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Thread: Gear for travelling? (confused and undecided! Help!)

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    Member leanne0333's Avatar
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    Gear for travelling? (confused and undecided! Help!)

    Hi all, I am lucky enough to be going travelling in 6 months time. The plan so far is 2 weeks through the Australian outback 3 months in SE Asia travelling from Vietnam to Borneo and then 2-3 weeks in Eastern Africa somewhere on safari. My subjects will be very varied; landscape, candid portraits, urban shots, festivals, temples, wildlife, food, performance.....

    So far my kit includes a Nikon D5100 and 2 kit lenses 18-105 and 55-300. (So my focal range is actually 27-450mm.) I'm happy enough with 55-300 for the time being. It may not be as sharp as some more expensive lenses but its light and I definitely could not carry a very large heavy wildlife lens!
    My 18-105 is good for some things such as close up portraits. Occasionally its not as sharp as I'd like for candid shots from further away and for landscape shots at the wider end.

    I have $1000 to invest in my photography. I'm tempted to get a carbon fibre tripod (which will set me back $350) although I will probably not take this away with me, its more for home. Planning at the moment to take my gorilla pod instead! Which would leave me $650 for a new lens. Now the question is super wide or something with a little more reach like 16-85mm? (mainly to invest in a sharper lens) If I get a super wide angle it would benefit my landscape shots but I would have to take 3 lenses with me which seems a lot? I also tested a 10-24 in Sydney and was surprised how wide 10mm is (15mm on my camera) Perhaps 16mm would be enough? After all I can always take several vertical photos and stitch together in photoshop to recreate those wide angles if I really need to? Or do you think this will frustrate after a while?

    What else would you have in your kit bag? I plan to take my nikon d5100, my laptop, at least 1 UV, polariser and ND(8) filter, my gorilla pod, 2 batteries, 3 or 4 memory cards (mix of 4 and 8GB) a few USB sticks to send photos home as a backup, a point and shoot underwater camera, cleaning kit and then whichever lens I decide to invest in.

    Also, kit bag aside, if anyone has any tips for getting the most out of this trip such as not to be missed photo opportunities in these areas, I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading my rambling post! I look forward to hearing your opinions and suggestions!

    Thank you!

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    Me, I'd look at a half decent bag, a Sigma 10-20 and a half decent travel tripod. Not nessessarily a Carbon fibre one, but make sure that the head can witstand the weight of your heaviest lens or take future proofing into account if you intend to get heavier glass later.

    I say the sigma, because it is the cheaper option, but still has very good image quality.
    You will find the 10-20 very useful for doing landscapes, and you can get some very interesting results with it and children - You will have a great time in Vietnam with this lens too, as you can get rediculously close to your subjects, be them children or stone sculptures.

    I'd also look at taking as many memory cards with you as possible. That long away from home without the option to dump your photos, you will find yourself looking for more space very quickly, especially if you shoot RAW!

    I'd look on fleabay for some decend 32 gig Class 10 cards.

    Leave the 18-105 on, the body and change out as nessesary.

    When travelling the tropics, ALWAYS have extra plastic bags in your kit. Especially if your body is not weather sealed. You can have lovley blue skies one moment, and the next be running for shelter in a solid wall of water.

    Taking a kit long lens will leave you wanting when in Africa, but being a nikon user, no doubt there will be other serious photogs that may let you borrow their kit if you batter your eyelashes the right way ....
    Personally, that would not work on me though.

    Last thought would be to add a remote trigger. Cheap, rediculously useful.
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
    Pentax K5
    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


    Would you like to see more?
    http://flickr.com/photosbygreg

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    Thanks Greg, I have considered the sigma 10-20. Ive also considered the Tamron 12-24 and Tokina 11-16 pro II. All within budget. The Tokina gets excellent views and is a tad faster. Nice for depth of field with portraits. Any views on that lens? My only concern is that only going up to 16 is a tad limiting and I would constantly be changing lenses over as with travel photography, I tend to shoot as I see - portrait one moment, landscape the next!

    Thats a good tip about the plastic bags! Will definitely bare that in mind!

    I have a remote trigger. It is useful but I often end up just using a 2sec timer.

    If I did replace my kit zoom lens, any suggestions for a reasonably priced light option?

