Trekking in Nepal (right now in Namche Bazaar) and what I've learnt

Started Nov 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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robonrome
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Trekking in Nepal (right now in Namche Bazaar) and what I've learnt
Nov 30, 2011

Sitting in an internet cafe in Namche Bazaar (Nepal Everest region) nearing the end of a twelve day trek I wanted to share some learnings about kit choice for these conditions.

I'd posted here just before leaving agonising about whether I should leave my 5D2 at home and just take the G3. In the end I couldn't do it, and ended up taking the G3, 14-45, 20/1.7 and 45/1.8, the 5D2 and the 70-300L and 24 TSE lenses. I also have a swag of filters for the G3 and lee system for the 5D.

Here's what I learned. Trekking at Altitude most above 3500m and much above 4000m is very very tiring and you're not at your sharpest. I had guide and porter with my son and I so we were self driven and could stop if and when we wanted, however often the energy levels were just not there to drag the 5D out of my pack. The G3 had the 14-45 with a CPL welded to it hanging from my neck the whole time and didn't cause any neck problems (unlike the 5D2 if I'd tried the same). I ended up getting a great deal more shots I would have missed as a result. Hard to tell from here as I on ly have a very small netbook, but the quality looks pretty good.

On the whole the conditions and energy levels aren't conducive to changing lenses... it's just too damned dusty and you're most of the time too sick and exhausted to bother.

I did find the 5D2 and 70-300L a nice combo for when I'm in a town like Namche doing people shots, and for the odd bit of wildlife (e.g. mountain goats) that popped up on the trail, but did I need it and the 24TSE... frankly no. It's been G3 and 14-45 90% of the time. I also found I didn't really need wider. The 28mm equivalent was wide enough in the vast majority of cases. I did find a CPL filter on both the 14-45 and the 70-300L a great booster for saturation and contrast. The light here is wonderful and I found I could get pleasing shots almost anytime of the day - in fact mid morning and mid afternoon make for some of the best shots as the dynamic range between land and sky is more compressed and able to be captured The grad filters have hardly been out of the bag. Just too complex horizons to make much use.

In short, after this trip (pending review of photos once I get home - and Yes I'll post pics here) I would feel much more comfortable to go again with just the G3 and a few lenses...frankly I didn't use the 45/1.8. I would have got by nicely with the 14-45, 45-200 and 20/1.7 (that saw a little use in low light or when I wanted to be more unobtrusive). I am VERY impressed though with the G3 - 14-45 and Hoya Pro CPL combo. Great quality and flexibility and has taken all the knocks (had the hood knocked off by a recalitrant Yak (you get sick of YAkS!), constant fine dust from the trails coating it along with a liberal splashing of my sweat. It's a very hardy little camera.

Anyway, just wanting to share and would love to hear from you guys while I finish off the last few days of this adventure.

cheers,

rob

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