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      04-04-2021, 08:05 PM   #1
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Galapagos camera gear advice

Hi All,

Been a while. Hope everyone is well.

With vaccines, more countries are opening up and Iím planning a trip to Ecuador and Galapagos with some friends later this year. Iím building up my gear and would like to get the forumís input on lenses, tripod/monopod, and perhaps even a new camera bag.

Currently have the following:
Lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, and 35mm f2
Tripod: a heavy Manfrotto that I bought few years ago; a Joby tripod and a small table tripod
Bag: a Lowepro Sports (enough for a camera + lens and extra lens)

I heard that 70-200mm on a cropped body is plenty in terms of reach. I do wonder if 70-300 or 100-400 would be better. Definitely looking for a CF tripod, perhaps one with ability to turn into a monopod (?). I do have a spare aluminum monopod that I can bring if needed. For bag Iím thinking the Lowepro Flipside Trek 250 to get more space with space to carry personal belongings.

Iíd like to travel as light as possible so any advice on how to cut down on gear is much appreciated.

Thank you in advance!
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      04-04-2021, 09:18 PM   #2
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I havenít been there myself, though itís on ďthe listĒ...

That being said, if possible you might consider bringing two bodies. Fit one with a wide to normal zoom, and the other with a telephoto zoom. Given the location, changing lenses regularly is just going to be asking for trouble in terms of getting gunk on the sensor and/or back of the lens.

I would also focus on a faster lens and not the tripod. But I donít know what kind of trip youíre planning. With animals, itís better to be able to move fast, which you just canít do with a tripod. I have used a monopod with a long lens and it was fine, with a big benefit just being that your arms donít get so tired!
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      04-04-2021, 09:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTonic View Post
I havenít been there myself, though itís on ďthe listĒ...

That being said, if possible you might consider bringing two bodies. Fit one with a wide to normal zoom, and the other with a telephoto zoom. Given the location, changing lenses regularly is just going to be asking for trouble in terms of getting gunk on the sensor and/or back of the lens.

I would also focus on a faster lens and not the tripod. But I donít know what kind of trip youíre planning. With animals, itís better to be able to move fast, which you just canít do with a tripod. I have used a monopod with a long lens and it was fine, with a big benefit just being that your arms donít get so tired!
Iím really considering getting an X-T4 to couple it with the X-T2 and lenses I currently have. I do agree with your thinking. Just that getting a second body requires more investment and I was trying to keep costs down. Already plan on getting a GoPro 9/10 for water and underwater stuff. Maybe I can buy a used X-T2/3. Youíre probably right that tripod will be too bulky and inconvenient. Might bring a monopod and double it as hiking stick then.
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      04-04-2021, 10:17 PM   #4
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For a 2nd body, you might also consider renting. I’ve had good luck with Borrowlenses
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      04-06-2021, 09:05 PM   #5
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I would drop the 18-55 in favor of a 70-200 F2 or a 100-400mm. Shooting birds and wildlife, I think it's essential to carry a zoom lens.
Don't know if you need 2 wide angle lenses tho, maybe just a 16-35 fast lens?
Bag - look into Shimoda Action X, 30 or 50L.
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      04-06-2021, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsanatx View Post
I would drop the 18-55 in favor of a 70-200 F2 or a 100-400mm. Shooting birds and wildlife, I think it's essential to carry a zoom lens.
Don't know if you need 2 wide angle lenses tho, maybe just a 16-35 fast lens?
Bag - look into Shimoda Action X, 30 or 50L.
Thanks. Right now Iím thinking 18-55 and getting the new 70-300mm. That should give me a good range. Might toss the 14mm in there because itís tiny and weighs nothing. Looked at the Shimoda and it might be a bit too big/bulky looking for me. I prefer something for slim and streamlined. Will consider it though.
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      04-06-2021, 11:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTonic View Post
For a 2nd body, you might also consider renting. Iíve had good luck with Borrowlenses
Thanks. I looked into it per your suggestion and a telephoto lens is about $200 for 2 weeks, same with body. Thatís $400 and another camera to carry. I think Iíll stick to just one and spend the $200 on lens rental and buying the new 70-300mm. Essentially 1 body, 2 lenses along with a GoPro for underwater stuff and the new iPhone 13 (plan on upgrading from XS this year and will bring it with me).
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      04-07-2021, 11:12 AM   #8
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Sounds like a good plan. Be sure to share some pics here after your trip!

If I can make one more recommendation: consider a Capture Clip. When Iím out hiking itís super convenient to keep the camera on my backpack strap and easily accessible. Works great so long as you donít have a huge body/lens combo.
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      04-07-2021, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTonic View Post
Sounds like a good plan. Be sure to share some pics here after your trip!

If I can make one more recommendation: consider a Capture Clip. When Iím out hiking itís super convenient to keep the camera on my backpack strap and easily accessible. Works great so long as you donít have a huge body/lens combo.
I will. Itís not until Fall but wanted time to build up the gear and plan accordingly vs last min. I have the Peak Design clip from long ago but barely used it on previous trips. I do plan on bringing it for this trip though to make it easy to switch from camera to iPhone (for landscape and closeups).
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      04-07-2021, 11:28 PM   #10
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Definitely get some sort of zoom lens & some water protection for your gear just in case! You don't want to be out shooting & get accidentally splashed or sudden rain storm come through
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