Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/29

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Gear selection for mountaineering
From: Alexey Merz <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 22:43:51 +0100

Jim Laurel wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm shooting a feature article next month as a part of a mountaineering
> party climbing Mount Adams here in Washington.  Since climbing isn't really
> my thing, I'm wondering if anyone on the list might be able to advise me on
> the gear selection.  I will also be shooting a series of surround videos.

> Does it make sense to haul around an SLR on this trip, so I can have access
> to a longer tele lens?  When climbing, is a manual camera a hassle, or is it
> typically no problem to fumble around with exposure settings on the glacier?

On the snowfields you'll be wearing gloves (even if it's warm, your
ice axe will be cold!) so dexterity is an issue. 

And no automated exposure system out there will compensate for the 
glare so automation is not an issue (I carry an incident meter when 
out in the snow). But you will want a _polarizer_ to increase contrast 
in your itures of Ranier, Hood, St. Helens... since a polarizer is a 
hassle with the M, that alone would cause me to bring the SLR. 

I'd bring a wide, sharp prime and a short (75-150 Nikon E, in my case) 
tele. If it were cold out, (which it is not) I'd bring extra batteries 
for a camera with an electronic shutter.

If you are shooting slow film, a nice accessory is an extendable walking
stick/ski pole/avalanche probe with a 1/4"-20 stud for use as a monopod.
Nice for the approach, too!

Lastly, when climbing this late in the season rockfall is a serious 
consideration, and a hardhat is _mandatory_ on any technical Cascade
climb this late in the season; even more important is an early start.

Be safe, have fun!
Alexey Merz | URL: | email:
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