What do you travel with? And how do you carry it?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Repp, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    My main reason for buying into M3/4 was to get more hands on with photography and to get better pictures while traveling and backpacking, all in a small and lightweight package. I normally travel very light, with no checked baggage. Just a school size backpack for clothes and a satchel of some sorts for stuff that I always like to have on me (kindle, travel book, journal, pens, pipe and tobacco pouch).

    I’m interested in a longer focal length lens or two… I feel the 45-200 is too large for casual carry, but might give it a try at the Sapporo Ice Festival. Would the 45mm Macro be a good answer, or stealing some Nikon lenses from my friends, like a 50mm/1.4 maybe?

    Currently I travel with:
    GF1 – 6 months so far, and I love it.
    Panny 20mm – Fast, and my general use lens.
    Panny 14mm – Just picked it up, So Small! May replace the 9-18 with it…
    Oly 9-18mm – Nice and wide for landscapes, buildings, and interiors
    Panny LVF1 - Not sure if I'll keep this with me all the time
    Hoya Filters – NDx8, PL-CIR, and UV for both filter sizes I use. (Do I really need?)
    Gorillapod SLR – Nice, but I only really use it for the rare night shots.
    Lowepro Adventura Ultra Zoom 100 – Holds GF1 with 9-18, 2 extra memory cards, 2 46mm filters, the 20 and 14 pancakes in the bottom and a lenspen.; or with a pancake on the GF1 and an extra battery instead of the 9-18. Panny LVF1 on the strap.

    What will probably stay at home:
    Panny 45-200mm – Too big to travel with? Haven’t played with it much yet.
    Oly FL-35R – Slow recharge, and too big to travel with
    Billingham Hadley small bag – Holds entire kit, but not a good bag for my other stuff while traveling if I take all the camera gear I don’t travel with out. Might end up selling it.
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Depends on the travel. When I'm traveling really light, like you describe, I bring my Panasonic LX-5. Period. End of short story.

    When I'm checking bags and planning to be gone a while and photography is one of the key pursuits of the trip, I carry a camera bag as well. Then I take something with a fairly super-ish zoom on one body (I've been using en EP2 with Oly's excellent and small 14-150 but might be moving to a Sony A33 with an even longer zoom - its a bigger package though) and another body with the 9-18. When I'm walking around and shooting, I'll keep the superzoom on my strap and have the second body in a readily accessible part of the bag so I can grab the ultra-wide angle shot when it comes up. I usually have a pancake or two along as well and when I head indoors, or out in the evening, or just out for a session of street shooting, I may leave everything in the hotel room except one body with the 17 or 20mm pancake, depending on light conditions.

    I usually have the LX5 stuffed in the suitcase too and I might just take that out some days when I don't want to carry the bag. It varies, but there's traveling light and then there's travelling with shooting in mind and in my world, they aren't the same thing. For not checking any baggage and traveling light, it sounds like you want to take an awful lot. But, hey, if you can make it work...

  3. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    I also travel very lightly unless I'm going on a photographic expedition. For my vacations I carry one camera, a standard fast lens a mild zoom lenses (doesn't have to be fast), extra memory cards, and an extra battery, a charger and string pod. I shoot frugally and seldom fill up a memory card in two day. I have never run a battery out but the extra is a safety back up. I find that the more equipment I carry the fewer images I take.

    Now that I have the GF1 I would elect to use this camera the pancake lens and the 14 - 45 mm. All that fits in a windbreakers pockets so no need for camera bag or carry-ons.
  4. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    epl-1 with the kit lens, 20 1.7, 45-200, and a canon 500D close up lens. A gorillapod slr. 4 batteries, charger, and a case of filters. All fit nicely into a crumpler 5mdh. This set up covers pretty much everything I would shoot on holiday.
  5. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    My travel/holiday photography bag, for the past few years has had something approximating the following in it;

    - Canon G10 (Sold just before christmas)
    - Sigma EF-530 (yeah, it looked a bit OTT when mounted, but it was worth it when I needed it)
    - Spare batteries and cards.


