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  1. #1

    Default Kit for *extended* travel

    Hi everyone, I'd like a bit of advice, especially from people with experience travelling with photography gear.

    Next year I'm undertaking an extended backpacking trip, starting in April and returning around October for next year's guiding season.

    At the moment, the rough plan is to start in Europe, staying with family and friends in Finland, Galicia, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy, for about six weeks. I'll then fly to Shanghai and follow the Yangtze to the Tibetan Plateau. I'll then cross into Nepal for a few long-distance hikes (Kathmandu - Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit being top of the list), before crossing into India and following the Ganges from it's source in the Himalaya down to it's headwaters in Bangladesh. At the moment I've reserved four months for this part of the trip, but I expect that it'll take longer so I'll probably return in 2013.

    Throughout the trip I'll be living out of a rucksack and I plan to be completely self-sustained where possible - so I'll be carrying an ultra-light tent, sleeping bag, cooker and so on... I'm an experienced hiker and I've travelled quite a bit before, but never for this long and never by myself.

    The two key focusses of the trip are bushwalking and photography - my main photographic interests being landscape, people and remote architecture.

    This is the gear I have available:

    Panasonic GH2 - 4x batteries and 2x 8gb cards.
    MacBook Pro 15"
    Domke F10
    Gitzo CF tripod (very light)
    Lumix 7-14mm
    Lumix 14mm
    Lumix 20mm
    Nokton 25mm
    Pentax M50/f1.4
    Pentax K50/f1.2
    MZ 40-150
    Pentax K135/f2.5

    At the moment my street kit is usually the Nokton 25mm and SMC 50/f1.2, and when I hike it's usually the Lumix 7-14, Nokton 25mm and SMC 50/f1.4 (as you can tell, I'm comfortable with manual glass and generally prefer primes).

    Thoughts? I'm considering buying the MZ 45/f1.8 and carrying that, the Nokton 25mm and 7-14 (probably with the 40-150 in the pack). I'm also thinking about getting a second-hand EPL2 and leaving it with the 20/f1.7 in my pack, in case the GH2 is stolen or dies, and an iPad for basic internet and editing...

    Last edited by nickthetasmaniac; December 3rd, 2011 at 09:48 PM.
    We abandon them daily in the wasteland of the past. Because even though I have told you that I am walking to remember, this isnít completely true - we must embark also on journeys of forgetting. - Paul Salopek

    Olympus EM5 | Ricoh GR | Pentax MX | Leica M2
    walking | photography | travel
    Instagram @other_strange_creatures

  2. The following member likes this post: KVG
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    If you're going to be away from a power source for an extended period of time, I recommend this solar ipad case. LilyPad - Solar Charging case for the Apple iPad. They are just about to start shipping their first production.
    With regards to a back-up camera, if weight is a concern, I would carry along two of the same bodies. That way you would not have to deal with different chargers and multiples of two different batteries.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name


    I would definitely take a second body. It's unfortunate that the GH2 uses a new battery otherwise a second Panasonic body with the same battery would have been helpful. It seems that you have quite a lot of time set aside for each leg of the trip. Under normal circumstances I would leave manual focus lenses at home because I don't want using the camera to become a chore when I am travelling. At home it's all good fun using manual lenses but I think they would just annoy me and take up too much time during the course of a holiday.
    E-M1, E-M5, GH1
    Flickr Photostream

    "Don't tell me that you're a good photographer.
    Don't tell me that you have an amazing camera.
    Show me."

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    You may also want to get a Peak Design Capture Clip to conveniently clip your camera on the strap of your backpack or belt or whatever for quick access. Peak Design - Home of the Capture Camera Clip System

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Los Angeles


    I went to Mongolia with a DSLR kit and a GF2, if I were to do it again, I'd only bring a M43 kit. I'd bring your GH2, get a second body (GF1, GF2, etc.), 7-14, a prime of your choice and the 40-150mm for when you need a zoom.

    I think that should cover most of your needs.

    Jonathan | My Blog
    Cameras: E-M10 | E-PM2 | GF2 | XE-1 | D3 | D800 | N80 + Too Much Glass

  7. #6


    Sounds like an epic adventure! Hope you find time to post some shots while you are on your big walk!

    Plus one to a backup camera and another plus one to making sure the cameras use the same batteries. I'd even go so far as to suggest two of the same cameras. And while I like the GH2 a lot, I'd probably try to go smaller and lighter. My kit for a trip like this would be something like

    2 x G3 or GX1

    The newer Panny bodies should be similar to the GH2 in low-light. If I was indoors, I'd have the 14/2.5 and 20/1.7 mounted and switch cameras as needed. If I was outside, I'd have the 20/1.7 and 45/1.8 mounted and switch cameras as needed.

    For photo storage, I'd try to send photos home from time to time so that if something catastrophic happens (pack stolen, floods, pestilence) you won't lose everything. Internet cafes are likely to have slow uploads in remote areas, so I'd consider shipping memory cards home in addition to using Flickr as a cloud-backup of the best shots. You can probably get a fistful of 2Gb slow Class 2 cards for cheap and every couple of weeks cull the best photos, throw them on a card, and ship them out.

    For interim storage, I'd consider a tablet or netbook. Tablets will be smaller/lighter, but netbooks will probably have more storage. My iPad is 64GB, my HP Netbook is 160GB. FWIW, the iPad injests photos pretty easily. I haven't tried selecting and writing back out to an SD card though. The iPad also has good battery life, which helps on the road.

