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01-27-2009, 07:57 AM   #31
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What this thread shows me is that if you know your gear you can't go wrong with any set up. For my next long trip I am thinking of bringing the 15-55 II because it seems to give very good results. Who knows?

01-27-2009, 05:37 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by arbutusq Quote
For my next long trip I am thinking of bringing the 15-55 II because it seems to give very good results. Who knows?
Earlier in the thread I said I might take a couple of primes, and that's true, but it's at least as likely I'd take the 18-55 II instead. Maybe the 50-200 also. Tough to beat the flexibility of that combo for the weight (except with an 18-250, which I don't have, plus it's more expensive, and besides, I'd rather have half the weight on camera and half in my bag than all of it on-camera - but I'm funny that way).
01-27-2009, 10:23 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I know this is blaspheme but speaking only for myself - If I were going to back pack a camera into the back country I'd leave the DSLR home and take a good quality PS and leave it at that.

Ditto

................................................
01-28-2009, 09:20 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jesus Quote
Ditto

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I hate to disagree with Jesus, but for me the Image Quality of a PS camera wouldn't satisfy, but that's just me.

01-28-2009, 10:47 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by arbutusq Quote
What this thread shows me is that if you know your gear you can't go wrong with any set up. For my next long trip I am thinking of bringing the 15-55 II because it seems to give very good results. Who knows?
Heck, Pentax already has considered using this lens for backpacking. The DA-L 18-55 has the same optical formula but is lighter!
01-28-2009, 10:59 AM   #36
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If I was to buy a new lens I would probably go for the DA* 16-50 like most people have suggested. The weather sealing alone would be invaluable while on long hikes.

For a cheaper alternative then the DA* you could always pick up a Sigma 17-70. Not weather sealed of course and not the lightest but it serves me very well (and has a better range) while hiking (I bought it before the DA* 16-50 was available).


John
01-28-2009, 01:32 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by arbutusq Quote
I hate to disagree with Jesus, but for me the Image Quality of a PS camera wouldn't satisfy, but that's just me.
When I said "PS" I was thinking along these lines:
2663B001 Canon PowerShot G10 Compact Digital Camera with Built-in Flash, 14.7 Megapixel, 5x Optical/4x Digital Zoom

Much more suited to the rigors of backpacking than any DSLR.

When your talking about quality you also have to consider having a camera that's available and ready to use when the moment presents it's self instead of fumbling around with a big heavy clumsy delicate DSLR that, more than likely, is in your backpack rather than in your shirt pocket.

In my opinion you will likely loose more good photo opportunities than you will gain in quality. I'm not talking about packing some 100 buck consumer PS.

Last edited by wildman; 01-28-2009 at 01:43 PM.
01-28-2009, 01:51 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
a big heavy clumsy delicate DSLR
Not sure any DSLRs fit this description...big and heavy usually isn't delicate, delicate usually isn't big and heavy...

The K10D/K20D aren't delicate or clumsy (for me, anyway)...I hike with my K10D on my shoulder, and I have no problem getting the camera to my eye quickly when needed.

All that being said, I understand the point about wanting lighter for hiking. OTOH, I don't want to give up image quality.

01-28-2009, 03:46 PM   #39
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The DA 16-50 hands down as an all round lens for outdoors.

This Lens just keeps on pleasing me with the results over its entire focal range



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01-28-2009, 11:45 PM   #40
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I carried a PS for many years, but eventually decided to pick up a DSLR for the trails too. I still carry the PS, but mainly for the HD video option it offers. The K20 stays on my chest, using the backpack's ancillary tie downs. This makes the K20 available to me in just a few seconds and the backpack's design insures the camera rides comfortably.

Years past, I never would have dreamed of carrying an extra 5 or more lbs just for picture taking but, at some point, I guess photography grew on me.
01-30-2009, 02:00 PM   #41
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Having dealt with backpacking and cameras for the past 15 years, I'll offer my opinion. This refers to backpacking (several days in the wilderness carrying full load of camping gear/food in a large backpack), not 'hiking' or 'day-hiking'
(carrying only a camera bag and water and returning to your car at the end of the day). Hiking allows much more flexibility with camera gear than backpacking.

1. A point and shoot is not an option due to picture quality. You may be traveling in some of the most beautiful spots in the world... as a photographer, don't and you want the best images?

