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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 Sep 2010 (Thursday) 04:22
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Heading to Asia, Need Kit+Travel Advice

 
Ultimo~
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Sep 09, 2010 04:22 |  #1

Hey, I'm currently planning a trip to Laos and most likely Vietnam+Thailand+Cambo​dia.

I have recently picked up a 550d only with a 18-55 but I am trying to pick up a few more lenses to get the most out of my trip and also when I return.

I will be travelling a lot by motorbike and obviously the other general transit methods will have to be utilized, SO I figured good build quality will be a requirement as cheap lenses might not survive the motorbike rides!

So far I have been looking at the 70-200 F4L NON IS and the 17-40 NON IS also.
The 70-200 is only around ~$700AU grey so it's a very low price for an L quality lens.

Not sure if I will be taking a tripod but If good quality compact ones exist I imagine I will be wanting to take one.

For my shots, I love good landscape shots which is why I was looking at the 17-40 as it's fairly wide and also an L lens so it has the superior build quality.

I also want a general purpose zoom and I have heard great things about the 70-200.

Neither of these lenses have IS, how important is this for general shots, I know it improves the keeper % so I'm guessing it would be fairly important where a shot won't present itself twice.

Another thing I will need will be a good quality bag to carry my gear in, waterproofing might be necessary.

Any tips/comments on gear would be a great help and highly appreciated, I want to bring back the best quality shots I can(but I don't have too much money to spend on this gear)

THANKS in advance.




  
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Headshotzx
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Sep 09, 2010 04:36 |  #2

What's the budget you're looking at for gear for the trip?

I would suggest what you said, 17-40 f/4L and 70-200 f/4L non IS, which will be great in asian light from about 8am to 6pm outdoors, and if you're willing to increase your ISO to 3200 and above, indoors as well. But when the night really gets dark, I'd also suggest the cheapest Canon lens out there,the 50mm f/1.8II. Probably can get it for like 50 USD or so.

Buy second hand so you can get the most amount of gear for your money. The 2 L's are built really well, and people upgrade their 50mm f/1.8II to the more expensive 1.4 version regularly, so they're aplenty in the marketplace.

If you're going to be mobile, don't bring a tripod. If the reason for the trip is to photograph (or it's a very major component of the trip) then perhaps consider a lightweight benro carbon fiber travel tripod. I've had bad experiences with benro, but it's undeniable that they are the most bang for buck if you're careful.

Bag wise, are you going to bring a lot of other stuff on you? Ditch any thoughts of a jacket - it's freaking hot around these parts now. If you're not bringing a lot of other stuff, I suggest you get yourself a Lowepro Stealth Reporter D200 or D300AW shoulder bag. They're pretty cheap nowadays, but it makes you look like you're carrying a big box.

The other one I'd really recommend is the Think Tank Retrospective 10 shoulder bag, but that costs a pretty penny, especially for someone who only has a kit lens at the moment. This is up to you.

Both bags come with their own waterproof cover, but you gotta make sure that you anticipate the water and put them on quickly beforehand. I've a friend who was happily shooting and didn't notice that they'd be passing below a waterfall and yeah, you can imagine his bag got pretty wet, but nothing was damaged.

So in summary:

550D
17-40 f/4L
50 f/1.8 II
70-200 f/4L
Lots of SD cards (unless you're bringing a laptop)
Spare batteries (you never know if your charger dies or gets stolen)
Lenspen + Blower (important, because where you're visiting is very dusty)
Benro travel angel tripod if you're thinking of lots of long-exposure landscapes

All in a bag of your choice. I suggest shoulder bags because you can put your camera in easily when you don't want people to notice you a lot (theft reasons) or when you're going through hazardous places such as under a waterfall or across rivers. It also makes sense when you're in tight confined spaces and have complete control over the bag, instead of having a huge turtle shell on you.

Hope this helps!
Zexun


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KVN ­ Photo
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Sep 09, 2010 06:31 |  #3

I live in Indonesia, and for Asian travel all you need is no more than 24-105. you wouldn't want to swapping lenses in our dusty weather, and 24 is wide enough for landscape, 100 is enough on your 550D as it will be 160mm. Also consider 10-22 or 10-20 canon or sigma for wide shot. Bring your tripod and bunch of memory too!


