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Author Topic: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....  (Read 1533 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 I’d like to add is, I’d 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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rosalieb

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 03:43:32 PM »

Thanks everyone for your input.
I was just at B&H in NYC, and looked long & hard at the new mirror less camera & lenses by Canon & the Sony RX10 lll. I spent quite a bit of time asking questions: and worked w a guy named Steve.  After showing me the Canon gear....he asked if I wanted to see the BEST......the Sony.
I love everything about it other than the fact that it doesn't do 18mm...only 24.
I'm seriously thinking of selling my gear and buying this.....any thoughts or opinions?
This is not a photography trip, but a bucket list trip w my hubby.  However, I want to return w some great images of Peru.
I do think I need to be very realistic about altitude & hiking the Inca Trail w a camera that I can actually carry.
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Dominique_R

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2017, 03:56:08 PM »

After showing me the Canon gear....he asked if I wanted to see the BEST......the Sony.

I'm always extremely suspicious (and you should be, too), when a salesman offers to show me "the best" and then introduces this brand or that. I mean, I'm not a Canon user and neither am I a Sony user, but if Sony were "THE BEST", unquestionably above and beyond all the rest, it would be known.

Yet it isn't, far from it. Sony is certainly a good brand, but have a look at the camera makes that the pros are toting at the Olympic Games, at a G-8 summit, or at the Cannes Festival (to name but a few), and you'll see precious few Sonys. Now, it's up to you to figure out why...  ;)

What is interesting, though, (and what you should have unerringly deduced) is that Sony is the brand on which B&H get the best deals in terms of profit margins... This I did not know.  ;D
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rosalieb

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 07:10:48 PM »

I should have qualified the statement that 'Sony was the best.' It was taking into consideration my wanting to carry as little weight as possible, capturing images with better quality than what I have and traveling with a single lens camera. The statement was not meant to say that Sony was the best but maybe for my particular situation it could really fulfill my needs.
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luxborealis

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2017, 10:00:40 PM »

Thanks everyone for your input.
I was just at B&H in NYC, and looked long & hard at the new mirror less camera & lenses by Canon & the Sony RX10 lll. I spent quite a bit of time asking questions: and worked w a guy named Steve.  After showing me the Canon gear....he asked if I wanted to see the BEST......the Sony.
I love everything about it other than the fact that it doesn't do 18mm...only 24.
I'm seriously thinking of selling my gear and buying this.....any thoughts or opinions?
This is not a photography trip, but a bucket list trip w my hubby.  However, I want to return w some great images of Peru.
I do think I need to be very realistic about altitude & hiking the Inca Trail w a camera that I can actually carry.

Welcome to the forum, Rosalie. You have come to the exact conclusion I was about to recommend. I am a Nikon D800E owner with a complete lens set, but have spent the last year travelling to Iceland twice (June and March) and 5 weeks in the U.K. last summer – all with the Sony RX10iii. You can read my review of it here on Lu-La and in Light and Landscape magazine (free subscription for iPad only, I believe). I've also posted photos here on the forum and you can see them on my Flickr account (link below).

Needless to say, after 40 years in photography with 35mm, 6x7 and 4x5, I've yet to find a more versatile camera that combines excellent quality and reliability. I can carry the RX10iii around all day in my hand and on my shoulder and I forget it's there. The raw files are excellent and printable to 13" and even 17", especially when shot at low ISO. It allows for hand held shooting in situations where I would ALWAYS have used a tripod in the past with full frame bodies. When set to f/5.6, its 1" sensor provides depth of field equal to f/16 on a FF (f/15.27, actually). That means faster shutter speeds allowing hand holding. I find I leave the ISO at 64 and have plenty of shutter speed and aperture latitude.

I do miss having 18mm - I love wideangle work - but have learned to go vertical and shoot 3 or 4 L to R and stitch.

I still use a tripod when necessary and, as I want the highest quality possible with this sensor, I don't try to be a hero by unnecessarily hand-holding. That being said, the image stabilization is the most effective I've worked with to date.

If you are planning to take NDs, they are pretty much useless without a tripod, but you can pack light with the newer "travel" tripods from MeFoto and Manfrotto. I took the MeFoto Roadtrip aluminium and, while not like my Ries or Manfrotto 055, performed very well when properly set up (see waterfall photos from Iceland).

Good luck with your decision. If you have any Qs about the Sony, fire away.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 10:08:02 PM by luxborealis »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2017, 12:27:38 AM »

Hi Rosalie, and welcome to LuLa.

Since I moved from film to digital I have generally used Canon cameras: in order, the 10D, then the original 5D, then the 5DII. Along with these I have always carried a pocket camera as well (latest for me is the Canon Powershot S110).

A little over a year ago I decided I wanted a good travel camera for a trip to France. The owner of my local camera shop suggested I look at a Sony RX10, and I did, and I fell in love with it. A couple of months after the France trip, I decided I had no more use for any of my big Canons, so I sold off the 5DII and several lenses.