    Let us know how your gear planning goes - it will be interesting to see what you finally choose. The lighter side of capturing light

  8. The following member likes this post: KVG
  9. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Alberta, Canada


    I would bring the Lumix 7-14mm/4, Voigtlander 25mm/0.95, Pentax 50mm/1.2, and Pentax 135mm/2.5. I also like the idea of an E-PL2 with Lumix 20mm/1.7.

    I don't shoot as much wide angle so I normally get around with a travel kit of Zuiko 25mm/2.8, Zuiko 50mm/1.4, and Zeiss 135mm/2.8, but I also carry an Olympus EC-14 1.4x teleconverter to turn my Zeiss into a 200mm/4. So I'm a little more on the telephoto end while your kit would be more on the wide angle end... and a good bit faster, lol.
    Olympus E-P3 PEN | Olympus E-PM2 PEN Mini | Zuiko ED 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD | Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 | Vivitar 100mm f/2.8 Macro | Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2.8 | Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.4 | Konica Hexanon 85mm f/1.8 | G.Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 | Zuiko 35mm f/3.5 Macro | Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 | KMZ Jupiter-3 50mm f/1.5 | E.Zuiko 200mm f/4 | Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 | Olympus EC-14 teleconverter | VF-2 and VF-3 Viewfinders | EMA-1 Mic Adapter | Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R speedlights

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name


    Depends on your budget, of course. If you have the funds then buy a GX1 when they come out and a Macbook Air. Or get a Hyperdrive for iPad and take an iPad. The iPad on its own isn't big enough as a standalone image tank. My list would be:

    gH2 and GX1
    20, 25 Nokton, 45 1.8 and the 40-150
    Hyperdrive for IPad plus IPad.
    4x8 gb memory cards
    3-4 batteries for each camera
    52mm polarizer plus step rings for other lenses.

    Put the lot in a large crumpler Haven and throw it in your normal backpack.

    I also use a universal charger from Hanemul. Charges my camera batteries, AAs and has a USB charger port. It also charges from AC or DC power.

    Central Coast Wedding Photographer

    An Introduction To Colour Management for Photographers

    Flash is completely mirrorless.

    The opinions and information above is not personal opinion. It is fact. Simply because I know I'm always right....

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Sunshine Coast Australia


    Recently spent 4 weeks in NZ and was able to bring my large bag of 4/3 gear (e 620, 11-22, 14-54, 50-200 + 1.4 x) and my Ep3, 14,20,25,45 and 40-150.
    I wanted to find out if just carrying micro 4/3 was somehow going to restrict my photography. Well the good news was I only used the E620 once during the month and with just the 50-200 lens.
    The rest of the time I was more than happy using the primes especially the 25 mm and 45 mm. The 14 mm also got some use when I needed something wider.
    On 2 occasions I used the 11-22 on the Ep3 for landscapes. The image quality is much better than the 14 mm and 11 mm is a nice focal length.
    My thoughts for my future travel kit is to get something wider than the 14 mm with better image quality. The 7-14 would be nice but talk of a possible 12-35 and a 12-60 have kept me waiting as I feel either of these lenses will be a must own. My 14 mm does the job, is very compact but I feel there will be better wide solutions in either the 7-14 or future lens releases.
    The rest of my kit is just about perfect. The 25 mm is a lens I could happily go away and know I would come home with a selection of beautiful photographs. It was almost always on the Ep3. The one 'do it all' lens.
    The 45 mm is wonderful, I would always take this lens, it is so sharp and focuses beautifully. I have the 50mm F2 4/3 lens and the 45 mm just smokes it for usability. Throw it on the Ep 3 and it becomes my perfect concert outfit.
    The 40-150 would probably come with me just in case I needed something longer, if I was pushed for space it would stay home. I dream of the day a 4/3 50-200 is announced.
    That leaves the 20 mm. It is such a fine lens and almost the perfect 1 lens solution. If I didn't have my 25 mm it would come everywhere.
    So what would I do if I were in you shoes Nick?
    The 7-14 would come, I would sacrifice size and weight for image quality ahead of the 14 mm.
    The 25 mm would be the first lens I packed.
    Its up to you what to take in the 50 mm range, I would get the 45 mm it is a great lens and much smaller than the other lenses. But you have a budget and at the end of the day 45-50 mm isn't a length I do lots of shooting at, do you?
    If you have room the 40-150 would be nice but I don't think essential.
    As to getting an iPad for traveling I would offer this advice. For Internet, email, magazines ( Zinio) and books the ipad is wonderful. For a traveling photographer I would be very frustrated, a MacBook air with a couple of external drives is a much better solution. Or even a cheap windows net book if the budget won't stretch to around 800-900 for a refurb air.
    Whatever you choose you won't really make a 'bad' decision all of your gear will provide you the tools to make great images, the rest is up to you.

    Olympus EM 1
    Panasonic G5
    EP 3, VF2
    Panasonic 14mm, 20 mm, 12-35 mm, 35-100mm
    Olympus 17 mm, 14-42mm, 45 mm, 40-150 mm
    Nokton 25mm

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan F/2 View Post
    I'd bring your GH2, get a second body (GF1, GF2, etc.), 7-14, a prime of your choice and the 40-150mm for when you need a zoom.

    +1, unless you have people to carry your stuff, you will enjoy more your travel if you are light.

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