Multi Day backcountry backpacking lens.

DeanMoriartyDeanMoriarty Posts: 15Member
edited April 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Hello, my fellow peers!

I will be backpacking in the backcountry of Yosemite California. I will be on the trail for 9 or so days with an UL(ultra light) setup. I.e. Ospery Exos 58 bag. However I am on the fence on which 1 lens to bring or RENT. My current options are 50mm 1.4d , 24-70mm 2.8g, 14-24mm 2.8g. I really want to keep the load light and some what compact. The lens will be attached to the body (d800) for the entirety of the trip which will then be wrapped in Clik Elite camera body wrap and placed strategically in the top of my pack near clothes for added protection.

additional info (other things in the pack)
Big agnes flycreek UL1
Big agnes SLcore sleeping pad
Zip jetboil
Northface hightail 3s
Bear canister ( bear Vault solo BV-450)

tent polls and joby dslr tripod will be carried outside of the pack.
any tip or ideas for carrying the camera W/lens would be awesome and appreciated!

Thanks again
D800, D700, D300s, Nikkormat FTn, Hasselblad 500c, Holy Trinity, 50mm1.4D, 10.5mm 2.8g, f-stop gear.
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Comments

  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I'm assuming you're shooting full frame. I'd bring the 24-70.
  • DeanMoriartyDeanMoriarty Posts: 15Member
    yes, defiantly in full frame on a D800. I was leaning toward the 24-70, but the weight is 1.98 lb. while the 50mm 1.4d is a messily 8oz!.
    D800, D700, D300s, Nikkormat FTn, Hasselblad 500c, Holy Trinity, 50mm1.4D, 10.5mm 2.8g, f-stop gear.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @DeanMoriarty: Given what you have stated: 1) I think your best option is the flexibility that the 24-70 2.8 will offer. 2) With that said, it truly depends on the type of photography you are going to be doing. If most of your images are going to be landscape and natural terrane, then the 14-24 is the lens to take...their is nothing better...IMHO. 3) For those night shots when you are looking up and seeing that beautiful sky, a light, small tripod will also come in handy. 4) You should really consider taking a few filters, if you go with the 24-70, CPL and/or ND filter. 5) A few batteries as well. 6) Consider getting this in caring your camera: Peak Design Capture PRO Camera Clip with ARCA Plate. This unit will free your hand and allow you to have access to the camera at a moments notice. Highly recommend. The following video's should give you a good idea why I recommend this unit. This is my video regarding this unit itself.

    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Hard choice between the 24-70mm and the 14-24mm
    do you own or regularly use ether of these ?
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Check this thread out:
    http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/2744/superzooms-would-you-take-one-under-these-conditions#Item_20

    I'll echo Golf007sd - depends on the type of photography you are wanting to do. If you didn't want to spend anything, 24-70. If renting, 28-300vr would be my vote. Covers everything in one lens. I would suggest searching Flickr for Yosemite California and look at the EXIF of the shots you would like to shoot and see what they used.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    "I will be on the trail for 9 or so days with an UL(ultra light) setup. "

    If this isn't a photography-first trip, I'd rent a 28-300.

    I'm guessing it's lighter than the 24-70, but I haven't checked.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I would have no problem with either the 24-70 or 14-24. But, if size, weight are primary, the 50mm will do everything except wide….. One problem with almost all the modern lenses, fast ones, is they seem to have grown in size and weight so even 24mm or 35mm f/1.4 is huge.

    For me, if I were to have only one lens I might take my 35mm f/1.4 Sigma in spite of its size. The f/1.4 would make night photos easier to capture, IMO.
    Msmoto, mod
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited April 2014
    "I will be on the trail for 9 or so days with an UL(ultra light) setup. "

    If this isn't a photography-first trip, I'd rent a 28-300.

