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I spent three weeks on the east side of the big pond last summer and I left my big Canon gear at home and instead took a smaller system based around a Fujifilm X-E1 with the 14mm f/2.8 (21mm equivalent), 35mm f/1.4 ( 52.5mm equivalent), and 55-200mm lenses (87.5mm- 300mm equivalent), a small Induro tripod, a very small RRS tripod head. I would do the same thing again in a heartbeat. My entire camera kit fit into a small messenger bag as carryon, and it also held my (Macbook Air) laptop, phone, passport, and assorted other odds and ends.
If I were going with a 5D3 body, I might carry my 17-40 (or the new 16-35 f4 that should arrive this week), the 24-105mm f/4 L IS, and the 70-200mm f/4 L IS. I might consider replacing the 24-105 with a large aperture 50mm prime. I'd use a smaller than normal tripod and head, since I like to get everything into carryon.
In my experience, quite a bit of the photography tends to be city/urban stuff, and even though I most often shoot from the tripod in my typical photography, I worked almost entirely handheld in Europe (as I tend to do when doing urban travel in the US, too). However, if you are sure you want to do serious tripod-based work in Europe and are willing to travel with the extra gear...
... I'd plan on checking my regular luggage. Then I'd probably take an overhead-bin size camera backpack that is reasonably light, like my Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L AW. (I have moved away from heavier bags since this beauty came out.) I would take whatever tripod would fit in my checked luggage with the head removed and anything else modified to make it smaller. (Sometimes you can remove leg sections and create a shorter package if you are willing to go to such lengths.) I would pack the tripod head in my carryon bag.
Unless photography was essentially my whole reason for going, I would simplify things and probably not bring other odds and ends that I might use.
But seriously, a smaller mirrorless system is really wonderful for this sort of thing.
Edited on Jul 06, 2014 at 03:15 PM · View previous versions