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What to bring to Japan in late January?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by sin77, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    This month I will be going to Japan for scenic tour with shopping at Tokyo.

    Looking at my 2x E-M10 & lenses (I also just bought Pany 12-32 pancake), what would you recommend?

    Since it will be snowing and often I'm outdoor, should I bring 2 bodies to avoid changing lenses?
    I would foresee taking a lot of landscapes and food photography, day & night.
    However, overall weight may be a concern since this is a holiday vacation for me and my wife.
     
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Clothes and money?
     
  3. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    And passport, right?
     
  4. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Good idea!
     
  5. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    I think you'll see snow a lot less frequently than you'd expect.
     
  6. Dogman

    Dogman Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Dec 23, 2012
    Maryland
    Regardless of which camera/lenses you take, you might want to be aware of U.S. customs rules. It's been awhile since I've last been to Japan, but I recall an issue sometimes with U.S. customs officials when you are returning to the U.S. and are carrying Japanese camera equipment even when you bought the equipment in the U.S. To avoid paying duty on your equipment, you had to have proof that they were purchased in the U.S. (e.g., receipts, registration, etc.). I heard recently that U.S. citizens have not had any problems with customs officials questioning Japanese camera equipment bought in the U.S. But, the traveler has the burden of proof, if questioned. There is a form you can fill out before your trip to register your equipment in case you are questioned. http://www.atacarnet.com/cbp-form-4457 Or, you can take your chances
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    Adam
    The OP is located in SG, so US CBP won't be an issue. However, when I used to deal with carnets, Singapore Customs was the fussiest administration for carnet documents (the other end of the scale was Italy). I don't deal with temporary imports and carnets these days, but I find SG Customs requirements on other trade matters (e.g., FTAs) quite strict.

    Obtaining a carnet is overkill, although completing the SG equivalent of the US Form 4457 may save some time. I would just make sure I had copies of receipts that I could produce if asked.
     
  8. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    Adam
  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    If we are talking m43 gear here I don;t see an issue bringing everything.

    I could bring, in a small bag 2 MD bodies, my 9mm f/8, 17/1.8, 25/1.8, 45, 1.8 and 75-300/4.8-6.7 or 40-150/4-5.6 with plenty of room left over. Actually, I have almost that exact same kit in a Think Tank Retrospective 10.

    That is if you didn't want to have to think about it.

    With what I see you have listed- I'd just take the 12-40 and 35-100 f/2.8 lenses. Let the versatility of the zooms be your friend.

    If you think at all that the f/2.8 just might not be fast enough, look into getting an Olympus 17/1.8. Very versatile and fast. Those three lenses and you could probably rule the world. lmao

    I'm also a big fan of the Black Rapid strap system. I'd use my double strap harness and run them both side by side.

    That's just me though.
     
  10. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm not sure what all this fuss is about, all you need is a towel...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    Forgot to mention I will like to take many selfies handheld or with monopod. Thus 12-40/2.8 is not going to work out. Moreover it is rather heavy and bulky which would in the the way and destroy fun.

    I am thinking these options:

    1. 2x E-M10 + 12-32 kit (for selfie) + 60/2.8 (for macro & tele) + K Zoom (for daytime super tele)

    2. E-M10 + 12-40/2.8 (for almost macro) + K Zoom (for selfie & daytime super tele)

    3. LX100 (to buy for selfie & macro) + E-M10 + 35-100/2.8 (for tele) + K Zoom (for daytime super tele)

    Option 1 seems to be the worst combo but that was my initial plan.
    Option 2 night selfie is almost out of question, and have to approach strangers (which I don't prefer).
    Option 3 likely to get best overall results but is also less desirable since need to spend $$$. Also additional charger to bring along.


    Should I also be bringing my Nissin i40?
     
  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Joking aside, I'm not really sure how to help you with this part with the exception of not doing it?

    I suspect that taking two bodies would be heavier and bulkier than taking one and the f2.8 zoom and it gives you more options at lower light levels without resorting to flash. If you wanted a small light lens the first that comes to mind for daylight selfies would be the 9mm BCL as nothing can beat it when size, weight, and the awesome perspective it can give to pictures are taken into account, although it doesn't do much once the light does fail...

    I'm not really sure, personally I feel that selfies are just another craze that will pass in a few years and people will look back at it and think... I don't know... I really just can't grasp the concept, like why do people *want* to do it? is there a point behind it? *brain implodes*
     
  13. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    Like Singapore, the urban areas in Japan are very compressed, so you'll definitely want something to cover the wide end. If you also plan to visit the inside of castles and museums, a fast prime is essential, although the LX100 may suffice.

    If your trip is designed around photography, I would bring the two EM10s, each with the f/2.8 zooms attached, plus get a fast wide prime (e.g., 12, 15 or 17mm). If you plan to have family or spouse along, I would just take one EM10 and get a super zoom (14-150), and one fast wide prime. If the body breaks or is lost, you're never far away from a camera store.
     
  14. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
  15. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I'd say take a breath, enjoy your trip, and don't worry about getting the best possible image of everything you see. That's a sure-fire recipe for removing much of the enjoyment from your experience.
    I speak from experience.
     
  16. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    I just bought a used LX100 which I will bring to Japan, together with 1 x E-M10, 35-100/2.8 and 14-42 EZ (in case my wife wants to use it).
     
  17. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I did the CBP form and got my camera gear registered before my trip to Japan in 2013. I was told that as long as you have the equipment, the approved form is good indefinitely. You can make a copy of it - don't need to take the original form. In any case, Customs didn't even bother to ask me about the camera gear when I returned. Didn't even inspect my stuff. But, good to make sure.
     
  18. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Maybe you could substitute the 12-32 for the 14-42 EZ? The couple extra mm will be good for interiors, and I hear the Pana pancake is sharper than the Oly pancake. However, if it were me, I'd take the 12-40 because you would probably use it 90% of the time (in my experience). Additionally, I'd take the 35-100. The LX100 would suffice for pocket camera and selfies. Maybe one of the flashes, although the built-in EM10 flash would probably suffice for small group shots and fill flash. One caveat. The 12-40 is big enough that it may cast a shadow with the built-in flash. Leave some frame space to edit out the shadow later. :)
     
  19. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    I will bring nissin i40 flash unit.