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How should I setup my travelgear for my Estonia-trip?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Ramirez, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Hello all!

    This Sunday I'm travelling to Tallinn, Estonia. I would like some help to put together my travelgear.

    My camerabody is Olympus E-P2.

    The native lenses I have are: Panasonic Lumix 14mm f2.5, Olympus 45mm f1.8 and Olympus 14-42 IIR.

    Other accessories are: Olympus flash fl-14, VF-3 (arriving tomorrow), spare battery bls-1 and MMF-2 adapter (some 4/3 lenses like 25 f2.8).

    I am going to take part in an conference. Hopefully I get some time to walk around in Tallinn to do some streetphotography around the centre.
    I also need to take photos in low light environment inside.

    I don't want to travel with everything with me. What would you guys suggest I take with me? (I was thinking max 2 lenses, spare battery and VF-3.)

    I promise, if I take some good photos, to share them with you.
  2. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    If you're taking only 2 of 3 of the native m4/3 lenses leave the kit lens. Otherwise bring all 3 - the 14mm makes a great body cap when the camera isn't in use, and takes up next to no space; the other two lenses are not that much bigger. Along with those, 2nd battery for sure, not sure that you'd need either the flash (requiring batteries) or the vf-3 - if you're in the city there isn't plenty of shade and usually indirect sunlight, so seeing the rear lcd probably won't be an issue - of course it takes up next to no space as well, so why not bring it along? I wouldn't bother bringing any adapted lenses.
  3. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I agree with the flash. I almost never use flash. But the VF-3 sure will be nice to play with as I've never before used evf with my m43 camera.

    How much better IQ does the 14 and 45 primes give in reality compared to the kit-lens if low light isn't an issue (for instance in daylight outside)?
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    E-P2, m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Lumix 14mm f/2.5, VF-3, and BLS-1.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    I do agree more with Ned actually - I brought my Pentax kit zoom to Italy last year, but only because of weather sealing (which came in handy). Otherwise, using the two primes will make you give more thought to your compositions, and as a result your photo keeper ratio will increase with use! I love primes so much, only have a couple of zooms for utility (weather sealing basically, except my pentax 50-135 which is like a big prime, haha).

    I'll also say that when we went to Italy, 80 percent (about 2500) of my photos were with my Pentax 15mm lens (slightly wider than the 14mm, but still in the same ballpark). My guess would be the 14mm will get stuck on your camera except for occasional portraits and/or architectural details, and if you carted the 14-42mm, it would spend most of its time stuck at 14mm anyway. In the city, wide is good!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    That's the way I shoot normally; the 14mm always on camera and 45mm for portraits, details etc. Just thought that it would be easier to maybe just have the 14-42mm with me on the trip for convenience sake. But I most certainly will regret that because of IQ loss. I really love primes myself.

    I find the IQ of the 14 and 45 primes better than the kit lens, that's what my eyes tell me but I am no pro. So can a semipro/pro confirm this; is there a real difference in IQ by using those two primes instead of kit-lens in daylight outside?
  7. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    In real-world photos, I doubt you would see much difference, at least with the 14mm and the kit lens, especially stopped down - which you would be doing shooting in daylight anyway.

    I would highly recommend you bring the VF3. It's small and light, and odds are you will find it very useful in daytime shooting conditions.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    When traveling I use a lot of WA (scenery, buildings and such) and short telephoto (for portraits, flowers, stuff in museums etc.). In terms of the most useful focal lengths and the least number of items the kit lens would be all you'd need.

    BUT...as good as it is I'm not a huge fan of the kit lens. I find that I run into issues where its a bit to slow for my tastes and inside museums and monuments, churches or what-have-you you might find the speed of kit lens a bit of an issue...the 45/1.8 is a LOT better than the kits lens and the 14 is perhaps a little sharper, smaller and a wee bit faster than the kit.

    If it were me choosing from that list of things I'd take the 14, 45, extra battery and VF3.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. elle s'ennuie

    elle s'ennuie Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    I have no lens advice to give, but just wanted to say hope you have a nice time here in Tallinn. :biggrin: There's not much yet in the way of spring-time scenery, the snow has barely melted, but hopefully the weather at least will be nice!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England
    I haven't ever visited Estonia but my cousin was there on business in 2011 and had his briefcase, laptop PC, camera, wallet and credit cards stolen in a mugging outside his hotel.

