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Deliberate1

Thailand with an S (or M9)

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Friends, next month my wife and I will be traveling  to Thailand for a three week trip, our first to that country. For those who have been, I would appreciate any suggestions.

We are traveling with a group organized by Oversees  Adventure Travel, a company that we used five years ago on a trip to India. They did a great job getting us to places we would not likely seen if not for their footprint there. And no logistical obligations was very liberating. I also enjoy traveling with others, even strangers.

The itinerary is essentially north/south, beginning in Bangkok. Given the flight time of approximately 24 hours, we decided to extend the trip on the way over, and will spend three days on our own in the capital, before meeting up with the group. After a few more days there, we will head north, visiting Kanchanaburi, Pan Phu Toey, Phitsanulok, Sukhothas, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, among other places.

After much deliberation, I think I will take the S (006) along with the 70mm, 35mm (new motor) and Zeiss 120mm. The other option would be the M9, which is due back soon (hopefully) with a new sensor. I used it with a variety of lenses on our India trip five years ago. When I nailed the focus and exposure, the images were wonderful. But I definitely bumped up against my own visual limitations and rangefinder skills which probably have probably deteriorated since I got my S two years ago. Indeed, I probably am quite out of practice and have not had the use of the M9 for four months while it was at the Leica spa in Wetzlar. So the idea of having auto-focus is a significant reason for opting for the S. I also realize, however, that  I am going to be similarly limited, as I was with the M, when shooting in compromised light with lenses slower than my 50mm Summilux.  But I have found that the the S files, even if seriously underexposed, can be brought back to life in post-processing. And there is always the option of conversion to B&W, which broadens the shooting envelope. I thought about getting a more capable camera for low light - like the CL or M10, but took a deep breath and exhaled much GAS. As a practical matter, neither camera is readily available. Which is probably a good thing. And I do not want to be learning a new box on such a trip. Moreover, the files from the S, even after two years, just continue to amaze me.

So a few questions.

First of all, for those of you who have been, how do the local Thai people respond to photographers. In India, I  found people to be very accessible and willing. Indeed, many wanted to have a picture of their kids with us. But I was using the M, which is far less intimidating than an S. That can make all the difference, as well as the level of attention a large camera attracts.

Secondly, I do not plan to bring a tripod. A full sized one, that is. So I was thinking about a monopod with an articulating head. Deploying it as a walking stick, I could justify having it in places where a tripod would not be welcome. I also have a vintage Leica tabletop tripod, and have messed around with it as a chest brace. But that would be an unwelcome attention magnet. 

Third, I am not bringing  a computer to dump images on. I will have several 16gb SD cards and have also considered a big CF card for the other slot, as an internal backup. Is there any kind of portable hard drive that I could carry and dump images on at the end of the day. That would provided a comforting level of redundancy.

Finally, I have read for several sources, that it is an affront to Thai culture to take pictures of a Buddha statute or likeness. How have others addressed this issue in a respectful way.

Appreciate any helpful tips, especially from those who have visited this most extraordinary place.

Thanks

David 

 

 

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When I went to Cambodia, Laos and Thailand in 2010, I brought a hand-holdable 4x5 film camera, with a 90mm lens, and a Canon Rebel. I also brought a tripod to use when it was possible. The 4x5 camera was for my quality work. In Bangkok, lots of people were making photos of Buddhas, so it did not seem to be a problem.

 

Since I started using the S 006, I take it along with a digital M. I like to have two cameras, just in case. My M-P 240 does not get much use because, like you, I like the results of the S so much.

 

In the photo below, you can see the 4x5 around my neck. However, the significance of this photo is that we were with Chum Mey, who was one of seven survivors of the S21 prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I also did a photo of him, by his prison cell, with the 4x5. It is one of my cherished photos.

 

 

Jesse

Edited by djmay

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For backup storage while traveling, I use a Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro. I do not take my photo computer. The Wireless Pro is a hard drive, with SD card port, and wireless radio. You can set it up to automatically copy a SD card when it is inserted. You can connect to it with a mobile device and view the photos. You can also use the Wireless Pro as your wifi connection, and then connect your mobile device to the internet through that connection.

Jesse

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Friends, next month my wife and I will be traveling  to Thailand for a three week trip, our first to that country. For those who have been, I would appreciate any suggestions.

We are traveling with a group organized by Oversees  Adventure Travel, a company that we used five years ago on a trip to India. They did a great job getting us to places we would not likely seen if not for their footprint there. And no logistical obligations was very liberating. I also enjoy traveling with others, even strangers.

