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Zoom Lens and Travel
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Jul 10, 2018 07:09:45   #
frjeff (a regular here)
 
My Nikon D5300 kit includes the 18-55 kit, 35mm f/1.8 prime and a 70-300 VR zoom. Also, have tripod.

Upcoming trip to AUS and New Zealand (and a Spring Alaska trip causing me a couple of concerns:

I can easily travel with this bag, but did not want to carry the tripod (luggage constraints). I have also found that I am very bad at holding the zoom steady when out to the 300 FL especially (74 years old). A recent Loon shoot was not as sharp as it could have been, even when leaning on a tree for added support. However, without the tripod, I am afraid I will miss a lot of fine shooting opportunities.

So, do I leave the tripod home and purchase a lesser zoom for the trip? Or, might I buy a Gorilla Pod and use the 70-300 with it. Not very familiar with the Gorilla products, so not sure if that even makes any sense.
 
Jul 10, 2018 07:30:07   #
g warden
 
A monopod is easier to travel with and may provide the support for the shots using the 300 mm. Sport mode is a good setting if you’re not the shutter mode with a with a shutter setting of 1/1000 or higher.
Jul 10, 2018 07:30:46   #
Gitchigumi
 
Have you thought of using/taking a monopod instead of the tripod? It is stable and highly portable. A big bonus, for us that need it, is that the monopod can substitute as a walking stick!
Jul 10, 2018 07:59:45   #
Morning Star
 
frjeff wrote:
My Nikon D5300 kit includes the 18-55 kit, 35mm f/1.8 prime and a 70-300 VR zoom. Also, have tripod.

Upcoming trip to AUS and New Zealand (and a Spring Alaska trip causing me a couple of concerns:

I can easily travel with this bag, but did not want to carry the tripod (luggage constraints). I have also found that I am very bad at holding the zoom steady when out to the 300 FL especially (74 years old). A recent Loon shoot was not as sharp as it could have been, even when leaning on a tree for added support. However, without the tripod, I am afraid I will miss a lot of fine shooting opportunities.

So, do I leave the tripod home and purchase a lesser zoom for the trip? Or, might I buy a Gorilla Pod and use the 70-300 with it. Not very familiar with the Gorilla products, so not sure if that even makes any sense.
My Nikon D5300 kit includes the 18-55 kit, 35mm f/... (show quote)


I bought the largest Gorillapod about two years ago. While my camera is not a "heavy-weight" (Oly OM-D E-M1), with the long lens on it (40-150mm) I find it quite adequate to hold the camera steady.
Often the problem now is to find a spot to put it, as it will have to be raised off the floor/ground.
Picnic table, carhood, low tree branches, rock formations, have all served as "tripod holder". Unfortunately, I can still get down on my knees on the floor/ground, but getting up again is near impossible then...
For travel, this Gorillapod fits in my suitcase perfectly.
Jul 10, 2018 08:00:02   #
cdayton (a regular here)
 
For many years I traveled with an 18-200 on my D300 and had no big issues with the weight. Now I find it burdensome and have started carrying a P900 that, of course, doesn’t have RAW, has a small sensor but is incredibly versatile and generally doesn’t need support for medium-long shots.
Jul 10, 2018 08:18:19   #
MarciaES
 
Hi there, I also have the Nikon 5300 and took it on my 2nd trip to Alaska (just got back June 27th). The first time there a couple of years ago I took it with just my kit lens (18-55mm) and a 55-300mm lens. Pictures were very good with both but just couldn't zoom in on all the animals like I had hoped. So this spring got the Tamron 18-400mm lens - what a difference. Turned out that was about the only lens I used. Got it from Amazon & it came from Beach Camera in New Jersey. It came with a monopod, small tripod, & some other goodies. I believe it was around $600 on sale at the time. It was a bit heavier than my 55-300mm lens I'd used before but not so much I couldn't hold it up to my face after having my shoulder replaced at the very end of Feb.
 
