What are your lens choice when backpacking

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Most of my photography revolves around the outdoors so I eventually saved up for some of the more expensive Olympus, weather-sealed lenses. They're flipping heavy though.

I'm a pretty clumsy and lazy person, especially when I'm pushing myself to exhaustion while outdoors. I'm worried I'll let dust and moisture into my lenses, especially if I'm changing lenses while on trail.

I'm planning the trans-Catalina trail this summer and I was thinking I'd try bringing my Olympus 25 1.8, Olympus 17 1.7, and Olympus 45 1.8. Normally I bring my Olympus 12-40mm Pro and either the 17 Pro or the 25mm Pro.

I'm curious to hear how other backpackers here decide their lenses for the trail.

Thanks.
 
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Phocal

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I like to keep it simple:

- EM1X w/ extra set of batteries
- Olympus MZ 300mm f4.0 IS Pro
- Olympus MC-14
- Olympus 17mm f2.8
- Bower 7.5mm f3.5
- Platypod
 

whereSs

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The last time I hiked, I did it with a Lumix 14-140 f3.5-5.6.

I've since swapped to the Olympus 12-200, for the wide and the long.

I'm not going to change lenses while I'm on the trail for a while. For a dayhike, I take whatever I care about.

For backpacking, the superzoom is king.
 
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I don't do back country backpacking any longer, just hiking.

If I take my mft gear, it's usually the 12-40, 60Macro and Panasonic 100-300.

Lately I have been going through the paces with a Pentax K1. That goes with the D FA 28-105, 100Macro and one or two old Super Takumars.
 
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Walter
I'm not a backpacker. At best, a half-day hiker. But, if I were doing backpacking, I think a weather-sealed body with a weather-sealed superzoom like the 14-150 II or 12-200 would be a good bet. Both have about the same magnification (0.22x or 0.23x) for close-ups, so that's a toss-up. I probably would opt for the 12-200 because I like a wider wide angle, and since the long end tends to be a little soft on superzooms, it would have wider usable range.
 

ralf-11

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used to use an Oly XA

now it's Lumix - GX85 or the tiny GM5 and a fixed focal length wide angle lens
 
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hiking a full day is hard enough, and taking photos in full sunlight with a camera doesn't seem so important anymore. More often than not, I just take my smartphone.
 
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hiking a full day is hard enough, and taking photos in full sunlight with a camera doesn't seem so important anymore. More often than not, I just take my smartphone.
Currently I always debate whether to carry a 2lb carbon fiber tripod. And I'll always regret leaving it behind when standing my camera in some log and always regret bringing it when I'm carrying up a 2000ft incline 😂

I wonder if I'll ever feel that way about my camera gear - but as of now, I've yet to leave the mirrorless behind.
 
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The last time I hiked, I did it with a Lumix 14-140 f3.5-5.6.

I've since swapped to the Olympus 12-200, for the wide and the long.

I'm not going to change lenses while I'm on the trail for a while. For a dayhike, I take whatever I care about.

For backpacking, the superzoom is king.
I sold the 14-150 super zoom I had a three or four years ago, which was before I started backpacking. I'm wondering if it's time to rebuy it then. Convenience is king out there.
 

PakkyT

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And I'll always regret leaving it behind when standing my camera in some log and always regret bringing it when I'm carrying up a 2000ft incline 😂

Get a monopod with an optional foot spike and use it as a walking & climbing stick. Not as stable as a tripod but better than nothing and if it helped your climb, all the better.
 

Phocal

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Get a monopod with an optional foot spike and use it as a walking & climbing stick. Not as stable as a tripod but better than nothing and if it helped your climb, all the better.

honestly those are not worth it. May work as a monopod but absolutely useless as a trekking pole.
 

PakkyT

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honestly those are not worth it. May work as a monopod but absolutely useless as a trekking pole.

In that case, get a good trekking pole and put a 1/4" screw on the top of it. I got to believe a good trekking pole would serve nicely as a monopod with a little bit of garage engineering/modification.
 

Phocal

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In that case, get a good trekking pole and put a 1/4" screw on the top of it. I got to believe a good trekking pole would serve nicely as a monopod with a little bit of garage engineering/modification.

a trekking pole is not long enough. Trekking poles are designed so when you hold it your forearm is parallel to the ground.
 

