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INDIA trip, and gear dilemma
  
 
Colin F
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Iím going on a photography trip to India for 3 weeks Ė a trip of a lifetime (Rajasthan area). Itís not a birding trip like I mostly shoot, but rather the street/people/cultural sort of thing that India is great for.

With my 5DIV, IĎve been planning on taking the 70-200 f/2.8; 16-35 f/4 and 50mm f/1.2, with 7DII stowed in the hotel room for back-up. But Iím starting to think about and visualize the reality of walking the streets of India for three weeks with my gear. Two lenses would need to be carried in my Lowepro Flipside 300 backpack, but constantly taking that off & changing lenses would be a pain, especially in potentially dusty & busy conditions.

So then I looked at the Cotton Carrier G3, which would hold the 5DIV & 70-200 on the chest, but even if I hooked the 7DII body & one lens on the side holster, that still leaves one lens to be stowed somewhere, plus, Iím actually reluctant to use the 7DII crop-body with any of those three lenses, as they (and the subject matter) really call out for a FF body IMO. It would be awesome to have a second 5DIV, but that isnít going to happen.

But wait a minute; walking around with that Cotton Carrier and two bodies is getting ridiculous, and would likely look ridiculous to those people that I would be shooting. It would also be hot to wear all day in that climate, and maybe be a theft-magnet.

So now Iím starting to wonder about more of just one do-it-all zoom lens, eliminating the need for the Cotton Carrier and the backpack, requiring only a single sling-strap, which I have. But not using those three lovely lenses seems heartbreaking. Many (if not most) of these shots would be so magical with the shallow DOF that the 50mm and 70-200 offer, and the 16-35 has its definite uses too.

Thereís lenses like the Tamron 18-200 which would ďdo it allĒ, and would allow me to walk around light with just a sling-strap, without any sort of pack at all, but would I be happy with the results? It seems mad to have these three great lenses and not use them!

I guess thereís also the option of bringing my 3 lenses, and leaving the room each morning with just one of them, and just use that for the day, but that would no-doubt result in missed opportunities.

Hopefully you can appreciate my dilemma, and I would be grateful for any advice, input or suggestions.


Edited on Nov 11, 2017 at 05:36 AM · View previous versions



Nov 06, 2017 at 09:09 PM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


5D4 w/24-70 f2.8L II (or your 16-35) in a Lowepro, Vanguard or Think Tank holster.

Seriously - keep it simple.

Chuck an 85 f1.8 or 100 f2 in there somewhere.

Or, as a second lens consider a 100 macro.

Travel light, remember?



Nov 06, 2017 at 11:39 PM
Edward Castro
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


I don't really recall using the telephoto lens when I went to India, including Jaipur in Rajasthan. In fact I'd say wider is better to capture all the ruckus happening on the streets. It's always crazy seeing busses, cars, motorbikes, auto-rickshaws, rickshaws, carts, people walking, cows, elephants, camels and more at the same time.

I'm planning on going back to India next year and I plan on taking 2, maybe 3 lenses at most. Not sure if I'll take a second body. But my Fuji gear is smaller so maybe I'll take my second body.



Nov 07, 2017 at 12:04 AM
chez
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


When I travel, my most used lenses are a 25mm and 85mm. I typically go out with just the camera and one of the primes and focus on images that are suited for the lens. For the wide angle, I'm looking for close up in your face type of images...delivering a feel like you are there, whereas with the 85mm, I'm looking for that candid image from further away.

I feel with a zoom, you never focus in on the type of image you want to shoot and spend all your time zooming through the range rather than seeking out the image that one prime presents.

I guess my biggest advice is to keep your equipment simple...there will be images everywhere you turn.



Nov 07, 2017 at 02:48 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Big cameras and big lenses and you are a foreigner. You are going to stand out anyway so think about your total security (wallet, mobile etc) and leave all valuables in the hotel since you'll be preoccupied and not notice skilled pickpockets.
I'd be looking at covering at least 21mm up to a 100mm. But I'd use primes for a number of reasons (not least size and speed) so not sure what you have in that range.

The Tenba DNA 13 or 15" sounds perfect for you for around town without looking too obvious. Great top access so shoot and then slip it back into the bag whilst everything else is kept safe. They are messenger bags but also have a body strap included, to stop it moving around and prevent snatching, if required.



