binoculars and GPS?

Famous for its enormous icebergs, towering glaciers and shimmering summer light, Antarctica offers some of the planet's most awe inspiring landscapes. The North Atlantic and Arctic evoke images of sparse snow covered lands, but when summer comes it bursts with colour and life.

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binoculars and GPS?

Postby maskirovka77 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:31 pm

I was wondering what sorts of binoculars people brought out on their cruises. I know that waterproof and fogproof are given but I'm wondering what beyond that would be advisable (I don't want to bring big/bulky ones or spend a fortune).

Also, did anyone use GPS with their cameras on the cruises they were on? I'm asking because I just got a GPS unit for Canon 5D Mark III and I'd really like to use it out in Antarctica, but I was wondering if there are any peculiarities or quirks that GPS units experience down there.

-Nick
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby sabreur » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:22 am

I can't help on the binoculars question, but I know a couple of people on my cruise used GPS on their cameras, and were able to put together a map of the places we had visited. I can't imagine there would be anything 'funny' with using one - after all, the ship uses it to navigate.
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby wattsed » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:04 am

There was no problem with the GPS---we were close up and personal with the wild life so I don't know why anyone would want to carry heavey binoculars in addition to all their camera gear! :o
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby tletter » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:57 pm

maskirovka77 wrote:I was wondering what sorts of binoculars people brought out on their cruises.

There were some folks with binos, primarily those without cameras. Most people with cameras had long lenses so they did not use binos. The nice thing about such cameras is auto-stabilization which most binos do not have.
maskirovka77 wrote:wondering if there are any peculiarities or quirks that GPS units experience down there.

The GPS on your camera should work depending on atmospherics. Personally I did not use my camera's GPS as there were detailed maps available to see where we were.
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:49 pm

I didn't bother with binoculars since I could see anything I wanted through my 400 mm lens (or 800 mm if I used the 2x Extender). If you're not a photographer, you might want to bring 7x50 binocs to look for whales but you're generally going to be so close to the wildlife that you won't need binocs. Bear in mind of course that 7x50 binocs tend to be relatively heavy so that will eat into your airline weight allowance.

As far as GPS goes, I took an Amod GPS logger with me on my trip nearly 2 years ago and it worked perfectly. In fact, I also used my Android phone to log the ship's position continually through the trip and that worked great as well.
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby maskirovka77 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:17 pm

thanks for the information...I'm bringing a 50-500mm lens so I think that I can cross binoculars off my shopping list.
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby alexcowan » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:27 pm

GPS works just fine everywhere the ship goes.

As for binoculars...in Antarctica you can get away without them though there are times when you might wish you had a pair.

In the arctic binoculars are one of the most important bits of gear you can bring. Sometimes you can't get that close to bears and binoculars are the only way to enjoy the experience. Do NOT come to the arctic without them.

Binocular technology has come a long way in the last 5-10 years and you can get a very reasonable pair for £100-200; gas filled with clear, bright optics and they'll be small and light.
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby Zuleika » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:18 am

maskirovka77 wrote:thanks for the information...I'm bringing a 50-500mm lens so I think that I can cross binoculars off my shopping list.


Blimey - i hope you've been working out a lot to hold this big baby for long periods of time?
Does it have IR or VR? Or are you taking a tripod/monopod? How will you manage on a zodiac?
Let me know how you get on - this is my dream trip and I will have the same logistical problems.
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Re: binoculars and GPS?

Postby alexcowan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:52 am

I've worked many times with photographers with lenses up to 800mm. One thing I've noticed is that someone bringing a massive lens into the Zodiac tends to annoy the other passengers as you take up so much space trying to use it, especially if you're requesting the front seat every time so you can rest it on the bow box! On shore you have all the space you need of course, and you can transport it between your legs in the Zodiac without inconveniencing anybody.

Just something to bear in mind when you're deciding which lenses to bring.
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