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Thread: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

  1. #1
    chinino's Avatar
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    Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Hi gang,

    Want to get some advice from the experts. I am traveling to Paris and Amsterdam in March, and I want to carry the absolute essential must have for my photos.

    This is what I have right now:

    D300S
    D60
    AF-S 18-200 3.5-5.6 GII ED
    AF-S 55-200 1.4-5.6G ED
    AF-S 18-55 3.5-5.6G
    AF-S 70-300 4.5-5.6G
    Tokina AT-X Pro SD 12-24 F4 (IF) DX Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I am also thinking of getting this lens (since it is relatively small):

    Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW

    What lenses should I take with me? Also, any recommendation for a good light-weight (travel) tripod?

    Thanks in advanced.

  2. #2
    tomdinning's Avatar
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by chinino View Post
    Hi gang,

    Want to get some advice from the experts. I am traveling to Paris and Amsterdam in March, and I want to carry the absolute essential must have for my photos.

    This is what I have right now:

    D300S
    D60
    AF-S 18-200 3.5-5.6 GII ED
    AF-S 55-200 1.4-5.6G ED
    AF-S 18-55 3.5-5.6G
    AF-S 70-300 4.5-5.6G
    Tokina AT-X Pro SD 12-24 F4 (IF) DX Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I am also thinking of getting this lens (since it is relatively small):

    Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW

    What lenses should I take with me? Also, any recommendation for a good light-weight (travel) tripod?

    Thanks in advanced.
    There's lots of overlap in those lenses, Luis. Think about eliminating the overlap and your left with one lens, the 18-200. If you have room, shove the 12-24 in as well. You're on holidays. Don't make it hard for yourself.

  3. #3
    chinino's Avatar
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomdinning View Post
    There's lots of overlap in those lenses, Luis. Think about eliminating the overlap and your left with one lens, the 18-200. If you have room, shove the 12-24 in as well. You're on holidays. Don't make it hard for yourself.
    Yes, lots of it. Unfortunately, I bought them as kits with the cameras, except for the 18-200. Thanks, Tom.

  4. #4

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I am with Tom, all you really need it the 18-200mm all the others overlap. You want a 50mm 1.4G, get the 50mm 1.8D, you will not need the f/1.4, remember this lens only stops down to f/16, the 50mm D will stop down to f/22 which can help in more harsh midday sun. Do not get me wrong the f/1.4G is a great lens at approcx$580.00 CDN the f/1.8D is approx $160.00 CDN, you will never notice the difference in everyday shooting. Save the $420.00 and get a good travel tripod that will fix in your suitcase, if anything that will improve your images, as the lights in Paris at night can be breathe taking, so you will need the tripod.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  5. #5
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I have to agree that the collection of lens will tire you if you try dragging them all around. Plus, I would buy the tripod on arrival rather than lugging one around in your suitcase. You might even be able to hire one for your European stay.

    Mid day sun....in Europe at that time of year.....if you are lucky I suppose, but depending on your subjects, plan for a few overcast days too.

    Incidentally I picked up the older 50mm D f1.4 lens at an absolute steal of a price and it is brilliant for night shots.

    Last years model syndrome is great if you can find them at the right price!
    Last edited by shreds; 11th February 2013 at 10:37 PM.

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I think the 18-200 will be on the camera most of the time. Depending on the weight penalty I would be inclined to include the 12-24. When I was there I had a 24-120 on a full frame film camera and I sometimes wished for a slightly wider lens. Rather than buying a 50mm lens what about a 1.4x converter for birds and squirrels etc a converter is relatively inexpensive and doesn't weigh to much.

    Enjoy your trip and take plenty of CF cards.

  7. #7
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Just me, but I say go for the AF-S 35mm f/1.8G rather than either of the 50mm lenses. Less expensive than the 50/1.4, but still AF-S, and the focal length is better suited for general-purpose use on a crop body.

    Also, I know this sounds like heresy on a photography board, but have you considered not bringing the SLR gear at all, and going with a P&S compact digicam instead? Are you travelling to travel? To be with people? Or to take photos? How much time/energy do you really have for hauling the gear around and switching lenses? If you're travelling solo or you're going mainly to a destination to take photographs, then going loaded for bear is perfectly fine. If you're shepherding kids and a non-photographer spouse along, maybe the energy/packing space is better spent elsewhere. Also consider the potential for things to get broken/lost/stolen in transit.

    Sometimes folks are too busy taking pictures to actually experience the place they've traveled to see. You have to find the balance that works best for you.
    Last edited by inkista; 11th February 2013 at 10:53 PM.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I would take the D60 and the 18-200mm as a base. If you want to have more equipment, but less weight; leave the 18-200mm at home and take the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm instead for exactly the same focal length range. I would go for the D60 over the D300s because it is more compact and the performance is not going to be all that different between the two bodies and I assume you will be planning to carry it around all day, so you might want to go for the lighter weight.

