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Author Topic: Harsh environment advise  (Read 5857 times)
yoni
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« on: December 28, 2007, 10:02:18 AM »
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I am planning a Grand Canyon dory trip in a few months and am debating between equipment options and would appreciate advise from those of you that have shot in those conditions.

I normally shoot w a 5D, but am concerned about robustness. I am considering two options: a 40D backup w the 5D, or instead of either taking a 1dsmk2. I realize that IQ wise, its a quibble btwn 1dsmk2 and 5d (I sell my fine art prints in sizes up to 16x24). 40D option advantage is sensor cleaning, less expensive, and second complete body. Disadvantage is that should I need to resort to using it I'll have fewer images that acceptably scale to 16x24). Weight wise combination not that different than 1dsmk2. Advantage of 1dsmk2 is a robust build with high resolution (I have owned a 1Dmkii and am comfortable with the body of the 1 series). I guess the questions boils down to risk management: failure rates on 1dsmk2 in sandy wet environment (with dryzone200 protection but lots of lens changes and lots of shooting even from the dory in calm waters) versus failure rates on the 2 less robust bodies. I would appreciate any insights.


-yoni
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stever
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 11:48:00 AM »
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i'm in favor of 2nd body - as a backup and to avoid changing lenses

the 40D also gives you a focal length extension with reasonably compact/light lenses which i find very useful even when space and weight is not at a premium

i find it very hard to tell a difference between images from my 5D and 40D - i've switched the focus button to make the 40D more like the 20D and 5D, but you've got to get used to the switch in the top buttons - at least the 40D shows you the ISO
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yoni
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 12:14:40 PM »
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True, the 40D gives you a 1.43 mag given the pixel pitch ratio, though I suspect putting it through a MTF analysis would probably drop that down a bit.  But even so would be useful as my plans are to keep everything longer than my 70-200 at home. Another advantage is that I like to shoot both macros and w TSE lenses and live view might be extremely useful for both. Hmm 24-105 on 5D, 70-200 on 40D. Switch to TSE/macro on 40D to have live view and sensor cleaning unless need the width.
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stever
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2007, 02:45:32 PM »
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that's what i'd do, and throw in a 1.4x just in case.

the magnification is actually 1.6 - determined by overal image size, not pixel pitch.
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yoni
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2007, 04:16:49 PM »
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It is a tempting approach..

Actually the 1.6 is simply the crop.

The optics behind it is as follows: Assuming equal pixel quality btwn both, if the 40D has the same pixel pitch than it would not differ than simply cropping the corresponding inner portion of the 5D frame. Its only the pixel pitch difference that gives you an actual "mag" difference and those hold only to the extent that the modulation transfer function (MTF) on a pixel base is equivalent. The MTF on the entire optical train, including the lens, needs to be considered in this case. So the real "mag" rather than the empty "mag" varies from lens to lens (and within a lens on aperture, zoom,  focus distance and even capture wavelength).

Think of it another way. If it were not so, one could make a very high "mag" camera by simply using smaller and smaller chips. Instead of different lenses, manufacturers would simply offer a camera that uses fractions of the detector. You want an effective 24000 mm lens, dial in a 10 by 10 pixel subarray.

The pixel density and pixel quality is actually the issue (as well as optics quality-think of the cheap telescopes or microscopes offering thousands of mags).
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Bill Caulfeild-Browne
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2007, 04:54:22 PM »
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I am planning a Grand Canyon dory trip in a few months and am debating between equipment options and would appreciate advise from those of you that have shot in those conditions.

