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Author Topic: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....  (Read 552 times)

rosalieb

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Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« on: February 16, 2017, 10:38:32 PM »

This is my first query on this site.  Appreciate any and all feedback.  I'm going to Peru this September for 3 weeks and want to travel w as little camera gear as possible; yet have what I need to capture this great country.  I will be  doing the 4d/3n Inca Trail hike and the Rainbow Mtn. 2d/1n trek, and visit Lima, Cusco,
Salinas de Maras, Ballestas Island, Nazca lines, Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca.
I own a Canon 5D w the following lenses: 17-35, 28-70, 28-125, 70-300, 100-400, 50mm  I also use a Canon G15.
I am trying NOT to take a tripod.  I will take ND filters and polarizing filters.
Any thoughts on what I absolutely have to take?
All comments appreciated.
Thanks!
Rosalie
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langier

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 11:41:23 PM »

For your hiking, unless you are in really, really good shape, size and weight will be like a boat anchor. For the rest of your trip, keep it simple and keep it light. Also consider the safety of your gear...it can be an beacon for sticky fingers, especially if you are traveling solo.

The simplest way to go is with just your G15 and lots of cards and extra batteries and a power adapter for charger. If you are traveling with your own "sherpa", then perhaps bring the 5D and 2-3 lenses max, backed-up with your G15.

Thinking outside the box, if this was my trip, I'd go M43 with a couple of wide-range zooms. The IQ is at least as good as your 5D (I'm assuming you have the original 5D) and most likely better. Both Olympus and Panasonic have very good bodies that are small, light weight, and less intimidating to use when photographing people. The lens selection is very adequate and the optics on the premium lenses are superb.

For my last journey across the pond, my Nikon system stayed at home and I went totally with my M43 bodies and lenses. I love the IQ of the Nikon, but schlepping the weight and bulk is becoming less appealing as I get older! My previous trips included both systems and what I found was in urban settings the M43 was liberating in many way.

My normal style tends to favor wide angle lenses and so I tend to shoot a 7-14 and 12-40 supplemented by a 35-100mm. If I really want versatility and take less, I'll leave the 12-40 and 35-100 behind and replace it with a 14-150mm lens and I'm prepared for almost everything. With two bodies, two lenses, a pocket full of batteries (the m43 systems eat batteries at 300-400 frames per charge-less when shooting video) and a few 32GB SD cards, I'm good to go. As a bonus, the smaller cameras and lenses make me appear less threatening and I blend in more like a tourist.

Hope this helps and have a safe and successful journey!
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pcgpcg

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 10:08:44 PM »

Fortunately you have enough time to get the best answer, which only you can provide...

You need to pack up all your gear, put it on your back, and do some backpacking this spring/summer. Then you'll know.

I would start with two choices:
1) lightest possible take the 28-125 and no tripod
or
2) a lot heavier, additionally add the 70-300 and a tripod.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 10:13:10 PM by pcgpcg »
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razrblck

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 02:28:02 AM »

A minimal setup could be the G15 only (with extra batteries and SD cards like stated above by langier), plus a compact Gorillapod. That will help you when you really need a tripod and there are no walls or rocks around to put your camera on them, especially if you need to hold polarizers and ND filters in front.

For a more substantial gear, then 5D with 17-35 and 28-70 so you are covered for most shots with very fast lenses. You can even pack the 50mm 1.8 for the extra stop of light, since without a tripod you will need all the light you can get to keep ISO low and shutter speeds fast enough to reduce motion blur from your hands. A Gorillapod might help here, but you'll need one substantially larger and heavier than with the G15, it may take up space you can use for the 100-400 if you shoot a lot with a tele!
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 08:56:26 PM »

Every time I don't take a tripod is when I end up needing one.  Look at the medium size gorilla pods.  They are small enough to disappear amongst your other stuff but stable enough if used well to actually make a decent shot.  One of my best shots ever was a 13 image panorama shot from a hospital fire escape.  It was an unforeseen moment and. The fact that I had a gorilla pod allowed me to make the shot. 

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degrub

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 10:30:58 PM »

Don't forget the altitude you are working in. Everything weighs twice as much or you can go half the distance unless you are used to it or have llama carrying the load.
Lima is at 5,000 ft. The rest are 8-10,000.  So Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Take a walking stick/monopod. Then you can form the other two legs of the tripod.
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 04:01:33 AM »

Others have offered valuable advice.  What Id like to add is, Id never contemplate serious landscape photography without a tripod (plus polarizer and split neutral density filters).  The tripod allows time to pan through various axis to check composition (and, as a side effect, improves image sharpness).

My tripods for landscapes have a three-axis head.  I use the ball head for wildlife and airborne aircraft.  I hate ball heads for landscapes or macros.

Dominique_R

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 06:25:00 AM »

This topic interest me a lot because Peru is also on my list, maybe not for this year (family problems will probably make us stay closer to home for the summer vacations), but for next year.

My options regarding equipment are threefold:
  • Nikon D810 with an assortment of heavy, bulky, high-quality, beloved Nikkor and Zeiss primes
  • Nikon D810 with Trinity Nikkor zooms
  • Fuji X Pro 2 with assortment of light, small, acceptable quality Fujinon primes.
I think that in spite of the weight  and the bulk (and I know I will suffer), I will take the Nikon gear. I know it's not reasonable, and I know I will hate myself when there, but I also know I will congratulate myself and be happy once I return and review the results...  ;)

Take a walking stick/monopod. Then you can form the other two legs of the tripod.

For me, and as much as I like to have my sturdy Gitzo with me, a regular-sized tripod is out of the question, not to mention that it will not be allowed in iconic places such as Machu Picchu. I don't trust Gorillapods, but I may take my small, foldable, yet very trustworthy Rollei Compact Traveller Mini M1 tripod. It is more than sturdy enough to support a full-frame DSLR with a  heavy lens. The legs are extendable and lockable. Below is a picture of it, and you can find stuff about it on Youtube. Beware, there are several sizes in the Mini Mx range, the M1 is the smallest.
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PeterAit

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 10:14:47 AM »

First, I think, is to sort out your priorities. Is your primary purpose to get photos, or to enjoy the trip and companionship? Do you need lenses and other gear for every imaginable situation? Do you need highest IQ or will "very good" IQ do for you?

Two options to consider: an M4/3 system such as a Olympus E-M1. Or a "bridge" camera such as Sony RXIII or Lumix RZ1000.

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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 11:35:01 PM »

Based on the gear you listed....an option might be to take the 50mm on the 5D and the g15 for everything else.  That would be relatively compact and easy to carry. 

Another option would be to rent something just for the trip.  An Olympus pen f, with three small primes or a single zoom would be as light and small as the 5d alone almost.  You lose nothing in quality, and gain excellent stabilization.

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