    I'm guessing it's lighter than the 24-70, but I haven't checked.
    The 28-300mm VR is around 200g lighter, not really a noticeable amount. The 24-70mm F2.8G will give far better results, but is more limiting in terms of focal range (obviously). Personally, my favourite backpacking combo is the 16-35mm F4 and 70-300mm VR. A little heavier, but you get the wide and telephoto in a nice moderate weight package.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • DeanMoriartyDeanMoriarty Posts: 15Member
    Hard choice between the 24-70mm and the 14-24mm
    do you own or regularly use ether of these ?
    yes I own both and use both on a regular basis. love the super wide 14-24mm but also love to mid range 24-70mm. I'm trying to limit myself to only one lens to take while accounting in the weight. i made the mistake of taking both last year and it add substantial weight to my pack. I mean i can mange it but i would also like to enjoy the trip lol.
    D800, D700, D300s, Nikkormat FTn, Hasselblad 500c, Holy Trinity, 50mm1.4D, 10.5mm 2.8g, f-stop gear.
  • DeanMoriartyDeanMoriarty Posts: 15Member
    I would have no problem with either the 24-70 or 14-24. But, if size, weight are primary, the 50mm will do everything except wide….. One problem with almost all the modern lenses, fast ones, is they seem to have grown in size and weight so even 24mm or 35mm f/1.4 is huge.

    For me, if I were to have only one lens I might take my 35mm f/1.4 Sigma in spite of its size. The f/1.4 would make night photos easier to capture, IMO.
    you are absolutely correct i have been looking at some wide angle primes. but because the build quality on a lot of the newer primes is so good they have become quite a bit heavier and larger in size. right now I'm leaning towards the 24-70mm for mid to some what wide. or the 50mm for is fast night shots. in the words of jimmy chin "sometimes less is more". ill just have to get creative in my shots with the 50mm, when i shot film i loved it so much because it really made me think of the composition of the shot more. but both lens are very different in build quality and size.
    D800, D700, D300s, Nikkormat FTn, Hasselblad 500c, Holy Trinity, 50mm1.4D, 10.5mm 2.8g, f-stop gear.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Hard to beat the "nifty fifty" in terms of weight, image quality, and value/cost.

    As a backpacker, weight is primary, everything else is secondary. I would seriously consider AF and non-VR lenses over AF-S with VR for the weight savings. For example the 70-300 AF-S with VR is 26.3oz and the AF non-VR is 15oz.

    The 28-300 weighs 28oz and costs $1050 USD. For the same weight I would consider the following:

    20mm AF 2.8D. 9.5oz $625
    50mm AF 1.8D 5.5oz $135
    70-300mm AF 4-5.6G 15oz $172

    For a total of 30oz and $932 you are covered from 20-300, less than the 24-70 at 31.7oz and $1900 with better range. If you don't need the long end, just take the first two. If anyone whines that the image quality on these lenses isn't up to the D800, just make sure they volunteer to be your Sherpa :-)


    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited April 2014
    Hard to beat the "nifty fifty" in terms of weight, image quality, and value/cost.

    As a backpacker, weight is primary, everything else is secondary. I would seriously consider AF and non-VR lenses over AF-S with VR for the weight savings. For example the 70-300 AF-S with VR is 26.3oz and the AF non-VR is 15oz.

    The 28-300 weighs 28oz and costs $1050 USD. For the same weight I would consider the following:

    20mm AF 2.8D. 9.5oz $625
    50mm AF 1.8D 5.5oz $135
    70-300mm AF 4-5.6G 15oz $172

    For a total of 30oz and $932 you are covered from 20-300, less than the 24-70 at 31.7oz and $1900 with better range. If you don't need the long end, just take the first two. If anyone whines that the image quality on these lenses isn't up to the D800, just make sure they volunteer to be your Sherpa :-)


    If you are going to do that, cheap out even more. Skip the primes and take the AF 28-85mm F3.3-F5.6G as well. Two ultra cheap zooms (28-85mm F3.3-5.6G and AF 70-300mm 4-5.6G). Neither lens is outright terrible, and they are very light weight. Total cost? $200. Huh? $200. I've seen the 28-85mm go for $80, and the 70-300 go for $99. Most people think they are crap, so they sell for nothing on the used market. Neither are as bad the some reviewers would make you believe though.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    I've got to say that my 24-120 f4 spends a serious amount of time on my D800e. May be worth considering renting that.
  • DeanMoriartyDeanMoriarty Posts: 15Member
    Im not sure ill go cheaper, or anything with high zoom. but the 24-120 f4 is an interesting thought though.
    D800, D700, D300s, Nikkormat FTn, Hasselblad 500c, Holy Trinity, 50mm1.4D, 10.5mm 2.8g, f-stop gear.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    The 24 -120 f 4 would be my first choice
    but what lenses do you normally use at the moment ?
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Here is another thought
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-50mm Lens (Black)
    Les than 1.5 pounds….