Jul 10, 2018 08:39:22   #
JohnD3
 
Since I find myself in similar circumstances, 73 yo & not as steady as I once was, I would like to recommend the monopod (as so many others have). It is an excellent accessory and I also handy as a walking staff.
Based on my travel photography (I use a D7100) I would also suggest that you consider an 18-200. I am finding that it is the only lens I need for 90+% of my photography while traveling.
Jul 10, 2018 08:56:11   #
19104
 
I had to go to occupational therapy. I play an upright bass and was having trouble holding the bow. And i was not as steady and i was used to. When holding a camera. They have me exercises to strengthen my arm make my wrist More flexible. It has helped me a lot and it made doing stuff mire enjoyable. One of my favorite lens is the tamron sp 300 f2,8. It was a joy to use niw that it's easier to handle
Jul 10, 2018 11:07:02   #
bpulv (a regular here)
 
frjeff wrote:
My Nikon D5300 kit includes the 18-55 kit, 35mm f/1.8 prime and a 70-300 VR zoom. Also, have tripod.

Upcoming trip to AUS and New Zealand (and a Spring Alaska trip causing me a couple of concerns:

I can easily travel with this bag, but did not want to carry the tripod (luggage constraints). I have also found that I am very bad at holding the zoom steady when out to the 300 FL especially (74 years old). A recent Loon shoot was not as sharp as it could have been, even when leaning on a tree for added support. However, without the tripod, I am afraid I will miss a lot of fine shooting opportunities.

So, do I leave the tripod home and purchase a lesser zoom for the trip? Or, might I buy a Gorilla Pod and use the 70-300 with it. Not very familiar with the Gorilla products, so not sure if that even makes any sense.
My Nikon D5300 kit includes the 18-55 kit, 35mm f/... (show quote)


I am 73 years old and have the same problem. I carry a Sirui P-326 carbon fiber monopod when I travel for my D800. It weighs less than one pound without the Acra Swiss QR plate. Do not add the weight of a ball or other head because they are unnecessary. It is over five feet high and folds to 15 1/2 inches long. It is very sturdy and allows me to easily use my 70-300mm lens.

As an alternative, you could consider buying a 70-300mm VR (Vibration Reduction) lens. It will possibly allow you to you to hand hold your camera. I have no problem hand holding my 70-200mm VR lens at 200mm. My 70-300 is not a VR lens. Since I am not into bird photography, I seldom use my telephotos when traveling. You will find your wide angle or super-wide angle lens to be more useful. When I went to Sydney a few years ago, most of my 3,000 exposures were in the super-wide angle to normal range.

Travel as lite as possible. Over the years I have cut allot of weight from my camera equipment. Over seas airlines have been placing more and more weight restrictions on carryons. I flew to London in May on Air New Zealand. They had a 7 Kg (16 lbs) limit on carryons. The ticket agent at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) weighed everything including my wife's purse. My camera roll-aboard was 26 pounds. After I opened the case and the supervisor saw its contents, she had me redistribute about three pounds of accessories to checked luggage and then placed a special tag on the roll-aboard that allowed me to take it in the cabin. I was lucky she was in a good mood. Things are likely to get worse, not better. A month later, I flew to Spain for two weeks. I took only my D800, a few accessories, my 24-70mm and dispensed with my monopod. There were only a couple of shots I missed because of the lack of lenses.
Jul 10, 2018 18:59:16   #
IDguy (a regular here)
 
bpulv wrote:
I am 73 years old and have the same problem. I carry a Sirui P-326 carbon fiber monopod when I travel for my D800. It weighs less than one pound without the Acra Swiss QR plate. Do not add the weight of a ball or other head because they are unnecessary. It is over five feet high and folds to 15 1/2 inches long. It is very sturdy and allows me to easily use my 70-300mm lens.

As an alternative, you could consider buying a 70-300mm VR (Vibration Reduction) lens. It will possibly allow you to you to hand hold your camera. I have no problem hand holding my 70-200mm VR lens at 200mm. My 70-300 is not a VR lens. Since I am not into bird photography, I seldom use my telephotos when traveling. You will find your wide angle or super-wide angle lens to be more useful. When I went to Sydney a few years ago, most of my 3,000 exposures were in the super-wide angle to normal range.

