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Old Jun 13, 2005, 7:56 AM   #1
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Will be visiting Nepal for the first time in July (really excited!). Am told its monsoon season though. Anyway, am gearing up for this exciting trip and would appreciate your help on the following specific topics.

1. Lenses ( on a Nikon D100 ) - got a 24-120VR ; which other lens is best for the area ? should i need a wider one or a longer one? both? Sigma vs Nikon? We wont be doing serious trekking just basic panoramic / mountain views.

2. Memory storage - will be out for 10 days only but dont intend to bring along a computer. whats the best option ? iPod + photo (60 gig) cost around $ 500 locally. is this good value for the purpose?

3. Camera bag ( d100+battery pack)- Lowepro Toploader or Micro Trekker Backpack? whats your experience ?

4. other gear i should bring along?

Here's hoping to get great help ( as usual!) from all of you.

Many thanks!

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Old Jun 13, 2005, 4:26 PM   #2
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How will you be traveling? Foot? Jeep-like-thing? Bus? This effects your weight & your hand-hold ability.

What will you shoot? Only scenic? No wild animals? What about people? This will effect your lens choice (and the spontonatity (spelled wrong?) of your shots.

Will you have access to power? How often? you will have to recharge everything (flash, if you bring it, camera & storage batteries.) Most image-storage systems (imagetank and similar) only get about 5G worth of transfer before they run out of power. I don't know about the ipod. Figure out how many pictures that is for you, and then guess if that is enough or if you need more batteries (or have access to power.)

If you're going to shoot landscapes, that lens might be enough, but I doubt it. You really need something really wide, like 17mm or so at a minimum. Now, if you're going to stitch images together that gives you more flexability (bit its not easy, so practice it and you need the time to take all those shots. Will others be badgering you to leave?)

If you are going to do people, that less will probably be good. Wild animals will require more reach (obviously.)

I would bring at least 1 extra battery. The D100's battery life is good, but I'd hate to be wrong.

I love Lowepro backs. But bags are a personal thing. The question should be what can carry all your gear and your supplies for how every long it needs to. That means food, water, medical, cloths, whatever. And your camera gear. This is effected by how you're traveling.

More info is needed, then we can try to help more!

Eric
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 6:04 PM   #3
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On point 1: the 24 - 120 lens is great (I own the non vr one), but you will find that the 36 mm equivalent focal length is nothing short of a pain when you need a wider angle, which will happen all the time where you are going. Do yourself a big favour and get a 18 or 17 mm to whatever zoom lens (dx is great, but cant use with film, incase you are bringing such a beast along). Look for a 12 - 24 range, it will jive nicely with current.

Need to go, will post more later.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 8:49 PM   #4
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many thanks guys for the quick replies. most impressed!

1. On travelling - i think its going to be a ggod mix of types of transport including planes ( quick buzz around the himalayas range) .
2. we wont be in a tour group so we should have a bit of time to capture various photo types - mountain ranges, valleys, temples and people. how many lenses would you bring for these trips?
yup , the 24-120vr aint wide enough . is the sigma wide lens up to the challenge? which one do you reco?
3. am really looking at the 70-200 2.8 as well. question is , if i can only get 1 extra lens , which is the better choice overall?
4. i think we will have access to power as we are staying clode to town. toss between an epson2000 or an ipod60g ( im on the mac system incidentally ) ?
5. i do love the lowepro backpack as well. problem is if i use one, i dont have an extra back for the main back pack. any experience with toploaders for trips like these?

again many thanks!!!!!

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Old Jun 13, 2005, 11:26 PM   #5
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1 - It is my understanding that you want wider angle more than telephoto when shooting from a plain. A combination of motion sickness (even from those who don't normally get it) and loosing track of what you're trying to shoot (with you and the plane moving.)

1.5 - weight is the big issue. If you are going to take pictures on foot (it sounds like you are), I would suggest at least a mono-pod if not a tripod. Obviously the mono-pod is easier 'cause it's smaller and lighter, but it isn't as good as a tripod. VR is nice, but real support is better.

2 - I would try to reduce it to as few as possible. That leaves more room for other things (food/water being high priorities.) Something seriously wide angle, I have the 17-40 f4 L and its an amazing lens, but I'm not sure that is wide enough for mountains and temples. I use it as a fall landscape lens (foliage not mountains.) Sigma makes some in the 12-15mm range (not that zoom, but something in that area as the starting point of a zoom.) I don't know how good they are, but really wide angle wide angle is not easy to find. I'd check out some review sites.

