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Author Topic: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica  (Read 2129 times)

Sphinxa

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New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« on: March 12, 2021, 07:36:33 pm »


Iíve booked a trip to Antarctica in January 2022. Given all the new camera gear out since 2019, like the Sony A1 and Fuji Gfx100s, what would you ideally take on an Antarctica trip? I currently own Sony A9 and Sony A7-3 bodies. I thought Iíd take the 100-400, 24-105 lenses 16-35f4 lenses. I also have a Mamiya 7 that Iíve been using occasionally. Should I upgrade any of my gear as Iím Looking for some epic nature and landscape shots?
Amin
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MDL_SD

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 08:16:51 pm »

Since you seem to have a good set of Sony glass and bodies that give you speed, I would consider one of the higher resolution bodies (an "R" III/IV or the new Alpha 1).
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Ken Bennett

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2021, 10:05:08 pm »

Agreed with MDL_SD on a higher resolution body. I'd stick with Sony instead of chasing the GFX (and I say this as an owner of the GFX100.) I'd probably think about redundancy -- if my 24-105 dies, what will I shoot with? Same with the other lenses. It's an expensive trip, and I'd want some backups. Not duplicates, necessarily, but lens choices that can cover each other, like the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 and a 70-200 f/4, which along with the 16-35 can cover the loss of a 24-105 (and a 1.4x or 2x converter with the 70-200 covers your long lens, too.)

I might also think about a filter system, something that uses 100mm filters and has a good polarizer, assuming you'll be able to shoot some on shore. Good tripod, then, too.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2021, 11:51:00 am »

I would certainly take 2 bodies.

If money allows I would replace the a73 by either a new a1 or a second hand a7rIV, knowing that you will find the AF of the a7rIV disappointing compared to the a9.

Bringing 2 systems is not a good idea and the AF of the 100s will be frustrating for wildlife.

Cheers,
Bernard

mcbroomf

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2021, 04:19:06 pm »

I would add the 1.4x TC as you may well find many opportunities for long land/seascapes and/or wildlife that is distant
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Sphinxa

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2021, 05:57:48 pm »

Thanks for all the great recommendations and I'll be debating acquiring the A7Riv vs the A1, obviously price is an issue. I was also wondering for birds if it was worth investing in the 200-600 vs 100-400 w 1.4tc?
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mcbroomf

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2021, 07:16:24 pm »

Thanks for all the great recommendations and I'll be debating acquiring the A7Riv vs the A1, obviously price is an issue. I was also wondering for birds if it was worth investing in the 200-600 vs 100-400 w 1.4tc?

Not with the A7R4.  The 200-600 does not play well with that body.  A9 series or the A1 is OK (a bit early but suggestion is the A1 is OK).
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Ken Bennett

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2021, 09:01:29 pm »

Thanks for all the great recommendations and I'll be debating acquiring the A7Riv vs the A1, obviously price is an issue. I was also wondering for birds if it was worth investing in the 200-600 vs 100-400 w 1.4tc?

I have the 200-600 and an A9 - my only Sony gear. (Otherwise all-Fuji.) It's an excellent lens for birds and general long-lens landscape work. I did have an A7R3 and the A9 blew it away for autofocus with this lens.
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tcphoto1

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2021, 11:07:37 am »

I would prioritize taking one system and emphasize batteries, the cold will kill them quickly. I would also use the largest cards owned so you don't open the camera and then possibly drop in the elements. Enjoy your adventure and watch out for those polar bears.
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PeterAit

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2021, 05:20:15 pm »

Not with the A7R4.  The 200-600 does not play well with that body.  A9 series or the A1 is OK (a bit early but suggestion is the A1 is OK).

Huh? I rented the 200-600 for a week to try on my A7 R3 and it worked beautifully. I was particularly impressed with the autofocus. I ended up not buying the lens due to its weight, but unless the R4 is significantly different in some way I don't get your comment.
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Sphinxa

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2021, 07:46:40 pm »

Thank you for all your comments, I really appreciate it!
So the current plan sounds like I put the 100-400 and 1.4tc on the A9 and the 24-105 or 16-35 lens on the to be acquired A7 iv (unless I spring for the A1). My question then is the 200-600 a better alternative to the 100-400? Or is the flexibility of the 100-400 preferred while riding on Zodiaks etc.?
I will only have the weight capacity to take one of the two.

Thanks, Amin
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degrub

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2021, 10:03:06 pm »

About 4.6 lbs for the 200-600 and about 3.3 + .4 lbs for the 100-400 + T/C. If you have never slogged about with a 5 lb lens + 1-2 lb of camera, i would suggest renting it for a week and putting your arms through the workout.

