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Thread: Camera Thoughts for Nepal/ Annapurna Base Camp in Winter

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    Member kmcgreg's Avatar
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    Camera Thoughts for Nepal/ Annapurna Base Camp in Winter

    Well its time to plan our next trip and it looks like its Nepal in Dec/Jan - Annapurna Sanctuary in the middle of Winter with our two kids. This will be a bigger test of out fitness. Now I need to start thinking about camera gear. We will be rafting, walking etc in very cold conditions at altitudes over 4000m.
    I am again questioning taking my DSLR (I always do before a trip and always take it!)
    So this time there are weight issues. Do I still take my DSLR and a couple of lenses or look at an alternative that is easy to carry like a Sony Nex-5 - anyone using these.
    I will probable lug everything with me but it would be nice to lighten the load.

    Notice some others have been there - DTOH, davros. I would love your advice.
    Hobart Camera semi newbie


    Canon 50D
    Canon EF-S 17-55 2.8
    Tamron 18-270 mm
    Canon 10-22mm lens
    Canon 50 mm 1.4
    Benro Carbon Fibre Tripod C-258 + B-1 Head
    Canon 10D EF 100mm 1:2.8 Macro Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX
    imac 24" 2.8 Aperature II

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Back in 2008 I walked to Mt Everest base camp. Don't under estimate how tough these treks are on the body of a tourist. I did carry my DSLR and only one lens. For me this was a real dilemma - the scenery is breathtaking and it was a once in a life time experience. My mistake though was to carry a heavy DSLR which quickly became too heavy to hang around my neck (and in the way when climbing up steep terrain) and a real pain to keep pulling out of my back pack. In the end I only used it when we stopped and had a break - but as the trek went on I used it less and less. For me this is a huge regret of the trek.

    When doing this trek, at over 4000m you do get very tired quickly, and your 5kg back pack really does start to feel like 25kg. You also need to be careful when you rafting as water splashes every where on the raft - you are soaked when you finish. You can put your camera in a dry box - but then it is not in handy reach when you are on the river.

    If I was to do something like this again i would buy a good P&S so it was handy all the time. I do a lot of travel (in fact I am in Africa now), and have always traveled with a DSLR and a range of lens, but I am seriously considering swapping to something like the canon G12, and leave my serious gear behind for when I will use it.
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, 5DsR, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-300 f4-5.6L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 16-35 f4 IS, 11-24 f4L, 85 f1.2L II, 500 f4L IS, 300 f2.8 IS, ∑50 f1.4 A


  3. #3
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Greg, I usually answer this in terms of what your primary intent is:

    - If it is trekking with photography on the side, I would go as minimal as possible or you run the risk of not enjoying yourself. The Sanctuary trek is just wonderful in terms of variety of scenery (villages, streams, forests, mists, to snow, glaciers etc) . I personally found the altitude OK but that depends entirely on your own physiology - have you been up that high before? Be also wary that the lower parts of the trek are in subtropical conditions and it's only for the last few days of ascent that it really starts to get cold. Often, you might have 200m ascent or descent for the day , but in order to do so, you're climbing 1000 and going down 800. EBC is a much more straightforward trek in that it is mostly just up all the way then down all the way though the altitude did start to affect me above 4500m.

    - If you're determined to get the best images possible from the trek, then I would definitely make the effort to get used to carrying alot. I got full use out of the 5dmkII with 16-35mm lens, the 70-200 F2.8 for shots of the people along the trail and a 2X extender for distant shots of the mountains. I also carried 3 extra batteries & charger (the tea houses charge about 100 NPR for use), the full set of filters and my gitzo tripod (used ALOT - especially for the beautiful streams). The lumix was in the pocket all the time for those quick snap moments and I had to catch up to the group when I wanted to stop for set up shots during the day. All up , I was carrying about 10-15kg on the back including snacks for the day and waterproofs and I didn't really feel the weight as I was used to carrying much more while training at home.

    Good luck on that trail - Marianne and I loved it!! especially the sanctuary itself.

    I have rafted in Nepal as well and brought just the 1 lens & tripod for that - stowed away for most of the rafting anyway. AS an aside, rafting in Nepal's always interesting - they seem to grade their rapids alot lower than the ones here - in NZ we had done some grade 4's which we thought were big - the Nepalese wanted to call similar size ones 2s and 3s .......
    Last edited by Dylan & Marianne; 09-05-2011 at 5:25am.
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
    Canon EOS 5dmk3 : 17-40 F4 L, 70-200F2.8 canon L, 24-70mm canon L, Gitzo Safari +1178 ballhead. |Canon 5dmkII, 16-35mmF2.8 II L, Gitzo 2541 )
    Singh Ray/Hitech/Lee assorted filters, Z pro modified system Cokin holder
    Post : Lightroom 3.6 catalogue -> Export as 16bit TIFF, Edited CS5 -> resized for web.

  4. #4
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    kmcgreg's Avatar
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    Fantastic photos on both of your gallery pages. Makes me wish I could give up work and just travel. dtoh - you are a true photographer to carry a bag of camera gear like that up to the Sanctuary! But great results! MM I will have to think hard as to what I do and carry with me.
    Thanks all for your help.

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