The Sony RX10 has a tremendously sharp Zeiss lens that gives the full-frame equivalent of 24mm to 200mm, and with excellent stabilization, I have not used my Gitzo tripo since I got the Sony. I have been tempted to upgrade to the RX10II, which has some improvements but the same zoom range, or to the RX10III which now goes to 600mm, but is a bit heavier than mine. The additional range is tempting, but the added weight is not. I'll probably try one out soon anyway.

Before I got my Sony I never shot anything beyond 105mm, but I have been surprised to find myself shooting often at 200mm now. I also shoot a lot at the wide end, and I would certainly like to see the wide end go down to 18mm, but 24 has been good for me.

So I suggest you give the Sonys a serious look.

Good luck!

-Eric
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hogloff

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2017, 11:53:20 AM »



Yet it isn't, far from it. Sony is certainly a good brand, but have a look at the camera makes that the pros are toting at the Olympic Games, at a G-8 summit, or at the Cannes Festival (to name but a few), and you'll see precious few Sonys. Now, it's up to you to figure out why...  ;)


Maybe because Canon and Nikon are big sponsors of those events and provide a lot of the gear for the photogs to use. So when I was at the Olympic games in Vancouver I could not get a Coke because Pepsi was an official sponsor. I never saw anyone drinking Coke. Now, it's up to you to figure out why...
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Dominique_R

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2017, 12:28:53 PM »

Maybe because Canon and Nikon are big sponsors of those events and provide a lot of the gear for the photogs to use. So when I was at the Olympic games in Vancouver I could not get a Coke because Pepsi was an official sponsor. I never saw anyone drinking Coke. Now, it's up to you to figure out why...

Yes, yes, quite. I'm absolutely sure that that must be the answer. By Jove! I wonder how come no one ever came up with that one earlier... It was so simple!  ::)  ;)
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luxborealis

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2017, 09:40:56 PM »

Maybe because Canon and Nikon are big sponsors of those events and provide a lot of the gear for the photogs to use. So when I was at the Olympic games in Vancouver I could not get a Coke because Pepsi was an official sponsor. I never saw anyone drinking Coke. Now, it's up to you to figure out why...
Yes, yes, quite. I'm absolutely sure that that must be the answer. By Jove! I wonder how come no one ever came up with that one earlier... It was so simple!  ::)  ;)

Could you guys get off the bickering and stick to the point of the post. "It's not whatcha got, it's what you do with whatcha got." Besides the OP said, the camera decision is for a trip with her hubby, not shooting the Olympics!
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Dominique_R

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2017, 03:45:30 AM »

Could you guys get off the bickering and stick to the point of the post. "It's not whatcha got, it's what you do with whatcha got." Besides the OP said, the camera decision is for a trip with her hubby, not shooting the Olympics!

I believe you are missing the point —or maybe you didn't follow the discussion, so let me summarize it for you again:

First, the OP related how the sales guy did this: "After showing me the Canon gear....he asked if I wanted to see the BEST......the Sony".

This statement, spelled out as it was, prompted me to react and comment on the fact that, if the sales guy had indeed said that, it was very strange and signaled an obvious commercial (and not technical) interest. Therefore, I meant to underline that the sales guy's statement was possibly not in the best interest of the OP. To avoid reactions such as the one you've just had, I took care to specify that I was not a Canon user, nor a Sony user, and that therefore I couldn't be suspected of "defending" either brand. Not knowing how knowledgeable the OP was as regards brands of photographic equipment, I invited her to verify that most (if not all) professional photographers use Nikon or Canon equipment in the field, just to make her understand that Sony could simply not be called "the BEST" without some very wild exaggeration.

Then, the OP went back on her earlier message and qualified her previous statement. She said: "I should have qualified the statement that 'Sony was the best.' It was taking into consideration my wanting to carry as little weight as possible, capturing images with better quality than what I have and traveling with a single lens camera. The statement was not meant to say that Sony was the best but maybe for my particular situation it could really fulfill my needs."

That was, of course, quite acceptable and made sense (although Sony would certainly not be my choice if I wanted a light photo kit for traveling), therefore I did not further comment.

Then, "hogloff" stepped in and rekindled the discussion (that, I thought, had otherwise come to an end) with a statement which I thought was really not very serious nor sensible. I did not want to really call it the way I saw it (that would have led to "bickering"), therefore I chose to resort to a brief humorous statement to let them know that I didn't think that what they said was very likely.  ::)

In conclusion, I believe that, as far as I am concerned, the accusation of "bickering" is not justified, and your message was uncalled for. I hope that now, we can indeed leave it at that.
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luxborealis

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Re: Traveling lite w camera gear to Peru....
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2017, 02:05:24 PM »

Dominique -
I get all that. Could you entertain, for a moment, that you read into the "best" statement what you wanted to, rather than taking it as the OP took it as being best for her needs. Yes, the cynic can go on about how the salesman might simply be trying to make more money. But, do consider that there are honest people in the world who might just be trying to fulfill a customer's needs, as Eric's experience showed.

Two of us, both long-time forum contributors, have since validated the comment by highly recommending the Sony as an excellent choice that might just fit her needs.

What an unfortunate departure from the OP's question. I hope this hasn't turned her off of the Lu-La Forum as it really is a great place to get very helpful information, recommendations and help. It's why guys like Eric and I, who have never met, keep posting.
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