Serious photographers: which gear to bring?

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

  1. Plawa

    Plawa dןǝɥ puǝs

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    Yea and that's all well and good but it also sounds a little smug... "I take stunning images with an iPhone" sounds a bit like a humble brag. Don't get me wrong, I'm sometimes amazed by the photos that I get with my phone and the form factor is definitely a major plus, i agree with everything that has been said about composition etc however a find the "zoom with your feet" argument a bit .. lacking. You could just as well walk instead of riding, your feet are meant to take you places so why ride a bike?

    Most of us who are even considering what camera to bring will take a better photo with a phone than your average guy would with your DSLR but it doesn't mean that I'm going to settle for that. If I want photos from my trip that stand out I'll bring proper gear. If I'm bouncing around on a dirtbike then the goal of the ride is different and the phone will do just fine...
    #41
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  2. Tiger993

    Tiger993 Been here awhile

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    As far as what gear to bring, it really depends on what style of photography you are into or want to enjoy during your trip. If I were just documenting my trip, I would use the iPhone and a Panasonic Lumix LX-5 which is always in my tank or tail bag. Those two work exceptionally well for daylight photo documentation.

    But I'm not into just documenting my trip. I will often research and incorporate a hike and photo op into my moto trip. I been known to ride a 300 mile day with a 3 mile round trip mountain hike at the end of it for a sunset photo from the summit. The majority of my landscapes will be during the blue hour and I gear up for long exposure, low light photography. The following is my gear list on just about every long moto tour that I take:
    • Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L backpack (used for carrying photo gear on hikes and for on-bike storage)
    • Canon 5DM2
    • 70-200 f/4 IS
    • 17mm TS-E
    • Lee filter holder and three filters
    • Misc. items: Rocket Blower, Lens Pen, 3 batteries, a couple of CF cards
    • Carbon fiber traveler style tripod with ballhead
    This setup is about 14lbs of gear, so not for the faint of heart, and certainly not appropriate/desirable for most motorcyclists and photogs. But in my case, I would not tour any other way and whether I come home with one photo or a half dozen wall hangers, I enjoy having my gear with me.
    #42
  3. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    I'm heading to Alaska in about 10 weeks. Last year, I made the trip with a Nikon Df with four lenses. Mostly, though, I used an 18mm-200mm lens. I also packed a speed-light, appropriate filters and a tripod. I think I used the tripod five or six times on the seven week trip and used the flash once. This time, I'm taking a little rangefinder I acquired in January with 28mm, 50mm and 90mm lenses. Size and weight-wise, the kit weighs a little more than half of last year's equipment. I'll probably lug the tripod, again, or get a bean bag and use the GSA as my "tripod."

    Mike
    #43
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  4. Speedaddictedberk

    Speedaddictedberk Adventurer

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    I carry my Canon 5d mk3 and 24-105 with filters pretty much everywhere, for bike trip s I've stopped taking the tripod as in two weeks around Norway and the best part of 4k miles I used it once for a selfie!
    I know I could get lighter gear and smaller cameras etc but I'd miss the control that the SLR gives me. I only shoot on manual so point and shoot cameras infuriate.

    No matter what else I need to carry I'll make allowances to fit the camera gear in.

    If I'm traveling by car somewhere interesting I take more lenses, usually the 24mm tiltshift and 150-600 if there is a possibility of interesting wildlife.
    #44
  5. Otherworld

    Otherworld Been here awhile

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    By no means a pro, or aspire to publish photogs, nevertheless need to figure out the answer to this question myself. Reading this thread, and from my own sense, its all a matter of preference. There is no right answer, only what you want in your hands to capture a given moment. I love sleeping in my bed, but willing to sleep on a Thermarest for the summer so I can do some incredible riding.

    Doesnt sound smug. Sounds like a marketing campaign. A pro-oriented friend took the time to do a careful side by side comparison of the then-just-released iPhone7 vs the current Leica rangefinder. Image quality (colour, sharpness) was damn near identical. I'd love to own a Leica.... but I bought a GS instead.

