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View Poll Results: Do you take your best gear?
I take my best gear. I want to make the best possible photographs, regardless of the hazzards. 166 63.60%
I leave my best gear at home. I want to know that it will be waiting for me when I get back. 20 7.66%
I only have the best. For me, there is no choice to be made. 41 15.71%
Nothing I own could ever be put in the same sentence with the word "best." 34 13.03%
Voters: 261. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-04-2007   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow
…….and what if you leave your prrrecious at home, safe, and thieves come in the night and burgle them; what then…… only thing to do then is to make less of an emotional investment in inanimate objects, now how hard would that be!


That's exactly my worst nightmare !

Nevertheless, back to the question as originally formulated, there are two points I will give them attention. There is not an absolute correlation between "best" and "most expensive", unless you are not ready to compromise.

The best compromise you can make is to select whatever you are ready to risk. Whatever you are not ready to risk, simple leave at home and there is no question at all. Ceirtanly there is a concrete correlation between the concrete risks you think about, and the concrete price of whatever gear you have to select among.

The second point I would like to call attention to, is related to the way we build our systems. If you own only a single new body of the expensive brand "X", around which you bought 2 or 3 or 4 expensive new lenses, then you are in trouble indeed, and not only overseas. Trouble doesn't exist only as a fact but also as a potential fact.

If you buy such an expensive car (expensive for your budget) that you cannot sustain along the year, then in some sense you have no car.

Of course I am not advocating cheap vs expensive, nor new vs used, but the combination of all of them making your system or systems versatil.

Fortunately, upon these days there are lots of very good and used gear to select from, so that reasonable choices and moderated risks can be taken. And versatil systems built too.

Cheers,
Ruben


PS
I wrote once or twice that if I have not 2 bodies of the same brand I have no camera at all. Thanks Rafael for reminding me why.
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Old 08-04-2007   #82
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nothing gives you better travel pictures than your feet :-)
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Old 08-28-2018   #83
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I take some of my best gear, but not all of it. Some will still be waiting when I get home.
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Old 08-28-2018   #84
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When I was traveling I was taking M4-2 and Summarit 35 lens. Long time before it - EOS300 with kit zoom.
If I would travel again - same, but I want more compact lens. I want it ultra compact. Like Minitar-1. Small Canon EOS300 with 40 2.8 is cost effective alternative to me as well.
But I don't have those lenses, nor I travel...
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Old 08-28-2018   #85
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I brought my smallest setup that would fit in my little domke bag.
50 Elmar red scale
35 cron v3
28 Elmarit v3 on the m6. I debated about that one too, but I love the images from that lens so it was worth the added bulk.
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Old 08-28-2018   #86
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My usual travel kit
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Old 08-28-2018   #87
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I am not a collector. I just use my cameras. What is the use of having them if you are going to leave them at home? The choice of which ones to take revolves around whether I am going to shoot film or digital, format, and lens selection.
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Old 08-28-2018   #88
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I agree with the comment about being a collector. I purchased a MP240 in February and will be taking it to Scotland in a few weeks. Am still trying to decide on which lenses but two or three will be in the luggage.
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Sometimes good, sometimes best
Old 08-28-2018   #89
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Sometimes good, sometimes best

I do take weather appropriate gear if I know it's going to be rainy/snowy for much of a trip. There rest of the time I take my good gear. It's insured so why not take the stuff that you really like to use.
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Old 08-29-2018   #90
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Two M Bodies, one of them Monochrome the other either an MP240 or M262, and 3-5 lenses in a Think Tank CityWalker or Retrospective bag, depending on where I'm going and what I think are the best focal lengths.

Base lens setup is 21/3.4 SEM, 35/1.4 FLE, 75mm f2 APO and 135mm f3.4 APO, but I may swap 24/3.8 and 18/3.8 lenses for the 21, or take a 90mm f2 APO instead of the 75/135 duo.
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Old 08-29-2018   #91
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It varies with what I'm going to do. For several weeks bicycling in my home state, this A7S and ZM Sonnar outfit is what I'm going to carry.