    - Canon 350D (also sold just before christmas) which was retired when I got my 500D
    - Sigma 17-70mm lens
    - Canon 50mm f1.8
    - Sigma EF-530 flash
    - Spare batteries and a few memory cards

    I'm not a fan of the Gorillapods, but have got a reasonably light Manfrotto tripod which normally goes in the suitcase, but I don't often take it out as I get a bit tired of carrying around busy streets, especially if I'm going to be out walking all day.

    I only got my GF-1 after I sold the G10 & 350D so i've yet to travel with it, hopefully that will change sooner rather than later!
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I have a small leather waistpak.
    The GF1, 14, 20 some batteries, cards, lenspen & evf but never use it...
    LX5.... I'm good anytime, anywhere...
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What i carry varies quite a bit these days. Last trip to Maine:

    Leica M8
    135mm Takumar
    200mm Takumar

    It worked out quite nicely.
  8. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Last week I bought Kata DR-466I backpack and put it to test during the first two days of this week (I went on a business trip to Moscow; thankfully, I was not in Domodedovo at the time of explosion). What I had with me:

    MacBook 13" aluminum unibody with charger;
    Panasonic G2;
    Panasonic 20mm and 14-42mm lenses;
    Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 with adapter;
    Nissin Di466 flash;
    Battery charger for G2 and a spare set of AA batteries for the flash;
    46mm to 52mm step-up ring;
    Hoya polarizer and ND4x filters (in 52mm size);
    fresh underwear and some toiletries.

    The Kata backpack worked really well for its intended purpose. Even loaded to the fullest it remains very slim and can be used as a carry-on.
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I carry the following in a Tenba Mini-messenger:

    GF1 with 20/1.7
    Spare battery
    Lens pen
    iPad camera connector kit
    Spare card
    Wallet, passport, business cards, etc
    Polarizer filters

    The above really only takes up the bottom half, so there's room for a drink, sunglasses, etc in the top half. I load all my magazines/books/etc on the iPad - this by itself has done more to reduce the space/weight of my carry-on than anything!
  10. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    I've just returned from a trip to Vietnam where we took:

    - EPL-1
    - 20mm Panny (usually attached)
    - 14-150mm Olympus
    - Gorillapod SLR (not really used)
    - A cheap, tiny mini-tripod

    I carried the camera and lenses in a kids Neoprene pencil case packed inside a small-ish shoulder bag (Pacsafe Metrosafe 200). Spare battery, memory cards and mini-tripod were in the front pocket of the bag. I didn't carry the gorillapod and didn't really miss it. This bag went almost everywhere I did.

    This turned out to be an extremely versatile kit.

    Note that I chose the E-PL1 over the Panasonic GF1 largely because putting image stabilisation in the body reduces the size and weight of lenses. The Olympus 14-150 is very compact to carry as a spare lens and gives adequate zoom for most shots.

    I would think about carrying a wide prime or zoom as well in future trips, but don't remember any time when I needed more width on this particular trip.
  11. G'kar

    G'kar Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    When I went on a short holiday in Malaysia I left my E620 and its lenses behind and took only EPL-1 with 14-42 and Panny 20mm lenses. I found this combination more than adequate for all photo opportunities. No need for a dedicated camera bag - i just put them in a small backpack (i mean really small).

    Maybe, next purchase on my list is the LX5.
  12. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Compact kit:
    - S95 in pocket

    Walk-about kit:
    - Single camera (either film or digital)
    - Single lens (either prime or zoom)
    - Hand-carry

    - Single camera (either film or digital)
    - 1-2 lenses (wide angle zoom and macro prime)
    - tripod
    - flash, film, some accessories
    - shoulder bag/satchel

    - one or two main cameras (film + digital)
    - three lenses (wide angle, prime, tele)
    - tripod
    - film, accessories
    - S95 pocket camera
    - shoulder bag/satchel
    - carry-on
  13. BlairMacKay

    BlairMacKay Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2010
    Calgary, Alberta
    I usually bring the following and keep it in a cheap bag that came with my camera, which I than keep in my backpack It is a great setup for camping, trekking, long-distance travel or traveling for long periods of time.

