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MarkP

Help please! Planing for Antarctica 2020

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So we're off to Antarctica at the beginning of March¬†ūüėĀ¬†Not long now.
I have an ample M-system but methinks it should stay at home.

Seems like the place for my SL.
So my plan has been to take my SL and 24-90SL as core kit. If so...
I think I MUST have a second (fully compatible) camera body and lenses (rather than a backup M system).

Camera Options:
        1.  buy another SL body (probably used)
        2.  buy a Panasonic S1R (cheaper than SL2, different UI/batteries, etc)
        3.  wait for an SL2 if it is released and I can get one in time (compatible UI, more expensive than S1R,  ?battery compatibility)
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ...but if I get a 47MP camera my OCD personality will have me up all night deciding which lens goes on which body¬†ūüôĄ

Lens Options: 
          I'm more interested in landscape/seascape than wildlife but this is no ordinary environment.
         1.  Standard - 24-90 SL (already owned)
         2.  Super-Wide   i. 15mmCV vIII  (already owned)
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†ii. 16-35 SL (probably the best option¬†ūüôā)
                                     iii. 1.8/14 Sigma L
          3.  Telephoto - not usually my thing. The longest lens I have is a 3.4/135 APO-Telyt (could always crop used on a 47MP camera body).
                                     Do I need a longer L mount lens regardless?

OR


Do I dump all my SL system and get two Fuji GFX50s and lenses (I do at times print large enough to justify MF but have had very pleasing results from SL images printed up to 1m length)?

I know there's no right or wrong but would greatly appreciate other's opinions.

 

 

 

Edited by MarkP

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It is a personal decision. If I were you, I'd bring the SL with the zooms, an M to L adaptor and an M camera with a wide lens + a 50mm. The M camera could be used to record life aboard the ship. If you are not doing long lenses, for me there would not be other advantages of SL over M.

 

If you want to buy/try more cameras/lenses, then for a trip like that, I would just go and do it. You can sell them when you return.

 

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Two SL’s is very heavy. But I agree with Dan that I would not economise on gear. Maybe it’s different for an Australian, but for me it would be a once in a lifetime trip.

I was in Patagonia with my son in March and we took almost all we had and I bought a Mamiya 7ii with it. I have sold it again for the same price, am very happy with the results, but don’t need it the coming years. Never regretted the weight we had to carry, with tripod. SL with the APO-Telyt 280/4.0 for instance, M9, MM1, etc. I would never leave my 135mm at home if that was my longest lens. Imagine the distances there and the special forms of icebergs. I don’t think I’d be satisfied with 35 as the longest lens; I can’t imagine. But that’s me.
And I can certainly understand the wish for MF. I’m more pleased with my Mamiya photo’s than with the other FF results.

Edited by otto.f

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Thanks Dan,

'I'd bring the SL with the zooms'
Hence my concern not having a second L mount camera, especially if one fails.

'an M to L adaptor and an M camera with a wide lens + a 50mm. The M camera could be used to record life aboard the ship.' 
I often take an M-L adapter and M10 along with the SL and use M lenses on both bodies. Maybe an M10, OVF with 15mm CV would cover U-WA in addition to the SL+24-90SL.
I agree about a lighter camera for about the ship - I had planned on a fast 28 or 35mm M lens on the SL for that.

'If you are not doing long lenses, for me there would not be other advantages of SL over M'
...but the EVF does allow for more accurate framing of WA, and the zooms let me avoid lens changes, and maybe I do need to consider a longer lens even for landscapes?

Regards,
Mark

Edited by MarkP

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4 minutes ago, otto.f said:

Two SL’s is very heavy. But I agree with Dan that I would not economise on gear. Maybe it’s different for an Australian, but for me it would be a once in a lifetime trip.

I was in Patagonia with my son in March and we took almost all we had and I bought a Mamiya 7ii with it. I have sold it again for the same price, am very happy with the results, but don’t need it the coming years. Never regretted the weight we had to carry, with tripod. SL with the APO-Telyt 280/4.0 for instance, M9, MM1, etc. I would never leave my 135mm at home if that was my longest lens. Imagine the distances there and the special forms of icebergs. I don’t think I’d be satisfied with 35 as the longest lens; I can’t imagine. But that’s me.
And I can certainly understand the wish for MF. I’m more pleased with my Mamiya photo’s than with the other FF results.

