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Author Topic: Packing list for trip of a lifetime  (Read 8604 times)

Crapking

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Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« on: July 13, 2012, 11:50:47 AM »
Travelling to the Galapagos Islands in a few short weeks with the wife and two teenagers, all de facto photo enthusiasts, and always love to hear how others would pick and pack our gear.  In theory, there is a weight limit of 45 lbs + one 15 lb carry-on per person, which must include ALL our clothes AND gear.

We will each have our own camera body, and obviously sharing lenses, but I am curious to how the forum would change my proposed choices, and we must respect this limit of our weight (in order to get on the plane in Ecuador). Also which travel bags would get most recommended.

The trip will include a week of 2x/day zodiac boat rides with wet shore landings, so water/weatherproofing transport suggestions are encouraged.

For the plane, we use Think Tank International and Retrospective 30 shoulder carry-ons, and that takes up all our allotted carry-on weight (for the bodies, and  70-200, 100-400, 16-35 and 24-70 zooms Ipropose, laptop, external hard drives. & accessories we plan on sharing).

Which travel / day-use bags would provide easiest access for our daily on/off water taxi/shore landings? Not sure the Retrospective is waterproof / comfortable enough for this type of use.

Also, any suggestions/personal experiences on an underwater camera/housing for a small point and shoot possibly? We will have opportunities for snorkeling (sharks / seals are abundant photo ops) and would add a P/S if people like one enough to convince me.  My 'old' P/s (Olympus 8080) has an underwater housing which is too heavy - looking for newer,  lightweight options. Was debating about getting a housing for the 7d and shipping it but cost-prohibitive.

Always fun to hear others' travel experiences/gear selections, so if you have opinions on other essentials, please add those as well, especially opinions on Gorillapod tripods, lightweight tripod/monopod heads etc. 

I am still debating the value (weight) of bringing my Induro GHB2 head (3+ lbs), Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber - Q90 - 4 Section tripod (another 3+ lbs) and /or monopod - versus lighter options.

Appreciate your ideas/reminders so I don't forget anything.

See profile for list of body/lens options - I am also CPS member who could 'evaluate' just about any lens for a week, but with trip overlapping with Olympics, selection/availability might not be great. Was thinking about 28-300, so if Neuro (or others) have experience with that, let me know.   I am considering a trial of this lens to help limit my weight, but I love my 70-200 and 100-400, AND if I bring 3 white whales with me, not sure my wife will still want to be seen with me  :)
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Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« on: July 13, 2012, 11:50:47 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 09:17:13 PM »
Quite simple really. Your bodies of choice.

16-35mm <-------Optional
24-70 2.8
70-200 2.8
A Fast 50mm
2X extender

Done. Everything else is extra.

Caps18

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 10:08:40 PM »
I would say the 24-70 is optional if you have a fast 50mm.

I like the 16-35mm for wide angle shots of nature and the island.

I would go with the 70-200 and an extender if taking pictures of animals that run off.

If you do some hiking, you will want to keep it light.

It is a tough call on the tripod.  I carried mine for a long time without using it on my last trip, but then I had to use it for a few pictures and it made it all worth while.  I wish I would have looked at smaller tripods though...

You will need to find some type of water proof bag.  Look at kayak/boat dry bags.  Try to find one with some padding.

I wish there was a good choice for underwater photos as well that didn't cost $1500, and don't say much about what lens you can use...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 10:15:19 PM by Caps18 »
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wickidwombat

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 10:24:16 PM »
for this trip i would go and buy the sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS HSM

probably take the 70-200 too since there are 3 shooters
16-35 and
fast 50

I would probably also take the 100 f2.8L Macro
and 3 5D bodies

plus my kenko 1.4 Tc and canon 2X TC

a gorilla pod for sure and might take a light weight compact CF tripod too
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Rocky

