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Thread: What to take overseas?

  1. #1
    New Member Nikonoff's Avatar
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    What to take overseas?

    Hi all, heading to the UK and France soon and curious to find out what experiences, good or bad, people had carting their gear around. I've heard so many horror stories of cameras and gear being flogged that I'm almost at the point of leaving it at home and just relying on the phone camera.
    regards

    Harry

    D90, Nikkor 18 - 55 and 55 - 200 VR lenses

  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonoff View Post
    ...I've heard so many horror stories of cameras and gear being flogged that I'm almost at the point of leaving it at home and just relying on the phone camera...
    ...and getting it flogged intead

    Yes, it happens with any gear. It also DOESN'T happen.
    How to avoid getting gear flogged: keep close control over it

    Also, try NOT to encumber yourself with too much gear and luggage.
    If you have secure accommodation with relatives and friends, that helps
    with storage. Record all serial numbers and take photos of the gear (and
    take prints with you, as you do with passports) for reporting to police if it
    does happen. Get an incident report from them if it does for insurance.

    Well, much to the amusement of friends and rels, my gear went with me on my back
    everywhere when we were out with it. They soon got used to it, and even pitched in
    to want to hep a few times.

    So, what to take? For me, a failry wide-angle lens, and optional zoom of moderate range.
    If the wide lens is of fast aperture, the better for places where flash is disallowed. I've
    never taken a tripod (since 1974), but that depends on photographic intent. The whole lot
    always travelled as cabin luggage, oh, and that included a (rather weak in retrospect) netbook
    computer. Mostly, I ended up using it to download and store images, and a copy on an external
    small HDD. (I found USB stix to be finicky and slow and generally useless, especially after I lost one).
    Your phone can be a backup camera.

    Well, over to others...
    Last edited by ameerat42; 15-06-2016 at 10:40am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    ...and getting it flogged instead
    Yeah good point Ameerat. Thanks for the advice, particularly copies of serial numbers and photos to back up a claim, if req'd. Might even come home with some pics worth sharing

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    Good advice from Am already. I've taken camera + 2-3 lenses on numerous overseas trips in both Europe and Asia, all as cabin luggage. I have taken a tripod in checked in baggage and used it occasionally. When out and about just use normal common sense when it comes to you and your gear's safety and you'll be fine.
    Glenda


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    Member torro's Avatar
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    I'd also suggest a wide angle for interiors and landscapes, a moderate zoom 24-70 as well.

  6. #6
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I agree with Am.

    I have taken my gear to Europe and UK many times, never had an issue. It went with me EVERYWHERE, basically never left my sight, always right next to me even to restaurants at night with me. If I was in a restaurant/cafe etc, I would have the strap either around my leg or the chair leg I was sitting on. Just be aware of what is going on around you, watch for suspicious looking people, always keep an eye out for anyone who doesn't belong.

    My last trip to Japan and Singapore I took D810 Tamron 15-35 f2.8 VC, 24-70 f2.8, and 80-400 f4.5-5.6G VR. In fact, I have taken my gear on every overseas trip I have been on in the last 12 years.

  7. #7
    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I take my camera and backpack OS, never had a problem. Only one person had his gear stolen in Venice, but he left the bag unattended at breakfast.
    Best travel advice I can give is Google Drive, I have all my documentation on it as well as copies of Visas and passports. I something drastic happens, you can go to the consulate/ police/ hotel etc and you have all your documents at your fingertips.
    Take a wide angle for the towns, I get by with a 24-105 F4 sigma and a Tokina 16-28 F2.8.
    Regards
    John
    Nikon D750, Sigma 105mm OS Macro, Tokina 16-28 F2.8, Sigma 24-105 Art, Sigma 150-600C,
    Benro Tripod and Monopod with Arca plates

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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    As others have said... take it with you, but never let it leave your sight. I have similar strategies to Lance for when in restaurants etc. Make sure it's properly insured. What's the point in owning a nice camera if you don't take it with you?

    I usually check in my tripod, and carry my camera bag with me as my carry on.
    My name is John.
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    New Member alabaster's Avatar
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    Agree with everyone above. Definitely do not rely on your phone alone - you'll kick yourself so many times when you try to take a photo on your phone and wish you had a long zoom, or fast lens instead!

    A few years ago we travelled to Europe in winter. I carried a Nikon D90 and kit lens around, and was glad I did - though I did wish I had a faster lens, especially up north, where the days are short and light is low. I even took the DSLR on a husky ride, snapping off one-handed shots while holding tightly onto the sled.

    I carried it around my neck under my parka, so it wasn't noticeable (though we of course looked every bit the tourist, so if we were going to get rolled, we would have been rolled). Of course this is not an option for you, going in summer!

    Later we took a side trip to Spain on a budget carrier that necessitated us leaving the DSLR behind; we had a compact camera to tide us over.

    If I did it again, I'd definitely take a DSLR again, this time with a faster zoom lens.
    Last edited by alabaster; 19-06-2016 at 11:04pm.

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    We've not long returned from a 5-week honeymooon in the USA. I wanted all my gear in a backpack with some room for a tablet and drinks/snacks and it had to be allowed on any plane.