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Patrick.TeSeng
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Sep 09, 2010 09:14 |  #4

Headshotzx wrote in post #10876899 (external link)
So in summary:

550D
17-40 f/4L
50 f/1.8 II
70-200 f/4L
Lots of SD cards (unless you're bringing a laptop)
Spare batteries (you never know if your charger dies or gets stolen)
Lenspen + Blower (important, because where you're visiting is very dusty)
Benro travel angel tripod if you're thinking of lots of long-exposure landscapes

All in a bag of your choice. I suggest shoulder bags because you can put your camera in easily when you don't want people to notice you a lot (theft reasons) or when you're going through hazardous places such as under a waterfall or across rivers. It also makes sense when you're in tight confined spaces and have complete control over the bag, instead of having a huge turtle shell on you.

This suggestion is very similar to my trusty travel kit, the only thing different would be my choice of the 10-22 ultrawide angle lens over the 17-40. The choice of having 50mm f/1.8 and 70-200 f/4L would be my pic also.

If your budget is quite limited, your 18-55 IS lens will serve you well. It is actually a very good lens, has IS, and should survive your motorbike rides unless we're talking of you dropping the lens while on a motorbike ride. :) So... 18-55 + 70-200 f/4L.

For the bag choice, I use a Tamrac 5768 Velocity 8x. It can fit my travel kit (20D + 70-200 f/L mounted, hood in reverse, 10-22, 50mm f/1.8, 430EX (consider getting one :), blower, lenspen, CF cards and a few other accessories.

I travel to other Southeast Asian countries at least twice a year and this setup has proven itself. Hope it helps. :)




  
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kl07rph
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Sep 09, 2010 09:57 |  #5

I also second the 24-105mm L; you have IS and great IQ all in a small travel package.


.

  
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sangjiny
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Sep 09, 2010 10:02 |  #6

What's your budget? this will be the biggest factor in recommendations.


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cptrios
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Sep 09, 2010 13:41 |  #7

I would definitely NOT suggest getting the 17-40L unless you anticipate going full-frame someday soon. I also wholeheartedly second the people who suggest taking as little as possible to avoid changing lenses too often in the dusty, humid weather.

I took a similar trip to yours (backpacking) a few years ago, and all I had was a good P&S camera with an equivalent 35-135mm zoom. Honestly, I never really wanted any other focal lengths while I was there (though of course I wish I'd had more than 5 megapixels and the ability to control DoF!). If I could go back right now with your camera, here's what I'd bring:

Sigma 30 1.4 - Hanoi is an awesome city for street photography, especially around dusk and later. IMO this'd be a perfect lens for that situation. I wouldn't rule out a 50mm prime either but I think wider would be better. It depends, I suppose, on how close/far you want to be away from your subjects.
Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-VC - Super super sharp lens, affordable price. Same width as the 17-40 with a bit more reach and an extra stop of speed. You'd likely take 80% of your shots with it. (A 15-85 IS is another viable option)
Canon 55-250 IS - Cheap, light, and pretty sharp. Much less expensive than the f/4L and you'll stand out a LOT less with it.

Obviously if money is no option, I'd go with more expensive lenses...but you'll likely be in a few areas with high theft risk. Vietnam and Lao are pretty safe as long as you stay in the tourist areas (and even if you don't, I wouldn't worry too much), but Cambodia is less so. Siem Reap (where I imagine you'll be going at some point) is totally fine, as it's a tourist-industry kind of town, but Phnom Penh is serious "watch your back" territory. I myself was an almost-victim of a mugging there, and have heard plenty of stories. But once again, just stick around the tourist areas and try not to wave your photo gear around too much. You'll LOVE the trip though!


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canondslr
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Sep 09, 2010 15:38 |  #8

I used to bring 2-3 lenses when traveling, not anymore....
Last travel to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, I only bring my Canon Rebel XTi and Tamron 17-50 2.8 and Canon 430ex.
Next time I travel I'll bring either the same outfit or replace the Tamron 17-50 with Canon 18-200 IS.
After traveling several times, I like to bring less and less equipment. And believe me, the result (pics) are about the same if not better compared to the time when I bring more equipment.




  
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thatkatmat
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Sep 09, 2010 15:48 |  #9

I'd get a walkaround zoom I trust (24-70, 24-105 or 17-55) and a standard prime...Maybe the 28/1.8 or Sigma 30/1.4...Sometimes less is more.


