Excogitations on weight, heat and subtlety

Started Jul 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
Jeddi
Junior MemberPosts: 38Gear list
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In reply to Jeddi, Sep 27, 2012

I ended up taking a normal non-descript canvas day pack, slightly padded with some old bubblewrap envelopes - it worked really well.

The E-620 with black-rapid type diagonal strap, no battery grip, Oly 25mm/f2.5, 50mm/f2, 40-150mm and 9-18mm. Acceptably light, yet adept for all my actual use cases. I didn't use the 25mm often at all (as I expected) but it was handy in places like the Marrakech night markets due to physical size and slightly wider aperture. The 40-150 got more use than I was expecting - especially useful for the apes on the rock at Gibraltar. I don't recall wanting for something beyond 150mm. The 9-18mm is my usual go-to lens, and it spent most of the trip on the camera. The 50mm macro wasn't used all that often, and I think I wouldn't have missed it terribly if I'd left it behind, but there were a couple of times when it was very handy to have (much more for macro rather than its low-light advantages). I think it's notable in that modest line-up as being the heaviest of the lot, and perhaps the most expensive too.

The cheap neoprene wrap-around cover I'd picked up for the trip was superb, and worked well with the diagonal strap approach so I wasn't too worried about bumps, scratches and theft.

I also took the FL-36R and the 'Gorillapod SLR-Zoom' - both were very useful, especially the gorillapod. Annoyingly I kept on leaving the flash in the hotel room when we went out on day trips, thinking there'd be lots of light, and just trying to carry less stuff with me -- but then finding myself in a very dark cathedral where they would bizarrely welcome the use of flash, but flat out refused the use of even a tiny tripod.

It was easy to avoid most of the 'don't take pictures of me!' problems in Morocco by simply not aiming the camera at humans, or at the very least focussing on something else (and in almost all cases it was the something else that I was genuinely interested in capturing anyway).

Heat wasn't a problem with any of the gear, happily, despite getting up to 48C some days. My old Minolta used to seize up over 40C, so I was a bit paranoid on this front.

I had two high-speed 16GB CF cards, and four 16GB SD cards that I picked up with a CF-> SD adapter after reading that nice future-proofing suggestion on here a while back - generally happy with that arrangement, though with AE bracketing turned on I'd sometimes find myself waiting for the memory to flush through to the card. Not an insurmountable problem, and SD cards are significantly cheaper than CF, so it was a known trade-off.

The biggest effort has been culling the 20,000 or so images we took between us.

I've got some pictures on my (advert- and tracking- free site) at http://jeddi.org/g/index.php/2012-08-PSM though keep in mind I wasn't really trying to boost a portfolio Also I see that dpr has done its usual trick of softening the images on upload.

Anyway, most of our shots are primarily for our memories, so to speak, but I've selected a handful that I particularly like

Inside the Cathedral / Mosque in Cordoba - note the absence of people bustling past, or finding me squatting against a wall with the gorillapod on the ground to be an annoyance for them - but this is where the security guard rushed up and explained that I wasn't allowed to use a 20cm tall tripod - but it was perfectly find to use an far more intrusive flash as much as I liked. Go figure.

Harbour at Gibraltar - this shot was more by accident than by design.

Inside the Cathedral / Mosque in Cordoba - using a gorillapod (before anyone noticed and stopped me). I think this was four frames tonemapped (hdr) into something hopefully not too garish

Inside the Cathedral of Sevilla - not sure if tripods were allowed or not, but easy enough to be surreptitious with the gorilla by wrapping it over the back of a pew. Obviously a bit heavier hand on the hdr effects with this one, to emphasize the light coming in through the top windows

The bell tower of the same Cathedral, obviously from outside at night.

Another slightly heavy-handed hdr interpretation, but I think the gothy effect works well here. This is one of the pics I was most happy with, partly because I got what I was trying to (the shadows), and partly because I sat on the floor there for ages before I was able to get a couple of shots without other tourists wandering through - all of whom were wondering why I was trying to take a picture of the floor.

Strings were tied off like this all over the place - I think I was mostly looking for a subject to try my new 25mm/2.5 with

Ramadan, so there were lots of locals staring forlornly at food they weren't allowed to eat. As above, here I was actually mostly interested in the colours of the food.

The 'famous tanneries' of Fes - slightly hdr'd, just to get some detail in the surrounds of the window (stunning levels of glare there during the day, as you'd imagine)

 Jeddi's gear list:Jeddi's gear list
Olympus E-620 Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm 1:2.8 Pancake +3 more
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