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Travel Equipment

Camera, lense and films

by Mike Gendreyzig, 2000-2003

Since I've my Canon EOS 50E I'm really satisfied with my photos. It's a good compromise between a professional high-tech camera and a new tiny pocket camera: with it's net weight of 700g it comes along with automatic (eye) focus, many different programs and an inbuilt flash.

For professional photographers a zoom-lense is not acceptable, but for a traveler who has to reduce baggage weight due to limitation of airlines and at most due to comfortableness its the best idea replacing many different lenses by one zoom-lens. With 500g the AF 28-200 LD is one of the lightest zoom-lenses with high reputation. It has a focal length between 28 and 200 at f-4 to f-5.6. Additional it is inside focusing, making it ideal for using with special filters and underwater covers.

Last but not least, the decision which type of film. As my friends back home are happy to make virtual trips afterwards, I am using slide films, especially Kodak's Elite Chrome 100 and Elite Chrome 200. It's not much cheaper using slide films instead of common daylight films, as you have to calculate price for frames and boxes and of course acquisition cost for the slide projector. But the big advantage is the high resolution, the fidelity of colors (more useful if scanning than making paper copies) and that you can entertain more than one person (by showing a photo album) at the same time.
Attention: on my trip to New Zealand I ran out of slide films and had to buy some right there. Prices for Kodak are very high compared to Germany (without notice of exchange rate!). So you should better ensure yourself having enough photo material with you. Most shops give additional development vouchers, only valid there. If buying films in another country you should consider that you maybe don't develop them right at the place, where you bought them.
Another time I was really astonished: in Shanghai, the so-called most developed city of mainland China, there was no slide film available at all. Just in Suzhou I could buy some expensive rolls. Of course, in Hong Kong competition makes it easy to find cheap material of every brand.

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