    You could add the 12-24mm as well for shooting inside of museums as well and also think about taking the 50mm for existing light / night shots. I think you could leave everything else at home.

    The latter combo (18-55mm, 55-200mm, 50mm plus wide angle) is what I took for lenses, except I have the f/2.8 11-16mm Tokina wide angle, along with my D90. My wife did not have her D90 with the 18-200mm at the time. The 18-55mm tended to be my "go to" lens for most of the shooting, the wide angle (as mentioned before for interiors shots to get me in front of the crowds). I had limited use out of both the 55-200 and the f/1.8 50mm lens.

    Coincidentally, my Paris trip was also in March (2010). I haven't been to Amsterdam since 2005 and shot everything there with my little Panasonic point & shoot. That was a business trip, so I did very little photography or touring around.

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by chinino View Post
    Hi gang,

    Want to get some advice from the experts. I am traveling to Paris and Amsterdam in March, and I want to carry the absolute essential must have for my photos.

    D300S
    D60
    AF-S 18-200 3.5-5.6 GII ED
    Tokina AT-X Pro SD 12-24 F4 (IF) DX Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.
    What lenses should I take with me? Also, any recommendation for a good light-weight (travel) tripod?

    Thanks in advanced.
    I feel these lenses are sufficient for travel. otherwise, you may get bogged down with too much.

    AF-S 18-200 3.5-5.6 GII ED
    Tokina AT-X Pro SD 12-24 F4 (IF) DX

    I usually travel light with 18-55mm and 55-200mm. Nikon D3100 - very lightweight. for bak-up, I bring a rain-proof pentax ws80 ( usually rains in the Philippine mountain ranges.)
    but for your Paris trip , maybe a better point & shoot cam.

    Most of all, have fun...................

  10. #10

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Indeed, don't forget to bring rain protection (and warm clothing, to both Paris and Amsterdam): rain is common, and it can still be cold (below zero in Amsterdam, as it can be 20°C).

  11. #11
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    As most of the others said I'd go with 18-200 and 12-24. Maybe it would be a good idea to have a tripod with you.

  12. #12
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    In Paris I always used a D300 + 18-200 + 35mm/2D.

    The 35mm/2D is really small, light and really sharp. It is also cheap. I used this more than the 50mm/1.8D. Remember on a DX camera the 50mm is actually a 75mm.

    Andrea

  13. #13
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    What's stopping you from taking it all? I also like to downsize but on a few of my trips I took one DSLR (50mm, 18-55m, 55-200mm, 70-300mm), one bridge, and one compact. The hard part is getting it to the location within a minimum number of bags, once you are there you can decide what you want to burden yourself with for that days journey. You do have a lot of overlapping lenses but if you take both DSLRs, shoot like crazy, one or more of your batteries is going to drain; assuming you only have one set of batteries for each camera.

  14. #14
    chinino's Avatar
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Wow, great replies guys, thanks Kathy, John, Andrea, Arslan, Remco, Victor, Manfred, Paul, Ian, Allan, and Tom. Lots of helpful tips, and the best thing is that all are agreeing with each other. I am traveling with my wife only, and she is the holder of the point-and-shoot, and the movie camera (small Canon HD-10). She also enjoys taking pictures, as a matter of fact, she takes tons of them.

    Thanks for all the helpful advice, for both the picture taking, and the traveling. I do want to absorb a lot, but I love looking at pictures after the trip. Great memories.

  15. #15
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I have to agree wih Kathy Li, regarding whether or not you want to bring your DSLR at all.

    It all depends on your plans for the images and your style of shooting.

    My trips are always designed around photography. I would have little or no interest in traveling wihout photography...

    I brought two DSLR cameras (30D and 40D), three lenses (17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 70-200mm f/4L IS and the 12-24mm Tokina) , two flashes, a tripod and a monopod on a trip to China. I never used the tripod at all (this was due to how the tour was arranged) and did not use the 12-24mm lens (again this was due to how the tour was arranged - I did not have time to switch lenses). However, I used the heck out of both flashes (550EX and 270EX with Joe Demb Diffuser/Reflectors) and the monopod...

    Now, for your setup, I would suggest that you bring your camera (no sense bringing the lenses without a camera ) and your 18-200mm and 12-24mm lenses. The overlap between the two lenses would reduce the amount of lens switching needed.

    However, if you are a "normal" person without my photograpny fetish, you might enjoy your trip a lot better, as kathy suggested, using a bridge camera such as the Canon SX-50. My son-in-law has recently purchased an SX-50 and this is all the camera he needs for his type of photography. Most of his images are of the "I WAS THERE!" type, showing himself, his wife or his friends in the environments he visits. For this type of imagery, a "self-portrait wand" might be just the ticket...

