Serious photographers: which gear to bring?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by longslowdistance, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Did many allnighters in the darkroom in my youth. No regrets, and miss some of it - watching the print in the developer tray, dodging and burning - but I prefer things now.

    Maybe this is the camera to bring:
    Sony's newest all in one weather sealed superzoom, rx10 iii.
    https://www.dpreview.com/search/?query=rx10&product=sony_dscrx10iii
    It's a 2+ lb brick with a horrible interface, and expensive, but the reviews all say the pics are good, versatility is excellent with very wide zoom range and quality lens, and it's weather sealed. Perfect for the tank bag.

    Regarding tripod hassle, I'm working on a slick setup: Wolfman double end opening dry bag strapped to the top of a pannier. This would stow the tripod in a weatherproof container, requiring only seconds to take out or re-stow. But I appreciate the advice to just leave it a home for this trip. I'll try it on my annual BRP and Smokies run in May and see how it works out.
    #21
  2. pixguy

    pixguy Adventurer

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    Having hauled a DSLR and several lenses, I'm planning to find something smaller and lighter for the next trip. Probably something in the Sony 6000 series. Good quality prime lenses and the opportunity to carry a lighter tripod. Doing fine art photography for sale? Impractical, I think, on a motorcycle trip; a lot of time has to be spent waiting for the right conditions. I have a friend who rides about 20,000 miles a year but also has a fine art photography business (Does several art shows a year). He uses an 8x10 view camera and travels with a Jeep then, not a motorcycle. Never mixes the two. Last year, he drove out to Death Valley from Michigan with his view camera and 9 film holders (18 shots). Came back, developed the film, and had 2 usable negatives. The bellows on his camera had a pin hole light leak. Crap happens.

    "Did many allnighters in the darkroom in my youth. No regrets, and miss some of it - watching the print in the developer tray, dodging and burning"

    Gosh, do I remember those days! Learning to develop and print was learning a craft and an art form at the same time.
    #22
  3. guideboat1

    guideboat1 Adventurer

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    For my money in that price range I would go with the SONY AR7 with the 28-70. and get an extra lens or tele-extender.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1008113&gclid=Cj0KEQjw76jGBRDm1K-X_LnrmuEBEiQA8RXYZ16WysPS9BOhcRmlErUI82eRrAKl2UxlG078zUqVARcaAsiN8P8HAQ&is=REG&ap=y&m=Y&c3api=1876,52934714882,&Q=&A=details

    My experience is the bridge camera super zoom compacts like the rx10 suck past 150mm at best and the super zoom is acheived digitally. I'd say every person I know who has tried that bridge camera route to short circuit having several lenses is not satisfied with the results. Also, don't get sucked into the MP, instead get the biggest size sensor with the best ISO, or low noise and luminance capability for the buck.

    I still say that you should potentially look into the Canon g3x for half the price, or the G5x. Yes Nikon and Panasonic have similar cameras, but I admit I am a Canon addict.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1120052-REG/canon_0106c001_powershot_g3_x_digital.html

    I have an old G12 that is bullet proof, takes decent photos and never fails. I have recommended that camera to a lot of people and I do not need to be placed into the witness protection program for misleading them. That is why I like the G series when not able, or willing, to use the expensive stuff. As one writer stated the 1D series is bullet proof, but you need to sacrifice gear to carry that heavy cement block around.

    As for tripods, I still would go for a RRS clamp and ball head over a tripod on that trip. You will find it is every bit as stable as the typical tripod and likely more stable than most inexpensive tripods. I forgo my RRS series 4 in favor of the clamp lots of times when weight and expediency is a consideration.

    Bottom line is biggest, toughest sensor and camera body for the buck that is willing to resist moisture and dust. Bridge cameras like the Sony, Canon etc that you noted are more often a big disappointment to someone that is discerning as you likely are. As for super zoom, let the bike or your legs be the zoom.

    Again, KISS. Trying to figure out all the best scenarios will lead to heavy drinking and worse.
    #23
  4. HarveyMushman

    HarveyMushman Long timer

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    For most rides my iPhone serves pretty damn well. I see no reason to buy or carry a P&S camera.

