1 month travel kit recommendations (Canon t2i)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jeevesofRKdia, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. jeevesofRKdia macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #1
    Having read 5 pages of threads regarding travel kits for various places (post 9/11, to Chicago, to Africa, etc.) I found that I need some recs of my own.

    I'll be heading off to India for a month-long stay there. I'll be walking and bussing and flying to various temples and other rural locations. However, I wanted your suggestions regarding what gear to get given my camera.

    I have a Canon T2i (or, I will after Black Friday) with the 18-55 kit lens. It's my first DSLR, but I'm pretty familiar with aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc. I've also played with my friend's T1i w/ his 50mm 1.8 II.

    I was also thinking of buying the 50mm 1.4 USM (~$350) for another low-profile lens. I've been checking Adorama, B&H, J&M, amazon, eBay, and Craigs List for a used one that's in decent shape. Nothing. :(

    Also on my list:
    Canon's remote trigger (~$25)
    a Gorillapod SLR-Zoom with quick release ball head (yeah, I know, but I don't have the budget for a larger tripod and a mini one wouldn't be quick-release) [~$60]
    Blackrapid's RS-5 strap (~$65)
    Lowepro Slingshot 102 AW (~$65)
    Lens cleaner, extra battery, reverse ring, SD cards, etc.

    I kinda would like validation on the prices/items here, suggestions for use in India (lots of dust/fog some places where I'm going), and anything else you all might suggest. Also, any chances on finding that T2i (+ kit lens) for less than $800 on BF?

    Thank you!
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    A rain cover (I like the Fotosharp ones) is a cheap investment that allows you to shoot in interesting conditions.

    Paul
     
  3. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #3
    Don't forget an electrical conversion kit so that you can recharge your battery. an extra battery is a must and several memory cards. Are you bringing a computer? if so you'll want to upload your pictures onto the computer often, iPhoto, aperture, Photoshop, Lightroom-whatever (if you have any of those). Rather than getting the 18-55 kit lens, why not get the body and get a bigger zoom as your "walk around" lens. When I got my T1i I chose the 18-200 f3.5-5.6 IS after doing some research. I guess it depends on your budget. Anyway, that's my 2c. Also, look at the used store section of B&H sometimes they have nice deals on some great cameras and lenses. good luck, safe travels and share your photos with us when you get back!:)
     
  4. jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #4
    I've got the conversion kit. The extra battery + memory cards are on the list. And I'm not chancing it with my computer. The problem is that I'd rather just have 1 bag of valuable stuff on me and have it on my person at all times. Certain temples that I'll be going to require no stitched clothing + no cameras. So I'd rather just carry the bags and have the someone in my party hold my stuff while going to those temples. I guess it's a matter of being comfortable carrying $3000 worth of equipment...

    My hope was to try and get everything under $1400 (which it is REALLY close to right now) so the 18-200 will be out of my budget. Either way, thanks for the tips! I'll definitely be sure to put the photos up here.
     
  5. ThemacNub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    It would probably be a good investment to get a usb card reader and a small portable harddrive and just check into an internet cafe every few days to deposit your photos off. Much more portable than a computer but slightly less convenient.
     
  6. jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    Yeah. I'll probably bring along a usb card reader. However, internet cafes are few and far between in the villages (where I'm going). So I'm just gonna stock up on SD cards (I have a 16GB (class 10), an 8GB (class 6), and I'm going to get another 8 or 16GB (class 10)) so I have multiple cards to spread the risk.
     
  7. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    My first bit of advice would be to skip the 50/1.4, and just go for the way cheaper 50/1.8. You'll lose a tiny bit of light, and the build quality, but it'll be a lot cheaper and you'll also care a lot less if it gets stolen or broken. Pick it up new.

    In addition, this may enable you to pick up some kind of telephoto - such as the 55-250? I wouldn't personally recommend the 18-200, as I find the lens is simply too much compromise to enable the zoom range.

    Why are you buying the RS-5 strap? What is wrong with the one that comes with it, especially if you're trying to cut the budget. Don't get me wrong, the RS-5 is great (I use them all the time), but I would consider that to be something to buy at a later date. Again, the money saved here can go towards a telephoto.

    Equally, why the remote trigger? I have three of the damn things, and never use them. There's a self-timer if you're trying to get yourself in shot. Money saved again towards the telephoto.
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    If you have a recent Mac, you don't need a card reader, they have built-in card readers which are very fast.

    Regarding equipment, I also second the suggestion of getting a rain cover. I also recommend you getting at least one prime. Although the 50 mm is good and cheap, it is already a slight tele lens that is more suitable for portraits and such. A 30 mm or a ~20 mm prime would be better suited for general purpose photography. I have a 30 mm f/1.4 Sigma and I very much like it. It's a bit soft at f/1.4, but there is basically no alternative that is as bright and as cheap.
     
