To continue the photography theme (Macca Icy News, 12 October), I thought I’d talk about gear for taking photos down Island. Between the photography enthusiasts here, we probably have enough gear to buy a small car, if not put a deposit on a house if we added up how much we’ve spent. However, it’s a bit much to carry it all around in a pack for 30km to Hurd Point. It may not make it back.
I’m a pretty lazy hiker so I’ve an Olympus mirrorless four thirds camera that gives me the features of a DSLR without the weight. I find it’s a good compromise, and I’m not carrying a 1.9kg 600m telephoto lens without the aid of a car, quad bike, or Sherpa.
I have a wide angle 12–40mm and a 100–300mm zoom lens that I take as my standard gear in their neoprene cases. I then add a 7.5mm fisheye, 8–18mm, or a 60mm macro. The wide angle is a fast f 2.8 lens, which is handy for night photography and auroras. The zoom range on each lens allows for some flexibility, as trying to change lenses all the time in Macca’s variable weather can be risky. Too often, there is rain, fog, sea spray or blowing sand!
Speaking of the weather, my camera gear is environmentally (weather) sealed, a definite Macca must. A spare battery, small gorilla tripod, SD cards, dry bag, a lens cleaning cloth, and my kit is complete. It weighs in at 2.5kg.
If this is too heavy, there is always the option of the handy waterproof tough camera. At under 500g it won’t break your back, or the bank, and as our SAR Lord says, a photo on any camera is always better than the picture you get with no camera…(although I have seen some amazing sketch artists…)
Another popular option is the smartphone, which I usually have in my pocket around station (in a waterproof case), but I’m also a clumsy hiker so it stays safely on my desk while I’m out in the field.
Senior Met Observer