Prague and Paris gear musings

Started Feb 14, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Ray Ritchie
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Prague and Paris gear musings
Feb 14, 2009

I'm planning a two-week trip this spring, spending a week each in Prague and Paris. Most of the time will be in the cities, but we'll make a few day trips out to surrounding countryside. We'll be staying in an apartment in Prague and a hotel in Paris.

Because we'll be traveling for half of the trip with another couple not primarily interested in photography, and because we'll be in cities and museums so much and spending most of the day walking, I'm thinking I want to cut down on the amount of weight and total amount of gear I carry. I usually travel with my D300, 17-55, 70-200, tripod and ballhead, SB-800, 35 f/2 or 50 f/1.8, TC-14, polarizing filter, etc. and a laptop in a ThinkTank Airport Antidote. I've been considering various alternatives, such as:

  • Buy a 18-200 and leave the other gear behind (I'm a little reluctant to do this, as I've been lusting after a super wide, and can't afford to buy both, but I'm still considering it)

  • Take just the 17-55 (about 7 oz. more than the 18-200) and maybe the flash

  • Take the 17-55 and my old 70-210 push-pull lens, which is slower and less sharp than the 70-200, but would weigh about a pound and a half less. This combo will weigh about 40 ounces, compared to about 20 for the 18-200.

  • Take my 24-85 AFS and my Tamron 17-35, which was my standard travel pair before I got the 17-55 several years ago

  • I keep debating with myself on the wisdom of taking the tripod, since I'll be in the cities so much. I know I won't be able to use it in museums, etc. and I suspect it would be awkward to have it with me for a day's outing and then find that I need to check it in order to enter some site, or worse, that there is no check facility and I have to return to the hotel to leave it. But early morning, sunset, and night shots would certainly be much easier/ better with the tripod.

  • I'm currently leaning towards not taking the laptop, as I'm worried about the security of leaving it in the room. The hotel room in Paris will have an in-room safe, and the laptop could probably be left there, but I'm not sure about the apartment security in Prague. I know I would enjoy being able to view the day's shots on the laptop and do some initial processing (I usually shoot NEF these days), but the worry and extra weight are big factors.

I realize, of course, that all the choices will involve tradeoffs in image quality (I really love my 17-55), convenience, etc., and that no one can really decide what I need without knowing how I shoot, but I'd be interested in hearing from some of you who have visited one or both cities as to the gear you carried, what you wished you had left behind, what you didn't take that you wish you had, and so forth.

Ray

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