I normally shoot w a 5D, but am concerned about robustness. I am considering two options: a 40D backup w the 5D, or instead of either taking a 1dsmk2. I realize that IQ wise, its a quibble btwn 1dsmk2 and 5d (I sell my fine art prints in sizes up to 16x24). 40D option advantage is sensor cleaning, less expensive, and second complete body. Disadvantage is that should I need to resort to using it I'll have fewer images that acceptably scale to 16x24). Weight wise combination not that different than 1dsmk2. Advantage of 1dsmk2 is a robust build with high resolution (I have owned a 1Dmkii and am comfortable with the body of the 1 series). I guess the questions boils down to risk management: failure rates on 1dsmk2 in sandy wet environment (with dryzone200 protection but lots of lens changes and lots of shooting even from the dory in calm waters) versus failure rates on the 2 less robust bodies. I would appreciate any insights.
-yoni
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163602\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My advice is very simple....NEVER travel without a back-up body. Friend of mine went to Peru with his 1Ds MKII and the shutter quit on him. How do you find another body, of any sort, in Amazonia?

He ended up with the only thing available - a point & shoot - and still had to carry his expensive Canon glass for two weeks w/out being able to use it.

Sith happens to the best of cameras and unless I'm going somewhere highly civilized where replacements or quick repairs are available, I ALWAYS have a back-up body. (And don't forget the battery charger if it's different from your prime body!)

Bill
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2007, 05:08:52 AM »
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Why not taking your 2 best bodies? The 5D and the 1ds2?

Is 500 gr (one pound) going to make or break your trip? If I were you I would buy a cheaper tent or pack and use the weight saved to travel with your best photographic assets.

If the size inside the dryzone is the limitation, then don't take the dry zone.

You should be aware that sand will pretty much certainly kill the zipper of your dry zone anyway, like it happened to my friend Jeff during a trip on the San Juan 2 years ago...

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
yoni
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2007, 08:28:17 AM »
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Different batteries. That adds a great deal to the weight. If in fact the TSA battery ban goes into effect on extra batteries than this becomes even more problematic.
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eddyprice
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2008, 11:01:32 AM »
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yoni,

How great to be anticipating a trip down the "Grand."  I live in Flagstaff and have done private trips on the grand and have 10+ years experience of running rivers.

My primary suggestion would be for you to strongly consider a Pelican case for your camera gear.  On the boat it provides superior protection for water bumps & rough handling that will happen.  The dryzone pack would be nice for the hikes, many of which will involve hiking up (and in/across) the side creeks.  If you are after landscape type images this will be when you get most of your images.  In the past I've carried a small pelican case on the side hikes, but the dryzone would be great for that.

As for cameras I'd take what you use most.  It shouldn't be a problem to protect your camera(s) from sand & water.  The 5D will easily fit into a medium size pelican case (like the 1450) with a lens attached.  The 1D is too tall to fit with a lens on it unless you get a pelican case as large as a suit case, and that would be a hassle for rigging it on the boat.  When you're on the water, especially the Marble Canyon section immeadiately below Lee's Ferry to the confluence with the Little Colorado, you will want to have quick access for photos.  

Communicate with the company you're taking (assuming you're going commercial) to let them know you are a photog and are planning to bring shooting gear and want to shoot some from the boat and do lots of side hikes.  

Enjoy your trip.  It is a wonderful place.
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yoni
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2008, 11:54:11 AM »
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Thanks for the advise. You would advise Pelican over Ocoee drybag?  I was still wondering about it.

Yes, I decided to go with my 5D and to stop fidgeting over it. It has not failed me in the field in a wide range of setting including backpacking trips in the rain and fair bit of shooting in Anza Borrego over the years. I bought my first 5D when it first came out and I am very comfortable with it.  Weight saving over 1Ds used to upgrade to my GT3540SL over a lighter tripod. Probably stick to minimal lens set: 17-40, 70-200 f4 IS, & 90 TSE.  

Going with OARS on a dory. Very excited about it. Busily gobbling up geology books instead of worrying too much about gear!

