Backpacking trip

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mike_brown|16, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. I'm getting ready to head out on a week long hike through the Sierras, Mammoth to Yosemite. I'll be lugging my D800E along with my 24-70 2.8. I'm thinking about renting something a bit wider to go along with it and was looking for some suggestions. Since the D800 and 24-70 already add a significant weight issue, I was considering a prime to keep the weight and space additions to a minimum. I'd appreciate any thoughts you all might have on the topic.
  2. Why would you want to lug any more weight than you've already got? You'll be able to do fine with the 24-70/2.8, I'm sure.
    Trust your photographic vision. 24 on FF is plenty wide.
  3. As primes you have the choice between the Nikon AF 14mm f/2.8D (670 g), the Nikon AF 18mm f/2.8D (376 g), and the Nikon AF 20mm f/2.8D (270 g).
    The 18mm and 20mm have equivalent image quality, the 14mm is a bit softer wide open. As you will shoot landscape all have good sharpness once stopped down. I had all of these at one point, the 20mm during the film era (it was my favorite) and the other two recently. I found the 14mm too heavy for hiking and kept the 18mm.
    I have been planning a Sierra hike in the last couple of months and went another direction. I sold the 18mm and got the Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G (385 g) which receives excellent reviews.
    I decided to keep the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G home and hike with the AF-S 18-35mm, the AF-S 70-200mm f/4G, and the AF-S 50mm f/1.4G. I may also include the AF-S 28mm 1.8G for night photography. I think this kit will provide great flexibility.
  4. The other issue that you could be facing is the unextinguished fire near El Portal...and 120 to Yos is closed.
  5. The 24-70 is too heavy for a long hike, to my taste. Another thought is that 24mm is plenty wide for "normal" outdoor shots, but it is matter of each one`s taste, of course. I`d not take another lens.
    A compact, "travel zoom" is way more comfortable in my experience. Say, a 24-85, 28-105, even a 24-120. But if you want the image quality of the 24-70, that`s fine.
    I find to carry a D800 with a 24-70 uphill during long hours quite uncomfortable, with a 50mm prime or a small consumer zoom is acceptable, but with more than one lens is only for photography based trips.
    Personally, I would prefer a 50/1.4 prime, that`s all. A 35mm end is a bit short to my taste, specially on wide open spaces. I sometimes miss something longer, but reality is that being switching lenses in the field is a pain, so they use to remain unused in the backpack.
  6. Maybe this is the reason some "pros" are switching to mirror less cameras, Sony a7 series, M4/3's, etc.. Sorry if I'm getting off topic. I do some hiking with my D7000 and the lens I use most is my 17-50 focal length, but I also like to pull out my 11-16 quite often.
  7. If you're going to rent, why not a 24/45/85mm PCE lenses, and leave the 24-70 at home? I too am looking hard at one of the new small cameras for this sort of thing. On my trip to the Canadian Rockies next month I'm taking a Leica.
    Kent in SD
  8. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
    I'm a glutton for punishment... While I know the 24-70 will provide most of what I shoot on the trip, I do want to carry something wider to capture the wide vistas the Sierras have to offer. Crossing the higher passes I might regret it, but, like I said, I'm a glutton for punishment.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I look into the three primes you suggested and see what's available. Or maybe even the 18-35, as the weight is essentially the same as the 18 prime and gives me a bit more flexibility.
    Leszek. Yeah, I saw that. We don't leave for another 3 weeks, so hopefully the fires have stopped and the air has cleared.
    Jose, I've toted the 24-70 over a number of passes before, and while it is heavy, I want the image quality. I'll curse my choice going over Donahue pass though I'm sure.
    Kyle, yes, not doubt. Maybe in the future I'll find the money for a whole other set of light weight options, but for now...
    Kent. I've considered PCE lenses, but I don't have any experience with them yet. I am considering renting one for a Grand Canyon rafting trip I have coming up in May. I was going to post something later for ideas on that. I'm in the process of trying to educate myself on using PCE lenses. Any thoughts on websites or things to read?
  9. Another push for wide angles...
    3 years ago I hiked to the top of Mt. Whitney with a D300, a Nikon AF-S 12-24mm f/4, a Nikon AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8, and a tripod. The 17-55 was used on 90% of the shots but the 12-24 came in handy at Trail Crest. I wanted to show the big drops on each sides of the trail and 12mm (DX sensor) was barely enough. I am glad I had the lens with me. Yes, I could have stitched a couple shots to make a panorama from the other lens but was too tired at this point to be creative ;-)
  10. Georges.
    That is exactly what I am talking about. Most of the time during the hike I expect to use the 24-70, but there are times like the one you shot here, that you need the wider vision to really capture the scene.. I did that hike a number of years ago, and the views are phenomenal. Thanks.m
  11. Mike,
    Last year I backpacked with a D800E and the Nikkor 24-120 f/4 lens and was very happy with the results.
  12. Have you heard that the fires in the area has cut visibility to near zero? You might think about some dramatic smoke images.
  13. E.J. On the bright side, it usually makes for some dramatic sunsets. And, if really bad, at least I won't be able to see the length of the climbs I will have to make carrying the 24-70. :)
  14. Reminds me of the year I shot my best images of Death Valley sand dunes.
    There was a huge fire in the Sequoia National Forest west of DV. I woke up in the middle of the night in the tent as the air was very smoky. At sunrise on the Stovepipe Wells dunes the sky was hazy and looked very uninteresting to the eye. But Fuji Velvia made magic out of it. The soft light had a magical effect that I have never seen again there.
  15. E.J., the fire is not really "in the area", but rather 30-50 miles away. It's so far away (and yet so small compared to the monster fires that sometimes happen in the western U.S.) that the most Mike might get is a general haze that robs contrast and clarity from the air while adding a dull brown tint. On the other hand I did get some nice sunsets a few years ago in that kind of situation.
  16. Just came back from Tahoe hiking up to 7 mi. daily with 16-
    35, 55 macro AI, and 70-200 on a D800e. Used the 70-200
    once at the short end. The 16-35 covered everything else
    although I may crop an image where 35mm was not long
    enough. Next day-long hike I'm carrying the 16-35 and 28-
    105 to save weight.

    My PC-E 24 sits at home because it is a heavy lens.
  17. John,
    I did a hike with both my 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8. 4 day trip, 6-7 a day with pretty good elevation changes. Nice to have when we stopped to overnight, but more than I would take now.

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