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Author Topic: Tele for backpacking  (Read 6930 times)

Vivid Color

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 08:03:54 AM »
+1 again for the 70-300L. And, by taking this lens, you can probably leave the macro at home since--unless you'll need the speed of the f/2.8--you can get amazing shots of flowers and leaves with the 70-300L. (I don't know whether this holds true for bugs or other tiny creatures since I generally do not take photos of them.)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 08:01:04 PM by Vivid Color »

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 08:03:54 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 08:08:10 AM »
...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.

Wow, that's excellent advice!  I mean, the OP suggested a limit of 800 g (1.75 lbs) for a lens to carry backpacking - the 300/2.8 isn't much over that limit, right?   ::)

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Don Haines

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2013, 08:17:18 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?

My hiking pole has a screw off top to become a monopod. I do not recommend using a monopod as a hiking pole as they are not built to take the stress, but you can use a hiking pole as a monopod.
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Don Haines

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2013, 10:00:55 AM »
My normal kit for multi-day backpacking is a 60D, an 18-200, a spare battery, and a spare compact flash, plus a dry bag to but the camera into during inclement weather. The camera normally sits in a padded case (LowePro ????, don't have it with me to check model number) and if the weather turns particularly wet, off it goes into the drybag....  For a dayhike, the kit becomes a 17-55 and a 70-200F4.... and if specifically after birds I add in a 400F5.6.

I don't like superzooms, but when size and weight really becomes an issue I am willing to trade off some IQ for the ability to carry a good camera body. I find that 18mm on a crop is not wide enough in the mountains, but you can take multiple shots and stitch them together for those really wide views.... I find 200mm on a crop is not really long enough for birds and animals.... more mm is always good, but it gets heavy.

If I were shooting full frame on a hiking trip, the 17-40L would be the first lens into my kit. I think the second would be a 100-400. Most of your shots are going to be either wide or long and these two lenses will cover most of it. For the shots in the middle I'd either crop from 40mm or stitch at 100mm.
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preppyak

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2013, 10:34:36 AM »
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
Was just going to suggest this...I moved from the 70-200 f/4L IS to the 200mm f/2.8 for weight, size, and speed reasons. I do a lot of backpacking, where weight matters, and kayaking, where size in my pelican case matters. The 200mm saved me a little weight, but nearly 2". Big difference. Plus, theoretically, I can get a 300mm f/4 and 400mm f/5.6 out of it with TC's. I've actually had decent luck with a 2x, AF is still fast, but, its not ideal.

I'd say your choices are between the 70-300L and this 200mm and TC's. Probably end up the same in weight by the end, but the 200mm might end up more versatile (faster on the wide end, 400mm on the long with TCs)

aroo

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2013, 11:22:57 AM »
Thanks for all the insightful replies. It's just as I feared: some great suggestions that'll set me back a good chunk of dough! Now I'm seriously considering that 70-300L and the various TC options.

Responding to some of the questions that have popped up: it seems worth having a true macro along, the working distance of a zoomed tele falls short for little creatures and textures (which I really get into). I also feel like there's f/1.8 to gain and very little to lose in bringing the 50mm.

For those with experience, how are the non-L 70-300 IS or the 70-300 DO?

Deva

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2013, 12:02:19 PM »
Thanks for all the insightful replies. It's just as I feared: some great suggestions that'll set me back a good chunk of dough! Now I'm seriously considering that 70-300L and the various TC options.

Responding to some of the questions that have popped up: it seems worth having a true macro along, the working distance of a zoomed tele falls short for little creatures and textures (which I really get into). I also feel like there's f/1.8 to gain and very little to lose in bringing the 50mm.

For those with experience, how are the non-L 70-300 IS or the 70-300 DO?

Just to pick up your point about "TC options" - the 70-300L won't take a Canon teleconverter, except at the 300 end - Kenko is the widely recommended way to go.

I upgraded from the non-L 70-300 IS to the L, and it made a big difference - sharper pictures, better IS, but undeniably heavier (lighter than the 70-200mm L IS II though!). I'm very pleased with it, and will always have it with me when I'm roaming the countryside. I tend to find myself continually swapping between it and my 17-40mm for most "outdoors" shots, with the occasional 8-15mm thrown in for those really wide-angles.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 01:27:46 PM by Deva »

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2013, 12:02:19 PM »

Shawn L

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2013, 12:11:39 PM »
Another thought would be the 28-300 L. I've rented that for a couple of trips and been pretty satisfied:

http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/telephoto/canon-28-300mm-f3.5-5.6l-is

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Leejo

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2013, 12:31:59 PM »
For those with experience, how are the non-L 70-300 IS or the 70-300 DO?
I am about to upgrade as Deva did, from the 70-300 IS USM non-L  to the 70-300L.
I've had no problems but do notice the difference. (The L version wasn't available when I bought the original)
It's basically a Kit lens quality lens. Maybe fine for an older camera
Although the non-L is half the weight, it isn't that much smaller - and only a third of the price...
However even on a crop camera (7D) it isn't sharp above 200mm.
In comparison it is slower to focus, worse IS, not weather sealed and and a little slower in f stops in the middle range.
The DO is slightly better quality but nowhere near as good as the L Version.