Do you already shoot wildlife or birds ?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 10:15:21 pm by degrub »
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Sphinxa

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2021, 10:08:57 pm »

I mainly shoot birds, for a while my go to was a Canon 1Dx with the original 500 f4. I do also shoot a little of everything else; family, portraits, landscapes. It's been hobby of mine since my teens and I've recently graduated to the social security club ;)

Amin
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degrub

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2021, 10:21:04 pm »

Then you already know what you are up against.🙂 I still have my old FDn 500 and use it once in a while.
The only other major difference i saw in the spec was internal focus for the 200-600 if that makes any difference to you.
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mcbroomf

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2021, 06:23:11 am »

Huh? I rented the 200-600 for a week to try on my A7 R3 and it worked beautifully. I was particularly impressed with the autofocus. I ended up not buying the lens due to its weight, but unless the R4 is significantly different in some way I don't get your comment.

There have been several threads about this combo on Fred Miranda, and even Mark Galer (Sony Ambassador) has questions pending with Sony and has also mentioned recently that the A1/200-600 combo works well.  Interestingly the lens does seem to work a little better with the A7R3 in some cases.

I ordered the lens, planning to use with the R4 but decided it was too large and cancelled so I never got the chance to test it myself.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 05:25:01 am by mcbroomf »
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Rhossydd

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2021, 04:53:02 am »

watch out for those polar bears.
You'd need a bloody long lens to shoot those in Antarctica.
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Petrus

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2021, 11:55:55 am »

You'd need a bloody long lens to shoot those in Antarctica.

Yes, but the same lens can be used to take pictures of penguins in the Arctic.

(I was going to write exactly the same comment verbatim but then scrolled down to the end...)
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langier

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2021, 06:01:31 pm »

You have lots and lots of time to better invest time, effort, $$ in your self and to practice using the fine equipment you currently have. I speak from experience.

At one time, I would try to think ahead to my travels and what new piece of gear would make my work more unique or better. One year, I had overflowing pockets and indulged myself... Much became dead weight that I now had to schlepp along in my journey and a burden physically that when I had another issue, had to deal with the bulk/weight that would have been better left at home. Though I did use some of this specialized equipment along the way, it really wasn't necessary...

As I get older, it's going to be that much more impractical to bring the closet with me and so I think what will be reliable, smaller/lighter and get me the best quality overall. What I finally did to help analyze my shooting style is to dig into the metadata and see what lenses/focal length lenses and bodies that created my favorite/best work. By mining the data, I was able to focus on the tools that got me my best work and it wasn't necessarily the longest or exotic lenses. FWIW, your results will mostly be quite different than my work and my style. Also, since this sounds like you may be traveling with a photo-centric group, considered the pool of lenses, etc., that may be in common supply with the rest of the group and your hosts/instructors.

The down and dirty way, of course, is to ask your trip leaders their recommendations and give them a ring/send email and see what may be the best basics to bring along.

As always, with a journey of this magnitude, it's tempting to bring along a companion to be a pack mule for you and bring it all along under the guise of the FOMO, but in reality after decades of shooting all over the west and many trips to eastern Europe, simple and svelte and ready for action without the burden of bringing too much along. 
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Sphinxa

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2021, 06:13:44 pm »

Larry,

I appreciate your advice. I plan to take two bodies and three lenses to keep light. As for practice, fifty years of it so far, but yes more is better. I'm just trying to figure out if purchasing a high mp camera is worthwhile for landscapes and which longer lens to take for birds and general photography.

Amin
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BobShaw

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Re: New gear recommendations for Travel to Antarctica
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2021, 06:35:47 pm »

Congratulations. Antartica is certainly on the bucket list.

I would be much more confident taking a camera that I had been using for a year than one I bought this morning.
Certainly take two cameras if you have them or can buy, borrow or hire another one that takes the same lenses.

Camera bodies are usually reliable. The things that usually stop you are cards and batteries.
Always have a camera shooting raw to two cards and never delete as you go.
Have the manual on pdf.

As for cards a 64GB card will take a massive amount of photos, usually way more than enough for a day.
Just carry lots of cards.
If you have a big card and it fails then you lose a lot more than a small card failing.

You will probably be on a ship rather than wandering the lands and so have access to power each night.
Find out the availability and plug type etc
If you take a computer then each night copy your cards to a hard disk and then back up the hard disk using Time Machine to another disk.
Otherwise just carry enough cards put in new cards each night.

Have lots of batteries. They don't last long at the best of times. In cold weather they last a lot less.
There are battery warmers or keep them inside a jacket.

Take a Go Pro on an extending handle also.

Enjoy.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 11:47:24 pm by BobShaw »
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