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...t&_sacat=30090

    He would not want to do this but, I would add a small flash and perhaps a very light tripod to the SX-50. Flash for fill outdoors and the tripod for night shots...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 12th February 2013 at 05:11 PM.

  16. #16

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Surely "good light-weight (travel) tripod?" is an oxymoron? Unless you consider and know how to use a mini-tripod. Personally I would be adverse to taking a DSLR on a 'holiday' and my solution would be a GH camera with the 14-140 lens or else the FZ200, both from Panasonic. On previous trips I had my Nikon 5700 and earlier FZ models. The advantage of having stabilisation is that it does away with much of the need to have a tripod. I am assuming 'trip' means 'holiday' ? But if it means 'photo safari' then inevitably you take it all and a good steady tripod.

  17. #17

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    of the gear you have I'd definitely take the 18-200 and maybe the 12-24. I'd be tempted to take the d60 (light) over the d300 but you can be in some very dark churches. Notre Dame is very dark in places even at f1.4 i was cranking the iso. Oh and many churches/museums don't allow flash.

    My view is you're on holiday and you want to experience the place so don't encumber yourself.

    personally I'd go for the 35 f1.8 over the 50 but not sure I'd buy either especially for the trip.

    When I went to Paris I took some m4/3 gear. GF1/GX1 14 f2.5 and 25 f1.4 were virtually all i used (with a few shots with 45-200. it was the trip that convinced me I didn't need a dSLR anymore.

    enjoy your trip Luis
    Last edited by thequacksoflife; 12th February 2013 at 06:55 PM.

  18. #18
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    Yup, for me a mirrorless compact hits the sweet spot for travel gear, but given the givens, I don't think the OP has budget for that, right now.

  19. #19

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    I've taken a D90 on two long trips, first to Europe a few years past and, last November, to San Francisco. For an east coast boy like me, they were both trips to foreign lands. To Europe, expecting to fly on some reduced luggage capacity airlines, I took only the 18-200 VR1 and a 50mm 1.4D. To San Fran, I took the 70-300 VR and the venerable 18-70 (left over from the D70) - and the 50mm 1.4D. That lens goes with me whenever I think I'll be inside - a great available light restaurant lens. While I was not particularly unhappy with the images I shot with the 18-200, my sense was that the two-zoom kit I took to the left coast was not only more useful (in terms of reach, at the very very least) but produced better images at the extremes. I treated SF as a European city and did a lot of walking (luckily I can do hills as well or better than most of my juniors). I shot the two zooms (18-70 and 70-300) in the proportion 3:2. Even across one of SF's narrower streets, the 70-300 can easily fit a standing human in a landscape frame, and not just at 70mm, either. BTW, in the SF stats the 50mm came in at 3:2:0.2. Some of this must be attributable to having a Canon S90 easy to hand (used on the plane, out the window) as well as an iPhone (easier to deploy in a restaurant). In Europe I didn't and consequently the 18-200 and 50 were used in the proportion 7:1.
    So, from your bag, I would be inclined to take both the 70-300 and the 18-55, perhaps the 12-24 and some version of nifty fifty for when the light gets low. I wouldn't worry too much about the focal length gap. The proportion of frames I took in SF between 56-69mm was low, 1:32 During the day I carried the unmounted lenses in a fanny pack. At night I mounted the 50 and walked around with the camera at its most inconspicuous and left the zooms in the room. Oddly enough, as a person taking a photograph, your best bet of fading into the woodwork is a phone camera.
    As to choice of body, I would prioritize for the qualities you value most, whether it's weight, low-light, ease of use or whatever may seem to be important to you. You know them and probably can gauge their strengths better than most of us. I chose the D90 in both cases because it was the best sensor I then owned as well as the lightest body. Now I have a D600 and I would take it in a heartbeat, weight notwithstanding.
    Consider a monopod, if you must take support. Tripods are difficult to carry and even more difficult to use in public places. I have been using one for a little while, now, and am utterly sold on their utility.
    The only other piece of advice I have to offer is to choose the body you wish to take a couple of weeks before you leave and then use only that body until you return. Practice may not make perfect but it allows a much closer approach to it.

  20. #20

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    Re: Help: advice on equipment to take with me for a trip.

    You can carry your camera with the heaviest lens around your neck and put your smaller lenses in your pocket, they won't get weighed then will they?

    It might be worth looking in duty free stores when you are entering or leaving a country, you might get some 'cheap' gear. A friend of mine holidayed in Singapore and got a lot of new Nikon gear there for not much.

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