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Experiencing VEGAS

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Replytoken, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    It was once said that chance favors the prepared mind. And I suspect that the attributed author of this saying, Louis Pasteur, would have badly suffered from GAS if he were alive today and practicing photography. Photographers always like to say that the best camera is the one you have with you, but in my experience it somehow always seems that the best camera and/or lens is the one that I left at home or in my bag. And I suspect that feeling is the source of my current experience with the newly discovered VEGAS - Vacation Enhanced Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

    While I have been fortunate over the years and have been gradually able to pick up much of the gear that I have wanted and used, and find my current gear very satisfying and comprehensive, an upcoming special trip has me in the fits of VEGAS. It is not exclusively a photo trip, so part of me wants to KISS, but the thought of chance favoring the prepared mind has really tweaked my love of shooting with long, fast glass. On the one hand, I wonder how could I take a trip to a very photogenic place and not bring something like the new Olympus 40-150, which I am sure that I enjoy, (but probably curse as it is not on the lighter side of m4/3rd's lenses and I will be carrying my gear with me on foot almost every day). But on the other hand, I do remind myself that I already have some nice glass, and that photographers have been travelling and making amazing images with one camera and one lens for years. If I was not a telephoto junkie, this would be a whole lot easier. Curse that Nikkor 70-200VRII - a gateway drug if there ever was one!

    I suspect that I will eventually come to terms with what to bring, but I would really love to know why we sometimes equate being prepared with bringing more gear than what might be ideal. Bad past experiences, perhaps? Either way, I still find sudden feelings of any type of GAS to be uncomfortable (pun intended).

    --Ken
     
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  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I hear ya. My 'worst' moment was the Patagonia/Antarctica trip, where I bought a second 5DII 'just in case'. And had bought a canon 100-400 a year prior because I was probably going to Africa again....
     
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  3. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    For each of my trips, or even daily outings, I try and think of what Icouldn't do with my kit last time, and decide if it's worth fixing. Couldn't get that wide inside shot of a dark church? Maybe I need a fast wide angle, such as the O12. But then again, do I really care about that shot? Maybe I should experiment with some handheld panoramas and see if that works. Etc., etc.

    The other thing I do is to focus on the shots I did get rather than the ones that got away. Are they a satisfying set? Am I really missing anything? Can they be made better without new gear (almost certainly)? What should I practice to improve my skills?

    For my next trip, I've promised myself that I will limit what I bring:

    - E-M1 (+ GX7 as backup)
    - Zoom set: 9-18, 12-35, 35-100 (leaving the 40-150/4.0-5.6, 14-42, and definitely the 50-200/2.8-3.5 at home).
    - Fast Prime: 17/1.8 or 25/1.4, but not both and not the 45/1.8
    - Tripod: just a little table-top thing for selfies and perhaps some night shots
    - External flash: none (I have the GX7 built-in if I need it)
    - Filters- CP (I'll use HDR rather than grads if needed)

    With the exception of the little tripod, I can carry that entire kit in my Hubba Hubba Hiney shoulder bag (assuming one body and the 17). Makes for a much easier day out when that's all I have to carry. Makes my airplane carry-on very light. This will be a Euro-tour, and I can't imagine what I'd want to shoot that I can't cover, and cover well, with it.

    So VEGAS is currently in remission.
     
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  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Hi Scott,

    I have been asking myself these questions for some time, and if I was a wide angle shooter, the discussion would have been concluded in under a minute. I find that I am partial to close-up work (very handy with the 60mm), and like shooting with fast telephoto zooms. I suspect that if I want to plunk down the funds for the 40-150 before the trip, then a part of my problem is solved, but I am not sure how I will feel about lugging heavier gear around all day long. I lightened my bag a few years ago due to medical conditions, and am not sure where the end of my comfort zone is and where the term pack mule starts to get applied. I am also a bit mixed on the tripod front, but that is of less concern to me at the moment.

    --Ken
     
  5. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Vacations are about having fun and getting out of everyday routine. Put your photo gear aside, get a drink and enjoy life.
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    V.E.G.A.S. huh? This only happens to me oh, every trip I go on! :biggrin:

    I know for myself the 'bad past experiences' is close to the truth. I joke that photographers are like fishermen, we always remember the ones that get away! :wink: I remember my first ever trip with a 'real' camera, a GF2. It was to both New Zealand and Australia. I had a 14-42mm and a 20mm lens at the time. Not even halfway through the trip I found myself thinking I sure wish I had something wider for these great mountain shots I wanted, and something longer for the unique wildlife.

    Pretty sure that was basically the beginning of the end for me when it came to G.A.S. attacks. I *hate* not having the right gear with me, and even after all the stuff I've shot by now, I still second guess what I might want or need on a trip. I've learned my lesson about bringing too much gear on vacation, because it gave me 'analysis paralysis' packing for each day's activities. But I've also learned that there's no better time to have the good/right gear with me than when I'm somewhere special, exotic, or far away from home.
     
