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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 27 Jul 2015 (Monday) 23:30
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want to travel light - what gear?

1,802 posts
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Joined Jul 2005
Location: AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates
Jul 27, 2015 23:30 |  #1

Hi guys

Its been a while but I still use my cameras.

I'm going to Georgia (the county) in early September and really need to travel light. Not because of crime but because I plan to travel between cities.

Plus I don't want to lug around a huge bag with 10 lenses (like I used to  :p :lol:)

Currently I have:

5d mkii

17-40 f/4 L

24-105 f/4 L

35 L

45mm pancake

135 L

Sigma Macro 150

Obviously the macro is out of the question.

Heres the requirement, the smallest bag to carry the camera.

I won't be carrying a backpack when I'm out and about, it'll be the shoulder bag

I'll probably be as bare bone as camera + 1 lens (maybe 2) + circular polarizer.

I may take my 220 Ex because it fits into the outside pouch of my current camera bag.

I currently have a toploader , 70 AW maybe?
Its the one that fits a 5dmkii and 25-105 perfectly.

I'm not adverse to buying another bag if I have to. We have the whole range of lowepro here.

So which lenses?

Obviously the 35 L would be perfect for low light conditions but I'd need to be doing a lot of foot zooming. But I don't see myself taking a lot of photos at night.

I'll mostly be walking around old towns (could get dark in those old historical buildings) and landscape photography.

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329 posts
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Joined Mar 2015
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Jul 28, 2015 00:29 |  #2

Since you don't expect to do a lot of low light stuff, I'd opt for the 24-105mm just for the versatility. Then maybe pick up one of the new 50mm 1.8s for the "just in case" low light stuff that will inevitably happen. As for shoulder bags, can't help you there...although I knew someone with one of those Ona bags that was super nice (I now lust after one) but I dunno if it's your cup of tea (and I don't know the exact model).

That being said, I always suggest (just in case it's within budget/options) that you look into a small mirrorless camera for travel/lightweight stuff. Short of a handful of cameras (ie. D810/5Ds/DMF), they're just as good as most dslrs and the lens options are getting better every day. Even an old NEX6 with the pancake kit lens and a 50mm1.8 would be more than adequate (IMO) for 99% of travel stuff. But if that's not an option, I'd still say 24-105mm and 50mm would cover 99% of things.

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Joined Jun 2014
Jul 28, 2015 01:29 |  #3
bannedPermanent ban

My travel gear is a G15 and 270EX II. Travel - light.

WARNING: I often dispense advice in fields I know little about!

"Looks rough and well used"
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Joined Feb 2013
Location: Florida
Jul 28, 2015 05:03 |  #4


Well, it comes down to whether you're going on a photography trip, or if you're going on vacation.

Based on what you have, take the 24-105 & camera. Leave everything else. Everything. Keep it light. You'll be tempted to take a flash, a 2nd lens, etc. It will cover almost everything. You won't need a low light lens, just push ISO higher and expose to the right.

If you're going for photography, take everything and get insurance before you go.

Personally, this is where I leave the dSLR at home (this is vacation) and just take a little mirrorless. For me, it's the EOS-M and the 22F2 pancake. Looks like a little point & shoot, so no one pays attention to me, but it's a every bit as potent as a 650D minor the autofocus system. Quiet shutter. Small. Fits in my pocket. Does low light. Cheap and replaceable. Produces really great image quality.

Very best,

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Location: the Netherlands
Jul 28, 2015 05:22 |  #5

If you're going for photography, think about what pictures you want to take and choose your gear accordingly.

For example, I like to get wide angle shots and I do panorama's, so I would take the 17-40 and the 135L if I had your gear (this is basically my travel kit).
If you don't know, I'd suggest the 24-105L, and replace the body cap with the 40mm pancake.

Canon 5d, 60d, 17-40mm L, 30mm Art, 50mm, 85mm

1,802 posts
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Joined Jul 2005
Location: AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates
Post edited over 2 years ago by CorruptedPhotographer.
Aug 11, 2015 09:54 |  #6

Hi guys & gals

Well, I'm going for vacation.
I'm going solo as well this time. No kids, no wifey... :)

It's a vacation first but since I love photography & have reasonably nice gear, I'd like to use it.