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 10:43:22 PM »
Can I assume that on will be on  90 ft.  boat for 16 passengers for a week? If that is the case,  you need seasick pill. The "wet landing is only at ONE ft of water. You will have a lot of chance to shoot wildlife close to the shore from the Zodiac. Make sure that the 70 to 200 has IS. bring towel to wipe the lens and camera at any time. As for shooting birds in the air, you will need at least 400mm.  I would not use converter . You need the lens speed for faster AF and fast shutter speed. Since there are 4 of you. I would bring every lenses.  16-35 will be wide enough for your FF but marginally wide enough for the 7D.  I would put the 400mm on the 7D for reach for the birds.  24-70 will be a good all around lens on any FF even for giant turtles and the sea iguanas. If you are going with a group you need to be fast moving. You are not going to have time to set up the tripod. I would bring 4 all weather camera bags (one for each person). You will need them in the Zodiac.Bring some thin pastic bag to make emergency rain coat for the lens and camera. My moto: Picture must be taken, let the equipment be damned.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 11:22:58 PM by Rocky »

AJ

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 12:02:00 AM »
I'd bring the 16-35, 24-70 and 100-400, and I'd leave the 70-200 at home.

Also, any suggestions/personal experiences on an underwater camera/housing for a small point and shoot possibly?

Try gopro HD2

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 12:12:57 AM »
I'd bring the 16-35, 24-70 and 100-400, and I'd leave the 70-200 at home.

Also, any suggestions/personal experiences on an underwater camera/housing for a small point and shoot possibly?

Try gopro HD2

+1.  On vacations like this you cannot bring extra lenses, and you need all the flexibility you can get.  Zoom lenses are the way to go.  I would actually do the same, 16-35, 24-70, 100-400.  If only you had the 24-105L lens.  Then you could go 16-35, 24-105, 100-400 and really do it all.  No need for a 50 prime when you have the 24-70 f/2.8L lens.  Oh well, this is just my opinion.
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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 12:12:57 AM »

tapanit

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 12:22:36 AM »
Travelling to the Galapagos Islands in a few short weeks with the wife and two teenagers, all de facto photo enthusiasts
I was there... what, 12 years ago. For photo/wildlife enthusiast, it's wonderful.
I had EOS 3 back then, 100-400L, 28-135IS and 50/1.4 if memory serves,
my wife carried EOS 300 and 75-300IS (and some short lens I've forgotten).
Quote
We will each have our own camera body, and obviously sharing lenses
[...]
for the bodies, and  70-200, 100-400, 16-35 and 24-70 zooms I propose, laptop, external hard drives. & accessories we plan on sharing
That doesn't sound much for four people. I would expect that to lead to serious
fights about the long lenses, especially the 100-400, if there's more than one
person with any interest in birds. To save weight I would leave the laptop and HDDs though,
just take a lot of memory cards (I mean a *LOT* - I'd plan on at least 1000 pictures per person per day).
And plenty of spare batteries, too. (You may not be able to charge them on the boat - check in advance.)
Quote
Also, any suggestions/personal experiences on an underwater camera/housing for a small point and shoot possibly? We will have opportunities for snorkeling (sharks / seals are abundant photo ops) and would add a P/S if people like one enough to convince me.
Absolutely! We didn't have any underwater photo gear then and have regretted it ever since. :-)

I'd suggest forgetting underwater housings and getting something like Canon D20 (I've got a D10, which is fine, the D20 is smaller).
Quote
I am still debating the value (weight) of bringing my Induro GHB2 head (3+ lbs), Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber - Q90 - 4 Section tripod (another 3+ lbs) and /or monopod - versus lighter options.
As I recall, I had hardly any opportunities to use a tripod. If I was going again, I'd leave it at home.
A monopod would be more useful but not really essential either. For most of the time there's plenty
of light - I had no trouble shooting ISO 100 slide film handheld almost all the time.
Quote
I am also CPS member who could 'evaluate' just about any lens for a week, but with trip overlapping with Olympics, selection/availability might not be great. Was thinking about 28-300, so if Neuro (or others) have experience with that, let me know.   I am considering a trial of this lens to help limit my weight, but I love my 70-200 and 100-400, AND if I bring 3 white whales with me, not sure my wife will still want to be seen with me  :)
I'm sure my wife would never forgive me if we went there again without at least one long white lens for each of us. :-)

If your kids are really into photography, you can really expect fights over the long lenses.
If at all possible, get at least one more tele lens. (I'd get two, so that there'd be one for
every person, but perhaps your wife isn't as much into long lenses as mine).
The 28-300 (never tried it) would probably be great, but as a lighter alternative, consider the 70-300L IS. If weight becomes limiting, drop the 16-35.

