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#38892 - 07/23/14 02:32 PM Bringing a big camera?
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 67
Loc: LA
Hi - Has anyone brought a full size SLR on the hike? If so, any opinions or tips? Thanks.

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#38894 - 07/23/14 02:39 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Wiff]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
I carried a Nikon d-80 on a Whitney dayhike once.

My tip is: don't do it, lol!


After that hike I began budgeting for a Sony Nex. Unless you're a great photographer and really use a DSLR to it's full potential, I wouldn't recommend carrying one.

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#38933 - 07/24/14 02:01 AM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Lugged a Bronica 2 1/4 SLR with 2 lenses & lots of roll film up the Shaky Leg route on the East Face. 8 or 9 pounds ?
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#39025 - 07/25/14 09:56 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I carried a SLR (Ricoh) on 10mi+ dayhikes for over 20years. I will tell you that it is all in the rigging (the bag you choose)There must bee about 15 "reject" bags around the house as I speak, because I still own a SLR (Nikon)

You have to test out several bags IN THE STORE and practice accessing your gear. The bag I liked the best was actually cone shaped, so that the camera rested inside, ready to pull out at any time. Personally, I did not like any of the chest bags (they were too big and bulky for me) Rather, I had that cone-shaped bag that could be cross strung, or worn like a handbag.

It is all about what you are comfortable with + do not try to carry too much gear (changing lenses in the field is very risky)
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#39039 - 07/26/14 02:00 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Bee]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
just carried a Nikon D600 with battery grip, tripod, 3 big lenses, accessories like remote, filter holder, several filters 3 batteries, charger for 25 days and over 300 miles through the Sierra. I use no case or special "rigging" - just over the neck on a wide strap works fine for me. When rain or hail begins, I usually stuff it in with the sleeping bag.
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#39097 - 07/28/14 02:43 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Wiff]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 502
Loc: Nashville, TN
Did the JMT in 2011 with 10 lbs of SLR camera gear -__-

If the REASON for your outing is to get amazing shots, then it is totally worth it to have the artistic versatility of an SLR.

When you are looking to capture a moment on trail as you try and complete a trail, then you can get great photos at much less weight.
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#39340 - 08/01/14 10:44 AM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Snacking Bear]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
it's all about what you're after. This not possible with my phone or most small compacts.


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#39345 - 08/01/14 11:44 AM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
Mercy! That's beautiful! Will you provide a link to the giant-sized version?

thanks

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#39350 - 08/01/14 12:58 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
it's all about what you're after...


Amazing!


Can you come on my next hike to document it? smile


SB states what I was trying to say, much better than I did.
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#39358 - 08/01/14 03:15 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Wiff]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 548
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
There are great options for smaller mirror less cameras today that provide all the artistic capabilities of traditional SLRs. For instance, the Sony A7R has a full frame 36 MP sensor, and good options for lenses. Probably 1/2 the size and weight of traditional SLR, with no sacrifice in features & function. Many other options for APS-C Size sensors for less than $400.00 with many lens choices.

It can add up to significant $$$, but if you happen to be ready to upgrade cameras something to think about.

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#39418 - 08/04/14 11:50 AM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Mercy! That's beautiful! Will you provide a link to the giant-sized version?

thanks


It's on Flickr next to many others . I still have 1500 images to go through from this summer. I keep adding a few every other day as I get around to processing them.






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#39746 - 08/17/14 03:56 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
Yury Offline


Registered: 06/11/11
Posts: 57
Loc: T.O.
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
I keep adding a few every other day as I get around to processing them.
Fishmonger,
These are beautiful pictures.
Do you have a description of you postprocessing available by any chance?

