Asian River Cruise and Beyond

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by kawhona, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. I am retiring soon and will be embarking on some semi-exotic travel. Places I won't get to twice. Should I be courageous and only bring m 4/3 gear ? I should have the new EM1 mkii by then and will bring an em5 mkii as a backup body. Or should I take the "safe" route and bring my FF gear. My website is I am not a big portrait guy. I love Oly glass and have found it to meet my needs but, these will be once in a lifetime opportunities. What do you think ?
  2. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Travel as light as possible and enjoy the moment. If there is time for photography, great. (a philosophical answer rather than practical I suppose :) )
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. yes light seems more and more important as the years pile up ...
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    bring more than one camera. if youre going to exotic, ie hot, humid, gritty etc locales, consider weatherproof or resistant as your main and a fixed lens as your backup if something happens to your main. dont overthink it or approach it in too zen a way because if you aint goin back you will end up kicking yourself that you dont have photos. you neednt bring more than a wide and a tele, or just a fast zoom. photography and living in the moment are not mutually exclusive. reliving your memories without photos however is pretty darn difficult!
  5. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    as is remembering the moments that you missed while farting around with camera gear :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    sorry mike, i dont have any of those. not a single one. ive been blessed to be able to do more than one thing at a time. taking a picture of a sunset does not preclude also being able to enjoy that sunset after the 15 second photo process is over. i dont fart around with gear either. i anticipate what i'll need and make do with what i have. as is true with pretty much everything in life, the 'zero-or-100' choice is typically a false one.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  7. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi, mu43 bodies and many lenses are easy to find in many Asian cities, so if you don't have a spare, you might be able to find one if needed.

    Where will you be going?
  8. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Yeah, I'm in the minority here on a camera forum full of gearheads :) But when I go out with my little EM5 + 12-50 and look around everyone just has their phone so I'm in the minority too...except in the other direction.
  9. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I agree with PacNWMike in general. You'll enjoy your trip more if you travel light, but like most of us, you don't want to miss a photo opportunity. From my experience, a good general purpose wide-short tele zoom works great for most of your shots. Maybe adding a fast prime and another lens either wider angle, telephoto zoom, or macro may suffice. A small flash and maybe a pocket tripod or clamp. In most cases, that will be enough. I like gear that is weather sealed, but it's not always required. Minimizing lens changes is also good, because you never know what the conditions may be like. I'd take a backup body or camera, even if it's a smartphone, because sometimes, things happen. I have an Olympus Tough TG-4 which is a great for something pocketable and almost impervious.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  10. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    have a serious compact as backup
    • Like Like x 1
  11. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    This is a question of differences in technical image quality between the two formats. The answer depends on: the subjects, the lighting and how you use the images. Based on what I saw of the subject matter on your web site (very nice landscapes), differences in dynamic range and noise between the formats may be an issue at very large print sizes or pixel peeping. Taking a small, lightweight tripod (which is all I find needed for µ4/3) for low light shots with a low ISO setting would be adequate.

    (The philosophical comments on how one should experience a trip to someone old enough to retire are breathtakingly arrogant and offensive.)
  12. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Hi Don, welcome to retirement!

    I can offer you my experiences of 12 years of once a year trips to Thailand and other destinations in SE Asia. Starting in 2004, I was carrying 2 Nikon DX (FF size) bodies with 5 to 7 FF lenses up to 2011, at first in a LowePro Mini Trekker and later a Pelican 1510 hard shell case, then in 2012, a mix of FF/DX and M4/3 gear in the same Pelican case, and the last 3 years M4/3 gear only via a Case Logic backback. My wife is Thai and on our 2015 trip we spent 3 months there, as that is when I retired. I treated us to 5 weeks at 5 different island resorts in the South of Thailand seas, moving around via speedboats or longboats. So I had to huff and carry all luggage and camera gear on and off piers, shakey docks or thru the beach areas. With my lighter weight M4/3camera gear on my back as described below, it wasn’t too bad at all.