    Unemployment in Estonia is high and street crime rates in Tallinn are higher than in other European capitals. Obviously you should take care wherever you travel, and there are worse places to go than Tallinn.

    You may wish to read this before travelling:
    Security Intelligence Report for Estonia | Clayton International
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    To be careful is always important. But also to not give in to fear. People can smell fear upon you if you give in to it and it is more dangerous that way.
    This world is the way it is.

    I think that the best way to be a photographer in this world is to be careful, not be a loud signpost for expansive photogear, and take photos!

    I probably should camouflage my E-P2 with black tape (to cover the Olympus sign). What else can I do to be careful?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Agree completely. It's all common sense. Don't walk down a dark alley in a seedy foreign neighbourhood; that's just stupid (and you shouldn't even do that at home). Very touristy spots will be a hotbed for pickpockets and hustlers. Always pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you (good thieves work in teams, and work fast). Don't carry/wear anything that is ostentatiously screaming out for attention (huge camera bag, big tripod, flashy jewelry). Keep valuables in front of you when in crowds, and nothing in your back pockets pretty much ever.

    Keeping these things in mind, you can still travel and enjoy pretty much anywhere with just a few ounces of preparation and common sense.

    Is the Olympus logo on an E-P2 of all cameras really a big draw? It's not like you're toting around a big Nikon D3s or anything... I'd rather just put the camera right back into a bag when it isn't being actively used than mar it with tape, but that's just me. The rangefinder-style cameras can be smaller than the popular ultrazoom travel P&S cameras (DSLR wannabe cameras) I see so much of when abroad.
  13. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Yep. The two worst thing are: to show fear (people smell that) or to be stupid (not careful, flaunting your gear around).
    The middleground is best; to be careful and enjoy photographing.
  14. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    I was going to suggest not flaunting your photo gear, but you already had that idea. I didn't want to give the impression that Tallinn is a very bad place for photography or even to visit, but there is definitely a problem with street crime that you should be aware of.

    Is street crime worse in Tallinn than in London, Paris, Amsterdam or Madrid? Yes. Should it prevent you going there and shooting some images? Definitely not.

    I have shot images in some much worse places than Tallinn. Just take a little care, that's all.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Second thoughts

    This has nothing to do with the safety discussion but now I'm thinking of just taking the E-P2 and Lumix 14mm plus spare battery (with Olympus Pen Wrapping Case as bag).

    Because of convenience, a really light setup that is easy to handle.

    I don't think that I will get a lot of street time because of the ongoing conference.
    I think that the 14mm will be sufficient. Now the focus is as light setup as possible.
  16. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    I just spent a weekend in Amsterdam using primarily my 12; I think that set up would work great, especially if you're staying in the city. I had my kit lens (and only pulled it out twice, once for an excursion we did outside the city to see some windmills and once when I wanted a very specific shot in the city). I've never been to Estonia, but it's my sister's favorite country, so enjoy!
  17. DaveL

    DaveL Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Rhode Island
    bring the EVF, the 2 primes and extra battery
    leave the flash and zoom

    when I want to travel light, I carry my GF1 with the 20mm attached. I put the camera strap around my neck but hanging under my jacket. I usually wear something like a jean jacket and put the other prime in the inside pocket.

    You might want to stock up on extra SD cards before you go.

    You mentioned doing some low light shooting. I picked up this Jobyo mini tripod for slow shutter shots- sunsets, shots from a hotel balcony, group shots w/timer etc.

    Have fun. Happy shooting.
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  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I think you'll find yourself missing some of the zoom range of the 14-42. Not everything looks good at 14mm (or even 45mm)...

  19. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    On my way now

    I just want to say that I am on my way now. I decided to travel light. Just the E-P2, 14mm, BLS-1 spare battery, spare SD-card and Olympus Wrapping Case.

    I'll try to see what I can do with just the 14mm.

    Thanks for all your suggestions!
  20. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    On my trip to Asia last fall I brought the kit zoom mostly because it was the only thing I owned that had 14mm wide angle. I ended up using it more than I thought I would, keeping it sometimes on one body while I shot a prime on the other. With one body, though, I doubt I'd have used it for more than the 14mm, which you alread have.

    Definitely the viewfinder. I used flash once during a month long trip, in a very dark cave, a place I had to use a flashlight in to walk around, but was glad I had it for that.
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