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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 14 Aug 2012 (Tuesday) 13:03
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1 Camera 1 Lens, 10 days in China. Good or bad idea?

1,543 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Likes: 61
Joined Nov 2008
Location: Titusville, Florida
Aug 14, 2012 15:11 as a reply to  @ post 14858188 |  #16

If i was going to China, I would want something wider than 50mm

M10 - ZM 21mm - Elmarit 28mm-CV - Nokton 50mm f/1.2 - Elmarit 90mm

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Cream of the Crop
8,142 posts
Likes: 1537
Joined Nov 2005
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
Aug 14, 2012 15:17 as a reply to  @ post 14858188 |  #17

China Safety

Despite the statement above, China is exceedingly safe for tourists, especially for caucasian tourists.

You have a far better chance of getting injured by their terrible drivers than being mugged...

I traveled throughout China but, stayed in good hotels. Each hotel had a wall safe and I could set the combination of that safe.

I also avoid the type of areas which I would avoid in the USA or in any other country.

I would strongly recommend taking the mnimum precaution of not flashing large amounts of money. Pickpockets are increasing in boldness and skill.

I would also lock my luggage that I carried as baggage on Chinese airlines...

Now, as to what I would carry...

I always travel with two 1.6x cameras and a 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses plus two hotshoe flashes.

I would not go anywhere without a telephoto zoom lens because I can:

Crop in the camera...

IMAGE LINK: http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com …59069125&k=mK7p​9&lb=1&s=A  (external link)

Capture images of people without disturbing their normalcy...
IMAGE LINK: http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com …69470225&k=ehxv​k&lb=1&s=A  (external link)

Compress distances...
IMAGE LINK: http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com …59075179&k=jsPr​J&lb=1&s=A  (external link)

Of course, there are a lot of folks who bring home nothing but shots of brick and mortar and landscapes. You don't really need flexibility to attain these boring images...

See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

81 posts
Joined Jul 2010
Location: Pdx
Aug 14, 2012 16:13 |  #18

Thank you all for the feed back so far. A lot of great suggestions. I will continue to play with the luggage/packing configuration to see if I can bring either the 16-35mm or the 24-105 along. Ideally, I'm hoping to just bring 2 piece of luggage, with camera, lens, ipad and work laptop in one, and cloth in the other. If I bring all of my camera gear like I usually do on trips, I end up bring 3 bags.

Regarding the safety in rural parts of China (that's exactly where I will be for a good portion of my trip visiting factories), I am very concerned about this as well, I will be buying extra traveling insurance for the gears I will be bringing, but at the same time, I will be sure to not bring out the big flashy camera in less populated areas unless I know its safe. I will also consider bringing my Panasonic GX1 with a 20mm f1.7 pancake as a backup when I think its unsafe to use my DSLR.

I honestly still like the idea of shooting my entire trip with a single prime lens, it may add an interesting perspective to my trip when I'm looking back at it. However, I totally understand what everyone is saying about "missing" that shot that the 50mm can't get. Decisions!!!

5D Mk III & 7D | 430 EX II
Canon 50mm f1.2L | 16-35mm f2.8L Mk II | 24-105mm f4L IS | 70-200mm f2.8L IS Mk II | Σ 150-500mm
flickr (external link)

1,264 posts
Likes: 9
Joined Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington, DE
Aug 14, 2012 16:38 |  #19

I think just bringing your 5DIII and 50L would force you to be a bit more creative (and maybe selective) with your images. I have never traveled over to Asia, but I know that if I did, I would want to bring all my gear (even with my fear of having it stolen).

Overall, it's really up to you. Could you get some great shots with your 5DIII and 50L? Absolutely. You would be less flexible with the shots you get since you have one lens, but I don't think you would necessary miss any shots either.


1,243 posts
Likes: 7
Joined Sep 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Aug 14, 2012 16:39 |  #20

the thing you have to ask your self is, what are you planning on shooting in china?
landscape, people, street?

looking at your gear list, personally I would just bring the 5Diii with either 16-35L or 24-105 for landscape scenario.

I see you have a GX1 + 20 1.7, bring that one over instead of the 50L (external link) - flickr (external link) - tumblr (external link) - gear/feedback
the spirit is willing but the body is sore and squishy
4 digital cameras | 14 film cameras

1,998 posts
Likes: 7
Joined Aug 2004
Location: An Ex Brit living in Alberta, Canada
Aug 14, 2012 16:50 as a reply to  @ post 14858188 |  #21

I travel with a G1X and a 270EXII flash .. light and compact, plus it doesn't stand out in a crowd.

My Gear List  :p

Cream of the Crop
19,445 posts
Likes: 1621
Joined Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA
Aug 14, 2012 16:56 |  #22

Only been to Shanghai. It was quite safe, safter there here in the valley. Wish I had wider lens with me. If one lens 24-105mm on FF should be good. But I will take one fast prime to go with it. Make sure it is insured and don't worry too much.