Nov 08, 2017 at 10:38 AM
Colin F
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Frogfish wrote:
Big cameras and big lenses and you are a foreigner. You are going to stand out anyway so think about your total security (wallet, mobile etc) and leave all valuables in the hotel since you'll be preoccupied and not notice skilled pickpockets.


Yes, that's my plan; I'm not too worried about pick-pockets, as I tend to be very aware of what's going on around me, and don't leave anything available.

I'd be looking at covering at least 21mm up to a 100mm. But I'd use primes for a number of reasons (not least size and speed) so not sure what you have in that range.

All I have in the way of primes is the 50mm f/1.2 and a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro.



The Tenba DNA 13 or 15" sounds perfect for you for around town without looking too obvious. Great top access so shoot and then slip it back into the bag whilst everything else is kept safe.

Thanks for that. I looked at some YouTube reviews, and unfortunately it won't hold a tripod, and I plan on bringing a small, cheap one. Another similar pack that seems a good candidate is the Lowepro Slingshot, unfortunately I can't find one of the 202 or 302 models in local stores to see how much gear they will hold. It needs to hold all my gear for carry-on, on the plane. My Flipside 300 holds everything (barely), so not sure how I can actually try the capacity of the two Slingshot models. The capacity will not be an issue once I arrive, as I plan on having one body & lens on my sling-strap at all times, and the other body (7DII) will just stay in the hotel room.

Thanks for all the other comments too. When I read articles like this, perhaps some full days with the 50mm will be just fine:

https://petapixel.com/2016/07/19/best-lens-street-photography/




EDIT: Now that I look at the 202, it doesn't look like it will hold all my gear, so the 302 would be the answer:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lowepro-Slingshot-200-AW-Review.aspx





Edited on Nov 11, 2017 at 05:39 AM · View previous versions



Nov 08, 2017 at 04:02 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Colin F wrote:
Yes, that's my plan; I'm not too worried about pick-pockets, as I tend to be very aware of what's going on around me, and don't leave anything available.

All I have in the way of primes is the 50mm f/1.2 and a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro.


Thanks for that. I looked at some YouTube reviews, and unfortunately it won't hold a tripod, and I plan on bringing a small, cheap one. Another similar pack that seems a good candidate is the Lowepro Slingshot, unfortunately I can't find one of the 202 or 302 models in local stores to see how much
...Show more
Firstly a comment on carrying a tripod with the DNA. I carry a Sirui 1294x and ball head under the flap when the (13") bag is full - 2 cameras and 4-5 primes. Fits no problem. Alternatively I use a tripod strap if I may require quick access to the bag contents. Both solutions work. However I rarely need the tripod during the day and rarely need rapid access to the bag at night. So the DNA works great for me (I used it this way tonight in Hong Kong).

Re. Lenses. I know the Tamron 90, it's not only a great macro but a really nice portrait lens too. I have a different 50/1.2 and it's also a lovely lens for street or portraits on FF. I may be tempted (if I were you) to add a lens around 24/25mm (especially if you find you don't shoot much under that or maybe a 21mm - I don't know Canon lenses bar the T/S) and call it a day. Though give the kit a trial run for a week first to make sure you are happy. Smaller faster lenses may work in your favour in a number of ways though at the cost of some flexibility but you may find you prefer the kit you know over the benefits of a smaller faster kit.

Slingshot : I've got one at home - never use it. I think it's the 200. Not a patch on numerous other models and the rotation isn't much fun - for me. YMMV. For quick access messenger bags beat the pants off it and are easier to carry on your shoulders (you can't switch sides with the Slingshot for one thing) as well as being flexible enough to be carried in front or either side - the Slingshot has one position - out of view!



Nov 08, 2017 at 04:31 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


I use a small rangefinders and primes. For street I take two bodies, a 24 or 35mm and a 50 or 90mm. Everything is in a small satchel, no tripod. One body has a wide and the other a medium, 24 & 50mm or 35 & 90mm depending on location. Street is atmosphere and you need to be in it.


Nov 09, 2017 at 12:55 PM
umgrizz
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Dump the 7d -- what sense does it make to haul it thousands of miles to leave it in a hotel room. Pick up a Sony rx 100 for a second body that you CAN carry in your pocket.
Dump the 70-200 -- you will likely never use the lens and will be too conspicuous if you do.
Dump the 50mm f1.2 and pick up a 50mm 1.8 instead for less than $100 -- it's a more nimble lens.
Or
As another poster suggested, take a 24-70 ( or a 24-105) and the Sony and leave everything else at home.

