I'm sitting in the departure lounge waiting for my flight from Sydney to Buenos Aires where I overnight before heading down to Ushuaia from where we depart tomorrow. I have 34.5 kg of luggage with me and my first leg has worked out well with no excess luggage fees - yet! One of the advantages of being in the Qantas Club is you get 30 kg instead of 20 kg (as far as I know), so being 4.5 kg overweight wasn't a big deal. Of more interest will be the flight tomorrow on Lan Chile and I'm not feeling so confident. However, as a photographer going to Antarctica, I can't be go with all the gear I want to use.
So what exactly am I taking?
Phase One 645 AF camera with P65+ back - I just double checked I had actually changed the backs - would have been embarrasing to only take the P45+ given Phase One had shipped me out the P65+ to play with down south. I have a Really Right Stuff L-bracket on the camera for quick connection to my Really Right Stuff ball head and they all sit on a Gitzo carbon fibre tripod - light in weight but very serviceable.
28mm, 35mm, 80mm, 75-150mm and 300mm lenses.
SanDisk memory cards - one 16GB, two 8GB and half a dozen 4GBs.
Two 250GB hard drives as backup devices for my photos and the Sony Vaio Z48GD which I'm typing on at present.
With the exception of the 75-150mm and 35mm, all this is in my carry-on backpack and it weighs just a tad over 7 kg.
I'm really looking forward to producing 8x10" quality with the Phase One 645, but the camera isn't going to be responsive enough to capture the wildlife. For this I am using a Canon 1Ds Mark III with a 300mm, 100mm macro and a 17-35mm along for the ride. Canon also kindly lent me a 17mm TS-E PC lens.
My thought process is that when I go on shore, I will only take either the Canon or the Phase One. Both cameras can shoot landscape, both can shoot wildlife, but they have their strengths. And taking the 17mm TS-E will be really interesting and I have some plans for landscapes with it as well.
Finally, I have the new Lumix GF1. It's a Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses, but it's not an SLR. Small, compact, beautifully built, I need to have a camera in my pocket at all times, but I want something that produces SLR-quality. This will do the trick - it's a big step above the standard compact cameras (due to the larger size sensor - the Four Thirds sensor is much larger than the standard compact camera sensor). Plus it captures HD video and I plan to use this for some movie footage as well. I have the 20mm pancake lens and a short zoom to play with.
One of the advantages of being a photography magazine editor is that you get some great gear to play with. And thanks to Peregrine Adventures, I have an opportunity to play with it in what I am expecting to be an amazing part of the world.
Next: Baggage Allowances