I'm leaning towards the 24-105 because it versatility but...

How often do I need to zoom past 50 mm?

Dunno...I'm asking..?

I say this because I have the 17-40 that's wider & has the same aperture. But obviously limited to 40mm.

I don't intend to do candids or portraits.

Majority will be landscape & shots of food and closeups (of detail like woodwork or ancient artifacts).

Because the 17-40 starts at 17mm (great for landscape) and covers 24mm and my favorite focal length (35mm).

Also considering taking the 35mm along with the 24-105.
The 35mm because of sharpness & 1.4 aperture (for indoor low light).

I actually have half the mind to just take the 35 1.4L and the new 24mm pancake.

I don't feel like stopping & changing lens very often though....

My current smallest case can take a body & attached lens.
I could take the 35L and stuff the 24 pancake into the accessories pocket.....


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Joined Aug 2009
Aug 11, 2015 18:26 |  #7

I really don't know much about the area you are going to, but I recently visited London, Bath and Stonehenge.
I took a wide zoom (17-40) and a fast prime for low light and interiors (35F 2 IS). I wouldn't travel with just one lens, since I had an accident and ruined a lens in Rome in 2009. At that time, I was shooting a crop body, and my backup lens, a 50 macro, was not very useful. It was too narrow a view for Rome. A friend had the AF go out on a lens while on a trip to Ireland (not a Canon lens).
I took the 17-40 because I wanted wide views, and the 35 can also be used outside as well as inside. You can easily make a case for the 24-105, but it is heavier, larger, and doesn't go as wide. There is no one right answer here, but I would make room for a fast prime along with a zoom.

Senior Member
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Joined May 2010
Location: Norfolk UK
Aug 15, 2015 13:30 |  #8

When I went over to the States I needed to travel light. Considered a good point and shoot but in the end I went with my 6D and 24-105. Worked for me 80% of the time. As you say versatility. The 20% was in some cases I didn't have the reach but made for that in the PP.

Canon 6D Canon 600D Canons 24-105mm L 70-300mm L. 100mm F2.8 macro L IS. 16-35mm L nifty fifty. 55-250mm IS. Speedlights Siggy DG530 super Canon EX430II Vivitar 3700

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Joined Oct 2009
Location: Orléans, France / Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Aug 17, 2015 07:47 |  #9

I'd say take the 17-40. I don't really know Georgia, but overtime I go on a trip I shoot around 70% of my stuff in the 24-35mm range (with my 24-70II), 20% at 14mm (Samyang). I always find the 24mm not being wide enough when travelling.

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Owain ­ Shaw
Some of my best friends are people.
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Joined Aug 2006
Location: Valencia, Spain.
Aug 17, 2015 13:21 |  #10

I went to Portugal for ten days last summer with only the Pancake lens. Happy as Larry ... didn't feel like I was missing anything, fast enough for night shooting on a 5DII and wide enough for my taste. Good street lens as well, and ideal for travelling small and light. It's more or less what I shoot with these days.

Here's a flickr gallery from the trip with that one lens. …/albums/7215764​6220288007 (external link)

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Aug 17, 2015 21:14 |  #11

My travel-light bag is a small hiking bag (~1300-1500cc) with a Toploader 65 in the bottom of the hiking bag. Leaves enough room on top for another lens w/case, plus a medium-sized tripod inside the bag. Small hiking bags are extremely lightweight and comfortable. Consider looking into one if you're willing to try something other than a shoulder bag.

If you're willing to do that... I'd say camera + 24-105, and a travel tripod. After that, it's a tossup between the 17-40 and the 35, go with whatever suits your style better. I think the tripod is more valuable in low light situations than the wider aperture for landscape/architecture​. The 35 is better suited for indoors, people, things that move. The 24-105 will do almost everything else very well, even better with a tripod.

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want to travel light - what gear?
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