I am travelling to South East Asia and want to take my dSLR, a Nikon D80. The question is whether I take my 18-200mm f3.5 VR lens or a 50mm f1.8 lens. or both? am also planning on taking a small compact camera.
Thanks for any advice.
I'm traveling right now with my D80 and the 18-200mm VR. I also have a wide angle and a small point-and-shoot. I've been really happy with the versatility of the 18-200 and have used it for almost all of my pictures. If you're not too worried about traveling light, I would bring both. Would be nice to have the 1.8 for low light.
I would agree with Anna. I traveled for a while year with my D80 and the 18-200mm and throughout the year added the 12-24mm and an 80-400mm to the package. I found myself using the 12-24 very frequently because its great in crowded settings like Prague. While I like the 18-200 I found that it does everything (e.g. close and far away) but does none of them perfectly. But, with that said, the 18-200 does allow you to travel much lighter.
I have since upgraded and now travel "Heavy" with the d700, 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and an 50 f1.4. While the 50mm helps in low light and is very small, it can be limiting if you are at crowded tourist attractions or can't get closer or further away in dense cities.
If I were you, I'd bring both! Just make sure to get extra insurance to cover any damage. The extra $50 of insurance is huge if someone steals your stuff or you drop it in a river...
excellent thanks for advice people! just a few more quick questions... is it worth getting the battery grip and an extra battery for the D80, as in south east Asia i'm not sure how easy it will be to charge?
also what are the thoughts on camera armour... is it any good?
lastly! what did you do with your photos while travelling?
thanks agian, Harry.
I always use the extra battery grip on my camera as I like the extra choices for hand grips but it isn't necessary if that doesn't appeal to you. When it comes to batteries I'd always have at least two but maybe even three is better.
While in SE Asia (about 2.5 months) I never ran into a problem charging batteries. I would probably only charge my three about once a week because they hold a charge pretty well, but I never had any issues finding power.
Third, I traveled with a laptop and external hard drive. Since I shoot exclusively in RAW, the files can take up some space. I would always take the extra moment to delete the absolutely horrible ones but probably saved a bunch that weren't awesome. Ali,our fearless TravelBlog leader, always recommends burning your pics to CD as well so that you have a relatively permanent backup. I used two small hard drives and a computer. I kept one hard drive in my pack and one in my camera bag.
Another option, that I now use for shorter (less than a month) trips is this: P-6000
. Its very compact, has a nice screen and holds 80gb which is enough for me for a week or two. Its only downside is that downloading pics off of it can be excruciatingly slow. But, its worth it to me to not have a whole computer and harddrive. Of course, today you can but a "netbook" which is tiny and have much less weight. Back in '07 when we did our world tour we had a 15 inch HP that weighed a lot more.
Personally i'd take both - the fixed lens won't take up much room and if you plan shoot low light (sunrise/sunset/night - best times of the day) it'll be worthwhile.
The 18-200 is pretty much a must-take, no? If I had the spare cash, that's exactly the lens I'd take (I'm making up for it with the 18-55 / 55-200vr combo, but still...)
thanks everyone for all the help! I'm definately going to take the 18-200mm and probably the fixed 50mm... just need to buy/find that cash to buy that one now! if you could take any two lens with you travelling... which ones would you take?!
also; thinking of buying a friend's old netbook off him to store all my photos and a small external hard drive to back the photographs up on, and keep with my passport! does this sound like a good idea... the P-6000 is far more expensive!
lastly does anyone know the best place to buy SD cards from possibly in bulk and cheaply...is it worth buying them out in Thailand?! thanks again. Harry
I would recommend investing in a few decent cards instead of bulk cheap ones. We've seen problems with the bulk ones in the past and you'd hate to have a card go bad. If a card goes bad you can lose everything on it. No good at all!
If I had to select two lenses to travel with I would pick my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR and my 12-24mm f/2.8. I usually never travel that light any more because I'd take at least three lenses and add my 24-70mm f/2.8 but if I had to choose I'd go long and I'd go short. I find that the middle focal lengths aren't as interesting as the long and short ones. The 70-200mm is the sharpest lens I've ever shot with and is great for both portraits and landscapes. The 12-24 is super wide. On the d80 it'd be the equivalent of an 8mm-18mm lens but since I use the full-frame d700 its SUPER wide. I love wide angle stuff because it does really cool things . The only challenge is, to use one, you have to practically be on top of your subject. Also, they stink for people shots because of the distortion they create. Only thing worse is a Fisheye.
Bets of luck Harry! Let me know if I can answer any more questions.
brilliant. thanks once again for all the advice Mike. another question: which compact digital camera would you have? our the water/shock proof ones any good and is the picture quality alright? Harry.
Hmm, that's a tougher question because there are so many cameras and they change all the time. I would say that one big problem with compact cameras today is that they have too many Mega-Pixels. With too many mega-pixels packed onto a small sensor you start to see the flaws in the lenses. I always try to find cameras with fewer MPs than more when I buy small ones.
I've always gone with Canon compacts but have heard great things about Panasonic's Lumix series of cameras as well. Nikon doesn't make very good compacts but I'm sure they're decent. try reading some reviews on line at places like DPReview
Hope that helps.