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Thread: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

  1. #1

    Default Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Hi fellow CS members.. Good day to you all..

    I am going to depart for Chengdu on 15 Oct 2010 and I currently have a dilemma on the equipments to bring there for my trip..

    In 15 days, I will be covering most of the sceneries like for example 峨眉山, 乐山, 九寨沟, 黄龙, 都江堰, 碧峰峽 Panda Base and etc.. The rest of the remaining days will be spent exploring Chengdu..

    My set up are as follows:

    1. Nikon D90
    2. N 14-24
    3. N 24-70
    4. N 70-200
    5. N 60 macro
    6. N 50 prime
    7. SB-800


    I am contemplating on what to bring for the trip.. Though this is mainly a photography trip (free and easy), I also do not want the weight of all the equipments to pull me down..

    Could anyone share your experiences with me here and I will really appreciate it very much.. What are the lenses that you have brought along and used to cover mostly over there? On the other hand, what are the lenses that you have but regret not bringing there?

    Thanks in advance!
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by wenbin0215 View Post
    Hi fellow CS members.. Good day to you all..

    I am going to depart for Chengdu on 15 Oct 2010 and I currently have a dilemma on the equipments to bring there for my trip..

    In 15 days, I will be covering most of the sceneries like for example 峨眉山, 乐山, 九寨沟, 黄龙, 都江堰, 碧峰峽 Panda Base and etc.. The rest of the remaining days will be spent exploring Chengdu..

    My set up are as follows:

    1. Nikon D90
    2. N 14-24
    3. N 24-70
    4. N 70-200
    5. N 60 macro
    6. N 50 prime
    7. SB-800


    I am contemplating on what to bring for the trip.. Though this is mainly a photography trip (free and easy), I also do not want the weight of all the equipments to pull me down..

    Could anyone share your experiences with me here and I will really appreciate it very much.. What are the lenses that you have brought along and used to cover mostly over there? On the other hand, what are the lenses that you have but regret not bringing there?

    Thanks in advance!
    Problem is you do not really have a lens that is truly a UWA for DX. And all your lenses are FX lenses, which are all big and heavy.

    leave the 14-24 monster at home. Buy a 2nd hand Sigma 10-20, Nikon 10-24. Tokina 11-16. And bring that for the trip. If you don't fancy it, sell it after the trip.

    As for your standard zoom, I would go for a Tamron 17-50. Small and light.

    70-200 you can bring if you can take the weight. If not just leave at home.

    Your kit is good if you are going to move to FX, but will be extremely heavy, especially when climbing mountains. I recommend you buy some used DX lenses for the trip. Then sell them after the trip for not much loss. Or you can rent the lenses.

    Or you can just buy or rent a Nikon 18-200, or Tamron 18-270 VC.

    If you can take all the weight, it is time to move to FX. Just get a used D700 body. and bring all your lenses (except the macro).

    Good luck and have fun.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 10th October 2010 at 05:10 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    I visited 峨眉山, 乐山, 九寨沟, 黄龙, Panda Base and Chengdu around 3rd week Oct 2009. My camera is D700. I backpack the following lenses/items that I think I would use :

    1) Tamron 28-75mm - Mostly used lense during travel
    2) Nikon 70-200mm - Used during Panda base and culture show
    3) N 50mm prime - Not used. Used it more often during Taiwan travel for night market shots
    4) N 12-24mm - Used once when I have time to change
    5) SB800 - Not used if remembered correctly
    6) Battery pack + GPS - Used most of the time
    7) Tripod + CPL/GND filters

    However, to lighten the carrying load while on Jiuzhaigou, I only brought along D700 + 28-75mm lense + battery pack + GPS + a small lowepro bag(cover against rain) + tripod + filter.
    For Huanglong site, I travelled light with only the D700 camera + 28-75mm lense + battery pack + GPS because we walked up Huanglong steps as per tour iterinary.

    With my existing D700, my most used lense during that Sichuan travel is 28-75mm. If I used my previous camera, D70, this would be Nikon 18-70mm lense. The 28-75mm would not provide wide enough view with D70 camera.

    Some observations :
    1) Saw someone used 70-200mm in Jiuzhaigou site but did not find out how he makes use of it onsite.
    2) One of my tour group members used Canon 5dmk2 camera with 24-104mm f4 IS lense for his many travel shots. Could have provided him with extra reach beyond 70mm.
    Nikon finally comes up with a revised 24-120mm f4 VR lense.

    For your reference.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    thk flash not really necessary...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Problem is you do not really have a lens that is truly a UWA for DX. And all your lenses are FX lenses, which are all big and heavy.

    leave the 14-24 monster at home. Buy a 2nd hand Sigma 10-20, Nikon 10-24. Tokina 11-16. And bring that for the trip. If you don't fancy it, sell it after the trip.

    As for your standard zoom, I would go for a Tamron 17-50. Small and light.

    70-200 you can bring if you can take the weight. If not just leave at home.

    Your kit is good if you are going to move to FX, but will be extremely heavy, especially when climbing mountains. I recommend you buy some used DX lenses for the trip. Then sell them after the trip for not much loss. Or you can rent the lenses.

