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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Urban Life & Travel Talk 
Thread started 18 Feb 2020 (Tuesday) 10:03
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First international trip - what to bring to Japan?

 
NemethR
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Feb 18, 2020 10:03 |  #1

Dear fellow Photographers,

In about 1 year, I plan to travel to Japan for 3 or 4 weeks.

But I have a huge dilemma.
Primes or Zooms? :D

I currently own a Nikon D850 and a 70-200 2.8 lens.
I nowadays mainly shoot portraits/glamours/nud​es.

I planned buying a 24-70 2.8 around next month, as I sometimes miss the wider angle.
But I also was thinking about getting a 105mm prime instead.

I previously shot with both zooms and primes too.
I was fine with both. Both have their pros and cons.


But here's the dilemma:

As travelling to Japan is not a cheap feat, I have 2 options:

1.) I keep the 70-200 2.8G and buy a 24-70 2.8G, and a bigger bag, and travel with those.

2.) I sell the 70-200, and instead get a 105mm or 85mm prime + a 50mm or 35mm prime.
Option a: 105mm 1.4E + 50mm 1.8G + maybe I can rent a 35mm lens
Option b: 85mm 1.4G + 35mm 1.8G

So these are the 3 options I can fit into the budget, and still have enough money for Japan.
(1. 70-200 + 24-70; 2a. 105 + 50; 2b. 85 + 35 )

I am travelling with a professional Model, who also happens to be a dear friend, with whom I also shoot 3-4 times a year.
(She lives quite far away - for those who wonder why only 3-4 times.)

The main aim of the travel would be:
- Capture the beauty of Japan, see the world.
- Do some great portrait shoots in Japan, or maybe even glamour, if we find a place for it.

The 2 zooms are large and heavy but really versatile.
The 2 primes are much less versatile, but much smaller and lighter.
(I actually would prefer 3 or 4 primes, but that is not an option.)
I do fear somewhat, that I will miss out on some photos, either the wide end, or will miss the reach of the 200mm

As said, as I never really travelled as a Photographer, I would welcome some advice on this from the more experienced ones :)
Just to clarify: This is not a paid business trip, nor do I have any photography work in Japan. This is just.... Vacation :D

Thank you.


Roland | Amateur Photographer
Nikon D850 | Nikon D80 | Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G ED

  
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Nick5
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Feb 24, 2020 08:32 |  #2

Nemeth.

For European Travel, I carry my Greek Trilogy. The Canon 16-35 f/4 L IS, the 24-70 f/4 L IS and the 70-200 f/4 L IS. Smaller and lighter than the f/2.8 L offerings. If I was forced to bring only two lenses, the 24-70 would stay home. I love to shoot interiors of the old Cathedrals, Bracketed, Hand Held as Tripods are frowned upon. Having Image Stabilization allows me to Hand Hold images. I also love being able to capture the finer details in the architecture and other subjects the 70-200 allows.
As you have the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 currently, I would certainly go with your first option, buy the 24-70 f/2.8 G. A great pairing and more so, Versatility.
Swapping lenses is a pain, which is why I carry two Gripped 5D Mark III’s with the 16-35 and 70-200 attached. My walk around bag is the ThinkTank Retrospective 40. This bag has been discontinued unfortunately. It alllows me to carry the 70-200 attached, the second 5D Mark III body only in the front Pocket and the 16-35 and 24-70 in the main part of the bag. Yes it is heavy, however when walking around, one camera and lens is around my shoulder.
All of my gear is loaded in the ThinkTank Airport International as I can roll it around the airport and other destinations. During the days this stays in the hotel.
If I want to bring my bigger heavier f/2.8 L IS Mark II, I could leave the 24-70 at home in the US. .....
If you like a Backpack option as your only bag, I just bought the Mindshift Backlight 36 L. All of my gear that fits in the Airport International, plus Two Canon 600 EX-RT Speedlites, Transmitters, batteries, cables and a 24 TS-E Tilt/Shift will fit in the 36 L. It is a very comfortable, big back pack. Since I must use a Gripped body, as a body alone causes pain in the palm of my hand, the 36 L is my only option. If you do not use a grip, the Backlight 26 L may work for you as it is a smaller bag.
Yes I do travel heavy I admit. However, if forced to travel lighter, having Zooms allows me more Flexibility for my needs.
Have fun on your travels.


