For the past four or five trips overseas I have touted the benefits of traveling extremely light on gear. I would take a couple of small Canon 5D bodies and three lenses: 24-105mm, 50mm 1.4 and a 135mm f2. My reasoning was that I wanted and needed to be lightweight to move quickly. But as I was packing for my trip last week to Mexico I kept sensing I needed to take my beasty (heavy and expensive) 85mm 1.2 and 35mm 1.4 lenses as well as the Canon 1Ds Mark II that weighs more than all of my packed clothes put together. I added to that a 16-35mm, a 70-300mm DO IS lens and a HD video camera for good measure. My bag weighed 25 pounds. I’m so glad I listened to that inner prodding that I’m sure came from God. I needed every lens I took. I needed the 1Ds when the the rain started pouring down. I needed the fast primes for shooting in dark huts and churches.
I could not have made images like the one above without the super fast 85mm 1.2 lens. It let in enough light, 3.5 stops more than my 24-105mm, so that I could capture the boy’s yawn at a 250th of a second. Other photos I shot at 1/25 sec, f1.2, 1600 ISO. I could barely see to focus. So, what I learned from this trip is that I really need to ask for wisdom for each trip as to what to take. I don’t want to arrive with too much or too little.
©Copyright Gary S. Chapman 2008
(Canon 5D, 85mm 1.2, 1/250 sec, f1.2, ISO 1000)