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Author Topic: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking  (Read 17878 times)

Ken Bennett

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2015, 11:47:31 am »

It is better to have something extra and not need it ... than to need something extra and not have it ...

Always and without exception.

If this were even remotely true I would not be able to lift my backpack -- or my camera bag.
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dwswager

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2015, 12:09:44 pm »

This summer I plan on backpacking for 30 + days in northern Yosemite.  This is a once in a lifetime adventure, that I want to do while I'm still physically capable.  We will have friends help resupply our food and supplies and hopefully we will get some pack animals to deliver our beer.  I keep going back and forth regarding what camera to bring a Nikon D800 or an Olympus micro four thirds.  I never print larger than A2 and rarely at that.  Still I find that the files are easier to work with in Lightroom, especially correcting highlights and I prefer the light meter.  I definitely see the difference in better dynamic range when shooting in low light.  Right now I'm looking at bringing a Nikon D800, the 16-35 zoom, a 50mm 1.8, and the 70-200 f4. I also will carry a carbon fiber tripod. I am working hard to save weight in other areas so I can carry my gear.  I know only I can answer this question and if it weren't for the weight question the decision would be easy.

Depends on:

1. What is the real purpose of the trip...photography or the hiking?
2. What is your opinion of the quality difference of the images and how will you feel having one versus the other?
3. Will carrying the heavier gear hinder the other participants or jeopardize your ability to enjoy the experience?

I tend to hate the carrying of the equipment, but am usually glad I did afterwards.  Think of it like working out.  You might not want to go work out, but after the little bit of pain experienced during it, you get lots of enjoyment and satisfaction afterwards!

If I had to choose between my D810 or D7100, I would 1st determine if I could get the images I wanted with each.  If both can execute the images, I probably go for the D810.  Of course this is swayed by the fact that the lenses and other gear wouldn't change all that much so I'm just comparing weight and size or the bodies.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 12:12:21 pm by dwswager »
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2015, 12:24:23 pm »

This summer I plan on backpacking for 30 + days in northern Yosemite.  This is a once in a lifetime adventure, that I want to do while I'm still physically capable.  We will have friends help resupply our food and supplies and hopefully we will get some pack animals to deliver our beer.  I keep going back and forth regarding what camera to bring a Nikon D800 or an Olympus micro four thirds.  I never print larger than A2 and rarely at that.  Still I find that the files are easier to work with in Lightroom, especially correcting highlights and I prefer the light meter.  I definitely see the difference in better dynamic range when shooting in low light.  Right now I'm looking at bringing a Nikon D800, the 16-35 zoom, a 50mm 1.8, and the 70-200 f4. I also will carry a carbon fiber tripod. I am working hard to save weight in other areas so I can carry my gear.  I know only I can answer this question and if it weren't for the weight question the decision would be easy.

I would take the D800 if you can carry it and a small backup camera. I think you would regret it you didn't and you had amazing opportunities during your hike.

SeanBK

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2015, 02:22:25 pm »

I'm In late 60s , lost a vision in one eye, a city guy, travelled by myself. D800e, 16-35, 28-300, 80-400, Gitzo tripod, various accessories. Travelled thru' N.M, Utah, Az, Nevada, hiked thru' all national parks. Travelled by myself thru' India same gear, I wouldn't change a thing. Now I switched to Leica M & Leica V-Lux. Not a significant savings in weight from D800e & Leica M, But the D.R of D800 series guarantees you that you don't lose a single shot. To me it is a no brainer - take your D800 & grab appropriate zooms, if you must take bean bags in lieu of Tripod. IMHO.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 02:25:10 pm by SeanBK »
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NancyP

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2015, 05:45:36 pm »

Sean, you may be a big guy. I am a small woman. If I use the "carry 1/4 of your body weight" limit often cited by backpackers as a good guideline to safe packing, that's 30 pounds. I have done 1/3 my body weight, 40#, but it wasn't pretty and I was s-l-o-w. Some, perhaps a big chunk, of that 30# may be in water, if you are traveling through areas where water is widely spaced. How much gear you can carry depends on your size and your terrain. Answer will be different in different situations.
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maddogmurph

