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Packing the DSLR?

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Packing the DSLR?

Postby rayfound » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:32 am

Alright, so I have always made do with digital point-and-shoots in the backcountry, and been fairly happy, but I keep considering taking mt SLR (XTi) along for the trip.

I'm headed to Horseshoe Meadows for a night(saturday), then we're going to spend 2 nights up in the cottonwoods or S. Fork Basin. Never been to the area, and I am getting a little nervous about crowds... but the permit is booked, so it is what it is.

I'm looking at about 25lbs packed right now including all food, bearcan, 2 fly rods/reels/flyboxes, etc... basically everything but any water I might carry. I'm trying to find some sort of Ultralight rod-tube I could fit 2 rods into... not finding anything yet.

I've got the room in my pack, so I am thinking it might be worth it to bring along the DSLR also, but its a heavy proposition, and I am not sure I'll use it enough (be too busy fishing) to make it worthwhile.

I have the following lenses:
50mm f1.8 prime
Tamron 18-250 f3.5-6.3
and I can borrow a Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5

My p&S wide angle is a 35mm equiv of 35mm, which I have always found to be its weakest link... the wide not being wide enough. Also, the obvious ability to do more creatively with the DSLR is appealing (particularly lower light).

That being said, the P&S fits nicely in a carry-case on my belt, and its always there and ready. Its great for macro and is perfect for pictures while fishing.

If I took the SLR, I am at a loss as to which lenses to take... take the 18-250 lens and just shoot with that the whole time? Is the wide-angle wide enough (28mm equiv), or will I be kicking myself for not borrowing the 10-22 (though borrowing carries the risk of damaging someone else's stuff). is the shallow DOF and low-light performance reason enough to carry around the 50mm?

Or should I just forget it all and take my P&S.

I obsess about these trips for so long before I actually go, its pathetic.



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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:15 am

Hi Rayfound

If you are just taking shots for memories and to share with friend than the p&s
would be fine.
When you need to shot something wide you can take several shots in a portrait not a
landscape angle, and stitch them together in Photoshop or Autopano.
Not only will this give you a wider photo but it will give you higher resolution(mp)
file(photo).
This is assuming that your camera has the ability to shot raw.
Otherwise take the Canon, and the zoom, and for wider shots just stitch, just make
sure that your camera is absolutely parallel with the ground otherwise you will
have problems stitching, a tripod and bubble level works, but you could do hand
held shots and the bubble only.
Also make sure you overlap the shot by at least 1/3 and do not include the foreground.
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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby treadwell » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:30 pm

I think if your concerned about the extra weight of a small dslr and one lens you should probably stick with the point & shoot. I have taken p&s and dslr cameras equipped with 18-55 to 18-200 lenses and I seem to huff and puff about the same.

I notice a difference in my photos so I opt for the dslr. In the Sierras you can never have wiiiiiide enough, so this year it's a 10-24mm.

What ever you decide have a safe and enjoyable trip.
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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby Kapelmuur » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:18 pm

I've been packing my DSLR on mountains climbs lately and although I've gotten some decent pics I have to admit it's a total pain.

The weight is only one issue, bulk is also a factor and also I haven't yet figured out how to pack the DSLR in a way that keeps it out of the way, but without having to bury it into the top-loading pack and thus render it inconvenient to access. I've actually passed on a few shot opportunities just because it was such a pain to take off the pack, undo all the straps, pull the camera out and shoot...and then do all that in reverse.

If image quality is an issue than it is an unavoidable conundrum. If it isn't, then I would 100% bring the point & shoot as it solves all the above problems.

Edit: Forgot to mention we'll likely pass each other on the trail on Monday as I'll be headed up to Langley via Old Army!
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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:35 pm

Hi Kapelmuur

Welcome to HST.
The Lowepro beltpacks are what I have been using for about a decade and
they work fine for me. http://products.lowepro.com/catalog/Beltpacks,7.htm
(I have the Inverse 200 AW)
It allows quick access to my camera.
I have my 1 DS Mark 3, 24-105 attached, 17-40 in the beltpack, plus lens
shades, filters, cleaning gear, extra batteries, and more in it.
My 100-400, and pano gear are in some Lowepro canisters inside my pack, and
I usually do not need them while hiking, but I can get to them quickly if need be.
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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby millertime » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:21 am

I haven't found a beltpack that I was comfortable wearing WITH my backpack also on, maybe ok with a day back but you can't wear your backpack higher or lower, and I wouldnt want to wear a beltpack over my stomach...

I just purchased this http://www.backcountrysolutions.com/ and I really like it. If your backpack doesnt have 1" gear straps running down the should straps (which is what this attaches to) then sew some on it it (thats what I did to my Gregory Baltoro 70). The camera stays plenty secure and hasn't come close to falling out of the hole even when hopping down rocks. its great to have it out in front and accessible and then be able to put it away when I dont want it out.

I've also been using a mrock case to store it in while its in my backpack but I think im going to just resort to wrapping it in clothes or something because it takes up too much space in my backpack even if i fill it with stuff.
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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby riverwalker » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:40 pm

I would think about whether this is a backpacking trip or a photography trip. What I mean is where is your priority? I just got off a week long trip and took about 11lbs of photo gear, including a tripod. I took a Canon 50D, 70-200L F4, 16-35L and carbon fiber tripod. If I didn't bring the tripod I would have most likely just brought a point and shoot. I have gone without a tripod and used rocks and balled up socks and other balancing acts for support, but when the light is changing its nice to be able to move and set up quickly and solidly.

So back to the priority thing, is the weight worth it? I always tell myself half way through the trip...next time just a p&s. I haven't been able to do it yet. I don't get a chance to get out shooting much anymore (my three little boys take most of my free time) so I have a hard time resisting the opportunity. I am glad I took the gear this time as I think I got a few keepers even though I had mostly blue bird days.

So anyway if photography is a major focus, go for it. If not, I would stick with the p&s. Also, I have found fishing and photography don't mix so well. The gettin' gets good at about the same time (hatch and the light).

BTW if the 18-235 is good quality it will be nice for capturing detail and wildlife and I would take it and the 10-22 for the extra wide shots. I'd probably leave out the 50.

Also, I keep my gear in my pack. I use fleece and my extra pair of wool socks for padding. I don't tend to shoot much during the mid day hours of hiking so its not too much of a problem.

Just some thoughts for you. I hope it makes sense. I have started and stopped a few times while getting the kiddos ready for bed and mom ready for a trip. Good luck in obsessing over what to take. I was making changes till the very last minute, so I feel your pain.
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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby rayfound » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:28 am

Well, I've put the DSLR in the pack and we'll see hoe it goes. I'll take just the 18-250 this trip, and considering this isn't a major hike, see how I like it.

riverwalker wrote:I would think about whether this is a backpacking trip or a photography trip.


Ack! Its a fishing trip.

I know what you mean about photography and fishing not working well together, and its something I've found on local southern California day trips... fishing with a DSLR in hand is just cumbersome.

Well, I'll see how I like it.
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Re: Packing the DSLR?

Postby riverwalker » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:30 pm

Don't forget to post some pics and have a great time!
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