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Thread: Lenses for Tasmania's Overland Track

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    Lenses for Tasmania's Overland Track

    My spouse and I are walking the Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair in just over a month. The lenses currently in my kit are Tamron 18-250 f3.5-6.3 (which will be the main lens I presume will be attached to my Pentax K5), Pentax FA 50 f1.4, and a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6. Although I received advice from a fellow bushwalker photographer that I would not require longer lenses, I am becoming doubtful about walking without my beloved DA*300 f4 and a teleconverter or two.

    So, I would particularly appreciate any advice re the value of taking a long lens for birds in particular.

    As this is a significant weight decision (1.5kg), taking it with me means I have to give up other things.
    Adrian M[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Member richie4540's Avatar
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    1.5kg is alot of jack daniels to leave behind, i would go as light as possible and enjoy the views, you current selection would still give you quite a few choices without weighing you down.

    regards richie

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    Now that is presenting a dilemma! Maybe I can slip the lens into my wife's pack when she is not looking.

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    I recently did the Tongariro Alpine crossing (20 kilometre day hike in NZ), and have done a fair bit of hiking in the past lugging gear around, and nowdays I generally try to pack it light as possible, the extra weight might not seem much...until that last 5 kilometres of the day when your body is screaming at you. Given that with the overland you are doing fairly big days with a fairly large amount of gear its still going to be a significant addition (small amounts over about 10-15kg depending on fitness really do push you). On the overland...you will spend the majority of the time at some altitude (over 1km if memory serves), and tbh you wont see that many birds while up there, on the way past the walls of Jerusalem you might get a chance at a few birds of prey, and similar most of the way to Lake Sinclair, but it really depends...it is a tough track on the weather front as well. It then becomes a matter of well how many bird shots were you planning to take and is it worth lugging the extra weight just on the oft chance you get a good bird shot to go for. Personally, I don't carry telephotos while hiking...a wide and a prime is generally my preference, 10-20 and a 50. its light, doesnt add much weight, and gives you the flexibility to do most things. Plus a 50mm can be used for birding...you just have to think outside the box a little. The other option that seems a bit attractive to me is to go a wide and a 105mm Macro or similar...enough length on a crop that you get reasonable telephoto performance, plus you then have a really effective lens for all the highland wildflowers and other things that are up there.
    John
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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Hey there - I've done the overland track a couple of times and the amount of gear you bring, really depends on what your primary purpose for doing the trek is.

    With all the camera gear included, I was lugging about 25kg so the first and third days were toughest but doable even for my 60kg frame.
    If you're used to carrying heavy loads, I'd definitely bring the wide angle and contrary to what others are saying, a long lens is fantastic for landscapes as well (as well as the off chance of birding which I didn't take note of). Personally, I think I wouldn't have found much use for the prime but that's only because of the types of pictures I take on hike. There is so much water on the trail and some fantastic waterfalls on the fourth day that I'd have to say, bring a steady tripod if your main reason for doing it is photography.

    If hiking is your main reason, then go light, enjoy the hike! other than the first day up to Marion's lookout from crater lake (and a couple of the side tracks), there really aren't any overly steep ascents that require scrambling. The elements on the overland can be extreme so whatever you bring, make sure there's some protection too
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
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    I would say the 10-20 & the 18-250 would cover most situations,. For the small extra increase in length I don't think the 300 is worth taking
    Odille

    “Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky”

    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

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    I'd just take the wide and 50mm myself, there really won't be much bird life at the kind of elevation the overland is at. Also if you can save a few Kg's of weight you will be thankful on the longer days.

    I'm planning a two month rock climbing and hiking trip with just a 16-35 and 50mm, I'm even half considering ditching the 50mm to be honest.

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    I did Frenchmans cap last October. I took my Tamron 28-75 f2.8. Which stayed on the camera the whole time. If i did it gain i would just (purchase) a sigma 10-20 and leave it at that. 2 of us on the hike carried cameras and i wanted to capture the more human side of the hike. In retrospect i only used the long end a couple of times and the majority of my shots could have been wider than 28mm (crop body). Pics are here if you want o have a look http://www.flickr.com/photos/oliverh...7625509167349/
    A heap of Nikon stuff and some really bright lights!

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    I should add my dad carried th sigma 50mm macro, which we did swap so if was on my own it would probably just be the 10-20 and the 50mm macro

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    Thanks for the responses so far. In answer to one of the questions above, I would definitely sell my offspring and probably sell my soul to get that one shot of a bird of prey up in the high country. So far, the tripod is "in" (a Slik Compact weighing 600gm), and the DA*300 is out. My current total weight is 18kg, of which the camera gear is circa 5kg. Everything in dry bags and padded for protection. I can currently hump this around an 8km circuit with moderate hills in less than an hour and a half, but will hit one of our old Kokoda Track training grounds this weekend to see if I am kidding myself.

    By the way, with the teleconverters, the DA*300 is considerable additional reach over the 18-250mm and much better quality. In old 35mm terms, it is over 600mm when cropped sensor and 1.5x TC are considered.

    Does anyone have a conversion rate between "soul" and "shoes"? I want to know what I am up for to convince my beloved bride to carry it.
    Last edited by doombaj01; 21-02-2011 at 7:36pm.

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    hehe - I can understand what you mean about the other half
    she carried a body and the 24-70 and that was it - hardly took it out - so since that experiment , we know that pictures aren't the emphasis when she comes hiking with me
    By the way, if you're going 8km in 1.5 hours, that's very fast going. We allowed ourselves 3-4km per hour on the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtoh View Post
    By the way, if you're going 8km in 1.5 hours, that's very fast going. We allowed ourselves 3-4km per hour on the trail.
    That's training pace - I expect to be taking my time and using the camera (a lot). Anyway, I expect that the hills might be a little steeper than what I have in my neighbourhood.

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