Canon 5D Mark III (x2), BG-E11 Grips, 7D (x2) BG-E7 Grips, Canon Lenses 16-35 f/4 L IS, 17-40 f/4 L, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/4 L IS Version II, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS Version II, TS-E 24 f/3.5 L II, 100 f/2.8 L Macro IS, 10-22 f3.5-4.5, 17-55 f/2.8 L IS, 85 f/1.8, Canon 1.4 Extender III, 5 Canon 600 EX-RT, 2 Canon ST-E3 Transmitters, Canon PRO-300 Printer

  
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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt.
     
Feb 24, 2020 17:11 |  #3

What part of Japan...

  • mostly cities? (which ones)
  • in the suburban/rural areas?
  • in the mountains?


describe what/where you go after your airplane lands. What you reply with can help target responses. Shooting with a model in Tokyo is rather different than shooting with model in Kyoto is rather different than shooting in Kamaura is rather different than shooting Nagiso, Nagano...the backgrounds/surroundin​gs will be quite different

You need to give me OK to edit your image and repost! Keep POTN alive and well with member support https://photography-on-the.net/forum/donate.p​hp
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NemethR
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Post edited over 2 years ago by NemethR.
     
Feb 26, 2020 02:47 as a reply to  @ Nick5's post |  #4

Wow Nick,

Thank you very much, this is really helpful.
In the meantime I also figured, that it is more important to be able to shoot something, then being able to shoot it with a low DoF.

So I am going with the 24-70 I think.
(For me that would be more important then the Nikon 16-35 or 14-24.)

As for the bag, I wondered what to buy, as I need a bigger one anyway, so thank very much you for sharing those with me too.
Very much appreciated!


Roland | Amateur Photographer
Nikon D850 | Nikon D80 | Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G ED

  
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NemethR
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Feb 26, 2020 02:51 |  #5

Wilt wrote in post #19015745 (external link)
What part of Japan...

  • mostly cities? (which ones)
  • in the suburban/rural areas?
  • in the mountains?


describe what/where you go after your airplane lands. What you reply with can help target responses. Shooting with a model in Tokyo is rather different than shooting with model in Kyoto is rather different than shooting in Kamaura is rather different than shooting Nagiso, Nagano...the backgrounds/surroundin​gs will be quite different

Well. To be honest I do not know yet.
I would really want to avoid big cities, and go somewhere a bit more quiet, maybe a smaller town to stay, and travel around as much as possible.
But I have no idea yet, its still more then a year to plan, and see what options I have both financially, and in the time frame.


Roland | Amateur Photographer
Nikon D850 | Nikon D80 | Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G ED

  
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Leon ­ Purvis
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May 31, 2020 20:41 as a reply to  @ NemethR's post |  #6

Your 24-70 is all you'll need. It's wide enough to capture scenery, and the 70mm extension will work fine for portraiture.

It's a perfect lens for photographing street life. That lens and the camera will be easy enough to hide under a jacket and whip it out when you see something interesting on the street.

I've done a fair amount of travel. I've learned to travel light. If you are staying in a hotel, it isn't likely that the bag and lens will fit in your room's safe (if there is one) and the front desk isn't keen on holding valuables for customers.

I suggest one lens, one body, four or five batteries and (maybe) a flash. Be prepared to leave the camera bag in the room. Carry a plastic bag to protect the camera in the case of rain.




  
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bernard0368
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Jun 02, 2020 06:22 |  #7

I brought the 24-70 and bought a 35mm prime when i was there. I found that the 35mm was my lens of choice in the cities. You will find the locals friendly and will happily pose for you.
I never had an issue or felt uneasy walking around with the camera.
A great country with loads of photo ops.


Canon 7D, , canon 100L macro,28-135 is, nifty fifty, canon 100-400L. canon 70-200L and lots of bits and pieces

  
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RPCrowe
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Jun 07, 2020 01:00 |  #8

Unless things change drastically - I'd bring an N-95 mask!


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

  
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Croasdail
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Jun 22, 2020 13:14 |  #9

As little as is possible. It is a busy, fast paced place. The last thing you need to be doing is fumbling for something. When I travel I bring a Sony A6xxx series, and a wide to short wide lens. Thats about it. A gorilla rip. A remote trigger. Gaffers take for through window shots. And that it. I want to be able to move freely, blend it, not draw attention to myself, and be able to go with what ever floats my direction.

If I need a wider shot... ill take multiples, and stitch them together. 6-8 24 mpx shots produces some amazing detail when stitched.




