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Archive 2012 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?
  
 
lighthawk
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


I have just signed up for a backcountry lodge based ski trip to the Selkirk's of southern British Columbia.
We will helicopter in for a week in January. Recharging via solar/gen will be available.
Day touring will be hiking/skinning up for fresh, cold powder skiing with a group of telemark skiers.
We will climb and ski 2000-4000' vert per day.

My question: Which kit would you bring?

I have a Canon 7D and 5D. I figure to bring both bodies, using the 5D for hut based landscape work.
The 7D will be my action camera. My lens choices are: Sigma 12-24 (FF), 35 f2, 17-55 IS, 135 f2, 70-200 f4 IS. I don't want to carry too much weight as I am approx 10 years older than the other skiers. I will be skiing the same descents and will need as light a pack as possible.

I'm thinking the 70-200 f4is may not be fast enough and wonder about renting a 2.8 version. However, the 2.8 weighs about a pound more if I recollect. Otherwise, I would consider trading off the 17-55 (sharp, but bulky/heavy) for the 35mm which is a pretty sweet lens. The Sigma 12-24mm will be only hut based landscapes, but not intended to be carried in my day pack.

Lastly, I have a minor case of Reynaud's (circulation problems with digits). I'm considering battery powered liners or gloves. Even in California, I ski with mittens using chemical heat packs. Any other photographers deal with cold finger problems??



Oct 08, 2012 at 02:40 AM
roberto1979
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


If I were you, I would head over to Teton Gravity Research and ask in the Photo/Video section. You'll get a better answer in a ski specific forum.


Oct 08, 2012 at 03:01 AM
jpeter
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


I backcountry ski 70 plus days in Wyoming. You don't want alot of unneeded weight. I own a 5d2 and 7d, but only bring the 7d out if damp weather is expected.

Don't worry about the needing the 7d for action. 5d will do just fine. I would just go full frame and bring the zooms.

When I camp or want to go light, I have brought a 35 or a 35-70 and been happy.

jp



Oct 08, 2012 at 03:55 AM
lighthawk
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


Thanks roberto. TGR has some great galleries


Oct 08, 2012 at 04:49 PM
smmokan16
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


I'm not sure why you'd bother with the 5D. The 7D kills it with action shots, and it's 95% as good as the 5D for the "hut landscape" shots you mention. It should be more than enough.

My favorite ski "kit" lens is the Canon 15-85mm IS... super fast focus, amazing IQ, and it's nice and light. I see you don't have it, however. It might be worth buying used before your trip, and then selling it afterwards for the same price for a "rent free" lens rental. Personally I would choose that and your 70-200 f/4 IS and be set. If you want to bring the 35mm prime for around the hut, add that in too.



Oct 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
time2clmb
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


As some one that skis over 125 days per year and has taken gear on to glacier based ski mountaineering multi day trips, for the skiing portion I would bring the 17-55 and the 70-200 f4, which is plenty fast enough with the 7d. It's a heli in, so what you take in for gear is irrelevant for shooting around the hut so my comment is strictly in regards to the touring.

Personally I would not want to carry around the 70-200 2.8 version as it feels like a brick in the pack and you have enough to carry. There should be plenty of light for the f4 even on grey bird days. Perhaps more difficult if trying for sunset shots but you'll probably heading for hut beer by then anyways.



Oct 08, 2012 at 06:44 PM
time2clmb
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


...just remember to put your gear in to a baggy of some sort before taking it out of your cold pack into the nice warm lodge.


Oct 08, 2012 at 06:46 PM
artsupreme
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


GoPro2 on your head or chest


Oct 08, 2012 at 08:45 PM
time2clmb
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


Nothing is worse than the saturation of poor quality gopro footage especially on mellow touring type terrain.


Oct 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
artsupreme
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


time2clmb wrote:
Nothing is worse than the saturation of poor quality gopro footage especially on mellow touring type terrain.


I would not call the GoPro2 poor quality...it's much better than the original version. Mine worked great on my heli boarding trips to BC. It always got the shots/video while my heavy gear was not quickly accessible in the backpack. Poor quality? I guess it depends on the camera operator:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUEZCxBcM78&feature=pyv&feature=pyv&ad=8662372819&kw=%2Bgopro



Oct 08, 2012 at 11:01 PM
 

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lighthawk
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


time2clmb wrote:
Personally I would not want to carry around the 70-200 2.8 version as it feels like a brick in the pack


. . . . but you'll probably heading for hut beer by then anyways.

Thanks for sensible response, Climb. I looked at the weight/bulk of the 2.8 and voted for the f4 version a long time ago. The IS upgrade hardly cost an oz. more. Since snow does reflect a lot of light, I'm beginning to be ok with the f4IS version.

I see a lot of great wide/mid zoom style shots. My 17-55 should do fine. I see others are quite fond of the 15-85 zoom. That could be interesting. I get incredible, sharp images from my 17-55, but it does suck dust.

Next up: What pack would you carry? I'm not thrilled with most of my ski packs and haven't found anything better. Anyone ski with a Contrejour?



Oct 09, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


Honestly whenever I go skiing I go as light as possible. A lot of times I leave my DSLR behind unless photography is a priority instead of skiing. I most times take some kind of point and shoot. Making good action images is a lot of work and takes cooperation and sacrifice from the other people skiing too.

Even is photography is a priority I would take the 70-200 f4 over the f2.8 for the weight savings. I would also take a light wide angle zoom for scenics. That would be it. My combo is usually the 70-200 f4L and the 17-40L.



