Night markets, temples and munks (27.12.2012)


In November, I had a chance to travel to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and photograph the local life, culture and nature. To reach the destinations, I had to fly ten times during my trip and this made me seriously think about the choices of photography equipment and camera bag. Air transport sets quite narrow limits to the luggage and its weight and choosing a high powered light optical equipment for pofessional DSLR raises the weight of luggage quite fast. As for the camera, I did not need to think long, I chose Nikon D4. Knowing this camera's great ability to photograph noise-free in low light conditions, I even gave up on speedlight. When it came to optic equipment, I did not make any concessions on the optical equipment. I took  the so-called “golden trio“ - Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 ning 70-200mm f/2.8.

When it came the choice of a camera bag, I decided to stick with ThinTank Airport TakeOff . A little about the essence of the bag. As you can notice from the name, this camera bag is first and foremost meant for a photographer traveling by a plane. The measures of the bag match the measures of the hand luggage and there is even extra space. This ensured that I could conveniently place the bag under my seat even in the smallest planes where the overhead hand luggage shelf was too small. The bag has wheels, telescope handle and also back bag straps. This is why this bag solution is really a unique one. Really – with the bigger luggage where I fitted cloths and other necessay things rolling behind, I had quite a hassle with two  wheeled bags on an escalator. That is why, it was convenient to pull out straps from zippered pouch of the bag and wear it on back. For short distances, it works very well but it is not meant to be worn on back for a longer period of time because it does not have a waiste belt and the whole weight of the bag is on shoulders. For the most part, I dragged it behind me – the wheels scroll noise-free and lightly.  It is possible to regulate the telescope handle that can be pulled out from the back part of the bag on different heights, so it is comfortable to use. Every detail of the  inside of the camera bag is well thought trough as well. The hidden telescope handle takes room, so it is not possible to fit D4 in the middle of the bag so that the lens faces downwards but there is a good place for it in the right or left corner of the bag to be placed perpendicularly. It is then easy to place D800 or D600 without the  Battery Grip in the middle. If necessary, it is possible to fit 400mm f/2.8 lens into the bag as well.

I also found that the bag has a couple of shortages. Namely, the wheels and the telescope handle add weight to the bag. When empty, it weighs 2.8 kilos. Together with my camera equipment, the bag weighed 13.4 kilos this time. Fortunately, no-one checked the weight of my hand luggage this time. Secondly, I was suprised that the rain coat of the camera bag is placed inside.  Firstly, it takes up part of the necessary room in there and the question arises – where to put the wet rain coat? Although it is separately wrapped up in a nylon bag, it does not belong inside of the bag.

How did I solve handling and transporting my camera equipment while photographing? When on the plane and in the car ThinkTank TakeOff  is suitable in every way, I used ThinkTank Modular Skin V2.0 Set while photographing this time. So, I gave up on my back bag and wrapped everything around my waist for the day. For doing a reportage, it is the best way. Hands are free, changing the lenses is fast and it is not necessary to take off the bag for that. Since every bag has a separate rain coat, then even the heavy tropical rain could not harm the technology.  It is only necessary to be careful about the thieves but I cannot claim that it would be easier for them to steel the lenses from the waist bags, rather the opposite.

Anyway, I enjoyed the night markets in Luang Prabang. Here are some moments that I captured there.

Aivar Pihelgas
Head of I AM Photographer ProShop 



<< Back