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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Urban Life & Travel Talk 
Thread started 30 Sep 2011 (Friday) 01:02
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Travelling to Quito, Galapagos and elsewhere in Ecuador

 
DragonSpeed
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Sep 30, 2011 01:02 |  #1

There will be a group of 5 of us travelling to Quito, the Galapagos and elsewhere in Ecuador. We are all serious photographers and likely will all have 100-400 and a couple of other lenses.

Has anyone had any experience keeping your gear safe in Quito? Yourself?

Thanks!




  
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DragonSpeed
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Oct 11, 2011 16:18 |  #2

So - Nothing? :(




  
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x_tan
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Oct 12, 2011 00:26 as a reply to  @ DragonSpeed's post |  #3

I spoke to many travelers, and the worst places are Chili and Brazil. Ecuador may or may not worse than those countries anyway.

What a holiday / trip for: seeing new places / cultures; or getting more stress?

If I'm worry about my personal safety, then I wouldn't go; full stop.
If I'm worry my gear, then I take a P&S.

Just google "quito ecuador travel safety" and I get some results:

From virtualtourist.com: (external link)

You WILL get robbed
SallyMander

Having traveled extensively through Central and South America, here is my summation of Quito:

In many Latin American cities, including busy capitals, it is POSSIBLE that you CAN get robbed. In Quito, it is PROBABLE that you WILL be robbed, within your first three days.

I am by no means a naive or inexperienced traveler and I understand there is danger all over the world, but Quito is the capital of robbery scams and teams working together. It will happen THAT fast no matter how careful you are and I guarantee if you ask 6 people who have been to Quito, 5 of them would have first hand accounts of theft. Not rumors or hearsay, but first hand experience.

This post is not mean to incite fear, but to call for action. As a tourist, your most powerful tool is to decide where you spend your money. In my opinion, there is nothing worth seeing enough in Quito to risk the 99 percent chance of being robbed. The only way to voice your need for security is to stop spending money in places that don't take safety seriously.

I have been in many big cities all over the world and have never felt as constantly paranoid about being robbed, and I have been robbed in Quito despite all the warnings and despite taking every precaution. The thieves here are good. A minor bump, a small distraction and it's all gone. You live like a caged bird as it is unsafe to take your laptop, phone, camera outside----not even to walk from your hotel to a coffee shop.

Go spend your money elsewhere and maybe the drain of tourism dollars will eventually hurt enough for people to do something about the theft problem here.

Is It Safe for Americans to Travel to Quito Ecuador? (external link)


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DragonSpeed
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Oct 12, 2011 10:26 |  #4

Thanks X_Tan!

My rule of thumb is that postings on the Internet will generally be biased toward negative because people that have a good time tend not to post. It's what they expected, so why tell anyone? That's why I was posing the question here. In hopes of getting 1st hand information from photographers that have been through Quito.

Well, it seems I might just end up being the first of the hundreds on this site to do so :)

Cheers!




  
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footman
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Jan 22, 2012 14:29 |  #5

We're travelling to Ecuador next week, I'd be pleased to hear of how your trip went particularly the security issue.


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Tommydigi
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Jan 22, 2012 14:33 |  #6

I was there in 09. Amazing places. Take the gear you need and don't worry about crime. I waked around with a camera everywhere without issue.


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Jan 22, 2012 14:38 |  #7

footman wrote in post #13748905 (external link)
We're travelling to Ecuador next week, I'd be pleased to hear of how your trip went particularly the security issue.

Footman, You'll be there before ME. I'm going mid/late March.

Tommydigi wrote in post #13748922 (external link)
I was there in 09. Amazing places. Take the gear you need and don't worry about crime. I waked around with a camera everywhere without issue.

Tommy, did you wander in Quito?




  
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Jan 22, 2012 14:42 |  #8

:)That's a ninja reply Tommy, speed of light!
I must admit I'm probably over concerned about security. I'm taking a 7D, a 5D2 24-105 and a 300 F4L IS with a 1.4 x TC.
I did think that when I'm in Quito I'd leave that gear in the hotel safe and just use an LX5.

Sounds like I'm worrying about nothing.


