Traveling with tripods and laptops

Started Jun 9, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Traveling with tripods and laptops
Jun 9, 2010

As mentioned in a prior thread, I'm taking an 11 day trip through Paris, Prague, and Amsterdam in July with a couple of friends. My two concerns are whether or not to buy a new tripod or gorillapod for the trip, and whether or not to bring my laptop.

My friends and family keep saying to me "why would you want to lug a tripod around europe?!" My main response is that I want to do night photography and panoramas, to which I get a lot of "it isn't worth it" comments.

If I do bring one, I would need to buy one. I lost my $35 sunpak tripod in a taxi, and didn't reclaim it since I'd been meaning to upgrade it anyway. I've mostly been looking at either the Slik gunmetal tripods with ball head or the Benro travel angel tripods, or possibly a joby gorillapod slr-zoom with ball-head. I like these because they are lighter and cheaper than a lot of other options, and since I'm female, short (4'11"), not very strong, and only shooting d40 + 55-200, light and sturdy (enough) are more important than max height.

Am I crazy for wanting to take a tripod with me? If so, am I better off going with a gorillapod and saving up for a better main tripod after my trip, or buying a $100-ish tripod now?

As for my laptop, I've been getting a lot of similar "why would you take that?!" comments about it. As a geek, I normally take my laptop everywhere, and am not convinced by the arguments that my laptop could get stolen. I don't really need it for internet, between internet cafes and my blackberry, but it could come in handy for photo management. I would rather be able to unload photos routinely throughout my trip, rather than try to predict how many gb worth of sd-cards I need for 11 days. Is that a reasonable reason to bring it?

Thanks for any advice!
D40, 18-55mm, 55-200mm VR, 35mm 1.8, SB-600.

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