Your experiences with traveling light?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Archiver, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    634
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    At the end of the year, I'm going to Hong Kong for a week. In the past, I've taken everything from a single digital compact, to a midsize DSLR and compact, to Leica M9 and Olympus E-M5 with assorted lenses. While my go-to travel kit is usually the M9 and another camera or two, my most enjoyable times have been when I've kept gear as simple as possible to minimize thinking about lens changes and camera swapping. And while I love the heft of a rangefinder in my hand, I'm a bit over carrying it around all the time.

    So now, I'm thinking about taking just the Ricoh GR + 21mm adapter and the Panasonic GM1 with 25/1.8 and 45/1.8. This combination handles everything from wide angle snapshots and landscapes to low light portraits with very presentable image quality and very small footprint. Focal lengths are 21, 28, 50 and 90. The GR can be in my hand and the GM1 hang unobtrusively around my neck. It's still a few months away and I might change my mind, but this is a very appealing package.

    For those who have a lot of gear, have you ever decided to travel light and minimize your gear? What did you take? And what were your experiences?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 19, 2015
    As a guide, I took a GR and X-T1 with 35mm F2 and adapted Nokton 58mm F1.4 lenses on a recent Euro trip. The tiny GR got most day to day use of course. The gear taken was more than enough in covering all focal length bases, in fact I could have left the 35mm lens at home. All that FF gear stayed at home, I would have definitely have got a bad back. Not surprisingly, the most striking images were from the MF glass.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  3. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Travelling light is liberating. I look at it this way - what is preferable - carrying another lens "just in case" or walking another mile to see what you can see? As I get older that's the key equation.

    I have two setups for travel these days:

    1. Fuji X-Pro2 with 14, 23 f2.0, 35 f2.0 50 f2.0, 18-55 and Ricoh GR

    Or

    2. Fuji X100F with WCL and TCL.

    Set 1 is obviously more comprehensive. It gives a lot of options. If I know I'm going to need more length, speed or macro then I will swop in the 50-230, 35 1.4 or 56 1.2, or Zeiss Touit 50. Critically, I won't carry everything when I go out for the day; I'll think ahead and only carry what I think I will use. The GR lives in a belt pouch and is my only accompaniment when out for dinner in the evening.

    Set 2 is more limited, but more likely to be carried all the time when travelling.

    The break point when choosing between the two?

    I took Set 1 to Sicily for a fortnight and Set 2 to Naples for a long weekend. That was a good choice. I actually took more photos in Naples, but that is down to other factors than kit choice.

    The key point is both sets are capable...

    Set 1, Sicily
    Sicily Cefalu July 2017 XPro2 Street 2 Butcher crop.
    Set 2, Naples
    Naples April 2017 X100 Soldier 1.

    ...the biggest constraint is the photographer ;)
     
    • Like Like x 5
  4. Chris2500dk

    Chris2500dk SC Top Veteran

    643
    Dec 22, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    My travel setup these days is my Ricoh GR and my Sigma DP2M, I don't miss carrying around more stuff or switching lenses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. jssaraiva

    jssaraiva SC Veteran Subscribing Member

    276
    Dec 31, 2014
    Porto, Portugal
    José
    I currently have two main setups for travel, thinking only about digital:

    1) Pen E-PL7 with 17/1.8 and 45/1.8 plus DP2 Merrill.
    I use this when I need some speed (e.g. kids) and 35mm + 90mm equiv covers about everything need. I have the PEN on a neck strap and just draw the DP2M from the bag when I see something special.

    2) DP1 Merrill + DP3 Merrill.
    I take this with me regularly on business travel or even when I just need to go to the supermarket on weekends... Small, great images, 28mm + 75mm FL, yet a bit on the heavy and of course very slow on use.

    This is similar to my first setup, but I would have one on a easy to access bag. You might give a thought about the Oly 9-18mm for the GM1, great FL for cityscapes.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    836
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I take a little more than most of you, but still a very compact setup in my LowePro Slingshot Edge 150 AW:
    Panasonic GX80, Olympus 14-150mm II, Olympus 25mm, and either the Olympus 12mm or the Samyang 7.5mm, depending on objective; plus the Ricoh GR.
    Two batteries for each camera, charging is done overnight in the camera (so all necessary cables are packed as well). Potent USB charger. Sometimes, power bank (extremely handy, but a bit heavy ...).
    Manfrotto PIXI EVO table-top tripod.
    Backup: WD MyPassport Wireless
    Review: Google Nexus 7 (2013) with Polarr for immediate pp.