2. The key to success (whatever gear your use) seems to be how it's carried in conjunction with the main backpack. The bag/case/strap/pack you use will make or break the trip. The camera must be easy to get to (like a gun in a holster, or simply hanging around your neck), but not burden you while on the trail. Also, it must be secure, so if you fall or lose your balance while scrambling/climbing, the camera won't go tumbling onto the rocks. If you are using a large zoom, the
carrying method will be more crucial than using small primes.

3. The weight of the camera/lens combo that is hanging around my neck/waist at any given time adds up after many hours on the trail. That's why small primes stored separately from your camera/lens combo can help during long treks. However, your carrying system MUST allow for easy lens changes, otherwise, after walking for a few hours you will be tired, and instead changing lenses to get a shot, you may convince yourself not to bother and just keep on walking.

4. I've never owned a weather-sealed lens, and I've never had a lens damaged by weather in 15 years of backpacking. Do I have to be more careful with my lenses?... absolutely, but weatherproofing isn't 'necesssary'.

5. Most of the shots I take while on the trail are stopped down to the f5~f11 range. Apertures 1.4-4.0 don't get used very often. This means I'd take the 16-45 zoom over the 16-50 without thinking twice about it. It's less weight, and the aperture ranges I'd use them both at for this purpose would show little quality difference.

6. Carrying only one lens on a multi-day trip means that IF the lens is dropped/damaged, you are out of luck for pictures for the rest of the trip... I say this from personal experience. If you take a zoom, throw an old manual-focus 28mm (or other small lens of your choice) in your pack for backup.

7. Changing prime lenses can allow more dust to find your sensor, but it's not as bad as I expected. A seven-day trip in the California mountains (using primes) resulted in two obvious dust specs on my sensor. A small blower doesn't weigh much, so you may want to pack one.

My current trail kit is as follows: K10D, DA21, A28, DA40, and DA70. The camera is usually hanging around my neck with a normal strap (secured by a stretch band that wraps around my body). The other lenses are kept in a waist-pack I pieced together myself for that purpose. Sometimes, I simply carry the camera in my hand while I walk.

As soon as the K2000 is available as a body-only option, I will probably buy one to replace the K10 for trail use, as the K10 is quite heavy when carried for several days.

Also, now that the 16-45 is so cheap, I'm very tempted to buy one... just for experimenting... yeah... that's the reason.
01-30-2009, 05:53 PM   #42
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What an amazing thread. Used to be one would get stoned if they recommended a zoom over a prime. Some people even got called "zoomer" :-)

I have a Tamron 18-250 but i wouldn't recommend it for a backpacking trip, i think its too heavy around the neck, need something like an R-strap to make it handy. And whats the point carrying a camera if you can't pull it out quick.

One can get waterproof lightweight bags these days. Also bring along dessicant to put in those bags. I think i would carry 3 primes, a wide like a 21, 24, 28 or 30, a fast 50 and a manual SMC M 135 F3.5. fully extended the 135 only sticks out 2 1/2 inches and weighs less than 1/2 lb. All 3 of these primes are much more fun to have at the ready for that occasional wild creature photo. You can buy the compact M ver 135 for 35 to $50, and if you destroy it on the trip, its not the end of the world.

Frankly i appreciate both zooms and primes now. And PS just don't do it for me anymore.
01-30-2009, 09:56 PM   #43
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Phil,

Good call on the 135. I got an M135 since my last backpacking trip. It will be going on the next trip.
01-30-2009, 10:11 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildboar Quote
Phil,

Good call on the 135. I got an M135 since my last backpacking trip. It will be going on the next trip.
Yes, this is a good option, small, great lens.

My next backpacking kit may consist of the M 20 f/4, A 50 2.8 macro and M 135 f/3.5.
01-31-2009, 08:29 AM   #45
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Great post Wildboar. I usually wear my camera around my neck with the strap under the sternum clips of my backpack so it stays close to my body and is easily usable. Just unclip the strap, take the pic and then clip up again. I have a waterproof camera bag ready to hand in case of rain.

I have done many multi day trips this way including one snowshoe disaster that we ended up fording an icy stream where my camera got inadvertently covered in wet, sticky snow. The K100 and 16-45 came out just fine. I wouldn't recommend that kind of treatment though.
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