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East Wind Photography

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2013, 12:57:43 PM »
I do this frequently and just to be clear I am an L nut.  IQ and image consistency is top priority otherwise why waste my time?  I use a 5DIII w/grip attached to a 300mm 2.8L and a 1.4XIII extender.  I also pack a 70-200 2.8L attached to a 60D (for backup and 2nd crop body) and either a 100mm 2.8L if I plan to shoot any macro or a 24-70 2.8L for landscapes.  All of this packs into a minimal ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro.  On the outside I attach a water bottle and a carbon fiber monopod.

I also have the ThinkTank Urban Disguise Attachment kit which has straps that attach to the back back and your camera or camera strap.  Allows me to carry the 300mm all day without any neck strain.

The pack is tight when it's all in there but I mostly always have at least one camera out ready to go attached to the backpack harness.  If the weather turns bad I just put it all in the pack and cover it with the included rain fly.

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!

neuroanatomist

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2013, 01:36:09 PM »
For those with experience, how are the non-L 70-300 IS or the 70-300 DO?

Never used the non-L 70-300 IS, but reportedly it's at it's worst from 200-300mm, so a 70-200/4 and a 1.4x or some cropping is likely a better bet.

I owned the 70-300 DO for a while, and I really wanted to like it.  The size was ideal - identical to my 24-105L (although heavy for it's size).  IQ was the problem - needed work in post to increase contrast and sharpness, and the poor bokeh in some situations really couldn't be fixed.  Horrible zoom creep, too (creep is the wrong word, implies slow movement...I once tracked a bird flying overhead with the lens at 300mm, and when I got to vertical the barrel retracted so hard the camera's eyecup almost gave me a black eye).  If you buy a 70-300 DO, buy it used - you can find them for $700-800 (I did) and sell it for the same amount (which I also did).  But I'd definitely take the 70-300 L (my trial with the DO was prior to the release of the L version).
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phixional ninja

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2013, 01:59:52 PM »
For those with experience, how are the non-L 70-300 IS or the 70-300 DO?

I borrowed a 70-300IS a couple of years ago, and really didn't care for it.  It's possible that I tried a bad copy of it, and I also stayed out at the long end where I've since learned it is particularly bad, but I could never imagine wanting to own it.  I recently upgraded from a 70-200 f4L to the 70-300L though, and I will add my vote for the 70-300L.  The color, contrast and sharpness are all fantastic, and the build quality is what you would expect (excellent).
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jhanken

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2013, 02:00:56 PM »
Why not rent the 200MM F2.8L, a non-white lens that weighs in at less than 800g?  Excellent sharpness, color rendering and portability.  It's so good you can freely crop with little sacrifice.  I think that with the 6D, 17-40L, 100L macro should about cover most situations.

http://usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/ef_lens_lineup/ef_200mm_f_2_8l_ii_usm#Specifications

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-200mm-f-2.8-L-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx
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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2013, 02:00:56 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2013, 02:03:56 PM »


For those with experience, how are the non-L 70-300 IS or the 70-300 DO?

I've had two 70-300mm IS (Non L) lenses, and they were fine.  For the price it was a good lens.   Obviously, it was a huge step up when I bought my 70-200mm f/4L IS.
 
I'd vote for the 70-300mmL as well, if you absolutely need 300mm.  One drawback to the 70-300mmL is that it doesn't support Canon extenders, but its small and relatively light.
 
Another possibility would be to rent a lens, Lens rentals will give some credit towards a new one, or at least they used to.  That's in the event that you decide to get one after using it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

jhanken

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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2013, 02:05:37 PM »
Quote
For those with experience, how are the non-L 70-300 IS or the 70-300 DO?

Please don't get the non-L 70-300 IS.  I have it, use it often, and every time I look at the images at 1:1, I am more and more disappointed with them.  Looking to upgrade my telephoto zoom ASAP.

Don't know about the DO.
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Re: Tele for backpacking
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2013, 02:05:37 PM »