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2015, 07:04:57 pm »

http://postholer.com/journal/viewGearlist.php?sid=3f4fd020c44d6012cdaba7ec3ac1dd32&event_id=2332
Take a look at my ultralight through hiking gear list which includes the d810 setup, 3 lenses, tripod, and required electronics and filters.  The total setup weighs 10.4lbs.  The rest of my gear comes out to around 11lbs.
+1 Ken: Valid point, if you look at my etsy, 60% of these are shot on a Pentax WG3 a P+S that weighs 5ozs.  The RX100 is a fantastic P+S choice.
+1 Nancy: my tachihara 4x5 setup weighs less than my d810 setup.
-1Herbc: The 70-200/4 is good for compression
-1 Jack/Bernard: 10lbs of additional weight is hugely significant, I count ounces when packing for long through hikes and losing ounces often costs heaps of money
+1 Photogap: Life is short!
-5 John: This is the advice of an extreme novice with no experience
Bring your d800 and an rx100 as backup.  Ditch the solar charger, bring extra batteries.  Talk to me about gear choices, I have spent way too much of my time researching gear choices.  Your stove for example should cost you $4 and weigh 3 grams; you’ll use denatured alcohol for fuel.  You don’t need 2 bear cans, bring one; I promise you’re not going to have bear problems.  You can always hike from bear box to bear box to stow the surplus.  Plus you have VVR and Muir trail ranch to resupply at if you’re going south.
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dwswager

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2015, 08:40:35 pm »

I will add that this is one area where digital lags film in an odd sort of way.  Basically you could carry and F4 or a FM and the image quality was identical and based more on lens, film and technique.  With digital, the quality ceiling is built into the camera. 

This is why I find it hilarious when, all else equal, anyone would choose a camera with worse image quality over one with better performance.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2015, 02:43:59 am »

-1 Jack/Bernard: 10lbs of additional weight is hugely significant, I count ounces when packing for long through hikes and losing ounces often costs heaps of money

Yes, it is. I don't think I ever wrote the contrary. In my view a D810 is typically less than one lb heavier than a Sony a7r, that is  a lot less than the differnce between the body weigth of someone doing 30 min excercice a day and someone doing too little. Or the difference between a lightweight pack and a normal one.

I used to be able trek 15+ miles a day over 4,000+ feet altitude difference with a full 4x5 kit then with a D3x and 300f2.8 + 5 series Gitzo tripod and pano kit representing about 24 lb of photo gear... so I know what too heavy is. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 02:48:14 am by BernardLanguillier »
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Isaac

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2015, 03:23:12 am »

It is better to have something extra and not need it ... than to need something extra and not have it ...

Always and without exception.

iff "have something extra" costs nothing.
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dwswager

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2015, 09:21:33 am »

It is better to have something extra and not need it ... than to need something extra and not have it ...
Always and without exception.

iff "have something extra" costs nothing.

While costs of all types always need to be considered, the statement from John Koerner is always true.  The fact that we might not be willing or are unable to pay the cost does not negate it.   In that case we have chosen or have been forced to have less.

In the particular case of the OP, the cost is size and mass to be packed and carried.
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NancyP

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2015, 11:57:38 am »

Ah, Excel. Nice list, Maddogmurph! "Vitamin I" (that's ibuprofen, folks) - funny. Best value per milligram on the trail. Trail geek + photo geek = geek squared.
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Isaac

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2015, 03:58:20 pm »

While costs of all types always need to be considered, the statement from John Koerner is always true.

Only if we take "need something extra" to be absolute.

Is it really the case that there will be an absolute need to have such-and-such IQ for a particular photo; or is it that having such-and-such IQ for a particular photo may lead to certain benefits, and we should think about costs & benefits.

