Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Hiking with m4/3s

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    280
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    34

    Hiking with m4/3s

    I'm looking to doing some hiking in Japan this fall. Not being quite as in shape as I'd like, I've dropped the idea of bringing film and I'm looking to update my digital camera. Right now all I have is the GF1 and 20mm lens. I'm planning on picking up the 9-18 (lighter and takes filters over the 7-14) and the 40-150. The latter seems sharper than the 45-200 near the extreme end of the zoom when stopped down and it's lighter. I'm not sure I'll need anything in between.

    I'm curious what your thoughts are on the camera. If I keep the GF1, I'll probably have to buy another 2 or 3 batteries and I realize they aren't used in any of the newer camera. Do you think it's worth upgrading to a EP-3 or EPL-2/3? Having IBIS with the lenses would be welcome I think. I'm not if I expect much of a difference in image quality between the two.

    Any thoughts, or considerations to photographing when climbing mountains?

    I'm still debating on a tripod. I have a GT1550T with BH-30. Seems light now, but I wonder how it feel once I'm carrying it for a couple days. Anything else you'd recommend, or should I go without it?
    Charles - flickr

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    586
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    I have a G1, GF1, and now a G3 and I've used the GF1 on hikes with good results - here's a gallery of photos I took in Yosemite http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/p932588303

    Mainly I would bring a polarizer and a light tripod - my lens kit consisted of the 7-14mm, 20mm f1.7, and 45mm PL macro.

    I would say if you are backpacking for a couple of days that the tripod is optional - maybe you should invest in a monopod which makes for a good walking stick too ;-)

    Cheers,
    -- Joe

    http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/ - excuse the mess

  3. #3
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Hi

    I agree with mountain Joe.

    I have a G1 and used it many times on hikes and ski trips. Depending on your desire for wide the 7-14 is an excellent choice, but myself I've been using the 14-45 - tilting the camera into portrait and taking 3 shots to make a pano.


    riverPano by aquinas_56, on Flickr

    I also find often that Telephoto is handy, and 200mm is a reasonable compromise.

    I personally sold my 45-200, but for example, using the 45 end of my 14-45 at a Glacier in NZ I saw this ...


    p1000457.thumb by aquinas_56, on Flickr

    put putting on my 200mm (which happens to be a legacy FD200mm f4 which costs peanuts) you can get much more reach onto those climbers on the ice from the lower left of the above picture

    p1000461.thumb by aquinas_56, on Flickr

    both these shots are uncropped.

    I agree that a light tripod will do, and unless doing telephoto work its surprising what you can get away with on light cameras such as the GF I have used a gorillapod with a ball head quite happily on my outings.

    My personal kit would be the GF and 14-45 and a 200mm FD, but then I'm happy with manual focus, you may not be.

    I think you will see no difference in images between the GF and the EP cameras so its a sidegrade not an upgrade

    I have some images of comparison between the 45-200 and an FD200 on my blog, but perhaps consider the 100-300 zoom that Terry has used effectively.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    I hike quite a bit with a G2 (or GH1, or G1 before that).

    My usual kit is:

    camera body
    7-14
    20 with step up ring for 52mm filters
    45-200
    legacy nikkor 20mm f3.5 + extension ring for close ups

    52 mm filter kit: (canon 500D for 45-200 macros, polarizer, two ND filters, stacking caps)

    bean bag (home made, not much large than the camera body, lots of good stabilization options).

    lens pen and cloth.

    Extra battery.

    Each of the lenses is in a pouch that has a belt loop, and can also just be clipped to the belt loops on my pants. My filters use the same style pouch and clip nicely to my pack in front and at hand.

    I will be going for home made bean bag design version 2.0 with a loop to attach it via a carabiner to my pack.

    Camera body plus lenses weighs about the same as just my Nikon D200 plus my Tokina 12-24 together weighs (not to mention all the other lenses I would carry).

    Doug

    Four pics from my latest jaunt to Yosemite. Elevations up to ~11,000 feet with this kit:








  5. #5
    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,480
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainjoe View Post
    I have a G1, GF1, and now a G3 and I've used the GF1 on hikes with good results - here's a gallery of photos I took in Yosemite http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/p932588303

    ... my lens kit consisted of the 7-14mm, 20mm f1.7, and 45mm PL macro.