    Any suggestions for travel tripods? I'm really worried about it taking up space and weight! Hence why I thought the gorrilapod may be a good compromise. So far I have had pretty sharp long exposures with it although I haven't tested it out in windy conditions yet! But I love that its so small and light you don't notice it in your bag - great for spontaneous shots that I wouldn't usually get as i only carry a tripod for a planned photography expedition!

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    Just had another thought, needs clarifying! As my camera has a 1.5 crop factor, most focal lengths are larger than they seem i.e. 18mm is 27mm. But does it make a difference what type of lens? Ie are there any lenses which I can put on my camera where 18mm would genuinely be 18mm? Thanks.

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    It is 18mm.
    27 Is just a 35mm equiavlent due to the crop.
    I wouldnt worry about it so much.

    I havent used the tokina uwa or the tamron, but i do have the tamron 17-50 2.8 and for the price it is a fantastic lens.

    Re travel tripod - i have the cheap manfrotto fron ebat theyre about $80 but the ball head is annoying and not quite up to the heavier lenses.

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    So if I ever upgraded my camera body to a full frame camera, would my lenses still show the same range of view? Thanks

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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    What a marvellous trip to look forward to. I find when travelling overseas I use a tripod much less than at home because I can't be bothered carrying it with me when walking around on the off chance I may need it. Did take one to both Vietnam and China over the last couple of years and used it twice that I remember. I've actually just purchased a gorilla pod for a trip this year. Usually I can find a rail, ground, whatever to stabilise my camera.

    I'd definitely get a fast lens for low light photography. Invaluable when out and about at night. I took my D3100 to China last year and my Tamron 17-50 f2.8 lived on the camera most of the time. I also used the Nikon 35 f1.8 at night and got some great shots hand held. I just bought the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 and it will be my walk around lens this trip. I did find I wanted a little more zoom than 50 at times. My husband now uses the D3100 and we bought the 18-200 which he loves and gets really good results with.
    Glenda


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    I have never found gorilla pods to be stable enough and have a 3 kg rated one I now only use to mount remote flash units on.

    A compact and light travel tripod won't go amiss (I have a compact & heavy one ). The 18-105 is a great travel lens. The Nikon 10-24 probably the best cropped sensor uwa made (along with the Tokina 11-16) but I like the extra range if the Nikon.

    A 35mm f/1.8 a great buy.

    Enjoy the trip.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited by peterb666; 09-09-2012 at 9:00am.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


    My photo-mojo has gone

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Metabones Speed Booster and Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 - almost as insanely wicked as sin itself... but then again, the Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95 is kinda fun.

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    Thank you for all of your thoughts! I'm thinking now that I definitely want a SWA and still torn between tokina 11-16 and nikkor 12-24. I have also looked into the 35mm prime lenses and amazed at how reasonable they are. I have been keen to get one at some stage! I struggle to get decent depth of field with my current lenses! But if I got both that would be 4 lenses for travelling! Excessive? But they are all for very different things! Im also tempted to upgrade from my 55-300 as Rattus your comment about Africa really hit home - a previous trip to Africa with a point and shoot that led to disappointing photos was what prompted me to get a DSLR in the 1st place - I vowed the next time I went travelling I would have a decent camera and know how to use it!! Do you think the nikkor 70-300 would be a noticeable upgrade? I like that its still a light compact lens! One option would be to invest in a new lens when i leave SE Asia (likely from Singapore) so I only have to carry it in Africa when I'm more likely to use it! Although it might also come in useful in Borneo for Orangutan shots!!

    This is all beginning to sound very expensive....!!!

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    Ausphotography Regular crafty1tutu's Avatar
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    How exciting to be on the verge of a trip. We have just come back from four weeks in South Africa and I took my tripod with me and it never came out of the bag. I know you will be travelling around Australia, so this may be a different scenario for the landscape photos, but the only time I have ever used my tripod is on New Year's Eve for photos of fireworks over the Harbour Bridge. I am a Canon girl and I took my Canon 18-200 lens and my Canon 100-400 L series lens with me. The 18-200 stayed on the camera when out and about, but when we went to Kruger and Pilanesberg, the 100-400 was on the camera the whole time. It was a little restrictive when the animals were close to the car, but for long distance photos it was great. You can pick up 100-400 lenses on fleabay (I love that - my new term for on sites that don't like advertising). They are fairly cheap these days, but if you don't think it will be of use after the trip, the 55-300 will be fine. On my trip in 2007 I had a 75-300 lens and it was okay for most safari shots. I did have a Canon 10-22 wide angle, but found I didn't use it much, so I sold it (it did take beautiful wide angled photos though). I found the 18-200 does me for the occasions that I want a wide angled view, so I am sure that your 18-105 will be fine as well. It really depends on what you will use the lenses for after the trip to get full benefit of anything that you may buy. You can look at my African photos if you wish to get some idea of what lens is good for what.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8364607...7630565377456/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8364607...7601849785568/

