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Archive 2013 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring
  
 
sean4
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p.1 #1 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


I'm a big fan of traveling light. I'm going to be traveling around Europe for 6 weeks and will be taking buses, trains, planes, staying in hostels. I'm bringing a single 40L backpack.

The main purpose of this trip for me is about photography (not getting paid, but updating my photo blog as I travel). I'll be shooting culture, lifestyle, fashion, and scenery. Whenever I shoot, the focus is usually people (think street photography).

I am considering traveling only with the x100s + wide converter. However, I feel I would like to take some landscape and street shots that would be nice to narrow the depth of field. I love my canon135L for that (and just ordered a 6D).

So the question is... Do I bring the 135L + 6D along for the journey, or leave it behind?

These are the types of shots that I've done before with the 135L that really bring something to the table the x100s can't:


I'm torn between being completely light weight and free, but it being a trip focused on photography, I feel like the 135 would add some variety.

As of now my tech gear is:

11" macbook air
x100s
x100s wide converter

Thoughts? Will the 6D + 135L really weigh me down? And if I bring the 6D, should i bring a proper wide angle lens along with it? (24mm?)

Edited on Apr 25, 2014 at 01:31 AM · View previous versions



Jul 15, 2013 at 06:46 PM
sean4
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p.1 #2 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


i almost think I answered my question while writing it out. I think it'll be worth it to bring the 6d+135L. but now im tempted to pick up a wide angle lens... need to tell myself to stick with the x100 wide converter to save space and weight.

why am i obsessing over this so much?!?!



Jul 15, 2013 at 07:08 PM
sjms
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p.1 #3 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


you really don't want the answer


Jul 17, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Glenn NK
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p.1 #4 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


sjms wrote:
you really don't want the answer


OCD?

I'm in the same situation (want to travel light), but knowing why I bought the lenses I have and use them, I'll take them all.

Not going to be in the situation of wishing I'd brought one that was left behind.

We're traveling by air/rail.

G



Jul 17, 2013 at 03:34 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #5 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


135 seems like a pretty limited focal length for your big trip unless you are a big fan of portraits while you travel. I don't think I would wind up using it much over your other camera. Unless you put a mid range zoom on it (24-105mm ?), I would consider leaving it at home.


Jul 17, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Dan Grisez
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p.1 #6 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


I could do that whole trip with just the X100s. A few years ago (2010), I shot a week's vacation with a Yashica Electro 35 and a couple rolls of print film. Never once did I regret not bringing more. The most recent vacation (2011), I brought my Minolta XD11 with 28mm f2.8 loaded with B&W film and my Canon S95 for color shots. Nice lightweight setup. Left the DSLR kit at home. I worked with what I brought and didn't worry at all about what I didn't bring.


Jul 17, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Ghostinz
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p.1 #7 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


I think you have to weigh the options of what you are shooting. About 7 years ago I took a trip with my family to Disney World. My wife at the time begged me to leave all that "camera stuff" at home so it wouldn't weigh us down. I ended up buying a higher end P&S, but I always regretted not having the performance of my DSLR setup.

You are going on a photography trip, so your focus should be the best gear. While I respect the need to travel light, its akin to saying I am going to climb a mountain but I don't want to bring any climbing gear.

While I might not lugged around my 80-400, if I were going, it would be 2 bodies, something wide angle, and even a 70-200 f4 and maybe a TC? So instead of worrying about which you should take, take both of them!



Jul 18, 2013 at 05:37 AM
peter_n
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p.1 #8 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


Sean I very much like your first and last shots in B&W. However they're close-ups taken with a 135mm lens so they could be shot anywhere. I think you need lenses that are a bit on the wider side so that you can include some context in the scene.

I'm from Europe and have family there so I go there quite a bit. I use manual lenses in sets depending on what kind of scenes I think I'm going to encounter on any given trip. Sorry about that but maybe you could translate my manual focal lengths into a zoom that works on your camera. After many trips my most frequently used set is 24mm, 35mm, 75mm. That would translate into a 17-55 on an APS-C DSLR.

I shoot street, and 95% of my shots are with the 35 & 75. The 24 is reserved for the 5% that are those really narrow streets where the 35 isn't wide enough. I get as close to my subjects as I can depending on the situation and use my feet to zoom. I shoot small rangefinder film cameras (two bodies) and all of these lenses are comparatively tiny.

With a DSLR you can take one zoom that covers a lot of opportunity, but I would make sure that you have a wide on it, either 17mm APS-C or 24mm FF. A couple of shots with 35 & 75:


Unter den Linden, Berlin, 75mm



El Rastro in Madrid, 35mm



Tapas bar in La Latina, Madrid, 35mm





Jul 19, 2013 at 01:20 AM
sean4
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p.1 #9 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


thanks for the input About 10 days till my trip. This will probably be a game day decision. Maybe I should bring my 24-70 instead of the 135.. then I'd have wide and and 70mm. hmm.


Aug 08, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #10 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


As I read the thread, I was just about ready to suggest a mid range zoom, like the 24-70, and then I see your comment where you are considering it. That is the lens I like the most for street and people photography on a full frame camera. Obviously there are some things that a 135 L can do for you, but a 24-70 is much more useful. I know if I have a nice full frame DSLR along, I am going to want to take nearly all the shots with it if I can.


Aug 08, 2013 at 11:21 PM
 

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jcolwell
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p.1 #11 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


You could pick up an X-E1 and XF 14/2.8R. Who knows, maybe you'd like the XF 55-200 OIS, too. I do.


