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02-13-2018, 12:24 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Antarctica kit

I'm off to Antarctica next December, with a couple of days each way on an ice-breaker and some time in Argentina either side. The ship is The National Geographic Explorer, which will populated by scientists, explorers and professional photographers as well as us our group.

Although the trip is ostensibly for a conference, there will be plenty of time for photography and I don't want to skimp on image quality. Baggage limitations will be an issue though - especially for the flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and back, so I have pretty much decided to leave the DFA24-70 and DFA*70-200 at home in favour of more compact and lighter options.

I'm particularly interested in the opinions of those lucky few who visited such harsh polar regions. It will be summer time, so the weather should not be too extreme I hope, and the days will be *very* long. I presume that means the Aurora Australis will be off the menu

Currently I am considering the following:

K-1
Samyang 12mm fisheye
DFA15-30
DFA28-105
DA*55
DFA100WR
DA*300
DA1.4xRC
AF560FGZII
Sirui T-025X
polarising and ND filters
Charger, spare battery, AA's, SD cards, yada yada yada

With the accessories in my checked luggage that will just get me under the 7kg carry-on limit. It should give me a versatile, mostly weather resistant package for everything from landscape to wildlife, as well as adequately covering the social/conference stuff on the ship.

Thoughts?

02-13-2018, 12:47 AM - 5 Likes   #2
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When I went to Norway a few years ago I brought two DSLR bodies with me and a small Leica M3 with a fast 50mm and a tri-elmar - cold weather wreaks havoc with DSLRs. If you are out and about and the weather takes a turn for the worst and something goes wrong with your primary camera, you're fluffie'd.Take a backup, even if it is just a small ME super film body loaded with partially expired Kodak gold 100*, In such an event taking the FA31 or the FA*24mm intead of the DA*55mm f/1.4 will give you a workable manual back up option. In Norway I had to fall back on my M3 as I didn't take my secondary camera on me on a trip, the weather turned windy and cold enough where if you spit it goes *plink* on the frozen ground**. The batteries on the DSLR drained at an alarming rate, but I didn't panic - I had a film back-up.

*Last ditch options are often like that.
** you also might want to consider growing a beard. Trust me, it will keep your face warm.


Last edited by Digitalis; 02-14-2018 at 03:12 AM.
02-13-2018, 01:23 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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From the image that Digitalis provided Sandy, I would also pack a chisel. Have a great trip.
02-13-2018, 01:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
spare battery
batteries? From what I read a way to keep batteries warm, and camera

what are the expected temps? low and high?

02-13-2018, 01:47 AM   #5
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Thanks Doug.

I will be travelling with a colleague, who will be encouraged to carry one of my other Pentax DSLRs (KP or K-1) and a couple of extra lenses, so backup is taken care of. Maybe I should throw my LX and a couple of old lenses (my FA20, FA31, A50/1.2 or FA77 come to mind) in my checked luggage as well....

As an occasional mountaineer and cross-country skier, I have plenty of clothing for cold weather. I have tried and failed to grow a decent beard in the past, but will not be packing a shaver for the trip
02-13-2018, 02:31 AM   #6
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What an awesome opportunity!
02-13-2018, 04:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
what are the expected temps? low and high?
In the Argentinian territory in December, the temperatures are quite mild average high around 4C and low of -2C
I don't think it will be a big problem unless we get some unseasonal weather.
02-13-2018, 04:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
read a way to keep batteries warm, and camera
The trick is to keep them in your interior coat pockets, that will help your batteries maintain their charge.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I don't think it will be a big problem unless we get some unseasonal weather.
Doesn't the battery on the Pentax KP have a lower capacity than the K-1? if you were going APS-C as your back-up I'd suggest keep the DA*55 and throw in a DA21mm f/3.2 on the KP. But considering the lower capacity I'd go with the second K-1.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
In the Argentinian territory in December, the temperatures are quite mild
I agree temperatures should be mild. However, my experience near the poles was in Svalbard, in the dead of winter: temps hovered around -20 degrees, fog was common and reduced visibility in dangerous ways. There were frequent intense winds which would make photography from a ship nigh on impossible.

02-13-2018, 08:49 AM   #9
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I was going to suggest extra barf bags but the boat will provide all that you need.
02-13-2018, 01:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
suggest extra barf bags
you reckon they might get a bit of a swell up in the southern ocean?
02-13-2018, 04:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
you reckon they might get a bit of a swell up in the southern ocean?
The seas around Cape Horn have been notorious for centuries. I have every intention of being well prepared
02-13-2018, 05:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
you reckon they might get a bit of a swell up in the southern ocean?
Reckon? You wanna see pics?

Penguins are cool and all but that trip down there is not for me. Too damn cold. I am much more of a tropical person and even then I get sea sick something fierce.
02-13-2018, 05:09 PM   #13
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On a side note I have a couple of dry bags. You might want to invest in one or two. A hard back pelican case would be even better. As for lenses, I would take something long and WR.
02-13-2018, 05:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Reckon? You wanna see pics?
Hell yes!
02-13-2018, 06:58 PM   #15
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We are all interested to hear your experience with whatever gear you bring. Please let us know how well it all works or doesn't work.

In the film days mechanical cameras were specially prepared for extreme cold weather use as in an Antarctic expedition.
This would include replacement of standard grease and oils with lighter grades. IIRC Leica and Nikon offered such services.

Chris
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