In any case, good luck, and have fun! There aren't many better places in the world for
wildlife photography.

Rocky

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 12:26:34 AM »
You may have two chance to dive. Just for the fun, you may want to get a water proof camera /housing for a point and shoot. Coleman make couple of very reasonably priced under water camera.

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 01:47:54 AM »
-Two bodies & zooms
-16-35 f/2.8II
-24-70 f/2.8 or preferably 24-105 f/4IS
-70-300L IS
-Compact Carbon Fibre tripod & ball head & cable release
-Lots of storage and backup hardware

You're right, this is the trip of a lifetime, right there in Charles Darwin's footsteps.

PW

Rocky

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 12:08:21 PM »
-Two bodies & zooms
-16-35 f/2.8II
-24-70 f/2.8 or preferably 24-105 f/4IS
-70-300L IS
-Compact Carbon Fibre tripod & ball head & cable release
-Lots of storage and backup hardware

You're right, this is the trip of a lifetime, right there in Charles Darwin's footsteps.

PW
TWO cameras and ONE not so long zoom for FOUR shooters in Galapagos????

devman

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 02:21:53 AM »
I'd think about picking up a GoPro Hero II camera as well - pretty cheap and can be used underwater when there is lots of light (make sure to get the flat lens) - time lapses are fun with it and the video can be pretty cool too - it's not a bad camera in good light.  It gets really bad noise really fast in low light though.

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 02:22:34 AM »
Oh and it fits in your pocket easily!

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 02:22:34 AM »

briansquibb

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2012, 03:29:32 AM »
I dont believe they let you on the islands so a good zoom will be needed.

For lightweight I would suggest a 7d and 70-300L would be a good starting point

Other lens options

second 100-400
400 f/5.6

24-105 (on crop)

bodies:

1D4/1DX for the fast moving critters - batteries last twice as long as others, about 2000 shots per battery
7D for light weight

Presuming you will be going back to the hotel at night:

- This will allow you to recharge batteries, so you wont need many spares
- Unload memory cards so you wont need too many spares
- the number of shots you are calculating about the same as a wedding, so no big deal

Tripod and laptop on boat? Probably not - especially as the light will be strong

Take at least 1 580/600 flash for shooting into sun - they have realistic range of about 50ft for infill
 
Avoid machine gunning - there will be many exciting animals there and the temptation is to take pictures all the time - wait for the better ones

Crapking

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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 07:03:32 AM »
Thanks for the advice so far, and to clarify, we will be on a boat (Celebrity Xpedition), 90 passengers, with power, all week but also doing 2 landings/day where we will be literally walking over/around the flora and fauna.  Past visitors have shown photos where they are swimming with sea lions, posing with the giant turtles, land and sea iguanas, and of course many, many birding opportunities.

I did go ahead and order the 28-300 from CPS, as well as the 14 2.8 II for some artistic UWA shots I hope.
So, lenses look like:
 
14,
(16-35 or 24-70),
28-300,
70 - 200 2.8 IS II and
100-400,

Now I need more advice on how to transport and keep the gear DRY as we get in/out of zodiacs on beaches every day. 
Experiences/links to backpacks would be appreciated.

I do have one Tamrac sling backpack, and a ThinkTank Retrospective 30, but will be investing in one more-possibly a Flipside AW, depending on the forums advice :)

Also the GoPro was a great idea - more portable and built in time lapse should be fun!
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Re: Packing list for trip of a lifetime
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 07:03:32 AM »