The itinerary is essentially north/south, beginning in Bangkok. Given the flight time of approximately 24 hours, we decided to extend the trip on the way over, and will spend three days on our own in the capital, before meeting up with the group. After a few more days there, we will head north, visiting Kanchanaburi, Pan Phu Toey, Phitsanulok, Sukhothas, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, among other places.

After much deliberation, I think I will take the S (006) along with the 70mm, 35mm (new motor) and Zeiss 120mm. The other option would be the M9, which is due back soon (hopefully) with a new sensor. I used it with a variety of lenses on our India trip five years ago. When I nailed the focus and exposure, the images were wonderful. But I definitely bumped up against my own visual limitations and rangefinder skills which probably have probably deteriorated since I got my S two years ago. Indeed, I probably am quite out of practice and have not had the use of the M9 for four months while it was at the Leica spa in Wetzlar. So the idea of having auto-focus is a significant reason for opting for the S. I also realize, however, that  I am going to be similarly limited, as I was with the M, when shooting in compromised light with lenses slower than my 50mm Summilux.  But I have found that the the S files, even if seriously underexposed, can be brought back to life in post-processing. And there is always the option of conversion to B&W, which broadens the shooting envelope. I thought about getting a more capable camera for low light - like the CL or M10, but took a deep breath and exhaled much GAS. As a practical matter, neither camera is readily available. Which is probably a good thing. And I do not want to be learning a new box on such a trip. Moreover, the files from the S, even after two years, just continue to amaze me.

So a few questions.

First of all, for those of you who have been, how do the local Thai people respond to photographers. In India, I  found people to be very accessible and willing. Indeed, many wanted to have a picture of their kids with us. But I was using the M, which is far less intimidating than an S. That can make all the difference, as well as the level of attention a large camera attracts.

Secondly, I do not plan to bring a tripod. A full sized one, that is. So I was thinking about a monopod with an articulating head. Deploying it as a walking stick, I could justify having it in places where a tripod would not be welcome. I also have a vintage Leica tabletop tripod, and have messed around with it as a chest brace. But that would be an unwelcome attention magnet. 

Third, I am not bringing  a computer to dump images on. I will have several 16gb SD cards and have also considered a big CF card for the other slot, as an internal backup. Is there any kind of portable hard drive that I could carry and dump images on at the end of the day. That would provided a comforting level of redundancy.

Finally, I have read for several sources, that it is an affront to Thai culture to take pictures of a Buddha statute or likeness. How have others addressed this issue in a respectful way.

Appreciate any helpful tips, especially from those who have visited this most extraordinary place.

Thanks

David 

 

David

Ive been living in Thailand for 20 plus years so to answer a few of your questions. I would first of all not worry about taking pictures of anything in Thailand, thais like to have there pictures taken so do the monks. I just came back from 8 days in Japan with my S007 so taking your S gear is a good idea........I took my M6 as a back up and although I enjoyed using that camera the pictures are sh!te compared to the S so I wouldn't do that again.

I always travel with a computer so can't comment on that.

If you travel to the south of Thailand Phang-na, Krabi and Phuket are a must and on the other coast Thala Noi is a great spot for shooting this kind of stuff http://neilsphotography.co.uk/product-category/simplistic-fine-art/

 

Neil

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When I went to Cambodia, Laos and Thailand in 2010, I brought a hand-holdable 4x5 film camera, with a 90mm lens, and a Canon Rebel. I also brought a tripod to use when it was possible. The 4x5 camera was for my quality work. In Bangkok, lots of people were making photos of Buddhas, so it did not seem to be a problem.

 

 

Lowres-6104.jpg

 

Jesse

Jesse, thanks for yours. Remarkable story of survival. Walking around with a 4x5 rig - respect. I have a freezer full of Fuji Quickloads and Kodak Readyloads. At some point, they will be the new bitcoin, and I will clean up. Good to know that images of the Buddha pose no problems. I have never traveled with a back up. Never needed to. I guess it takes just once. Perhaps I will bring the M9/50mm Summilux for that purpose. Or if my neck just starts hurting.

David

Edited by Deliberate1

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We have been vacationing in Thailand for the last twelve years. I use my S2p and M9 for photography there. I use them both and I like to have my M9 with a summilux 35mm for the evening and indoors shooting, when the S2 is a bit inconvenient or limiting.

Yevgeny

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by ynp

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Bring them both...

M great for street photography etc..

S incomparable for landscapes..