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#39747 - 08/17/14 04:58 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Yury]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Yury
Do you have a description of you postprocessing available by any chance?


that would take a long time, but it begins with how to get detail from the RAW file following the workflow explained here - especially the part about shadows, highlights, black and white point:
http://youtu.be/cCYtlzLr1Zo

then add some special star processing for the milky way - good example video for how to get there is this one:

http://youtu.be/FOAmP7A_x6c

beyond that there are some real filters (polarizer, ND file) and photoshop filters {NIK collection by Google) to modifiy the exposure, to reduce noise, sharpen, sometimes black and white, etc - here is an image taken with a real ND100 filter, processed in camera Raw, then Photoshop and with some Silverefex NIK filter for final output

Bear Creek long exposure





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#39750 - 08/17/14 05:26 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: John Sims]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: John Sims
There are great options for smaller mirror less cameras today that provide all the artistic capabilities of traditional SLRs. For instance, the Sony A7R has a full frame 36 MP sensor, and good options for lenses. Probably 1/2 the size and weight of traditional SLR, with no sacrifice in features & function. Many other options for APS-C Size sensors for less than $400.00 with many lens choices.

It can add up to significant $$$, but if you happen to be ready to upgrade cameras something to think about.


SONY A7 (16.7 oz./474 g with battery and card, with a Nikon F adapter weighs about 18.1 oz./515 g),

Nikon D600 (30.0 oz./850 g with battery and card)

12 oz, or 335 grams difference. Everything else in your photo kit will weight the same, or you are using inferior glass (which will always weigh more than the camera). And the $1000 the Sony costs more than my camera puts it way off in UL gear pricing territory.

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#39763 - 08/17/14 10:29 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 548
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
Originally Posted By: John Sims
There are great options for smaller mirror less cameras today that provide all the artistic capabilities of traditional SLRs. For instance, the Sony A7R has a full frame 36 MP sensor, and good options for lenses. Probably 1/2 the size and weight of traditional SLR, with no sacrifice in features & function. Many other options for APS-C Size sensors for less than $400.00 with many lens choices.

It can add up to significant $$$, but if you happen to be ready to upgrade cameras something to think about.


SONY A7 (16.7 oz./474 g with battery and card, with a Nikon F adapter weighs about 18.1 oz./515 g),

Nikon D600 (30.0 oz./850 g with battery and card)

12 oz, or 335 grams difference. Everything else in your photo kit will weight the same, or you are using inferior glass (which will always weigh more than the camera). And the $1000 the Sony costs more than my camera puts it way off in UL gear pricing territory.


I must be missing something on your price argument, because:
- The Sony A7 (24 MP version - same as Nikon D610) is less than $1500.
- A new Nikon D610 is $1896 at B&H (D600 is discontinued, and even used cost approx. same as new Sony A7)
- This makes the Sony $400 less than the Nikon (as opposed to $1,000 more)

So, which setup is "UL pricing"?

On the weight issue, no need for the Nikon F adaptor. Both native lenses (55mm and 35mm Sony/Zeiss) are considered to be excellent, and weigh no more than Nikon lenses. Perhaps not quite 1/2 the weight, but close. If you are planning on taking several lenses (longer lenses in particular) then I do have to agree with you the weight difference begins to become a bit of a non issue. And, if you already have an investment in Nikon lenses then the cost argument is very different. No question that lens selection for the Sony is limited, but that is changing. Also, I qualified my comment as follows: "It can add up to significant $$$, but if you happen to be ready to upgrade cameras something to think about."

Of course the Nikon gear is excellent as well. They do have an excellent sensor - supplied by Sony I believe.

My point was, and still is, you can go much lighter than traditional DSLR with new mirror less cameras, with little or no compromise. As I also mentioned, by going with an APS-C sized sensor camera you can get both weight and price down lower.

Finally, I think we can agree that the quality of the final product (the photograph) is way more influenced by the photographer than the gear itself. I've no doubt that you could produce beautiful photographs with even the most basic of cameras. It is what you do I think.

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#39766 - 08/18/14 06:22 AM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: John Sims]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Sony A7R new, seen at B+H photo, and D600 is not a D610, can be found in mint condition for $1100. That's where my dollar number comes from

I am not going to start a camera discussion here. These things go on forever and don't really give any advice to somebody not sure about what they should bring on a backcountry trip.

