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Archive 2009 · Lightweight travel kit...

  
 
Beauchamp
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lightweight travel kit...


Hi all,

I know this comes up often, and I know that only I can decide what to bring...

BUT, my wife and I will be doing some ultra-light "backpacking through Turkey, Iran, India, Nepal and Thailand in the new year, and I'd love to hear what people think about kit to bring.

We will be settling in Thailand for a year or more to teach English, so I plan to have additional kit sent to me there. I also wasn't joking when I said ultra-light travel. We will each be bringing one carry-on size duffel bag for our "backpacking" trip. This will be at least four months, but could be six.

At first, I was thinking of bringing just my 5D and a 50mm prime (maybe even the Canon 1.8, but probably my Sigma). I prefer primes by far over zooms and liked the idea of trying to travel with just an old-school normal lens.

That said, I absolutely love my 135L, and would probably throw it in the bag too for portraits, street photography, and details/landscapes.

Of course, this doesn't leave much on the wide end, so maybe I should throw the 24L in the bag... Or maybe my Sigma 12-24...

You can see how easily this starts to creep. Incidentally, my wife will be traveling with an XTi and Tamron 17-35 (which fits on my 5D).

I will definitely bring the following:

5D with 2-3 batteries and charger.
Gorilla pod
As many CF cards as possible (we will not be traveling with a laptop)

I'm less sure about lenses. I could bring any of these, although 1-3 lenses max:
12-24 Sigma
24L
50mm Sigma
50 1.8
135L

I'm definitely not bringing the 70-200...


I'd love to hear some input. If nothing else, play the "what would you bring" game.And keep in mind that we'd like to travel light enough that we can carry everything with us all day and still enjoy ourselves if necessary.

Thanks!



Dec 09, 2009 at 01:19 PM
justruss
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lightweight travel kit...


Where in Thailand? I used to live in Chiang Mai...

I hate to say it, but if size/weight is your concern, drop the 135L for an 85 1.8; if you're anything like me, you'll end up using the wider lenses far more often anyway... as wonderful as the 135L is.

I would choose 1 of the following for wide: 17-40L, 24L, or 24mm f/2.8 (EF or Olympus Manual Focus)

Include: 35L (can cover almost anything, and I use it for 80% of my shooting on a 5D in Southeast Asia)

And something longer: 85 1.8 or 100 f/2 or 135L.

If you've got the CF cards, great, but otherwise consider a netbook. Asus 1005HA works wonders for me. For 4 to 6 months on the go, backpacking, documenting, backing up, staying in contact... a netbook is incredibly helpful.



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:07 PM
justruss
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lightweight travel kit...


On seeing that your wife will bring a 17-35 already, I'd say go with a 35L and a short tele prime.




Dec 09, 2009 at 02:10 PM
Sam N
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lightweight travel kit...


35L + 85/1.8


Dec 09, 2009 at 02:15 PM
Beauchamp
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lightweight travel kit...


Thanks guys. I should be clear: I will not be able to buy new gear for this. I'll be bringing only from what I already have.

So, my original plan maybe: a 50mm and the 135? I can always borrow the Tammy for wide shots.

Justruss: We're not sure where we're going to settle in Thailand. We need to scope it out first. I think relatively close beaches would be a plus. Somewhere somewhat off the tourist track but still of decent size. We were thinking Surat Thani, but we'll see.



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:23 PM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lightweight travel kit...


5D - 24L - 135L.

I found the 35L and 135L to be perfect travel companions for my 5D but I am sure the 24L will do equally well and F1.4 means the flash can stay at home, unless you pickup a small 270EX.

You might consider SterlingTek batteries( http://sterlingtek.com/twocabp18bap.html) for the extra long life.




Dec 09, 2009 at 02:33 PM
Lance Lee
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lightweight travel kit...


I'm thinking the 24L, 50/1.8 and 135L. The 50 doesn't even count it is so tiny and light. That would actually be a great kit for almost anything.


Dec 09, 2009 at 02:38 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lightweight travel kit...


You can't take a 5D body and still qualify for "light" let alone "ultra light". My suggestion would be the Xti, Canon 18-55 IS kit lens, and a 55-250 if you expect wildlife. Even the Tamron weighs a pound. Have your wife carry a G10 or lighter point and shoot. If you must take the 5D, your one lens would be the 24-105. Have everything else shipped to you.

Edit: When I backpack, I carry a G10, lensmate, and polarizer. If its a supported backpack, i.e. no food, shelter, or clothing on my back, then I'd take my 5D, 24-105, and maybe even the 100-400 for wildlife. Try to keep your total dry pack weight (before food and water) under 25 pounds.

Edited on Dec 09, 2009 at 02:52 PM · View previous versions



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:39 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lightweight travel kit...


40D
70-200 f/4
1.4xTC
24-70L (or 17-40L)

That is my standard (core) travel kit. If there is any special interest in a location visited, then I might take another lens dedicated to it, however, never anything heavier than 100-400.