John Mc
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Old 08-29-2018   #92
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If I am planning on shooting film (which means BW for me) I either take my Contax G2 with 28, 35, and 90 lenses, or Minolta CLE with 28, 40, and 90. Both compact and pretty light. Depends upon whether I want autofocus or not. If I plan to shoot color I usually take a Fujifilm x100() but sometimes will take a Panasonic GM5 with the two tiny zooms that came out with it which is a perfect small snapshot touring camera that fits in the palm of your hand. I do not consider any of these to be irreplaceable, and while I do have insurance on my gear, I don't spend a lot of time and energy worrying about theft. Yes, it certainly can happen (especially if you aren't attentive) but in the scheme of risks in my life the impact is relatively low and the benefit of having a camera while traveling is very high.
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Old 08-29-2018   #93
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I'm thinking of putting black tape over the camera logo to ward off theft. Or perhaps silver duct tape on my chrome bodies.
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Old 08-29-2018   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael View Post
How do you choose the photographic gear that you take with you on trips to countries where for meteorological reasons or for reasons of public safety you face the very real possibility that your gear will be damaged, stolen, etc.?
I am not a professional photographer at the moment.

For the most part the choice is functional e.g. if I am going to be using ND Grad filters than it's an SLR rather than a film RF. For salt water sailing the expensive stuff stays at home. I do a fair bit of outdoor winter photography where the kit & accessories have to fit under the parka. I guess it's really case-by-case.

A local guide is one option in new areas and/or where safety might be a consideration...
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Old 08-29-2018   #95
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Originally Posted by michaelging View Post
I think in life as well as travel photography , if all you think about is what you are losing, then no matter what happens, you have already lost.
Amen to that. Those safe queens are not making great photographs in the safe. These objects were designed as tools, and are meant to be used. Traveling is one of the times in my life when I most enjoy photography.
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Old 08-29-2018   #96
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This thread goes back to 2007. Then it got restarted!
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Old 08-29-2018   #97
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Quote:
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This thread goes back to 2007. Then it got restarted!
So an 11 year old poll with a grand total of 190 votes. Probably isn't much of a dilemma after all.
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Old 08-29-2018   #98
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Old 08-29-2018   #99
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I buy camera gear to use it. If I bought good stuff and left it home to take along only crap stuff .. well, why bother spending the money in the first place?

No dilemma for me at all. The only dilemma is what of the stuff I have I want to carry.
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Old 08-29-2018   #100
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Depends on where I`m going... I have my bad neighborhood cameras for sure.
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Old 08-29-2018   #101
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I didn't vote, it depends where I'm going and how I'm getting there. Cruise ship travel I tend to leave the really expensive stuff home, also travel a little light. RV wandering I take the big guns.
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Old 08-29-2018   #102
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When I travel by airplane, space is usually at a premium, so if I bring a film camera it is usually one of the tiny cameras I got for backpacking decades ago. I've only had a few trips by plane in the last few years, business trips to Saigon and to Bologna, Italy. I took my Olympus XA to Viet Nam. I took my Minox 35GT to Bologna, only to have the shutter fail... after 30 years of faithful service. My last trip to Bologna I took the XA again, but hardly used it. It was wintertime, and my iPhone ended up being far handier.

As much as I love these tiny, comfortable old friends, I can't consider them my best cameras. I do take my best cameras with me on car trips, my Leica and my dad's old Konica. They're best transported by car, with all their lenses in their hard cases. I suppose I should try traveling lighter with those two cameras on a trip to see how it works out, but the charm with those cameras is having all the prime lenses for each.

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Old 08-30-2018   #103
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My intention is to use the gear which best suits each situation. At a friend's wedding, it can be anything from a M9 to a 5D Mark II to a GR. On the street, it will be the M9, GR or a m43 camera like the GX85. When traveling, I take the M9 and a m43 camera, plus a compact. The M9 is primary, m43 for video and AF work, and the compact for when I need to be discreet. It's not like I own a Hasselblad X1D or Fuji GFX 50s, so while my gear is expensive, it's not stratospheric.

