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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:47 am 
Ok, this is how it goes

I was prepared to get the 400D with a selection of lenses. I have a 300D and some standard kit and want to move on.

Having been down south (Antarctica) already and enjoying a wide range of subjects to photograph I am looking to get a selection of lenses. I have also had the opportunity to see the results from many variation of lenses.

So, I was thinking of getting:

EF-S 10-20mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
EF-S 17-85mm and
EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

I think this will give me a nice range to play with. I love playing with wide angle shots, especially with unusual locations (hence the 10-20mm). I also love people shots and animals, especially in natural environments (the 70-200mm). I guess the 17-85 works as an all purpose? though I am a little concerned about some of the bad rep it gets.

So as for the 400D v 40D question. OK money is not a huge issue but I am not really wanting to throw it about. So I understand the principle of spending a little more on your lenses and hence I am willing to do that (within reason - needs to be practical for me) so I wonder if really I will happy enough with the 400D. It seems to have good reviews and many people I know who have it have achieved good results.
But the 40D does look attractive and as I am wanting to set myself up with some kit that will keep me happy for several years to come maybe I should just take the plunge. hmmm Is it really worth spending an extra £300-400 ?

Is my dilemma apparent?


:P


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:25 am 
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Hi Ags,

Well, I normally start off by offering new members to the forum a "warm welcome". I guess that is even more appropriate in your case!

I can't begin to address the question of how well any of your proposed kit will work at -20°C and falling. Hopefully others will be able to pick that one up.

I upgraded from the 400D to the 40D and have never regretted it. The 40D has a number of bells and whistles that the 400D lacks and which I find very handy for my astrophotography but, to be brutally honest, the ultimate image quality between the two models isn't that different. Look at build quality and ease of use and the 40D wins hands down, however. In the end it's an emotion thing and for me the 40D just feels right. Pick up both models in a shop and play with them until the assistant starts fidgeting and then play with them some more!

I like your choice of lenses, though I would be tempted to swap the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM out and go for the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. From Canon's blurb for that lens we have the "L-series is Canon's flagship professional lens range, combining outstanding image performance and ultimate operability with dust and moisture resistant construction". Might that lens be more suitable in the Antarctic?

As for the EF 70-200mm f/4L USM, it's optically excellent and short of going for the IS version, at considerably greater expense, I doubt that there's a better lens at that zoom range and aperture.

By the way, don't forget to factor in Canon's cashback promotionrunning until the end of the year.

Bob.

P.S. It's just rumourat the moment but it's possible that the 400D will be superseded (450D?) early next year.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:44 am 
Hi Bob

Thanks for the welcome. I can see that this site will keep me company during the winter down south!

I (and others) have found that the Canons seem to perform very well down south. Let me add that other brands also work.
The main thing is keeping the spare batteries warm, limiting exposure and warming the kit back up in a sealed plastic bag (to reduce condensation issues). Yes, below -20 things start to be a bit sluggish and my little compact Pentax closes itself down!

I'll go and play with the cameras in store as you suggest (and wind up the assistants!). I found the 30D nicer to handle than the 400D so I suspect I will also like the 40D.

It's funny, I was wondering if I should go for the 24-105mm. hmm gives me something to think about.

thanks
Ags


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:48 am 
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Hi Ags,

My pleasure. I seriously don't want to take this thread off topic but are you based at Rothera?

Image

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:07 am 
Hi Bob

I know it's off the topic but to satisfy curiosity I spent 30mths at Rothera so your picture is a familiar sight!

I will however be going to Halley for my next season.

Ags


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:18 am 
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.
Halley, eh.

Image

Looks a bit flat. :evil:

OK - using my inconsiderable (sic) powers as a Moderator I hereby put the thread back on-topic.

Let us know how you get on with the choice of camera. You might also want to handle the 24-105mm lens. It was fine on my old 400D but with the extra size and weight of the 40D the combination of lens and body feels more balanced.

By the way, I hope you get yourself a nice tripod and amaze us with some aurora shots when you go back.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Hi Ags, I am very envious of anyone who visits or works in Antartica - I'd love to go...

As it's an extreme environment, I'd go for the toughest camera and lenses you can afford - so if it's 400D vs 40D, I'd say 40D every time, plus a sealed L lens to go with it.

I'm sure all of us here would also love to hear about the issues photographing in such an environment and which products do well - and which don't do so well.

I'm also curious as to things like your comms - do you have quick internet access down there? Is it limited? (I suspect it's actually very, very good!)

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:55 pm 
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And to add to Gorodon's Qs:
What is the best way to avoid condensation on the lens :?:

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:09 am 
Hi Ags
How to keep the camera steady with winds gushing at unbelievable speeds ?


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 Post subject: Some answers
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:52 pm 
Hi Everyone,

Firstly, I will certainly let you know how I get on with the new kit I buy and hopefully will be able to setup a website of my own. Don't expect it until about March. I will ask about and see how some of the other people get on with the kit they have taken down with them.

Our comms are very good. We have updated our systems and we have fairly quick internet and the phones have minimal delay. We have a limited bandwidth though so during the summer with lots of people, things slow down.

Condensation issues in lenses... well, we are all warned about condensation and are very paranoid about our cameras. I have had no real issues with my kit. I usually let the camera etc come to room temp before doing anything with it. Often I just leave it for a day to be sure. We found at Rothera, with temps mainly around -15to20 and being very dry, using plastic bags wasn't always necessary. I have heard of stories of cameras covered in frost recovering fairly well. One of the girls who had some condensation in her lens just let it warm up and it was fine.

Windy days are fab, but of course capturing that is such a challenge! I am still working on that. I have purchased a lovely Manfrotto tripod and am hoping that the cold doesn't cause it to break. That is a common problem down south too. -50 is not to friendly on anything!

Ok, off to play with some cameras over this week.
Ags


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