The best guidebooks on Europe stress traveling light as the only way to enjoy Europe. Add to that two kids in Brownian motion, and you get the 11th Commandment – thou shalt pack less in thy backpack.
Even so, I ended up packing two camera bodies (the 50D and the 6D) and a whole variety of lenses, including the metal-barreled canon (not Canon) -weight Canon L 70-200 f/2.8 and lugging it all across Italy. In the train ride from La Spezia to Manarola in Cinque Terre, only two backpacks were taken for the night stay – one full of clothes, toiletries, cosmetics; and the other packed with camera gear. But the load sharing was getting to be a problem, so reluctantly, very reluctantly, I decided to dump the 50D and the L lens back at the train station in the car in La Spezia, and proceed with (shudder) just one body. It was just one night – what could go wrong.
Murphy strikes as predictably as the unpredictable.
As we sat gazing at the fiery sunset against the cascading houses off the Manarola harbor, I heard a blunt thunck, and saw my Tamron 10-20 on the ancient stone floor. Fearing the worst, I pick it up and check for rattling parts – glass or otherwise – inside the lens. None – phew! Barely any dents or scratches on the surface too – wonderful! I slap it on the 6D, and I get a dreaded Cannot recognize lens.
Furious cleaning, shaking, resetting – nothing. Searching the entire web for possible causes, while the sun sank lower – nothing.
Resigned to my fate, I attach the 28-70, sit on the stone floor with my tabletop tripod, and snap away these normal-focal-length images of the glowing town in the deep blue colors of dusk in silence. Wishing I would have carried the second body to try out the lens on the 50D and get better, more expansive views of the sunset – but had to make do with what I got – which turned out pretty good.