Favorite/Ideal Camera & Flash Setup

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Favorite/Ideal Camera & Flash Setup

Postby cavernelson » Feb 1, 2007 5:04 pm

What is everyone's favorite or ideal camera and flash setup? (for taking pictures in caves (obviously)) Be specific: i.e. brand, model #'s or any relevant info.
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Postby NZcaver » Feb 1, 2007 6:15 pm

OK, I'll play. :camera:

Right now I use the Olympus C5050 Zoom (5MP digital). I have a small cheap flash with IR filter to trigger the slaves, plus another cheap flash with a regular slave. The big guns are two Sunpak 383 varipower units triggered by Firefly slaves (the kitset versions). Sometimes I get carried away and even use a tripod. :wink:
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Postby rcoomer » Feb 2, 2007 2:45 pm

A Canon 20D with the canon EFS 10-20mm lens, and cheap but light tripods that breaks every other trip. Flashes, either a Canon 420 flash on an off camera cord, Vivitar 285HVs on ir firefly slaves, or usually a handful of tilt-a-mites with M3 bulbs fired manully.

Though this is not my ideal setup, but the one I can currently afford.

Occasionally I use a Canon G3 point and shoot for all of those, "this is NOT a phototrip" trips that usually turn in to one. . .

Everything gets double wrapped in ziplock baggies and duct tape, and then packed in leaky 1050 or 1200 Pelican cases. Only the 1450 case used for my camera doesn't leak.

And about 5 cavers to pack, carry, model, and fire flashes. ;-)
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Feb 2, 2007 9:05 pm

rcoomer wrote:And about 5 cavers to pack, carry, model, and fire flashes. ;-)
Presumably these are ... 5 volunteer cavers :-) For having the honor of being in one of your wonderful photos?

Been there done that... will do so again gladly! :waving:


Of course not with you Robert... but maybe one of these days eh?
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Postby rcoomer » Feb 3, 2007 10:37 am

yeah, I've got a lot of great volunteer help for carrying gear, leading trips, modeling and lighting. :kewl: I couldn't do it without them! I should put them first on my list, without them, the camera doesn't matter much.

Generally I try to target my trips with a main shot in mind and try not to push too much. I would rather do multiple trips rather than try to get it all done in one. When the group is ready to go, we go.

I try to reward those who help out, and land owners with prints, as well as design work for local caver supported groups like GSP and RKC, though I have to admit I'm a little behind at the moment.

At the moment I'm very dependent on volunteers for a lot of stuff, like hanging a disassembling art exhibits.

I occasionally make it down to your way, maybe we will manage a trip together some time. :-)
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Postby Bobatnathrop » Feb 3, 2007 11:28 pm

I use:
Canon 10D, I used to use a Canon G3 but after buying film and the mailer to have it developed I was paying $10 a role, so I moved to digital.
2 Vivtar 285's.
Afew random thrift store flashes, they work awesome and it doesnt make me cry when someone drops one down a pit.
4 slaves ( 1 FireFly, and 3 homemade)
28-80mm & 75-300mm Canon Lenses. They are some of the cheaper kit lenses but I have been really happy with the pictures.
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Postby hunter » Feb 5, 2007 8:17 pm

-Canon Rebel XT with a Sigma 18-125.
I've been mulling over switching to a Canon lens after talking with a friend who compared Sigma/Canon lenses and got better results with the canon.
I also just took a nasty slip while holding my camera when a large rock broke under me. I got some nasty bruises and the camera hit a rock but much to my surprise it and the lens are still working fine.

I've also been thinking about a macro but can't stand the thought of changing lenses in cave so I'm thinking about how many places I'll actually do two trips just to switch lenses.

-Minolta Auto 28, not much to say on this one. It's worked fine on manual for a couple years and does ok on anything under 40ft across. So far gettting seriously muddy hasn't hurt anything.

-Nishika Twin Light 3000, got this in not working condition as part of a random box from ebay. I sanded the battery connections and resoldered a bulb wire after which it has worked fine.
The two bulbs seemed a bit silly to me at first but after using it in a tight gyp cave I like the added possible lighting configurations.

-An Ortlieb gear semi-rigid waterproof camera case. With this bag I can just fit the camera and enough water/food for a 16hr trip in the largest Swaygo. So far nothing has gotten broken.

-Just learning Flash bulbs after running into rooms I couldn't do with my flashes. I'm still trying to decide what kind of a rig to use for these.

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Re: Favorite/Ideal Camera & Flash Setup

Postby piers » Feb 28, 2007 3:01 pm

I'm using a second-hand Canon D60 and second-hand 420EX, not wanting to get my wife's 10D and 550EX all scratched up.

The Rebel film camera is small and light and works great, but having dented a film cartridge in my pack somehow and having it fail to load in Airman's Cave, I started looking for the second-hand DSLR body. I use the same Canon 20-35mm lens.

I just ordered color reference cards which will help with my white-balance.
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Postby hewhocaves » Feb 28, 2007 6:53 pm

im on the verge of buying a canon rebel xti (just waiting for that tax rebate check) but at $700+ dollars, it will be awhile before it sees the inside of a cave.

currently, i have a beat up nikon coolpix 995 (good luck trying to get one) which does a kick ass job underground.
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