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Archive 2012 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring
  
 
lighthawk
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


I wonder what other outdoor photographers are using when out on skis?
I'm headed for ski week at a backcountry hut in Canada, with a group of twelve skiers.

I'm committed to carrying my 7D, or sometimes the 5D for landscape. I also intend to shoot action,
with other skiers in my group. I've been told the 70-200 2.8 is the go-to lens, but it's too big & heavy IMHO, so I've had both versions of the f4, with excellent results. It's long, but lays against the body and can be toured with. After a while, it's too big of a lens to have dangle off your body.

I like the smaller form factor of the 135 when hiking or skiing, but miss the zoom and reach of the 70-200/4 is.
I've certainly carried both with only the support of an OpTek strap. I have not tried the Cotton Carrier system. Anyone have experience with CC Strapshot ?

My goal here is to trim down my ski package as light as I can. Right now I'm planning a 7D with 35 f2 for walkabout, and either the 135 or 70-200. I also may borrow a Canon 10-22 which I have before to get a better wide than the 35 will deliver on the 7D.

I'll be hut based for a week, so can have other back up bodies and lenses to choose from, so I may bring it all and sort it out there!

Edited on Nov 18, 2012 at 08:08 AM · View previous versions



Nov 18, 2012 at 07:59 AM
lighthawk
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Here's an example with the 70-200



Nov 18, 2012 at 08:03 AM
Ralph Conway
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Take all with you.
Repaint the 70-200. You will better see it, when lost in the snow.

R.



Nov 18, 2012 at 08:33 AM
dmahar
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


I have no trouble with my 5d iii and either 70-200 ii or 70-300L on a Cotton Carrier Strapshot when hiking or skiing

Cheers

Doug



Nov 18, 2012 at 08:34 AM
splathrop
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Did photojournalism for years in Ketchum, ID. Skiing action is relatively easy to position for, so great reach is not a priority. Let the action come to you. Story-telling pictures are a priority. And there is no shortage of light! So take the 5D, the 70-200 f/4, and some prime at least as wide as a 24mm to put skiers in the landscape. My choice would be the Zeiss 21mm, or save weight and bulk with a Canon 24mm. If there is great scenery where you are headed, a photo fanatic might even take along the 24mm TS-E. You can shoot it hand-held and still get most of the benefit of shifts without difficulty.


Nov 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Xavier Rival
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Ralph Conway wrote:
Take all with you.
Repaint the 70-200. You will better see it, when lost in the snow.
R.


One day, I did lose my 17-40L in the snow (only time I did this to a lens!) as it fell out of my pocket... Ten minutes later, I came back on my steps and easily found it (the time in between was not so good though)... I wonder how this would have ended if it had been white...



Nov 18, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Lance_K
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Lighthawk I own the 70-200 f2.8 IS and that is a beast to skin with all day at elevation. I too have done hut tours in BC (Sorcerer, Fairy Meadows) and in the past rented the 70-200 f4 non IS and it was fantastic. So light weight.

I also left my 16-35 2.8 behind and rented the 17-40 f4 for weight.

http://www.ionimagery.com/2012/Sorcerer/content/images/large/_MG_1041.jpg


http://www.ionimagery.com/2012/Sorcerer/content/images/large/DB9C9106.jpg


http://www.ionimagery.com/2012/Sorcerer/content/images/large/_MG_9266.jpg


http://www.ionimagery.com/2012/Sorcerer/content/images/large/_MG_1464.jpg


http://www.ionimagery.com/2012/Sorcerer/content/images/large/DB9C9187.jpg



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:34 PM
lighthawk
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Lance_K wrote:



I also left my 16-35 2.8 behind and rented the 17-40 f4 for weight.



http://www.ionimagery.com/2012/Sorcerer/content/images/large/DB9C9187.jpg


Fantastic shots, Lance. I've been a reader of Powder Magazine for decades, largely for the photography. Your shots would fit right in.

I've owned the 17-40, but sold it when I got the 17-55, which has been an excellent lens. Now I regret selling the 17-40, since it would work for both bodies, crop & FF.

