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Thread: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    My wife and I are doing one of the re-positioning cruises from Vancouver to Ketchikan, AK and then back to Seattle. I'm going to take my two D300 and assorted glass. My question relates to using VR lenses on a monopod/tripod while on the ship (one of the big Princess ships). What kind of vibrations should I anticipate and will VR help, and if so, what VR mode is best?

    I'll also be doing a fiord boat trip too on a much smaller vessel and I have the same question for that. I'll be using my 300 f4 w/1.4 for long reach so I'd like to use the monopod to help out there and it doesn't have VR.

    Any tips or tricks and things to watch for or watch out for on this trip would be welcome.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    VR will be a benefit, but the monopod/tripod will be a hinderance on the smaller boat. You will be better off hand holding since your body is much better at absorbing the motions transmitted from the water through the boat. A monopod will be OK on the cruise ship in most instances when in the inside passage. I did an Alaskan cruise a couple years ago and the waters in the inside passage were very calm.

    If you get to Juneau, I can highly recommend Harv and Marv's (http://harvandmarvs.com) for a small personalized whale watching tour. They are great.

    Mark

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    I would apply the same as if you were shooting from a helicopter if seas are not very calm, speed priority and not slower than 1/500 s

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    Mark & Georg,

    Thanks very much or your tips. This particular cruise only goes as far as Ketchikan. We are on the inside passage on the way there, but on the return trip we are on the west side of Vancouver Island. I've got a good beanbag but I'll also take my monopod as well.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    Simon

    A few years ago my wife and i took a cruise on a ship called the Spirit of America. It is 110 feet long and has a max passenger count of 12 (we actually had 8) and features some of the finest food and wine you can imagine.

    The advantage of the smaller boat is that when word would come in that there was a pod of Orcas in some location our Captain would simply go there so we could see and shoot them.

    Often when we reached our anchorage for the night, we would break out the Zodiaks and Kayaks we were carrying and head for the headlands of the river to watch the final spawn of the Salmon. Sometimes the trees were literally full of Eagles waiting for the right opportunity to catch a full feast dinner.

    I have taken any number of cruises on larger ships but the Spirit series was simply the best. JMHO and YMMV

    Woody

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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    Went on Alaskan cruise a few yrs back, a tripod is of no value on any boat/ship, too much movement period. A monopod is OK, but VR will offer the most benefit to you. ON land a totally different thing. For wild life, unless you end up on an explorer class vessel like Woodie's, take the longest VR/IS glass you have, you will need it on land anyway for any wild life you come across. I had a 70-200mm non IS and 1.4x converter and I wish I had at least double that....oh well live and learn...have fun, a great trip and love to do again....

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    With these two recent replies, I thought I'd better respond to thank all of you and do a follow up. We had a great time on the cruise, and best of all, the weather, which was supposed to be miserable, turned out to be marvelous! Our ship, the Golden Princess, was one of the very big cruise liners and had just come out of dry dock having been refitted. The ship was very impressive. This was my first cruise, and I suspect my last, as I was not really into any of the onboard activities (besides the restaurants!). My main goal was to see the scenery, and it was indeed spectacular.

    I ended up taking the D300s along with the 12-24, 16-85VR and 70-300VR lenses. I did take my 85 f.4 and also my 300 f4, but virtually never used them. I decided to forego the monopod and the beanbag simply to cut down on the amount of lugging. I didn't miss either. Rather than take my laptop, I just used my Hyperdrive Colorspace 0 for storage.

    The best part of the trip was the Misty Fiords cruise, where for much of the time, the water was so calm it was like glass. Saw a few whale spouts, but no close encounters, but lots and lots of eagles.

    All in all, a memorable event. For those interested, the pictures are on my website.

    Ciao,

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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    Absolutely a great job, beautiful spot presented with passion and great compositions, want to go back....soon...

    Looks like all your gear got a work out, but how much did your 12-24 get used. I have the other two lenses and trying to decide on either this or Tokinas 11-16mm. Any comments?

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Alaska Cruise Recommendations?

    Don,

    Thanks so much for your kind praise! Certainly the 16-85 and 70-300 did the lion's share of the work, but the 12-24 was useful for images shot on the ship to try to get as much of a sense of place as possible. I did use it also out and about, but not too much as the 16-85 did pretty much what I needed for the ultra wide shots.

    WRT the 12-24 itself, I like it a lot and I don't have any hand's on experience with the Tokina, so I can't help too much there.

    Cheers,

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