Fuji gear in Antarctica

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swwang Junior Member • Posts: 26
Fuji gear in Antarctica
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I took my Fujifilm gear to Antarctica during the Christmas holidays.

Equipment:

  • 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
  • 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x TC WR teleconverter
  • 16-55mm f/2.8 RLM WR
  • 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
  • XT-2 with battery grip
  • XPRO-2 with grip (MHG)
  • iPhone X for panorama and video and quick shots

Camera Bags:

  • ThinkTank Airport AirStream as carry on roller for air travel.
  • PeakDesign Everyday backpack20 as carry on backpack for non camera items during air travel.
  • PeakDesign Everyday Sling in the luggage.
    • I ended up packing 100-400mm in its sleeves and in the Sling) due to carryon weight limits. Carryon weight limit in Argentina was strict and on the return trip the Airport AirStream had to be checked, fortunately nothing broke.

Operation:

  • Airport AirStream stayed in Hotel or Ship
    depending on photo activities and equipment I chose PD backpack or Sling
  • I brought my 15” MacPro, uploaded pictures every night to LR.
  • I brought 5 extra batteries, swapped out the 4 batteries on the cameras all at once (1 on XPRO2 and 3 on XT2) and charged them. Carried one spare on the backpack at all times.
  • On the XT2 I used Boost mode, Continuous AF-C, Continuous IS mode (great for 100-400 composing), S (Single) or CL (Continuous Low) as required.
  • For AF I used Zone mostly; Wide/Tracking, and sometimes Single Point on the 100-400mm.
  • AF-C custom setting was on 2
  • I used 1/1000 or 1/2000 shutter speed a lot even with OIS.

Outcome and one liners:

  • I took around 2500 pictures, double that if you count RAW and FINE jpeg on 2 cards (64GB SanDisk SDXCII) on both cameras. I carried 2 same spare cards for each camera.
  • I did not use the 10-24mm on this trip.
  • I did not use the 1.4x converter.
  • 100-400mm was indispensable and a great lens not only for wildlife but for landscape as well, it along with the 50-140mm were the most used lenses because the landscape was so vast you almost always want some level of compression.  You almost always want a closer shot of the animals.
  • 16-55mm was used in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia the most, 16mm was wide enough for me on the city tour. I did use this lens for wider shots, but the iPhone panorama shots came in very handy at times and it is simple and easy.
  • I carried and used both cameras, the 16-55mm on the XPRO2, 50-140mm on the XT2 and when needed 100-400mm on the XT2. This was to minimize changing lenses. This combination worked well for me. The iPhone X was always on my belt.
  • As I expected WR was required due to light snow on most days. I also fell on the snow with camera and lens on my neck. Snow and lens hood cushioned the fall and lens hood filled up with snow…
  • WR influenced my lens selection over the "standard" travel lens of 18-55mm and 55-200mm, I also have the 18-135mm with WR, but oped for the red badge lenses.
  • I used the PD backpack20 the most, used the Sling only in cities. I packed the 100-400 on the “bottom shelf”, XT2 with 50-140 mounted in the middle, and the XPRO2 with 16-55 mounted at the top. While the backpack20 performed well with the side access I found the shoulder straps uncomfortable and almost lost the chest strap because it was a “hook on” type. (My old ThinkTank ShapeShifter was a much more comfortable backpack.) But you don’t want to put the backpack on the ground because of all the Penguin poops and/or snow and mud.
  • The only problem I had was XPRO2’s exposure compensation dial has the tendency to rotate too easily when getting the camera in and out of the bag causing under or over exposure. I think my thumb touches it when I grab the camera to take it out.  As a result I had to frequently check its settings which was a pain.

Now on to the 10 sample pictures.

I believe this is a giant Petrel.

We saw three species of Penguins, this is a Chinstrap.

This is the Gentoo.

Antarctica Fur Seal.  They seem to just lay around all day.

Iceberg that tilted over with what used to be the top flat side on the right.

Humpback Whales group feeding.  There were around 20 whales, we are looking at the chin.

Icebergs all over.

Gentoo penguins in a compressed telephoto shot.

Gentoo penguin with her babies.

My favorite scenic shot.

 swwang's gear list:swwang's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS +5 more
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