One other poster recommended a wide prime, which makes good sense as well. I've used the 24 and it was a decent lens, small & lightweight. The 35 f2 has given me spectacular results, but is a bit long on the crop body. I may try to pick up a used 17-40 or rent one for this trip.

And there was one vote for the Cotton Carrier system, which I've eying.

This is what's great about a big trip, for me anyway. The sifting and selection of gear in anticipation of the actual event.

Seems like more folks would prefer the reach & flexibility of the 70-200 4 over the 135, which was my first question. I think that could work, but then I would want to add a CC on my pack.

Any other comments out there?



Nov 18, 2012 at 05:04 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


I have both lenses, do a lot of back-country shooting while backpacking, used to ski-tour and winter camp... but not recently.

I've thought of the same question a few times when I've considered an ostensibly "smaller" prime based kit for the back-country, they I've always come back to zooms for this kind of shooting. Especially where these two lenses are involved, I think that the advantages of the prime just aren't going to amount to that much, and the disadvantages will be more significant.

The zoom is certainly longer and (I believe) heavier. But neither is exactly a small lens. Despite the fact that every ounce counts if you are spending a week (especially in winter!) in the backcountry, that doesn't mean lighter is always best - it means that the weight differences need to be weighed very carefully against the gain that you expect from the extra weight.

The larger aperture of the prime isn't likely to be of that much value to you. It could be in a few unusual situations where the IS of the zoom isn't as useful - I'm imagining some sort of action shot in low, cloudy or otherwise marginal light where IS might not be helpful. But, frankly, in most cases with the subjects you'll likely be shooting in those conditions, the IS feature will more than compensate for the aperture difference in terms of low-light capability. And while I can't rule out the possibility that you might like the small DOF of f/2 on occasion, these situations are likely to be quite rare and f/4 creates pretty decent OOF at longer focal lengths anyway.

In optical terms, the 135mm f/2 is a really fine piece of glass. But the 70-200 is also capable or really, really excellent results. In almost all cases I work very carefully from the tripod, and I've found that image sharpness is basically not a concern at all with this zoom, and whatever sharpness advantage there might be when shooting this way with the prime is essentially irrelevant in that it won't be visible in even really big prints. In fact, I think most people would be hard pressed to notice it even at 100% magnification on the screen in almost all situations.

The main issue photographically is that of versatility, and this is why I keep coming back to using a smaller set of zooms for most back-country shooting. I want to be able to cover a wide range of shooting situations and with zooms I can do this, often without having to changes lenses nearly as often.

Dan


lighthawk wrote:
I wonder what other outdoor photographers are using when out on skis?
I'm headed for ski week at a backcountry hut in Canada, with a group of twelve skiers.

I'm committed to carrying my 7D, or sometimes the 5D for landscape. I also intend to shoot action,
with other skiers in my group. I've been told the 70-200 2.8 is the go-to lens, but it's too big & heavy IMHO, so I've had both versions of the f4, with excellent results. It's long, but lays against the body and can be toured with. After a while, it's too big of a lens to
...Show more



Nov 18, 2012 at 05:24 PM
 

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lighthawk
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


gdanmitchell wrote:
The main issue photographically is that of versatility, and this is why I keep coming back to using a smaller set of zooms for most back-country shooting. I want to be able to cover a wide range of shooting situations and with zooms I can do this, often without having to changes lenses nearly as often.

Dan



Thanks for your thoughts, Dan. I agree the larger aperture isn't really going to be that useful.
I've had great results from the 70-200, shooting ski races at the resort and some BC skiing.


5D, 200mm, f4

Looks like I'll bring the big (well, one of the lightest) white lens. Maybe I'll put a band of red tape around it's midsection, so it's easy to spot.



Nov 19, 2012 at 03:59 AM
clarkia
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


70-200. then borrow that 10-22. with a crop, that's all you'll need. in winter touring, you can't zoom with your skis on with a prime, so the flexibility of the zoom is key. and you'll want wide to capture the context.

in the backcounty in the snow, the f/4 70-200 comes with me all the time. in the summer, yes, the 135 is awesome, but far too limiting in the snow.

the 2.8 70-200 is too heavy for taking photos AND skiing. falling on a large piece of glass next to your spine is not fun...



