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bullmoon

Travel Tips Q/Q2

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Just returned from 2 weeks in Belgium and wanted to share a few things that made traveling with the Q2 really work well.

First, I loved how light and handy this camera is for travel versus my 5D IV (and the resultant temptations to drag along too many lenses!).

Case - the LIMs case turns out to be fantastic if you plan to do any tripod work.  Along with easy battery and card access, the built-in Arca plate is superbly handy.

Tripod - We brought a small Gitzo G1027MK2 - probably no longer made, but it is super light.  On that I had a Cullman 401070 head - light, inexpensive, pack-able, and strong enough for my wife's 5D - all of which she monopolized. :( 

Mini-Tripod - RRS 
TFA-01 ULTRA with BH-25 Pro head (can drop 90 for portrait orientation).  I put this on ledges, fences, posts, walls, tables, etc to get the height I needed - also on the street to get some cool perspectives!  The one drawback was that when going portrait, the camera weight wanted to pull it over since I could not put a leg out on the camera side - the camera would hit the leg.  Sometimes I just had to hold onto it to get the shot.  Not great, but way better than no tripod.  Had I had something to counter weight it, that may have been better.

Pouch - The little Ettas Pouch was good for a lite travel case or to protect the camera when stuffed into my backback (Ridge - also an excellent find!) or Filson small field bag.

Nitecore USB Charger - just get one!!!

Things I loved:

Programming the FN button to give access to features that I could quickly change depending on what I was doing: the timer, metering modes, etc.  This becomes very intuitive in use and very handy.

How quickly I could move to Macro mode and back.

The ISO button on the Q2 - super handy.

Quick exposure compensation wheel.

The Horizontal line - I never use it normally, but with all the architecture in Belgium, I finally left it on all the time.

The blown highlights indicator - I also never use this, but with many shots being backlit or otherwise difficult light that I had little control over, it was a welcome way to guard against blowing them out or at least knowing that I had to make some compromise and / or bracket - and hoping I can recover some shadows in Lightroom.

Video - something I also have rarely used, but the Q2 can take a darn fine video - like the giant music box going off in the Belfort Tower in Ghent - a photo alone would not do it justice.

What most everyone will miss - obviously, a zoom.  I'm hoping I can crop using the high resolution to get what I wanted, but I know that won't be a 100% solution.  In good light, I sometimes slummed the zoom with my iPhone's 2x lens. :( 

This is my 3rd Leica Q only travel and the first out of the US and the first with the Q2.  I do see the Q2 as certainly better for me than the Q and worth the upgrade, although the Q was a very satisfying camera. 

I'll post some of my favs after I cull through the 900+ photos I shot!!! :o  Some are just photos of a magnificent beer in a glass! :D 

Edited by bullmoon

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Thanks, this was informative.  I was looking at the RRS TFA-01 "pocket pod" as well.  Do you think it's worth the high price, given how limited a tabletop tripod is by definition and how many alternatives there are?  For a full tripod, I can justify going RRS, but was wondering what you think of your mini tripod?  And tit hanks for heads up on portrait mode.

Also, it's great to hear you like the Ettas case.  I also like to have a case that offers just enough protection for me to throw my camera in a small bag that isn't a camera bag. Right now I'm using one I got for my (now-departed) M10.  It's a tight fit and it doesn't protect the sides of the body, so I'm looking at the Ettas Pouch,

Glad you had a great trip.

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The RRS tripod is well made, of course, and is fairly light.  But I have not done comparisons.  I agree that the price is high and there are likely good alternatives.  To do portrait framing right, an L-bracket is really the best solution and after my experience, I'll probably take one next time - even with a large tripod, it's really better than dropping the head.  And for a tabletop, there are smaller lighter heads that don't drop 90 and they'd be perfectly fine with an L--bracket.  That said, I still managed to get some really nice long-exposure night shots framed vertical - just could have been easier.

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Oh, my bad.  Actually, the little RRS tripod has adjustable legs that can spread out more.  Had I done that, it would have been more stable with the camera vertical.  That's what happens when it's dark, you're in a hurry, and haven't played around with the gear enough.  With the legs spread out and one of the legs off to the side  and just under the lens, it is relatively stable and won't fall over - still I'd be careful using it this way.  With the legs spread at max, it is even more stable - if the surface is large enough - wouldn't have worked for some of the fences / ledges I was shooting off of.

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Good ideas. I am planning a trip to Italy next month. I set up some user modes (daytime/ street, night and HC mono) to save time. Also bringing extra battery and SD cards, backup hard drive, tablet, small flashlight, lens cleaning kit and filters.

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I know some are worried about the lack of a 2nd card for redundancy / backup.  I used a WD Passport Pro Wireless drive I have had for a few years as a backup (there are probably newer and cooler solutions now).  It is compact and convenient - plug an SD card in at the end of the day and it will automatically back it up.  I forget the capacity I have, but it is relatively huge.  We backed up over 2000 photos and it was no where near full.  I charged it before we left and never had to do anything else for the 10 day trip.  Fortunately, it was only insurance and all our cards made it home safely, but it does provide some peace of mind.

Keep in mind, if you travel with something like this, keep it in your carry on luggage as rechargeable batteries in cargo can be dangerous to the flight.

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