Obviously, if you have $2000+ to blow on a lightweight camera with hiking being the only thing you care about, go for it. I know very few people who are serious enough about photography and ONLY care about the use of the gear in the backcountry. Once you add uses of that tool that go beyond bringing it up to the top of Whitney, the weight advantage loses even more of its attraction.

I also shoot cars - when a 14 pound lens is mounted, the camera body works a lot better when it is large and solid to allow me to hold and pan that glass - 600mm f/4 handheld:

DSC_1532_crop

Maybe this also explains why I think 12 pounds of camera gear in a 50 pound backpack is "going light" from my point of view


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#40223 - 09/11/14 06:44 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
here's the gear I carried this summer from June 28 to July 22 and all the weights:

Code:
Sierra 2014 camera gear


D600 body, battery, 2SD cards, neckstrap        907.5g 

Aftermarket (plastic) battery grip, includes
battery, Sunwayfoto DPG-70 Arca camera plate    393.5g

Benro C-058EX carbon fiber tripod legs 
Benro B0 ballhead
Sunwayfoto Arca mounting clamp - tripod total  1215.0g 

AFS Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G VR lens          457.3g
Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 AI                            232.0g
Nikkor 16mm f/3.5 AI                            322.3g

lens caps and back covers for 2 lenses           54.8g

Soft lens pouch for one lens                     50.0g
Polarizer Marumi DHG 72mm                        31.5g
Polarizer Marumi linear 52mm                     19.1g

Aftermarket AC battery charger                   69.0g

pouch for small items                            32.6g
inside:
- infrared remote                                10.2g
- camera viewfinder cover                         2.5g
- lens cloth                                      9.8g
- 4mm hex wrench for tripod and arca plate        9.3g
- Whibal card                                    13.1g
- third battery                                  73.2g
- ND 100 Hitech Pro stop 100mm filter            22.4g
- filter holder for ND plus adapter 72mm to 52mm 36.3g
- 4 more SD cards                                13.5g 

 


total weight: 3924.9g or 4KG or 8.65 pounds



the tripod is the real killer, and I am pretty sure I won't bring I again unless I am going for more night exposures or have something other in mind that will require it. For any long hike over a few days, though, it probably won't make the cut again. I shot maybe 100 frames with it, out of 2200 total.

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#40408 - 09/28/14 09:16 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 548
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Interesting article on smaller "mirrorless" cameras at National Geographic.

Link: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10-compact-travel-cameras/


From National Geographic Travel's Director of Photography Dan Westergren: "Now I can leave the bigger DSLR cameras at home without a second thought."

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#40418 - 09/29/14 05:05 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: John Sims]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: John Sims
Interesting article on smaller "mirrorless" cameras at National Geographic.

Link: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10-compact-travel-cameras/


From National Geographic Travel's Director of Photography Dan Westergren: "Now I can leave the bigger DSLR cameras at home without a second thought."




And that is why he is Director of National Geographic Travel and not National Geographic Magazine grin

But more seriously - I do have a Sony Nex-6, which with the proper adapter (one that corrects FX lenses back to full frame on the APC sensor) will take images close to the big camera and weight at best a pound less than my DSLR with grip. All the other stuff I listed above would still be the same, leaving me with a 8+ pound photo gear anyway. Going compact doesn't save you the weight - compromising on everything else does.


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#40421 - 09/29/14 10:09 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 548
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger

And that is why he is Director of National Geographic Travel and not National Geographic Magazine grin



I think the Director of National Geographic Magazine uses an iPhone smile

Yes, yes, yes, I concede your point.

Just for grins I looked at an alternative configuration (only camera and lenses), and making the following substitutions will save you 1131.1 g, or 2.5 pounds.

Sona a6000 with battery and memory stick 344
Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Lens 308
E 20mm F2.8 E-mount Prime Lens 69
E 16mm F2.8 E-mount Prime Lens 67

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#40424 - 09/30/14 07:12 AM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: John Sims]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: John Sims
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger

And that is why he is Director of National Geographic Travel and not National Geographic Magazine grin



I think the Director of National Geographic Magazine uses an iPhone smile

Yes, yes, yes, I concede your point.