    -Three batteries
    -4 8Gb cards
    -external hardrive

    I also would like a wide prime and portrait lens. I have an old manual focus minolta f1.4, but it weighs more than the GF1 with an adaptor!
  14. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
  15. jmacpix

    jmacpix Mu-43 Regular

    On my last vacation, https://www.mu-43.com/f56/manzanillo-mexico-7244/, I took:
    -spare battery and card
    -carried in Domke F-6

    Next trip, semi-work trip to Argentina, I'll bring:
    -2 GF1s
    -spare battery and cards
    -carried in Domke F-6
  16. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 13, 2010
    On my latest trip to Tanzania, I took my EPL-1, the 14-42 kit lens, and the adapted M. Zuiko 40-150mm lens, 5 batteries (4 of which were the 'Maximum Power' brand available on Amazon), a Peco Ultrapod, a polarizer filter for each lens, and the Olympus charger.

    I searched high and low for a case that I can use with either lens on the camera. I finally settled on the M-Rock 646 which fits the body with the 40-150mm like a glove, with some extra small pockets in which I had 2 extra batteries and the filter. The case also obviously fits the body + 14-42mm. As I swapped lenses, and kept the lens I was not currently using in a Lowepro 1s, which fits the 40-150mm like a glove. This Lowepro lens case has a solid velcro strap, but although the M-Rock has its own little velcro straps on the sides, these straps failed once with the lens case attached, so I don't consider it a viable option. The lens case velcro is absolutely bomber. I plan on modifying the M-Rock and sewing on an attachment point for the lens case.

    I chose the Ultrapod due to the velcro strap which can turn any trekking pole into a monopod, although I didn't really use it much. I initially purchased the mini version of this product, but found it to be too small, especially with the long lens on. I finally settled on the larger version with ball head, which is bomber.
  17. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    It seems that lots of people also travel with a point and shoot… how often do you find yourself using it over your m4/3 camera? Do you use it as a backup camera? Or only when your normal camera would be too large to carry comfortably? I understand that even the E-PLx and GFx models are not truly pocketable like a S95 or the new XZ-1, but I can’t help but wonder if the extra weight of a camera/charger in my bag is worth it. One of the main ways I cut weight is to get rid of redundant or backup gear when I travel.
  18. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    First, can I say how much I like this place? Go figure, a place that thinks small is beautiful, instead of "bring 30 pounds of photography gear on vacation"!

    I just got the GH2 so I haven't built up the kit yet. But I value light and small and this is what I've typically gone with using Pentax.

    Local assignment:
    Lowepro Midtown 160 stuffed with 2 Pentax bodies, 2 zooms, and a flash... by john m flores, on Flickr

    Motorcycle travel story:
    How much Pentax can you fit in a LowePro Slingshot 100? by john m flores, on Flickr

    Tamrac Express 5 with Pentax K20d and 3 Pentax pancake primes by john m flores, on Flickr

    My M43 kit will likely be similar but 20% smaller overall. And with awesome video! Color me happy!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. walt_tbay

    walt_tbay Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I've been to NYC and the Dominican Republic in the last month and took the following gear with me:

    - GF1 with LVF-1, two spare batteries and four 16Gig Panasonic Class10 memory cards
    - Panasonic 20mm and 14-140mm lenses
    - Olympus 9-18mm lens
    - Lensbaby Composer with Tilt-Transformer
    - iPad 3G
    - iPhone 4
    - battery chargers for above

    I carry this stuff around in a Domke J803 satchel bag that I picked up at B&H Photo while in New York. I spent two hours looking at bags :eek: and this one was the only one that I considered to approach perfection. :cool: It's a great little bag with tons of space for my kit plus it'll fit my passport and wallet.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    How about a pic of the bag Walt?