3 - The 70-200VR is an amazing lens from all I've heard. A little big, but not uncomfortably so. That would be a good reasonably close wild animal lens, it sounds like that isn't your focus. It sounds to me like you need something wide angle more than more zoom. Unfortunately Nikon doesn't seem to make an f4 version of that lens (without the VR) which would be cheaper and maybe fit your price range (with a wide angle to boot.) Since you asked the 1-lens question it sound like you need one of the wide angles.

4 - Since I'm not on a mac, I'd go with the Epson. I don't know how well the ipod works for image storage, I just know you can do it. Make sure you take the power issue into account. Extra batteries (and always charge them whenever you can!) are a must.

5 - My dad has the LowePro Orion and likes it. I have the biggest toploader there is and its nice for what it does (I carry the 100-400 in it) it has basically no space for anything else. So you wouldn't have easy access to the other lenses (if they were in a separate backpack with other gear & food.)

Eric
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Old Jun 14, 2005, 8:49 PM   #6
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check out this website:

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/18200_diII.asp

Tamron's 18 - 200 mm digital only lens!

Epson storage unit more versatile than ipod because made for digital. You can hook up to a tv and playback and much more. Here is websit:

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/c...p;oid=56095892

have fun

www.ericspix.com


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Old Jun 16, 2005, 7:31 PM   #7
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eric s wrote:
Quote:
How will you be traveling? Foot? Jeep-like-thing? Bus? This effects your weight & your hand-hold ability.

What will you shoot? Only scenic? No wild animals? What about people? This will effect your lens choice (and the spontonatity (spelled wrong?) of your shots.

Will you have access to power? How often? you will have to recharge everything (flash, if you bring it, camera & storage batteries.) Most image-storage systems (imagetank and similar) only get about 5G worth of transfer before they run out of power. I don't know about the ipod. Figure out how many pictures that is for you, and then guess if that is enough or if you need more batteries (or have access to power.)

If you're going to shoot landscapes, that lens might be enough, but I doubt it. You really need something really wide, like 17mm or so at a minimum. Now, if you're going to stitch images together that gives you more flexability (bit its not easy, so practice it and you need the time to take all those shots. Will others be badgering you to leave?)

If you are going to do people, that less will probably be good. Wild animals will require more reach (obviously.)

I would bring at least 1 extra battery. The D100's battery life is good, but I'd hate to be wrong.

I love Lowepro backs. But bags are a personal thing. The question should be what can carry all your gear and your supplies for how every long it needs to. That means food, water, medical, cloths, whatever. And your camera gear. This is effected by how you're traveling.

More info is needed, then we can try to help more!

Eric

Man, I am originally from Nepal! It always makes me happy when I hear that somebody is going to Nepal!
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Old Jun 19, 2005, 9:30 PM   #8
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I'm dead jealous!
I went in 2001 and am desperate to go back.
I only had a crappy film p and s back then and it just didn't cut it (and nor did the wally holding it).

I'd definately take a tripod.
The best light for mountain shots is always in the early morning or evening.You'll need to stop your lense down a bit to get a good depth of field and will want your lowest iso setting to get as much detail as possible so you're going to have long exposure times.
A polarising filter if you want to shoot in the middle of the day.
A fast wide angle lens for interiors. Nepal is full of little temples and if you're on the trail the lodges and local houses are all interesting too. Not to mention the people in them! None of these places are well lit and flash would just look wrong. This would be a good landscape lens too.
If weight's not a problem I'd take a longer lens. The Nepalese are fairly shy and don't always appreciate foreigners shoving cameras in their faces and there are always lots of good telephoto shots in mountain scenery.
If you go to the wild life parks in the south of Nepal you'll want a long lens there aswell.
I'm hoping to go back in a year or so with a 350xt and hopefully will take my flimsy tripod, a Canon 17-85 IS, a 70-200f4, a 50f1.8 (it's so light) and a yet-to-be-decided wide lens. I go hiking and carry my own gear though so this lot really hits the weight limit. I'd take a longer lens and a really solid tripod if I could (and could afford them :sad.
Have fun. It's a truly beautiful country.
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Old Jun 20, 2005, 9:11 AM   #9
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great feedback guys - most appreciated! seems like its a close call between a short lens and a longer one. one thing is for sure though - am really excited with the trip!

again , many thanks
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