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    Quote Originally Posted by crafty1tutu View Post
    How exciting to be on the verge of a trip. We have just come back from four weeks in South Africa and I took my tripod with me and it never came out of the bag. I know you will be travelling around Australia, so this may be a different scenario for the landscape photos, but the only time I have ever used my tripod is on New Year's Eve for photos of fireworks over the Harbour Bridge. I am a Canon girl and I took my Canon 18-200 lens and my Canon 100-400 L series lens with me. The 18-200 stayed on the camera when out and about, but when we went to Kruger and Pilanesberg, the 100-400 was on the camera the whole time. It was a little restrictive when the animals were close to the car, but for long distance photos it was great. You can pick up 100-400 lenses on fleabay (I love that - my new term for on sites that don't like advertising). They are fairly cheap these days, but if you don't think it will be of use after the trip, the 55-300 will be fine. On my trip in 2007 I had a 75-300 lens and it was okay for most safari shots. I did have a Canon 10-22 wide angle, but found I didn't use it much, so I sold it (it did take beautiful wide angled photos though). I found the 18-200 does me for the occasions that I want a wide angled view, so I am sure that your 18-105 will be fine as well. It really depends on what you will use the lenses for after the trip to get full benefit of anything that you may buy. You can look at my African photos if you wish to get some idea of what lens is good for what.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8364607...7630565377456/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8364607...7601849785568/
    Thanks for the advice! I would use a telephoto lens again as I love wildlife shots but it wouldn't be on my camera most of the time! Definitely considering upgrading though! I think the L series is just canon though?
    Thanks for showing me your safari photos - there are some lovely shots amongst them! You did well :-)
    Everyone seems to have a very different opinion regarding the need for a tripod when travelling which I guess is dependent on the sort of photography your into. Having thought at length about it, Im swaying towards the gorrilapod which won't replace my tripod at home but is a compromise for travel. I am travelling with my boyfriend who does not like photography. Therefore I would be restricted how much I would use a tripod (depending on how patient he was feeling!) And safety concerns may stop me doing low light shots on my own anyway, so a tripod may not be needed. ( Being a female on my own with an expensive camera somewhere remote like a beach in Thailand sounds like a recipe for disaster!!) I will miss it in the outback Im sure but that only contributes 2 weeks of my travelling! And the more lenses I add to my wish list the less I think I will be able to take a tripod anyway!

  12. #12
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leanne0333 View Post
    So if I ever upgraded my camera body to a full frame camera, would my lenses still show the same range of view? Thanks
    Whilst the DX lenses listed that you are considering will fit ( and operate ) on FX bodies they will not be able to be used to the full potential of the body in FX format.
    The Nikon FX bodies do incorporate a selectable (through the menu system) DX crop mode that will allow those lenses to work fine but to me that kind of defeats the purpose of having an FX body to start with. Others may disagree ----
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    What is the benefit of a FX camera? I have a nikon D5100 at present but Im sure one day I will want to upgrade so I guess I need to take this into consideration buying lenses!

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    Ausphotography Regular crafty1tutu's Avatar
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    Another option for a travel tripod is this - I first saw it on Flickr, but couldn't find the thread. It involves making a travel tripod that you put in your pocket out of some string, a washer and a screw that matches the thread underneath the camera. My friend made me a fancy one with a toggle so that I can adjust the length for people of different heights, but if it only going to be used by yourself the string only needs to be a length that when stretched fully holds the camera steady at eye level. Not sure if the link will work, but I found this on google.

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...mb=KJs19c9iza/

    - - - Updated - - -

    Found the video for instructions

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLlJl7TbXTA

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