Travel as lite as possible. Over the years I have cut allot of weight from my camera equipment. Over seas airlines have been placing more and more weight restrictions on carryons. I flew to London in May on Air New Zealand. They had a 7 Kg (16 lbs) limit on carryons. The ticket agent at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) weighed everything including my wife's purse. My camera roll-aboard was 26 pounds. After I opened the case and the supervisor saw its contents, she had me redistribute about three pounds of accessories to checked luggage and then placed a special tag on the roll-aboard that allowed me to take it in the cabin. I was lucky she was in a good mood. Things are likely to get worse, not better. A month later, I flew to Spain for two weeks. I took only my D800, a few accessories, my 24-70mm and dispensed with my monopod. There were only a couple of shots I missed because of the lack of lenses.
I am 73 years old and have the same problem. I car... (show quote)


The OP has the 70-300 VR lens. But did not specify if it is the older AF-S model or the new AF-P one.

The VR on the AF-P may be considerably better. Mine is very good when handholding at 300. It might be lighter, too.
Jul 10, 2018 19:28:22   #
bpulv (a regular here)
 
Even though it is heavier, he should consider a full frame camera if it is financially feasible. I have a D800 and because of the combination of a large sensor and the high megapixels, I can crop a small portion of a frame in post production and still maintain high image quality. As a result, I can use a shorter focal length lens, but make it the equivalent of a much longer lens. I can easily crop to the equivalent of a 400mm lens with a 200mm lens on the camera. The combination of the full frame and a relatively short VR lens might be more manageable for Jeff as it is for me.
 
Jul 10, 2018 19:37:27   #
Bill_de (a regular here)
 
After almost 50 years I bought my first monopod. I got a relatively cheap one just to see what it felt like using one. I put a heavy tele on it and it even made a big difference with that. I now plan on and recommend you get a good quality monopod.

--
Jul 10, 2018 19:42:12   #
frjeff (a regular here)
 
IDguy wrote:
The OP has the 70-300 VR lens. But did not specify if it is the older AF-S model or the new AF-P one.

The VR on the AF-P may be considerably better. Mine is very good when handholding at 300. It might be lighter, too.


Mine (OP) is the AF-P 70-300

Perhaps I just need to do a better job in my shooting technique. But, I am going to buy a monopod. Want to find one that is sturdy but will compress/retract to easily fit in carry-on..
Jul 10, 2018 20:13:30   #
frjeff (a regular here)
 
Foolish me!!
Just remembered that my MeFoto RoadTrip tripod converts to a monopod.
Geese, I totally forgot this and was on the verge of ordering a monopod.

So, I just did the east 20-30 second conversion, attached my D5300 with 70-300 VR and tried a few shots in the yard. Much steadier and shots are very sharp. Left the ball head on and had some tilt ability, etc. Should do the trick in traveling.
When I pack this, it will be in two pieces in the monopod config, but I can easily place these in the MeFoto case and leave the rest at home. Will be about 15” long.
Jul 10, 2018 21:50:26   #
bpulv (a regular here)
 
Jeff,

I use and recommend the Sirui-326 carbon fiber monopod. It weighs less than one pound, telescopes to 61 inches and closes to 15.5 inches. It is rated for a 22 pound load and costs $99.99 at B&H. I carry mine when I travel over seas and typically use it to support my D800 and f2.8 24-70mm and 70-300mm lenses.

One thing you need to know if you have never used a monopod before, when any monopod is fully extended, it will flex at the joints. If instead of fully extending all the sections, you leave one inch of each section unextended, the monopod will be absolutely rigid. So the Sirui-326, which has four sections, can be extended to 57 inches and will be rigid. Look at the link below.

Sirui website -

http://www.sirui.eu/en/products/einbeinstative/p-serie/

B&H page -

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822252-REG/Sirui_BSRP326_P_326_6_Section_Carbon_Fiber.html?ap=y&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0L34mfOV3AIVBQ5pCh1DoQEOEAQYASABEgKplfD_BwE&smp=y
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