Gearing up to travel 12 months in Asia: New M43 User

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Rawdog, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Rawdog

    Rawdog New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012
    First of all, this is a great site. Thank you all for your contributions. I've been guilty of lurking as a parasite for some time, but now that I have my first m43 camera inhand I felt as though I am almost worthy of your forum :smile:

    Long story short, I've been planning to take some well needed time off from work, and decided to do some traveling throughout Asia for 1 year. In the process, I have sold off my Canon DSLR kit in order to cut down on the weight/size of my gear (who wants to lug around a 70-200?) since I will be carry all of my worldly possessions on my shoulders. So far I've narrowed my basic m43 camera kit down to the following:

    Camera- Olympus OM-D E-M5
    Wide lens- Panasonic 7-14mm
    All around lens- Olympus 12-50mm (not sure why people bag it so much)
    Low light- Panasonic 20mm

    Now here's where I need some help:

    1) Bag: My camera kit will be with me the majority of the time in a small waterproof 20L daypack, along with a 11.6" laptop. Can anyone recommend a good/appropriately sized camera insert bag with room to fit inside my daypack? Or perhaps a small messenger bag that I can fit my entire kit into, that would also fit inside this daypack?

    2) Telephoto (lens question, I know): It comes down to the Panasonic 45-200mm and 100-300mm for me. Having had the 100-300mm in hand before (as well as the Panasonics I already own), they feel solid enough to take some minor abuse. Can the same be said for the 45-200mm? Is the build quality anywhere near the 100-300mm?

    Thank you
  2. brianb032

    brianb032 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2011
    Sounds like an exciting time away from home! If I were to choose between the two telephotos you've listed, I would probably go with the 45-200 due to cost and the best price-to-performance ratio. I find the build-quality similar between the two lenses. The 100-300 feels a bit hollow and empty, but it's not bad either. One thing you should watch out for with the 45-200 is the zoom-ring. You'll undoubtedly be exposing it to humid conditions during your time overseas, so the rubber cover around the zoom ring will get loose with time. I can't remember if the 100-300 was an all-plastic construction around the ring, so someone on this board may have to give you more information in regards to that.

    There are tons of bags out there on the market, but as you suggested, I would look for something water-repellent. When it rains in Asia, especially from Hong Kong on down, it pours. The last thing you want is to find water seeping onto your gear and travel documents. I learned that lesson the hard way. I previously recommended a cheap messenger bag on this forum, but I take that back.

    Recently I went all out and bought a Filson 232 and it fits my netbook, cameras, some lenses, and my phone quite nicely. The bag is built to last, looks great, and has the water repelling feature you're looking for. And while no bag is thief-proof, this bag does have a more secure buckle strap instead of a velcro or magnetic closing. I would definitely give it a glance along with the other recommendations you'll be given on this board.
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Welcome! I own the 100_300mm and find it to be well constructed, solid and an excellent performing lens. It is bulky, but balances well in the left hand allowing one to support the camera by placing the left elbow against your chest.
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd consider the 45-175 X, due to the fixed barrel length and it's sharp end-to-end. Works great on the E-M5 as well! I'd also considering bringing a backup. Something small like an E-PM1 or similar.
  5. Rawdog

    Rawdog New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012
    Thank you for the suggestions, guys. Much appreciated.

    Brian: Good to know that bit about the 45-200, and about getting a messenger bag that's more weather resistant.

    Bob: It's looking more and more like I will be going for the 100-300!

    Jonathan: Back-ups are always worth having. My TG-1 IGS will have to make due. I didn't realize that the 45-175mm was a fixed length lens, that is clutch. Decisions, decisions!
  6. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Real Name:
    Peter Randal
    Camera- Olympus OM-D E-M5
    Wide lens- Panasonic 7-14mm
    All around lens- Olympus 12-50mm (not sure why people bag it so much)
    Low light- Panasonic 20mm

    Best next purchase get another body! For travel, especially for a year, one must have two bodies. Good buys now for an EP3,get the viewfinder too. And happy trails, wish I was going
  7. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2011
    Sounds like a great trip; I live in SW China. Feel free to stop by!

    My current iteration of the ever-evolving camera bag setup is 2 inner bags + 2 messenger bags (one is waterproof) + many backpacks. I can mix and match for the occasion or amount of gear. Here's a link with some pics:

    Have a great trip!