    You mention being “safe” by bringing FF gear. To me that means you are not yet comfortable with M4/3 gear being able to reproduce what you do with your FF system. In looking at your photo site, I think you need to just make sure to have the proper landscape lenses and tripod you require for M4/3. You should not worry, as I have duplicated almost every NIkkor lens that I had with M4/3 lenses and they are excellent, and in some cases even better. They are also 30 to 50% lighter in weight. I no longer carry my D800 and heavy Nikkor FF lenses overseas, it just isn’t practical or needed, as the OMD IQ is excellent. And I use the much lighter travel tripod all the time with M4/3 vs. the 2 heavier ones I have for FF. So that answers your question about which system, but your 2nd question should have been how do you carry it given today's airline weight restrictions?

    My M4/3 travel kit in 2015 was a EM1 and backup EM5 MKII body, 12-40 f2.8 Pro zoom, 12mm f/2, 17mm f1.8, 25mm f1.8, 42.5mm f1.2 Nocticron, 60mm f2.8 Macro, 75mm f1.8 and a 45-175mm f4-5.6 GX zoom. (I am a prime guy but I could see just bringing the 3 Olympus f2.8 Pro zoom lenses, 1.4XTC and either the 17 or 25mm f1.8 for a great 4 lens no-compromise travel kit.) In my case all of it, along with 3 each ND and CPL screw on filters in 46, 62 and 67mm sizes, 4 extra batteries, charger, FL600R flash, both cameras mini flashes and a Macbook Pro 15” fit into a Case Logic 206 backpack that has a hard shell bottom, meaning you can set it down almost anywhere and it stays upright. Really great and not expensive camera backpack at around $80!! Total weight was just about 20 pounds with the MPB, which we put into my wife’s large hand carry bag when checking in with the airlines to get past the 15 pounds weight restriction. In my checked luggage were a folded up Domke F6 day bag (holds 2 bodies with 2 lenses attached, 3 extra lenses and a FL600R flash easily) and in a Hakuba 100 medium tripod case, locked in the bottom of my checked bag, were my Gitzo GT1541 CF travel tripod with Markins 1 BH, a 2nd FL600R flash with Superclamp and Rouge Flash Bender with diffuser, a 3 flash hot shoe bracket, a Manfroto Nano 500B light stand and 36” Wescott fold-up satin umbrella with black cover. We did lots of beach scene photos and the flash’s with umbrella really did the job for us.

    I see you use the 40-150 f2.8, I bought one after my return last year. Its fits in the Domke F6 too, but with only 2 bodies and 2 other lenses, not 3, and is too large to fit with camera body attached. So I will keep the 45-175 Pany GX zoom for these trips, because it is my least used FL/lens, as when I go long, it is normally with the 75mm f1.8, a stellar lens. The 45-175mm lens is smaller, lighter and slower vs. the 40-150mm f2.8, but still a decent lens, and that will be my one compromise with my gear on overseas trips.

    In years past I would have been able to put all of the M4/3 gear and lighting gear into my Pelican 1510 hard shell wheeled case and carry on. But with the airlines oh so stupid carry on weight restrictions now of mostly 7kg, that doesn’t work, as I will not check my camera gear ever. So the Case Logic backpack solution for camera gear and the Hakuba tripod bag for lighting gear works great for me.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 1

  13. Hi Jim thanks for the feedback that was spot on with what I was asking. My shooting style is natural light if I am going to use strobes I have a dozen sb800s for my Nikon stuff Ive never tried to use the Oly flash system. I use the 40-150 alot and am pleased with it. I don't have the 24-70 for my FF or the 12-40 for Oly I find in that range I shoot primes. I agree the 75mm is a great lens and I think the 12 is under appreciated. I have the 25mm 1.2 on order and will replace my PL 25 with it when it comes in. The 60mm is also a sleeper. Thanks again and happy shooting.
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