Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gears for Traveling

Hong Kong © dzignous

We have the tendency to pack every photography gears into our luggage and end up leaving 80% in the hotel room when traveling overseas. As we normally take our camera bag on flight as hand luggage, it is advisable to bring just the bare essentials that you know you'll use instead of a bulky bag which will have to check in as cargo luggage. (You wouldn't want your expensive gears being tossed around, right?)

Here are some suggestions which you may find useful on your next trip:

1) Lenses
Basic travel kit should comprise of a camera body and just two zooms will do. A more popular choice will be the all-purpose 18-200mm lenses (choose one with vibration reduction as normally the max aperture at tele is f/5.6-6.3). An ideal focal length which covers from wide-angle (landscapes) to close up (portraits).

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR
2) Blower
Camera and lenses are prone to dust, a blower is useful for zapping dust off lens and sensors. Intergrated dust-reduction cameras from Nikon/Canon/Pentax/Sony (Olympus SSWF works best) helps eliminate post dust-removal processing by a fraction.

Olympus E5

3) Shoulder Straps
Change to a neoprene padded straps that helps to reduce shoulder/neck strain. OP/TECH is one very good choice.


 4) Lens Hood
Minimize flare where it can affect picture sharpness and a great protection for your lens.

Nikon HB-19 © dzignous

 5) Flexible Tripod
Night scenes are mesmerizing but lugging a heavy tripod weighs you down, carbon fiber tripod defeats the purpose (light, not stable and damn ex too!). A flexible tripod like JOBY GorillaPods is strong enough to hold a DSLR+zoom lens and you can attached it to almost everywhere (railings, poles etc.)

GorillaPod SLR

6) Spares
Always pack at least two spare batteries and few more hi-capacity memory cards. Keep them warm as battery power from Ni-cad, Nickel Metal-Hydride and Lithium batteries will drops dramatically esp in cold countries. Prepare a compact point-and-shoot camera in case your main body fails. Also you could get a vertical grip with AA's batteries compartment.

7) Adapter
A multiple/universal travel adapter is useful for all your different chargers.

Last but not least, its about enjoying the scene and not feeling frustrated with all the heavy gears. However you will definitely appreciate the better pic quality of a DSLR than mobile phones or even compact cams.

Kuala Lumpur © dzignous

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