Curt



Nov 09, 2017 at 02:20 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


I think your first decision should be whether your top priority is getting the best images possible or having the most fun possible. Taking those heavy lenses seems to favor the former, but hurt the latter.

My own take would be to take two bodies with one prime on each body (probably one around 28mm and the other around 85mm) and have a few more lenses in the hotel for special circumstances, like night time. What I donít own, Iíd rent or buy for the duration and sell afterward.

Then again, Iíd probably leave my Canon at home and take my MFT gear.



Nov 09, 2017 at 02:39 PM
 

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Colin F
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


umgrizz wrote:
Dump the 7DII. What sense does it make to haul it thousands of miles to leave it in a hotel room.


It would be a back-up body that will work with my lenses should the 5DIV fail.

I guess I'm not too interested in spending thousands of dollars on new gear for this trip.




Nov 09, 2017 at 03:18 PM
Colin F
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


johnvanr wrote:
I think your first decision should be whether your top priority is getting the best images possible or having the most fun possible. Taking those heavy lenses seems to favor the former, but hurt the latter.


Indeed, well said. That's the dilemma.




Nov 09, 2017 at 03:20 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


From my experience in Nepal, and talking to people who have been to India, the cities are so crowded you will rarely have chance for a medium telephoto. And let's face it, you could take a shot with an 85mm and crop it to 150mm FOV without loss of too much detail up to 18" prints.
I travelled for 2 years in Asia with 3 primes and wonder why I can't bring myself to do the same again. I would say get a M5/M6, decide which lens you want for the day take and put the other lens on the M series to avoid swapping lenses - it can get really dusty over there. Get a M5/6 second hand and sell it for the same price when you get back - even if you lose something it will be cheap hire.

Iím actually reluctant to use the 7DII crop-body with any of those three lenses, as they (and the subject matter) really call out for a FF body IMO.
I have never understood this sort of comment. In good light at low ISO I find the 7D2 as pretty much equal to the 5DIV and who really cares if you are not using the outermost parts of the image circle?
Why does a portrait demand that you use FF camera? What is it that 'calls out'? I can understand why you like the idea of using the best possible tool but to limit yourself and your options in tricky environments is weird to me.



Nov 09, 2017 at 04:49 PM
Colin F
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Mikehit wrote:
I have never understood this sort of comment. In good light at low ISO I find the 7D2 as pretty much equal to the 5DIV and who really cares if you are not using the outermost parts of the image circle?
Why does a portrait demand that you use FF camera? What is it that 'calls out'?


Because of butter.

https://petapixel.com/2016/07/28/full-frame-vs-crop-sensor-better-portraits/





Nov 09, 2017 at 05:13 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


I shoot Nikon but in a situation such as you describe I would take the 28-300mm f/5.6 with image stabilization and the 24-70mm f/2.8 and a flash that could be triggered off camera. The 24-70mm would be for interiors and for night photography.

The 70-200mm is a very conspicuous lens for candid photography anywhere. People instinctively tense up when they see someone using a lens of this size.



Nov 09, 2017 at 11:20 PM
butlerkid
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


We spent 3 week in the Rajasthan area. Love d it! Check out my galleries:

http://www.pleasanttravelsphotography.com/Porftolio/Travel-other-than-USA/Asia/India

Wide to medium telephoto...... info in available on my site....




Nov 09, 2017 at 11:29 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


You mean the part where it says "but itís not make-or-break"

If that difference is so important to you then that is your call of course. When shooting a travel portrait I prefer to have some detail in the background to show a sense of place otherwise it may as well be a studio shot. And if those images turn you off then choose a better background.
But given the option of changing lenses in dusty Delhi or having a high quality lens ready and waiting on a second body, albeit APS-C give me the APS-C every time.



Nov 09, 2017 at 11:31 PM
Arka
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Colin F wrote:
Iím going on a photography trip to India for 3 weeks Ė a trip of a lifetime (Rajasthan area). Itís not a birding trip like I mostly shoot, but rather the street/people/cultural sort of thing that India is great for.

