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The eternal struggle of what to bring

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Travel photography and what to bring on the road

It’s getting close to our big trip to Indonesia and already I’m endlessly arguing with myself on which gear to bring with me. There is always a fine line between taking everything I have (impossible!) and taking too little (frustrating!)
It’s not so much a space issue but more a weight issue. Obviously camera gear goes into handluggage and I have a nifty little photography backpack that has seen many trips with me and has never failed me. In case you’re wondering I always take the Lowepro backpack with me. But if I fill it to the brim with heavy stuff it can be around 10 kilo. Imagine having to carry that on your back for close to a month. In 35+ degrees.
I’ve recently started taking less and less with me and I love that. My favorite lens for travel is my Canon 24-70mm 2.8 and if I pair that with the 50mm 1.4 (perfect for horrible light conditions as it is light and small) and the 85mm 1.8 (which is just my favorite lens of all time) I’m good to go.

Which gear to bring | papertravels.com
Or I’ve even done outrageous things like leaving the heavy 24-70 behind and just going with the two small ones. In a way it also forces you to start thinking more creatively on how to shoot.
But…. In Indonesia we’re going to see orang utans. Which requires a telezoom as there is no way I will be able to fill a frame with a monkey when using the 85. We are not gonna be that close to these creatures. That means I will need to bring the 100-400mm monster. Heavy!
So then the question is, do I also bring the other heavy lens (24-70) or just the two smaller ones (50 plus 85mm)
And that is just the lens question. I’m most likely not bringing my flash although that can be a good thing to have in some situations. But the times I’ll be using it is not going to be often enough to justify the extra weight.

Which camera gear to bring | papertravels.com
Taken with the 100-400mm at 100mm

So that’s a no. And then we have the little camera to think about. Do I bring the small underwater camera too? Which is quite handy. Not only in the water but also for when going to the beach or for when in an unstable boat. And it’s small and light too. And Tom can carry it so he can actually snap some pics with me in it. O and it’s handy for filming. Can you tell I’m convincing myself?

And that’s the problem too. Because on their own each item is fairly small (with the exception of the obvious) but put together every little things ads to the weight.
(Batteries, chargers etc. although those can go in the regular luggage)

Which camera gear to bring | papertravels.com
24-70 is perfect for all round shots

In that sense city trips are so much easier to pack for. Little chance of seeing any wildlife there.. 🙂
So just one or two lenses are sufficient. No backpack needed either I can just take my ‘small’ camera bag.

But even than I endlessly hesitate… That’s just me… Always afraid to miss the golden opportunity!
So how do you do it? Do you bring as little as possible, always end up missing that one vital piece or maybe you don’t care at all. Or what is your golden rule when it comes to travel and gear?

Travel photography and what to bring | papertravels.com

Over de auteur

Simone van den Berg

Simone van den Berg

Al van jongs af aan was ik geinteresseerd in reizen maar mijn moeder werd al wagenziek als er een auto langs kwam rijden dus erg ver zijn we nooit gegaan. In 1997 gingen Tom en ik voor het eerst op een verre reis naar Mexico en sinds die tijd zijn we hooked.. Al jaren houd ik dat allemaal bij in notitie boekjes... Vandaar Paper Travels


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  • My motto: take as little as posible But alwasy a big cam (Eos40D) and a small one. But not being a photograper: just 1 lens (18-200mm) and of course my sturdy Crumpler bag. Love crumpler 🙂
    And this combo got me some good Orangutan shots! (the big lens would’ve got me better ones, but is too heavy)

    • I agree on the as little as possible… 🙂 However my definition is slightly different I guess. And I thought about getting the one lens but it just would be silly to have a camera like the 5D and than not use the best lenses I have.. Sigh… And I love crumpler as well but last time I checked they didn’t have any models left… So still on my Lowepro. And Kelly Moore ofcourse

  • Vreselijk herkenbaar! Ik reis over het algemeen met 2 lenzen en mijn telefoon. Doordat je dieren gaat spotten zou ik toch het monster meenemen en de 24-70 voor de rest van de reis. De 50 vind ik vaak toch te beperkt tijdens reizen.

Welkom bij Paper Travels

Hoi! Mijn naam is Simone. Reisverslaafd, fotografie-nerd en foodie.
Op Paper Travels vind je reisverhalen, reistips, fotografietips en de lekkerste restaurantjes en beste hotels.
Lekker eten loopt altijd als een rode draad door onze reizen, want tenslotte maakt dat een reis nog net even specialer.

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