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Ultimate travel setup?

Travel Forums Travel Photography Ultimate travel setup?

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11. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 11y

My 28-135 Sigma lens has finally given up the ghost and alas is no more.

I'd just about made up my mind to go for the new Canon 24-105F4L IS lens - it seemed to have everything you could want in a travel set-up (pro spec, decent zoom range, IS, dust/water proofed seals, not too heavy).

Canon launched it last month and promptly called back all the lenses because of a fault. Now I'm stuck with no lens and a trip looming at Christmas.

I can't get any info from Canon as to when they're likely to re-appear. So if any of you out there knows anything....

:(

12. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

That's definitely my dream travel set-up. I've held off on getting a digital SLR to use when traveling. One major drawback for me is I don't own a laptop, but the D-200 looks like the perfect camera for a very reasonable price, around US$1699. And the (18-200) would basically equal a 27-300 and since its a VR lens I probably wouldn't need a giant (2.8) lens. I've never personally used a VR lens but they say it's equal to 4 additional shutter stops. I currently use a Nikon F-100 with either my 24-135 (3.5-5.6) or my 70-210 (2.8). The only thing I couldn't do with the (18-200)(VR) is blow out the backround (at 2.8) when I want. BUT to be able to walk around with one lens instead of a camera bag over my should would be a dream! For work I do use a Canon Eos-20D (8.2/MB) digital but I really don't like it that much. It gets great reviews but I still prefer Nikon and most of my lens are Nikon (although I do have a 24-70 (2.8) & 70-200 (2.8) to go with the Canon). I got the Canon set-up for free but would really like to have the Nikon D-200 with the (18-200)(VR) and a laptop. Guess I'm looking at $1700 (D-200) + $750 (lens) + $750 (Laptop) = a little over $3000 for a dream set-up.

When do you guys think this camera and lens will actually be available to order and have right away???

13. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

VR lenses don't help you capture fast motion. The 3-4 stops refers to the shaking of your hands only. For motion you still need a 2.8. I have problems with motion blur shooting dancers on my 24-120mm VR. But I got near perfect shots hand held shooting a stationary moose in near darkness while braced against an idling car (at around 1/5, 4.0, 100mm).

14. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

When do you guys think this camera and lens will actually be available to order and have right away???

They claim general availability for the lens by the end of December, but I wouldn't count on actually being able to get one before the end of January. Don't know about the camera, but I'd say similar dates. Though it's always a bit of us a toss-up, and with the christmas season coming on, they might try to have a decent supply ready.

15. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting Q_Zhang

VR lenses don't help you capture fast motion. The 3-4 stops refers to the shaking of your hands only. For motion you still need a 2.8. I have problems with motion blur shooting dancers on my 24-120mm VR. But I got near perfect shots hand held shooting a stationary moose in near darkness while braced against an idling car (at around 1/5, 4.0, 100mm).

I shoot a lot of sports for my job so that's why I need (2.8) fast lens for work. But when I travel I really don't shoot many fast moving subjects. It's usually activity early in the mornings, late at night, and sometimes indoors. So if the VR function works as advertised that would definitely be worth the extra money. So sounds like you would say it does??? That's good to hear. That's would be great to able to keep taking pics as it's getting dark. I've also had my eye on the Nikon (70-200)(2.8)(VR) if I decide to replace my current (2.8) zoom.

I also have the Sigma (50-500)(4.0-6.3). If I put that on a digital body that would be a (75-750)(4.0-6.3). I could take some good wildlife pics with that. Too bad my Sigma is a Nikon and my digital body is a Canon.

I've waited this long to personally buy a digital because I didn't think previous generations were good enough, except for the 2DX but that's $5000. I do think the positives of 1 good lens (27-300 equivalant) for travel would be great and it may not be worth lugging around a whole camera bag with heavy lens. I already have 10 (1/G) CF cards, so all I need is the D-200 (with the verticle grip of course).

16. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

So if the VR function works as advertised that would definitely be worth the extra money. So sounds like you would say it does??? That's good to hear. That's would be great to able to keep taking pics as it's getting dark. I've also had my eye on the Nikon (70-200)(2.8)(VR) if I decide to replace my current (2.8) zoom.

Great post! Many points to discuss here. VR is really good for travel and street photography. Not only does it replace the weight of a tripod, more importantly it also saves the time it takes to set the tripod up. But the limitation is the cost and motion issue. I didn't realize the Nikon 70-200 was VR. I'm looking at the 80-400mm VR, or I think there's a 400mm Sigma zoom that's really fast. My passion rightnow is photographing dancers during performances. And I hate using flash during shoots. Not only does it distract the dancers, it's almost always direct flash due to the size of the room you're working with, which gives you these god aweful colours. So I'm looking for something in the 300 to 400mm range with f4 or 3.5 at those lengths.

Quoting Travel100

I also have the Sigma (50-500)(4.0-6.3). If I put that on a digital body that would be a (75-750)(4.0-6.3). I could take some good wildlife pics with that. Too bad my Sigma is a Nikon and my digital body is a Canon.

I've waited this long to personally buy a digital because I didn't think previous generations were good enough, except for the 2DX but that's $5000. I do think the positives of 1 good lens (27-300 equivalant) for travel would be great and it may not be worth lugging around a whole camera bag with heavy lens. I already have 10 (1/G) CF cards, so all I need is the D-200 (with the verticle grip of course).

Having read some more about the D200, I do like the new dust covers and the mag body. I fell on my a## in the rainforest with my D70 in my backpack which lead to some moments of shear panic. The new body is too rich for me, and I wish they'd just gone with a full 12megapixels.
Consider the 75-300mm Canon with IS if you have a Canon body. I've heard all kinds of wonderful things about it. At 112mm you get a perfect portrait lens with the widest possible aperature, and with IS you can handhold for some amazing candid portraits. At 450mm you'll get some decent wildlife shots. Then carry around a fisheye prime for landscapes. Granted it's two lenses versus one, but my experience is that you need more than 300mm for animals, and wider than 28mm for landscapes. With the two lens Canon combo I'm suggesting, you cover it all.

D2X for travel !?! Wow! I'd agree with you, the D200 or D70s is much better suited for travel I think. But then again some people lug a Hassey around.

What's the interest in the vertical grip ? I carry around 2 rechargeable batteries which will last me for the day.

How do you like your Sigma 500mm ? There's a 400mm that's faster, I think, why did you choose this one instead of the 400mm?

17. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting Q_Zhang

What's the interest in the vertical grip ? I carry around 2 rechargeable batteries which will last me for the day.

How do you like your Sigma 500mm ? There's a 400mm that's faster, I think, why did you choose this one instead of the 400mm?

I like the way a camera feels better with a vertical grip attached. It's much easier for me to hold and handle and basically more comfortable to use. I don't care that much about using the verticle shutter release, although it helps taking vertical pictures and keeping the camera steady and level. Also don't care that much about using 2 batteries at once, although it's an added benefit.

I really like my (50-500). [u]It takes extremely sharp, clear pictures. It's also pretty cool to be able to shoot a subject at 500mm for the close up then in an instant be able to shoot at 50mm and capture the entire seen. It provides a lot of flexablitity without having to change lens or use 2 camera bodies. I bought it last year before my trip to Southern Africa. I had it narrowed down to the Nikon (80-400)(VR) & the Sigma (50-500). I went with the Sigma because I knew I could use it also to shoot sports with it after the trip (since the VR wouldn't help with that) and basically decided to go for the extra 100mm. There's definitely a difference between 400 and 500, especially since I was using a F-100 I wouldn't get the 1.5X lens factor. It worked out great but the VR would have definitely been nice because ofetn I was taking pics very early or very late and shooting at 500mm with slow shutter speeds like 1/100 and trying to keep the lens steady while other people in the vechicle would be moving. The challenge was not freezing the subjects movement but minimizing the cameras movement.

