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first trip with a dslr-- some Q's specific to the middle east

xoom

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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Tags: dslr lens
  • Added on: May 21st, 2008
i bought my first dslr a couple months ago, yay finally! it's a digital rebel xti.

i have two lenses, 18-55 and 75-300. i'm leaning towards leaving the 75-300 at home because it's heavy and big, and i don't want to worry about both of them when i can just worry about one. plus, we're going to be doing a hostel and camping thing through egypt, syria and jordan.. i know sand's not good for a camera, but c'est la vie.

i can't imagine any situation on that trip where i'd want that zoom, that i wouldn't be able to just walk up closer to get a closer shot. it's not like i'm going on a safari or something. but then again, travel is the main reason i bought the camera! that's the only reason i'm hesitant about leaving the larger lens at home.. what if i come across a photo op that would look really great with a better zoom?

would you bring the other lens? have you been to the ME and was glad you had better zoom?
Freedom lies in being bold.

blog: http://sybaritestory.wordpress.com/

GoodtimeBob

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  • Added on: May 21st, 2008
Not only is it a big lens but often the bigger they are the easier they are to get whacked out of alignment. I find that a closeup lens is better as a second lens.

Remember that your camera has a pretty good optical zoom. Try some test shots at home to give yourself an idea of what kind of results you will get.

What do you do with your photos? Print them out? If so,and you make larger than 8x10 then the big lens has some value. But if you are like me and publish for the web, which is low resolution, the big lens might as well be left at home.
Been traveling over 30 years. I'm back as an Insider after the collapse of the Thorn Tree. 4000 photos of Latin America and the Mode Lode at www.goodtimebob.com. Read the warnings.

jv

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  • Added on: May 21st, 2008
Ah, the eternal question – how many lenses to bring on a trip.

I can’t answer directly. I took a similar trip back in 2004, but did not have a dLSR at the time. I was, however, very happy to have a zoom on my digital point-and-shoot. And if I did the trip again, I would probably take three lenses. Or at least two (a wide-to-mid zoom and a tele zoom, like you’re thinking of).

But keep in mind that my reasons for bringing extra lenses might not apply to you. I think everyone has a unique “dSLR travel style.” My own style starts with the fact I enjoy having a lot of different focal lengths at my disposal, probably due to my prior use of superzoom point-and-shoot cameras. Also, I feel like I’ve invested all this money in the equipment, that trips include some life’s best opportunities to use this equipment, so I might as well bring a decent compliment of gear. (Oh yeah, and I insured the gear ... that makes the decision easier as well)

There are a lot of advantages to lugging around a dSLR and a good compliment of lenses. But the catch is that those advantages are sort of burdened by inherent downsides. The ability to change lenses is great, but it means I have to lug more crap around. The quality of my pictures is better, but I’m also a bit more paranoid because I’ve got what amounts to a big dollar sign hanging around my neck all day (or sitting in my room). I’m much more into taking pictures, but occasionally feel like the focus on photography makes me less observant of other things I used to enjoy on trips.

I personally think there are enough telephoto opportunities in the Middle East where I’d encourage you to bring both lenses. Try it, and if it doesn’t work out, chalk the experience up to the process of learning your dSLR travel style.

xoom

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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  • Added on: May 21st, 2008
hm.. good arguments on both sides.

i don't expect to be printing any photos out larger than a 8x10, that's a good point. and the whole dslr travel style thing... i already know i try to travel as light as i can, as a general rule. i'm also paranoid that, when i'm changing my lens in the campsites, that some sand or dust will blow in!

if, after i return, i see a photo and i think 'damn i should have made that a closeup', i could always crop it, can't i? the quality will still be maintained, as long as i don't blow it up too huge.. and i plan to save my pics in raw, if that helps.

thanks you two! this helped me make my mind up.. i don't think i'll be lugging around the bigger lens.
Freedom lies in being bold.

blog: http://sybaritestory.wordpress.com/

Conor_M

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  • Added on: May 21st, 2008
My suggestion would be to bring them both. I am not sure which 75-300 you have but mine was a 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 USMIII from canon and it was not big enough to discourage me.
I traveled through south america and used both lenses throughout the trip. The wider angle was on the camera 90% of the time since it was less cumbersom to carry around.

*a bit off topic*
Take good care of your gear on the road, keep it close. I carried my xti through hostels and camping trips and everything was going great, I never let it out of my site. It still managed to get stolen with 5 days left in my 5 month trip. So I guess never let your guard down and lock your backback even if it is tied to you on the bus.

A word about insurance, be very wary about how you get it insured. My broker suggested I add it as addition to the coverage for my house insurance with a zero deductible for $25/year. When I came back and reported it stolen the claim actually came against the house and the yearly premiums were going to increase $300/year for 3 years which made following through with the claim all but useless. (nice of them to tell me that from the get go)

Despite all that bringing the dSLR was the best thing I ever did on the trip and the pictures I got out of my months traveling were worth the loss of the camera and lenses.



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