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Photography Equipment

The images on this site have been taken over a period of time, starting in 1996 when I made my first trip to Nepal; I have been adding to them ever since. The photographic equipment throughout this period has remained largely unchanged, though there have been some additions as time has gone on, due mainly to adapting camera equipment to what I am comfortable with out in the field. About which cameras to use in a particular area and how they differ, read on prime essay thanks to the great experience of the authors, you will get acquainted with all the necessary data.

Photographers have varying opinions on the merits of different camera formats, medium format cameras being better than 35mm, faster prime lenses being better than zooms and, camera brand lenses (Canon, Nikon etc) being better than independent lenses (Tamron, Sigma etc).

My personal experience when out on trek has resulted in making compromises as to what photographic gear I have with me. My baseline is whether I will use the equipment when its cold and wet; how easy the camera equipment is to carry and does it weigh too much?

The choice of photographic equipment continues to be an evolving process.

Camera Equipment Used

Nikon F70/F80, 35mm SLR
Nikon D100 digital SLR
Lenses 28-70mm, 70-210mm ,Nikon lens or, 28-200mm Tamron XR.
Hasselblad Xpan panoramic film camera with 45mm and 90mm lens. The 45mm lens,
due to the wide coverage, requires a special neutral density center filter, to ensure even lighting across the frame of the image .

I started with using a Nikon 35mm film camera,with two zoom lenses and a back up compact Fuji camera. I used slide film in the Nikon and prints in the compact. A few years ago when traveling to Mustang, which is extremely dusty, I opted for using a single 28-200mm zoom lens to save me swapping lenses when out in the field, hence lessening the risk of dust getting into the main body of the camera. I found it so liberating to have the single lens attached that I kept to this combination for subsequent treks.

However, whilst I went down to using just the one zoom lens for the Nikon, I also became interested in the idea of producing panoramic images for which the Hasselblad X-pan seemed ideal. The relatively compact size (for a panoramic camera) and the ability to use normal 35mm film was a prime draw.

Whilst the X-pan can shoot panoramic and normal 35mm images on the same role of film, I use it exclusively for panoramic work. Initially, I started with just the 45mm lens, but after the Mustang trip, I realised some of the mountain vistas would benefit from being a bit closer, so the following year I added the 90mm lens to my equipment. So far, it's been a useful addition and I managed to use it to good effect in the Everest region and also for some city shots in Kathmandu.

Having been unsure about the ability of digital camera to cope with trek conditions, I used one for the first time in the autumn of 2004 when I went to the Annapurna Sanctuary. I'm pleased to say that the camera, a Nikon D100, performed well despite being dropped one morning. The batteries for this camera are brilliant and I was able to shoot three 512mb cards before needing to change the battery. That also included being used in sub zero temperatures whilst mounted on a tripod.

Film Used

Fuji Sensia 100 asa and 200 asa.
Fuji Provia 100 asa.
Kodak extra colour 100 asa

My favourite film is Fuji. In the early stages I would use 100 and 200 asa Sensia slide film with the occasional 400 asa for good measure. However, I soon learnt two things - first the conditions when I wanted a faster or slower film never seemed to coincide with what I wanted, second, the light in the Himalayas is generally good enough for the 100asa film to be used all the time.

On the first trip out with the Xpan camera (Mustang), I decided to try Kodak 100asa extra colour slide film but I wasn't too keen on the colours which, to me, looked a bit overdone with a green cast. I have now started to use Fuji Provia instead and so far have been happy with the results.


Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED

The majority of the images on this site were scanned using a Nikon Coolscan III. It was a good machine in its day, but technology moved on. After waiting to see how the scanning hardware was going to develop, I opted for the Coolscan 5000 ED because it offered much improved software from the earlier model and, its quick. I have lots of slides to scan so the time saving aspect is important to me. So far, it's been a good replacement.

The only down side, is that I still have to scan the Xpan slides in two halves. That's something that I will have to live with as the larger scanners are out of my price reach.


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