    My gear list was:
    • Nikon D700 (no grip)
    • Nikon 24-70/2.8
    • Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 (bought specifically for this trip as I wanted more reach than my 70-200/2.8)
    • Nikon SB-900 + diffuser
    • Spare batteries
    • CPL's
    • Cokin ring, holder and ND grad.


    I ended up not using the SB-900 once and would leave that at home next time, this opens up more room in the bag and I'd possibly take the Nikon 16-35/4 VR in it's place. The 24-70 was the perfect walkaround lens but there were occasions I needed a little more angle.

    Full frame to crop frame will affect lens choice but you can work that out.

    I ended up with the Manfrotto Advanced Tri Backpack in medium and used a BlackRapid Metro strap.

    The strap was a big one for me, I could leave the camera hanging on my side with one hand resting on it and know it was pretty darn safe. An across-chest strap, unlike a neck strap, is a lot harder to get off someone.
    Last edited by BLWNHR; 04-07-2016 at 7:53am.
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    Using Nikon & PS CS5.

  11. #11
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I tend to mix my style of carry, sometimes with a backpack and sometimes with a small bag and a couple of primes. I'd avoid carrying the battery grip, it makes the camera look bigger and more expensive and small lenses look more inconspicuous. If you are carrying a small bag, carry it cross shoulder as opposed to over one shoulder and keep your hand on it.

    I think it really depends on where you are going. I wouldn't consider England and France to be high risk. Yes, there are pick pockets but you can circumvent in the way you carry your gear, for example, having a backpack that opens on the inside, having your camera on a strap that doesn't allow someone to take it etc. I would consider high risk locations to be largely 3rd world countries where crime is more violent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    I'd avoid carrying the battery grip, it makes the camera look bigger and more expensive.
    +1

    Not to mention the weight. It reduces the amount of additional items you can take if you've packed in carry-on and your shoulder will complain carrying a heavy camera around for hours while site-seeing.
    Last edited by BLWNHR; 04-07-2016 at 10:15am.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    The google drive (or any other cloud based storage) idea is a very good one. As above, get a good bag to carry the gear in so you don't mind keeping it with you all the time. Get insurance (beware of policies that have a limit per item and count all the photography gear as one item) be careful and enjoy yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamster View Post
    The google drive (or any other cloud based storage) idea is a very good one.
    Great point. Internet access can be an issue, particularly upload bandwidth if shooting RAW. I copied everything I took in triplicate, I had an external drive in my wife's handbag that stayed with us everywhere we went, I had another external drive stashed in a "hidden" compartment in our luggage and a third copy on the laptop. It's not just theft you need to worry about but electronic hardware failure too. I have also heard of people mailing USB drives/external HDD's/DVD's back to their home while away as a backup.

  15. #15
    D750 Shines cupic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torro View Post
    I'd also suggest a wide angle for interiors and landscapes, a moderate zoom 24-70 as well.
    This was what I used in Europe last year and soon this year as well couples with my D750 minus the grip
    was good for 95% of landscape and portraits etc
    Bit of a weight as its nearly 2kgs combined but I thought it was a brilliant setup
    Enjoy and shoot

    cheers



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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I'd personally rather carry a 20 1.8 and a 50 1.4/1.8 for travel. It'll be lighter to carry and give you similar versatility to a 24-70.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I've taken various bits of gear on many overseas trips, from the poorest, dodgiest parts of south east asia, to the ghetto in the USA. never had an issue. keep it close to you, and if concerned just keep it in your bag until ready to shoot, but most importantly, don't carry a bag that screams "I am a tourist and have a giant expensive camera in here". I usually travel with a cheap canvas messenger bag and keep my stuff in there, wrap the gear in spare clothes, body in a spare shirt, lens in a sock etc, or if concerned for safety, use a camera bag insert in it. Don't leave it at home with the potential to lose shots, you will regret it. if it gets nicked, it's no big deal... if you make sure you get travel insurance! Keep it light, carry an all purpose lens, and a prime for low light/portraits. don't let the gear be a hindrance to the experience of travelling. live in the moment. Now if i were to travel again, i'd take an X100, fast lens, lightweight, built in nd filter. flash. everything you could need. The old ones are still great value and can be had for $400 used easily.
    cheers

  18. #18
    New Member hughr's Avatar
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    Insuring gear for overseas

    I'm heading overseas for at least 6 months with a mixed bag of photography and video gear. Does anyone have any leads on insurance for this length of time? Most have Aust based specialist brokers have a cap on worldwide coverage not exceeding 30 days or so. Ive been googling for a good day now. US seem to offer more options but for us aussies it's pretty tough out there. thanks in advance

  19. #19
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi Hugh.
    Welcome to AP, as well.

    What about your own home insurance company? Can you negotiate some sort of cover with them to suit your needs?

    Else, have you come across this lot?
    Last edited by ameerat42; 30-09-2016 at 11:15am.

  20. #20
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Hi Hugh.
    Welcome to AP, as well.
    What about starting a new thread with you questions?
    Insurance is a bit different to what to take and you might get some more informed answers if you ask about insurance.
    And I don't have a clue otherwise.

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