What photographic equipment do you carry with you on your travels around Taiwan? I only have a single camera body and one zoom: a Nikon F50, 35-80mm Nikkor F4. For wildlife shots I borrow a friends Nikkor 105mm macro. I use 100 and 400 Ektachrome film. My camera has built-in flash but I never use it.
I used to be into photography in a big way about 15 years ago and had better equipment. This Christmas I may treat myself to a 20mm lense.

A disposable camera :blush: since my real one broke while I was in London.

Depend on what you would like to do with all those pictures you are going to take. I usually travel with my regular camera, which is a canon. (old school stuff) I like the digital camera but I never do like the quality of it for some reason. I like how the prints look on the regular ones. I know, I am a weirdo. :!:

Depends. I have a 35mm, a point and shoot and a digital camera. Sometimes I carry all three, however if I am going to a scenic area I deffinately carry my 35mm with me as I get the best shots with it.

Simply those equipment you talked about will be enough for you. Unless you want to do some fancy pictures. What subjects do you want to photograph? Landscape or people on this island? Travelling and photogarphing is interesting. I love photography also.

Nikon FM-3a with 85mm F 1.4
Canon F-1 with 28mm F 1.8 lens, 35-105 F 3.5 and 200mm F 4
Nikonos V with 2 strobes, 15mm lens, 28mm with macro and close up kits

Pretty much takes care of everything above and below the water… :wink:

My main camera is a Minolta SRT 201. I bought it new in about 1976 or 77. It has no automatic settings, so you are forced you to think about every picture.
The lens is a 28-85mm, 3.5. It is a little on the slow side, but less than 3.5 and you start to get into real money. I would not own a zoom of 35mm up since 35mm in my experience is just not wide enough.
I have not had much satisfaction out of 400 ASA film. The resolution just doesn’t do it for me. I generally use 200 ASA for all purposes. If I know that the subject will be outside on a clear day, however, I go for lower ASA, like 64, for example.
I also have a Seagull twin-lens camera (Shanghai) that I bought in Kaifeng, China in 1987 for US$6. Today new they go for US$130 to US$200+ I think. It is an interesting camera since the results are somewhat unpredictable. Perhaps it is the 120 format, but the saturation is sometimes fantastic (good for snakes

I love my Olympus mju-II (deluxe). The deluxe bit doesn’t matter - that just means it has a remote control and a nice leather case, but the basic mju-II camera does almost everything I need it to, with much higher resolution than most digital cameras and much less weight than all SLR-types while letting in more light than compact zooms. Plus it’s splash- and shower-proof.

Of course there would be photos that need better, more expensive (heavier) equipment, but I go for the human interest and the quick snaps. On my last two trips I took about 30 pics a day, keeping fewer than 10. Some of them I wouldn’t have got if it weren’t for the ease and speed of use of my camera.

For travel, I usually take:

Nikon F100
Nikkor 24-85 f/2.8-4D
Nikon SB-80DX Flash
Nikon SB-30 Flash
Yashica T5

This pretty much covers most situations that I’ll run into while traveling.

I also have a Casio Exilim EX-M2 on me at all times.

And, depending on what I know I might be shooting, I may take some other Nikkor lenses with me. The lens that seems to accompany me the most is the Nikkor 28 f/1.4D.

If I’m going somewhere where finding batteries may be a problem, someplace that is harsh on electronics, or someplace where the camera might get roughed up, I’ll bring a Nikon FM3a in place of the F100.

Judging by the previous comments it would seem I have a lot to learn and buy.

I have always been paranoid about travelling around asia with expensive cameras as I usually believe in taking things with me that I am prepared to lose. I also feel uncomfortable when I see a tourist with a $2000US or more kit in a village where that might feed a family for ages. But the topic is Taiwan - everyone makes more money here than I.

When travelling I usually take my small and old Canon s100 digital camera. It serves me well and will produce some quality pictures for the type of shots I take. Its not much good obviously for large nature scenes but in a city where objects are close it works fine. Otherwise, I love taking photos in the city with my Lomo LC-A. Sometimes difficult to convince the photolab to actually print the blurry ones. Lately I have been using my Canon EOS300 a great deal with good success. I have been using Fujifilm 800 lately and it seems to work well capturing some interesting colour from these very gray days in Hsinchu.

This weekend I’ll be travelling to Bangkok and likely will take all 3.

Good point about not taking things that you aren’t prepared to lose. There are some things you can do to minimize (but not eliminate) the risk of loss.

When I traveled to some of the poorer parts of Peru, I was conscious of this, so I only brought an old Nikon FM2n (that I had bought used), a cheap Nikkor 28-70 f/3.5-4.5D, and a Nikon SB-28 flash. Oh, and also a Yashica T4 Super. The flash unit was the most valuable piece of this setup, and it looked fancy too, so it stayed in the bag unless absolutely necessary.

The bag I think plays a great deal too. If you use a purpose built camera bag, that’s a dead giveaway to thieves. So, I used an old grungy backpack that I’ve had since high school. No one will notice that or think that anything valuable is inside, or at least it won’t be the first target.