At this point if I have the money I think I'd like the D-200 because of the lens mag. (1.5X) my 24 is no longer wide enough so I need a lens that starts at 15 or 18mm. So since I need a wide angle anyway, the (18-200)(VR) seems like it would give me the added, needed wide angle and also the benefit of the VR and at the same time be a 1 lens and head out the door set-up. Like I mentioned I'd also like the (70-200)(2.8)(VR) but hard to justify spending an additional $1500 to cover the same focal length. However, the 2.8 would make the lens useful indoors and at night when shooting action (more for work than travel). But if I owned it, it would be hard not to take it on a trip.

I forget if I read that you own a Nikon Digital SLR (D-70)? If you do, how do you like it? How is the quality of the pictures? Anything in particular you like or don't like about it? Like I mentioned I don't really like the Canon D20 that much, although in ideal conditions it takes good pics. But I don't like the layout of the buttons, the fact that everything is backwards form the Nikon that I'm more used to, and I think the flash system on the Canon is not not as good as Nikon's. I really do love being able to constantly switch the ISO with the digital instead of having to switch film in order to do so. Also love not having to have pockets full of film.

18. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

A couple other nice things about the Sigma (50-500). It focuses quickly, quietly, and accurately. You can also focus manually anytime you want, even if it's set to AF, a useful feature if you need to quickly adjust the focus. I just used it last week up in Churchill to take pictures of Polar Bears. Again VR would have been nice because my biggest challenge when keeping the camera still with other people moving around in the vechicle. I used it a couple times with my (1.4X)TC with equaled a (140-700)(9.0)(with a TC the lens only goes down to 100mm). That enabled me to get some good shoots of a Mother and her cubs at 700mm. And finally it has a nice, large tripod collar (with contors for the fingers) that makes for a nice handle to carry the lens & camera.

If I didn't think the VR would be worthwhile I could buy a Tamron (18-200)(3.5-5.6) instead of the Nikon. It's only US$399. I've always liked Tamron lens, but it seems as though for traveling and walking around with one lens it MAY be worth the extra money to get the VR lens?

19. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

I had it narrowed down to the Nikon (80-400)(VR) & the Sigma (50-500). I went with the Sigma because I knew I could use it also to shoot sports with it after the trip (since the VR wouldn't help with that) and basically decided to go for the extra 100mm.

I'm looking at the same two. The 500mm is $400 to $500 less than the 400mm VR in Canada. The speed seems about the same. I have the 24-120mm VR, so the 80-400mm seems like the better choice. You ever play with both side by side ?

Quoting Travel100

I forget if I read that you own a Nikon Digital SLR (D-70)? If you do, how do you like it? How is the quality of the pictures? Anything in particular you like or don't like about it? Like I

I have a D70, 24-120mm VR, 70-300ED. Overall, a really good setup and feels good in my hand. It's an F80 body but is slightly bulkier and heavier if I remember what a F80 feels like correctly. The VR lens stays on the body all the time. I keep 2 batteries fully charged and 2 CF cards empty and ready to go anytime. I like the D70's low light performance at 1600ISO, great big, fast buffer. Things I don't like, no 50 or 100ISO setting, the auto/manual focusing mode switch is a flimsy little piece of plastic, the viewfinder is a bit small, I hate having to go into a menu to change the focusing mode, and the focusing has problems in low light when I work with dim modelling lights. It's getting dated, but I'm not going to waste my money until they come out with much higher resolution cameras. That's the stuff specific to the D70, but in all other sense, it's a current generation DSLR.

VR is definitely designed for travel. Can't really think of where else I'd use it. The extra f-stops are gold compared to what you have to do to get it without VR. My 2 batteries last me for an entire day, but I know it does use more power. Small price to pay for all the benefits.

Since you've been up to Churchill, what preparations did you have to make to your gear ready for the cold weather?

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