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Author Topic: Nepal Expedition  (Read 4380 times)


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Nepal Expedition
« on: March 07, 2013, 02:56:32 PM »
Hey everyone! Another first time poster here but I really value everyone's thoughts and opinions so I thought i'd ask you helpful people for some advice!

At the end of March I will be going to Nepal for 8 days as part of a college trip. For the first couple of days we will be doing volunteer work at local schools and organizing our own accommodation and such in the local markets and towns. We will then endure a 4 days trek in the Himalayan mountains and finally the last day or two will be visiting tourist attractions and doing a bit of R&R after our trek.

My main problem is deciding what camera body to take with me. I currently shoot with my 5D mark II + 35L however i'm super paranoid about it getting damaged somehow on the trek or under light rain in Nepal. Alternatively, I used to shoot with a 450D and i'm considering taking that instead as i'd be less phased if anything were to happen to it, but for me it definitely doesn't provide the quality of photo that I really want, but I don't want my 5D getting wrecked.

As well as these cameras, I am also working in collaboration with a local camera company here in Dubai who are sponsoring me and are willing to provide a Fuji XE-1 along with a 18-55 f/2.8-4 to shoot with during the duration of my trip. Whilst this is a super set up cause it's light and compact, I still haven't been able to try it out and have no knowledge as to whether it is at the same standard as my 5D. Also, another issue i have with it is i usually shoot between f/1.4 and f/2 on FF for small DOF and i've gotten so used to that that when I receive the Fuji i'm not sure i'll be able to manage! Along with this, i've heard the battery life on the X-E1 is rather poor, squeezing out 350 shots at most per charge which is unfortunate considering i don't want to be spending MORE money on spare batteries whereas i have some spare for my 5D already.

Now by all accounts, I am not going on this trip to solely take photos and I am definitely not a professional, I just think it would be nice to get some unusual photos while i'm out there. I've never really shot many landscapes so that will be completely alien to me but I do want to get some snaps of the mountains and scenery whilst I want something to document my charity work and to use as a general walk around camera, capable of taking some shots in low light when needed.

So baaasically, my question is, do I take my 5D, the Fuji XE-1, or both to Nepal?

5Dii | 450D | 50 1.4 | 35L 1.4
Mamiya 645 Pro + 80mm 2.8

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Nepal Expedition
« on: March 07, 2013, 02:56:32 PM »


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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 05:59:46 PM »
you would be mad not to take the 5Dmk2 take the best glass you have too
i've travelled extensively with them and never had a problem
if you are worried about light rain throw some ziplock plastic bags in your kit
there are amazing shots to be had up there enjoy the trip

biggest problem is gonna be when you reralise 8 days is too short :D
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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 06:16:58 PM »
I'd also look into travelers insurance, either way, and make sure it includes a rider for your photo equipment. You might also be able to get it insured through your home/renters insurance, although usually it's an additional rider. Just make sure the latter will also cover international travel.
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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 09:46:00 PM »
If you don't take your 5DII, you will kick yourself when you get home.  You may get the shots of a lifetime, and you may not have the best possible camera with you!  Take it!


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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 11:32:54 PM »
I traveled to India and Nepal last November and brought a 5D3, 50 f/1.4, 17-40L, 70-200 f/4L IS and 2X extender with me.  When I was in Delhi briefly piloting a bicycle rickshaw, my camera swung around and the lens filter got dinged by the handlebar stem.  While hiking in Nepal, lots of dust got blown into the camera while changing lenses.  I was mostly able to blow it out at the tea lodge later that day.  So much dust got under the power switch that just switching it managed to scrape the paint off.  One time in a lodge, I pulled out the camera and the glass became very fogged for half an hour.  So yes, camera gear can certainly be abused in these sorts of places, but like others have said you will regret not getting the best possible photos you can get while you're there.  I could have brought a Canon T2i with me but ultimately brought the 5D3 to get the best photos in case I never went back.  I think if you take reasonable precautions to safeguard your gear, you should be fine.  An excellent camera should be used rather than being left unused at home.

If you're interested in trekking gear recommendations, I strongly recommend bringing some silica gel packets in your pack to help reduce moisture.  A rocket air blower would be very helpful if you have the room to bring it (I did not).  A lens pen and/or microfiber cloth will be helpful to keep your lens dust-free.  For the trek, I used a Lowepro Photo Sport 200 bag with a small 10L Sea to Summit eVent compression dry sack to hold an REI down jacket.  I used a 3L Camelbak hydration reservoir in the Photo Sport, even though it claims to only hold a 2L reservoir...  worked fine.  The Photo Sport even has a sleeve for a tablet, room for snacks in the waist belt pouches, and a built-in rain cover.  I used Op/Tech reporter straps with system connector extensions to keep the camera in front of me while hiking.  This setup was for a 14-day hike to Everest Base Camp.  If you'd like a full list of what I brought, feel free to PM me.  Flights into the Himalayas are quite weight-restricted so my packing list is optimized for size and weight.

Have fun in Nepal!  In case you'd like to see my photo albums from the trip, here they are:



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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 02:10:30 AM »
If a once in a lifetime trip is not the time to take your best camera, i don't know what is.   Seriously, make sure it is insured, and take it.  There are three types of insurance that will cover your cameras: Homeowners, Renters, and Parents.    make sure you have some 9and that it covers your cam), then go and shoot. 

Shallow DOF is wonderful... in some photos.  Don't beat a particular technique to death.  Picture a 100 year old nepalese lady in the market surrounded by the wares and goods of her country...  all really blurry...

the 5DII and little buddy Fuji sound like a nice pair. 

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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 02:10:30 AM »


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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 03:42:59 AM »
If I were you- and I think thats the point- I would take my best equipment.
This is my 5D3, the Tokina 16-28, the 24-70, the 70-200 and the 1,4TK.

And the Sony RX100 if I am at a place, where I cant bring the big stuff.

Depends on you, how much you can and want to bear.

Best wishes for the trip.
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Re: Nepal Expedition
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 03:42:59 AM »