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aboss3
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Sep 09, 2010 16:01 |  #10
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I would just carry one body + 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. This is a great combo in my opinion, and you shouldn't need anything else. Excellent range, and gives you some wide angle & tele. Maybe a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 would help as well on the wider end, since I see that you're shooting a crop. But nothing above 105mm is needed


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vfrstephen
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Sep 09, 2010 17:41 |  #11

I have travelled Thailand many times by motorbike and find the 10-22 the most often used for temples, scenery and there are heaps of beautiful temples in those countries your going too.


400D,30v , EF 24-105L, EF 50 1.8, EF 85 1.8

  
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dmo580
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Sep 09, 2010 17:54 |  #12

Stick with the kit lens. I don't get the appeal of the 17-40 over the kit lens. Yes you get a constant F/4 aperture, but it doesn't make as much sense for a crop camera.

On a cropper, you should look at a UWA like the Tokina 11-16, Canon 10-22, or Sigma 10-20. Stick with the kit lens. You're not gonna get amazing photos out of a 17-40 unless you really need to shoot at F/4 and not some variable aperture that your kit lens dictates. The kit lens is JUST as sharp if not sharper in some cases. I just dont like the 17-40 enough on a crop. While it's a decent deal, your money can be better spent if you even get a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.

Look to build upon your focal length restrictions. The UWA for me would be more important, but if you need a telephoto, the 55-250 will suit your needs very well.


Canon 7D & Rebel T1i: Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, Canon 55-250mm IS, Canon 28 f/1.8, Speedlite 580EX II, Speedlite 430EX II

  
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eg6turbo
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Sep 09, 2010 19:24 |  #13

i was just in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, China for 4 months...i can honestly say a kit lens and a 50 1.8 served my purposes 90% of the time. If i were to do it all over i would probably want a 15-85 with a Sigma 30 1.4 and maybe even a 85 1.8 ... the thing is you need something wide and long and a 24-104 isnt wide enough or fast enough for all the indoor temples and what not. Outside its not wide enough for landscaping shots. The Sigma would have saved me a ton of times for low light indoor shots and the 85 1.8 would give some nice portraits at sunset.

i would suggest in vietnam not to look too touristy at night carrying all your camera gear. Keep it simple and discrete and not walk around at night alone. Its a great country and generally safe but just use common sense and you'll be wanting to visit again.


| Canon Rebel T2i Gripped | EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM | EF-S 18-55 IS | EF-S 55-250 IS | EF 50 1.8 MK II | EF 85 1.8 USM | Speedlite 430EX II |

  
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cptrios
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Sep 09, 2010 19:43 |  #14

eg6turbo wrote in post #10881268 (external link)
i would probably want a 15-85 with a Sigma 30 1.4 and maybe even a 85 1.8

The more I think about it, the more I completely agree with this. 15-85, Sigma 30 1.4, and, if you have any money left over, the 85 1.8. You'll probably use the 85 1.8 the least, but it's likely to get you a few fantastic shots that'll make it worth it.


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cedm
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Sep 09, 2010 21:57 as a reply to  @ cptrios's post |  #15

Some good advice here.

I would personally bring as little gear as possible as you'll always be on the move. The camera equipment is extra load to carry on top of everything else you'll already have to carry. Heavy stuff to lug around can spoil a trip. I personally like to travel light, I find it more enjoyable, so I'd recommend to bring no more than 2 lenses.

Which lenses would depend on what you like to shoot. I don't believe there's such a thing as a "Vietnam" lens or a "NYC" lens, etc. Whatever suits your style will do anywhere. If you look to shoot street candid, longer lens will do. If you like to take more "panoramic" shots, wider helps.

South-east asia is very bright during day time, so f/4+ lenses are perfectly fine. Not sure if you'll shoot a lot at night. That depends on you but I guess most of your trip will be done during day time. In more remote locations, there's isn't much happening once the sun set. Well, besides night time street markets (flash would kill the mood, so better shoot whatever available light they have).

Don't buy a lens just for the trip if you think you won't use it much after that. You can always sell it afterwards, but I find that a bit silly (i know many will disagree :P).

So, either keep your 18-55 IS and had one more lens, longer or wider depending on your shooting habits. Or follow the other's recommendation of the 24-105L. Very useful zoom range. You may want to bring an ultra wide lens as well for landscape, temples or other narrow locations.

Maybe a gorillapod as tripod. I wouldn't carry big tripod around for sure.

Enjoy your trip!


My gear: EOS 60D | EF-S 10-18 STM | Tamron 17-50 F/2.8 | EF-S 24 STM | EF 50 F/1.8 | EF-S 55-250 IS | EF 100 F/2.8 macro | 430EX.

  
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