the street.

For the night, take the 35 1.4,it is a very good lens that not a lot of people use, impressive colors on the 5D
+ 50 1.4 on the cropped frame body.

Overall, to get free from an extra weight, the most important is to be quite restrictive on the kind of pictures you want to make during the trip.
This will bring you to choose only 2 lenses, you will be more concentrated on what's going on around you,
you will gain homogeneity on your travel pictures (hmm just saying so I didn"t look at your portfolio yet;) ), + to have some constraints improves the framing.

you can see some examples with the lenses I talked about here :

good travel and good luck!


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