Just for grins I looked at an alternative configuration (only camera and lenses), and making the following substitutions will save you 1131.1 g, or 2.5 pounds.

Sona a6000 with battery and memory stick 344
Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Lens 308
E 20mm F2.8 E-mount Prime Lens 69
E 16mm F2.8 E-mount Prime Lens 67



note that these lenses actually will be longer than my full frame glass by a factor of 1.5x due to the Nex-6 crop sensor. The zoom is similar to my 24-85mm, but also weighs almost the same as well, while the 20mm becomes a 30mm, which is a focal length I rarely use. The 16mm becomes a pretty decent 24mm but still isn't as wide as the 20mm and definitely won't do what my 16mm does - the Nikon 16mm f/3.5 is a full frame 180 degree fisheye. There is a crop sensor specific 8mm from Rokinon that could fill in for that role, but it's almost the same weight as my fisheye, and nowhere near as sharp (no star shots wide open...). I do not own any of the lenses you list either, so there's a significant cost issue, especially given I have no use for these dedicated crop lenses outside of hiking.

I bought the Nex-6 for its ability to utilize glass I already own, using the Lensturbo/Speedbooster adapters that also retain the original focal lengths. I bought it mostly for its better video recording (1080p60). Serving as a lightweight alternative was only a marginal reason should I ever not want leave behind the full DSLR, but I would also need to buy one of the lenses you list to get the real benefit of the smaller setup. Maybe the next winter trip, when the pack is already pushing 50 pounds without camera gear.

With a budget big enough, all the things my camera can do should be possible with a lighter setup, but I don't think I want to spend much on such savings. I don't care too much about pack weight. Maybe a few years from now I'll be able to drop 50% of the camera gear weight without any loss in capabilities I care about and for a price that's right.

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#40429 - 09/30/14 01:21 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: Fishmonger]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger


I bought the Nex-6 for its ability to utilize glass I already own, using the Lensturbo/Speedbooster adapters that also retain the original focal lengths.



Are you able to autofocus with these adapters? If not, how is manually focus using the screen on the NEX?

I would like an adapter that will allow me to use our Nikon 18-135mm lens on my NEX, but still have the ability to use autofocus.

BTW, if I had Fishmonger's camera skills, I would carry a 'big' camera too!
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#40435 - 09/30/14 05:10 PM Re: Bringing a big camera? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger


I bought the Nex-6 for its ability to utilize glass I already own, using the Lensturbo/Speedbooster adapters that also retain the original focal lengths.



Are you able to autofocus with these adapters? If not, how is manually focus using the screen on the NEX?

I would like an adapter that will allow me to use our Nikon 18-135mm lens on my NEX, but still have the ability to use autofocus.

BTW, if I had Fishmonger's camera skills, I would carry a 'big' camera too!


For Nikon glass, it is all manual focus with the Nex (and my DSLR for the most part - most of my lenses are manual). The Nex has some pretty great focus peeking (edges of areas in focus highlight in a bright color in realtime as you focus). It is is much better than on the Nikon full frame body and works like a charm. The more difficult part is that you also have to do fully manual exposure with the Nex. First focus with the lens wide open, then stop down (twist a ring on the agapter), then meter, set exposure and shoot. The live histogram in the viewfinder makes that actually pretty easy, too.

Wide angle lenses don't need much focusing anyway, but at 135mm you need to be quite accurate. I grew up with manual focus and still use it 90% of the time, from shooting landscapes with a fisheye or race cars with a 600mm - it actually works better sometimes to be in full control of those things and not trust Sony or Nikon to know best. And shooting manually allows me to use lenses from 25 to even 50+ years ago, as they haven't changed and still work just fine on today's big Nikons and the Sony Nex. The glass hasn't changed very much since then, nano coated or not. Most of my images from the Sierra are taken with lenses from the 1970s that are a pleasure to manually focus, fine machines from a era when things were built to last, and quality was important. I would hate to have to manually focus your 18-135mm - that plastic focus ring is really only a backup solution smile

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