I travel whenever I can. Usually short, two day breaks, here in the U.K. or elsewhere in Europe but, every two years, I take an extended 3-week break and head off to a long haul destination. In 5 days I will be flying to the Philippines to visit my father who moved out there 3 years ago. Then I’ll be heading to Singapore and Malaysia. With flights paid for, hotels booked and a vague idea of what I want to see, there is only one question left……What camera gear do I take?
Traveling with a mirrorless system like Fuji has the obvious advantage of less weight than comparative DSLR’s. This is amazing because it means I can travel with the kit I want to have instead of compromising because everything is so big and heavy.
My primary Fuji body is the X-T2. Its a fantastic, reliable choice and I love the DSLR feel to it. I don’t own any other Fuji interchangeable bodies so it goes without saying that this comes with me. But what do I take to accompany it? Well here is the list;
This is, in my opinion, the perfect travel lens. If I could take only one lens it would probably be this one. It gives you 24mm for street work, 16mm for those tight spaces and 10mm for architecture, landscapes, and those gorgeous wide city shots. The majority of my travel work is usually at around F5.6 so the fixed F4 aperture presents no problems. It also has a minimum focus of 24cm which can be useful and at 410g it balances very well on the XT2. I have a B&W 007 filter on the front to give it a little protection from the elements in terms of dust etc as it’s not weather sealed. I do wish it had that WR badge at times but you can’t have everything.
I already have this focal length within the 10-24mm but the 16mm has a few advantages. Firstly the weather sealing. If it does turn out to be a bit damp (which is a distinct possibility at this time of year), then I don’t have to stop shooting. Secondly it’s an F1.4 lens. I love to head out at night to explore places when I’m away and, on occasions, the F4 of the 10-24mm just doesn’t cut it. Finally, it has a minimum focus distance of only 15cm giving it a pseudo macro ability. Getting this close can produce some really interesting images.
This lens is so small and light that it goes in every bag regardless of where I’m heading. If the weather turns out to be less than ideal and 16mm is too wide then this will come out of the bag.
Typically I wouldn’t include this lens in my travel kit. It’s a reasonable size and, despite the fact that it produces sublime images, it just doesn’t see much use abroad. On this trip I know I will be taking some family portraits so its coming with me.
Instax SP-2 printer
These little printers are a lot of fun, especially when travelling. If someone is kind enough to let me take their photo, I always try and give them a print. It’s an inexpensive gesture that can make a world of difference. In one of his Fuji related trips to Morocco Zack Arias proposed the idea of offering to take a photo for someone, give them a print and then ask to take a few more. This works and can genuinely get you photos you may otherwise have never had. In some cases, people might never have had a printed photo of themselves before so it’s always nice to be able to be a part of that. My favourite Instax film is the black frame one, but for travels, I just take the white frame as its cheaper.
Batteries – A somewhat obvious thing to mention but I m sure we have all left home without them at some point. I find 4 to be sufficient. The small USB powered chargers work great. I like these ones from Amazon UK. They are much smaller than the Fuji ones, and you can plug all four into something like this to charge everything each night.
Memory Cards – Another essential that I have forgotten to pack once or twice. This trip I am merely using larger SD cards and leaving the laptop at home. I will be picking up four of the Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB cards in the Philippines. I have ordered them from an Amazon type store called Lazada. They have already been delivered to my father’s place, so they are ready for day one. The best part is they only cost £45 which is a bargain.
So there you have it. That is the Fuji gear that I will be travelling with this time around. Its a great little kit for me and it packs up really neatly. As for what it packs into, that is for my next post. Stayed tuned.