    Cheers,
    Nice lineup!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    776
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    For day hikes, the G1/GH1 with my 20/1.7 is plenty, and it's perfect for just about everything. I have close-up filters if I want to take a close-up of something I might find along the way.


    _1050397 by photosmart42, on Flickr


    _1050407 by photosmart42, on Flickr
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    I have to admit that usually, I shoot with the 7-14, and the 20 when hiking. I was surprised this last time out, though, that I used the 45-200 more than expected. A different focus on this trip caused that.

    If I had to guess what my ideal kit would be, it would be the new 12 from Olympus (although the 7-14 is mighty fine), the 20, and the new 45 prime from Oly (F1.8 preferred over the F2.8 of the Panny 45mm macro).

    12-20-45 prime set would be fun, but I am a prime sort of shooter.

    That said, the 9-18, 20, and 45-200 makes a pretty nice setup for much less cost, and although I have not shot with the 9-18, it gets consistently nice comments here.

    Bottom line is you can hike with quite a bit more capability for quite a bit less weight with M4/3. High ISO IQ and Dynamic Contrast suffer somewhat, but I have learned (and continue to learn) how to work around that, and I do not find it to be enough of a limiting factor.

    Of course, I stopped with my Nikon D200.... had I a D700 with some primes, I might be singing a different tune, but the D700 cost and weight is an easy deterrent.

    Doug

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    280
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    34

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it! I was in Osaka for a few days, so my response is a little late. I went to a local used camera store and they had the 9-18 and surprisingly the 40-150R lens used at good prices so I picked up both of them and the macro adapter for the 40-150. Not sure if that was the best choice, but the lens is really light. I have the 7-14 Zuiko which I enjoy, but there have been many times I wished I could use a filter, so I opted for the 9-18. I've seen some great shots of Fuji from these peaks with a 300mm lens, thus the 40-150. I'll bring some ND filters, polarizer and maybe a couple GNDs. I am ok with manual focus and shoot with my OMs quite a bit. I might look into some converters. I noticed the 200mm FD is bit smaller and lighter than the OM version.

    I'm still debating on the tripod. I do have the gorilla pod SLR and I might go with that instead of the Gitzo. half the weight I think.

    Thank you for sharing all the wonderful shots. That gives me a lot of motivation to lug my gear up the mountain. I hope I can capture something half as nice. I'll share what I can when I get back from the trip.
    Charles - flickr

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Try a smallish bean bag. One that the camera can fit on and perhaps a little more room to spare.

    They make a good alternative to a tripod at times, and less bulk and weight.

    I never hike without one, even when I leave the tripod behind.

    Doug

  10. #10
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Charles,

    As an older man now myself, my Micro 4/3s kit these days consists of the following:

    G1 and GH1 bodies
    7-14mm
    14-140mm
    100-300mm
    45mm
    20mm
    Batteries, filters, beanbag, misc tools etc.

    This all fits into a Lowepro SlingShot 200 AW bag which is very reasonable and light with all gear loaded. The only downside is that this bag doesn't have a tripod carry mount, so I use a strap on the Gitzo G1228 tripod. I find I can carry this with no real problems. Most of the time I have at least one, if not both bodies (with lenses naturally) around my neck, so the load is more distributed.

    So much capability in such a small space and so light!

    Personally, I found that on my last trip, I'd say I shot the following lenses in this rough order:

    100-300mm 60%
    14-140mm 25%
    7-14mm 10%
    45mm 5%

    WRT your choice of body, the GF1 is an excellent camera (not sure if you have the EVF?), but as you say, there's no compelling reason (sharable batteries for example) to stay with Panny. The Oly bodies, especially with their IBIS, make a lot of sense (I also have an E-PL1 that I use with legacy lenses), but then you're going to have to learn the Oly UI, which I (and others) have found awkward. Bear in mind though that most of the Panny lenses already have the IS built-in, so it's a bit redundant. Plus, how much benefit do you really from IS get on ultra-wide (e.g. 7-14mm), or an already fast lens (like the 20mm f1.7). There is a reason Panny didn't put IS in these lenses.

