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SLR on the AT
I guess I'll add my two cents to what's already been said about taking an SLR on
If you're serious about getting some good images to bring home, the Nikon you're
planning on bringing sounds perfect. Aunt Jemima and I knew we were going to
spend much of our time taking pictures, and so we committed to carrying the
weight necessary for good ones.
We both had Nikon bodies and a standard wide angle zoom lens. AJ also brought a
70-300, which I thought was overkill, but didn't mind borrowing at ALL. We also
carried the Slik U6000 tripod (2.5#), as we were using primarily Fuji Velvia
film (ISO 50). And yes, those woods are pretty dark, especially when you want
to get that great picture.
Using Velvia was one of the best choices I made on the trip. Great color,
terrific for enlargements, if you hold the camera stead, and did I say great
COLOR - for flowers, sunsets, and all types of GREEN.
The other thing I think you'll love about the N70 is the pop-up flash, which for
all intensive purposes can serve as a primary flash. Getting good camp shots is
somewhat elusive without a flash, as you're usually there during the low light
hours of the day. The pop up flash enabled us to get some great shots, not to
mention the fill flash capability.
On carrying the camera, I will second everyone's emphasis on accessibility. AJ
put his in a zip loc inside his backpack,a nd had to go through the whole
rearrangement of his stuff to get at it. If you want to set up a serious shot,
it's not a hassle to get off your pack, for a quick record shot, it's ain't
worth it. Why discourage yourself from getting a memorable image? In bad
weather, you're certainly not going to get it out of your pack.
I used the Photoflex "Galen Rowell" Chest Pouch and was very happy with it. The
pouch is attached around your neck with the camera strap and and itself has a
belt that goes around your midsection. The name is a bit of a misnomer, as it
typically wears just above your waist. It did not affect my lung inhalation at
all, and only once did I feel it get in my way, as I scrambled, often contorted,
through Mahoosuc Notch. If you're wearing the camera strap, you can't zip up
the compartment, so things might get wet. On a real soaker, zip loc up the bag
and call it a no-image day. However, I got some great shots in the snow and
drizzle that were a direct result of letting my camera suffer a bit. I have an
older Nikon, so it wasn't any real loss, until the meter went a bit off while
photographing in driving winds and mist on Mt. Lafayette! These cameras are
built to take a beating, so you can abuse it a bit, depends on what you're
willing to risk. My camera frequently got wet/damp, with no ill effects to film
or other functioning. AJ used those dry pellet packs inside his zip locs to
wipe up any excess moisture.
another nice feature of such a chest pouch, is that you can store all sorts of
goodies.....maps, iodine tablets, snacks, pen and photo log, extra film, filter,
etc., As you might be able to tell, I resisted taking my pack off under most
any circumstances. On falling, just think how many times you fall flat on your
face while hiking...you're camera is pretty safe in this position.
Photoflex has a 800 number you can order direct from if necessary, I believe
they give you a month to return it if not satisfied.
After many rolls of film, AJ and I hope to have a terrific slide presentation as
well as some images in the upcoming ATC calendar. He submitted some for 1998,
but has not heard back. If you take a look at this year's calendar, there's
nothing super special about the images they select.....not all are David Muench
Sir Goober Peas/The Cornell Crew
GA - ME, 1996