    Or a micro 4/3rds mirrorless of your choice. The image quality on many of these is outstanding.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    edited April 2014
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member

    Or a micro 4/3rds mirrorless of your choice. The image quality on many of these is outstanding.
    Are you seriously suggesting Micro Four Thirds is going to even close to the IQ of the D800 the OP proposes to take ?

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    What's the photos to be used for - publication? M 4/3 could be 'good enough', certainly easier to carry if weight is the bugaboo.

    My best,

    Mike
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    edited April 2014
    Also, consider using a D3300 or D5300 body with the new collapsible 18-55 kit lens which is said to be very sharp and add a 35mm f1.8 DX lens for low light. Yes, you have to access the menus more frequently but backpacking is supposed to not be a rush thing anyway. If you feel you need more reach you could add the 55-200 VR. Add up the weight of such a kit and balance that against the real "need" for 36 FX megapixels. If you need a tripod look for a light weight one with a hook at the bottom of the center column to hang your backpack from to add stability. 24 DX megapixels should be good enough for publication.

    When I did a lot of backpacking years ago I took a Nikkormat FTN and carried it against my chest with an elastic band I made myself. Just go to a fabric store and get the type of elastic cord they sew into waists which is about one half inch wide. Tie a loop in one end big enough to slip over the lens but small enough so the camera body won't go through it. Wrap the elastic around your chest and tie the end to the loop. Now you should have an elastic cord around your chest with a loop in it big enough for the lens but not the camera body. Simply slip this loop over the lens and it will hold the camera close to your chest while hiking so it doesn't swing. When you see a photo simply pull the loop over the lens and the camera will be free to use. It is very simple, very effective and costs peanuts.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    . The lens will be attached to the body (d800) for the entirety of the trip
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    You can easily change lenses on a backpacking trip. I have done so hundreds of times. Just get down out of the wind, behind a tree or rock or if you are really worried change lenses it in a tent. I have even done it inside a jacket. It is no more risky than changing lenses on the street. You can replace the weight of a D800 body with a D3300 body and many lenses. If you want to go ultra-light and never change a lens the new D3300 and its kit lens should be fully adequate for any enlargements up to poster size.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @sevencrossing

    What I am saying is this is an alternative when weight is a critical factor. I do not know exactly the end use of the photos. If, for example, these are only to be shown on a screen for the entertainment of some other campers, the 4/3rds is probably fine, the D800 overkill. This is simply an exchange of ideas to create for the OP some different ways of thinking.

    I have a friend who shoots only Olympus 4/3rds, and is an excellent post processor. His mages when projected on a screen are virtually indistinguishable from D800 image. Unless one looks at side by side 20' x 30' prints, the differences are hard to see. My opinion only...
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    @ Msmoto

    With the sun behind the camera and good lighting conditions, people get very good results with a smart phone

    The D800 comes into its own when trying to capture that amazing, subtle, pre dawn light, which for me, is what backpacking is all about. and the reason I still lug around a heavy d800
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    Predawn light and backpacking? You get up before the sun is up, dismantle your tent, pack all your gear and hit the trail? That isn't how I backpacked and it can add to the danger. I packed into remote areas to see things you cannot see from the road or from a dayhike. I never got up before the sun. No reason to make it even harder by working in the dark. Also, I didn't want to run into bears in the dark when they will be extremely hard to see. Of course, the D800 is a fantastic body which will take amazing images. In fact, you can sort of think of those 36 "medium format size" magapixels as a modern Ansel Adams view camera approach to photographing wilderness. I am sure if Ansel had the chance to use a D800 he would have loved it as his "very lightweight" outfit. He lugged around view cameras and wooden tripods! But if you want the lightest gear possible, which is what the OP was asking, I think that must be the D3300 with the new 18-55 kit lens and a DX 35mm f1.8. That combo is the DX equivalent of a D800 with a 24-70 and 50mm f1.4. We don't know the ultimate use for the image but DX and 4/3rds should be more than sufficient for enlargements up to about 16x24. Somewhere beyond that FX and the D800 are surely better. Yes, DX will be giving up about one stop of high ISO performance to FX but I shot with 25 ASA Kodachrome when I was backpacking. You have to wait for the wind to stop and you have to practice your hand holding technique. Today we even have VR to help. Considering what I was doing with Kodachrome 25; using a D3300 today would be so much easier.
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