    Perhaps a another choice to consider would be a used Panasonic body that does share the same battery as the GF1? This might be an inexpensive way to gain the extra (and/or backup if need be) body and still have the benefit of the same system (for UI issues also).

    Personally, I always have at least two bodies so I can easily shoot a range of focal lengths without changing lenses.

    All the very best, Japan is a beautiful country.

    Cheers,

  11. #11
    FStopIan
    Guest

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Hi cjlacz.

    I would bring the Tripod. I'll live in the North Alps and own a G2. For me its enough as long as I bring a tripod. A tripod lets me shoot at low light which is my most preferred time (early morning/late evening). I would love a little more detail at times in the way of DSLR but for weight trade off I am more than satisfied.

    Also if you are heading towards the Alps something else to factor is if your camping or using the huts. With the huts weight becomes somewhat a non issue as you don't need overnight gear.

    These are from 2 days ago around Tateyama.






  12. #12
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Quote Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post
    I noticed the 200mm FD is bit smaller and lighter than the OM version.
    lens does not extend during focus either, so it has a very light and smooth inner focus system. I prefer its feel to that of the OM 200 ... YMMV

    I'm still debating on the tripod. I do have the gorilla pod SLR and I might go with that instead of the Gitzo. half the weight I think.
    I've also popped some 50cm lenghts of PVC conduit tubing strapped onto the side of my pack. I can slide them over the gorillapod legs and voila stubby tripod for the times you need to be a bit higher off the ground.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    280
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    34

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Try a smallish bean bag. One that the camera can fit on and perhaps a little more room to spare.
    Good idea, but I'm not sure where to get one at the moment. I stopped by someplace during lunch that I thought might have them with no luck and with last minute shopping to do, I don't think I have the time to search or make one. I'll save it for next trip.

    @simonclivehughes I don't have the EVF for the GF1. I am planning on switching to Oly at some point for a few reasons. IBIS and the fact I can switch Oly's to an english menu system. I've gotten better with the GF1, but I still sometimes have to slow down to make my way to the Japanese menus. My Japanese just isn't that good yet. The BLB13 battery the GF1 takes isn't used in any of their current bodies IIRC. Just a quick look shows that the GF3, G3 and GH2 all take different batteries and all of those are different then the GF1. Oly has kept the same battery since the E-620 through all the Pens. I know it will change at some point, but I like a bit of stability. Still, I bought another battery for the trip and I expect I'll use the GF1 for the foreseeable future.

    EDIT: Oly did update their batteries, same size, but the new ones require a new charger. Forgot about that. Maybe the EVF is a good idea if I'll be using the GF1 for a while... hmm.
    Last edited by cjlacz; 19th September 2011 at 21:21. Reason: Info update
    Charles - flickr

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    280
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    34

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    I would bring the Tripod. I'll live in the North Alps and own a G2. For me its enough as long as I bring a tripod. A tripod lets me shoot at low light which is my most preferred time (early morning/late evening). I would love a little more detail at times in the way of DSLR but for weight trade off I am more than satisfied.

    Also if you are heading towards the Alps something else to factor is if your camping or using the huts. With the huts weight becomes somewhat a non issue as you don't need overnight gear.
    Nice photos. You'll be happy to know I'm taking my Loka, but leaving the ICU at home and using a small belt pack. BTW, I had a tough time finding something that fit the molle attachment points well. Thinktank doesn't work. Any suggestions here, or should I try your support? Otherwise I'm liking the bag well, but this will be it's first real workout as I just got it a couple weeks ago.

    I want to bring the tripod, but not being in the best shape I'm trying to keep the weight down to make sure the trip is enjoyable. I am afraid I'll regret it if I don't bring it. I'll probably decide at the last moment. I appreciate the advice. I will be staying in the huts, so that has helped cut out a lot of equipment already. Looking forward to seeing some more nice fstop gear in stock too.

