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Archive 2012 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?
  
 
akriegsfeld
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Hi, Everyone

I am going to Antartica next year, booked the trip through Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

I need advice from people who have been there. What lenses would you recommend ?
I will be taking a Canon 5D Mark 3 and a Canon 7D. I currently own the following lenses:

Canon 17-40 L
Canon 24-105 L
Canon 70-300 L
Canon 100-400 L

Trying not to take too much gear, but I do not want to take the wrong or too much extra gear.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks
Alan

Edited on Aug 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM · View previous versions



Aug 21, 2012 at 01:41 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Hi Alan,

A good friend of mine went there in 2009. What gear do you currently have?

He took with him a 50D, 16-35L, 24-105L and a 200 f/1.8 with a 2x II extender if I remember.



Aug 21, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Monito
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


There's too much overlap with your 70-300 and 100-400. Drop the 70-300 because the 24-105 covers the 70-100 gap. The 70-300 on the 7D is almost exactly like the 100-400 on the 5D3. If you do take it, it would be insurance against gear failure in the telephoto department.

Add a good carbon fibre tripod & ball head.

Add the 60 mm E-FS macro for the 7D.

Add the 1.4x TC and consider the 2x TC. The 1.4x is a great performer with the 100-400.

Bring lots of extra batteries. Below freezing greatly reduces their ability to pump electrons. They do recover in warm temperatures.

I've been to six continents and not Antarctica, but that is how I'd approach logistics.



Aug 21, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Monito wrote:
Add a good carbon fibre tripod & ball head.


Cabon fiber doesn't do well in very cold tempertures. It has a tendency to get brittle. I don't know if it will be cold enough for that to be an issue, but it's certainly worth mentioning.

[Monito wrote:
Add the 1.4x TC and consider the 2x TC. The 1.4x is a great performer with the 100-400.


This doesn't echo my experience. Both cameras will refuse to AF with the 1.4x converter on the 100-400mm, and the image quality takes a big hit.



Aug 21, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Just a little note that carbon fiber is great at low temperatures, and one example would be the 787 aircraft that uses lots of carbon fiber in many key structural places, and gets exposed to -50 degree F temperatures while in flight.

There are sometimes problems with the bonding of the tripod legs in to the socket fittings, so you may want to deep freeze your tripod and then see if you can cause the legs to break free at the top. The bonding is sometimes not perfect, and I know of a few issues with both Really Right Stuff and Gitzo, but on average you will have no problem with a carbon fiber tripod in the cold. And, besides weight savings and better damping of vibration, carbon fiber tripods also do not conduct heat as fast, so they do not feel as cold when handling them.



Aug 21, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Don Clary
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


I was there last year, but sorta didn't count, since I was in a huge cruise ship, not a smaller expedition ship. Antarctic law does not allow landing of more than 100 people at a time, so only small ships can do the zodiacs and landings. I call my trip a drive by shooting.

I would recommend taking everything, including the kitchen sink. Once you've loaded gear on board, that's it for the entire trip. You might have weight limitations going from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, so I'd ask your airline about that.

You'd need the wide zoom for icebergs and scenics, and the 70-300L would be extremely useful for wildlife, with its wonderful 4 stop IS. You'll need a dry bag for zodiac landings. Take a face mask, and gloves that will allow open fingers, yet, close over to protect from cold. I got mine from Cabelas.

I'm showing La Boca, since if you don't know its there, you'd miss a good opportunity.

One surprise is the extremely bright light, due snow reflectivity. Most shots were at ISO 100.





Antarctic sunrise







don't disturb our nap!







Magellanic penguin (Ushuaia)







Colorful La Boca district in Buenos Aires




Aug 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM
stanj
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Get some faster lenses. I had

15mm fish
17-40
Sigma 12-24
24-70
24L
70-200/2.8LIS + 1.4x TC (almost never used TC)
300/2.8 (almost never used)

The one lens I wish I had on a separate body was the 28-300. All of this on FF.

Carbon fiber brittleness won't be an issue as you will rarely see temps below -5C.

Have fun, it was the best trip of my life and I will come back!

Edited on Aug 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM · View previous versions



Aug 21, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Don Clary
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


One more





southern fulmar petral




Aug 21, 2012 at 03:55 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


The law only let's 100 people off at a time? Let me ask, who is the governing law there?


Aug 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM
stanj
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Four representative shots from my perspective, leaving BIF out of it since it's not really my cup of tea.



© Stan Jirman 2004

  Canon EOS-1DS    70mm    f/8.0    1/320s    100 ISO    +1.0 EV  





© Stan Jirman 2004

  Canon EOS-1DS    24mm    f/9.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  





© Stan Jirman 2004

  Canon EOS-1DS    24mm    f/8.0    1/800s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  





© Stan Jirman 2004

  Canon EOS-1DS    15mm    f/16.0    1/125s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Aug 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM
 

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Monito
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


RobertLynn wrote:
Let me ask, who is the governing law there?


The Antarctic Treaty System and the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat.



Aug 21, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Don Clary
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


http://wanderingtrader.com/antarctica-travel-tips/

There are a group of nations that follow the Antarctica Treaty that was created in 1959. Essentially, these laws created by the treaty are followed by over 40 nations today. Itís essential to review your Antarctica travel tips for the company you choose to travel with because only 100 people are allowed to land in Antarctica at one place at a time. If you travel with too big of a group you wonít be able to walk on the continent but if you travel with too small of a group then it will get to be prohibitively expensive.



