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Old Aug 24, 2012, 6:31 PM   #1
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Default What lens/es for holiday with a family

Hello Steve's Forum friends

I live in Adelaide, South Australia (have done for 5 years) and I've arranged to go on an interstate holiday for a week with some good friends of mine (we go to the same church and have known each other for 5 years). They are a family of five: dad (44), mum (42), 15yo daughter, 13 yo daughter and 8yo son. I'm 37 (turning 38 next week ) and I have a good friendship with all the family: sort of like a 'fun uncle' to the children, and have a close friendship with both parents. We will be travelling in their 7 (or 8?) seater van, us 3 adults sharing the driving.

We are going to Australia's island state of Tasmania (where I grew up) - which is known for it's beautiful landscapes: particularly mountains & coastlines which are more dramatic than many other parts of Australia. (Tasmania's weather is cooler than South Australia, though by some standards in the world, no part of Australia is VERY cold!) No one in this family has been to Tasmania before, though they have visited some other parts of Australia. I lived in Europe for about a decade before I lived in South Australia. That means I haven't been to many of the places in Tasmania that we hope to visit for years, ie since I got into serious (DSLR) photography several years ago. (I go back annually to visit my family - parents, brothers and their families).

So... my question to you is: what gear would you take, specifically lenses. We will be quite tight for space in the van (though based most of the time at my retired parents' farm). I already have an idea what gear / lenses I will take- but before I spill my beans, I'd like your take on it. The main reason that I'm going is to go as a friend, and also to be their 'unofficial' tour guide (as I did a lot of travelling, walking and sight-seeing around Tasmania when I was in my teens and early 20's). All the family love the outdoors (ie we are hoping to see rainforests, waterfalls, cliffs & coastlines, go up some mountains, possibly see some wildlife, etc). But we'll also do some 'tourist' visiting, eg historical sites, museums, chocolate factory, etc.

My plan is to take quite a few photos while we visit places, see things - and present an online album to the family afterwards as a momento of this special holiday; particularly saying thanks to my friends - the parents - who invited me to join them. The 2 teenage girls are sweet, humble girls - who are not too self-conscious - that is, they are very happy for me to take their photo, but they're not vain (as in, they wouldn't want hundreds of 'posed photos'). Eg if we were at a waterfall and all I did is take photos of them, they would say "Paul... you should take photos of the waterfall, not just of me... I already know what I look like!") The parents really appreciate my photography, they have seen many of the photos I've taken in Europe and in Australia. The 8 year old boy is a bundle of energy and tends to show off at times, a balance between quite demanding of attention, yet he can be sensitive at times too. 8)

The gear I currently have is:
Canon 7D (with 2 batteries)
Canon 350D (with 3 batteries)
Sigma 10-20mm HSM EX
Canon 15-85mm USM IS
Canon 18-55mm
Canon 100mm USM
Canon 70-300mm L USM IS
Several filters (eg 3x CPL, 2xND, 2xUV, etc)
Manfrotto tripod (2 heads: ball head & 3-way)
Nissin Di866mkII pro flash (with 1 set of recharge batteries)
Hahnel wireless timer remote
CF cards: 32GB, 16GB, 2x4GB, 3x1GB (and several smaller)
Lowepro Nova 170AW shoulder bag
Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW '1 strap' backpack

Please don't say "Take it all along" - as this would present a problems for 2 main reasons:
1) There is not going to be much spare room in their van - and it would be both selfish and impractical
2) It would be too cumbersome / awkward for me to take and be changing all my lenses (not to mention other gear) during the time we're 'out and about'.

My main question is... what lenses would you take - and why?
And of the other gear, what would be your selection - and why?

After several posts have been made (I hope several people will present opinions) - I'll share my thoughts and reflections.

Thanks in advance for your comments, thoughts and posts!

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Old Aug 24, 2012, 6:59 PM   #2
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Hi to me I would take 15-85 covers a lot of the family friends and landscapes 70-300 covers the rest. Put in filters and tripod flash. Job done
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Old Aug 24, 2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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The 350D would be lighter to travel with the 15-85.
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 3:56 PM   #4
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G'day mate

Goodness Paul - wotcha plannin tado wif all dat stuff...

more seriously ~ I am on the road for 9-10 months each year, so I know 100% what you mean for space / weight / accessability etc etc
My motorhmome has allocated spaces for everything, and the camera gear / laptop has a lockable cupboard of 2x shoeboxes in size > therefore not much space for a heap of stuff

For you my friend I'd do the following...

Originally Posted by pj1974 View Post

Canon 350D (with batteries)
Sigma 10-20mm
Canon 18-55mm
Canon 70-300mm
Several filters (eg 3x CPL, 2xND, 2xUV, etc)
Manfrotto tripod (3-way)
CF cards: 32GB, 16GB,
Lowepro Nova shoulder bag

Okay - you grew up there - I've been there 1/2-dozen times since the early 80s. For my style of photography, I can survive with a single superzoom camera / lens in the 18-400 range ... but you also have the 10-20 which 'could' become useful indoors & in tight spaces

+ a single tripod, couple of filters & camera cards and you can call yourself a "real 'tog out on the road"

Hope this helps > let's see some pix on your return
Regards, Phil
Has Lumix mirrorless & superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 9:37 PM   #5
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Lowepro AW170 bag:

15-85 and the 70-300 because they will cover all your basis in terms of focal length. I'd also attach a filter to each lens making sure at least one filter is a CPL).

Which every body you are most comfortable with (of the two you have) plus all the batteries for it and the charger of course (not mentioned above and if you don;t pack it you will want to kill yourself on day 2 of the trip). Also take lens cleaning cloth.

Also if it was me I'd get another 32GB card before I left on the trip to have 2x 32GB and a 16GB plus smaller cards (I personally have 2x 32GB and 2x16F|GB and 2x8GB cards all SDHCs because that is what my 2 cameras use). I have a hard shell sandisc brand case (pellican also makes one) that holds 4 memory cards so if you have one of those or can get one I'd put the 32GB in your camera and in the case put the largest of the remaining cards. If your not carrying a laptop in which to off load your cards memory card space can become an issue if you plan to shoot a lot of images. I'd try to make everything fit in the AW170 that way its not taking up to much bulk or space.

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