Need some advice from seasoned photogs that travel abroad.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by HeavyWater, May 29, 2012.

  1. HeavyWater
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    HeavyWater New Member

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    Hi all,

    So i'm going to be travelling to Europe (Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Florence, and Rome) next week and wanted to get some advice. I would like to bring a handful of lenses with me in addition to my tripod to accompany my 60D while i'm over there to go crazy shooting everything I can see. My selection of lenses are as follows: Canon 100mm Macro, 75-300mm non-IS/USM, 18-55mm (only in manual focus, the auto focus is broke), Tokina 11-16mm wide angle, and a Rokinon 8mm fisheye. I have two bags to select from. I have a kata r-102 backpack, and a case logic SLRC-205 Sling. I was thinking of taking the sling because it's smaller along with the macro, tokina and the fisheye but not sure if i'm pushing it with the lenses. Also concern was if I take the tripod, i'd like to not use the carrying case but to instead strap it to the sling. Not an issue in Frankfurt but when i'm in Paris and Rome, I will be at all the tourist hotspots and am worried by my tripod strapped out in the open, it will make me stick out like a sore thumb to would be thieves. Any one have any experience traveling with their gear on a personal level and if so, what do you do?

    Thanks
  2. o hey tyler
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    o hey tyler Well-Known Member

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    I think it's a good idea to use the sling. That's the route I would take as well. Does it come with a rain cover? One that comes out of the bag from a zippered or velcro pouch? The reason I ask is because I have a Lowepro Sling bag, and it comes with a rain cover. Additionally, I've found it to be the best way to deter theft as it covers up all of the openings. If your slingbag comes with one, I suggest you use it to cover your bag in confined areas like a subway system, public transport, or any area that you feel would be a high potential for theft.

    I wouldn't be too concerned with being "high profile" so to speak, with a tripod. Thieves are going to know what to look for regardless of the externals. As long as you keep an eye on your gear (maybe even a hand on it) you'll be fine.

    If it were me in your shoes, I'd leave the fisheye at home and grab something a bit longer like the 75-300. You've already got a wide angle, who knows when you might want some reach, right?

    Hope this helps, and have a great trip!
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  3. GeorgieGirl
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    GeorgieGirl New Member

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    HW - You have every good sense to be concerned about theft, in these locations you are a target for the thieves. Here is an example for you:

    Went to the Vatican Museum with a small camera bag, and by small I mean one camera with a 17-55 on the camera and a 10-20 lens in the bag along side. Upon entering the Vatican Museum one must put their items on the conveyor belt to be scanned. This occurs shortly past the point of entry.

    While on line and I was next up to pass thorugh the people scanner, and because I don't pass through any checkpoint until my stuff is actually in the machine, someone came up behind me and blew into my ear, AND the guard was demanding that I pass through the human scanner ahead of my things in/on the scanner belt.

    I did not comply, and I waited until my articles were in the machine, and getting yelled at was no problem for me. The person behind me could easily have about faced and exited with my gear and I'd have never known. Do I think the guard was part of the scheme, yes I certainly do.

    Moral to the story, you are a target, take very, very little for walk around and unless you really need some of the equipment, like the tripod, you'd be better off leaving it behind, IMHO.

    Camera straps and camera bags get cut. Gypises and thieves are all over Europe just waiting for the tourists.
  4. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Not seeing the business aspect, moving to the Discussions forum.
  5. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    I have travelled through Mexico, Asia, the Middle East and Europe with my gear and have never had a problem. I use a back-pack style bag (One body, lenses from 18-300, one speedlight) and a tripod with a shoulder-strap. I do not go into places that require me to put my gear down however. What I have found is that people who look like the stereo-typical tourist are the ones who have problems. If you look prepare and look confident, you should be fine. On the topic of straps however, make sure you get one with a wire core so that if someone does try and cut it, all they're going to get is a dull knife.
  6. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Tirediron makes a very valid point.

    I used to have many acquaintances in federal law enforcement.

    Many people are oblivious to what is going on around them, and make easy victims for any manner of crimes.

    Thieves avoid those who are obviously aware of their surroundings, or what my law enforcement contacts would call being in a constant state of 'condition yellow'. In short a person's demeanor can mark them as an easy target, or some one not worth risking an attempt.
  7. HeavyWater
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    HeavyWater New Member

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    Very solid advice from everyone. Thank you all for your input. I just remembered that I have a Lowepro Slingshot 102 AW which I believe has a rain cover. Think I'll use that. I definitely will keep on hand on my gear at all times. I'll pick up a slash proof neck strap just to be on the safeside. Thanks again and I'll report back on how things go. Wish me luck! :-D
  8. The_Traveler
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    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent

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    my philosophy
    I would take less gear unless you have loads of time.
    Most tourist situations are too crowded for tripods and youll waste a lot of time taking pictures of things that millions of people have taken before.
    I've traveled a lot (44 countries) and have rarely taken pictures of 'sights' and even more rarely have ever needed or wanted a tripod.
    Shoot what you see around you and buy postcards for the rest.
  9. HeavyWater
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    HeavyWater New Member

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    My reasoning for bringing the tripod is because I want to get some night shots of the city (Paris from Montparnasse) and possibly some others where I'll need to have the shutter open for an extended period of time. Other than those shots, I would probably leave the tri at home. Thoughts?
  10. spacefuzz
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    spacefuzz Well-Known Member

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    I guess I would look over your itinerary and decide what type of shots you want most. Iconic views or more street style. That should help dictate what lenses you decide to bring. Lew would be wandering around without a tripod, and I would be parked in front of the Eiffel Tower at sunset with a tripod and all of my filters etc.
  11. RyanLilly
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    RyanLilly New Member

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    A beanbag and remote shutter release can replace a tripod for a lot of those night shots. Just find a railing, trashcan, park bench, etc.
    My advice is to travel light. I recently ditched my battery grip, bought a nice compact bag, and slimmed down my lens selection to My 17-50, a fast prime and either my 11-16 or 90mm macro, depending on where I am going. Everything else stays at home. Now its lighter and easier to carry, and less cumbersome so I end up taking more pictures than when I was carrying more gear. A lot of times I want to travel light and just bring my E-PL2 and (gasp) Kit lens. There might be some days where leaving most of your gear in the hotel room safe, and just taking one camera and one lens, yields much more fun.

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