Any serious photographers been on this trip?

We're headed to VN, Cam & Thai in mid March, and I'm trying to figure out what lenses to take. While I plan on taking wide angle and short zooms (say up to 70 or 85mm), I was trying to figure out if there are any photo opportunities when a longer zoom might be helpful. Say 200-400mm. I have a couple of those variants, but they're beasts to carry.

Many thanks...


  • Today is our last day on this tour, so i'll answer my own question. i used a 24-85mm lens almost exclusively. I could have used a faster lens, but my fast 35mm did not give me the utility of the moon. There were two occasions when a telephoto was helpful, the lake in Cambodia, and a river cruise. It's a lot of iron to pack for limited utility, but I was happy I had it. Incidentally, if you're a photographer, I'd recommend an extra day in Hanoi, and there is a photo tour operated by some local photographers that is fantastic.
  • Haven't done this trip, but we did Tauck's Treasures of Southeast Asia. I used to carry multiple lenses and switched them back and forth to get just the right shot. I now carry only one lens . . . a Tamron 16-300mm. Serves all of my needs . . . more room in suitcase, less weight, easier to carry during shoot, and no more missed shots while changing lenses.
  • I am on a Jan 7 trip and so happy I came across this thread. Traveling with an organized tour is very different in terms of photo opportunities and time available to set up or wait for your shot. I learned the hard way in Hawaii as our bus rolled past most breathtaking images I now only have in my head :-(, not that I expected it to stop and wait for me.
    I am also already booked for Halong Bay tour.
    So, from your experience, for this itinerary do you think bring tripod is necessary? Would you have time to set it up during the stops? I will be bringing 24-200 FF equivalent zoom (using m4/3 system) and actually debating if I need a separate larger zoom?
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated
  • edited October 2018
    I hope you are directing this question at the group at large because this is an old thread and, for one reason or another, many folks never return to or check their old forum posts. The forum software does NOT send email notifications of replies and subsequent posts.

    I haven't been on this trip, but from my experience on nearly a dozen other Tauck tours where I have taken a lot of photos (I use the same lens as Rabo), it will be extremely rare if at all that you have time to set up and use a tripod. Also, it may not be easy to get it on an off the bus- narrow aisles- you'll want to do it carefully and quickly so as not to delay or bump into other travelers.
  • Alan, great points on all accounts. I was directing this question at everyone who took that trip and happen to be photo enthusiasts taking more then point and shoots with them on trip.
  • I took the Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos tour earlier this year. There was a very keen photographer on our tour, she did not bring a tripod. She had taken quite a few tours with Tauck.
    My husband also has the same Tameron lens as Alan mentions. He seems to take great photos. On many of the tours a great photo opportunity shot happens very quickly, then it is gone, way too quickly to be changing lenses or getting out a tripod. My best photos in Vietnam were things like when a family of four passes by you on a scooter or a car drives past you with a bag of chickens hanging off the back, live chickens. There were endless street type opportunities like this. You just have to very very quick. Definitely on that tour the best photos were of people not places.
    Our tour included an overnight on Halong Bay, it tends to be very grey and misty there, many of our photos looked ‘samey’, you might get better photos but a tripod on a boat may not help.
  • edited October 2018
    “Here There are Tigers” ... no one saw any tigers?

    “Never get off the boat.”
  • Thanks for advice, will leave tripod at home and stick to one zoom for easy carry
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