Travel photography in a harsh climate...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Antithesis, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been shooting for a few years now, and actually spent about a year shooting for a studio and such, so I know my stuff. I'm just looking for opinions.

    I'm going to be spending a month or more in Patagonia, followed by a month between Chile and Peru. I sold my last photography equipment to pay bills after I lost my last job, but am now in the market for another camera and a couple lenses. Here are my two main options I'm looking at:

    -A early Nikon pro-body, specifically a D2h for better battery life and decent general image capturing abilities, a Tokina 12-24, a Nikon 35mm F1.8 AF-S and an 18-135 AF-S. The main strength here is indestructibility and weatherproofness (both terms I just coined), as well as a little more versatility in focal range. The big problem would be a lot of weight. I've also always wanted a pro-body, and the D2H is the first decent one I've seen to come down to "vintage" status, so I can actually afford it.

    -Or, a lower end body, like a D40x or D80 with an 18-200 VR and a 35mm f1.8 AF-S for low light. Lightweight would be the main key here, but a short drop onto a rock or a light rain will turn either body into a paperweight. Some of the best photo's I've ever taken were on a D80, and I've owned a 5D and a pile of L lenses. So, that's saying a bit.

    The main reason I'm looking at Nikon is I seem to be able to get better bang for my buck. Also, the low MP count on the D2H doesn't bother me as I doubt I'll be printing any larger than A4. Additional equipment will probably just include a heavy duty gorillapod and a camera bag.
     
  2. Stormin

    Stormin TPF Noob!

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    If you can afford the D300, it's something that I would recommend looking into for the weather sealing alone... It's going to be about the same cost as a used D2h (at least from what I have seen), but with a much higher MP rating and more features than you can shake a stick at.
     
  3. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A used D300 is about $1200, and a used D2H is about $500-600, often cheaper depending where you buy. If I could afford the D300, It would likely be near the top of the list.
     
  4. Stormin

    Stormin TPF Noob!

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    OH WOW... The few listings that I found were far more expensive, which is what made me think that the D300 was in reach. I found mine for only $1000.
     
  5. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No opinions at all? I totally should have added a poll. People can't resist polls. Or, better yet, thrown a Canon in there somewhere.
     
  6. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    I say take the D2H with you, neither the D40 or D80 are considered tough camera. Peace of mind is probably worth a little extra weight. You can get a D200 for about the same price as a used D2H if weight is such a concern.
     
  7. Bull Goose

    Bull Goose TPF Noob!

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    I vote for the smallest/lightest thing you'll be happy with. I recently got back from a rather long trip, and my camera was a comparatively small olympus, and still, it sometimes felt like a huge stupid thing to be lugging around.

    Also, when are you going? I was in Patagonia during the end of the summer (down there), and the biggest thing was the wind. I mean, it rains a bit, but no more than most places. Peru can get freaking wet if you're there in the rainy season though (in the mountains). Whatever you take, I'd say also have a compact camera to carry around when you just don't feel like carrying all the big stuff. Also, it's nice not to have the "tourist" badge hanging around your neck all the time.
     
  8. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    We'll be there in December and Peru in January. I think that makes it summertime down there. I'm really torn, but I'm leaning towards reliability and peace of mind. Anyone know the weight difference between a d200 and a D2H?

    Edit: According to nikon, the D200 weighs 890g and the D2H weighs 1070g. A little over a quarter of a pound heavier... I think I can schlep that around for the added bomb-proofness. But then again, the d40 weighs 470g, lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  9. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

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    Not true a d300 is running around $1600 and a used d2h is going for $900 to $1200.
     
  10. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Keh.com has several D2H's for under $700 and a few for $500 in 'BGT' condition. I love buying from them too, and they will likely be my source for a body. I've also seen D2Hs's going for ~$750, but that will leave me very little for lenses as my budget is floating between $1200-1400.
     
  11. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    if you're heading out in inclement weather i dont know if i would suggest the 18-200mm VR lens. while its the perfect do everything lens, because it telescopes out on itself if you get water on either of the two barrels while the lens is extended, this water will then end up going back into the lens when you bring it back down to 18mm focal length.
    I found this issue when i was in tokyo during rainy season this year. I could get away with very light rain where there was the odd raindrop that hit it, but i wouldn't want to get it wet.
    Finding a lens that is better sealed and self contained will be the best choice, but again you end up with more weight.
    I did look at modifying a zip-loc bag so that i could slide it over the barrel to ensure water wasn't an issue, it worked fine but by the time i figured out that was a solution the sun showed up for the remainder of my trip.
     
  12. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    I don't think there is that much different between the D200 and the D2H as far as weatherproofing ruggedness. The D40 is a whole other story. Once you add the lens to the system, I don't think the extra weight from the different body is gonna be much of a factor since the lens weight a bit too. I think the D200 is still the best compromise, you can get a fairly new one for the price you mentioned for the D2H. Unless you shoot sport, the D200 is probably a better camera overall.
     

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