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Author Topic: Tele for backpacking  (Read 7383 times)

aroo

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Tele for backpacking
« on: June 03, 2013, 01:39:13 AM »
This summer I'm doing a lot of photography-focused backpacking in mountains and forests. My primary considerations for choosing gear are handheld IQ, weight & pack space, and preference for weather sealing (when possible/practical). So far, I'm just about set on taking a 6D, 17-40L, 100L macro, and nifty fifty. Something tells me I'm going to need an option for more reach (animals), but the 400mm 5.6 available to me seems out of the question due to size. In the past I've used a 70-200 f/4 non-IS, but that was on a 7D.

Appealing to this forum's collective knowledge and experience, my question is whether I can get a 300mm+ lens weighing less than 800 grams that will beat the IQ of just cropping photos from the 100L. Or should I try and make do with the 70-200? Any thoughts? Thank you!

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Tele for backpacking
« on: June 03, 2013, 01:39:13 AM »

J.R.

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 02:39:47 AM »
Any native focal length lens @ 300mm will be better for the usage you describe.

However, weight does become a problem when hiking long distances so you could use the lightweight 70-200 f/4 with a 1.4 extender to get to 280mm (the combo will weight 930 grams though) - it will certainly be better than cropping photos taken from the 100L. 
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 02:49:55 AM »
Also consider the 70-300 L.
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Astral

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 02:59:23 AM »
why take the 50mil? 17-40  goes almost to 50. if you take the 70-200 you dont need the 100mm lens either unless youre really passionate about macro work and expect many macro subjects. youll save weight which is very important, imo. maybe on the weight saved by not taking the 50mil and 100 you can take a lightweight monopod for better quality than just hand-held shooting.

gn100

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 03:20:42 AM »
Maybe slightly on the heavy side, but the 70-300L is a good option - sharp wide open, weathersealed, compact and 4 stops of IS. No need to muck around by adding a 1.4 TC to a 70-200.

I was in your posiition a couple of years ago and after lots of looking around this was the option I selected, and was very happy with the choice.

dslrdummy

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 03:27:47 AM »
I agree with the suggestion re a monopod and the tele. A light carbon fibre monopod won't add much weight. Neither will the 50 but will it survive the treck?
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J.R.

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 03:34:40 AM »
I agree with the suggestion re a monopod and the tele. A light carbon fibre monopod won't add much weight. Neither will the 50 but will it survive the treck?

+1 on the monopod. Works wonderfully as a walking stick while trekking.
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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 03:34:40 AM »

vbi

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 04:55:58 AM »
I am sure this will get me flamed but consider the 7D with a EF-S 18-200. Sure the 18-200 has some limitations but it is capable of producing great images, has good IS, the 18-200 range on the 7D is extremely versatile, and lastly and possibly most important of all - it is light and there is no chance of getting dust on the sensor as you won't have to change lenses.

If you are set on the 6D (great FF camera) then consider the 70-300L for it's greater reach than the 70-200 F4.
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tron

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 05:23:37 AM »
Also consider the 70-300 L.
+1 I remember missing it last year when I was using 70-200 f/4L IS. My small backpack was full mostly with wide angle lenses so my 300mm f/4L had stayed back in my room.

However the reverse use of the focus and zoom rings in 70-300 puts me off  :(
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 05:36:50 AM by tron »

stefsan

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 05:39:06 AM »
+1 for the EF 70-300L
Not only great optical quality and very usable IS (translates into good pictures) but also a rather compact and portable and weather sealed lens as well. It's one of my two lenses I put on my 7D for hiking and mountaineering (the other one is the EF-S 15-85).
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Frodo

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 06:19:04 AM »
This summer I'm doing a lot of photography-focused backpacking in mountains and forests. My primary considerations for choosing gear are handheld IQ, weight & pack space, and preference for weather sealing (when possible/practical). So far, I'm just about set on taking a 6D, 17-40L, 100L macro, and nifty fifty. Something tells me I'm going to need an option for more reach (animals), but the 400mm 5.6 available to me seems out of the question due to size. In the past I've used a 70-200 f/4 non-IS, but that was on a 7D.

Appealing to this forum's collective knowledge and experience, my question is whether I can get a 300mm+ lens weighing less than 800 grams that will beat the IQ of just cropping photos from the 100L. Or should I try and make do with the 70-200? Any thoughts? Thank you!

The length of the tele will depend on the sort of animals you will see and the importance in getting photos of those animals.  If the primary purpose is backpacking, then keep weight low.  If the purpose is wildlife photography, then this will dictate what you take.  It will then determine how long the lens needs to be.  I have the 400mm 5.6 - a great light weight lens, but after several days hiking you will feel each ounce.  And few wildlife photos happen by chance - they need to be planned inn terms of location and time of the day.  Are you prepared to disrupt your hiking for targeted wildlife photography.

I'm trying to have a buck each way this summer when I will do some hiking in Norway and Sweden and then in BC, Canada.  I will take a 5DII with 24-105.  My "wildlife lens is my 200/2.8 prime, plus 1.4x teleconverter.  Testing has shown the combination to produce excellent image quality (but I don't know how it compares to a 70-300L).  I will take a 25mm extension tube, which also works well on the 200 to take me to 1:3.  My 400/5.6 will stay home.  This leaves me with a kit that I have no qualms hiking with.

Cheers

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vlim

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 06:38:14 AM »
Quote
Also consider the 70-300 L.

+1

Definitely a great choice, razorsharp and light with good range ;)

Random Orbits

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 07:19:43 AM »
If you already have the 70-200 f/4, then use it with the 1.4x.  The weight with the extender will be comparable to the 70-300L, and you don't have to shell out 1000-1500.

If you no longer have the 70-200 f/4, then the 70-300L is a good choice. 

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 07:19:43 AM »

rs

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 07:29:39 AM »
As good as the 100L is, cropping to EFL 300mm is a 3x crop, using just 1/9th of the sensor. That leaves you with just 2.2MP to play with, and using a part of the sensor smaller than a Nikon 1 - which means the lens will be the equivalent of a 300/8.4 lens.

Almost any 300mm lens will give you more options than that, especially something as good as the 70-300L or a 70-200/4 with a 1.4x TC. If you're hard pushed for space but feel like a bit of macro (but nothing too serious), what about leaving the 100L at home and packing some extension tubes in your backpack?
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StepBack

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 07:42:51 AM »
As an owner of the 300 f4 IS L and having recently seen some gorgeous shots with the 2.8 version I would rent the latter if u don't want to run out and spend dough for one trip. The f4 is a fine lens. Never used the 2.8 and the shots I saw may be off the charts because of the photographer which always carry the most weight subjectively speaking but for the time and money and memories go for the best. BTW, the 300 on a crop is not as long as u may imagine.  For small birds it won't due unless you're camped in a blind which to me isn't worth it on a backpacking trip. So my only suggestion is to go long or not at all. While some will say they have very good results with a 2x tele I've never read at least from any knowledgeable source it is even close to the 1.4. Pop it on the 2.8 and you've got a decent distance. Luck.

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 07:42:51 AM »