With my 5DIV, IĎve been planning on taking the 70-200 f/2.8; 16-35 f/4 and 50mm f/1.2, with 7DII stowed in the hotel room for back-up. But Iím starting to think about and visualize the reality of walking the streets of India for three weeks with my gear. Two lenses would need to be carried in my Lowepro Flipside backpack, but
...Show more

No no no... you cannot and should not take all that stuff to India. Take one full frame camera and 1-2 lenses - I'd recommend the 24-70 and 50, preferably an f/1.8 rather than f/1.2L. Unless you're taking a guided tour. Then you could consider the f/1.2L, though keep in mind that guided tours won't necessarily take you out and about in the best photography light.

There are a lot of reasons to not overpack your photo kit for India. Firstly, carrying a photo backpack marks you as a clueless and cheatable person (even if you aren't). You're already wearing the "Videshi chhaap" (Mark of an outsider) anywhere you go in India, but lugging around all that stuff makes you a perfect target for harassment at least, and possible equipment theft at worst. Indian people are smart, aggressive, charming, and persistent - you really don't want to give everyone around you any more reasons to stare at you. Second, it's very uncomfortable - India is a hot, dusty, polluted, and crowded country with many narrow passages filled with throngs of people (and large animals) jostling against one another. The last thing you want to be thinking about is all the stuff in your backpack - I once did that in a corridor in Agra and was nearly walked over by a camel - seriously. Not worth the worry. Third, it complicates the entire image making process. Don't think about what images you could've made if you only had beloved lens x-yL with you. Make a choice to work at a limited range of focal lengths and apertures and stick with it. When I was in India in 2003, I took a 1D Mark II, 24-70 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/4L, and 50mm f/1.4. I ended up using only the first two most of the time. I also had the luxury of spending the entire trip with trusted family members, and therefore always had a safe home-base to stow equipment I wasn't using. Without that, you should travel light. Two bodies? forget about it! Take the smallest FF body you have, the 24-70 f/2.8L, and the 50 - in fact, consider getting a 50 f/1.8. My wife took less than that on her tour of North India (Rajasthan, Jaipur, Agra) and had more than enough coverage.

India's a pretty neat (and incredibly diverse) country, but it's a lot of work, even for people who have been there many times, are originally from there, or (like me) speak one of the local languages. The environment demands your absolute attention at all times, and attention diverted to figuring out what lens to take out of your pack can cost you images or worse. The people are described in aggregate by at least one author (Shashi Tharoor) as a "striving" - just about everyone has an agenda or an angle. It's usually mercantile, but sometimes it can be nefarious. Indeed, wonder and nefariousness will swirl around you, along with all the dust, animals, colors, poverty, motor traffic, and noises. Be aware that air in the major metro areas was barely breathable in 2003... it's probably far worse now, so check weather advisories. I've attached a few old images of mine from 2003, all shot with either the 50 or 24-70.

Have a good time, and keep your kit simple.




























Nov 10, 2017 at 06:48 AM
Colin F
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Thanks for that Arka, very helpful. Just a few points:

Arka wrote:
Take one full frame camera...


Given the cost & distance for this trip, it seems enormously risky to not have a back-up body, I mean what if I did have a body failure? I'd be whooped! It can & does happen, even with a 5DIV, read here:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4076652


...and 1-2 lenses - I'd recommend the 24-70 and 50, preferably an f/1.8 rather than f/1.2L. Unless you're taking a guided tour. Then you could consider the f/1.2L, though keep in mind that guided tours won't necessarily take you out and about in the best photography light.

This is a guided photography tour, not just a touristy sort of trip, with about 8 people. I'm not sure exactly how it will go, but part of the time we'll be with the guide (which is actually a good thing as he is a photographer and has done this trip several times), but we'll also have free time to wander the streets by ourselves. BTW, the itinerary is: Udaipur, Deogarh, Pushkar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi.



When I was in India in 2003, I took a 1D Mark II, 24-70 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/4L, and 50mm f/1.4. I ended up using only the first two most of the time. I also had the luxury of spending the entire trip with trusted family members, and therefore always had a safe home-base to stow equipment I wasn't using. Without that, you should travel light.

Agreed, but I will have the same luxury of a hotel room to leave the second body and anything else. So you did find the 70-200 useful?

Thanks again for taking the time to write all that, very much appreciated.




Nov 10, 2017 at 05:16 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · INDIA trip, and gear dilemma


Colin F wrote:
This is a guided photography tour, not just a touristy sort of trip, with about 8 people....


Surely the ideal person to be asking is the person leading the photo tour?




Nov 10, 2017 at 06:48 PM
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