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Travel photography gear, 2013 edition

With the end of the school year, it's time to think about summer vacation. We'll be spending some time in the pacific northwest and also going through some of the parks in the northern Rockies (possibly Glacier, but haven't fully decided yet). There should be great opportunities for shooting, although packing relatively light would be prudent, so I can't take the photographic kitchen sink. Here's the plan:

  • No brainer: Fuji X-Pro1 with a kit of prime lenses. Small, unobtrusive, awesome image quailty. I have the the 55-200mm zoom coming too, so in terms of focal length, this hits about everything.
  • D3100 w/ 18-105mm lensDebate: Nikon D90. I recently fell back in love with my D90, shooting at a bluegrass festival and bike race. But the X-Pro1 should cover most of my needs, especially with the telephoto zoom on the long end and 14mm prime on the wide side. It would be nice to have the ability to go even longer and there might be some excellent opportunities to shoot flowers/macro, so my 70-300mm zoom and 105mm micro would be the lenses I'd want in a Nikon kit for this trip. But rather than taking both my D90 and Jen's D3100 (with 18-105mm kit lens that originally came with my D90), to save space I think we'll just take her Nikon and I'll liberally borrow it to use with the 70-300mm and 105mm lenses. Although the controls and general performance (i.e., speed) of the D3100 doesn't quite match the D90, in terms of the image quality, it's probably as good, if not better. So we'll share her D3100.
  • A luxury: My tripod isn't small, but I could see it being really useful for landscapes.
  • Didn't make the cut: Although it's one of my favorite lenses, I'm going to leave the Tokina 11-16mm behind and have my wide shooting be covered by the Fuji 14mm prime. We'll see if I miss it! But since the Tokina won't focus with the D3100 (I have the older version of the lens), a commitment to bringing this lens sends me down to the path of also lugging the D90.

Update: Upon returning, here's a report on what my minimal kit will be in the future, based on my experiences on this trip. I continue to love the X-Pro1, and over the last month I shot almost exclusively with my two newest lenses for it (14mm and 55-200mm....see some pictures here and here); those two, along with the 35mm prime, would make an excellent lightweight kit for a trip to Europe :-)

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