Aug 21, 2012 at 04:22 PM
rimmit
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Bring them all!!

Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime! Drop the 70-300mm and bring the rest. I went in 2008 to the Emperor Penguin rookeries at Snow Hill Island in October and got to see the baby penguins. It was exactly like march of the penguins. Unfortunately, they no longer have that expedition, mainly having Antarctic Peninsula trips and South Georgia Island these days.
Where are you going?

Below is a link to the book I made of our trip. I got into photography specifically for this trip. Never owned anything but a P&S and 3 months before we left I bought a 40D and 28-135mm lens and read some books and started practicing. Upgraded to a 50D and 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/4 right before going, and my father had a 1DMKIII and 20D with 70-200 2.8 IS and 24-105mm as well. We didn't have a wide angle and I regret not having one.

Most people who go on these trips have more glass than you know what to do with, and if need be you can potentially borrow one for a little bit. I don't think I saw hardly anyone with anything less than at minimum a Rebel. Maybe a couple people with P&S but rare. Most with L glass, all the way up to 800mm. Lots of pro photogs trying to get shots for their portfolio to sell. At least on the expedition I was on. Some videographers as well.

Since this trip, I have gone all out as I got addicted to photography afterwards.

Here is the link for the book I made. I was a little rougher back then and my processing wasn't as good as I had only owned a camera for 3 months. I think I did ok though. I put some inspirational quotes in there sporadically as well.

http://www.blurb.com/books/647707

Have a great time and let us know how it goes! I can't wait to go back someday!



Aug 21, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Alek Komarnits
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


I would agree with other posters that the 70-300 is a bit of overlap if you HAD to get rid of something. Having said that, I personally would bring it along because if you have any type of equipment problem, there aren't a lot of camera stores in Antarctica.

Here's my journal about a trip to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands ... I HIGHLY recommend doing the triangle (rather than just down and back) since in many respects, the other two places are more impressive than Antarctica. Picture below is South Georgia with several hundred thousand penguins in a gorgeous scenic setting.






One less person photographer and three more penguins! ;-)




Aug 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
rimmit
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


One thing I forgot to mention that you absolutely need to bring is some dramamine, or zofran, or some other kind of antiemetic, antinausea medicine.

The Drake Passage is rough.... and when I say rough, I'm talking 25 degree plus rocking of the boats.

Our boat, the Kapitan Khlebnikov did not have stabilizers though... I'm not sure if that's because it is an ice breaker vessel or what, but it was rough, and at times I would rather have been at work than on vacation, as it was just awful, and I tolerate boats and motion sickness pretty well at times.



Aug 22, 2012 at 03:57 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


I've never been there but from that bunch, to cut it to two, I'd take the 17-40 and 70-300L (100-400 might mean a lot more switching, at least for how I shoot getting down to 70mm on a tele-zoom is very nice on FF and 41mm-69mm kind is meaningless). Although 17-40 maybe is wider than needed? If it does 24-40mm better than the 24-105 then I would take the 17-40. The 70-300L has better IS than the 100-400 and likely a bit better image quality, much more compact and light too.

Edited on Aug 22, 2012 at 04:08 AM · View previous versions



Aug 22, 2012 at 04:04 AM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Take them all.

Theres overlap with the two zooms but as said easy to break something and then have to live without!

I'm friends with Colin Monteith & he uses 17-40,24-105 & 100-400L



Aug 22, 2012 at 04:05 AM
stanj
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


skibum5 wrote:
I've never been there but from that bunch, to cut it to two, I'd take the 17-40 and 70-300L (100-400 might mean a lot more switching, at least for how I shoot getting down to 70mm on a tele-zoom is very nice on FF and 41mm-69mm kind is meaningless). Although 17-40 maybe is wider than needed? If it does 24-40mm better than the 24-105 then I would take the 17-40. The 70-300L has better IS than the 100-400 and likely a bit better image quality, much more compact and light too.


Goes to show how differently people shoot Of the 676 highlighted photos from the trip in my library, 310 were shot with the 24-70; 154 with the 70-200, 98 with the 70-200+1.4x, 47 with 300, 27 with 24L, and the rest is noise. All of this on full frame.



Aug 22, 2012 at 05:03 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


stanj wrote:
Goes to show how differently people shoot Of the 676 highlighted photos from the trip in my library, 310 were shot with the 24-70; 154 with the 70-200, 98 with the 70-200+1.4x, 47 with 300, 27 with 24L, and the rest is noise. All of this on full frame.



well if I had a 24-70 II then I'd take that and the 70-300L

for now i mostly use a mix of 24L and 70-300L for general stuff



Aug 22, 2012 at 05:26 AM
akriegsfeld
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Anyone Been to Antartica ?


Thanks guys, I really appreciate all of your comments. I will be using the 2 bodies so as not to have to keep changing lenses. The long lens will be on the Canon 7D and the shorter and wide zooms on the 5D mark 3.

I agree with all of you that I should take as much as possible since something could break or stop working. My big question was if the 100-400 would really be needed (except for backup). Most of the photos you guys had on you sites were taken at 300mm or less.

Thanks again!



Aug 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM
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