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maddogmurph

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2015, 04:41:34 pm »

In my view a D810 is typically less than one lb heavier than a Sony a7r
I spent a lot of time deliberating between these two setups.  The a7r takes 340 shots on a 1.5oz battery @ 1080Mah.  The d810 takes 1,200 shots on a 3.0oz batter at 1900Mah.  If I'm estimating taking 500 shots per day that's 3,500 shots in 7days. 

The a7r would need 11 batteries vs 3 batteries on the d810 which makes the total carried weight difference 9oz between the two cameras under a 7 day field trip.  This basically negates if you do any night shooting, or if you're out in the field for longer term periods.

31oz(Camera) + 9oz(Batteries) = 40 oz for d810
14.5oz(Camera) + 16.5oz(Batteries) = 31 oz for a7r

In regards to the "It is better to have something extra and not need it ... than to need something extra and not have it"

The fact is that typically you need very little.  Need vs want relates to survival.  You don't need a camera at all, you want it.  You don't need toilet paper, you want it.  If you're going to bring items you want that are heavy, you need to have the rest of your list only include the things you need otherwise you'll likely encounter problems with injury, lethargy, exhaustion, & fatigue which can cut your trip short and keep you from achieving your goal, or worse.
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Phil Indeblanc

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2015, 07:32:24 pm »

If you want to enjoy your trip and do hiking, I would try to carry minimal gear. If you primary reason for the trip is shooting, take a mule if you can.
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Gulag

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2015, 11:18:39 pm »

D800's internal metal frame near the tripod mount can be easily broken and this is a well-known issue. If it ever happened to you on the hike, it would definitely ruin your photography. Perhaps you can carry some other camera instead.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2015, 08:11:57 am »

D800's internal metal frame near the tripod mount can be easily broken and this is a well-known issue. If it ever happened to you on the hike, it would definitely ruin your photography. Perhaps you can carry some other camera instead.

Even if that were the case, Arca swiss compatible brackets such as the RRS L brackets remove any possibility of this happening and have been considered for years pretty much mandatory for field tripod work.

Cheers,
Bernard

Petrus

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2015, 09:09:25 am »

I have walked the Annapurna Circuit several times with SLR or DSLR systems, last time with Canon EOS-5D and 24-105 zoom. Also once with fairly large Canon XH-A1 video camera (actually a total of 52 days of trekking), and last year we hiked to Annapurna Sanctuary with D800e and 24-120mm zoom. During the film days I carried two Olympus OM bodies and 3-4 lenses + Widelux F7 panoramic camera, plus 5 kg of film…

Never regretted having the gear with me, the results speak for themselves. And yes, getting maximum dynamic range is more beneficial than a lot of pixels, but with D8xx cameras you have them both. I do not carry tripods by the way, heavy and clumsy. Leaning against trees etc or resting the camera on a rock or something works well enough for me.
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chez

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2015, 10:33:33 am »

I used to lug around a Pentax 6x7 with 3 lenses, film and a heavy tripod. Yes, the setup delivered great photos...but with all that weight came fatigue which in turn affected my photography.

Bottom line, if you get too tired from trekking, you'll most likely not shoot the same as if you were fresh. Keep you entire setup to minimum weight and you'll enjoy the experience much more. I found this to be true for my photography. Being tired ruins the joy in photography. Every ounce hurts when you are trekking.
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AFairley

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2015, 01:02:18 pm »

IMO if you are thinking about leaving the D800 to save weight, the better solution is just to leave one D800 lens behind rather than to drop down to lower resolution gear.
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Gulag

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Re: Am I crazy to take a Nikon D800 Backpacking
« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2015, 04:40:02 am »

Even if that were the case, Arca swiss compatible brackets such as the RRS L brackets remove any possibility of this happening and have been considered for years pretty much mandatory for field tripod work.

Cheers,
Bernard


No,  they can't because it's a defect inherent to D800.
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"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

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