Travel Lens Kit Philosophy

Started Sep 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
thomo Senior Member • Posts: 1,302
Re: Travel Lens Kit Philosophy

By travel Jeff I assume you mean by aircraft. I have a fundamental philosophy of travelling as light as I can without sacrificing the prospect of getting the shots I need.

It also depends on what you intend to do with your photos. I like to make an A3 size photo book of the trip memories with the biggest images being reproduced at A3 (about 12x16") so I need at least 12MP images. I've done 1.5m canvas prints from a D90 and the D7000 & D7100 images can be printed much larger. You also don't need f1.4 primes to get sharp images either!

The trouble with overseas holidays is that you want to take enough gear so that you don't miss an opportunity which generally means at least two cameras so that you're not caught 'off guard' while having to change lenses. That also means weight! There is no way I would travel overseas with my FX gear and the 2.8 lenses. It's just too much size and weight (almost double), and you don't want to spoil your wife's enjoyment of the trip by having her lug your excess gear!

I leave my D800E and D700 gear at home and take a couple of DX bodies and lenses in Lowepro's smallest 'slingshot' bag. It used to be a couple of D7000's, one fitted with an 18-200 and battery grip, and the other (no grip) with a 12-24. I'd also squeeze in a Fuji X100LE for taking out at night or when I wanted to travel really light and inconspicuous. I also squeeze an SB-800 in the flap compartment.

Then, depending on the destination and photo opportunities (surfing, birding or wildlife) I might throw in either a 70-300 or 80-400. I found now with a D7100 and an 18-300, I can get better IQ with the latter and I can leave the 70-300 or 80-400 (AF not AFS) at home - although that may change when I get the new 80-400 AFS lens.

So as we're travelling, during the day, I usually have the D7100 + 18-300 on my right shoulder and the slingshot with the other gear over my left shoulder. With the slingshot bag you can access the other camera pretty quickly and if we're doing interiors I have the second body and 12-24 around my neck.

The real benefit of the DX bodies and lenses is that you can fit them in the small slingshot and it looks so small and insignificant (a bit like a man-bag). I've never been challenged in over 30 international flights!

 thomo's gear list:thomo's gear list
Canon PowerShot G15 Nikon D80 Nikon D90 Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 +43 more
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