Also, I wouldn’t worry too much about buying a lot of equipment. Equipment in itself won’t help you take better pictures. Remember, the photographer makes the pictures, not the equipment. :wink: More/better equipment only makes the photographers job easier or more convenient, but won’t improve upon the pictures you are able to take with what you already have. :slight_smile:

I see we’ve got a few camera snobs on this thread. I’ve heard that nonsense before about how digital cameras don’t take good enough pictures for magazine publication and I know that’s false because photos that I took with my cheap Sony digital camera (2 megapix? 2.5? I know it’s not 3) have been published in magazines on several occassions, once a full page photo.

When I spent some time traveling in SE Asia and the Himalayas, I loved my compact Minolta film camera, because it was small enough to put in my pocket, tough enough that I dropped it a few times without problems, water resistant (the booklet says if you drop it in saltwater to rinse it off in fresh water, had a great zoom and was cheap enough that if it got stolen, mayo wente. I replaced it twice with upgrades of the same thing.

But once I discovered digital I was hooked. Now I can go for a hike and send photos home to my folks that evening. Now that I’ve got a baby coming, my family will be viewing photos almost immediately, and if I knew how to do so I could create a website and post them there. I used it to take my own photo for use with a magazine article I wrote and e-mailed it to the publisher (that was one of the published photos). I can take naked photos of friends (he he he) and not have to send them to a photo lab. And for regular picture taking, I can check and see if the shot came out alright and, if not, keep shooting until it does. Then at night delete all the crap photos, charge the battery, and I’m ready for a new day of shooting.

I doubt I’ll ever buy a film camera again. Digital is so much superior that I believe film cameras will go the way of phonograph records. If you don’t have a digital camera, AJ, get one. You won’t regret it.

I’m on the fence regarding the image resolution issue. And I get my films developed at a regular hole-in-the wall place which uses a machine, so I suppose that means my negs. aren’t quite as good as if done professionally.

But every time I develop a film, the shop puts the images on CD for me as well, so I can use and edit them as with any digital camera, but I’ve still got the negs., which is good for archival and if I ever need a high resolution print I can go back to them.

This from a camera which was a quarter the price of an OK digital and is showerproof and arguably more robust than a lot of digitals.

Good for you if you get good results from and enjoy using a digital. But I think to say that film is dead is premature.


Who says we are snobs? I don’t want to speak for everyone but I like the feel of metal in my hand and don’t want something that’s going to shatter into a thousand pieces when dropped from a height of over 3 inches.

I’ve been taking pictures over and under the water for better than 20 years. I’m not about to toss my tested and true equipment because digital is…convenient?

Will your plastic digital whatever produce superior images to my 20 year old Canon F1? Not likely.

When I’m trekking in the boonies, diving or on a motorcycle adventure, the last thing I want is equipment failure…Which is why all my cameras can continue to function without a battery.

Also, the shutter lag on a digital is a pain in the ass…Instead of the reassuring click, you get a 'bee-beep, bee-beep for what seems an eternity. Underwater, it’s it’s even worse as that annoying beep is sure to send my skittish subjects swimming.

Finally, why would we be called snobs? If I showed up at your house with a restored 57 chevy…Would I be a snob then too? Or would you, like most people admire it’s classic lines from a bygone era.

I plan to buy a digital camera…for snapshots :smiling_imp:

A purist and member of the F/64 club

Albums are better than CDs! :wink:

You are probably comparing apples to oranges. If you want to compare something to your professional SLR, you need to compare it to a current professional digital SLR. Not one from a couple of years ago, a current model year. Other than the issue of batteries, the issues you raise such as durability and shutter speed are pretty much comparable or better on current digital than film SLRs. One area where film still has a clear advantage is in low light situations. Another is the large format film which is not currently practical digitally. Other than that, film doesn’t have any real advantage. Take a look at a current digital SLR from Nikon, Canon or Fuji, compared to your film cameras and then come back and tell us what you think.

Point and shoot cameras have come a long way too. Comparing a point and shoot digital to a point and shoot film, current point and shoot digitals just blow away film point and shoot cameras, and convenience is much more important in this market.

Regarding the whole film vs. digital debate, neither is a replacement for the other. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but used together, they complement each other quite nicely. I find that for snapshots, people/everyday shots, and stuff for the web (for sale ads, etc.), I prefer the convenience that digital provides. But, when travelling or shooting scenics, I prefer the reliability and quality that film provides.

Film is not quite dead yet. Consider the following:

  • For absolute pixel count, film is still king. For digital to match the resolution of 35mm film it needs to be about 25 Megapixel. However, for most purposes and intents, about 6-8 megapixels is enough, and for most consumers, 3-4 megapixels is plenty, as most will never be printed above 6x8. The difference in pixel count only becomes apparent when you are doing poster size or larger prints. As a disclaimer, overall picture quality depends on factors other than pixel count as well, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.