    Or you can just buy or rent a Nikon 18-200, or Tamron 18-270 VC.

    If you can take all the weight, it is time to move to FX. Just get a used D700 body. and bring all your lenses (except the macro).

    Good luck and have fun.



    ya, all are really big and heavy..

    at the "last min", my gf had managed to borrow a D700 from a friend.. therefore, i guess i will be bringing 2 bodies (D700 & D90) as well as all my lenses except macro..

    thanks! i am so going to have fun for this trip very soon..
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  6. #6

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by NikVin08 View Post
    I visited 峨眉山, 乐山, 九寨沟, 黄龙, Panda Base and Chengdu around 3rd week Oct 2009. My camera is D700. I backpack the following lenses/items that I think I would use :

    1) Tamron 28-75mm - Mostly used lense during travel
    2) Nikon 70-200mm - Used during Panda base and culture show
    3) N 50mm prime - Not used. Used it more often during Taiwan travel for night market shots
    4) N 12-24mm - Used once when I have time to change
    5) SB800 - Not used if remembered correctly
    6) Battery pack + GPS - Used most of the time
    7) Tripod + CPL/GND filters

    However, to lighten the carrying load while on Jiuzhaigou, I only brought along D700 + 28-75mm lense + battery pack + GPS + a small lowepro bag(cover against rain) + tripod + filter.
    For Huanglong site, I travelled light with only the D700 camera + 28-75mm lense + battery pack + GPS because we walked up Huanglong steps as per tour iterinary.

    With my existing D700, my most used lense during that Sichuan travel is 28-75mm. If I used my previous camera, D70, this would be Nikon 18-70mm lense. The 28-75mm would not provide wide enough view with D70 camera.

    Some observations :
    1) Saw someone used 70-200mm in Jiuzhaigou site but did not find out how he makes use of it onsite.
    2) One of my tour group members used Canon 5dmk2 camera with 24-104mm f4 IS lense for his many travel shots. Could have provided him with extra reach beyond 70mm.
    Nikon finally comes up with a revised 24-120mm f4 VR lense.

    For your reference.



    Hi NikVin08,

    With the loan of a D700 from a friend, i think 24-70 will be staying on the D700 for most of this trip.. i am guessing a lot of landscapes will be taken with 14-24 and 24-70 on the D700..

    i am contemplating whether to leave behind 70-200 for this trip.. the only usage i can think of will be when visiting the Bifengxia Panda Base..
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by wenbin0215 View Post
    Hi NikVin08,

    With the loan of a D700 from a friend, i think 24-70 will be staying on the D700 for most of this trip.. i am guessing a lot of landscapes will be taken with 14-24 and 24-70 on the D700..

    i am contemplating whether to leave behind 70-200 for this trip.. the only usage i can think of will be when visiting the Bifengxia Panda Base..

    Hi Wenbin0215,

    Congrats on getting a D700 to pair with your trinity collection of f2.8 nikon lenses.

    My comments are my considerations then were :-

    1) I do not want regret not having len for 70mm and above when I need the reach.
    2) I could take the weight with a main backpack.
    3) I am happy with the pictures taken with the 70-200.

    Perhaps you can look at your past photos taken especially travel photos and see what are the focal range you hit often. You may get a sense if you would miss the 70-200. I think you may also have done some planning on what you want to capture during your 15 days Sichuan trip e.g. theme and places to go. Together, it may give a sensing if to leave behind 70-200.


    Regards,

  8. #8

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by NikVin08 View Post
    Hi Wenbin0215,

    Congrats on getting a D700 to pair with your trinity collection of f2.8 nikon lenses.

    My comments are my considerations then were :-

    1) I do not want regret not having len for 70mm and above when I need the reach.
    2) I could take the weight with a main backpack.
    3) I am happy with the pictures taken with the 70-200.

    Perhaps you can look at your past photos taken especially travel photos and see what are the focal range you hit often. You may get a sense if you would miss the 70-200. I think you may also have done some planning on what you want to capture during your 15 days Sichuan trip e.g. theme and places to go. Together, it may give a sensing if to leave behind 70-200.


    Regards,

    I suppose I will still bring along my tele lens.. i dun want to regret for not having the reach especially when i dun even know if i will ever return there again in the near future..
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  9. #9
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by wenbin0215 View Post
    Hi NikVin08,

    With the loan of a D700 from a friend, i think 24-70 will be staying on the D700 for most of this trip.. i am guessing a lot of landscapes will be taken with 14-24 and 24-70 on the D700..

    i am contemplating whether to leave behind 70-200 for this trip.. the only usage i can think of will be when visiting the Bifengxia Panda Base..
    You will need the 70-200, even on Leshan. When you want to zoom in on the giant buddha.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    You will need the 70-200, even on Leshan. When you want to zoom in on the giant buddha.
    hi daredevil123, u are right too.. the gigantic Buddha and the its close up are definitely not to be missed as well..

    i have currently a CPL filter for my 24-70.. should i get a ND filter as well for landscapes shooting?
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    You will, of course, be zooming in on the Leshan Buddha from the faaaar bank.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by wenbin0215 View Post
    hi daredevil123, u are right too.. the gigantic Buddha and the its close up are definitely not to be missed as well..

    i have currently a CPL filter for my 24-70.. should i get a ND filter as well for landscapes shooting?
    CPL is a must for this trip. Without it, you will regret big time with all the reflection from the lakes. ND is also needed if you are on free and easy instead of joining the tour group.
    Canon 5D Mark II | 24-105L | 35L | 85L II | 135L | Samyang 14mm 2.8

  13. #13

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    CPL is a must for this trip. Without it, you will regret big time with all the reflection from the lakes. ND is also needed if you are on free and easy instead of joining the tour group.