  9. York-Diuck macrumors member

    York-Diuck

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    toronto
    #9
    I did the exact same trip about a year ago and decided to go the minimalist route.

    My equipment:
    nikon d40
    18-55mm for wide
    55-200mm for most other situations (Used this lens mostly)
    3 batteries
    4 sd cards
    converters for electrical sockets
    cleaning kit

    Here's the thing, when I went it was the month of May and virtually no rain, just dust. Bringing a cleaning kit was really important because i spent alot of time in dusty markets or doing street photography, which is generally filthy and dusty. Another important thing to pass on is that there are no standards for electrical sockets in India. Bring a bag of different types of converters that you won't have any problems plugging in your batteries for recharging. I used about 3 different converters within a month!
    I think the only thing I regretted not having was a low light prime (I didn't have my 35mm f/1.8 at the time). Also, Internet cafes are few and far between with computers being terribly slow and outdated and internet not always working outside some of the main cities. I'm not sure bringing a laptop solves this, unless its just for photo editing.

    Places I loved:
    Varanasi
    Goa

    Places I didn't
    Agra
    Delhi (Delhi in my opinion is overrated and aside from the open air markets not as interesting as some of the other citities)

    Enjoy the Trip!
     
  10. jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    It's an interesting thought to go for the 1.8 and get something like the 55-250... I may just bump my budget (it's slightly self-imposed) to get the 55-250 as well. But I'm seriously considering this now. Thanks for the advice.

    Additionally, I think I'll skip the remote trigger and perhaps the RS-5 for now. What do you think about a wrist strap instead?
     
  11. jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    Err. I have a late-2008 MBP. So no. :rolleyes:

    However, I think I will get the rain cover. I do have a dedicated card reader that's just fine. Also, the 30mm 1.4 from Sigma is even MORE expensive than the 50mm 1.4! :p
    But it is a nice lens and I'll think about switching the 50 for the 30mm.

    Also, what do you think about the 28-135? It's not a prime, I know, but it does get down to the sub-30 range.
     
  12. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #12


    I am assuming by your statement that you are including the x1.6 factor of the t2i. the 28-135 would make a nice walk around type lens with some wide angle, mid range and zoom qualities. The only potential problem would be limited indoor capabilities (what's the /f range on the 28-135?) even with the built-in flash of the t2i. It sounds like you are beginning to narrow things down.
     
  13. jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    3.5-5.6 IS

    And what do you mean by "narrowing things down?" I feel like I have even more things to choose from! :p

    Well, here's the updated list of stuff:

    Gorillapod
    Cleaning Pen
    Camera
    Bag (now I'm undecided on this)
    Rain Cover
    Memory Cards
    UV Filter
    Batteries
    Some lenses
    In the running: 55-250mm, 50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8 II, 28-135mm (I want to choose only a few of them ~$400 worth)

    Est. Total: $1090 + $100-400 for lenses
     
  14. kevin49093 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #14
  15. fcortese, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #15
    Not knowing the cost of the lenses, IMO, I'd lean towards the 28-135 for versatility of use (some landscape, candid urban/village use, portrait like photos, etc) and the 50 1.8 II (nice low price. nice aperture). But I am no lens expert so take my advice accordingly.:D

    EDIT: if the 28-135 is less expensive than the 55-250 and within your 400 buck budget then that with the 50 1.8 would be my choice. If both the 55-250 and the 28-135 are close in cost you may want to go and actually play with both at a camera shop if possible to see which you'd prefer. the 28 gives you a wider view for landscapes as compared to the 55 with the 1.6x factor is closer to 80+mm but I am sure you have factored that in.
     
  16. jeevesofRKdia, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #16
    So here's where I'm at now. I found the kit for $700 free shipping from a different store. However, Amazon has a deal where I get the 55-250 for free. So, comparing the two stores:

    Camera Alone:
    Place A: $705
    Amazon: $850

    55-250:
    Place A: $200
    Amazon: Free (well, $7...)

    Total savings: $45 through Amazon. However, I don't know if it will drop in price from now until BF. So I was thinking about just buying it and holding it unopened until BF, seeing the relevant deals, and then returning it if I find the 18-55 + 55-250 for cheaper than $850. But I just need to figure out if I need the 55-250. If I don't, then I'll just buy the camera alone and put the money towards a different lens. Suggestions?

    EDIT: Of course, this is all assuming the 1.6x crop factor. And the cheapest I'm finding the 28-135 is $275.
     
  17. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #17
    Sigma 18-200. Take a look at it. Reasonable priced at both Adorama and BHphoto...

    It's my walking around lens.