Snapshooter

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I’ve taken ILC cameras on two backpacking trips: one trip with a general purpose zoom lens and a fast prime for nighttime starry landscapes, the other trip with just a general purpose zoom. I liked the two lens setup of a general purpose zoom and one fast prime, but I found that for my preferences, the few nighttime photographs were not as meaningful as the many daytime pictures and the extra space/weight of the prime lens, plus wear and tear on the lens may not be worthwhile. The vast majority of my pictures were taken during the daytime in good light, so there is not much need for for fast lenses. For future trips, I will probably only take one zoom lens (probably 14-140 ii for me) and leave the fast prime at home. This would mean nighttime pictures would have smudgy stars, but that would probably be a fine trade off for me—unless the stars would be a defining factor of a certain trip. Factors that could change my calculus would be length of trip/pack space/weight allowance (if short trip, probably have more pack space and weight allowance for an extra lens), season/day length (I.e. will we be going to sleep shortly after sunset or would we be up taking a bunch of pictures for a while after dark?), and if I wanted to get good environmental portraits in not great lighting (I.e. under constant thick tree canopy).
 

ABFoz

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No estoy listo para esto todavía.
I just carry the Panny 12-32mm, 35-100mm kit lenses, as well as the 25mm F/1.7 which is almost always on the camera. These all fit in my Manfrotto Amica 10 including the charger, a spare genuine battery, a USB cable and the flash.

I don't have a weather-sealed kit but I repurpose an old Gore Tex hood as a jacket for the camera. After a relatively wet session, I just remove the jacket and get the lenses and the camera to acclimatise in the bag for 3 hours. After that I get them to acclimatise in a room with less than 70% humidity for another 3 hours.
 
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I’ve taken ILC cameras on two backpacking trips: one trip with a general purpose zoom lens and a fast prime for nighttime starry landscapes, the other trip with just a general purpose zoom. I liked the two lens setup of a general purpose zoom and one fast prime, but I found that for my preferences, the few nighttime photographs were not as meaningful as the many daytime pictures and the extra space/weight of the prime lens, plus wear and tear on the lens may not be worthwhile. The vast majority of my pictures were taken during the daytime in good light, so there is not much need for for fast lenses. For future trips, I will probably only take one zoom lens (probably 14-140 ii for me) and leave the fast prime at home. This would mean nighttime pictures would have smudgy stars, but that would probably be a fine trade off for me—unless the stars would be a defining factor of a certain trip. Factors that could change my calculus would be length of trip/pack space/weight allowance (if short trip, probably have more pack space and weight allowance for an extra lens), season/day length (I.e. will we be going to sleep shortly after sunset or would we be up taking a bunch of pictures for a while after dark?), and if I wanted to get good environmental portraits in not great lighting (I.e. under constant thick tree canopy).
It's like you read my mind. There was a time I was more ambitious and planned to do astrophotography at a lot of my destinations. Oh boy. I didn't realize how tired I'd be on some of these trips. I've left astro to car campsites as a result.

Similarly with lighting and planning. I meticulously scour for information on the trail to make sure I bring a fast prime if lighting won't be ideal everywhere.

I might look into a superzoom then - I never used it much during travel, as I didn't mind switching out lenses. But the convenience might be nice - one less thing to worry about on the trail.
 
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Currently I always debate whether to carry a 2lb carbon fiber tripod. And I'll always regret leaving it behind when standing my camera in some log and always regret bringing it when I'm carrying up a 2000ft incline 😂

I wonder if I'll ever feel that way about my camera gear - but as of now, I've yet to leave the mirrorless behind.
I had to buy a new phone recently and didn't want to spend a lot. Picked up a Xiaomi mi 10t lite. Camera is about the same as the Samsung s9+ I had before. I took the metro out of town the other day and went on a hike in the mountains. I used the panorama mode on the phone to take this shot. Did some minor edits in post processing to increase contrast, gave the colors a boost, and cropped it slightly. What amazes me is that you can get good resolution from a smartphone panorama that can be successfully edited and improved. OK, this isn't going to win any photography awards, but for everyday stuff where you just want a good image of something you did, the smartphone is enough.

I had my EM1.2 with the 12-40 and 50-200 SWD with me and regretted taking them because they are heavy.
PANO_20210223_143739.jpg
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