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Old May 8, 2005, 10:26 AM   #1
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I am a keen amateur and will be grateful for your advice.

Travelling Italy for 3 weeks end of May on my honeymoon. Would really appreciate thoughts from anyone who has lugged some equipment around on leisure trip. I will have a car for the most parts. Visiting the Northern Lakes, Venice, Tuscany region and Rome. My thoughts at present are to take the Lowepro trekker with D70, 24-120mm VR, 70-200mm VR. Thinking of buying the 12-24mm DX to cover the ultra wide angle end but not really sure if I need to or whether I chance it with the 24-120 VR to cover the wide angle. Would be a lighter load on the back for sure. Apart from spare battery, a card reader and 40GB storage like iPod Photo, airbrush, are there any MUST BRINGs? Any thoughts on small bean bag or monopod?

Thanks again.:?:
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Old May 13, 2005, 5:48 PM   #2
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Italy is famous for its architecture, both outside and inside (e.g., cathedrals). Even the 12-24 is not really wide enough, but it should be your highest priority take-along. I just spent two weeks in Sicily (had 3 camera bodies, but lost the plastic protector on one, so left it in bag).

Second highest priority for you should be a second camera body as backup and to save switching lenses (dropping and letting dust in). For pure backup even a film body will do but another dslr would be preferred (buy a used one off ebay).

There may well be times when 200mm is not enough. Would also consider good teleconverters such as Kenko Pro 300 1.4x and 2x. The latest versions will work with AFS and VR as well as with older AFD lenses. Nikon 1.7x seems to get good comments but is probably more expensive than the two kenkos put together. I generally leave the 1.4x on my 70-200 AFS all the time, but switched to the 2x when I needed more.

Italy uses 220 (I believe) and wierd plug. You might need a transformer, and certainly a converter plug. Take a battery charger with you. Spare non OEM batteries can be bought off ebay for just a few dollars. Take two spares.

Buy the things you need to clean your camera sensor, and check it occasionally while you are there. You don't want to come back to find hundreds of photos that need spotting in photoshop.

I would take extra compact flash cards. I had a delkin 40GB storage onto which I copied all my photos, but I did not want to erase the CF cards. CF cards are cheap now. Your image tank that you store all your photos in can easily be dropped or stolen, or simply get corrupted; and then all would be gone.

In two weeks in Sicily I shot 1800 photos -- all raw (NEF) format. Shooting raw took more processing, but many otherwise poor exposures were saved.
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Old May 14, 2005, 10:39 AM   #3
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Thank you for your considered thought and time my friend.

You have definitely nudged me across the line on the 12-24mm ultra WA. Also got me thinking about the use of a storage unit and especially the peril of "losing everything" due to loss or damage to unit. Will seriously consider additional CF cards for the trip. Jury's still out on the TCs for me though I know they have their use. Probably opt to lug a 2nd body around - brother has a D70 as well.

What about a tripod? I am thinking those night shots in Venice if you know what I mean. Afraid I am not brave enough to attack the sensor with my own cleaning kit. Doesnt that void your warranty with Mr Nikon?

Again, appreciate your thoughts. Davy

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Old May 14, 2005, 12:28 PM   #4
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In general, to save weight (particularly re carry-on on airplanes) I do not take a tripod, but I do take a monopod. But that is me. One can always lean up against a tree or building or rest camera on wall to shoot. It is helpful that with DSLRs one can simply crank up the ISO. If you do want a tripod, there are two good very lightweight tripods that collapse to maybe 14", but can extend to 65". A small ball head with quick release bracket would be the way to go.

If you don't want to actually wet clean the sensor, get one of the squeeze bulb blowers made for that purpose. Most of the time dirt can simply blown off the sensor without ever really touching it. It is the Giotti Rocket Air (looks like rocket ship) and can be bought at B&H for around $15 or so. You would simply set the shutter speed to 30 seconds, click the shutter to open it (lens off, of course) and blow the air at the sensor. But don't do if sensor is not dirty since this process can introduce dirt where there previously was none.

There are several sites around that explain in better detail how to do this carefully, at different levels of intrusion. It does turn out that professional cleaning is general not worth it. Cameras can come back worse than when they were sent.


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Old May 14, 2005, 8:10 PM   #5
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IMS DSLRClean™


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Old May 15, 2005, 2:16 AM   #6
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Now, THAT'S what I call great news, JimC. Will check it out.

And John, thinks Im gonna get me the Neotec mono. Sounds like the ideal compromise. Im all for leaning into walls and things to get the shot I want. May also get that mini beanbag thingo - folks I have spoken to seem to get their fair use out of it - propped on the arch of the bridge somewhere in Venice - sorry now I'm running ahead of myself.

Thanks for everything. This community is ace.
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Old May 30, 2005, 12:24 PM   #7
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Well you are probably on a plane for Rome now, but for others.

A lightweight tripod that fits into your suitcase. NOT the flimsy ones, but something sturdy. Remember it is a compromise, to have a tripod yet fit inside your suitcase w all your clotes etc. If not that, then a table-top tripod. And a remote shutter release, so you don't shake your camera.

Get the wide lens. You can never have a lense that is too wide. In the old days, I used a 24mm on my 35mm camera. My friends said I was nuts to get a 24 vs a 28, but there were times when even the 24 wasn't wide enough. Only thing to remember is tilting an ultra wide will create distortion, so you do need to be careful in using an ultrawide.

If you have that much in lens, get a spare D70 body. If your one body goes down, you're out of business...it happened to me.

Camera cleaning gear. microcloth, etc.
A good case that is easy to use, with a STRONG strap that can't easily be cut (to stop the cut and run theifs).

BTW, I hope your new wife is into photography as much as you are.

gud luk
Gary
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