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|Product:||The joy of travel - bag choices|
The joy of travel - bag choices - David Clapp shows us how to pack, what to pack and how to stay safe while travelling with our kit.
Shooting the mighty pyramid at Giza whilst roasting like a chicken in an oven, Canon EOS 5D MkII and a 17-40mm f/4L.
From the left - Pelican Case 1510, ThinkTank Airport Acceleration, Lowepro MiniTrekker
||Airline||Type of Trip
|Southern Ireland||Ryanair||Walking/ Coastal||10Kg hand/ 15Kg hold||Lowepro Mini Trekker|
|Istanbul||Easyjet||City Break||Umlimited hand/ 20Kg hold||Thinktank AA in transit, Lowepro Mini Trekker packed in hold.|
|Bali||Various||Travel/ many hostels||Umlimited hand/ 20Kg hold||Pelican 1510 for maximum equipment safety and Lowepro Mini Trekker packed in the hold.|
Hand luggage essentials - don't leave home without it.
- Main Camera Charger - also include a lead and a plug converter.
- Tripod head + plates - make sure you pack a few spare plates. I use a L bracket system so this is not necessary.
- Extra Batteries - one in the camera is not enough, keep the spare with you at all times.
- Flash Cards - I have 48Gb of Lexar Cards, SD and Compact Flash (Canon 1Ds MkIII is dual socket) so if my operating system, hard drives or external storage fail I can keep shooting for at least a week without the need to download a single shot.
- Polarisers/Filters - As I dont use graduated filters in favour of exposure blending my images, all I need is a few polarisers and a couple of step rings. Do not risk losing them.
- Card Readers - can be replaced, but try sourcing an SDHC reader with ease, pack it don't lose it.
- Hard Drive - A Freecom 320Gb USB drive is wallet size and ideal. I have two of these. I carry one with me all the time and another stays with Rachel, just in case my laptop is stolen from the hotel or God forbid I'm mugged for my camera bag. That way I am pretty well covered for every eventuality. It is also great for carrying films/documentaries to inspire you back at the hotel.
- Passport, Driving License Copies - Did you know you can get home on an A4 copy of your passport? If you lose you passport, you stand a 99% chance of getting home without it as long as you have a paper copy. Rachel and I also have copies of each others passports/driving licenses so should the worst happen we can get home safe.
- Equipment Receipt Copies - Ever been pulled by customs for a bag inspection? Neither have I yet. Keeping copies of equipment receipts will help to validate that your cameras and lenses were purchased in the UK, not in the country you're returning from. Keep them in your camera bag at all times.
- Genius - The ThinkTank AA v2.0 is absolutely huge inside and is now the weapon of choice. There is simply no other bag I could take this much kit inside and still meet the hand luggage size requirements. It has been a revelation. This company simply wipes the floor with the competition and I cannot recommend this travel solution and their products enough.
- Quality - Robust, light and with generous bag depth, it can store pro bodies and multiple lenses with ease.
- Comfort - With quality straps and a removable waist harness, it is extremely comfortable.
- Depth - Deeper than any camera bag I have seen. Optics like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS can be stored upright, a total space saver.
|A hefty pack but this is all essential kit as far as I am concerned.|
||Contax 28mm f/2
||Super quality wide angle prime.
||J||Canon EOS 1Ds MKIII Battery Charger
||Lose this and it's gamr over!
||Contax 35-70mm f/3.4
||My main medium telephoto, super sharp and compact.
||K||Canon EOS 1Ds MKIII||My beloved!
||Olympus 35mm f/2.8 Shift
||Architecture/travel imagery, for shift stitching panoramas.
||L||Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
||Just incredible for interiors.
||Canon 24mm f/3.5L Shift
||Architecture/travel, for interiors and making panoramas.||M||Kirk BH1 Ballhead
||Lose this and curse the day you did. Pack plates as well.
||Extras, batteries, remote
||Lose these and life will be difficult! Keep these with you at all times.
|Zork MFS + 1.4xII Extender beneath
||Tilt/macro lens with 1.4xII below.
||Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS
||Incredibly sharp medium IS tele, useful for details too.
||P||Canon 24-105mm f/4L
||When I need IS and AF, but poor quality at the longer end.
||580 EX II Flash||For interiors and portraits, very useful when tripods are not allowed.
||Q||Travel Pillow||Very useful.
|H||Epson P2000 Storage
||Non Windows based backup.
||R||IRiver H20 MP.3 rec/player||Exquisite electonica in the air. It also doubles up as emergency HD storage too.
|I||EOS 5D||Backup body, less intrusive but rarely used.
Upper Panel and Free Laptop Bag -
A = Passport, flight docs, equipment receipts
B = 48Gb of Lexar Flash Cards
C = USB Cable for...
D = 320Gb Freecom (no charger needed)
E = Card readers, CF SD and SDHC
The Airport Acceleration comes with this superb laptop bag. It also has its own straps so it can be used as a totally separate bag if you wish.
Beautiful fit, it slots in with precision and without additional pressure on the computer.
What's the worst thing about backpacks on a plane? Straps. The seem to get everywhere. Smiling nervously at other passengers on a trip to Guernsey, trying to shoe-horn a larger oversize photo-rucksack into the overhead lockers is not something I want to repeat. I could barely pull it out when we landed. Thankfully I will never have to again.
At the hotel - Now it's a storage safe.
This ingenious piece of equipment is so utterly useful. It's a mesh bag with a large loop of steel wire. Drop the bag into the mesh and pull the loop tight. Wrap the extra around a bathroom fitting of your choice and lock tight with the padlock. The bag is now staying put. This system is a superb and lightweight method of ensuring your gear and valuables are safe.
It is not going to deter a thief from getting their hands inside the loops and opening unsecured pockets so be sensible. It's also not going to deter a thief with cutting gear or a serious knife from slashing the bag open - lets be realistic. That's what insurance is for.
If you need the best protection then I can thoroughly recommend the Pelican 1510. This case and the PacSafe are the perfect combination.
System 2 - 10Kg weight restrictions (Ryanair / Flybe policy), Lowepro Mini Trekker Hang Luggage/ Day Bag.
Weight with Laptop: 10.4Kg
Weight without Laptop: 8.8Kg
UK price = £79
This is also my daytime set-up that I carry throughout the trip.
|Bag Content||Description||Why?||Bag Content||Description||Why?|
|A||Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS||Incredibly sharp medium IS tele, useful for details too.||F||1.4xII||For that little bit more.|
|B||Contax 35-70 f/3.4||My main medium telephoto, super sharp and compact.||G||Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8||Just incredible for interiors.|
|C||Canon 1Ds MkIII and Canon 24-105mm f/4L||Good between 35 and 70mm but stays in the bag most of the time.||H||Canon 24mm f/3.5L Shift.||Architecture/ travel imagery, for interiors and making panoramas.|
|D||Zork MFS||Tilt/macro lens, very precious to me.||I||Extras, batteries and a remote.||Back-up body, less intrusive but rarely used.|
|E||Olympus 35mm f/2.8 Shift||Architecture/ travel imagery, for interiors and making panoramas.|
Hold luggage essentials - Don't go overboard.
Closing thoughts - The best thing to remember is that travel is lots of fun. If you get the packing right, you'll enjoy a relaxing journey to the airport. Check-in will be smooth, the trip will be safe and your photography compelling. Bickering with your wife as you repack your underpants in front of an unsympathetic check-in staff and impatient travellers is embarrassing enough, but choosing which one of those precious optics you would like to lose at the airport, that's idiotic.
Vist David Clapp's website for more details.