    I've also popped some 50cm lenghts of PVC conduit tubing strapped onto the side of my pack. I can slide them over the gorillapod legs and voila stubby tripod for the times you need to be a bit higher off the ground.
    Ooh! Good idea. I'm not quite sure how that work on my pack, but worth looking into. Probably not in time to do anything this trip though.
    Charles - flickr

  15. #15
    FStopIan
    Guest

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Quote Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post
    Nice photos. You'll be happy to know I'm taking my Loka, but leaving the ICU at home and using a small belt pack. BTW, I had a tough time finding something that fit the molle attachment points well. Thinktank doesn't work. Any suggestions here, or should I try your support? Otherwise I'm liking the bag well, but this will be it's first real workout as I just got it a couple weeks ago.

    I want to bring the tripod, but not being in the best shape I'm trying to keep the weight down to make sure the trip is enjoyable. I am afraid I'll regret it if I don't bring it. I'll probably decide at the last moment. I appreciate the advice. I will be staying in the huts, so that has helped cut out a lot of equipment already. Looking forward to seeing some more nice fstop gear in stock too.
    Send me a PM or email, I have samples here that you can try out if you wish. [email protected]. The Navin maybe what your after. Also if you have not tried a Capture Clip they work really welly with MOLLE or on the shoulder strap. The m4/3's weight is a real plus with Capture.

    TT/lowpro has few different sizes for the actual attachments- many do fit but some of the 'tongues' are too wide to fit the slot. We sized the 3rd party slot for the TT 13cm ones.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    280
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    34

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    I got back from the trip late last night. The gear worked out fine, but the weak point was me. I just wasn't in shape or had enough recent hiking experience for this trip. The Loka bag worked out great. I haven't used any other bags like this recently, but it was comfortable to carry. What I wasn't happy with was the Lowpro SF-100 bag. I may have just not been used to it, but it put some extra pressure on my thigh which wasn't comfortable and I removed it 2/3s through the first day and left it off the rest of the trip. I used some makeshift items to attach the camera to the low part of the shoulder strap which worked well until it broke and the camera fell just a few inches from a few hundred foot tumble. It stayed in my bag most of the rest of the trip as it just wasn't safe to carry and hike at the same time, so I don't have nearly as many photos as I'd like. The camera is fine though. It's more then doubled the number of gouges in the camera and the 9-18 hood especially doesn't look new anymore. The tripod has a few new gouges taken out of the legs too.

    I didn't get as much use out of the 40-150 as I would of liked. I just didn't have the time and energy to get it out and swap to it when I'd like. The routes we picked were already pushing it for time as it was and we did decide to skip the Daikiretto. Maybe next time. I can see how having one of the super zooms would be nice.

    I maybe should have gotten the 45-200. The multiple filter sizes were a bit of pain when I wanted to use the 52mm NDs on the zoom. I'll probably wait to see how Panasonic's new X zooms are, but it's yet another filter size. A beanbag would have been useful. If I bring my tripod again I should think about something to help with panoramas if I decide that handheld isn't good enough. I ended up not using the 20mm much at all.

    I either need to find a better way to carry a m4/3s camera or bring a compact for the quick shots on the trip. Ian's suggestion of a Capture Clip seems like it would be ideal with lighter m4/3s gear and I ordered one this morning. That should keep a lot of weight off my belt with just a small bag with another lens and/or filters.

    I still haven't even loaded the cards on to my laptop yet. Kind of afraid to look. I'd definitely like to go back once I get in shape a little more. Hopefully a little less intensive schedule so I have time to stop more often.

    I really appreciate all the help and hopefully some photos soon.
    Charles - flickr

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    I was on a hiking trip over the weekend in the Swiss mountains with EP3, 12mm and kit lens. I plan to replace the kit zoom with the 14-150mm as a longer focal length would have been usefu a couple of times. The AF speed of the EP3 allowed me to capture some nice bird shots. Two compact bodies (ep3 and epm1), one with the 9-18mm or 12mm mounted and the other with the 14-150mm could be a perfect set up.
    Last edited by retow; 1st July 2012 at 05:59.

  18. #18
    FStopIan
    Guest

    Re: Hiking with m4/3s

    Hey Chris, you just need one mission under the belt after that they become much easier.

    I just did a few days in my local range and could not help but think how ideal the North Alps are for photographers. You get it easy with the cabins, food and beers/sake available at a good elevations.

    Its really worth taking advantage of.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •