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3 Days Hiking in the Adirondacks . . . What to take?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Mr. Graceful, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. I'll be hiking in the Adirondacks for 2-3 days. Given my current line-up, what would you carry with you (along with food, shelter and a leash for the dog)?

    Sigma 10-20
    Tamron 17-50
    Nikon 28-105
    Nikon 70-300 VR

    Sigma 20mm f/1.8
    Nikon 35 f/2
    Nikon 50 f/1.8

    Part of me wants to travel light with just the 17-50 and 70-300. Another part of me wants to go even lighter with the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 and Nikon 28-105. On the other hand, the thought of leaving the 10-20 behind seems like a decision I may regret . . .

    What would you take? Please limit your answers to TWO of the listed lenses (OK, maybe 3 if it's a good combo).
  2. Dr A

    Dr A

    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    I've BEEN backpacking with my camera, SO, I know what it's like and you'll cut corners to bring down every ounce you can. When you're talking backpacking, I don't see a 17-50 and 70-300 as being light at all, in fact I'd go with just one zoom or one prime ON the camera and that's it. For me, I'd go 35 f/2 or 50 f/1.8, just because it's the lightest thing you have.

    What camera are you taking? The lightest setup I could get was my D50 with the 18-55 kit lens - that thing weighs next to nothing. It was still noticeable.
  3. Body is a D80.
  4. ibcj


    Dec 19, 2006
    New York
    Depends on how far you are hiking during your stay. I'd probably go even lighter and take one prime, like the 35/2. My Adirondack backpacking has always been a point and shoot, cause I carry the dog stuff and stuff my wife doesn't want to. :wink:
  5. Dr A

    Dr A

    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    That's not so bad - it really depends on how much you can carry, how far you want to go, how tired you want to be when you get there, etc. I guess if photography is the main focus of your trip, then it's silly to NOT take good stuff, on the other hand, you don't want to go hungry, thirsty, or hurt either ... remember - we want you to be able to make it back here to post pix of your hike! Pack the essentials, then pack your photo gear. You'll be cursing some of those heavier ones about 12 or 15 miles in.
  6. I always had fun hiking with the 10-20, really allows some different kind of pictures. If you have done this hike a lot, I might think 10-20 and 70-300. I know, weird, but... It can really shake you up a bit. One of the best hikes I had was in Shenandoah with the D200 and the 10-20... I loved the shots I got that day...
  7. +1 on the recommendation. Take the longest you got and the widest you got. The stuff in the middle is pretty worthless in the wild (IMHO). The critters refuse to sit for portraits so the longest lens you have will be too short. The scenics always seem to have you backing up for the ideal aspect until you fall over a cliff (keep snapping on the way down.....).

    Anyway, that's what I would do. My wife and I will be spending about 4 days in the La Garita wilderness in Colorado later this year. i'm taking the D300, Nikkor 80-400 and the Nikkor 12-24.

  8. LDB415


    Apr 26, 2008
    The most minimalist setup would be the body/35 or body/50. I'd probably move up a bit to body and either 17-50 or 28-105 if I was going single lens option. I've never been there so I don't know how valuable extended reach would be. I can imagine wide would be useful in a number of areas along the trail so maybe 10-20/28-105 or if you know the area and know you want/need some reach 17-50/70-300. Good luck deciding and have fun.
  9. 18-200VR covers everything. I'm responding from the wilds of Alaska, and that is what I'm using.
  10. david7703


    Mar 27, 2008
    melrose ma
    why not buy one of those doggie back packs at REI and turn Fido into the lens donkey?? :biggrin:

    I'd take the tamron 17-50. it's light for it's range, covers wide and midrange, and has excellent IQ.

    My second lens would be the 70-300..that way your covered. if you plan on staying overnight at any of the lean-to's you're sure to be visited by the black bears and chipmunks. they're so accustomed to hikers that they hang out waiting for you to arrive, then try to knock your food down from the tree's that you hang it from (don't even think of keeping food in the tent or lean-to. The bears will come in to get it). the 70-300 would be the lens of choice for them :wink:. however if the 70-300 is too heavy, and you're trying to go light, then just bring the tamron, and skip the second lens..all the primes you list are covered by the tamron, the zooms will add too much weight(assuming your going for light weight)..depending on the trails, I'm not sure the sigma 10-20 will be useful.the dak's are dense forest below tree-line where you'll be doing most of your hiking. ..you can get wide pano's with the tammy and some stitching..

    what part of the daks you hiking? trails?? peaks??


  11. Out of that lineup, I would take the 10-20, 28-105 and 70-300. Although, if you don't think you will see animals, you could probably leave the 70-300 at home.

    If this was me, I would take my 12-24, 17-55 and 80-400 and tripod.
  12. HA! Actually, she's already got one and will be carrying her own food and probably the trash. She's also a runner, and god KNOWS what she'll bang into as she gets used to having a pack! My last dog used to get stuck between trees and rocks the first day out because she didn't realize she was wider than normal!

    We're probably going to do Mt. Haystack. We'll be tenting. If the bears are as prevalent as you say, my dog may be in trouble! :Teeth:

    Thanks all for your opinions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2008
  13. david7703


    Mar 27, 2008
    melrose ma
    LOL about the dog getting stuck between trees...years ago when i first started hiking, i was doing a multi-day hike with all the gear on my back, my hiking buddies decided we should do some bushwacking to save some time...well, I know how your dog felt when he got stuck between trees..:biggrin:

    Haystack is one that I haven't done, so can't give you any good beta(info), but I'm sure you'll enjoy it..One of my buddies whose done them all loves Haystack..

    Oh, btw, the dog will actually help keep the bears at bay..they tend to avoid dogs..anyway, not sure how bad they are around haystack..

    Hope the weather cooperates for you..as the old saying goes:

    "Red Sky at night
    Doesn't mean sh*t in the Adirondacks!"


    Have fun, and post some pics of the trip..

  14. Carrying my gear on my back out into the wilderness is just about all I do. As a strictly landscape artist myself, based on your list of equipment, I would go with your initial impression of the 17-50 and the 70-300. The 10-20 may be a bit wide for most opportunities.

    I carry the 12-24 f4, 80-200 2.8 AFD and the 50 1.8 (because it weighs nothing) just about everywhere. Before I got the 12-24, it was the 17-35 and the 80-200.
  15. johnmh


    Nov 21, 2007
    Greater NYC
    DW carries an 18-200VR with a D50 or D40 while hiking. I'll carry the 12-24 as a wide, 24-85 (or sometimes 30-70) and 70-200 with one or two TC's on day hikes and honestly, it's a bit much sometimes.

    I suspect that ideally for backpacking, a light body - D50 or 80 with a 16-85 and 70-300would work well. Compromises all around. I loved the 70-300 VR and used that as my long lens for years - don't have a 16-85VR but think that would make a good complement to the 70-300. Am a big VR fan myself.

    From your list the 17-50 and 70-300 give you wide and long...... the 50 1.8 might be nice for low light but I find I rarely use mine on the trail.
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