    Everything comes in at (considerably) less than 3kg - not featherweight, but light enough for all-day carry. And still, it covers most opportunities well enough.

    And yes, it still has that liberating effect mentioned above. However, the most contemplative experience was travelling exclusively with a Voigtländer Vitessa film camera (fixed lens - 50mm f/3.5 - and no built-in lightmeter). Sunny 16 all the way - and it worked, too.

    M.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
    • Like Like x 2
  7. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 19, 2015
    Just remembered I snapped my travel setup whilst I was away, here it is, nice and small with guaranteed picture quality.

    36997383851_2b913373f8_b. Travel Kit 2017 by Otim, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. NoSeconds

    NoSeconds SC Top Veteran

    543
    Jan 1, 2017
    Troy
    I went light on a 3 week trip to Christmas Island, all I took was the weather/waterproof combo TG-870 and OMD EM1 (with 12-50mm and 40-150mm f/2.8)... :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    836
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    What Voigtländer lens did you put on your X-T1?

    M.
     
  10. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Steve
    The kit I take for a place like Disney is the EM5 II, 12-32, the small 35-100, and a fast primes like the 17 and the 60 macro. It weighs very little, and I only carry parts of it around. The two small Panasonic zooms and the EM5 II are my typical walk around.

    For a city, the X70 recently proved to be an excellent urban shooter in DC.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 19, 2015
    That's the 58mm F1.4 Nikon mount, obviously I use an adapter. You get some magnificent results with that lens, especially with focus peaking.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  12. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    836
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Actually a lens to consider; the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 isn't a whole lot more expensive (both brand-new) ... confusingly, the Voigtländer offers better compatibility with modern DSLRs than Nikon's own AI-S lens ...

    M.
     
  13. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 19, 2015
    Matt, I did consider that but went with the Nokton, you're right it has better compatibility and the focus ring is just wonderful; manual focusing is actually easy(!?). Some people may bracket it with other old/ legacy lenses but it just blows them all out of the water in terms of usage and rendering. Having said that, for my next trip to Africa (no safaris) and Europe I think I'll have the same set up but replace the Nokton with a Nikkor 135mm F2.8, I reckon that may work just as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    635
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I have quite a few kits that I consider "light". It really comes down to a few considerations for me that make the difference in what I take.

    If I need the ability to track a subject with AF - Nikon Df with small f/3.5-4.5 zoom or 35/50/105 primes
    If I need all day battery life or if I will not have ready access to charge batteries - Nikon

    Beyond that I'm looking at my m43 cameras. If I want super small and light I go with a prime set of lenses 17/25/60mm focal lengths
    If I need more versatility from a zoom set and will have good light then I look at m43 camera with P12-32 and O75-300
    If I need the zoom versatility but fast aperture (f/2.8)- then I will use my P12-35 and 35-100 f/2.8 lenses. So light and small for the f/2.8 that you get.

    Now, the gear here is less important than the perceived need and what gear you have available to you. Hope this helps some what.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Nuskyn

    Nuskyn SC Veteran

    421
    Jul 8, 2011
    @Gelderland - the Netherlands
    Jeroen
    my RX100m3 , and some spare batteries, that's all !
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Steve
    That is a light and worthy kit. I'm trying to decide if taking my RX10 can be considered traveling light. :hmmm:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    634
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    The RX10 could be considered traveling light if it's all you carry, and not a multitude of other bits and pieces. I've often thought about a quality bridge camera like the RX10 II or III as a travel option.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    634
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    There were times when I traveled with just one compact because that was all I had. At that time, I didn't have expectations and desires of larger sensor quality because I simply hadn't had those experiences. Years and years and gear and gears later, I've been somewhat spoiled by gear with good image quality, which makes it difficult for me to leave certain cameras at home during mission-critical events. There are times when I look back wistfully at the times when I only had one or two cameras, as there was no need to choose between gear, and there was no fiddling with umpteen lenses or battery types. No wishing for a different camera, no regrets about bringing one and not another. I miss those times.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
  19. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 19, 2015
    I'm happy enough using one fixed focal length around my own locality, but to somewhere I might not go to in a very long time or ever again? Nah, I'm not that good at photography to pull that off to be honest, I know I'll be having too many 'what if' thoughts thereafter and what's the point of that?
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  20. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Top Veteran

    976
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    That closely reclects my own sentiments. Years ago I hiked with just a P&S in my pocket. IQ was adequate but not great. Then I discovered ILC cameras and bigger sensors. Not sure that was a positive development. I have at times considered selling all and getting an X100T or F as my only camera, but I'm not sure I can go backward now.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2