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03-01-2014, 04:15 PM   #31
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Here are some photos I took in 2010. I hardly post processed these at all compared to what I do today. I don't think any of these shots are particularly challenging for the camera. I know that they aren't magazine quality either, but I think they could have been shot with a K100D or a K-5 and you wouldn't know the difference. (All K-x. The first one is from the 77, the others from 17-70/4).

But with the low prices of a K-5/K30, you probably want one of those anyway. I think you can use your cruise as a justification to upgrade. But you honestly don't need an excuse to upgrade because the K-5/K30 are so much better in every respect that even if you weren't going on a trip you should still upgrade.

I didn't post my favorite photos because they are pictures of me and my family. My family has always been more interesting to me than my environment.

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03-02-2014, 04:53 PM   #32
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Looks like a Princess Cruise to me.
I was fortunate enough to get the 10 day from San Francisco (flight to Seattle is too expensive for 4 people).
Great shots. I had some cloudy/rainy weather along the way - especially in Tracy Arm/Ketchikan. These were from my red K-x and Sigma 18-200mm DC.

Last edited by formercanuck; 03-15-2015 at 08:59 PM.
03-03-2014, 09:37 AM   #33
mee
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I actually have a K-30 I am trying to sell. I upgraded to a K-5 II and like the handling of the K-5 II more (esp with a grip attached). Both are good cameras though and a huge step up from what you currently are using.

---------- Post added 03-03-14 at 10:44 AM ----------

Btw, if you do decide to rent, lensrentals carries all 3 camera bodies - K-3, K-5II, and K-30
03-03-2014, 10:37 AM - 1 Like   #34
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I'd get a K5 with 18-135 and rent a DA300, since I'm spending your money.

03-03-2014, 12:09 PM - 2 Likes   #35
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Last year I went on my first (and most definitely my last) cruise. I was on a Princess ship that went from San Francisco up to BC and into Alaska. First, let me say that trying to "see" Alaska by boat makes about as much sense as going whale watching in a Jeep. You get into port after 9 AM - so as far as great light is concerned you're already dead in the water (no pun intended). Then you've got to be back on the ship by around 5 PM, so once again you're going to miss the great light because you're stuck on a boat.
Okay, so is there an upside? It really depends on what type of photography you're going after. I assume you're considering renting for capturing the landscape. If you take advantage of some of the excursions like the helicopter ride you'll have some unique photo ops and you'll get away from the main port towns which are just for shoppers and aren't very photogenic. Otherwise, I'd say the only real photo ops are when you're going through the fjords which is usually near the last day in Alaska. Having a WR camera is very helpful in many situations on/off the ship. While most people were inside, there were a few people, myself included, on deck with WR cameras (most were Pentax) taking shots.
As for lenses I think most photographers will either be very wide or in fairly close. I found myself using my widest angle lens (18mm equiv in APS-C or 28mm equiv in FF) the most and if I was switching to anything, it was usually to my strongest telephoto. So, yes, I'd strongly advise anyone who's into photography to rent a WR body and the widest possible glass too. You'll probably not bring a tripod with you for obvious reasons. Instead of a traditional tripod, I brought a GorillaPod and it worked great. It's only about 1' tall, but that's fine for resting on walls or on the ships rail.
P.S. If you're going to Butchart gardens, for my group we all thought it was a great place. There's a butterfly exhibit near there which was considered by my group to be a total waste of time. I'd encourage you to get up in the AM and watch the tugboats bringing the ship into port; I got my favorite shot of the cruise at 5:45 AM on the last day as we pulled into San Francisco.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uZCFJ7DrP-s/UM4HshOoU0I/AAAAAAAACSg/w7BJh.../Tug+Boats.jpg

Last edited by FrankC; 03-03-2014 at 12:17 PM.
03-03-2014, 12:39 PM   #36
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Aegon, Formercanuck, very nice pics! I can feel the upgrade fever getting hotter...

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I'd get a K5 with 18-135 and rent a DA300, since I'm spending your money.
That's kinda what I am thinkin' too... Can I send you the bill?

QuoteOriginally posted by FrankC Quote
Last year I went on my first (and most definitely my last) cruise. I was on a Princess ship that went from San Francisco up to BC and into Alaska. First, let me say that trying to "see" Alaska by boat makes about as much sense as going whale watching in a Jeep. You get into port after 9 AM - so as far as great light is concerned you're already dead in the water (no pun intended). Then you've got to be back on the ship by around 5 PM, so once again you're going to miss the great light because you're stuck on a boat.
Okay, so is there an upside? It really depends on what type of photography you're going after. I assume you're considering renting for capturing the landscape. If you take advantage of some of the excursions like the helicopter ride you'll have some unique photo ops and you'll get away from the main port towns which are just for shoppers and aren't very photogenic. Otherwise, I'd say the only real photo ops are when you're going through the fjords which is usually near the last day in Alaska. Having a WR camera is very helpful in many situations on/off the ship. While most people were inside, there were a few people, myself included, on deck with WR cameras (most were Pentax) taking shots.
As for lenses I think most photographers will either be very wide or in fairly close. I found myself using my widest angle lens (18mm equiv in APS-C or 28mm equiv in FF) the most and if I was switching to anything, it was usually to my strongest telephoto. So, yes, I'd strongly advise anyone who's into photography to rent a WR body and the widest possible glass too. You'll probably not bring a tripod with you for obvious reasons. Instead of a traditional tripod, I brought a GorillaPod and it worked great. It's only about 1' tall, but that's fine for resting on walls or on the ships rail.
P.S. If you're going to Butchart gardens, for my group we all thought it was a great place. There's a butterfly exhibit near there which was considered by my group to be a total waste of time. I'd encourage you to get up in the AM and watch the tugboats bringing the ship into port; I got my favorite shot of the cruise at 5:45 AM on the last day as we pulled into San Francisco.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uZCFJ7DrP-s/UM4HshOoU0I/AAAAAAAACSg/w7BJh.../Tug+Boats.jpg
Thanks. We know we're just scratching the edge of Alaska, not seeing the whole thing. It's more about getting the wife away from home/job stress and vacationing a bit, and for me a chance to catch good landscapes and hopefully a bit of wildlife. I'm taking along my monopod, and have been debating to myself about a Gorillapod vs a beanbag. My DA 12-24 will be along, even though it's not WR, and a WR 18-135 just might have to come into the 'family' with a K5iis body. Still looking at the budget and the deals.

