Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

November 17, 2007

Travel log: camera gear I lugged

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:46 am

Shanghai afternoon

Well, I have been doing some blog reads, like non-stop.  I gotta admit, I missed them!

Seems that Paul Butzi just got back from China as I was leaving.  As he was doing the tourist route, his choice of eqquipment (just a Canon G9) was different than mine.  Also, as he said, he went wide and turns out, I went deep.  As a result of this being my second trip to China this year, I had a idea of my base camp (Marriott hotel in Shanghai, not really roughing it, eh?)  and that I was going to be hunkered down with one vendor in a city (JiaXing) about an hour and half car ride South of Shanghai for two weeks. I also knew that I had mornings before 8am to photograph (sunrise about 6ish), so I had some time to roam around.  I also had the experience of the last trip not having my tripod and REALLY regretting it.

So here is my camera kit:

Canon EOS XTi (10.1 Mp)

17 – 40 mm f/4 L lens (primary), the 70 – 200 mm f/4 L lens, stuffed in my Tenba camera bag, with 2 each 2 Gig CF cards and 2 camera batteries and the battery charger. Also a CF card reader to download my files to my slug (5 year old Pent3) Dell portable (30 Gig which I filled by the last day) and the Dell is loaded with Photoshop CS3 to do my black and white mojo for posting. I also needed the Dell for the client work, so I could justify lugging that brick along with me. Finally the Gitzo carbon fiber tripod with the RSS 40 ball head, in a Tenba carring case (fits in my big suit case to check) which I wrote about recently.

Back up batteries and extra CF card a must. I toted the extra battery and CF card with me all of the time and glad I did on a couple of occasions.

The tripod is a now a MUST, can’t really do the night, early morning or evening pictures without it.  So you just gotta get one that is small enough to fit in your bag, but substanial enough to make it worthwhile.

Only issue was the L bracket from RRS keep kinking the Canon electonic release cable while the Canon was in the Horizontal position. I think that there is not enought clearance to keep it clear all of the time, you have to make sure it does not get pinched.  I think I need a new cable now.  So the last couple of days, I was using the shutter release button on the camera for some long exposures.  In retrospect, I was jet lagged and tired, and could have had used the mirror up function with the timer.  I read some where about the grips with the Canon and their funky mirror up function on the menu, and I will second that their mirror-up process sucks. Okay, maybe I’m a little cranky, but the other camera manufacturers have figured this out, duh.

Okay, so that’s what I brought, what worked (just about all) and what was a pain.  I would probably do it all again and probably will if I need to head back there again shortly;- )

Best regards, Doug

BTW, this image is from the 39th floor of the JW Marriott (resturaunt) in downtown Shanghai. And I did use the tripod, but I had to smash the camera lens up to the window to try to kill any window glare and had to crop slightly to eliminate what I could not compensate for during the componsition.  I used the PSC3 on my portable and not sure that I have the foreground right, I need to look at this again on my calibrated monitor when I get home (yep, still in Tokyo).  Also part of going deep, as I have stayed here a couple of times before and I really like this particular composition, so I was prepared.  When these clouds started to break up, I had to run from the lunch group and capture this image!  I can be a little anti-social on occasion!

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