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07-08-2013, 12:31 AM   #16
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Big Bear lake is a nice spot but not too far from civilization.
We usually go there in the winter for the snow and stay in the cabins.
As far as gear I'd go with 1a for lenses.
Summer weather in Big Bear is mild so no need for WR unless you plan to do something extreme on the lake.
Any kind of tripod would be nice as you may want to do long exposure night sky shots or group photos with you in them.
Get something if you can, even if it is a small cheapie tripod or else borrow one.
The monopod I don't think you will really need for the wide zoom or the 55-300, since they are light.
I'd rather have a mini tripod with me on a hike in Big Bear.

07-09-2013, 07:38 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
The trip is being planned by my wife's relatives. All I know is that we will be staying in tents. We will be near a lake, I don't know about hiking, there will be small children so that may limit long hiking trips.
Take both a tripod and a monopod - both should be equipped with the same quick release mount. The monopod works great for both still photography and video while on the go - and with small children you will be on the go even at the campsite.

While the Swiss-Arca compatible quick release system is excellent, it isn't in my book, inexpensive. For nearly 30 years I have had great performance with the Sima (click here) quick release. They are inexpensive enough to put a mount on every one of my tripods and monopod, and a plate on every piece of photo and video gear. My first unit is still going as strong as my newest unit. So don't let the nay-sayers come back with "but it's plastic!".

I even have a Sima mount on a belt. I wear my camera cross body and connect it to the belt when walking to keep it from swaying around and banging into things. I can grab the camera in my right hand and disconnect it from the belt with a flick of my left thumb and bring it to my face, or attach it to my monopod in a couple heartbeats.
07-09-2013, 07:49 AM   #18
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I took the Sigma 17-50 and the DA55-300 to Iguazu Falls in Argentina last year, with the humble K-01 as my body. It was very humid, and frequently downright wet. I came back with some pretty good shots

Although I love my WR lenses, they are not essential. Mind you, if were going back, I would take them
07-09-2013, 06:36 PM   #19
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Camera bags

Take a water-proof camera bag for all your Foto gear. As well I like to carry my camera in a very light weight nylon bag to keep dust out. (Just for walking around, I actually use the bag that my sleeping bag comes in- its light and easy to crumple into my pocket).
Remember not to spray bug spray on your camera/lenses.
Take a good long and reasonably fast lens, great for candids of your family and also if you see any wildlife ( other than human)! Have fun!

Just got back from Killbear (northern Ontario) and caught some great shots... See my albums....

Attached Images
 
07-10-2013, 08:09 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bunzlauer Foto Quote
Remember not to spray bug spray on your camera/lenses.

Just got back from Killbear (northern Ontario) and caught some great shots... See my albums....
And make sure you do not have any DEET on your hands or face. I've stopped using anything with DEET in it for the reason that is dissolves industrial plastic. We had a nasty scar on the dash of one vehicle we owned because of this. I'll make a note to let you all know in a week or so how the vitamin B patches work. We are going to visit my son, and staying in a campground. His advice to us was "bring lots of insect repellant. Lots and lots of insect repellant".

Lovely shot.
07-10-2013, 08:30 AM   #21
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I can't speak for other parts of the world, but this is the worst year for biting insects in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that I can remember. Our spring was cold, wet, and longer than normal. We usually have 3 distinct waves of different biting insects. This year all 3 are here at the same time and in much heavier concentrations than normal - especially the mosquitoes. Insect repellent is a necessity early and late in the day, and if you will be in the shade. At the same time, the warning about DEET (and a few other types of repellents) is valid. If you must shoot in such conditions, consider wearing a thin pair of gloves and the outdoor style hat with the the big, soft, floppy brim to cover as much of your head as possible.
07-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
I can't speak for other parts of the world, but this is the worst year for biting insects in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that I can remember. Our spring was cold, wet, and longer than normal. .
In Western Canada, Alberta where we are going particularly, there were massive floods last week, so lots and lots of nasty flying things are out there. We're going to be within an hour's drive of Calgary. Massive flooding and severe damage.

07-10-2013, 11:08 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I'm going on a family camping trip in a few weeks and this is the first time I will be doing so since I started taking pictures. I have no idea what to take. The trip will be to Big Bear (in California).

My plans are to take my k-30 along with:

1) Lenses:
a) Sigma 17-50 + Pentax 55-300
or
b) Sigma 17-50 + Tamron 70-200 (the tamron doesn't seem like a great idea)

I don't own any WR lenses and have wondered if I should buy one... Suggestions?
forget WR, get a storm bag for your camera, and longest lens, and use it, WR is nice but it is not 100% fool proof either. If you shoot using a bag over the lens and camera, it is just as good.

Also get a rain cover for your backpack. And even consider a wetbag of hold your gear inside your pack, to keep it dry if you are in a downpour. Go to an outfitter/camping store and ask in their shoe department if they have any silica gell from the shoes they sell. Mountain Equipment Co-OP for example does keep it and will give it to you for free if you ask
QuoteQuote:

2) Tripod/Monopod
a) Manfrotto 682B Self Standing Monopod (I already own this monopod)
or
b) Buy a travel tripod (any recommendations on this?)
stay with the monopod, but also investigate a clamp with a ball head. Monfretto used to carry one in their lineup. Lots of things, small trees, fence boards , steel sign posts can double as support systems
QuoteQuote:

3) Lighting
a) Flashes
or
b) Light reflectors
stick with a flash, consider however a "snoot" or better Beamer to extend telephoto flash range
QuoteQuote:
4) Anything else?