    Ive considered buying the 7 for my upcoming 1/2 year trip (touring Europe, Morocco and who knows where else -Balkans? should I keep going east and try to hit Oz?), even with the 8 just around the corner, for the convenience and quality. Yet when I think about my photography, the pleasure I get working manual focus with a fast lens is a big part of the equation.

    Im leaning towards taking my 5D, a small tripod if there's room to spare (found a nice, sturdy compact one at the local shop), and one lens. I own a 35L, but thinking of selling it for a 17-40. Also considered selling all the Canon gear for one of em fancy mirrorless, but time is running out. I leave in 2 weeks :wings
    #45
  6. abhi

    abhi XC on RE

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    Why not a 24-70mm f2.8 if you're taking the 5D?
    #46
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  7. Boricua

    Boricua Been here awhile

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    Are you riding or are you shooting? I ditch the dslr with three lens and tripod setup when I realized the shooting was getting in the way of riding. Same thing when hiking. Now, a fuji xp for when the weather or terrain calls for it and my moto z play. The fuji xp is everything proof. Its been to 14K' snow covered peaks, 110f red rock deserts, Caribbean coral reefs, tropical rain forests, snow, rain, heat, sand storms. It has fallen on rocks, sand, mud and concrete. It even broke a fall while on a slippery rain forest trail and it still deliver the shots and the occasional short video.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    #47
  8. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    I ride with my Nikon AW 130, and Samsung 7 Edge both are waterproof and take great pictures
    #48
  9. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Thanks for all these responses. Great to learn from experienced rider photographers.
    Dress rehersal tour coming up. Will bring the weather resistant superzoom advanced point and shoot, iphone, waterproof pocket camera, 5D with a few lenses including the 16-35 and 100 macro, a clamp mount, and a super compact rrs tripod and ball head. No full size tripod. Packing all this stuff just to see which gear actually gets used. Vote with my feet so to speak. Should help me sort out what will stay home and what will come for the 4 week tour this summer.
    #49
  10. Nysane

    Nysane n00b

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    I'm a professional photographer and recently did a 6-day motorbiking trek through the mountains of northern Vietnam. I tried to go minimalistic so I only brought my Nikon D4 with a single lens (50mm f1.4) and iPhone 6S Plus (good for taking videos and some photos). I could not have been happier with my choice.

    Here’s why:

    PROS:
    • Simple setup didn’t require extra effort to dig out equipment, change lenses, and haul around extra gear. (I was already exhausted from long rides and hot weather, so I was glad not to place additional pressure on myself to expend a lot of energy taking photos).
    • Fast: Camera setup is always ready to go, no need to change lenses. Not having to change lenses has the added benefit of reducing dust getting on the camera sensor.
    • Having only one lens forced me to be more creative, deliberate, and thoughtful with the photos I captured.
    • Because I only had one lens, the images had a more consistent “look and feel,” in terms of bokeh, focal length, etc.
    • Lighter weight and more compact than if I had carried lots of equipment.

    CONS:
    • Sometimes I potentially could have captured better photos if I had had different lenses available.

    Basically, your choice all boils down to different factors to consider and potential trade-offs:
    • Is capturing good quality photos worth more effort and energy? If yes, consider bringing more and better quality equipment.
    • Are you riding with other people? If yes, will you have time to take lots of photos, or will you be slowing them down?
    • Speed versus quality: If you have extra equipment, it takes longer to change lenses, etc. Sometimes that causes you to miss photos. If you photograph primarily nature, then speed isn’t so critical. If you photograph people/documentary images (like I did in Vietnam), then speed is more critical.

