Adventure Photographer Ben Tibbetts is keen to share his Top 20 Tips for mountain photography. Here is his first offering of 10 Top Tips to make the most of your time with a camera at the crag or in the mountains...
A very interesting article.
Ben is a keen advocate of full frame; very nice if you can afford/justify the cost and the lenses to go with it. But I wonder how great the real benefits are now compared to the latest APS-C sensors? My new Pentax K-S2 has brilliant performance and IQ compared to my previous K10D;around 12 years older.
Lens quality is obviously really important, but how about primes vs zooms?
I was particularly interested in the comments re not needing a tripod - I guess low noise/high ISO and shake reduction makes a big difference
In reply to kevin stephens: I use both (Fuji X and Canon FF) and all things being equal there is an improvement in quality that is discernible before you get to pixel peeping. Various tests and online reviews would support this as well, but you need to ask yourself if you need or want that extra quality when it costs so much more both in dosh and in effort to lug around. The Fuji is superb in its own right, but the Canon is even better. Big cameras handle better too, which is significant if you are using them in testy conditions and maybe with gloves on. If your camera is fiddly you are more likely to think 'can't be arsed' and miss a potentially great shot.
Re lenses, if the reviews are to be believed, some zooms can rival primes across much of their focal range if not all. I'd go with what you prefer.
I tend to agree with Ben though. I bought the Fuji as a take-everywhere camera and more often than not I find myself suffering the weight of the Canon as it's better to use and more capable of dealing with tricky lighting conditions. This is for walking and cycle-touring mind, I wouldn't take it on anything other than the easiest of climbs.
I totally agree with number 9: When the shit hits the fan - take photos! Photos of epics are the most cherished even if the quality is not so great!
chris12322 Jul 2015
Best solution I have found for carrying my camera is Peak Design's Capture Clip.
Works really well particularly with a light mirrorless camera, very secure and fast to access even used it on the mountain bike with no issues. https://peakdesign.com/store/capturepro
To Kevin & Biped -I agree that many aps sensors are currently excellent. I reckon with each generation the smaller sensors catch up with the previous generations full frame sensor performance in terms of latitude and low light performance. I have always had a smaller backup camera alongside full-frame. Currently I have a Sony A6000 which is incredible for its size. I think it nearly matches the Canon 5dii I had 5 years ago. However the optics of smaller lenses are rather more limiting than the sensors and this doesn't seem to be progressing at the same rate. This is especially noticeable at tele and wide angles which are what I prefer. Of course a rack of primes would give a cleaner image in a head to head, but with an everyday system of body (Nikon D810) and two lenses (18-35 + 70-200) I feel I have a system that gives me a lot of flexibility and a manageable weight. A stack of primes is one step too far for most shooting. Moreover shooting in adverse conditions I struggle to keep the lens clean and prefer not to change lenses unless necessary to avoid getting junk on the sensor!
To Chris123 - Indeed I use the PeakDesign stuff too, though in turbulent weather or when climbing or skiing I find it leaves everything rather exposed to getting smashed up!
In this video, Matt Cooper from The Mountaineering Company runs through the knowledge needed to tackle a sea cliff. He covers everything from checking restrictions, how to approach the crag and how to choose where you climb. There's a lot more to think...
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