Travel Lens Kit Philosophy

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
kiirokurisu
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Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy
In reply to Jeff Klofft, 11 months ago

When I travel I want the best imaging capability that I can afford. Travel is very costly and very often it might be years before I come back to a place, or possibly never. That's why it has to be the best equipment I can reasonably muster. I carry insurance and use an anti-theft backpack so I don't have to worry about the equipment itself.

Along with my D600, for a two-lens kit that covers most opportunities that could present themselves I have the 16-35 and 70-200 f4 lenses. These are relatively light and compact given their capabilities. To that I might add a fast prime such as 35/1.4 or 50/1.2 depending on whether I think there will be opportunities to use them. With a well-designed backpack carrying these is perfectly comfortable and leaves room for other odds and ends in the pack as well.

I should add that I don't have kids, and an understanding travel partner helps too. With the modern VR lenses and high-ISO capabilities I don't generally carry a tripod either, unless I'm specifically going out for landscape shooting.

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Gary Martin
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Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy
In reply to Jeff Klofft, 11 months ago

If I'm going to travel light but still want to produce high-quality images, a couple of small but high-quality fixed-focal length lenses does the trick. That's usually a wide-angle, and a short telephoto. Although it can seem limiting, I find it somewhat liberating to think in terms of what I *can* shoot with the lenses I have, rather than what I cannot shoot because of what I don't have.

 Gary Martin's gear list:Gary Martin's gear list
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-30 Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited +3 more
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jonrobertp
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Re: Travel Lens Kit...well...
In reply to leighton w, 11 months ago

leighton w wrote:

This is my philosophy. When I travel (which isn't very often) I want to record the time with the very best gear that I have, because I probably won't be back. To me, IQ is everything and I wouldn't trust my valuable visit with anything less. If this means I might have to "lug" some gear around then so be it.

Of course YMMV

Um, 2nd opinion.   If I lug too much heavy gear around in a hot tiring climate, my day is damaged by the sore back, neck, feet.  Damaged vacation vs cheaper images.  I've changed to the 2nd.  The lessor cams nowadays are a lot better than just 5 yrs ago.  For example, I have a 20x30 print on my wall from the RX100...that is just fine if you don't rub your nose in the ink.  I'm not against IQ, but not at any price.  It is a reasoned-out choice we all make.  One way or the other.

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gerry328
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Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy
In reply to Jeff Klofft, 11 months ago

AFS Nikkor 18-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR-II. Avoids swapping lenses in the field and possibly getting dirt and moisture inside the camera.

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Kodak EasyShare C310 Nikon Coolpix P500 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +4 more
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whoosh1
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3rd opinion
In reply to jonrobertp, 11 months ago

jonrobertp wrote:

leighton w wrote:

This is my philosophy. When I travel (which isn't very often) I want to record the time with the very best gear that I have, because I probably won't be back. To me, IQ is everything and I wouldn't trust my valuable visit with anything less. If this means I might have to "lug" some gear around then so be it.

Of course YMMV

Um, 2nd opinion. If I lug too much heavy gear around in a hot tiring climate, my day is damaged by the sore back, neck, feet. Damaged vacation vs cheaper images. I've changed to the 2nd. The lessor cams nowadays are a lot better than just 5 yrs ago. For example, I have a 20x30 print on my wall from the RX100...that is just fine if you don't rub your nose in the ink. I'm not against IQ, but not at any price. It is a reasoned-out choice we all make. One way or the other.

Um, 3rd opinion. Got back from a once in a lifetime Alaska trip - took the following D800, D800E, 16-35 f4, 24-70 f/2.8, 80-400 (new version) and 500mm f4. Most times the equipment was planned to be in the car except 16-35 mounted on D800E; 80-400 on D800 - with a black rapid double strap. With particular wildlife excursions - just the 500mm f4 on one of the cameras attached to a black rapid single strap.

Guess what - as a bonus to great pictures - lost 10 lbs  in 2 weeks :-). Also lost the obsessive desire that I used to have to travel as light as possible (earlier used to travel with 1-2 smallish primes like 20mm f/2.8).