Oct 09, 2012 at 03:19 AM
gonzago
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


I spent a winter season in Nelson and did a lot of hiking for turns. I owned a 5D at the time, but ended up borrowing my mums 550D with the 18-55mm kit lens. It was super light and found the frame rate adequate. I don't ever remember thinking that I wanted a wider lens, but i'd definately recommended taking a telephoto.

Don't bother with the primes either - most action photos tend to happen on the spur of the moment. You might also find that you hold the group up if you are changing lenses (also it might be fairly cold or uncomfortable weather and you probably won't want to be changing lenses too much).

Definately go light - ditto to what Sneakyracer said in regards to making good action images - its hard work and does take sacrifice from other skiers too.

Time2clmb: who said touring terrrain has to be mellow?



Oct 09, 2012 at 01:25 PM
smmokan16
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


artsupreme wrote:
I would not call the GoPro2 poor quality...it's much better than the original version. Mine worked great on my heli boarding trips to BC. It always got the shots/video while my heavy gear was not quickly accessible in the backpack. Poor quality? I guess it depends on the camera operator:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUEZCxBcM78&feature=pyv&feature=pyv&ad=8662372819&kw=%2Bgopro


I'm quite sure he's talking about the quality of the footage itself, not the image quality the GoPro puts out. I agree with T2C though- the last thing the world needs is more crappy POV footage. The market is oversaturated to the point of being unbearable.



Oct 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM
artsupreme
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


smmokan16 wrote:
I'm quite sure he's talking about the quality of the footage itself, not the image quality the GoPro puts out. I agree with T2C though- the last thing the world needs is more crappy POV footage. The market is oversaturated to the point of being unbearable.


I would rather come home with lots of GoPro2 instead of nothing, that's my experience with Heli trips and Cat trips...you won't have time to stop and inconvenience the group while take backpack off, unload, setup shoot, etc...the group will be gone. Maybe your trips are different, maybe it's a shooting trip instead of skiing trip?? To each his own...



Oct 09, 2012 at 05:53 PM
smmokan16
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


If you read the original post, I believe he's skiing backcountry under his own power, not heli or cat-assisted (only the drop-off is by heli). If that's the case, there will be PLENTY of time to shoot still images. Not only will the skiers likely come down one at a time (proper BC protocol), but they're not looking to do 10 laps since they have to climb the peaks themselves.

I stand by my 15-85mm IS and 70-200mm f4 IS combo...



Oct 10, 2012 at 04:33 AM
lighthawk
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


To be clear: We will be hiking/skinning for turns in true BC style. The heli is a short trip in and out, to access the lodge.

I appreciate all the comments. Photography is my priority, and my friends are generally ok with that. I generally try not to lag too much whilst playing with photo gear. Sometimes it's worth it for them to give me first tracks and set up a shot.

But still, some comments do have me thinking, 'why not bring the G10 and have a low gravity day?' I'll be there for a week.

Still, most days I suspect the pack will have the 7D +70-200 and 17-55 to capture the amazing beauty and awesome sport. I might be a tad slower, but I'll come home with keepers that capture the spirit.



Oct 11, 2012 at 03:17 AM
artsupreme
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


Defintely bring the G10. It sounds like you'll have more time to play with the DSLR on your trip but on my trips all we have time/room for are P&S and GoPros. Here's a few shots from a cheap canon P&S.






















Oct 11, 2012 at 04:26 AM
justruss
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


Is adding gear an option?

If so, here are my two choices (I ski in the Austrian Alps mostly):

1. 5D + 70-200 f/4 IS + 17-40 F4L (or comparable lens).

The 5D is plenty for these relatively easy to photograph situations (high contrast skier over white/blue). The two lenses are plenty fast-- you'll be stopped down and still get plenty of SS. You want to minimize gear, and a zoom that covers a nice range is perfect. Hell, if you're not doing video, or you don't need a few very specific shots... drop the tele, and just got 5D + 17-40L. That gives you subject + context.

2. Invest in a small mirrorless body, either m43 or NEX (unless you have time and $$ for Fuji XE-1 w/ kit lens), and a nice range, small zoom lens.

(3. If photography wasn't your primary goal, I'd say grab a Sony RX100 and forget about the rest; skiing, specially in the BC, is WAY more fulfilling than shooting... to some of us.)

Weight is a major issue if you're earning your turns. I mean, go over to TGR and see comparisons of individual ski weights, binding weights, etc.

Re the fingers: Use big, goretex mittens and get some kind of light glove underneath that allows you to use a camera (I use either light gloves, or a second pair of mittens underneath that let you open a hood to get your fingers out.)

Last, and most importantly: What is your bag situation?

If you're really going into the BC, you're probably carrying Avy gear-- shovel, transceiver, probe, at minimum-- that needs to be accessible. If you're skiing in anything above 25 degrees (edit: in incline, not temperature), you really should have this stuff (I would assume the tour leader or your companions would require it). The shovel takes up plenty of space. Cameras do too. And are a pain to access, particularly with larger cameras or multiple lenses. How you bag all this stuff, make it accessible, and how much weight it is should be a primary concern.

Happy Turns!













Edited on Oct 11, 2012 at 03:16 PM · View previous versions



Oct 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM
jpeter
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Lens kit for BC Ski trip?


lighthawk wrote:
Photography is my priority.


When I am out in the beauty of the wilderness, I look at it as an opportunity for amazing landscapes that are once in a lifetime. Given that, Full frame is my choice. There is a quality difference between the 7D and 5d2. I would bring a tripod as well. You won't likely ski tour with it much, but for early morning and evening shots near the hut. Those low light shots may end up being very special.

I use the 7d for wildlife shots, and am happy with it. If I use it for landscapes, I always have been a little disappointed.

JP



Oct 11, 2012 at 03:08 PM
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