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  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    This often seems to be the case for me. When I travel to places I have previously visited, it is not nearly as hard to pack as I know what I will be photographing. If I can get a grip on the weight and cost, I could probably just take two or three lenses plus a compact waterproof body for the beach and/or snorkeling. With m4/3rd's gear, that might be manageable, and the third lens is the Oly 60 which is not that large. And I suspect that with a significantly lighter wallet from the 40-150, I may be able to pull it off. But, I am still considering my 75 and older 40-150 as an alternate. Cheaper and no heavier (with the 60), but not necessarily the tools I would pick if I had a blank slate. Only time will tell.

    --Ken
     
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  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    We will definitely be out of routine (and absolutely no checking any work related communication) and I do know when to put the equipment away, so my wife will not be a "photo widow".

    --Ken
     
  9. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    Ken:

    I bought the 35-100/2.8 because the other two long zooms missed important criteria for my travel: the 40-150/4-5.6 is too slow at most FLs, and the 50-200 is way to heavy to carry all day. To me, even the Oly 40-150/2.8 is too heavy. The 35-100 is only a few ounces heavier than the slow 40-150, fits in approximately the same space in my bag, and I'm happy to give up the length in trade.

    I don't usually shoot a lot wide, but I know I'll be in a lot of indoor spaces worth shooting on this trip, hence the 9-18. Again, not worth it to me to get the Oly 7-14. There's not really much aperture trade-off at 9-11mm, and the 12-35 is faster than either at 12-14mm. I find at the real wide angles, I start not liking the linear distortion captured in the image.

    Scott
     
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  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I get more enjoyment out of many types of vacations by taking pictures. In fact, the whole point of owning more than a single camera and lens for me is documenting the places I get to travel to and visit.

    Not even vacation, obviously, but the ones I've enjoyed most in recent years (Tanzania, South Africa, Patagonia, Antarctica to name a few) are some of the most photogenic places in the world. And 'seeing' with a photographic eye often lets me take in more, not less.

    There are moments on each trip where I just don't care and leave the camera in the bag, and just soak it in - not everything is worth taking a picture of - but having time to spend taking pictures is a form of enjoying life and breaking the everyday routine ;)
     
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  11. CPTKILLER

    CPTKILLER Mu-43 Regular

    49
    Dec 8, 2014
    Austin, Texas USA
    Jim Phipps
    I lived there for a while. Not my favorite city. However to the question.

    1. Wide Angle Lens
    2. Telephoto Lens
    3. Maybe a walking around lens and flash (ask the property security - not everyone wants to be photographed)
     
  12. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I stopped thinking in terms of what should I bring and only care about what can I get with what I brought.

    You'd be surprise just how creative you can be when you can only use what you have. If you get locked up in the "what if" of the missed shot....you'll miss a whole lot more.

    With that being said - I've traveled with a fully loaded, 2 DSLR body f/2.8 double lens kits in the past and in all honesty, I didn't really take any better images than what I bring with me now.
    The big issue is doing the up front research of the locations. Are you really going to need f/2.8 zooms? If so, then bring it and one or 2 small primes.

    Last time I went to Gloucster, MA - I shot with a 17/1.8 & 40-150/4-5.6. Got everything I wanted to get and then some.
     
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  13. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I have felt the same way as well on many an occasion. I am sure that I could make do with what I had, but the shots that I grab may not be the ones that I was looking for, and then again, they could be the best of the trip. We are heading to Hawaii for our first visit, and I have been mulling over a fast telephoto since the 35-100 was released, and the GAS has been further fed with the release of the 40-150. So, combine the two together, place a bit of weight restrictions from medical issues, and I feel like I am searching for an answer in an unfamiliar place. And, to further add fuel to the fire, Joe's (Livnius) featured post of surfers from his visit to the Gold Coast area certainly reminded me that a bit of long glass may be in order as we are hoping to visit the North Shore of Oahu - land of the surfers.

    But, your point is well taken in that we may not get what we want, but if we are careful, we may get some amazing images in places that we least expected with whatever gear we have with us. This is one reason that I like to have a macro or close focusing lens with me. Sometimes there are amazing shots literally under our noses, and we just need to open our minds a bit to see them. Your post is a good reminder, and I will be mulling it over for a bit before making any decisions.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Best of luck.
     
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  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Thanks. It really is a no-lose situation, but I guess we are always concerning ourselves with the one that got away, even if that has not yet happened.

    --Ken
     
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  16. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    Just to update this, I reviewed my last Euro trip and counted the images I selected for my album by focal length (a bit of rounding as they don't total 100%)

    9-11: 10%
    12-35: 70%
    36-100: 16%
    101+: 3%

    A small number of these were with the 17/1.8 and 45/1.8 primes, mostly in the evenings when we went out for dinner, or a few portraits. And even those were not always wider than 2.8, so the 12-35 would have worked. But the three-zoom kit covers 97% of the images I kept.
     
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