As a photographer, traveling always presents a balancing act of having what you need and how much weight you are willing to lug around. Of course, current airline carry on restrictions, especially in the US, further complicates the issue. I am not about to check my camera gear and subject it to being tossed around and possibly dropped, or worse, stolen. Further, I was determined to travel as light as possible and keep it as simple as possible.
So what would I pack for almost a month’s shooting and travel in SE Asia? I tried to imagine the types of shooting I would be doing : landscapes, portraits, street photography, architecture, low light. Just about the whole gamut. It seemed like I was going to need everything, but I was not going to cart the whole kit and caboodle around SE Asia for a month. So this is what I settled on:
Nikon D300s body – my primary body and the only one I used.
Nikon D200 body – my back up body in case the D300s died or got stolen along the way. It was never used.
Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR zoom lens – my go to, day in and day out lens The great optics and VR (vibration reduction) makes this lens an all-in-one solution without much compromise.
Nikkor 50mm f1.4G lens – an ultra-fast, light weight (compared to the 18-200mm) all around lens. Especially useful for nighttime, low light street photography.
Nikkor 35mm f1.8G lens– As above, but a moderate wide angle lens. I used it more than I thought I would. An all around great lens.
And that was it except for over 100 gigabytes of memory, battery charger, and Ipod. My excellent, but very big and very heavy Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 telephoto, flash units, and tripod stayed home. My goal was to travel light, not be a slave to equipment, and to enjoy what I was doing. Most of all, enjoy being there. I think I got it right and would not have changed a thing.