Albert 

That is now a possibility. Just got word from Leica Miami that my M9 is on its way to Maine all shiny with a new sensor.

Perhaps take the S with 70 and 35. Leave the 120 home and replace the "hole" with the M9 with the 50 Summilux permanently mounted.

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I carried an S, 24, and 70 on a walking trip. While other systems are more convenient, I always regret not having the S. On a business trip, a Q, TL2, or - forgive me - an iPhone will do. If I need fast or long, the SL. But whenever possible, the S.

 

Matt

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It seems your gear is now sorted but may I suggest you research the field burning in Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai). It can be pretty unpleasant especially if you have respiratory problems. I got caught in it some many years back, albeit in mid march of the year, and it was bad. Maybe January is ok but some investigation might be of benefit.

 

http://www.guidetothailand.com/thailand-weather/thailand-burning-season.php

Edited by Reeray

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Smog in Thailand may be a problem during a dry season.

 

Although January is very pleasant and cool in the north of Thailand. Many Thai people go Chiangmai to experience the sunrise in the mountains when the temperature is around +10 Centigrade . Unusually cold for the majority of Thai people. They bring the blankets with them because they don’t usually have any warm clothes. Very colorful crowd in those blankets.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by ynp

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Go with the M. Its smaller and easier to carry.  I personally cant stand traveling with a bazooka around my neck. 

Depends on what is important for you............if IQ is important then take the S, if your a wimp take the M

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David

 

I just came back from a two week holiday to the Canaries, bringing the S2 (three lenses) and a m43 camera as a backup. I like to walk around in cities and villages, too, and the S2 is sometimes a bit large and heavy. Mind you the total setup without bag etc is already around 4kg. Water, alternate clothing etc adds weight and volume. One airport security staff in Zurich already stared at the camera and wondered about the size ...

 

When I went out in the evening, I only then either used the Phone or took the Olympus with a 25mm (équivalemment to a standard lens field of view), slung over my shoulder. The S2 also is not very good in low light. The M9 isn't really either, but maybe you have a Summilux 50 to compensate. So I would probably go for some two/three lens setup and take another smallish camera as a backup light(er) weight alternative along.

 

Ivo

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Go with the M. Its smaller and easier to carry.  I personally cant stand traveling with a bazooka around my neck. 

 

LOL. That is what an Israeli soldier in Jerusalem called my Rollei 6008i/90mm Schneider as he walked by while I was changing a film cartridge. "Nice bazooka," to be precise. On the same trip, I carried that MF gear, about 20lbs worth, in to the Egyptian desert - in mid-June. Worse yet, I carried it into various pyramids along the way. I learned what a pizza in a brick oven must feel like - except it does not have 20lbs of gear hanging off its neck and back.

Long after the the discomfort of that shooting experience faded I am left with 6x6cm chromes that are wonderful. 

The S seems like a compact compared to that. No camera pain, no image gain.

David

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Depends on what is important for you............if IQ is important then take the S, if your a wimp take the M

 

Neil, you surprise me.

I thought you would say that anything smaller than that LF rig you are standing next to would be wimpish.

i could do it. But how would I shlep the freezer that houses boxes of gold bricks - Kodak Readyloads form another era.

Cheers, mate.

D

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So I would probably go for some two/three lens setup and take another smallish camera as a backup light(er) weight alternative along.

 

Ivo

Ivo,

Obliged for yours. I am trending in that direction. Size and subject intimidation are in the negative column for the S. On the plus side, and a big one, is auto focus. I just missed so many shots on my trip to India with the M9. And image superiority of the S, including malleability of files, a particular quality if I shoot wide open and at, say, 400, with lowest hand-held shutter speed I can, and then boost in pp. I could bring the M9 with the 50mm Lux for night time walk around. But lower light compromises focusing accuracy. Ultimately, I will just have to see what fits in my Peak Design bag, and then wear it around home to see how off kilter I am....

D

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

The S007 and maybe the 70mm or 120mm hanging on the Black rapid strap and you can easily walk around all day in Thailand getting amazing top quality pictures...................I just did it in japan.

I basically had my camera set up in manual and auto ISO set to 3200. I would then only play with appature to get the correct exposure.....worked like a treat

 

Neil

Edited by NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

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The S007 and maybe the 70mm or 120mm hanging on the Black rapid strap and you can easily walk around all day in Thailand getting amazing top quality pictures...................I just did it in japan

So you going to share all your secret Phu Ket locations with me.....

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

So you going to share all your secret Phu Ket locations with me.....

Sure am....................and we can have some beers afterwards

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