What to bring on Bangkok trip

Started Aug 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
cplunk Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
Re: What to bring on Bangkok trip

On my last trip I used my 28-105 a lot.

Visiting temples, I used my 16-50 a fair amount, and needed the wide end quite a few times.

I found over 100mm too long for most things in Bangkok. Outside of Bangkok, my 55-200 came in handy several times. I was there for Songkran, and spent a bit of time hiding on the skytrain platforms trying to photograph the water fights below, and this is about the only time I used my 100-300 on the whole trip.

I'm not much for landscape photography but I did try my hand at a bit of it with the 55-200, from the back of my brother in law's pickup, driving down the highway.

It's nice to have a long lens for some candid portraits if you get outside Bangkok, go to some of more famous temples off the beaten track and there's normally quite a few people around, and a lot of space. But people mostly won't be bothered if you get closer, and 90mm or 100mm should be fine. On farms you can occasionally catch people in the fields, but outside of that, most of the time your in smaller areas and longer lenses aren't going to be much use. (and people there usually don't work in the fields when the sun is out, they go out at night in my experience).

I also got a lot of shots at night in Bangkok. Either in the entertainment districts (lit up with Neon) or in some of the night markets. I had a lot of success there with fast primes, using the 50mm f1.4 and 35mm f1.8. The 35mm works out a bit better, cause usually you are pretty close. With the lighting at these markets, I found there's a big difference between f1.8 and f2.8, f2.8 wasn't working too well for me, and commonly had to push the ISO past 1600. Take your time and make sure the camera focuses, with shallow DOF and dim lighting often times it'll take longer than normal for the AF to find something to lock.

I'd probably get the 16-105 or 18-135 before I go again, and use that mostly, along with the 35mm prime.

And definitely take the flash. And get familiar with using it in daylight. They got some bright Sun there, with hard shadows, especially with portraits you'll probably do better with fill flash out in the Sun.

And make sure you get some of the fresh squeezed orange juice from some of the road side carts. And don't wait till the last day to try it. And try the sabushi restaurants, http://www.oishigroup.com/en_product_shabushi.php , it's not "authentic Thai", but there's usually a line waiting to get it, and they're not tourists. MK is also pretty popular and very good.

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