Nov 19, 2012 at 07:41 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Personally looking at the op's profile (assuming its current) I'd take the 7D 70-200/4 & 17-55is , and leave the 5D at home
The profile also lists a 12-24 . I'd throw that in the bag as well , if its not with you anymore than I'd borrow the 10-22 or other UWA



Nov 19, 2012 at 09:31 AM
lighthawk
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
Personally looking at the op's profile (assuming its current) I'd take the 7D 70-200/4 & 17-55is , and leave the 5D at home
The profile also lists a 12-24 . I'd throw that in the bag as well , if its not with you anymore than I'd borrow the 10-22 or other UWA


Thanks Dobby. Profile appears accurate, I still own the solid 12-24, but am working on my son

to find his 10-22 which has worked well on the 7D. It's lightweight, and quite sharp.


Canon 7D 10mm f5.6 iso 200


I've used the heck out the 17-55, and find it a bit heavy for hiking/skiing. It also doesn't handle harsh environments very well. I had to have it serviced twice after hiking in Escalante, UT.

Other lightweight mid-zooms that arerecommended include the 17-40, which I was my walkaround lense when I used a 20D. It has a decent amount of distortion on the wide side, but also great colour in a study, sealed package. I'm tempted to rent it, which is $58 bucks or so.

I've also recently tripped upon the Canon 20-35 3.5-4.5 (not be confused with the L 2.8). At only 12 oz, this lense appears to be a pro-sumer grade, similar to the 24-85, which I have also used skiing/hiking. I can pick up a 20-35 for $200, which might be worth buying & trying. Anyone else have a fondness for this lense?

"in the backcounty in the snow, the f/4 70-200 comes with me all the time. in the summer, yes, the 135 is awesome, but far too limiting in the snow."
~another vote for the 70-200, thanks clarkia




Nov 21, 2012 at 07:52 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Id rather have an 18-55 IS than a 35 in general. Found myself at wide to normal fl last year while lift served downhill skiing. 10-22 a must. 55-250?


Nov 23, 2012 at 04:59 PM
dbr1
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


I do take a 70-200 2.8 IS Mk1 ski touring and will say that to me the results are worth carrying its weight and bulk around.

I have sometimes used a Tamron 28-300 VC lens for ski photos because it is smaller, and less precious to me (I worry that I will break my gear or soak it in snowmelt). Unfortunately, the photo quality of the Tamron superzoom really suffers compared to the Canon.

I am sure the Canon L primes will be fantastic too, but I will testify that the 70-200 is worth lugging up the mountain.
http://david-r.smugmug.com/Other/Ski/i-hxFRT99/0/L/_MG_1265-Edit-L.jpg



Nov 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


The 70-200 f4 is a good lens to take, light and really good quality. I think it is the right choice over the 70-200 f2.8 for weight and size. And the zoom is better than the 135 because sometimes your distance will be wrong.

The 17-40 is also good (light and good quality). The 17-55 is heavier and bulkier and the 10-22 will be too wide sometimes.

I think you have the right choices.

Scott



Dec 01, 2012 at 07:07 PM
lighthawk
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 135 or 70-200 f4 for ski touring


Scott Stoness wrote:
The 70-200 f4 is a good lens to take, light and really good quality.

The 17-40 is also good (light and good quality). The 17-55 is heavier and bulkier and the 10-22 will be too wide sometimes.

Scott


I'm convinced the 70-200 f4 is going to come. I agree the 17-55 is heavy & bulky, so I picked up a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non-stabilized from another FM'er. It weighs 7 oz less and has a good reputation for sharpness. I'm not sure if the focus is fast enough, but will give it a try out.

I'm still working on my son to 'find' his 10-20mm so I can have UWA for scenics. I've used it before and it was small, light and sharp.

I still think I'll tuck my 35 f2 into my bag, and each day I'll decide which two lenses to carry during my ski.
The 35 will also be useful for inside the hut and other low light situations. I'm not convinced I'll want a flash, and I'm seriously debating whether to bring a tripod. Total gear/clothes weight limits of 65# per person will be enforced.



Dec 03, 2012 at 05:42 PM





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