  • Some fully mechanical film cameras can run with no batteries. If you are out of batteries on digital, you are out of luck. For most of the film cameras that do require batteries, one set lasts for many rolls of film, and in a pinch, you can usually find the batteries you need at 7-11. Almost all digital cameras require proprietary batteries. If you are hiking, or camping, for example, you may not even be able to recharge the batteries at the end of the day. These mechanical cameras are also a lot more durable in harsh environmental conditions that wreak havoc on electronics.

  • If you run out of film while travelling, it’s usually no problem to buy more. If you run out of memory, and don’t have your computer by your side to download, you’ll be hard pressed to find a place nearby that sells memory cards.

  • You will still be able to see images on film years from now. Film doesn’t suffer from hard drive crashes, or file corruption. JPEG might be the standard for todays computers, but 20 years from now, there will be a new latest and greatest format, and JPEGs might not even be readable anymore with the latest software. Anyone remember some of the digital image formats from the late '80s or early '90s? Most consumer oriented image viewing programs no longer support them. Neither do any web browsers.

  • Reaction time. Ever notice how long it takes from the time you press the shutter to when it actually takes the picture on digital? Even disposable cameras have faster reaction time than the average digital camera. This is a serous drawback for sports, action, wildlife, candids, small children, etc.

  • Frame rate. On modern 35mm SLR cameras, shooting rates of 2-3 frames per second are not uncommon. The higher end models can do 8-10 frames per second. Digital cameras can’t touch this. Even many point and shoot film cameras can recycle faster.

  • Equipment lifespan. People are still taking great pictures with 20-30 year old cameras with image quality that rivals today’s best digitals. Not many people are using even 5 year old digital cameras anymore, which 5 years ago were $$$$$$.

  • Stuff that can later be used in a legal manner, including copyrights. Digital can be Photoshopped pretty easily, and it’s a lot easier to “steal” a digital image. With film, you have the original slide/negative to show image authenticity, and you can prove ownership with the original slide/negative in your posession. Sure, film can be altered too, but it’s a lot more difficult to do convincingly, even with professional assistance.

Actually, the older SLR cameras are a lot more durable than the current crop, I think. In the Nikon world, an FM series is a lot more durable than today’s N series. Many N series SLRs from just a few years ago are already retired, while there are a considerable number of FM2 still in use, and commanding high resale value. The only exception to this rule are the modern “F” series cameras such as the F4 and F5, but those are professional grade, and they still cost less than the Nikon D series SLRs. Since the D-series SLRs are based on the N series bodies, I would say they are less durable than the modern F series (and older FM series). Not sure if this is true in the Canon (or insert your favorite brand here) world.

As for snapshots in low light, I actually find that digital gives me better results. IMO, film only has an advantage here if you use a tripod in a carefully thought out composition.

As for image quality and large format film, that’s not even a comparison, medium or large format film blows digital (and 35mm) away, but no one will notice the difference unless you are making poster size or larger prints.

Mother T,
What is the largest pic you can take with your digital camera in terms of bytes? 300K? 1mb? 4mb? 15mb?

Hell I don’t know Wolf. I’m not much of a techie. All I know is that I really like the convenience of being able to shoot, and review, a shot over and over till I’m satisfied, I really like being able to e-mail photos that evening (without stopping at a photo store), etc. And incidents such as the following confirm my belief in even a moderately priced digital camera.

I write legal articles for publication from time to time and sometimes they ask for a photo to accompany an article. I wanted one of those standard lawyer photos of me in a suit in front of some shelves full of law books, so I brought my little camera in to the office and we shot photos of a few lawyers in the office. One girl who knows everything walked into the room, told everyone that my camera is no good and she will do a real photo shoot with her real camera. So the session ended, everyone disbursed and the girl who knows everything never got around to doing her professional shoot. Meanwhile, the photos with my cheap Sony have been used in our law firm brochure and in various magazines and they look just fine. Not great artwork, but they serve their purpose beautifully.

The photo I took which was published as a full-page in a magazine was a shot I took of my Dad on a hike one day. He’s a better writer than I am and a magazine he writes for decided to do a piece on him once, so they asked for some photos. They chose a shot from my little Sony digital and, again, it’s not a fine quality photograph, but even published in full-page color it looks fine.

Those are some of the reasons I’m so happy with digital. Some of the above points about advantages of film sound reasonable, though for me the advantages of digital outweigh them. I admit, though, I haven’t figured it all out yet and the files are always enormous when I e-mail them. Once I started learning how to Zip Mail them, but I finally gave up on that so now I can only send about 4 photos at a time from my Hotmail account.

I recently got my FM (circa 1977) overhauled for the princely sum of NT$3,000 and it is as good as new. In its lifetime its been dropped in the sea, attacked by fungus, frozen solid on several occasions, been dropped onto rocks, you name it.
Takes a lickin’, keeps on clickin’. Great camera. Great pics. It’ll probably outlive me.
I’d still love to get a digital one as well, though.