5dmk3, 35L, 85L II, 300mm f2.8 IS I, 400mm f5.6
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2, 50-140mm f2.8

Stone ­ 13
1,690 posts
Likes: 8
Joined Aug 2009
Location: Huntersville, NC
Aug 14, 2012 16:58 |  #23

I'd say if it's a trip that you would be able to repeat then experimenting with only a single prime is an excellent idea. If it doesn't work out, you can always go back.

For a once in a lifetime trip, I would take everything I even think I might need and deal with the extra weight.

Although there are exceptions, most victims act like it.....

Fujifilm X100T | 5D III gripped |35L | 24-70 2.8L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 85 1.8 | 430 EX II | Yongnuo YN-568EX | Billingham 445 | Think Tank UD 60 |

Senior Member
449 posts
Joined Mar 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Aug 14, 2012 17:00 |  #24

It may result in you being creative....

1ds, 30d, 17-40/4 180/3.5, mt-24, 580ex2
http://adamrose.wordpr​ (external link)

1,882 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Jan 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Aug 14, 2012 17:07 as a reply to  @ Rankinia's post |  #25

I would feel like there are WAY to many things to do in china...

Think of all the things you could you REALLY need a camera?

5D3, your favorite lens, and a flash... I suppose if you find taking random photos of 'people' in china...that is your prerogative....I would use my camera very little while there...

PhaseOne H25
Camera agnostic

Senior Member
728 posts
Likes: 105
Joined Apr 2009
Location: Hawaii
Aug 14, 2012 17:28 |  #26

Looking at your gear, this is what I would bring. The 7D, 24-105, and the 70-200. When I travel, zooms are more useful then primes, since you really don't know what you'll be taking. Leave the flash at home and use the pop up flash from your 7d if needed. Travel light. I used my Fuji X-10the last two trips, nothing else. Don't get wrapped up trying to get that perfect photo, ENJOY your trip.


happy with myself for not saying anything stupid
18,181 posts
Gallery: 45 photos
Likes: 2575
Joined Mar 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Aug 14, 2012 17:48 |  #27

pyrojim wrote in post #14858749 (external link)
I would feel like there are WAY to many things to do in china...

Think of all the things you could you REALLY need a camera?

cameras can go with you with everything you's not like they're huge, and you can easily take them with you with a small bag...why not document your amazing trip...

Andre or Dre
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flickr (external link)

53 posts
Joined Aug 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Aug 14, 2012 17:52 |  #28

Very interesting topic, I enjoy opinions here, having about the same issue.

I travel a lot and it is always a lot of walking, biking and hiking so I cant afford to carry too much photo gear, as every pound counts, however I like to have nice pictures, mostly affordable with DSLR and primes so far for me.

I tested most advanced small cameras and the only advantage I had was the size. I still have to take DSLR with me. It was my main reason to stay with x1.6 body, as it is half size and weight of FF.

I used to take 18-55 and prime with me everywhere. Found first one able to perform well, still not artistic and not o wow photos. Also I found very uncomfortable changing lenses on the fly. It is not something I like to do.

Now I am fighting with myself as if I want to have better quality and wider pictures with heavy FF body, and if I want to carry universal zoom and sacrifice quality as well against my primes which are good enough and very good enough, but not universal (I am not able to reach what I want or make a nice composition with prime).

Junior Member
27 posts
Joined Jun 2011
Aug 14, 2012 18:52 |  #29

I just got back from a trip to China a couple weeks ago, spent most of the time in Beijing. One thing to keep in mind is, all the sightseeing locations there are HUGE. Lots of walking, and regretting extra weight and bulk. It's also extremely crowded, and people there like to push and shove instead of walking around other humans, so changing lenses safely is a rare occasion. I took a 50, 70-200 II, 24-105, 600ex-rt, and a 5D3. If I had a chance to do it over, I would have only taken the 5D3, 24-105 and a flash. Probably 95% of my shots were with the 24-105 and towards the longer end of it.

My recommendation, single lens - 24-105. Add in the 50L if you're really concerned with the nighttime scenarios and are against flash. Most of all, enjoy the trip itself, dont be obsessed with the photography aspect of it..soak in the culture and history that China has to offer. Oh, and the food is pretty bland, bring some salt.

5D Mark III, 70-200L 2.8 II, 85L 1.2 II, 24-70L 2.8 II

2,108 posts
Likes: 29
Joined Aug 2009
Aug 14, 2012 19:43 |  #30

I'd bring at least 2 lenses, the 24-105L and the 16-35. Personally, I'd want a backup lens in case of an accident or AF failure. This always happens at the worst time. It happened to me and to a friend on separate trips.
I'd be tempted to take the full frame, but if you want to travel light, the 550D is a good camera.

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1 Camera 1 Lens, 10 days in China. Good or bad idea?
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