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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 20 Mar 2017 (Monday) 07:22
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Travel Help

Senior Member
728 posts
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Joined May 2007
Location: North Carolina
Post edited over 1 year ago by packpe89.
Mar 20, 2017 07:22 |  #1

I'm heading to Oxford and London (from USA) next week to attend a Physics conference where my son, who is presenting a poster. We will have 3 nights in Oxford and 2 in London. I have not flown commercially in 25 years, so I have several questions.

First, what equipment, I have a 5d classic and 7d. Lenses, I have 15-85, 17-40L, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 28-80/2.8-4L, 70/200/2.8IS, Sigma 100-300/F4. I know we will be walking quite a bit, so thinking I'll travel fairly light, so no tele's. I guess option 1 I'm thinking about is the 5d, 17-40, 50 and 85 (or 28-80 in place of primes). Option 2 would be 7d with 15-85 and 50. I'll also be taking a flash (420ex or 550ex). I know the 15-85 is more versatile, but will I miss those extra couple mm the 5d/17-40 would give me? I plan to carry everything is a back pack case I have, with a top compartment for putting other things for walking around.

Second, I guess I'll want to carry-on my camera bag. Any considerations about that? We will be flying direct (Raleigh to London)

Third, Best plan? in Oxford, the first night there, we will be having a banquet at Christ Church (from Harry Potter fame) and will have a tour of Blenheim Castle one day as well. What else is a must there? In London, we will have Friday afternoon and all day Sat. for site-seeing. Staying fairly close to Big Ben. Do a tour bus and try to catch as much as possible or what?

Finally, anything else, planning to bus between Oxford and London or is train better. Cell phone (just get a few days of Verizon service or switch sim cards), get cash at an ATM when we get there?

Thanks for any advice.

Canon 7D, 40D, 300f2.8L, 70-200f2.8L IS, Sigma 30f1.4, 60EF-S 2.8 Macro, 15-85EF-S , Sigma 10-20, A couple of flashes, strobes and stuff.

Senior Member
426 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Likes: 109
Joined Sep 2007
Location: D/FW metro
Mar 20, 2017 08:35 |  #2

You may possibly get a variance in the responses you receive versus a true agreement on what is "best".

I did two trips overseas last year and only brought enough to fit into a carry-on. Clothes, jacket, personal items and camera were all in the bag. My two main reasons for this: I didn't want to wait at baggage claim there or upon my return to the States and I didn't want to be schlepping more than one bag through the city.

Since you are attending a conference, your expected attire for the event may be something more than casual. You may consider wearing those clothes on the airplane and upon arrival having them cleaned/pressed if necessary.

Camera-wise I recommend going minimal here also. You are not going to be spending enough time in either area to really go and get to locations at certain times to get specific shots, etc. If neither of you have been to either city, you are probably going to want to take in as much as you can which may entail walking or jumping on and off public/transportation. Toting a full bag of camera gear is going to wear you out.

One trip I took a Canon G16, the other was Canon M-3 with an 18-55 lens (which would be comparable to your 28-80). Spend a bit of time thinking about composition, take a shot or two and move on.

Haven't been to Oxford so I have no input other than the train would be quicker but probably at a higher cost. Either option allows you to at least look out the windows to enjoy the views.

In London, as a first-timer, the sight-seeing bus would maybe be ok but it may take you to places you have no desire of seeing. I would recommend a little research on what is important for you and your son to see and plan a route that can do that efficiently. Again the metro (tube) is very efficient.

Cell phone? Only if necessary. I didn't use one over eight days other than to use hotel WiFi to check email and iMessage/Skype. Purchasing an international plan isn't great by any means but it isn't outrageously expensive either. Monitor your data usage because you can go through that quickly. Buying a sim card in the UK is easy and relatively inexpensive. Look at Vodafone, EE (was Orange). You can get sim cards at a variety of places, prices will vary though.

In closing, I would enjoy the trip and time with your son instead of making it a photo excursion. You can do that some other time with specific needs in mind.

Enjoy the trip.


number ­ six
"After 40 years still not housebroken, I still piddle on the carpet"
8,911 posts
Likes: 42
Joined May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Mar 20, 2017 15:06 |  #3

You might consider leaving your cell phone at home and using a throwaway phone. From this morning's SF Chronicle:
http://www.sfchronicle​.com …p?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result (external link) …ch-your-cellphone-n732746 (external link)


"Be seeing you."
50D - 17-55 f/2.8 IS - 18-55 IS - 28-105 II USM - 60 f/2.8 macro - 70-200 f/4 L - Sigma flash
I do not piddle on the carpet!

Senior Member
349 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Likes: 21
Joined Jan 2010
Mar 21, 2017 13:20 |  #4

Even on a short stay in London, getting a Visitor Oyster Card can be a good idea. Especially great for travelling on the underground (The London Tube) to save time, and probably also money, getting from one sightseeing place to the other. In addition, you will not have to try and get through the tedium of studying the complexities of the fare system when you move around.

Just browse through that page to assess if it can suit you: …ondon/visitor-oyster-card (external link)

Have a good time!

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Travel Help
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