Thanks Otto,


even for an Australian this is also a once in a lifetime trip.

I recall your post elsewhere about that¬†Patagoina trip with your son. We had planed on also doing Patagonia straight after Antarctica and had¬†a full itinerary ready to go, but we would have been away from¬†work (and an income stream) for too long so Patagonia is deferred till¬†2021 ūüôā. ¬†Your comments on the Mamiya actually sparked my interest again¬†in that¬†camera (I've been using a Plaubel Makina 670 recently)¬†- it certainly has kept up it's price premium for good reason. ¬†However, I'm not sure I want to go back to film for such a trip.

I don't need to economise too much on gear. I can take what I want and we're not doing extensive traveling afterwards where I'll have to lug around kilos of stuff (just 4 days around Ushuaia and then home). But I would like to have an integrated system.  Any other trip, including Patagonia, I'd be less fussed about an SL and M10 combo.

ps: I too have not replaced my Monochrom v1

 

Regards,

Mark

 

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11 minutes ago, MarkP said:

However, I'm not sure I want to go back to film for such a trip

I can see that, March is winter coming on there. And I have reinstalled my darkroom the last two years, in slow culture, so I was ready for wet printing.

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Seven years ago I went with my D2 and a V-Lux, which served me well and were nit very heavy noir bulky.  

March is pretty late to go there.

BTW:  You can rent heavy, insulated boots which the firm in Ushaia will have waiting for you on your shop, and they'll pick them up when you return.  Get a prescription for Trans Derm Scop.  the Drake Passage can be the roughest sea on earth, though you might lookout and have it flat.

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The SL2 reportedly will have a different UI than the SL, more akin to the Q or CL. But with IBIS.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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On 10/20/2019 at 6:49 PM, MarkP said:

