While there is still a long time left for my this year’s Ladakh trip, I have already started making lists and this time, camera equipment is the thing dominating it, especially since this would be my first trip to Ladakh with a DSLR and also my first trip to Ladakh in winter.
The reason I have started making this mental list is, even though things like warm cloths etc. are more important to keep me warm and well protected, camera gear is going to be the most expensive and hence would require more gradual purchase time.
So here are the essentials I have in mind, apart from my existing kit consisting of Canon 1000 DSLR body, Canon 18-55IS lens, Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, Canon 55-250IS lens, Hoya CPL, Hoya UV Filter, Simpex 2400 Tripod, 13+ GB of memory cards, Tarmac Expedition 3 camera bag, remote shutter release and a set of close up filters.
Spare Battery: Even though 1000D’s battery usually lasts for 800+ photos without flash, cold environment can play a havoc and so would long exposures. So first thing I would be buying is a spare Canon battery.
ND Filter: Even though CPL works wonderfully, but there are times, when one requires ND Filters and I particularly felt its need during my recent trip to Shoja and Tirthan Valley. It is particularly useful in lowering the ambient light to enable one to take long exposures even during day.
More Memory Cards: Even though I already have enough space in memory cards for 1100+ photographs shot in RAW format, apart from Transcend 4GB Class 6 SDHC card, rest are quite slow and even jpeg shooting in burst mode, can be painfully slow. So I am planning to add at least an 8GB fast SDHC card to my kit before this trip.
Camera Bag: I already have a great camera bag, however it won’t fit my netbook, which I normally carry in my saddle bags. So I would either add another DSLR bag or try and fit my existing camera bag in another of my backpacks, which I can then carry in, instead of risking the netbook by checking it in.
Another lens: Now this is where the things become far more complex and expensive, I would really love to buy another fast lens or a wide angle lens, but this would likely be a very expensive affair and I am not really sure, whether or not I can actually afford it in time for my trip. But one thing is for sure, I will try my best to buy one.
Of course there are other filters, battery grip and maybe even a second body, that I would love to take with me on this trip and maybe even a ball head tripod, but they aren’t all that high on my priority list, so unless there is a huge windfall, I would likely only stick to the above mentioned gear enhancement.
Of course I do have to keep in mind the 20kg maximum luggage limit and have to carry other things as well, so will have to pack and buy things wisely. In case you have any suggestions, please let me know.