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footman
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Jan 22, 2012 14:43 |  #9

DragonSpeed wrote in post #13748949 (external link)
Footman, You'll be there before ME. I'm going mid/late March.

excellent.


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Jan 22, 2012 14:48 |  #10

I wasn't in Quito, but spend half a years travelling in near by areas. Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua...

I kept my gear in an old rough looking domke bag. I rarely hesitated to pull my camera out. In bigger cities, it wasn't at all uncommon to see tourists with SLR's dangling from their necks. I remember seeing lots of nice glass too.

Just follow the usual precautions and you will be fine. watch out for public areas such as restaurants, etc. Always keep the strap looped/clipped to you. I even did so on night buses.
Bring the SLR. You will regret it if you don't. Insurance would be a good idea, though.

You will hear lots of terrifying stories from people here (who have probably never been to the region). It took me a few days before I could relax, and realize not everyone is out to rip me off during my first trip to the area.

Common sense is your best friend.


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Jan 22, 2012 14:48 |  #11

We did wander around at times but like anywhre you just have to be aware. I was in Quito for just 3 days but I walked around with my 5d2 and 24-105 and never had an issue. In Galapagos I used my 24-105 and 70-200 but I could have used a longer lens at times. If and when I go back I would take 2 bodies. I with a wide and one with a tele.

I was once talked out of taking expensive camera gear on a trip and I regretted it so I decided I would never let fear of being robbed a reason not to take what I think I would need or want. Galapagos is just amazing, you will regret it if you don't take the right gear


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Jan 22, 2012 14:53 |  #12

Tommydigi wrote in post #13748990 (external link)
We did wander around at times but like anywhre you just have to be aware. I was in Quito for just 3 days but I walked around with my 5d2 and 24-105 and never had an issue. In Galapagos I used my 24-105 and 70-200 but I could have used a longer lens at times. If and when I go back I would take 2 bodies. I with a wide and one with a tele.

I was once talked out of taking expensive camera gear on a trip and I regretted it so I decided I would never let fear of being robbed a reason not to take what I think I would need or want. Galapagos is just amazing, you will regret it if you don't take the right gear

Hey Tommy, do think I would get good value brining a 10-22 on my 7D? Some good UWA opportunities with super close wildlife and big beaches for example?
Thanks for the info.

Crazy,

Thanks for sharing your experiences too! We're 2 mos out from our trip and things are getting locked in.




  
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Jan 22, 2012 14:58 |  #13

Just the sort of info I'm looking for guys.
My reason for taking the 300 is that I'm into bird photography and the best shots I've seen on Flickr have been with that lens or with a TC.
It's the lens that I'm putting on the 5D that's been bothering me, whether to use the 24-105 or a 70-200.

A real concern is the carry on baggage limit of 7 Kg on the internal flights, I'll be wearing a photog vest for sure to carry as much gear as possible.


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Jan 22, 2012 15:01 |  #14

footman wrote in post #13749044 (external link)
Just the sort of info I'm looking for guys.
My reason for taking the 300 is that I'm into bird photography and the best shots I've seen on Flickr have been with that lens or with a TC.
It's the lens that I'm putting on the 5D that's been bothering me, whether to use the 24-105 or a 70-200.

A real concern is the carry on baggage limit of 7 Kg on the internal flights, I'll be wearing a photog vest for sure to carry as much gear as possible.

LOL, my plan for the internal flight is to have the camera Possibly with the 100-400 already attached hanging on my neck when I check in. they don't weigh YOU. The VEST could be a good idea too! Are you staying in places OTHER than Galapagos? We're going to see the birds at the Cloud Forest as well.




  
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Tommydigi
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Jan 22, 2012 15:05 |  #15

Yes I am sure you will get use out of 10-22 assuming you are into landscapes. I would take an UW when I go back especially since I am more into landscapes now.

Much of the wild life can also be shot close. I walked right up to many birds, lizards, turtles etc. a lot of the landscapes i saw was rocky and sparse at times but I know many of the islands vary so it may depend on where you go but all very interesting Imo. I have a Galapagos set on my Flickr if u care to see


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Travelling to Quito, Galapagos and elsewhere in Ecuador
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