So we're off to Antarctica at the beginning of March¬†ūüėĀ¬†Not long now

~~~~~~

I know there's no right or wrong but would greatly appreciate other's opinions.

 

 

 

have a look at these links in case you haven't seen them already

 

http://www.antarctica.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/70919/WEB_Photography.pdf

https://discover.silversea.com/destinations/antarctica/photography-pack-list-/

 

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Now that I see these sites: don’t forget uv-filters! I forgot that and many of my shots of Patagonia are way too blue and hard to postprocess in that sense

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Personally Mark I would take:-

A Digital M (the M9 would be my choice but any digital M) and a film M (MP or M6) with  the 15mm CV - 24mm - 35mm  - 135mm   Leica lenses.

I would carry both cameras around my neck with the film M on a short strap and Digital on a long strap so that one was above the other. I would put the 15mm on the film M loaded with colour slide film and 35mm on the digital M with the 24 and 135 in each jacket pocket with no camera bag.

That way you can move about as one self contained unit without having to worry about a camera bag and have the versatility of going from superwide to medium telephoto. The 15mm on the film M can be swapped for any of the other lenses and you have the backup of a camera that doesn't rely on battery power for anything other than the exp meter - I would carry plenty of button cells for the exp meters and at least 4 spare batteries and charger for the digital M. 

I know that you are thinking in terms of taking the SL so probably this setup won't be of interest to you but for me this is what I would recommend!

Whatever you decide, test everything before you go - sods law is very much alive and kicking,

Regards Paul Mac

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It's a trip of a lifetime. Don't let it pass by spending all your time looking through a viewfinder. Go light and simple. Mechanical film camera and 28/50 with a 35 as a one lens option. If you take a digital M, keep the batteries in your pocket and insert just prior to shooting. 

In fact, I would consider a CL for such a trip, and compare it to the M option.

Pete

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3 hours ago, Stealth3kpl said:

Don't let it pass by spending all your time looking through a viewfinder.

My experience is exactly the opposite, but I was on a hike through Patagonia and I could stop where I wanted. At Antarctica this might be completely different. But on my hike, the fact that I had all my very good gear with me, made the experience of the landscape rather more intense than less. 

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On 10/22/2019 at 11:27 PM, Ivanpedersen said:

The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean and contains the Weddell Gyre. Its land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula. If you have much time I suggest you to go here definitely it is very beautiful place in Antarctica 

Thanks. Fortunately our trip takes us into the Weddell Sea ūüôā

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Thanks all for the advice, it is food for thought and much  appreciated.

 

Regarding¬†looking with my eyes rather than having a camera between them and the scenery:¬†I completely agree. I am going with my wife -¬†or rather she's coming along with me and the camerasūüėȬ†so I definitely need to engage with my surroundings. ¬†However, like Otto that¬†I tend to examine my surroundings more intensely when I have my camera with me.¬†

Regarding film: I love film - some of my favourite and framed photographs even as of late were shot on film.  If I had a Mamiya 7 and was experienced using it I would consider taking it as did Otto in Patagonia. I have an M7 (and film CL) and love using them. However 35mm does not have the IQ for what I want to get out of these landscapes/seascapes.  I have regular access to a friend's Plaubel-Makina 670 but I would not risk taking it overseas (not would I even ask him), would not risk it in bad weather, (I'd also be concerned about the bellows becoming brittle and cracking is exrtreme cold), and it has a fixed 90mm lens.  I do not want to have to open up a camera back to change film in bright snow/glare, bad weather, or worry about the gear getting drenched in salt spray or worse (this is a different environment to land where one only has to deal with rain).  Nor do I want to fight possible security scanner battles to protect my film.  

Regarding M digital cameras:  Pete & Paul, 28 & 50 are my go-to focal lengths for almost everything on my M cameras.  Almost anywhere else and that would probably do me for >80% of my photographs.  I would like to get away just with my M10 and Monochrom v1 or M7, and a few M primes.  I do often take the M10 and M7/MM1 with a few M lenses including for travel, but not for more 'hostile' environments now that I have (a weathersealed) SL and 24-90.

Having said all that, maybe I'll throw in my Contax T3 or CL/40mm Summicron and half a dozen rolls Ektar¬†100 to use from¬†the ship¬†ūüôĄ¬†.
Other than that I would not take both substantial film and digital systems.

 

Coming back to L mount cameras:  Photographing from the ship it is not an issue what I have with me regarding weight.  In the small boats, or on the ice, I suspect I may just take one camera body and lens (or perhaps another in a pack), or one camera crossed over each shoulder (and dry bags if it's really bad).  If they get wet they can be wiped down and used, then rinsed off with fresh water later on as they are reasonably weatherproof. I'll probably throw in a fast 28 or 35 M prime for more casual photography around the ship.

 

Mark ūüôā

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5 hours ago, MarkP said:

maybe I'll throw in my Contax T3 or CL/40mm Summicron

Well, no. That would be a mere burden. I think you‚Äôre pretty set with the SL, 24-90 and some M lenses on it. Reasonably concise and the 135mm instead of your film CL¬†ūüė謆Especially while it‚Äôs the newest, APO-Telyt 3.4, you‚Äôll be able to convey the crispiness of ice and snow and the beard of the boatsman.¬†

Edited by otto.f

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I'have been there twice in 2017 and  2018.

first time I careed Nikon D4 with  f/2,8 70-200mm,  f/2,8 300mm +TC 1,4, and  f2,8 17-35mm   and Leica  M10 with  summilux 50.

second time  I took Nikon Z6 with   f/2,8 70-200mm+TC 1,4  and  Leica M10 with SEM 21  and summilux 50.

Tripod, filters (polarizing++ IMO).

second time as we flew  over Drake passage we were restricted in weight, (15 kg max included hand luggage, the over weight had to be left at the hotel ).

Must have a waterproof back pack: boarding/disboarding the Zodiac the bag is better on your back instead having it in hand and waterproof because the Zodiac is often wet, it may rain during the cruises, and sea water may splash .

You will land everyday twice (morning and afternoon) and walk with your gear on uneven and slippery ground. Some excursions are few miles long !

Long lenses are more for photos from the boat (whales, seals,pinguins), WA and medium for  landscapes and natural life as all animals can be approached, BUT better have also the long during the Zodiac cruises as whales are often  seen .

Weather is more than bearable. we never were cold. If not good enough/ insecure the organization cancels the trip. 

A parka (red or yellow ūüėéaccording to the TO )and warm boots should be provided on the boat, so you won't need to buy it.

 

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