    [​IMG]

    I tend to separate my "serious" photography and motorcycling--focusing on one detracts from the other. But if you want or need to carry DSLR gear just be sure you protect it from vibration.
    #24
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  5. munchmeister

    munchmeister Grow'd Up Mini Trail

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    I have taken both and set up a top box on my 2002 R1150GS with a gel/crate foam bottom, LowePro camera bag and taken all the gear. That is when I've toured alone. I did some professional portrait photography in my younger years and have burned my way through many cameras. I take a camera with me everywhere, especially touring on a motorcycle. My kids are instructed to put on an endless slide show if I am ever locked away in a nursing home, propped up in a wheelchair, so I can enjoy the life I had once.

    One year ago, I took a trip to Ecuador with the Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental folks for their Andes, Amazon and Pacific tour (cannot recommend them highly enough, by the way) http://www.freedombikerental.com/. As the name of the tour suggests, we were in cloud forests as well as Amazonia and wet weather, at some point, was a given. So were stops at the many amazing waterfalls and swimming holes that are all over Ecuador. Truly a magnificent country. So I bought what is now my favorite camera, a Nikon Coolpix AW130, a waterproof point and shoot that is easily slipped into a jacket pocket. It was ready anytime we took a stop. But what I really like about it is the feature set. It has a very clever movie mode which takes 6, 5 second video clips and automatically makes them into a movie. Perfect for sending to friends and family, perfect for social media. It also had a great panoramic function which worked extremely well (and I have Nodal Ninja equipment for my big Nikons to take panos at MUCH greater effort). Loved the ability to sweep through the magnificent scenery and grab a panoramic. In addition, it has a time lapse feature, which was fun to use in "city" mode for those times when we were at a restaurant stop, etc. Even has a sunset timelapse mode and one for night photography which makes cool star trails. The internal software automatically makes the movie out of the stills. Great sunset mode and full movie mode, not to mention GPS based location feature. In other words a perfect camera for a trip to an unforgettable place. I love the thing.

    And, because it is waterproof, I never worried about taking shots in the rain, drizzle or cloud forests. Or on a boat down the Napo River which feeds into the Amazon. You could take it underwater. A clamp would be a good addition, too, as noted by others, but I get by without the high priced RRS gear. Nice, but Manfrotto and many of the Chinese vendors make clamps that will clamp on to handle bars, etc. and you won't worry about losing it. I also have a Joby Gorillapod which would be in my kit for a tour, rather than a bigger tripod. Use your moto as your tripod.

    Like I said, it has become my favorite camera, mostly because of the various useful and enjoyable modes. Plenty of pixels for prints as well. 4608 x 3456 in size. I'm tempted to buy a couple more just in case. I will be going back there soon, and often, and it will be the only camera I take.

    Just my two cents. Pics are here. https://f-rider.smugmug.com/Ecuador-2016 . Some with the bigger Nikon, most with the Coolpix AW130 but you'd have to click the info button to find out which are which.

    Just my two cents. Enjoy your trip!
    #25
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  6. BCTom

    BCTom n00b

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    I agree. Have ff stuff for work, couldn't pay me to haul that around, even on a once in a lifetime trip; when i travel i bring an x100 in a tank bag, that's all. Need wider? stitch a few into a panorama. Need tighter? Crop.

    OP: I'd bring the smallest, lightest option. Preferably one that is not so expensive as to need its own case
    #26
  7. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Munchmeister, I'm bringing a canon waterproof pocket camera.
    Still want something more, e.g. for wildlife.
    #27
  8. LordShaft

    LordShaft Been here awhile

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    I take my Fujifilm X-T1 on every trip... it is small enough and takes great pictures. A big DSLR just take to much space compared to the quality
    #28
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  9. munchmeister

    munchmeister Grow'd Up Mini Trail

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    That Sony super zoom you mentioned would be a good choice for wildlife. For travel, especially motorcycle travel, my addition to the kit would be the Nikon Coolpix P900 which sports a powerful 83x optical zoom (24-2000mm equivalent) and NIKKOR ED glass lens. It'd be great in Ecuador where there are a ton of birds and some very cool lodge properties which have observation decks for bird watchers.

    I've tried some of the Sonys, didn't like them, so I stick with Nikon. This P900 superzoom also has an articulating LCD view screen which I love using on my other camera, a Nikon D5500. The price on the Coolpix P900 is pretty decent at around $550. YMMV.
    #29
  10. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    I've grown rather minimalist over the years, especially when it comes to gear I'm traveling with, so my advice would be to bring the 5D and one good lens that you like a lot. I recommend sticking with the full-frame, because it does make a difference.

