A&P Going on my first trip/adventure with my gear.. advice?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by pantheR, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. pantheR

    pantheR New Member

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    I'll be traveling to Buenos Aires and Brazil for roughly 10 days. Mid way through I'll be taking a long bus ride from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro.

    I have a canon bag however I would like to bring my gear in my backpack.
    Tripod
    Rebel XSi (450D)
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
    50mm f/1.8
    75-300mm f/4-5.6

    Any suggestions on what to take or not take? What about security?

    I suppose I'm looking for general tips/advice from anyone who's left the country to take photos. This will be my first time. Thanks.
     
  2. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    i brought a tripod with me to guatemala once.

    once.

    it's more of a pain in the ass than its worth, in my opinion.

    when we went to s. africa, i took:
    hg10 camcorder
    40D
    10-22
    50mm
    24-70
    100-400
    monopod
    laptop
    and a bunch of other misc. crap.

    it was a bit much, even though i used all of it while we were there.

    if you've got a camera backpack, i'd bring it all, except for the tripod (unless you think you'll absolutely use it)
     
  3. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Try to imagine how you wish to carry and store your gear.

    When I went to Tanzania (4 weeks), I had a shoulder bag that had pretty quick access to the camera. I got a lock to lock the two zipper pulls together so they couldn't easily get in to pull the camera out (it won't stop someone from taking the entire bag, but hopefully make them think twice about how easy it will be). I locked the bag when the bag itself wasn't on me or in constant sight. I had two lenses with me, I think (35mm film days). A 50mm all purpose and a telephoto for the safari.

    For 2 weeks in Moscow, I went with a LowPro Slingshot model (model 200, I think). Eh, I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with this setup. It did carry the gear I had (N80, 70-200mm, 24-70mm) as well as a Canon point and shoot. I can't put my finger on it why I'm not 100% happy with this. I will probably use it again for our 3 week trip back to Moscow this year.

    Another note on the bag, think about how that bag will feel when carrying it for 6+ hours at a time. I don't know if you plan on doing any day trips where you will be out and about (hiking, or walking for the day, such as a museum or city). The LowPro, being big and black, really absorbed the heat and made my back sweaty and gave me a sore shoulder after hiking Moscow for 6 hours and the same problem at the air show.

    When traveling, you might tucking in an inside pocket your contact and mailing info, in case the bag is lost when flying. If you plan to always have your camera bag with you, you might also use it to keep a copy of your passport and other numbers (again, in a safe, interior pocket, if possible).

    As for lenses, think about what you want to photograph and what lenses you think you will need to do that. My vote would be to travel as light as possible, when possible. For my trip to Moscow this year, I will take my 18-70mm for general purpose shots (people and indoor stuff), my 50mm f1.8 since it is pretty small and light and might have some fun with it, and my 70-300mm for the air show. If we weren't going to the air show, I think I might just leave it at home. If I get an ultra-wide lens, either the 50mm or the 18-70mm might have to stay home. I'm undecided on that one.

    A notebook is just too much hassle for me to be taking along. I'd leave it at home. Some one can walk off with it. It could get damaged. You have the extra weight to carry. You have to charge it at some point. When you do power it up, what will you be doing that can't wait till you get back? There's valid reasons to bring one too (in-flight entertainment, backup/edit pictures, etc). Instead of me taking a notebook, I plan on taking a lot of memory with me. And for internet access, I'll use the data plan on a local cell phone plan on my GSM phone (which can get a tad pricey).

    I've been torn on the tripod thing. I would love to have it with me all the time. I've got a strap so carrying it now isn't a problem. Its bulky though. When I was in Tanzania, there was only 1 time when I did a panoramic and I wished like mad I had a tripod (I winged it and the panoramic came out ok without one). When I was in Moscow, I didn't have a need for one. When I was in St. Petersburg, I wanted to do night photography and I pulled out a Gorilla pod I had brought along. I was able to roll one up and get it to fit in my bag. I pulled it out, mounted my P&S to it and mounted it to a light pole (my wife then begged for me to take it down since it started to look like a bomb was being planted!). Its not ideal, but might help when you're in a bind.

    Not mentioned but something to think about: take along spare stuff. Stuff like batteries and memory and stuff to clean your sensor and your lenses.

    Cliffs: Travel light and you should be good. Keep in mind what you want to shoot and take only what you need and have fun!
     
  4. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    insurance insurance insurance
     
  5. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Insurance. Good point! I had to do some digging because I'm going to need this in a couple months too.

    I used World Nomads for insurance (http://www.worldnomads.com) when going to Russia in '07. I doubt they are the cheapest. I was more concerned about their reputation and people's past experiences with them (for example, if you get sick, do they actual help). At the time, they seemed good and people who used their services had good experiences with them.

    I went with 3 weeks of insurance for me and my wife and it covered a fair amount (travel, health, personal property, etc). I think they cover camera gear, but I'm not sure what the limits/deductibles are. I think we paid about $140 for everything. Not exactly cheap, but definitely a comfort knowing you have some protection (it is MUCH cheaper if covering just yourself). It was a HUGE comfort knowing they cover a trip to a western hospital in Russia (which can be very expensive). My wife has told me about the local hospitals and that is NOT some where I want to be.
     
  6. pantheR

    pantheR New Member

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    Thanks a bunch Astro, appreciate it.
     
  7. Snowballer

    Snowballer - Blissfully Insane -

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    Yeah the tripod is a pain in the ass. Unless you're huge into night photography then don't bring it. :hs:
     

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