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Outback Photo Handbook: Shooting in the Field

Travel Light

by Bettina + Uwe Steinmueller

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For a two day trip (one night) to Photoshop World 2009 in Las Vegas I wanted to minimize my camera equipment so that I could carry it all day long. In these cases I use the Think Tank Urban Disguise 35 with the harness for the technical equipment.

The lightest computer I have is a 2 year old Mac Book. So the main question was actually the camera and lenses. I wanted to be able to make video and shoot at lower light levels.

First I planned to take the Canon 5D Mark II with the following lenses:

  • Canon 50mm f/1.2
  • Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS

It fitted fine into the UD 35 but turned out to be a bit on the heavy side (with the Mac Book included). So I switched to the Panasonic GH1 and the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens. The kit lens 14-140mm would not work in low light. This was quite a bit lighter overall.

Normally I shoot more tele than wide angle so the lens was somehow limiting for me. But anyway is was not a really bad solution.

Very difficult shot at low artificial light

Luxor Reflections

Vegas Architecture

Vegas Architecture

The last 3 photos did not require a f/2.8 lens (also this lens does not have any lens hood) and I wished to have the 14-140mm lens with me (but as said I did not plan for daylight shots).

Note: The Olympus 17mm f/2.8 lens can show somtimes stronger CA with the GH1. We corrected this in Lightroom 2.5.

Then for this night video the 17mm f/2.8 lens just proved to be right. Because video requires some tripod I carried this very light one (and it worked great because the GH1 is so light and we did not have stronger wind):

  • 12 year old Glitzo metal tripod
  • Simple Slik video head
  • Arca Swiss clamp


Overall the choice was quite alright. In the future we would not leave the 14-140mm kit lens home. The tripod was just fine for travel light.


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