    On my motorcycle trips I bring a Canon 6D with a 50mm f1.4. There have been very, very few occasions when I've wished I had a different lens. The only one I'd consider bringing instead is a 35 f1.4 (but I haven't gotten around to buying one). The 6D with 50mm lens fits without issue into my tankbag, so it's easy to travel with, and it results in excellent photos.

    For what it's worth, I do also bring a second camera, a Panasonic GF-1 with 20mm f1.7 pancake lens that I generally keep on a lanyard around my neck for photos while riding. (Yes, I'm a big fan of fast prime lenses, because I do quite a lot of shooting in low light.)

    Ultimately, as others have pointed out, it really comes down to what you want to get out of your trip. If your primary intention is photography, then obviously you won't want quite such a minimal setup. But if the point is to ride a motorcycle and get some great photos along the way, then give the minimal setup a try. I actually found it really liberating to switch to just a 50mm prime.

    --mark

    PS: Unfortunately the server hosting all the photos in my ride reports is down at the moment, so don't bother clicking on the ride reports link below just now.
    #30
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  11. 2old2care

    2old2care Been here awhile

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    Been there, done that!
    You aren't on a photos to sell tour, so go with the lighter & easiest camera that you have.
    I have the Fuji Finepix S6830(?..l think?) as well as the heavy Canon EOS with all the lenses n stuff, & if anyone wants to make me an offer
    for the Canon, l'm willing to consider it!
    The Fuji has a 36x zoom, as well as other functions like fisheye, toy, macro, b&w, & one l particulary like that produces a certain colour of your choice & makes the rest of the photo b&w.......Why bother taking your expensive stuff, you aren't doing it professionally!
    The Red Jacket.jpg
    #31
  12. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    As a Getty Image photographer who has created images in almost 50 Countries, my advice is less is more. If you are a competent photographer, which you say you are, take a I-phone. I use it more than my Digital Nikon and create stunning images. It is not the camera but the eye behind it. My 2 cents worth.
    #32
  13. deepcdiver

    deepcdiver Nobody Special

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    I ditched my Nikon DSLR and converted to Fujifilm, same size sensor, as good or often better glass, smaller and less weight. No looking back!
    #33
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  14. Vato Jinete

    Vato Jinete Feo del Norte

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    I couldn't agree more. So a few thoughts

    - The best camera is the one with you
    - You have a zoom they are called your feet
    - Composition is everything
    - Henri Cartier Bresson said - There are only two things to know about photography. Where to stand and when to push the button.
    - Ansel Adams said - There are a lot of sharp images of fuzzy ideas out there.

    My iPhone is technically better than a lot of the cameras I used professionally. Eugene Atget could only take 10 shots a day because the glass plates were so heavy.
    Well composed ideas are the answer. What you shoot with is secondary.
    Take something that is easy to carry on use. Then you will carry it and use it.
    #34
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  15. abhi

    abhi XC on RE

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    Beautifully said.
    #35
  16. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    The zoom thing---use your feet???
    Doesn't work for wildlife or birds 60' up in a tree.
    Or when there's a river or canyon or wall or whatever in between.
    Or sports photography.

    Does it???
    #36
  17. abhi

    abhi XC on RE

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    The OP wants a camera for Moto Tour. I do not think it is for any specialised forms like wildlife or sports. Landscapes and general snapshots of the ride should be doable.
    #37
  18. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    For me, a moto tour includes all types of photography.
    A lighthouse across a harbor, a moose along a stream, people across the street. All places where a zoom is much quicker and more practical than walking closer....and much less intrusive.
    Also, zooms...as well as wide angles...change the perspective without ever changing location.
    Granted, our phones are very good for some things. But I'll always have more than my phone along when I moto tour.
    #38
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  19. abhi

    abhi XC on RE

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    You and me, both.
    But, I am not sure the OP wants to carry too much equipment though based on the query.
    #39
  20. Vato Jinete

    Vato Jinete Feo del Norte

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    Ansel Adams didn't have a zoom. And we are talking about travel photography.
    My point is (as said before) keep it simple and depend on your skill as a photographer. Traveling one can't carry equipment for all
    contingencies. So, carrying only a zoom could be the simplest solution. Zooms are also limited so your feet could be an asset.

    One's creativeness will make up for some piece of equipment you may have with you.

    Think roadside repair and gorilla tape, or zip ties. You get home and you can get the shot. Once again composition and when you push the button
    will make the shot.
    #40