  
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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Jun 25, 2020 15:16 |  #10

Japan is very safe, the people very friendly and willing to go out of their way to assist travellers.
The train system is very extensive, and the Shinkansen a very rapid means of travelling long distances in/out of Tokyo.

Been to Kyoto, Osaka, Kamakura, Nagoya and of course Tokyo, in the course of many business trips to Japan. I would love an opportunity to visit more of the rural countryside. Stay in a ryokan for a night or two, for a taste of authentic Japan.

Keep in mind that there is a downtown air terminal in Tokyo...you can check in and check your luggage there, and then ride their bus to Narita for flight back home, a very pleasant alternative to doing it all at the airport! And MUCH less expensive than taking a taxi to the airport.

I vote for a camera+lens combination that goes as wide as 24mm (135 format). I might go as long as 105mm and use a telextender for the less frequent longer FL needs. You need not worry about sticking out with a camera in Japan...lots of folks with cameras (alsthough I must admit not having been in Japan since the smarphone camera took over such a large segment of photography). The 24-70 is an excellent choice, maybe accompany with 105mm and a TC...that will leave you with not much to go wanting.

New camera gear is generally NOT less expensive in Japan vs. NYC, and an extensive used gear market keeps prices up for the demand. Not sure how it would compare with prices you have in Hungary, however!
The traditional visit to Yodobashi in Shinjulku area of Tokyo would be interesting if you got nuts inside camera stores.
There are often electronics sold in Japan well before it is available in the US, so keep your eye out for such stuff that might be useful but keep in mind the issue of COMPATIBILITY with your home market goods.


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Mike ­ B ­ in ­ OK
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Jan 22, 2021 17:40 |  #11

I suspect the OP’s travel plans are delayed further, but in case he is still planning, and because it is an interesting topic, I will chip in.

If I want to travel on a non-photo trip, but still want to take high quality pictures, my go-to combination as a Canon shooter is the 24-105/4 L. It will be the only lens I take, and of course never comes off the camera. The Nikon equivalent I believe would be the 24-120, and I understand the latest version is pretty good.

For the shots of his model friend, that may not give shallow enough DOF, and he could supplement it with the 105 lens he mentioned, or a fast 85 or 135 lens of his choice.

Those would be my suggestions. Having said that, I am not a gear trader, and I wouldn’t sell and buy lenses just for one trip.




  
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FarmerTed1971
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Jan 22, 2021 18:27 |  #12

Money... bring money.


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ra40
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Jun 20, 2022 15:36 |  #13

Travel to Japan for foreigners is not going to be typical in these covid times. One must book through a tour group. Straying off or skipping days IDK if that is permitted now. A far as what I came across independent travel is not yet available.

Some of the parameters currently in place:

People from certain countries (USA, UK, Australia, NZ, Canada included) can visit Japan as part of a package tour, but you must apply for a visa in advance.

As a rough guideline, a package tour will cost around US $2,000 per person/per week, including guides, accommodation and transport.

Independent travelers cannot yet enter Japan but there are signs that they will be able to do so from the fall.

Family members of Japanese and foreign residents of Japan can visit Japan (you’ll have to apply in advance for a kinship visa – see details below).

Foreign business travelers and students can enter Japan as long as they have the proper visa (you must apply in advance and you’ll need a sponsor in Japan).

Quarantine and arrival testing have been eliminated for travelers from so-called “blue” countries (including most developed nations like the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and most of the EU).

Covid vaccine proof will not be required for travelers from “blue” countries. This means you do not have to be vaccinated to enter Japan if you come from a “blue” country.




  
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sontag404
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Post edited 2 months ago by sontag404.
     
Jul 05, 2022 16:46 |  #14

I think the first option is the best. Sometimes the planned budget is not enough for a full trip, and you must spend a lot more money. I would leave more resources for my stay in Japan and put off major purchases for another time. It is very important to manage finances wisely when traveling. When you're in a foreign country, it's impossible to anticipate and plan all of your expenses. I look for tips on travel spending and other useful information on https://travel-shark.com/ (external link). It is a great blog for those who love to travel and explore the world we live in.




  
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northuxuj
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Jul 10, 2022 08:28 |  #15

Oh, i went to Japan last year. You need to bring up with you food. I didn't like their food and the fact that I had food with me helped a lot. Btw my trip eas for 5 days so it wasn't so long.




  
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First international trip - what to bring to Japan?
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