I know some people who travel with stripped back gear like a couple of Olympus XAs and leave the M gear at home, but what's the point of having great cameras and lenses if you don't use them where it counts? Just be safe and sensible, stay low profile, and use a weatherproof bag. There was a post on LUF some years ago about how well the Leica MP worked in the winter of some Scandinavian country. Use the best gear available to you that is suited to each situation.
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Old 08-30-2018   #104
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Quote:
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When I travel by airplane, space is usually at a premium, so if I bring a film camera it is usually one of the tiny cameras I got for backpacking decades ago. I've only had a few trips by plane in the last few years, business trips to Saigon and to Bologna, Italy. I took my Olympus XA to Viet Nam. I took my Minox 35GT to Bologna, only to have the shutter fail... after 30 years of faithful service. My last trip to Bologna I took the XA again, but hardly used it. It was wintertime, and my iPhone ended up being far handier.

As much as I love these tiny, comfortable old friends, I can't consider them my best cameras. I do take my best cameras with me on car trips, my Leica and my dad's old Konica. They're best transported by car, with all their lenses in their hard cases. I suppose I should try traveling lighter with those two cameras on a trip to see how it works out, but the charm with those cameras is having all the prime lenses for each.

I was fortunate to get a Contax T3 about ten years ago, before the prices went ballistic, which means I get to enjoy a very high quality compact film camera. It's as good as a Leica M with 35mm lens in many circumstances in terms of image quality, and far smaller. I would travel with the T3 in lieu of a film M any day.
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Old 08-30-2018   #105
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The thing I found when considering what to pack for a trip is that I often defer to light and compact, rather than lovely-to-use favourites. Exempli gratia: I’ve often taken a CL or two with aluminium ZM lenses, instead of an M or two with brass Leica lenses, even though I much prefer the usage of the latter. It’s never been a matter of monetary value though, so far.
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Old 08-30-2018   #106
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size and weight is that I consider foremost.
here is what I carry right now, while traveling:
Sony NEX5n, C.V. Heliar f4.5/15mm, C.V. Skopar f4/25mm, M-Rokkor f2/40mm

travel set
by kuuan's lens tests, on Flickr

actually I carry one more lens, the tiny Canon LTM f3.5/100mm, and all, camera + 4 lenses, fits in my belly bag:
( here with a "Pen-F" Zuiko f3.5/100 instead of the Canon LTM )

travel set
by kuuan's lens tests, on Flickr
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Old 08-30-2018   #107
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I'm not a collector. I buy it to use it, so the idea of travelling without taking my Leica and at least a couple of lenses seems like an anathema.
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Old 08-30-2018   #108
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I like to keep it simple on a trip - Rollei instead of my Hasselblad kit and a Leica film camera plus a single choice of a 35 or 50. This fits into a small bag that I can keep with me at all times. No decisions to be made just photos to look for.
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Old 09-03-2018   #109
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In our last trip to Europe I kept it simple; M9+lens plus M8+lens plus a small third lens. All fit well in a small camera bag.
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Old 09-03-2018   #110
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If the threat of theft or damage is a major concern check with your homeowner insurer, mine covers theft but has to have an extra rider for damage.
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Old 09-03-2018   #111
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I was impressed with my Sony Nex 3n with a 30mm lens (equivalent to 45mm)on my last trip. Next summer I very likely will pair it with a Rolleiflex 3.5. They both will fit in a small bag.
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Old 09-03-2018   #112
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I once traveled to Europe with only a Minox GT and a Rolleiflex TLR. It went very well.
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Old 09-04-2018   #113
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I normally take a couple of Bessa bodies and Hexar AF (or Contax T2), leave M6 at home, but not because of value - because of weight. Then I choose appropriate focal lenths for a particular trip. As far as MF goes, lately I tend to leave Rolleiflex at home and travel with Fuji GA645 . Again - weight and convenience dictates, not value. GA645 is basically P&S in medium format, great for street but works for landscapes as well.

