« on: November 22, 2014, 01:07:29 PM »
I sailed from New Zealand via the subantarctic islands into the Ross Sea in February/March 2012.
I concur with what wtlloyd writes.
I took a 5D and a 7D and neither gave any problems. Definitely take a backup. A friend sailed south from Ushuaia and I strongly encouraged him to take a second body. He did. His first failed and he got a once in a lifetime photo of a giant petrel threatening a penguin parent defending a creche of chicks. I also took a G11 to take casual photos, but a weatherproof camera would havve been an asset to take photos on the deck in rough weather, and in the Zodiac, etc.
I took a 20-35 f/3.5, 24-105 f/4, 50 f2.5 macro, 70-200 f/4, and 400/5.6. I would take it all again, except the macro which I hardly used. But it is small. 400 was essential for birds in flight, but on land the 70-200 is fine for most wildlife as they are not frighted. I do have some nice photos of royal penguins that I would not have got without the 7D / 400 combination.
I took a tripod but only used it when taking photos in huts. Arrived at Macquarie Island in the dark at midnight to a wonderful aurora. Couldn't use the tripod of the moving deck so had to shoot handheld. I used a monopod with the 7D / 400 (and trashed it when I tripped over s sea lion when trying to get a photo of a right whale close into shore).
All the gear fitted into a Lowepro Flipside 400 backpack, with the monopod of the outside. This is a great backpack as it allows you to rest the pack on the outer side and access the gear from the inside, meaning that if the pack gets wet or dirty from lying on the ground, it doesn't transfer to your back. THis is also more weather resistant as the zips are hidden.
I agree not to get a sealed backpack as they are difficult to get into.
I bought a rubberised drybag that my backpack fitted into for trips in the Zodiac. I think the Lowepro backpack would have been okay as I never got dumped by a wave, but I was not prepared to take the risk. Once ashore, I took the Lowepro out and left the drybag with the Zodiac.
Take at least one spare battery per camera and charge fully before you go out. Bateries work less efficiently in the cold. I also took a battery pack for the 7D so I could use AA batteries, but never used it and have since sold it.
The biggest risk for cameras is when a very cold camera comes into the warm, humid environment inside the ship. This will cause condensation on and potentially inside the camera. Put the camera in a plastic bag before go you inside and wait for it to warm up.
I took two hard drives and downloaded all photos each night, keeping one HD as a back up.
Take a laptop with your RAW processing programme. THis will enable you to check image quality, focus, dust, etc. YOu will probably have time to process images during long sea journeys - not something you want to do when you get back.
If you have a choice, get a berth low and central in the ship, near where the ship pivots in heavy weather. The more expensive berths tend to higher up and much more exposed to motion. "The more you pay, the more you sway!". Some of the rich dudes were sick the whole trip.