I'm not very good at light packing - you should see the contents of my everyday shoulder bag - I could quite easily find myself marooned in the Alaskan wilderness, and use what's inside to build a shelter, protect myself from the elements, rear and slaughter reindeer, set up a chanel no.5 beauty salon for passing bored Inuit women and live quite happily for a very long time.
On Christmas day this year I wont be sitting around having the usual xmas feast and frollicks as most people will be enjoying in this country, I'll be on an aeroplane heading off on an adventure to explore Peru and Ecuador for a whole entire month! I know my mind should be on the excitement of traveling, the amazing things I'll see, the new cultures I'll experience, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the gorgeous Spanish language I hope to finally master, a holiday that has been a long time coming...relaxation...but no, I'm kind of obsessed with the photographic opportunities that it will afford me. Wide angled landscapes of the Andes, Machu Picchu, the wildlife of the Galapagos, the faces of Quito. Worried that I don't have the photography skills to capture it how I want, the right equipment to do it, and most of all on my mind is that I don't want to lug heavy camera equipment around with me.
Right now I have my kit lens (canon 18-55mm), a macro lens that is incredibly satisfying in a phallic sturdy lens kind of way (canon 300mm), and my wide angled sigma which is a dream, but obviously, I need a new lens. Nothing new there, I always need a new lens! You see what I don't have is a decent telephoto lens to take. The kit lens doesn't really reach all the right places. Was wondering if I could get a good all-in-one I could take with me to lesson the load. I don't want a mega long ultra extending lens - I'm no wildlife photographer, but just something to give a bit more reach would be good (always left feeling a bit frustrated with the 55mm). Yes, I hear you, 'it's not how big it is, it's what you do with it that matters' ....*NewsFlash*...size...does...matter.
The friendly guys at the Station Camera Shop in Reading (one of those really great camera shops that let you try and buy) have suggested a Canon 55-250mm (c. £202.00) or a 55-200mm Tamron (c. £70) - unfortunatley my budget won't stretch to go down to 18mm or up to 300mm (sniff). So I tried. The Tamron was surprisingly good for the price, light as a feather but it does feel plasticy, and it doesn't have image stabilisation which means I may need a tripod at times. The Canon on the other hand does have the IS, has that extra 50mm and also the bit that connects it to the camera is aluminum, more durable. But to be fair the difference in image quality on a rainy day was pretty non-existent - and it is an extra £130 more...dream trips to S.America don't come cheap. Both lens' though won't go down to that 18mm mark which means I should really take the sigma and kit lens too, then there are the filters, the lens hoods, the memory sticks, extra batteries and cards....
Today on the DPS Blog popped up a post on 5 Tips to Travel with One Lens. It's traumatising enough I will have to leave the laptop con photoshop behind, no post-process playing until I get back. Can I really bring myself to travel with ONE lens in addition? Surely the psychological effects will be too much to deal with creating stress and anxiety which could easily be avoided by carrying an extra kilo or two. Perhaps I can justify taking the whole shebang if I just pack a change of knickers and my Lonely Planet.