Approach To Traveling With Gear
I thought I would write about my recent travel excursion through Greece and Spain with a very different assortment of gear. I imagine we all have a tendency to overthink our gear needs when we hit the road. We make lists, pack the gear up, and then decide to repack, and then do it all over again until we think we’ve hit the mother load of gear necessity for our trip. And we tend to do this anywhere from one to two weeks out, and then redo it again the day we are scheduled to leave. At least that has become my own experience. The trip to Greece and Spain I knew would be heavy on street photography. But, I also knew there would be some opportunities to shoot landscapes as well. I felt the landscapes would fall under the domain of the Fuji GFX 100, with a two lenses kit added, the 45mm f/2.8 and the 110mm f/2 lens. For street photography I would need smothering smaller and lighter than the GFX. I decided to go with the Panasonic G9 and two lenses, the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 and Sigma 56mm f/1.4. I also decided to take my most recent addition, the Peak Design carbon fiber travel tripod. All of this gear fit into my ThinkTank Urban Approach 15 back pack. Yes, it was heavy, but fortunately it has a luggage sleeve on its back and fit perfectly on my Timbuktu rolling bag. Now before I decided to go with this outfit, I was seriously considering traveling with the Olympus EM1X and the two lenses mentioned above, with the addition of the 7-14mm f/2.8 Zuiko Pro lens. One body did not quite make feel comfortable for such a long trip, but Olympus and these other manufacturers really build some great cameras. The Olympus has hand held hi res mode of 50 mega pixels images, along with a tripod mode that hit 80mp. The resolution would have been fine with just this camera, but seeing that I picked up the GFX not too long ago, I was really interested in using this piece of gear as well. The files from this camera are just something to behold.
So in the end, I went with the GFX and the G9 plus the above mentioned lenses. How did it work out? Well to be honest I was a bit surprised by the output I produced with these cameras. The G9 became the work horse on this trip. Not just for street, but for a fair amount of landscape use. The reason why, is that it was the camera I always had on me. The GFX was left in the hotel room for the majority of the trip. I had no intention of using it for street, and my opportunities to utilize for landscapes were fairly limited. I also discovered a nasty issue with the 110mm f/2 lens. While using it on a tripod, in manual mode, the IBIS in the camera would cause a bit of shake, which wasn’t visible in the view finder. It only became apparent when I downloaded the images and looked at them in post. It was my error that caused the problem, as the easy solution I discovered later on was to turn the IBIS off. The 45mm worked flawlessly. The 110, not so much. The G9 with the the two lens worked phenomenally well. I didn’t have to many images I had to too into the trash. Even in low light the Micro Four Thirds camera performed really well. In pixel peeping no contest between the G9 and GFX. To be honest, the G9 has a similar hi res mode as the Olympus, but needs to on a tripod. I unfortunately never used the hi res mode with the G9.
If I were to do this all over again, I think I would have taken the EM1X and the lenses I mentioned before. I could have used the 7-14mm realistically in a few instances, but not having that lens with me did not diminish the end results I obtained with the two cameras I brought with me. The Peak Design tripod worked really well. I can’t believe the build quality, size, and weight factor of this product. I really enjoyed using it. My work flow was pretty basic. I used an iPad Pro 12” along with a Western Digital My Passport SSD WiFi hard drive for downloading. I used Affinity, Snapseed, and Lightroom for editing. The ThinkTank was Ok. Well built bag, but I prefer bags that open from the back and not the front. It did its job and kept the gear safe and sound. So all that’s left is to show some of the images taken on this trip. Thanks for stopping by.