    Coachingguy
     
  18. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #18
    Also, for the bag... Well, as you've probably read the search for the "perfect" camera bag, and I've bought everybody: Lowepro, Mountainsmith, Crumpler, Tamarac etc... Then, I stumbled upon this
    LAPG Tactical Bail Out Gear Bag $19.99
    http://www.lapolicegear.com/tabaoutbag.html

    There's no padding, but it's got lots of pockets, some hidden and most not. It's comfortable to wear and it doesn't scream "I've got $1500 worth of photography equipment!

    Take a look.

    Coachingguy
     
  19. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    #19
    Definitely take a cleaning kit...and I would also recommend the 55-200 mm lens...
    About Internet cafes..well if you are in a big city you can easily use the computers to backup your data on your drive (if you take one).
    Oh and you'll also need a converter for your charger...
    I got all my stuff from adorama...check them out...amazon too...bhphotovideo is also good...
    Good luck :)
     
  20. jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #20
    Definitely taking a lens cleaning kit. Any other cleaning kit you suggest?
    I'll be in Calcutta for some time and then in Puri and then all over South India. So it may or may not be feasible for me to even find a computer. However, do you think 32GB is enough? If not, how much do you think is enough for shooting in RAW? I have to budget appropriately.

    I have a converter already, but in case it breaks, do you think I can get one there?
     
  21. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #21
    The Canon R1 wrist strap is great, and I have them on my 1D Mark III, 1N RS and the 1000D with grip. However there lies the rub, they only work on cameras with vertical grips (built in or otherwise), unless you go and buy a third party adapter that screws in to the tripod mount. I actually use my 5D Mark II with just the original Canon strap 90% of the time though, only switching to an RS-5 when I'm double body'ing it up.

    The Amazon deal you've found, including the 55-250, looks to me to be the best buy. I would really recommend that over something like the 28-135, simply due to the loss at the telephoto end. This is assuming you're getting the 18-55 too? (This way you have coverage from 18mm right through to 250mm, whereas the 28-135 is going to pointlessly overlap)

    In regards to storage, RAW is going to gobble through cards. I'd also recommend a lot of small cards over a few big ones - I actually use 4GB and 8GB cards the most. This means if I do misplace one I only lose a few images.

    As for a bag, whichever you get, pull the logo off. That way somebody doesn't see "Lowepro" and know there is camera kit in there.
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #22
    I definitely advise against the 28-135 mm, it starts on the normal end (~ 50 mm equivalent on full frame) so you can't take any wide-ange shots whatsoever.

    You should rather have a look at the Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8, especially the version without IS (Tamron calls it VC) -- it's cheaper and optically superior. The focal length range covers most of the normal situations on travels -- it's the equivalent of a 28-80 mm zoom on full frame.

    Regarding bags, I really have to second guess the logic of getting an unpadded back. Perhaps you can use that kind of bag when walking around, but when you're really traveling, you need something that protects your equipment, something that is rain proof. There are a few bags out there that are camera bags but don't look like camera bags on first glance. On the other hand, you'll immediately be spotted as a tourist anyway and if your gorilla pod is sticking out the side of your pocket, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what's inside. Once you've narrowed down the amount of equipment, I can also give more concrete suggestions. I do have two Lowepro bags and I very much like them: they're not pretty, but sturdily built, they have rain covers in case you get in a downpour (you don't need them if it's only light rain) and they protect the equipment very well.
     
  23. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #23
    jeeves- so now after all of the suggestions, you are probably more confused than assisted! Everyone trying their best to offer what they think is best for your situation. It comes down to dollars and budget. You set one, stick to it. If the 55-250 comes with the kit free then that's a no-brainer and a fairly decent "walk around" lens. If there is money left over then it seems to me you'd want to look at another lens that will compliment the 55-250 so it probably should be something in the wide angle range (35mm or less?) for some wider landscape capabilities. A 50mm is too close to the 55 so I don't think you'd gain much, especially given the x1.6 crop factor of the T2i. Good hunting and good luck!
     
  24. jeevesofRKdia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #24
    OK. So since I've gotten a billion suggestions for lenses, I was thinking to choose from the following:

    55-250mm IS (long story)
    50mm 1.8 II
    50mm 1.4
    50mm 2.5 Macro

    Essentially, I want to be able to shoot people + landscapes (I have the 18-55 for those just tuning in)

    The Tamron and the other lenses suggested jump into the $400 range just for 1 lens. I kinda don't want to go there, hence the suggestions above. If I choose one of the 50s and the 55-250, I think I'll be set in terms of needed focal lengths + a nice portraiture/general lens.
     
  25. cupcakes2000, Nov 16, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010

    cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #25
    I have a 50mm 1.8 II among others and it really doesn't come off my camera too much at all! it's a VERY good lens! And cheap!

    I used to use it a lot with my 500d. Now i use it a lot with my 7d! Woooo!

    Get it.

    I also have the 18-55 500d kit, 70-200mm f/4L and a Sigma 10-20mm f/4, incase you wondered.
     

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