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Thread started 16 Jan 2014 (Thursday) 16:12
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Trip to Europe

 
Fuce
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Jan 16, 2014 16:12 |  #1

My wife and I are going to visit our daughter in the UK in April, and the three of us are going to spend some time in Reading (where she lives) and London, and then go over to Amsterdam and Prague for a few days each. I am planning to bring my 7D and nifty 50. I want to save carry on room so I don't plan to bring my camera backpack or other lenses. My daughter will probably bring her Sony a58 and one smaller lens.

Is it relatively safe in those cities (theft-wise) to walk around with the camera around my neck, maybe partially tucked into my overcoat? Any tips or experiences (good or bad) would be appreciated.


“with the breakdown of the medieval system, the gods of chaos, lunacy, and bad taste gained ascendancy." Ignatius J. Reilly
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MakisM1
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Jan 16, 2014 16:22 |  #2

Like everywhere else, you have to be aware of your surroundings. Flashing the camera at 3 in the morning in some dark alley, in a bad neighborhood carries the same risk in Prague, Amsterdam, Reading or Syracuse... Make sure it is insured, never leave it on the table in an outdoor cafe, or on the pavement next to you and you'll be fine!

In general terms, capital/large cities in Europe are safer than their equivalents in the US.


Gerry
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jan 16, 2014 16:25 |  #3

UK and Amsterdam aren't an issue, Prague is an unknown to me. Keep in mind things can get wet that time of year so some protection would be recommended.




  
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Geejay
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Jan 16, 2014 16:28 |  #4

I'd say that the cities you mention are generally no worse than cities in the US. I usually turn the strap over so it's black side out (or use a plain black strap) to avoid advertising that I have a 'posh' camera. That said, someone did follow my wife and I when we were in Prague a few years ago. We crossed the road and I then took a photo of him from the other side of the road. He turned around and walked away. ..

I would also recommend have a wide angle in your pocket for London, Prague and Amsterdam they are very picturesque. Can't say the same about Reading, though I've not spent much time there wandering about, just driven through on the way to somewhere else..


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Steviewonder1
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Jan 16, 2014 17:53 |  #5

We did an Eastern Med 12 day Cruise last October and had NO issues or feelings that something would get stolen. That said, I did have a BlackRapid camera strap on my T4i with an 18-135 lens. I did have a 10-20 lens but never used it as the 18-135 was just great for stills and Video. I did keep the strap over head and shoulder with the camera at right hip where my right hand could cover it so it did not get banged passing doors. There may be some cities where there are issues, but we did not find any of those. YMMV.


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soccersnaps
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Jan 16, 2014 18:03 |  #6

hiya....hope you have a great trip to the uk, generally i dont have a problem here in the uk carrying my gear around in london but some areas are higher risk, the tourist areas like the south bank and trafalgar square, covent garden and such places youll do fine.

i spent a week in and around prague in 2013 and didnt feel in any way that i had to worry about my gear, i did have a young punk who tried to jump several times into my picture that i was taking, and i did say to him one more time and he was going down, his girlfriend understood and quickly dragged him away...............so dont worry so much.


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MalVeauX
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Jan 16, 2014 18:05 |  #7

Heya,

Relatively safe places. You could do worse. Just be smart, don't go off into isolated areas alone, stay near crowds (within sight/sound distance basically). Having a cover over your gear, or a dumpy looking shower cap really makes it look like nothing interesting. Fancy cases, sleek electronics exposed, that gets attention.

I think the 50mm on a crop is a little too much reach for a city. Great for portraits. But I would take something with a wider angle to really take in Prague and other places. These are tight quarters in a lot of areas. Makes me think a zoom would be ideal for you, if you have something. Something with a wider end, and a 50ishmm end or so. So you can do the scenery and landscape, and portrait and family photo stuff. A 17-55 would be smashingly good here. Surprisingly a basic 18-55 kit would also do wonders (and is cheap and great for trips where you don't want to carry around $3k on your neck).

Very best,


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Scrumhalf
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Jan 16, 2014 18:05 |  #8

Didn't have any problem in either Prague or Krakow when I was there in 2009. And I am not Caucasian and have fairly dark skin, so there was another angle of concern that I had, but it turned out to be a non-issue.


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jwcdds
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Jan 16, 2014 18:08 |  #9

As mentioned before... 50's a bit narrow for the old country.


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MakisM1
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Jan 16, 2014 18:09 |  #10

You may wish to reduce the 'impression factor by leaving the grip at home... ;)


Gerry
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soccersnaps
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Jan 16, 2014 18:21 |  #11

buy an old 10d or 20d, 28-135 is lens and just make sure your cf cards are safe.......you can always swing it around your head taking out any punk who gets in the way..........seriously though, uk and prague are safe enough...its Syracuse you gotta worry about


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Snydremark
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Jan 16, 2014 18:23 |  #12

Had no problems or worries with safety in London while we were there; having a 50 prime would have driven me utterly bananas, though. Consider a zoom of some sort, 15-85, etc. Hell, I did it with an 18-270 and the only thing it was lacking was max aperture for indoors.


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grayline
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Jan 16, 2014 18:28 |  #13

We just Got back from Prague In September One of the things we were told was Pickpockets are Horrible in Prague and Paris If you Carry a camera bag Make sure you Zip it and don't leave anything out in the open. And don't let someone "take your Picture" with your Camera!


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GoHokiesGo
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Jan 16, 2014 18:33 |  #14

I've been to all of those cities recently - and you wont have any issues. They're all safe cities to wander and explore, and you'll see tons of tourists all over. Prague is almost like a fairy-tale city and Amsterdam has lots of nice canal streets and street vendors. It's been awhile since I've gone to London, but it was like most tourist cities when I went before.

The only caveat I would mention is Amsterdam at night - if you're curious or adventurous, you aren't allowed to have a camera in the red light district at night. It's plenty safe to wander around, but it does have a bit of a sketchy feeling. Probably a little odd to wander through with your daughter, but my wife and I walked the red light district at night out of curiosity and got a few laughs from it.


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vk2gwk
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Jan 17, 2014 00:37 |  #15

I certainly would take a more versatile lens than the nifty fifty on a trip like this. I usually travel with my 24-105L and that works out OK for me and I do a fair bit of travelling. I usually have the 100-400 in my suitcase but only when I expect to be able to shoot wildlife or birds. Not for the cities.

Prague - great photogenic city - is notorious for its pickpockets. Make sure you keep your gear in sight and close to your body either with zips closed or noisy Velcro. Been there once and enjoyed it although people tried to tamper with my wife's backpack.

Amsterdam getting safer and safer in the tourist centre but beware of pickpockets there as well (mostly Eastern European types). Lived and studied there so know it like the back of my hand. The red light district is interesting but - although not officially forbidden - the "locals" (bruiser type like people) don't appreciate photography. There are some parts of Amsterdam though (like "Oud West") where there is a strong population of north African descent which I wouldn't like to visit - especially after dark. The red light district however - after dark - is as safe as can be.
Make sure you make a canal boat trip - even as an ex-Amsterdammer I make one every time I visit, but check out in advance what route they are taking - including the Y (harbour part) or not. Some are better than others and don't go for the cheaper ones.

London is pretty much the same: the tourist hot spots are safe, the pickpockets are around and there are some parts of London you shouldn't go to after dark (or even with daylight). As I haven't been there for the past ten years these areas may have changed. Brixton used to be such an area but seems to go upmarket these days... Ask the locals. don't forget to go to Greenwich.


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Trip to Europe
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