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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 07 Nov 2011 (Monday) 17:46
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Gear tips for Antarctica/Patagonia

 
mattia
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Nov 07, 2011 17:46 |  #1

Bit the bullet, and I'm off to the Antarctic in a little over a month's time! Should be...unique. Anyone have any tips or tricks, essential photography gear you think I should take?

My main interest is landscape, wildlife a close second. The 5DII is (obviously) coming along, regardless. Not so sure on the infrared converted 30D, unless someone can convince me otherwise. Might be intriguing, but I'm not sure what to expect from Antarctica's ER spectrum, and I'll be backpacking my way down so I don't want to pack too heavy. Only worry is going down there without a back-up body. If need be I can afford to buy (and re-sell) a second 5DII or 7D - thoughts?

In terms of glass, probably the 100-400L (whales, sea life), although I wonder if I'll miss the sharpness of the 70-200/2.8. Most of what I read indicates you don't need that much tele, but experience has taught me you can rarely have too much tele ;) Then the 24-105L (completing the very wide range travel combo). B&W CPL just in case, 1 kg carbon travel tripod is a no-brainer for landscapes.

The primes/fast glass is where I start dithering. Will likely take the Contax Ziess 35/2.8 for landscapes and semi-discreet street photography on the rest of the trip (prefer the micro contrast to the 35L, which is also huge, and much as I love the lens, stopped down it has little to nothing to offer over the 24-105L at 35, F9), as well as the 50/1.4 planar, as they're tiny and it's kind of a no brainer. Nothing to break down. Also very tempted to just take the 135L, mostly for the rest of the trip, as it's a hands-down favorite portraiture/animals in closeish quarters lens. But it's big, highly specialized, and the 17-40 might be the smarter choice as 'extra glass' should I have the bulk. If I wasn't doing the antarctic I'd probably take all primes (35, 50, 135) and be perfectly happy.

Thoughts?


5DII | 300D | 30D IR | 17-40L | 24-105L IS | 70-200/2.8L IS | 100-400L IS | 15 FE | 35L | 50/1.8 mk I | 135L | Sigmalux 50/1.4 | Sigma 105/F2.8 Macro | C/Y Planar 50/1.4 | C/Y Distagon 35/2.8

  
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MCAsan
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Nov 08, 2011 07:07 |  #2

Do not, repeat DO NOT, take such a trip with only one DSLR body!!!! When we went to Yellowstone last monthI had a body die. Thank goodness I had two with me!!! And take a third camera, a point and shoot like a S95 or G12 that can do raw, to capture all the candid moments when a DSLR is not available or appropriate. You do not want to spend the considerable time and money on such a trip and miss any shots!!!!!

Personally I would want a crop body to balance the 5DII capabilities. Use the 5DII for the closeup/macro, portraits, and wide landscapes. But when it is time to capture distant animals, you want the, greater reach, faster FPS, and more advanced focus system of a 7D (or IDIV).

For my 5DII I use mostly a 17-40 and a 24-105. For the 7D my default lens is a Tamron 18-270 PZD (second generation). But for wildlife I swap that lens for my 100-400. If there is room, I would take the 70-200 to use with either the 5DII or a crop.




  
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mattia
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Nov 08, 2011 12:04 as a reply to  @ MCAsan's post |  #3

That was kinda of my thinking, yeah...I've got a Lumix LX3 that'll do great for the 'point and shoot in the pocket' - always travels with me, always forget to mention it for some reason.

I'm going to talk things through a little with the friend who went last year, see what she has to say about various shooting conditions and such. Price differential between a spare 5DII body and a 7D isn't huge, so either is certainly feasibly. Major advantage for the 5DII is I can operate it - AF foibles and all - blind, without thinking, without having to learn the ropes of a more complex AF system with multiple options. Better AF performance isn't going to help much if I fumble because I'm selecting the wrong AF points or whatnot. Haven't really played with a 7D before.

Time to go to the shop and fiddle around, I guess!


5DII | 300D | 30D IR | 17-40L | 24-105L IS | 70-200/2.8L IS | 100-400L IS | 15 FE | 35L | 50/1.8 mk I | 135L | Sigmalux 50/1.4 | Sigma 105/F2.8 Macro | C/Y Planar 50/1.4 | C/Y Distagon 35/2.8

  
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Geonerd
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Nov 08, 2011 18:54 |  #4

I agree that a back-up body of some sort is critical. If $ is tight, head over to the For Sale forums at Fredmiranda, Photo.Net, etc., and buy a used Rebel for one or two hundred bucks. You can sell it back when done, just possibly at a profit!




  
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OneJZsupra
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Nov 10, 2011 16:36 |  #5

Having been to the artic I can give you a bit of advice.

1. It's really cold..... Be ready for the elements, your breath will freeze and you'll start to go numb so really get the right gear. The BIGGEST thing you need to tackle is dealing with your breath. While you're breathing it's going to fog up every thing (Goggles if you have them, viewfinder and things like that).
2. Get hot hands hand warmers! Take some of those and rubber bands and wrap your batteries with them before you go shoot because the cold will drain them quick.

3. Before you consider even going out side (If you have a time planned) Plan on going out side BEFORE that time to allow for you camera/lens to slowly match the outside temps.... Your lenses will fog up other wise. This can be done with plastic ziplock bags or something of the sort to allow the outside air to slowly cool the air inside of the bag.

4. If you go on the snow remember there is a thing know as snow blindness, consider sun glasses to prevent that.

Take what ever gear you think you'll need. Why pay all of that money to miss a shot you wish you could have gotten? The biggest thing is to watch your footing and make sure your safe.... There are lots of way to die or get hurt down there.


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MCAsan
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Nov 11, 2011 07:48 as a reply to  @ OneJZsupra's post |  #6

Get Medjet or similar insurance emergency evac policy. http://medjetassist.co​m/ (external link)

When we were in Yellowstone and Grand Teton last month, the wife had a major heart problem. She was flown to the tramua center in Idaho Falls. She ended up needing a pacemaker installed. Medjet flew her back to Atlanta 2 days after the surgery. If we had waited until she could have taken a commerial flight, we would have been stuck there for 2 more weeks. You know when accident or serious illness can strike. You do not want to be left in a hospital or rehab center for weeks away from home when an evac policy could have gotten you transported to a hospital near your home. My cost for transporting the wife home via the flight and ambulances on either end...$0. If I had to pay for that flight out of pocket...well over $20,000. You can imagine the cost of an international evac flight.

So photographic equipment is obviously important. But so are all the right insurance policies if something bad happens to you or your equipment.




  
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mattia
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Nov 11, 2011 10:01 |  #7

Have full travel insurance with extra cover/medevac costs on top of what my medical insurance covers, and equipement insurance with a 200 euro deductable.


5DII | 300D | 30D IR | 17-40L | 24-105L IS | 70-200/2.8L IS | 100-400L IS | 15 FE | 35L | 50/1.8 mk I | 135L | Sigmalux 50/1.4 | Sigma 105/F2.8 Macro | C/Y Planar 50/1.4 | C/Y Distagon 35/2.8

  
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snapshot2011
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570 posts
Joined May 2011
     
Nov 18, 2011 06:55 |  #8

Put Walker Texas Ranger's phone number in your wallet.......He is the only person on the planet that will save you!

He also side kicks a walrus and penguin really well.


Most of all....stay safe and enjoy and post when you get back




  
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Gear tips for Antarctica/Patagonia
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