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flattersplatter
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Re: 3rd opinion
In reply to whoosh1, 11 months ago

whoosh1 wrote:

Guess what - as a bonus to great pictures - lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks :-).

Was that the weight of the camera gear that got nicked?

I think that all that this shows is that it's horses for courses.  If I'm traveling in the US in an SUV, I'm going to feel more comfortable carting around my collection of anvils than I would if I was hoofing it on foot in Marrakesh or Rome.

 flattersplatter's gear list:flattersplatter's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D +6 more
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whoosh1
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Re: 3rd opinion
In reply to flattersplatter, 11 months ago

flattersplatter wrote:

whoosh1 wrote:

Guess what - as a bonus to great pictures - lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks :-).

Was that the weight of the camera gear that got nicked?

:-). OK - the actual weight loss was due to carrying the reasonably big cameras/lenses (one camera with wide zoom and another with tele zoom) while hiking around on glaciers, etc. Due to the black rapid strap - it did not feel uncomfortable or slow me down. But I guess without the cameras I would have still lost - say 5-7 lbs due to the walking around.

I think that all that this shows is that it's horses for courses. If I'm traveling in the US in an SUV, I'm going to feel more comfortable carting around my collection of anvils than I would if I was hoofing it on foot in Marrakesh or Rome.

True - if I was on a vacation in Rome or even NYC where I needed to walk - I would carry a lot less. However I did do a vacation in NYC couple of years ago where I had a DX camera + 12-24 f/4 zoom and another DX camera with Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 tele. Then if I was not using the backpack - I would hand off one of the cameras to my wife or son (who was around 8 at that time but wanting to take a few pictures). Even that was fairly comfortable. The trick is really how you carry stuff - if its made comfortable to carry most of the heavy equipment does not feel so heavy.

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marco1974
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It depends
In reply to Jeff Klofft, 11 months ago

...but for most trips, I would recommend keeping it simple and going with just two prime lenses: a wide-angle and a short tele.

E.g. all of these were taken with a 21mm (eq.) + 90mm (eq.):

http://www.pbase.com/marcoraugei/bali_2013

Cheers,

M.

 marco1974's gear list:marco1974's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R
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Jeff Klofft
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Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy
In reply to kiirokurisu, 11 months ago

kiirokurisu wrote:

When I travel I want the best imaging capability that I can afford. Travel is very costly and very often it might be years before I come back to a place, or possibly never. That's why it has to be the best equipment I can reasonably muster. I carry insurance and use an anti-theft backpack so I don't have to worry about the equipment itself.

Along with my D600, for a two-lens kit that covers most opportunities that could present themselves I have the 16-35 and 70-200 f4 lenses. These are relatively light and compact given their capabilities. To that I might add a fast prime such as 35/1.4 or 50/1.2 depending on whether I think there will be opportunities to use them. With a well-designed backpack carrying these is perfectly comfortable and leaves room for other odds and ends in the pack as well.

I should add that I don't have kids, and an understanding travel partner helps too. With the modern VR lenses and high-ISO capabilities I don't generally carry a tripod either, unless I'm specifically going out for landscape shooting.

Sounds like you situation is very similar to mine.  I took the 18-35 and 70-300 along with a 50 f/1.8 to London and it worked pretty well.  There were times when I felt "in between" the two zooms and a midrange zoom would have need nice, but I question the need to carry and extra zoom for such a limited need (especially when the better ones are so large - 24-70 or 24-120).

Have you found yourself in a situation were neither zoom is really the right fit for the situation?

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Jeff

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Jeff Klofft
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Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy
In reply to Gary Martin, 11 months ago

Gary Martin wrote:

If I'm going to travel light but still want to produce high-quality images, a couple of small but high-quality fixed-focal length lenses does the trick. That's usually a wide-angle, and a short telephoto. Although it can seem limiting, I find it somewhat liberating to think in terms of what I *can* shoot with the lenses I have, rather than what I cannot shoot because of what I don't have.

I went that route once on a family trip to Disney several years ago.  I took my D700 with the 35 f/2 and the 85 f/1.8.  It mostly worked, but I might have been better with something like a 28 or 24.