    Guys, just to update here..

    I'm currently on top of Mt Emei staying at Jin Ding hotel for tonight.. shall wake up very early tomorrow for the sunrise and i hope that the weather dun disappoint..

    the journey earlier from Chengdu to Mt Emei took slightly more than 4 hours.. cos of road works and some accidents along the way.. hence the journey from 报 国 寺 to 雷洞坪 was very rushing.. by the time i reached up to 雷洞坪, there was no more cable car in operation already..

    trekking up from 雷洞坪 to 金顶 was really require a very high level of fitness.. the steep steps upwards really need a lot of determination and very very fit person to achieve to 金顶.. but no regrets.. cos this hotel is really 5 stars..

    can't wait for the sunrise tml.. and gd night everyone..
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  14. #14

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    You need your 70-200 lens. Most probably you will have to take picture of the giant budda from the boat a distance away. If you want to capture the cable car station at top of Emei Shan you will need your 70-200. You don't want to regret missing out on some possible beautiful shots. It's not everyday you go places. Just carry a bit more won't kill you. I'm 59 and slug my Canon 28-300mm wherever I go and I've never regreted bringing it along. The best candid shots are always taken from slight distance away from the awareness of the subject.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by wenbin0215 View Post
    Guys, just to update here..

    I'm currently on top of Mt Emei staying at Jin Ding hotel for tonight.. shall wake up very early tomorrow for the sunrise and i hope that the weather dun disappoint..

    the journey earlier from Chengdu to Mt Emei took slightly more than 4 hours.. cos of road works and some accidents along the way.. hence the journey from 报 国 寺 to 雷洞坪 was very rushing.. by the time i reached up to 雷洞坪, there was no more cable car in operation already..

    trekking up from 雷洞坪 to 金顶 was really require a very high level of fitness.. the steep steps upwards really need a lot of determination and very very fit person to achieve to 金顶.. but no regrets.. cos this hotel is really 5 stars..

    can't wait for the sunrise tml.. and gd night everyone..
    Thanks for the update and it seems like you enjoyed your walk up the last section to the top. Enjoy yourself and look forward to seeing your photos from the Golden Summit of Emei.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by Daoyin View Post
    Thanks for the update and it seems like you enjoyed your walk up the last section to the top. Enjoy yourself and look forward to seeing your photos from the Golden Summit of Emei.

    hi daoyin, i thought i almost could not make it to the Emeishan top in time.. it took my gf and i a lot of determination to finally get to the top of Emeishan..

    the much awaited sunrise from 金顶 was disappointing.. the heavy fog dented any chances of the cloud sea..

    i'm currently in JZG now and i will be back on the 30th..
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  17. #17

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Tan View Post
    You need your 70-200 lens. Most probably you will have to take picture of the giant budda from the boat a distance away. If you want to capture the cable car station at top of Emei Shan you will need your 70-200. You don't want to regret missing out on some possible beautiful shots. It's not everyday you go places. Just carry a bit more won't kill you. I'm 59 and slug my Canon 28-300mm wherever I go and I've never regreted bringing it along. The best candid shots are always taken from slight distance away from the awareness of the subject.
    hi Andrew.. u are absolutely right.. that why i forsake the weight of my equipments and brought everything here.. becos i dun want to regret missing an oportunity when i need the specific lens and i did not bring it with me.. i also agreed with u that at times i realized i need the 70-200 to zoom in from afar.. and i really dun regret bringing my 4 lenses here..

    however on the other hand, i do a lot of trekking example like in Emeishan, Leshan, Huanglong, JZG, Dujiangyan and Mt Qingcheng.. for some people, it is worthy to think whether they can withstand the weight and walk so much in all these places..

    well, so far i am enjoying this trip and i'm looking forward to go into JZG again tomorrow.. cheers!
    D800 | N14-24 | N24-70 | N70-200 II | N50 1.4G | N60 macro 2.8G | N85 1.4G | SB800

  18. #18

    Default Re: Splendid Sichuan in 15 days

    I walked up to the top of Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie - 999 steps up and 999 steps down with my gears. Walked up to Emei Shan submit with same gears. You be surprise what you can do with your zoom lens that others can't do. I have never regreted that. Landscape photography is not all about ultra wide pictures sometimes you need to zoom for details, eg. rock formation, typical tree, small unique hut in the distance. Eg. At Grand Canyon I managed to zoom in on a rock structure they called "eagles rock". It looks like an eagle with the it's wings span wide. Imagine the frustration if I didn't have my zoom lens with me.

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