It is a Princess, but with different port times of course. Timing should give me at least a couple of land-based sunsets, possibly one sunrise, and an early morning return to Seattle. Great tug shot, BTW. Victoria's a shorter stop, we plan to just stroll around the waterfront, it's our favorite thing up there :-) Shooting for a whale-watching excursion at Juneau, the 18-135 would be great to have.

Jim
03-03-2014, 01:15 PM   #37
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Wouldn't you want a 55-300 WR for whale watching? Just how close do you get to them?
03-03-2014, 01:39 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Wouldn't you want a 55-300 WR for whale watching? Just how close do you get to them?
The ship called whales with the sonar during our cruise in 1990. They come fairly close, but the 400 was just enough with light cropping (on film) so a 300 would be fine. You might use it if the glacier is calving while you are in Glacier Bay.

03-03-2014, 03:55 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The ship called whales with the sonar during our cruise in 1990. They come fairly close, but the 400 was just enough with light cropping (on film) so a 300 would be fine. You might use it if the glacier is calving while you are in Glacier Bay.
Some of the pics I have seen were really up close, although I suppose that's luck as much as anything else. I am hoping for glacier calves too :-) The main thing I want to avoid is doing any lens changes out on a small boat whale excursion, so the 18-135 seemed like a good choice. If I take a 55-300 instead, I just need to plan on using my Oly for wider shots during that time frame...

Certainly been a good thread so far!

Jim

---------- Post added Mar 3rd, 2014 at 02:56 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Wouldn't you want a 55-300 WR for whale watching? Just how close do you get to them?
I have no idea, but some of the pics look pretty darn close...

Jim
03-03-2014, 04:10 PM   #40
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Actually, in our case, the Star Princess called the whales. I got my one and only breaching whale shot from the fantail. SF-1, M 400/5.6, Manfrotto Tripod & head. It was drizzling, so the shot isn't superb, but I do have one shot of whales. Hoping for better luck when we visit my brother's widow on Maui Christmas next.
03-03-2014, 06:53 PM   #41
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Jim, since everyone seems to be wanting to spend your money I have an alternate proposal for you....
If you send me an airline ticket and accomodations for the cruise, I'll bring my cameras and lenses for you to use....deal?
03-03-2014, 10:39 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
Jim, since everyone seems to be wanting to spend your money I have an alternate proposal for you....
If you send me an airline ticket and accomodations for the cruise, I'll bring my cameras and lenses for you to use....deal?
Umm, lemme get back to ya on that. Not so sure I'd get Management approval!

Jim
03-04-2014, 03:17 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrankC Quote
P.S. If you're going to Butchart gardens, for my group we all thought it was a great place. There's a butterfly exhibit near there which was considered by my group to be a total waste of time. I'd encourage you to get up in the AM and watch the tugboats bringing the ship into port; I got my favorite shot of the cruise at 5:45 AM on the last day as we pulled into San Francisco.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-u.../Tug+Boats.jpg
Great SF shot there!
03-04-2014, 07:36 AM   #44
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If you plan on renting an APS-C DSLR with one superzoom lens then maybe wait for the new Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro ( 35mm equivalent focal length of 24-450mm ) with Canon 70D , Nikon D7100 or Sony A77 APS-C body since it will have a wider range than the 18-270mm.
03-05-2014, 11:05 AM   #45
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If this is your first time on a cruise - plan your time wisely. I'm not sure which ports you're hitting/leaving from, but I don't think you have to deal with tenders (Vancouver might have tenders). Almost all (if not all) tours stop at some souvenir shop, and many of the actual places you want to see are on a tight timeline.

If you hit Victoria and do Butchart Gardens, you'll have maybe 1 hour to do the garden with many others (crowds). Part of the tour gets eaten with a stop at the butterfly gardens. You can get off downtown Victoria and catch a little bit of the harbour Empress before you get back to the ship.
Beacon Hill is also nice (and not far).

Ketchikan isn't bad, a little tourist spot. I only did the bear tour.

Juneau is where you can hit/do the Mendenhal Glacier - its worth seeing - but like other tours - if you hike to the waterfalls, you won't have time to stop/smell the roses, but you will be given a tour of the museum. The waterfall hike is easy/worth it if you're there. There are other tours that might get you closer.

Skagway - If I'm not mistaken, there's a handful of tours - helicopter ride onto a glacier, dogsled, train ride. Town isn't large, but there were 4 ships in when we were there. It is windy due to the 'tunnel' effect of the bay.
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