If I travel by car then I might take more (even Mamiya C330).
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Old 09-04-2018   #114
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to me it depends where I'm traveling to and what kind of photos I want to make. Then I pick the camera and lens.
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Old 09-04-2018   #115
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to me it depends where I'm traveling to and what kind of photos I want to make. Then I pick the camera and lens.
When I have the luxury of taking my own car on a trip, rather than be subject to the limitations of air travel luggage, I find myself taking as much as possible.

About ten years ago, I went on a 2.5 hour drive to a country town and took the following:

- Canon 30D + 17-55/2.8 and 35L
- Zeiss Ikon + CV 25/4P and CV 35/1.4
- Sigma DP1
- Canon G10 (remember those? 28mm zoom lens in the new mini rangefinder style body)

When I went out, the appropriate gear came with me, although it was mostly the DSLR and two compacts. The Ikon stayed at base until I wanted to shoot film. This was pretty much my best gear at the time, so the best did come with me.

A year before that, I went to Hong Kong with the 30D + 17-55, Fuji F30 and Contax T3. And I came back with the Canon 35L and the Zeiss Ikon, so it was a very acquisitive trip!
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Old 09-04-2018   #116
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Mine from a working professional persepective. Up until yesterday, I freelanced for a Japanese in-flight magazine for the past 30+ years. I stayed in decent hotels in the cities but always made sure beforehand that there was a safe in the office that I could use for gear, cash, and passport, in addition to a small safe in my room that was mounted. I also started using assistants these past 10 years or so to help with everything including watching my back. In the developing world both hotels and assistants are very reasonable and I highly recommend it. I switched to Fuji a few years ago and bring it all. 3 bodies and 10 lenses, but I only carry one body and 2-3 lens at a time. The rest stays back in the hotel safe.
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Old 09-04-2018   #117
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When in Korea I usually carried anything I wanted (pretty much all I had at any given time), along with a good (and hard) Velbon tripod. Never had a problem.

Later i was contemplating a trip to Germany and didn't want to take a chance on losing my Fujica ST901 and Fujinon lenses (plus it was a heavy kit).

I had an FX-103 to replace a Contax 139Q so I opted for three zoom lenses from 18 to 150 and a Contax 50mm f/1.4. I really got lucky, two of the zoom lenses were Vivitar and the 18-28 was a Phoenix of all things. All three turned out to be quite acceptable for travel use. I never made it to Germany, but still have the kit with an added Contax 167mt, and still use it when I get the chance to photograph.
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Old 09-04-2018   #118
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How cool that this thread got resurrected.

I didn't vote initally, nor can I now. My option isn't among choices.

As with nearly everything in life, "it depends."

It depends on exactly where I'm going, exactly what my photographic intentions are, exactly what my risk tolerance is at the moment, etc., etc.

Having said that, I definitely weigh all the [dis]advantages associated with my gear choices, and I have left gear at home because of my aversion to risk (damage or theft) to "good" gear.

But equal factors are those of weight, focal length, reliability, appropriate characteristics (e.g., weather resistant for wet environments, or wide apertures for low light). When all the factors are weighed, I end up taking my little LTM CV 21/4 over my bulky Leica 21/2.8 pre-asph more often than I would have thought.

^This is one key reason why I have redundancy of gear. Yep, multiple 50mm lenses, multiple bodies, multiple bags, and so on. Its not all because of my insatiable desire for more lenses -- just because they're beautiful lovely lenses.
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Old 09-04-2018   #119
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Since I don't have a lot of camera choices the decision is easy. Take what I have. My view is that if someplace isn't safe enough to take a camera, it isn't safe enough to go without a camera.
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Old 09-04-2018   #120
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I've lived and worked all over the world and I've always taken whatever cameras and lenses I've owned with me. So far, so good.
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