porky1011 wrote in post #17405849
My work is sending me to a conference in SF at the end of April. I'm contemplating on whether or not to bring my camera gear to take some photos during my down time. Can any locals or others speak from experience on whether or not I should be concerned about gear/personal safety? I'll be staying at either Parc 55 on Cyril Magnin & Ellis, or the Grand Hyatt on Stockton & Sutter (with Parc 55 being the more likely destination). From my own research, this appears to be within the east end of the Tenderloin district. Having never been to the area, I can't get a good feel on whether or not to leave the gear at home, or to just not worry and go out & shoot.
If I do bring gear, I plan on packing light (5D3 + 17-40 + maybe a small 50 or 85 prime lens).. but you can only appear so light with a 5d Mark III body. Any help would be appreciated!
I looked up the places. Thumbs up! Union Square is a nice and generally safe area, with the proviso that you're near Market St. South of Market isn't great.
I brought my 60D and 18-135 to SF a couple years ago, and it was great! Today were I to take the 5DM3, I'd bring the 24-105. Since you don't list gear, I'd recommend the 17-40. While I'd say it's safe to carry during the day, night time might be a bit different.
You're near some cool locations. If you go up Powell or Mason, you'll find California St, which crosses east/west. You can get an extraordinary (re: iconic) shot of the Bay Bridge from the top of the hill. You're also near Chinatown, which is loaded with photo ops. A walk a bit further will bring you to the Transamerica Pyramid. If you go up Columbus Ave a couple blocks, you can get a great shot of the building. You can also get a great espresso from Réveille Coffee at Columbus, Kearney, and Pacific.
I bought the two books linked below before going. They were invaluable. Additionally, I spent time with Google Maps, as well as other online resources. I've been to SF more than a few times, so I know the city a bit. That said, it's a city, and it is always easy to find yourself in the wrong area. While you can check with a hotel concierge as to where to safely travel, you'll do better to do your research in advance.
Good luck and have fun! Hope this helps!