Aha, to live in Flagstaff. You are a lucky man.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2008, 12:12:18 PM »
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Different batteries. That adds a great deal to the weight. If in fact the TSA battery ban goes into effect on extra batteries than this becomes even more problematic.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163825\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Your batteries will not be affected by the new Lithium regulations.  You can carry as many spares as you want as long as each individual battery has less than 8 grams of Lithium content.  The new regs only cover batteries containing more than 8 grams Lithium each.  You still must package them individually to prevent their contacts from shorting or coming contact with another battery.
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skibum187
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2008, 01:04:45 PM »
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Thanks for the advise. You would advise Pelican over Ocoee drybag?  I was still wondering about it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=166352\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I'll second the vote on the Pelican. You'll get the same waterproof protection, plus impact protection, which is KEY on rivertrips. (After the first day of rigging and unloading the raft/dory, you'll know why). Though I would also recommend that you take a spare gasket for it as well just in case. I would also recommend bringing a backup body...a good film body even, especially if the cost of a 40D, plus spare batteries or a solar charger (which I would also highly recommend.... go with a Brunton if you do) is an issue.  

Good luck and have fun on THE rivertrip of all rivertrips.

Also...if you need any other river gear for the trip, visit www.riversports.com or give me (Matt) a call @ 1-800-4Corners and I can set you up with whatever you need. We do carry Pelican cases and can get any of the Brunton chargers in for ya.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 01:08:37 PM by skibum187 » Logged
yoni
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2008, 01:31:35 PM »
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Right. It was nice of the TSA to clarify the point after tossing quite a bit of mud into the inital announcement.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2008, 06:12:54 PM »
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TSA clarified the regualtion after ASMP and POMA hounded them.
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Deep
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2008, 11:58:07 AM »
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If you really want a relatively light, very rugged camera with no compromise on lenses, can I recommend you check out the Olympus E3?  It's taylor made for just that sort of assignment!  It's also the safest brand (currently) for lens changes in the great outdoors.  And not much more expensive than a 40D.

Don.
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Don
yoni
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2008, 01:04:21 PM »
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Too much invested in Canon lenses to transition. Long long ago I had an olympus film system-sweet compact design.

Weight wise, I'll come in at ~12lb in photo equipment. Since I don't have to hike in or out anything but the photo, water, and lunch, that's quite doable. As for dust bunnies, maybe I'll be lucky with a 5DII coming in in time with sensor cleaning though I doubt it. Guess will have to be more careful.
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eddyprice
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2008, 01:21:01 PM »
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To follow up yes I would advise the Pelican over Ocoee drybag.  For the gear you've indicated you're likely to take a 1450 with padded dividers would work well and have extra space, or if you want to go smaller check out the 1400.  If you have a wider TSE you might want to bring it too.

And to add to your reading, if you want to get a sense of what the hikes are you could check out the book Grand Canyon River Hikes, written by a friend of mine. www.funhogpress.com

Enjoy your trip!
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yoni
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2008, 03:11:06 PM »
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I have a 45TSE, but have debated about picking up a 24 to take instead. But then that's more weight to haul. The 90 is for macro work which I do a fair bit off.

I thought of the dryzone for hiking but I really truly hate photo backpacks-poorly designed for carrying load, overstuffed, and have the disadvantage of lack of access. What I like, my Kinesis belt system, wont serve well in fording creeks which I understand is frequent on those trails. Exploring True North bags, particularly the SERAC Sar. Ordered one to take a look-I think I may be able to integrate it into my kinesis belt and harness system....

Thanks for the book tip. Will pick it up.

Do you know of any jobs for a neuroimaging person in Univ of AZ, Flagstaff  ;-)? Man, I miss the west. 18 years on the east coast and I run away every chance I get out west.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 03:11:42 PM by yoni » Logged
eddyprice
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2008, 10:26:31 PM »
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Unfortunately Northern Arizona U, here in Flagstaff does not have a medical college.  ASU in Phoenix will be opening one, but I'm not sure how many years out that is.  U of A in Tucson does, and Tucson is a nice city, not as hot as PHX.

Go West Young Man!
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BradSmith
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2008, 12:33:17 AM »
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Your batteries will not be affected by the new Lithium regulations.  You can carry as many spares as you want as long as each individual battery has less than 8 grams of Lithium content.  The new regs only cover batteries containing more than 8 grams Lithium each.  You still must package them individually to prevent their contacts from shorting or coming contact with another battery.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=166353\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
and does anyone know how we find out if our batteries have more or less than 8 gms of lithium?
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