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Wilderness Photography The Wilderness Photography forum is for the discussion of photography (videography) gear, experience, and technique as it directly relates to wilderness photography. PBF members may also post self-owned photos that have been uploaded to the PB Gallery or as post attachments. Offsite links and offsite photos are prohibited. Please see ("sticky") instructional post located at top of threads.


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  #11  
Old 01-05-2009, 09:23 PM
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Buffaloscout Buffaloscout is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildlifeNate
I'm coming from a P&S background. What do the tele extender and extension ring do? I've seen these for sale fairly inexpensive, but have no clue what they're for.

Nate,
The simple explanation for extension rings is this: Extension rings act as a spacer between the camera and lens. They move the camera lens away from the sensor. The increase in distance allows the lens to project a larger image on the sensor. It also allows you approach the subject more closely. When using an extension ring, you lose long distance focus. The amount of light reaching the sensor is also reduced because lens is farther away. Extension rings are accessories designed primarily for close-up photography.

Tele-extenders also move the lens away from the sensor. They add additional lens elements that re-focus the lens to infinity. Once more, when the lens is moved away from the sensor, light is reduced. Therefore, longer exposure times, higher ISO settings, or wider open apertures are necessary to compensate for that loss.

Extension rings and tele-extenders increase lens capabilities without having to carry as much equipment.

I hope this helps!

'scout
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2009, 10:09 PM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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Backpack: Osprey Atmos 50
Sleeping Gear: DIY down quilt
Shelter: ENO Doublenest Hammock, WB Bugnet, GG Tarp
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nacogdoches, TX
Posts: 1,610
Thanks. I was able to figure some of that stuff out from reading around the web, but nice to have it all explained much more succinctly.

The extension tubes sound like a nice idea until I can get a good macro lens, at least. Problem I've noticed is that Canon EF-S lenses have some limitations with them. Apparently the most popular (and inexpensive) Kenko tubes are incompatible, but can possibly be modified for EF-S lenses. The Canon tubes work, but the larger one from Canon is something like $140...that's a bit outrageous when you can get actual lenses for that much.

I think my initial purchase will include:

Canon Rebel XS with the 18-55mm IS lens and 75-300mm EF lens (the longer lens only costs $50 more and will whet my appetite for a good tele lens for wildlife)
Sandisk 4GB 30mb/sec SDHC card
extra battery
Lowepro general purpose bag
gorillapod (want to buy everything in one place to save on shipping...ultrapod is hard to find)
lens cleaning stuff
circular polarizer

I won't be taking any backpacking trips anytime soon since I'll be up to my eyeballs in my master's thesis research until august, so backpacking-specific stuff can wait. Maybe by the end of the summer, I'll have saved enough for a fast tele prime lens in the 400-600mm range. Hopefully the cheap 75-300mm lens will be good enough for me to develop some skills while I'm in the field working on my thesis.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:55 PM
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Buffaloscout Buffaloscout is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 91
It sounds like you have made wise choices.

Long, long ago I was very deeply involved with photography and geology. My staple combination was a Canon AE-1 with a 24mm f 2.8 FDSSC wide angle, 50mm f3.5 FD macro, 70 to 210 f2.8 off brand telephoto zoom, and a 400mm f5.6 off brand telephoto. I also had two F-1's, and an FTbn. I confess, I had a soft spot for Canon equipment. It was a royal pain to carry, but I loved the results I got with this combination. One spring an Olympus technical sales representative persuaded me to try an Olympus OM-2n. I traded off all of my Canon gear for the OM-2, Zuiko 24mm f2.8, Zuiko 75-150mm f4.0, and Zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro. The combination of camera and three lenses weighed less than my AE-1 with 55 f3.5, and 24 f2.8. That my first step into the "bigger is not necessarily better" world.

One thing that I have always craved is a wider, wide-angle lens. I discovered the summer of 2007 that with new available software, and careful panorama shooting, you can make some amazing wide angle compositions (they are not actual photographs when spliced together).

I still have and use my Velbon VGB-3C tripod. That is one place where lighter is not necessarily better. I once saw an ad in a turn of the century Sears catalog that touted a "portable tripod that can be loaded into a wagon by three men and a small boy". There is nothing like truth in advertising.

Protect your lenses! Always use lens shades and a filter of some sort. That glass is expensive and fragile.

I think you will find that with 300mm at the long end of your telephoto spectrum, you will be able to make a considerable number of top quality wildlife shots.

Good luck to you with your post-graduate work! Are there other schools down there now, or are you at SFA?

'scout

Last edited by Buffaloscout : 01-06-2009 at 08:59 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2009, 04:13 PM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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Backpack: Osprey Atmos 50
Sleeping Gear: DIY down quilt
Shelter: ENO Doublenest Hammock, WB Bugnet, GG Tarp
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nacogdoches, TX
Posts: 1,610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloscout
It sounds like you have made wise choices.

Long, long ago I was very deeply involved with photography and geology. My staple combination was a Canon AE-1 with a 24mm f 2.8 FDSSC wide angle, 50mm f3.5 FD macro, 70 to 210 f2.8 off brand telephoto zoom, and a 400mm f5.6 off brand telephoto. I also had two F-1's, and an FTbn. I confess, I had a soft spot for Canon equipment. It was a royal pain to carry, but I loved the results I got with this combination. One spring an Olympus technical sales representative persuaded me to try an Olympus OM-2n. I traded off all of my Canon gear for the OM-2, Zuiko 24mm f2.8, Zuiko 75-150mm f4.0, and Zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro. The combination of camera and three lenses weighed less than my AE-1 with 55 f3.5, and 24 f2.8. That my first step into the "bigger is not necessarily better" world.

