Travelling Light – Packing for a 10kg Photography Trip Abroad
I bought myself a set of bathroom scales ahead of a 4 day trip abroad. As I spend all my money on cameras I was keen to keep costs down. For that reason I chose to fly with a low cost carrier and only took one cabin bag. The weight limit for carry on luggage is 10kg so that includes all my camera gear, clothes, toiletries and anything else I needed. My biggest weight is often my laptop so the first thing I did was to invest in a small lightweight tablet. I got a Samsung Tab 3 8.0 (review to follow). The next thing was try to chose what camera gear to take. I knew I would be doing mostly portraiture but I also wanted a lens for street photography and one for some potential wide angle shots.
Camera Gear selected for trip:
Leica M9 – main workhorse camera
Leica M2 – film camera backup option for M9 and chance to shoot some 35mm Kodak T-Max 100 film (I could not not take a second camera),
Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 – this lens can do it all and is now my preferred lens for most shoots. Big and heavy but a must.
Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 PII – tiny lens and a favourite for street photography. Also gives me a wider FL for portraits.
Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5 – tiny lens giving me a super wide angle if needed.
Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 C – I wanted a 50mm for each camers body and also one that will focus closer than 1m. ZM Sonnar is better than Leica Lux ASPH 50 f1.4 for the contrasty black and white film look and is faster than the Leica Cron 50f2 v5 for low light.
Billingham Hadley Digital camera bag – can pack in all the above listed camera equipment. Just!
Camera equipment I wanted to pack but didn’t:
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II medium fomat film camera – due to the size and weight if I took the RZ i’d have to wear the same clothes I travelled in for 4 days!
Kiev 88 6×6 medium format – much more compact than RZ but larger size wise than the Leica M2 body only.
Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 – I can’t justify taking 2 older softer look 50mm that both only focus at 1m.
Leica Summicron 90mm f2 – a big lens and tight head shots can easily be captured in UK without having to travel.
Voiglander Nokton Classic 40mm f1.4 -Tiny lens that is fast and can focus at 0.7m but perhaps not as good as some of the 50mm lenses.
Speedlights, triggers, batteries and chargers – shooting with strobes is often the norm for me. If the nice light is not there when I where I want it I just make my own. For this trip it was going to make me work harder chosing to work with available light over location for every photo whether full sun, rain or dusk. I find shooting in pools of avaliable light at night easy and lots of fun but it is not always as fun in non directional diffused daylight for the contrasty portrait photos I like to take.
Samples and thoughts to follow.
I wrote this to share before departing the UK but it didn’t post as planned from my Samsung Tab 3. I am now home so new images coming soon!