Photographer based in Shah Alam, Malaysia

The story of “Outstation shoot – to bring or not to bring”

Assalamualaikum all. I’m not feeling well at all today. My body refuse to get up this morning, missed my weekly BNI meeting (I only woke up at around 10…and the head is spinning too). After a day’s confinement at home, I feel better now, been eating as much as when I’m feeling good (appetite is never a problem for me heehee). Tomorrow I’m off to Pasir Salak, Perak for my friend Apai’s wedding. Apai is a BP hommies (Batu Pahat) for life. After this have to travel up north lah every Raya…(When I’m married, have to travel north also…heeheehee).

After last week’s succesful shoot with the 85mm, I have this dillemma. I wanna travel light. My back aches a lot because my standard set up for wedding shoot has always comprised of this list:

2x D80 (no battery grip. 4 sets of EN EL3e batteries. 2x 4GB SDHC memory card)
1x Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 Ultra wide angle
1x Nikkor 50mm f1.8 prime (Later replaced with the Sigma 30mm f1.4)
1x Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8
2x SB800 with lots of Tesco Alkaline batteries

I carry all in my Bagman sling bag (an imitation of the 7 million dollar home by Crumpler).

After my upgrade exercise last month the weight increase slightly because of the new battery grips. One body needs to be carried outside the bag all the time. So during my travels it is kinda impractical….After much thought It is best if I left the 80-200mm f2.8 at home.

New lineup:

2x D90 (with Phottix battery grip. 4 sets of EN EL3e batteries. 2x 8GB Sandisk ExtremeIII SDHC memory card)
1x Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 Ultra wide angle
1x Sigma 24mm f1.8 (36mm equivalent)
1x Nikkor 85mm f1.8
2x SB800 with 4 sets (16pcs) of Imedion 2100mAH rechargeable batteries

Although I stand to lose quite a lot in the 90-200mm range, The quality provided by the 85mm clearly surpassed the 80-200. And prime makes you a better photographer actually. Because you need to zoom with your legs. And keep moving to compose. *THIS ONLY APPLIES TO ME TQ

Inside the bag. 1x D90 with Grip on the left, 1x D90 with grip & 85mm in the center, 10-20mm on the right.

Inside Amru's bag 1

On top is 2x SB800’s & the 24mm. Spare batteries, SD Cards, Cleaning kit, Spare business cards, flash stands, lens cap etc etc are hidden in the many pockets of the bag.

Inside Amru's bag 2

More updates later. I’m going to Penang after the shoot to RV with my family. Will stay there until Tuesday.

#Phottix battery grip for Nikon D90 cost RM280 (cheaper than the Nikon-RM480) and match the quality. The vertical shutter is even better. You can feel the half press (the Nikon just goes can’t half press at all).
#Sandisk ExtremeIII SDHC is chosen to match my D90’s 4.5 frame per second. Not that expensive at RM165 per piece (8GB). A cheaper alternative is the Ultra II at RM99 (8GB) but slower.
#I bought the Maha Powerex 800s charger at RM250. It’s an 8 battery charger/discharger/reconditioner. You can fast charge 8 batteries at 1 hour or slow charge it for 3+ hours. Very very fast. I change the batteries from the Maharex 2700mAH to the Imedion 2100mAH because the Imedion is a Eneloop style battery (It didn’t lose charges even after long period of inactivity. can be used straight from the box, no need for initial charging).
#The D90’s is faster, focus better, produces better quality shots, cleaner high ISO, more function, easy to use, better looking menu configuration, uses the battery longer (I had a 1600+ shots per battery record last week. With the D80 it’s more like 1200+ shots only).
#I’m waiting for the arrival of my radio trigger (Phottix Tetra – highly recommended..tried it last month, no problem with out of sight triggering). No budget for the fancy (and high quality) Radio Poppers or Pocket Wizards.


4 responses

  1. I beg to differ – prime doesn’t bring the best out of anyone really.

    it’s the ability to see the light and capture the moment 😉

    lens is just lens.

    and oh ya,. get thinktank airport security 😉

    June 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

  2. bob

    nikkor prime 85mm 1.8… terbaik… 🙂

    June 4, 2009 at 5:10 pm

  3. Hafiz: That is just my personal opinion. You may beg to differ. It’s a free country.
    Airport security? later kot..not much a pressing issue right now

    Bob: Yeah. Kalau ada ongkos lebih boleh upgrade 1.4 punya..kekeke

    June 4, 2009 at 11:30 pm

  4. Slm amru, aku tak tau ko kenal aku tak,hehe..
    thanks sudi singgah blog aku..aku dari dulu kagum ngan ko siot..
    byk tips aku dapat dari sini..
    tapi seriously, kalau slalu tak bawak 80-200 ko tu dan underutilized..
    pastu nak let go bagitau aku ye,hehe..
    aku dari dulu tak pernah ada tele langsung..:) cari tak pernah dapat,huhu..
    btw, aku setuju prime lens picture quality much better than zoom lens..
    its about optic quality and less glass on the lens..:)

    June 8, 2009 at 12:36 am

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