Alaska Cruise

Started Mar 28, 2009 | Discussions thread
Regular MemberPosts: 174
Must take the 100-400
In reply to stretfordender, Mar 29, 2009

My wife and I were on a small ship cruise last spring in Alaska, only 96 passengers max capacity on a 200' boat and only 38 passengers on our trip. It's the way to go for your next visit.

The helicopter up to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau is excellent, a wonderful experience. They will fill the bird to capacity and it's tight, take a quality wide to normal lens, you won't have room for two lenses.

The train out of Skagway up White Pass is really worth it as well.

In Haines we did a raft trip down the river through an eagle reserve, wet and cold but very pleasant really. Quiet and secluded, a nice getaway.

If you go to Sitka do the Raptor Center, very informative and up close to injured eagles and hawks and owls being rehabilitated.

If you go to Petersburg take the jet boat to LeConte Glacier. Great fun, great view, we saw young seals on the ice.

On our last trip I had the Nikon D300 (got a Canon G10, that's why I'm here) and my longest lens was the 70-300VR which gave me a 450mm full frame equivalent. It wasn't close to being long enough. I don't think you need anything wider. Yes the scale of everything is huge but if you go super wide you lose the impact of what you're photographing. I had a 12-24 and it was more than enough at an 18-36 full frame equivalent. I seldom shot at shortest focal length.

We're going back this summer and I'll take a D300 and D700. We're going into Katmai two days with Emerald Air out of Homer. I'll take the 70-300VR on the D700 and my new 200-400 on the D300 for a 300-600 full frame equivalent. I'll have the 1.4TCII in the bag so I could go to 840mm f5.6 equivalent if needed.

My point is Alaska is stunning in photographic opportunity and unless you live there you don't get to do this every day. I got some great shots on my first trip with the equipment mentioned but I wouldn't consider going back without the long lens. The effort of carrying the equipment in just doesn't seem much for the results. Have a great trip but be forewarned, you'll want to go back.

Have fun. AC

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