I really don't know if there is anything else that I should be considering. I did read a couple of articles, but it always seems like I get better advice here than on people's blogs. This seems like it could be a great opportunity to get some awesome pictures, but I don't really know what to expect. I appreciate any suggestions you experienced folk may have. I anticipate that I will mostly take landscape and family pictures.
If you are taking mostly landscape and family think wider not longer, but you never know. Also are you driving to your camping site, or going back country and packing in everything? Big question on what you take. If you have a car, consider the possibility of taking more than less because you are not carrying 100% of the kit at all times. Just be certain you can lock the rest securely. I some times take a large pelican case which can be locked with a padlock, and using the lock also attach it to the trunk of the car with a security cable. While it will not defeat a serious thief, it will stop the casual smash and grab types.
07-11-2013, 04:32 AM   #24
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If I'm "car camping"...and the weather isn't going to be too hot to leave gear in my car...I often take everything I think I may possibly need in a large bag, then use a smaller bag for day trips and short hikes and just take what I need for that particular situation.
07-11-2013, 11:55 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Going Camping, Any Gear You Recommend?
Waterproof matches, always handy.
07-11-2013, 01:14 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
I can't speak for other parts of the world, but this is the worst year for biting insects in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that I can remember. Our spring was cold, wet, and longer than normal. We usually have 3 distinct waves of different biting insects. This year all 3 are here at the same time and in much heavier concentrations than normal - especially the mosquitoes. Insect repellent is a necessity early and late in the day, and if you will be in the shade. At the same time, the warning about DEET (and a few other types of repellents) is valid. If you must shoot in such conditions, consider wearing a thin pair of gloves and the outdoor style hat with the the big, soft, floppy brim to cover as much of your head as possible.
No to scare any one but you really need to describe what they are.
1- black flies, little flies about 1mm in diameter 2mm long that seemingly take their entire body volume of flesh with each bite. They are usually gone by end of may
2- Mosquitos , unlike other parts of the world, or more southern parts of NA, northern Mosquitos are large enough to legibly write "Lockheed" down the body
3- and last, deer flies, which have RAF insignias on each wing
Need I say more
07-11-2013, 02:34 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I always bring a fully mechanical film camera. Chris
  1. I have an Olympus XA that I bought many years ago on eBay for $40 or so for this. Rolls of film are light and compact.
  2. When I camp it involves at the very least
    1. A tent
    2. A backpack
    3. A portable water filter
  3. So I am weight-aware - 65 lbs. max. on my back. I allocate extra weight to extra batteries and a solar charger and cut elsewhere. I carry MULTIPLE 8Gb SD cards - they are really inexpensive.
  4. At this time I am content to carry only the K-01, one MF wide prime (K28/3.5), one pancake (DA40/2.8) and one zoom (DA55~300), plus the XA. Before the K-01 I carried my smallest dSLR w/o the battery grip.
  5. I just do w/o support (Gorillapod) and use a rock or piece of wood, then straighten and crop in post if necessary.
  6. I do have a screwmount on my trekking pole but I rarely use it.
  7. Everything fits in a very small Tamrac SLR bag, divided into ZipLok bags, that fits an external pocket on my trekking backpack..Often I carry the K-01 / DA40 or the XA in a cargo pocket in my shorts (risky in a fall - but that's a risk I take).
I'm quite sure there was some shot sometime that I couldn't capture with that limited kit, but I just can't remember what it was.
07-12-2013, 09:24 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
No to scare any one but you really need to describe what they are.
1- black flies, little flies about 1mm in diameter 2mm long that seemingly take their entire body volume of flesh with each bite. They are usually gone by end of may
2- Mosquitos , unlike other parts of the world, or more southern parts of NA, northern Mosquitos are large enough to legibly write "Lockheed" down the body
3- and last, deer flies, which have RAF insignias on each wing
Need I say more
I see you have visited this part of the world.

One of the local golf courses (built on a mountain side as a public works project during the depression) has a tournament each spring - unofficially known as the 'black fly opener'. We still had snow on the ground when the calendar rolled around to that point this year. The black flies patiently waited to hatch the same time as did the mosquitoes. The black flies take their grams of flesh and the mosquitoes don't even have to drill through hide. They can just land and sip away. By the way, most black flies seem to like the flavor of mosquito repellent.

If the deer flies have RAF insignia, the fish flies along the shore must be painted with the pretty red maple leaf CAF insignia.
07-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
I see you have visited this part of the world.

If the deer flies have RAF insignia, the fish flies along the shore must be painted with the pretty red maple leaf CAF insignia.
Marquette in May - sounds like the title song of a Mel Brooks musical - and the Quetico in June.

Once each.
07-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #30
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DEET free patches review

Here's the weekend report I promised. Note that the instructions say there is a two hour start up time with these patches that use a vitamin B content rather than a DEET or citronella repellent. The patches are about 2 inches square (5x5 cm) and stick on any hair free area of your body. I put mine on the side of my butt, my wife used the small of her back.

My wife usually keeps most but not all of the mosquitoes away from me because they just love how her blood tastes. She wore one of the patches (B1 - not Citronella) as did I, and neither of us had a mosquito bite sitting outside on a lovely evening by the trailer.

My grandson and girlfriend were there, and swatting like crazy. We "patched" them, and after a couple of hours, the mosquitoes left her. Some left him, but not all. He thought about half the bites as usual. She came out smiling. They work for three out of four in this small sample. None of us had a reaction to the patches, including my grandson. They just don't work as well for him.

They claim "up to" 36 hours. Mine starting to not work after about 28 hours. Your time will vary, I'm sure, but it looks like one a day keeps the mosquitoes away, if you are the lucky blood type.

We bought ours at Canadian Tire, C$6.99 for a pack of five.
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