One thing that I have always craved is a wider, wide-angle lens. I discovered the summer of 2007 that with new available software, and careful panorama shooting, you can make some amazing wide angle compositions (they are not actual photographs when spliced together).

I still have and use my Velbon VGB-3C tripod. That is one place where lighter is not necessarily better. I once saw an ad in a turn of the century Sears catalog that touted a "portable tripod that can be loaded into a wagon by three men and a small boy". There is nothing like truth in advertising.

Protect your lenses! Always use lens shades and a filter of some sort. That glass is expensive and fragile.

I think you will find that with 300mm at the long end of your telephoto spectrum, you will be able to make a considerable number of top quality wildlife shots.

Good luck to you with your post-graduate work! Are there other schools down there now, or are you at SFA?

'scout


We'll see, that 70-300mm zoom isn't all that fast so I may have trouble unless I've got it on a tripod. Thanks for all the tips.

I'm excited for the opportunity to really learn photography instead of taking pictures. I wanted to get into the photography class as an undergrad, but I met the prof and he REALLY had a chip on his shoulder. I decided to take piano, instead, and I'm glad I did. The prof was glad to have me there (as a non-major). The area immediately around my house should offer some excellent shooting opportunities, and I should have some good chances at some of my study sites, also.

Yes, I am at SFA. Technically I'm in the environmental science department, but spend more time doing wildlife work and taking wildlife classes.

I went ahead and placed the order for the camera/lens kit last night. The deal was too good to wait on ($150 instant rebate). I did order a polarizing filter to go with the kit. It'll be nice to get color saturation out of the sky for once...haha.

It should arrive sometime next week unless I miraculously have an adorama distribution center nearby.

Last edited by WildlifeNate : 01-09-2009 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2009, 03:17 PM
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Ironeye Ironeye is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 31
I used to carry an Olympus E-510 or E-1 when hiking but eventually found it too heavy to carry around. I now carry a Canon A720 P&S and find that I get almost as good pictures with it as I do with my DSLR. It has IS too and a zoom that goes to 210. I carry it in a little pouch around my waist. It's very convenient to carry.
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  #16  
Old 02-21-2009, 03:00 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Portland, OR
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This thread has been extremely helpful - thanks, Nate, for starting it and to everyone who contributed.

I, too, got a digital SLR (Nikon D40) in January with a nice collection of filters and a telephoto lens. We've always chosen digital cameras for their size (small) and ruggedness, but I wanted to delve into more thoughtful photography when we were out on these trips. I've taken the camera out on a couple of day hikes, but I'm not sure I can commit to hauling it around for 50 miles and worrying about damaging it or getting it wet. (We have been known to get ourselves in 'interesting' situations.)

I'd be curious to hear from those who do carry an SLR when they're backpacking how it has or has not altered your backpacking 'style' or the types of trips you take. Or do you simply bring another camera when you think the trip may mess with the machinery?

I'm going to go ahead with the Lowepro Nova 2 AW for at least the short trips to see how it all works out. Thanks for all of the great advice.

Last edited by adventure_dog : 02-21-2009 at 03:15 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2009, 07:03 PM
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3Pinner 3Pinner is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Virginny
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure_dog
T

I'd be curious to hear from those who do carry an SLR when they're backpacking how it has or has not altered your backpacking 'style' or the types of trips you take. Or do you simply bring another camera when you think the trip may mess with the machinery?

I'm going to go ahead with the Lowepro Nova 2 AW for at least the short trips to see how it all works out. Thanks for all of the great advice.

I hauled around a full 35mm film rig for so many years, it just became part of 'the gear'. The DSLR (olympus as in my previous post) is a refreshing change. As for altering my Bp style, it doesn't really, except I do take care to keep it dry. The LowePro bag does a nice job of that, but I try to allow enough extra room in my pack to jam it in there if the weather is bone-soaking. If I can't, I'll wrap the camera and lenses in seperate plastic bags inside the camera bag. Kind of a pain to take a picture in the rain, but photography is one of the main reasons I hike, so I tend to put up with a lot of stuff that most would't even consider!

I wear the LowePro bag using the shoulder sling (put the back pack on first, then the camera) and it actually makes a nice arm rest while walking. I can put it on my bp belt as well, Just depends on my mood and the terrain.
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  #18  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:30 PM
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Nungboy Nungboy is offline
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Backpack: Dana Astralplane
Sleeping Gear: Mountain Hardware Phantom 0 degree
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 38
Great suggestions here. (And I can relate to BuffaloScout...I am a Canon man and even though I have moved on to a Canon Elan 7e and a Rebel XT I still have my old F-1 and lenses.)

The only pieces of gear I don't think have been mentioned yet are a remote control for those self-portrait pics and a anti-fog eye-finder attachment. The later is made by Canon and it clips onto the viewer so as to reduce the tendency to fog up. I don't use it much down here (Tucson) but do when up north (like when I did a Mt. St. Helens circumnavigation).

The most important advice? Take LOTS of pics!
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