    TIPS:
    • I carried my iPhone in a poly bag in my pocket. This kept extra dust and perspiration off the lens.
    • I always kept my D4 with 50mm lens with a lens hood on it, without the lens cap on, and in an ultralight tote bag (https://www.rei.com/product/809159/rei-co-op-micro-travel-tote). The lens hood helps with glare and protects the lens surface from impact or getting touched or poked. The tote bag helps keep the camera inconspicuous (less threatening to people when you want to take candid photos, and less visible to potential thieves). It also keeps dust and light rain or gunk off the camera.
    • For quick use, keep your camera in a location where it is easy to access (e.g., slung around your body, or in a tank bag)

    Good luck and have fun!
    #50
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  11. Midwesttrekker

    Midwesttrekker Adventurer

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    I want to shoot on rides as well... How did your shakedown trip go with the gear you listed?
    #51
  12. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    I reached mostly for the full frame dslr. I brought two lenses: 16-35 and 100mm macro. I did use the all in one super zoom some and got decent pics. I rotated cameras in the tank bag vs. the top case ( super easy access), and the all in one was a better choice for the tank bag simply due to size. A mid prime like suggested above would have been easier than the zoom or macro to fit in the tank bag, and less weight, too.
    I also have an sl1 with kit lens. Light and takes nice pics, but not weatherproof. Could be a good choice for mostly good weather. And it was cheap so if it gets trashed no big deal (if I have a backup option).
    #52
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  13. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Thanks for this note. My experience is 50 is great for certain things, not so great for others. I always can learn something from a pro.
    #53
  14. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motografist

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    I stepped away from full size sensor professional Nikons and Canons and went with Fuji a couple years ago and have not looked back.

    Tank-bag small, and it's easy to pick one or two lenses to get most anything accomplished you might want to image. I have images output onto canvas that are 25 X 30 that are from the 16 MP sensor and they look exceptional. I have the 16mm, the 35mm and the 27mm pancake lenses.

    ae-1 _plus 35MM WR.jpg

    sm-fuji card image.jpg


    Camera small enough to tuck into the generic padded zipper bag (that is laying on the seat below). Easy to stow in the tailbox or pannier.

    1500 bridge.jpg
    #54
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  15. kaptainkatsu

    kaptainkatsu Adventurer

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    I carry my 1DX Mark II + 16-35 with me everywhere.

    Looking for a tank bag companion though
    #55
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  16. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Thanks for joining the conversation.
    If I may interpret your post, in other words your favorite camera is too big for your tank bag. Correct?

    I, too love the full frame and quality wide zoom combo. I recently swapped my 2.8 L for the new 4.0 IS L. Good lens. I'm shooting more architectural and scenics than low light intimates like weddings where the shallower focus depth of the 2.8 is key. The f4's smaller size, lighter weight and IS are great.
    #56
  17. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    Nice camera!

    Mike
    #57
  18. kaptainkatsu

    kaptainkatsu Adventurer

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    Yes. For quick shots it would be nice to be able to grab a small camera out of my tank bag rather than getting off the bike, opening the rear case and taking a picture. My 16-35 is the f/4 IS L. The 16-35 2.8 L II wasn't sharp enough for my liking, but I may at some point get the version III. But if canon releases a 24-70 2.8 IS, I'd pick that up first.
    #58
  19. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer

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    Typo in my prior post. I'm using the latest 16-35 f4 iii, not the previous model ii as I mis-typed. The iii is a really nice lens for scenics. And the IS helps for grabbing quick shots. I sold my 2.8 ii and am happy with the swap.
    #59
  20. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    This is a bit off topic but maybe you guys can advise. I'm leaving North Carolina on Sunday with Alaska in my sights. The trip should take about 7 weeks. I'm on a '14 GSA with Jesse panniers and top box and they have remained dry in the worst "frog chokers." I'm carrying my camera in the top box and it's properly padded and in a camera bag. I bought a bunch of those little silica pouches and will keep two or more in the camera bag all the time. How often should I change them out? I don't think my camera or the lenses have a lot of weather protection, if any.

    Mike
    #60