Today’s question is from Mark and he asks:
My wife and I are taking a cruise in Europe for our anniversary. Since i’ve never been to Europe before I’m going to bring my Nikon D800 because of it’s image quality.
My preference is to take as little as possible, but not sure what lens or if I would need a tripod or a laptop for backup?
I use a D800 and I have 14-24mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4, 24 – 70mm f2.8, 24 – 120mm f4, 70- 200mm f2.8, polariser and tripod
Topics Discussed in this Episode:
- Preparing for the trip
- Lens choice
- Camera bag choice
- Camera safety
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Preparing for the trip
G’day Mark, thanks for your question.
Congratulations on your anniversary, I think it’s a great place to spend your anniversary with your wife. I think you’re both gonna have an awesome time, and I would love to see some of your photos when you get back.
Now, what should you bring? Great question, because it’s one of those things where if you don’t prepare, you will bring everything, and we don’t want that.
I’m glad that you’re on the same mindset, where you said you want to bring as little as possible.
Preparing for the trip is vital. Knowing where you’re gonna be going on your trip will obviously dictate the type of lenses that you bring and the type of equipment.
If you’re gonna be going on, say, tours to cathedrals and museums and places where you’re gonna be indoors, then a wide angle lens will suit you there.
If you’re gonna be able to go and run the streets, maybe something a little bit longer will also suit you there. If you’re gonna go to both, well what do you bring?
You’ve got the 14 to 24 lens, and that’s super wide and that, I think, would work well for you in tight spots. I’ve noticed you’ve also got the 24 – 120. It’s an F4 lens.
I like that focal range because it is wide, not super wide, it’s wide enough to take some panoramas, if you want to stitch some photos together in Lightroom or Photoshop.
But also, you’ve got the 120 mill, which is, it’s not as long as your 200 mill lens, but the fact that you’ve got a Nikon D800, it’s got so many megapixels, you can crop into it and you probably won’t notice the difference.
Also, you’ve got a high ISO on that camera as well. Even though it’s an F4, photographing indoors I don’t think is gonna be too much of a problem for you.
If I had to take one lens, I reckon it would be the 24 – 120mm. If I had to take two, I recommend the 14 to 24 and the 24 to 120 would be my pick.
You won’t need the 70 – 200,mm as much as it’s a really nice, sharp lens, it’s just become bulky and I think you want to be as light as possible on a trip, especially if you’re gonna be walking around lots, exploring the different cities.
My choice, one lens: the 24 – 120, or two lenses: include the 14 – 24mm.
Now do you need a tripod? That’s a very good question, and it’s back to preparing for the trip. Are you gonna have the ability to see the closer you’re visiting at night.
I know that when I went on a cruise, we had to be back by I think five most days, because since we’re going to a different country every day, while we ate at night, had dinner and enjoyed the night life that they had on the ship, and also slept, they would cruise to another destination, which meant that sunsets, we saw most of them on the ship, which the sun was setting, I think this was spring or summer, I think, and it was sitting close to nine o’clock most days.
Didn’t get the opportunity to do any long exposures or any night photography at all, to be honest.
Emitting a tripod from your equipment may be a good option if you’re not even gonna explore that type of photography.
If you really do want to bring one, I think one of those tabletop tripods, or even the gorilla pods, you know the ones where you can wrap the legs around poles and wire fences.
Those small tripods might help you for those selfies, or even also if you do get the opportunity to do some long exposures, well you can prop it up on something else.
It could be on a table, or it could be a fence. That’s what I would bring personally, I wouldn’t go to the extent of bringing a full tripod.
If it was a photo workshop, and you guys went particularly for the photography, then I think you guys would make the exception of going out at night and bringing a tripod would have been ideal.
But since it’s your anniversary, I don’t really think you need to bring it.
The other thing is your laptop, you’re asking, “Should you bring a laptop for backup?” Well, your camera can photograph with two memory cards.
The previous podcast I spoke about photo corruption and how to recover your photos, but also I gave 6 tips on keeping your photos safe.
One of those tips was to photograph to two memory cards at once, which protects your photos in the field. The thing is, if you’ve got lots of memory cards then you need to separate them, even if you’ve just got two memory cards, you still would need to separate them to have that security.
What I mean by that is, one memory card at night, or not in use, would stay inside the camera, the the other would be somewhere that would be safe, preferably like your passports.
If you have a memory card wallet and all the spent cards would be with your passports, tucked away, and the other cards would be in the camera bag or, depending on how big the memory is, it could actually still be within the camera. That’s what I would do, I don’t think bringing a laptop it needed.
Yes, I know have that off-site backup, so to speak, but the thing is is that it’s one extra thing to lose or get stolen, and we want to travel light because we’re here to enjoy the holiday with your wife, so yeah, that’s what I would do there. I wouldn’t bring a laptop.
Camera bag choice
Now I’ve put here a couple of extra things. Camera bag choice for this trip, I would try to keep it as simple as possible. Don’t bring your ordinary bag, have something really, really small.
I would go as far as saying use an old rucksack that you use on your day trips trips out and just protect the camera with clothes.
It could be a jumper, it could be a long sleeve t-shirt, and just wrap them up and that should be enough protection with other stuff that’s in the bag so it doesn’t get broken.
Camera safety, when you’re going overseas, tourists are a big target for thieves, and that’s one of the reasons I’m suggesting using an old rucksack as opposed to a camera bag, because some camera bags these days, you can definitely tell they’re camera bags just the way how they look, and thieves are very smart in that case.
I think having a camera inside a regular bag, especially if it’s old, crappy bag that’s seen a few years out of use is definitely the way to go.
As I mentioned, wrap it up in a piece of clothing, and that will protect it. I would also go as far as removing the camera strap, so you’re more reluctant to walk around with it, and you’re not gonna have it around your shoulder or around your neck, but the camera straps, the are black with yellow writing, the Nikon D800, it sticks out because it’s yellow writing.
So I would remove that, but also go as far as putting a piece of take on the Nikon logo on your camera, and that will make the camera look a lot simpler, and hopefully keep you a little bit more safer there, Mark.
Thanks for your question, I know you both are gonna have an awesome time. Europe is a great, great place to visit, especially if you’ve never been. There’s so much history and I know that you’re gonna take stacks of photos, it’d be great to see them so please send them on through and thanks for your question.