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Jeff Klofft
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Re: It depends
In reply to marco1974, 11 months ago

Beautiful shots.  Looks like a great trip.

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Jeff

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Jeff Klofft
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Re: 3rd opinion
In reply to whoosh1, 11 months ago

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Jeff

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Jeff Klofft
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Re: 3rd opinion
In reply to whoosh1, 11 months ago

whoosh1 wrote:

flattersplatter wrote:

whoosh1 wrote:

Guess what - as a bonus to great pictures - lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks :-).

Was that the weight of the camera gear that got nicked?

:-). OK - the actual weight loss was due to carrying the reasonably big cameras/lenses (one camera with wide zoom and another with tele zoom) while hiking around on glaciers, etc. Due to the black rapid strap - it did not feel uncomfortable or slow me down. But I guess without the cameras I would have still lost - say 5-7 lbs due to the walking around.

I think that all that this shows is that it's horses for courses. If I'm traveling in the US in an SUV, I'm going to feel more comfortable carting around my collection of anvils than I would if I was hoofing it on foot in Marrakesh or Rome.

True - if I was on a vacation in Rome or even NYC where I needed to walk - I would carry a lot less. However I did do a vacation in NYC couple of years ago where I had a DX camera + 12-24 f/4 zoom and another DX camera with Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 tele. Then if I was not using the backpack - I would hand off one of the cameras to my wife or son (who was around 8 at that time but wanting to take a few pictures). Even that was fairly comfortable. The trick is really how you carry stuff - if its made comfortable to carry most of the heavy equipment does not feel so heavy.

I can definitely see how a two zoom (wide/tele) set-up can work great with two bodies, but would that same kit be as useful if you only had one body.  Would you be swapping too often for those in between situations?

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Vladi Stoimenov
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Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy
In reply to Jeff Klofft, 11 months ago

My usual travel kit was D90, Tokina 11-16/2.8, Nikkor 16-85 and Micro Nikkor 105/2.8G.

Nikon 50/1.4G was almost not used. The problem was not the weight of the lens, but its change.
The problem was solved with the additional D7000 of my wife, she uses only 24-120/f4, I prefer WA & Macro.

Vladi

 Vladi Stoimenov's gear list:Vladi Stoimenov's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +4 more
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Jeff Klofft
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Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy
In reply to RBFresno, 11 months ago

I still have mine too.  It's really got a unique look at night.  I don't use it much at all, but it's like visiting an old friend when I do.

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jonrobertp
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Re: 3rd opinion
In reply to whoosh1, 11 months ago

whoosh1 wrote:

jonrobertp wrote:

leighton w wrote:

This is my philosophy. When I travel (which isn't very often) I want to record the time with the very best gear that I have, because I probably won't be back. To me, IQ is everything and I wouldn't trust my valuable visit with anything less. If this means I might have to "lug" some gear around then so be it.

Of course YMMV

Um, 2nd opinion. If I lug too much heavy gear around in a hot tiring climate, my day is damaged by the sore back, neck, feet. Damaged vacation vs cheaper images. I've changed to the 2nd. The lessor cams nowadays are a lot better than just 5 yrs ago. For example, I have a 20x30 print on my wall from the RX100...that is just fine if you don't rub your nose in the ink. I'm not against IQ, but not at any price. It is a reasoned-out choice we all make. One way or the other.

Um, 3rd opinion. Got back from a once in a lifetime Alaska trip - took the following D800, D800E, 16-35 f4, 24-70 f/2.8, 80-400 (new version) and 500mm f4. Most times the equipment was planned to be in the car except 16-35 mounted on D800E; 80-400 on D800 - with a black rapid double strap. With particular wildlife excursions - just the 500mm f4 on one of the cameras attached to a black rapid single strap.

Guess what - as a bonus to great pictures - lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks :-). Also lost the obsessive desire that I used to have to travel as light as possible (earlier used to travel with 1-2 smallish primes like 20mm f/2.8).

haha...glad it was you and not me.  Maybe you can post a few of them ?

ps.  If I lost any weight, I'd be lighter than in high school.

 jonrobertp's gear list:jonrobertp's gear list
Sony RX100 G1 X II Canon EOS 70D
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