Aug 08, 2013 at 11:27 PM
chris78cpr
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p.1 #12 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


X100s and W/A convertor is all you need. My x100 is a fantastic travel camera and was perfect for a week in tokyo last december. I have a lot of kit and my x100 is my must bring item on every trip i take! (4/5 a month!)


Aug 10, 2013 at 10:20 PM
leftcoastlefty
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p.1 #13 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


I have the 135mm and never take it backpacking (which is effectively what you are doing). It is simply too heavy. I use the 100mm macro instead, which is lighter and has IS.


Aug 15, 2013 at 05:58 AM
cbfount
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p.1 #14 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


Sean, it is down to the wire now! Have you decided yet?

I would take just the X-100s with the WCL. [Add a backup X-100 if you can swing it]

I'm a hard core Canon user who made the leap to Fuji early last year. Two years ago I would have had the same dilemma as you... In my travels I've thought nothing of stashing my 1D, 70-200/2.8 and 16-35 in my day-pack along with a couple of fast primes and extra bits...I think my new kit weighs less than that camera and one lens!

After my last first big trip I was sold on my new kit. My last few trips I've traveled with either the X-100 or X-100s and my X-Pro1 with 2/3 lenses. I typically kept either the 18mm or 35mm glued to the X-Pro and actually found I was quicker to grab the X-100 when heading out. I actually splurged on weight with a Pearstone duo charger (purchased extra charger plates so I could mix or put 2 of either type of battery in there. The meter is a nice plus, so you know how close to charged you are).

Don't think of how you'll be limited--rather use perspective to lend variety and tell different stories. It will be a growth experience for sure, and you'll come back with images that you wouldn't have thought to capture had you brought more gear.

I browsed your website and will definitely be following you on your adventure. Great idea mailing back actual postcards! I'm curious to hear how the Macbook Air is working for you. I wish the 11" had a card reader built in!



Aug 15, 2013 at 07:30 AM
philber
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p.1 #15 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


Sean, 135mm is much too limiting. If I had to take just one FL, it would be 35mm. But I'd dearly miss 28mm and 50mm as well. Solutions? How about a Sigma DP1M and a DP3M? That way, you get great IQ, you have a wide angle and a short tele, you have two bodies in case one fails, and you are still way lighter and more compact than a 6D plus either the 135mm or the 24-70.
Alternatively get a Sony NEX 6 with a Sigma 19mm and a Sigma 60mm makro. Very light, not very expensive, and you will be pretty well covered for everything. At a pinch add a Sigma 30. So good for the low price, it is a joke.
If you want the bare minimum, weightwise, that will let you take very nice pics indeed, get a Sony RX100 (or the 100/2)



Aug 15, 2013 at 09:07 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #16 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


leftcoastlefty wrote:
I have the 135mm and never take it backpacking (which is effectively what you are doing). It is simply too heavy. I use the 100mm macro instead, which is lighter and has IS.


So the 750 gr lens is too heavy for Europe. But a 625 gr lens is perfect



Aug 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #17 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


I've traveled a fair bit in the last year or so (four trips to Asia, one to Europe for 2 weeks/5 cities+several trips here in the US). I've taken most of my pretty extensive kit, and going forward I'll take my D300s and either 2 or 3 lenses going forward:

18-200
35 f/1.8
11-16 f/2.8

I'd probably drop the 11-16 first, though I'd need a good reason.

I have (and love) my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 which is a fabulous lens (and a lot lighter than the Nikon equivalent), but I find that for travel it sits in the bag too much. My 85 f/1.8 and 70-200 f/4 are even more seldom used for travel.

I do value my tripod and monopod pretty highly. If I had the money, I'd pick up one of the Sirui units that has a leg that converts to monopod for travel (thought it wouldn't displace my Gitzo 2531 for normal use).



Aug 15, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Chris Anthony
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p.1 #18 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


I understand the idea of traveling light, but(personally) I see no point in owning a high end DSLR kit and not bringing some of it on a vacation centered around taking photographs. That said, Id bring the 6D and a 24-105 as a "light weight" travel kit.
I'm traveling to Alaska in two weeks and have pretty much narrowed down what I'm bringing, I'm taking a cruise, so weight isn't much of an issue except while off ship. If I were flying then it'd be a whole different matter.



Aug 16, 2013 at 04:19 AM
justruss
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p.1 #19 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


So you're going tomorrow?

Personally, I'd skip the 6D + 135L. Not compelling enough on its own to bring so much added weight/bulk-- unless there's something specific you need to cover. And I tend to think 35mm is the perfect travel FL. Your images will be better for it, whereas 135mm lends a removed perspective (perfect for some things).

Too late now to add gear, but possible ways to get longer FLs (if you need):

- EOS M, adaptor, 85 f/1.5
- Fuji XM/XE, Fuji 60mm/Contax G 90mm.

Still my advice: ONLY bring the X100 + WA (that's 28mm and 35mm). And really get into the FL-- force yourself to get closer and more familiar with your subjects. Your images will be better for it.



Aug 17, 2013 at 07:17 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #20 · 6 weeks around europe.. obessing over what to bring


Chris Anthony wrote:
I understand the idea of traveling light, but(personally) I see no point in owning a high end DSLR kit and not bringing some of it on a vacation centered around taking photographs. That said, Id bring the 6D and a 24-105 as a "light weight" travel kit.
I'm traveling to Alaska in two weeks and have pretty much narrowed down what I'm bringing, I'm taking a cruise, so weight isn't much of an issue except while off ship. If I were flying then it'd be a whole different matter.


+1

When the main purpose of this trip is about photography, why not bring your best equipment ?



Aug 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM
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