Trekking Photo Gear

What camera body and lens to bring for the trek was one of the biggest questions I had to deal with when planning for the trip. The camera body had to be light enough to be carried day after day for at least 2 weeks and it must be robust enough to withstand the anticipated cold. The FM2 seemed to be the perfect camera for the job, but I don't have one. I only have my F90X and F4s to choose from. For obvious weight reasons, I'll have to take only 1 body, otherwise I'll end up with a bad back by the end of the trek!

Next came the lenses. This was a little easier. I determined that wide landscapes and nature closeups would feature more in my pictures than people shots. For landscapes, a short lens is needed and for picking a scene within a scene, a long zoom tele. Lastly, a short zoom lens for all those "multi-purpose" and grab shots.

With all the above determined, I finally decided on the following :

• Nikon F90X, minus the MB10 vertical grip and databack
• Nikkor 24mm/2.8D AF
• Nikkor 35-70mm/2.8D AF
• Nikkor 300mmf/4.0ED
• Nikon AF600
compact camera for general image recording purposes

As the F90X is an all-electronic camera, I feared that it would jam when it gets cold and the batteries would run low quickly. Fortunately, all my fears were unfounded. The F90x performed perfectly, and even survived on only 1 set of fresh batteries for the entire trip. Other gear which I brought were :

• Gitzo 102 tripod with Manfrotto 352RC ballhead
• 52mm polariser
• Cokin 2-stop neutral density filter
• Cokin 2-stop grey graduate filter
• ASA200 print film

The 24mm and the 35-70mm fixed to the F90X goes into a waist pouch and the rest of the gear goes into my daypack. Even with this minimal configuration, I was having problems carrying the tripod and the 300mm by the 3rd day. I finally decided to carry just the tripod and the 300mm lens was passed to my guide to carry for the rest of the trek.