What are your lens choice when backpacking

Aushiker

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

Thanks.
I am a single lens type person when comes to bushwalking and bikepacking. When walking I take my EM-5 II and my O 14-150. This is carried with the help of a Peak Design Capture Clip. It is then an easy task to grab the camera, take the photo and move on without incurring the wrath of Madomelise Anne.

Bikepacking I use an ATM Camera Shack so that means I can carry my EM-1 II plus my O 12-100 lens.

All the best
Andrew
 

PacNWMike

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Well, I'm looking for, small, light weight and if I drop it in a creek or it gets stolen then no big loss. When I got the EM5 I took the 12-50 and 40-150. I don't think they deserve to be bad-mouthed like they are. Then I got the 14-150 weather sealed but missed the wide end so picked up a 9-18. Not weather sealed but so small it goes in a pocket. This has been a good combination except that the break at 14mm is inconvenient as I tend to use that range a lot. Recently I've been using a 12-200 and the added size is a trade off for carrying and switching out two lenses. Unfortunately the optical quality is IMHO subpar so I can't recommend it.
 
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Well, I'm looking for, small, light weight and if I drop it in a creek or it gets stolen then no big loss. When I got the EM5 I took the 12-50 and 40-150. I don't think they deserve to be bad-mouthed like they are. Then I got the 14-150 weather sealed but missed the wide end so picked up a 9-18. Not weather sealed but so small it goes in a pocket. This has been a good combination except that the break at 14mm is inconvenient as I tend to use that range a lot. Recently I've been using a 12-200 and the added size is a trade off for carrying and switching out two lenses. Unfortunately the optical quality is IMHO subpar so I can't recommend it.

Hi @PacNWMike, how would you rate the IQ of the 14-150 II vs the 12-200? I like the 2mm wider end of the 12-200, but wonder about the overall IQ. The 14-150 II also costs significantly less than the 12-200. Thanks.
 

mfturner

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Honestly if the trip is more about making miles on the hike and less about the camp sites, then I downsize to the PM1 with the p35-100 f4. I get along with some telephoto better than wide angle, and my cell phone stands in for wide angle.

But if I am less about the hike and more about the destinations, then the m5.3 has such great ibis that I'll probably leave the wide aperture prime at home, and just go with that body with the O 14-150 ii which gives me some weather sealing too.

I also take the old Canon 450 close up lens either way, which works well with either of those zooms and almost doubles the magnification. Maybe the 9mm bcl, but maybe not, and just stitch panorama if I want wider.
 

Bushboy

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I haven’t had time lately to do any backpacking.
Would take my M5ii and the kit lenses 12-50, 45-150. I actually use this same setup as my everyday carry. There is nothing wrong with these kit lenses. They deliver decent results, cheap, and can take a good beating. Perfect!
Always take a lightweight travel tripod,,, worth its weight in gold Yeah.
 

ac12

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EM1 (my standard camera) or EM10 (if I want to minimize the weight).
P-Lumix 12-60 (my light travel lens) or 14-150 (if you want more reach).
The compromise is weight. If you are going on a LONG multi-day hike, you probably want to shed every ounce you can.

Be careful of the lens. Some lenses suck power, then you will need to carry more batteries. = more weight.
 

PakkyT

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Maybe I got a bad copy of the 12-200

Probably not. When the 12-200 was first released and sample photos were being posted, even looking at the ones Olympus was providing at the time (which you got to assume represented the best they had) I looked at them and immediately thought, "wow, those are soft". So yours is likely representative of all of them.
 
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First of all, the Peak One Capture Clip is a great solution. Keeps that camera handy, secure, and not sliding around.
Beyond that, I usually want a solution that will accommodate both wide angle landscape and at least medium telephoto. Also needs to be water/dust resistant.
For a very light solution that I'm taking just in case I see something, that's the 14-150 II. If I'm being more serious about photography on the hike/backpack, particularly if there's a lot of wildlife, it will be the 12-100 and eventually(when it arrives) the 100-400.
 

mfturner

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I am happy with my 14-150 II, and 12-200 is even more of a super zoom, so I'm not surprised, good to know.
 
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I’m finding these answers fascinating and they go to show how different we all are. I have absolutely nothing against superzooms, but would never consider taking one on a backpacking trip. I use wide-angle/mid-range lenses much more than long teles, and I wouldn’t want the size or weight of a super zoom attached to my camera full time when I’d only use the long end infrequently. Weight matters to me in these circumstances. So on my last multi-day hike I carried a 12-32mm (90% of my shots) and a compact 35-100mm (10%). On my bike, when I may have less need for very wide, I’m usually happy with a 17mm and 42.5mm (or maybe the 35-100 again). Cheers.
 

Lcrunyon

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I’d have the 12-100 f/4 Pro, so I won’t have to change lenses; and with the E-M1X, I wouldn’t likely need a tripod either. For general situations, that would be enough. Of course if there were some specialty photography to do on the trip as well, I might take another lens to accommodate that.
 

Snapshooter

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On my two previous backpacking trips with ILCs, I kept the camera handy in a Lowepro Dashpoint 30 case strapped to my backpack shoulder strap at chest height. It worked wonderfully. It was very easy to take the camera in and out and protected against the large amount of dust on the trails and incidental scraping and scratching from rocks during hiking or when setting the pack down for breaks, compared to having the camera out in the open. The Dashpoint 30 is a perfect size for my EM-1 and the 12-32 lens. I will need to hunt for a new holster style pouch to accommodate my newer super zoom, which I have never taken backcountry before. The Dashpoint has Velcro straps on the back that are perfect for attaching to backpack straps.
 

ABFoz

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No estoy listo para esto todavía.
I'm curious - how do you use the charger on the trail? Is the spare battery not more convenient?
Good question. The charger is in the bag because I dislike taking it out, I there are huts on longer trails which have outlets from solar power and I can use the inverter in my car. I just leave the charger there so I don't have to worry about forgetting to pack it when I do other forms of photography. So I just leave the charger in the Amica 10 and put the camera bag inside whatever day pack I bring.

I don't do long treks anymore but my treks are attached to my off-road tours (or what they call overlanding in some countries) and I can always use the inverter in the car.

This is my usual setup with my go-to lenses:
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The USB cable, charging cradle and cord live in the front pocket inside. The lens cap of whatever lens I am using is placed in the front outside pocket. The whole setup is pretty compact so I don't really need to repack except when changing the lenses that I bring with me. The whole lot can fit in either my Dell EDC bag or my Vaude Jura 25 when I am on tours. Cheers.
 

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