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2 dilemmas-which 2 camera lenses to take & camera insurance?

Travel Forums Travel Photography 2 dilemmas-which 2 camera lenses to take & camera insurance?

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1. Posted by discochic (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Hi everyone!

I have 2 dilemmas!

I'm off backpacking around India, Thailand, Malaysia Indonesia, NZ and Auz for the next 18 months and have some crucial decisions to make around my camera equipment.

1) I have a Canon 550D - which 2 lenses should i take with me backpacking? I want lenses which are good in low light and can cover a decent zoom range. I already have the ultra-wide Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 which I'm sure will be great for landscapes but Im not sure if this is too wide and a bit limiting (considering I'm limiting myself to 2 lenses). Ive also been looking at the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM as my 2nd lens. Would that combo be OK? Its hard to know what I'll need for the next 18 months! What lenses have you taken with you and what advice would you give to me?

2) Camera insurance - I'll be staying in beach huts and other places which I cant guarantee the level of security. I tried talking to Photoguard, but they say that they wont insure for unattended equipment unless its in a locked room/safe where I am the only person with the key. I'm wondering how other backpackers insure their equipment and how they ensure they have the best cover for backpacking environments?

You're advice is most welcome!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 6y

Quoting discochic

1) I have a Canon 550D - which 2 lenses should i take with me backpacking? I want lenses which are good in low light and can cover a decent zoom range. I already have the ultra-wide Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 which I'm sure will be great for landscapes but Im not sure if this is too wide and a bit limiting (considering I'm limiting myself to 2 lenses). Ive also been looking at the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM as my 2nd lens. Would that combo be OK?

I do 12-24 and 18-200 on the Nikon side. The 18-200 isn't the sharpest or fastest lens around (I think that goes for all the versions of it), but I keep finding that its versatility is worth more than anything else when travelling; and then I have the 12-24 as my one "luxury" lens, as landscapes are my main interest.
Of course, if your shooting habits are such that you never go long (and if you have no interest in wildlife), then I imagine that that 17-55 would be really quite appealing.

3. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 6y

Canon have a different mix of focal lengths to Nikon.
I have a 20D and if i take it on walkabouts i usually got for my 18-200mm IS f/3.5-5.6 lens and it works pretty well (worth the extra for the image stabilising as you gain an f.stop) and also run with a 17-55mm IS f2.8 they work well as a combo.
I also do have a 70-200mm L lens but it's quite weighty and bulky hence i usually run around with the 17-55mm on the mount and if needed swap for the 18-200mm (which is a pretty compact lens for it's range).
As for insurance mine comes under my house contents insurance, i asked about travel insurance but it got messy and they actually told me to add it to the house policy which cost me no extra, just had to state what camera/ lenses i had.

Hope it helps
Jase

4. Posted by Mr_Gamgee (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

Hi,

As a photographer, I too am off traveling with equipment like this.

I am just about to press the button on Photoguard but I wanted to call them to confirm how they work for backpackers. Interesting to hear about about what they have said to you. I can't get through to them at the moment.

Beach huts may be tricky, but I gather there are many lockers in hostels, if you're intending on staying in them, just need a lock. And if you'll be the only person with a key then that so sounds alright.

Have you found anything else yet? Or have you gone with Photoguard? I read that they used Photoguard on this site here http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/how-to-budget-for-long-term-travel/

As for your lenses, I think those two lenses as a combo will be fine. You've got low light covered as best you can with the IS f2.8 and the zoom range on the 2.8 looks adequate for pretty much most situations with the exception of telephoto, which is used not so much anyway especially travelling when you're mostly capturing everything rather than picking things out at a distance. Having said that I want to take my 70-200.

The wide angle will be a nice asset to take with you too I think.

Wish I had a 10mm wide to take. I've got a 20D and planning on 3 lenses, a 30mm f1.4, 17-70mm f2.8 - f5.6 and a f2.8 70-200.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Aug-2010, at 10:42 by Mr_Gamgee ]

5. Posted by Eveness (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Thanks for your replies...its always a tricky one trying to choose a limited lens selection to cover a wide variety of needs! Im still asking myself the question of if i really need to get a lens longer than 70mm...?

On the insurance topic...when I spoke to Photoguard, they said that I wouldnt be covered if there was no foreced entry. So in other words, if it goes missing from a locked room or safe with no signs of force (i.e. there is another key in circulation..which most hostels will keep copies of keys) then I would not be covered.

I wonder if anyone else who has backpacked with thier camera gear has some experience with claiming on thier insurance (e.g. which company covers the above situation).

Thanks!

6. Posted by Mr_Gamgee (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

Thanks Moderators for removing my post... you could have just removed the link or whatever was the problem :( or give me the option of editing it out.

discochic, If you don't own a Zoom, I don't think it's worth going and getting one especially for your trip. I think you'll find the 15-55 zoom ok.

If you find yourself wanting the extra zoom you could always invest at a later date, rather than lug it round now.

Some hostels supply lockers but you supply the lock.

Be discrete with your gear too.

Have you put any thought into image backup? That's what you're going to miss the most if things do go wrong. I'm taking 2 bog standard mini external backup drives with me to mirror each other but you could consider downloading at an internet cafe, writing to CD & sending home in the post and/or keeping on a USB drive.

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 6y

Quoting Mr_Gamgee

Thanks Moderators for removing my post... you could have just removed the link or whatever was the problem :( or give me the option of editing it out.

The post hasn't been moderated yet, that's why it's showing the way it does. It's merely flagged by a trusted member for attention by one of the Moderators of this particular subforum, and none has come by yet. (I don't moderate this particular subforum, unfortunately, otherwise I'd open it up again. I looked at it before it was flagged, and concluded that the link was probably fine. We do get an insane amount of truly promotional posts by new members though, which is why people might err on the side of just flagging everything suspicious. Sorry.)

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Aug-2010, at 23:34 by Sander ]

8. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 6y

A bit off topic now, but I just unflagged the post; apologies for the inconvenience, but like Sander says, the amount of first time posters that turn out to be spammers when they start dropping links is surprisingly high

9. Posted by Eveness (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Thanks for the link...i did get it before it was removed so thanks for that. Some useful info was on there too. :)

So i think i'll leave the longer zoom at home then...I cant see myself doing any wildlife stuff and most of my pics are within a reasonable distance. My main concern was getting a decent lens in the mid raneg which can cope with low light so I think im going to be ok.

So insurance...i talked to a couple of insurers and they all say they same about forced entry. If the hostel has a copy of the key to your room/safe then if something goes missing and there is no signs of forced entry then it wont be covered.

But, I did find that Photoguard do theft and damage only whereas Glover&Howe also cover for loss (so in case i leave it somewhere accidentiallY) which I think is a nice bit of extra cover. G&H also require forced entry for theft but I guess I will opt to use my own padlock where possible, and if not then just keep my camera with me.

The only thing now is that I cant seem to find any insurer who will insure me for longer than 12 months (without returning to the UK). I guess most polcies will be like that though.

Thanks for everyones input, if anyone else has anything to add let me know!

Cheers!

Discochic

10. Posted by Mr_Gamgee (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

Thanks for the mention of G&H. I'll give them a go too. I don't intend on leaving my gear anywhere but, we've all done it & hopefully were lucky & learned from it.

Having this conversation, you've got me considering leaving my zoom behind now. It'll take 1.5 - 2kg out of my pack and force me to get closer to the action.

Best of luck with it all!