Backpacking through central america...equipment suggestions?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MyOwnPath, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. MyOwnPath

    MyOwnPath TPF Noob!

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    I will be backpacking through central america this summer and am looking for some advice on camera equipment to take;
    I've never backpacked for any length of time with a good camera so this trip (2 and a half months) will be an experience.

    I've settled on a Pentax manual SLR with ISO 400 B & W film.

    What would you recommend taking with me? I need a set up that is lightweight, relatively compactable, and I need to protect myself against rain and humidity. Any recommendations on lenses best suited for the jungle and ruins, too. Thanks! You have some beautiful pictures on this site!

    ---Trav---
     
  2. zio

    zio TPF Noob!

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    perhaps a tripod. i've got a great lightweight, reasonably sturdy tripod from Quantaray. its the QSX 2001.
    water tight containers.
    little advice is don't wear underwear b/c you'll get crotch rot a lot easier with it and a whole lot of chaffing.
     
  3. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    What model pentax are you taking? Do you already have it or are yhou going to get one? It would probably be a good idea to pick up a cheap used body for a back-up. (i would recommend and k1000 if you feel like spending that much or if you're looking for real ccheap, i'd suggest a km (same family but not as famous and much cheaper. I got one for 25 bucks off ebay.)) Also, don't limit yourself to iso 400 b&w. Takes many different isos and both color and black and white. You'll love the choices you have later on. In the rainforest, jungle, etc I would definitly advise and clear filter for protection.
     
  4. ckshen

    ckshen TPF Noob!

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    i am also backpacking this summer and will spend a month in guatemala. from a backpacker point of view though, you might also want to think about the possibility of theft. the nice stuff you bring with you, you might have to lug them with you at all times. hotel rooms aren't necessarily secure. and hostel its better to have a locker. so weight can be an issue.

    i am more of a backpacker than a photographer. one time i brought a tripod with me. i was able to take some good shots with the tripod, but there's also a lot of hassle walking around with it 10 hours a day...! now i just try to find places where i can just lay the camera on and take the pictures that way. don't always have the best angle, but it makes me travel also a lot lighter. mini-tripod sounds like a great idea, i am now considering getting one of those as well.
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Trav, I am going on a trip to Costa Rica in July also. Since that is the rainy season, I will take extra precautions with my camera equipment. Aside from two Pentax AF bodies and two lenses, I am taking a monopod with a ball grip. That way it won't be as cumbersome as some heavy tripod and it'll also be useful as a walking stick. I am planning to get extra batteries and extra (lots of) film, batteries and film are very expensive there. If you can, take some Silica Gel packs with you and keep them in your camera bag, to maintain a degree of dryness. If you can, take an extra manual SLR, one that does not need any battery to run (or maybe only for the metering). Don't forget some lens cleaning tissue and fluid, some BW filters, otherwise you'll have tons of fun!

    We want to see some pics upon your return! :D

    Good luck.
     
  6. TheProf

    TheProf TPF Noob!

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    I just went to Costa Rica last rainy season, and trust me you want a good dry bag. Also 400 barely cut it I was shooting wide open the entire time. Its VERY dark all day. So either push your film or get some 3200 BW (I think Kodak still makes that) My girlfriend destroyed her Digital in a matter of days because of the humidity. Get some Silicon to put in your dry bag. You will always be dealing with fog in your lense. the only way to get rid of it is to let it dry out so Silicon should help. Also I hope your Pentax is manual, not electronic. Humidity plays Havok on electronics there. if your there awhile youll notice salt crystals growing on all your electronics. I shot with a Fuji 6x7 since its all manual I didnt have any problems, just fogging in the lense.

    Have Fun!
     
  7. metroshane

    metroshane TPF Noob!

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    No tripod. A collapsable monopod will serve you better. And a machette. And a pistol. And some cash.
     
  8. MyOwnPath

    MyOwnPath TPF Noob!

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    wow, lots of good advice, and fast!
    I'll start coming on here more, thanks.

    I have a k1000, it is manual, and i plan to take no electronic things besides maybe a small flash. I have a light tripod and think i'll stick with that, but I will for sure look into a couple of dry bags and silicon. I've already got film wrapped up in ziplock bags, and i still have over a month till i leave!

    Thanks for the advice, and if i ever get to a scanner, i'll post some of my photos from the past couple years. Thanks!

    --Trav--
     

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