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:40 PM
Savas K
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lightweight travel kit...


I like Lance's choice with the addition of a fill flash unit. Opens up shadows underneath hats, eye sockets and the like.


Dec 09, 2009 at 02:41 PM
jkashinsky
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Lightweight travel kit...


I know you said that you wouldn't be buying any gear but....

A portable hard drive with a compact flash slot for backing up the CF cards would be invaluable IMHO.



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:42 PM
Beauchamp
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Lightweight travel kit...


Jeff Nolten wrote:
You can't take a 5D body and still qualify for "light" let alone "ultra light". My suggestion would be the Xti, Canon 18-55 IS kit lens, and a 55-250 if you expect wildlife. Even the Tamron weighs a pound. Have your wife carry a G10 or lighter point and shoot. If you must take the 5D, your one lens would be the 24-105. Have everything else shipped to you.


Bah! I respectfully disagree. Photography is important to us, and I think a single SLR is certainly light. As mentioned, I have no intention of buying new gear, whether it be cheap kit lenses or 24-105s, or a Canon G10.

As I also mentioned, primes are my thing man, so I don't even have a desire to mount something like a 24-105 (though I'm sure it's a great lens for all who use it).

We will be traveling extremely light in all other respects, so even 5 pounds of camera gear will only be one third to one quarter of the total weight of our bags.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions! I don't mean to sound cruel, just replying honestly.



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:46 PM
Beauchamp
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Lightweight travel kit...


jkashinsky wrote:
I know you said that you wouldn't be buying any gear but....

A portable hard drive with a compact flash slot for backing up the CF cards would be invaluable IMHO.


Actually, yes, to totally contradict myself (), this was the one area where I would consider buying something (I was planning on getting a few more CF cards anyway so the cost may be about equal).

So, I would welcome suggestions on something small that I can dump CF cards to directly, without having a laptop or computer act as a go-between. But I think flash memory is safer than any external hard drive anyway, so just carrying small CF cards still seems like the smartest idea, as long as I don't lose them.



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:49 PM
misterphil
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Lightweight travel kit...


I would take the 24L, 50 1.8 and the 135L, leaving out the others because your wife is taking her 17 - 35. Between you, your both covered with full frame and a cropper! If you absolutely had to shed a bit more weight then leave the 50 at home, even though its not much weight loss! The 24L and 135L would be a decent pairing.


Dec 09, 2009 at 02:53 PM
kakomu
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Lightweight travel kit...


The only advice I can give is to maybe leave Iran alone.


Dec 09, 2009 at 02:54 PM
Beauchamp
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Lightweight travel kit...


kakomu wrote:
The only advice I can give is to maybe leave Iran alone.

[citation needed]

Seriously though, I'm not opposed to hearing your reasons.



Dec 09, 2009 at 02:58 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Lightweight travel kit...


Beauchamp wrote:
Bah! I respectfully disagree. Photography is important to us, and I think a single SLR is certainly light. As mentioned, I have no intention of buying new gear, whether it be cheap kit lenses or 24-105s, or a Canon G10.

As I also mentioned, primes are my thing man, so I don't even have a desire to mount something like a 24-105 (though I'm sure it's a great lens for all who use it).

We will be traveling extremely light in all other respects, so even 5 pounds of camera gear will only be one third to one quarter of
...Show more

Well, then knock yourself out I can day hike with two bodies and two L zooms, but I've never been able to get a full pack below 25 pounds before camera. Hiking and 30 to 35 lbs of pack is my enjoyment limit. YMMV. If you like primes, then I'll second Lance's suggestion. Cheers.



Dec 09, 2009 at 03:01 PM
misterphil
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Lightweight travel kit...


Oh and take some lens/camera cleaning stuff too! And remember to charge batteries whenever you get the opportunity and def take all 3 batteries.

Have a great trip and be careful out there!



Dec 09, 2009 at 03:06 PM
kakomu
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Lightweight travel kit...


Beauchamp wrote:
[citation needed]

Seriously though, I'm not opposed to hearing your reasons.


Iranian government hostility toward the west. Most recent case would be the backpackers who were in Iraq and strayed into Iran. They were arrested and charged with espionage. link

Earlier example would be a Canadian by the name of Zahra Kazemi who was arrested by Iranian officials while photographing a student protest, beaten during an "interrogation" and died in the hospital.



Dec 09, 2009 at 03:23 PM
Beauchamp
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Lightweight travel kit...


kakomu wrote:
Iranian government hostility toward the west. Most recent case would be the backpackers who were in Iraq and strayed into Iran. They were arrested and charged with espionage. link

Earlier example would be a Canadian by the name of Zahra Kazemi who was arrested by Iranian officials while photographing a student protest, beaten during an "interrogation" and died in the hospital.


PM sent, as I'd rather not derail the thread. I'd still appreciate more feedback on camera gear...



Dec 09, 2009 at 03:38 PM
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