Gear for a Photo Shoot in China - any more suggestions ??

Started Sep 22, 2010 | Discussions thread
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RoelHendrickx
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Gear for a Photo Shoot in China - any more suggestions ??
Sep 22, 2010

I have gotten an assignment to shoot a commercial/documentary series in north-eastern China (north of Korea, west of Vladivostok in Siberia) next week. Five days of shooting in a mainly outdoors environment (landscapes, people, villages).

Just thought I would consult with you guys on my gear choices and packing for the upcoming photo shoot in northern China. Let me pick your brain.

I'll illustrate what I will be taking with a few images of my gear ready for packing, but excuse the very poor quality of these illustrations : they are horribly blurred and noisy iPhone captures in my living room. But you will get the idea.

I use Olympus E-system gear, mainly for the lenses and the unsurpassed weather- and dustproofing, that might come handy for this kind of job.

The main point, after some deliberation, is that I have decided to use almost all my gear, in order to take two full set-ups with me, with which I can do the job, independent of the other set-up. Just hedging my bets and risks for the off-chance that one of my cases gets lost or stolen. I need to be able to function with the other.

Normaly for travel, I leave the F2.0 lenses home because of the weight.
My normal travel kit is E-3 with 7-14/14-54/50-200 (maybe PL25 and ZD8FE).

But I will definitely carry the ZD35-100 and ZD150 to China next week, because when photos are the main point of the trip, it would be foolish not to use the best gear.

My carry-on backpack (the Oly one because it is bigger than my Lowepro) will contain (JUST within 10 kg limits):

  • E-3 with grip and two batteries loaded

  • ZD7-14, PL25, ZD35-100, ZD150

  • FL50R

  • CF cards, 2 extra batteries, charger, cleaning stuff, business cards, ...

I'll also carry a hip pouch with wallet, passport, documents, Iphone with Lonely Planet "Mandarin for travel", TPE installed etc.

In my checked luggage (a cheap-looking suitcase with wheels), I will have inserted a shockproof and watertight box (type Pelican) with :

  • second E-3 (the one on loan)

  • ZD8mm, ZD12-60 (the one on loan), ZD50 and EX-25, ZD 50-200,

  • FL36 (non R)

(this is the first layer of that case - I still need to pluck out the foam to fit the stuff in)

Also in that shockproof case in a second layer :

  • LX3 for nighttime walking around off-assignment

  • monopod head and small screwdriver set (maybe also my tripod ballhead, depending on total weight)

  • pocketknife

  • backup HD (Hyperdrive Album device : it backs up CF cards automatically without need of computer, and contains software to view RAW files),

  • Gorilla Pod SLR Zoom (as base for the wireless flash)

  • second charger, cards, batteries.

Also in the suitcase :

  • large collapsible reflector/diffusor (100x150 cm) (reflector to reflect FL50R light, diffusor for when the sun is too bright for portraits),

  • monopod (still need to buy it), because I have decided my tripod is impossible to take with me (if however, I can buy just the tripod legs cheap in China upon arrival, I might do that and sell them there after the job)

  • small shoulder bag.

For the trip back, I will carry my full CF cards on my body, and have backed-up images on the Hyperdrive Album to have one copy of everything in separate places.

I had thought about moving the on-loan 12-60 to my main gear bag, but that would leave the second set-up with too large gaps between 8mm, 25mm and 50mm. However, once safely there, I will probably mount the 12-60 on the second camera to have it standing by at all times when I am shooting wide or tele.

If I have all of that packed (with copies of invoices for customs), my suitcase has just enough room left for a toothbrush and some shorts and T-shirts and one extra pair of shoes. I won't be entering a beauty contest over there , I am sure.

If anyone has further gear or practical suggestions, I would be most grateful.
Thanks in advance.

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Roel Hendrickx

lots of images : http://www.roelh.zenfolio.com

my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

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