Author Topic: Alaska Master Thread  (Read 106288 times)

Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #80 on: May 05, 2013, 09:49:16 AM »
It's cool but just putting it into perspective. The views are amazing and there are areas that the bus stops. Only thing I would say is don't do the 13 hour one it's a bit much. If I could do it again I would have picked a shorter route.
So how far in would you have gone?
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Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #81 on: May 05, 2013, 09:49:41 AM »
Work is what you do between vacations.

Offline henche

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #82 on: May 05, 2013, 09:49:49 AM »
Is Denali takkeh so awesome that it's worth it to go through all this trouble? Weather so iffy you might not even see the mountain, 13 hour bus rides, crazy expensive plane rides...

lol, I wouldn't know. I didn't plan on spending real time there, and we came on thu at like 4 in afternoon, intending to get a backcountry pass, hike in somewhere, camp out, and hike out in morning. But the backcountry office wouldn't let us bec they had already started showing the last video that you have to watch before they let you out (seriously, you'd think the different park office would have some reciprocity on these videos). So we camped in a regular campgrounds in the denali state park across the highway, unsuccessfully fished in the lake there, went hiking fri morning in said state park, and it was smoky and cloudy the whole time.

But we did eat lots of wild blueberries and cranberries. The wild berries are a big part of what makes hiking in AK fun, bec you have fresh food to eat the whole time. We had some pancake mix in the car, so we made blueberry pancakes on our pocket rocket. And we grilled romanian salami on the fire we built there. Then we drove to ANC, and stopped off in Wasilla.

So we had fun, but didn't really do anything or see anything. But it is like the most popular destination there, so there must be something to it. See what people are saying elsewhere. We were more interested in wilderness than cool stuff, so we didn't really care to hang out there anyway.

(sorry, I'm not a pic person, you've seen just about all my AK pics)

ETA: No, here is me standing  underneath the Exit Glacier inside an ice cave. The hazard of this activity is that this is a live glacier, and huge chunks can start moving at any time (glaciers actually flow downwards, and are always shifting as the weight from above pushes the ice down). There was a sign that threatened a 5k fine for going past a rope that was set up, but I didn't see no park rangers around shall we say.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 10:42:29 AM by henche »

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2013, 10:34:19 AM »
Hope this doesn't get in the way...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2013/05/05/alaska-dormant-volcano-spews-ash.html

Oh wow, perfect timing. I don't think it'll be an issue for us though, Cleveland is supposedly a fairly low threat volcano. Even the Alaska Volano Observatory is not predicting a plume over 20000 feet, which is far below the 30000 needed to interfere with air traffic. And even if it does, it probably won't last long enough to get in our way. Even that unpronounceable volcano in Iceland only disrupted traffic for about two weeks.
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Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #84 on: May 05, 2013, 11:41:24 AM »
The OM-D is a great option, it's the best M4/3 camera on the market today. As far as lenses, for Alaska you'd want at least a wide-angle zoom for landscapes and a fast telephoto for wildlife. If you're willing to spend the money, for WA I'd recommend the Olympus 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED or the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, and for tele the Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED SWD or the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8.

Or you could go the cheaper and more convenient way and get an all-in-one lens at the expense of quality and speed. The Olympus ED 14-150mm f/4.0 -5.6 would be a good option.

Thanks so much for this info. I think $120 for a rental is good deal since there's no way I could afford the $1000+ to buy it. It would kill me to take a trip to alaska and come away with so so pics. I just hope it's not too heavy/bulky.
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Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #85 on: May 06, 2013, 01:03:37 PM »
The OM-D is a great option, it's the best M4/3 camera on the market today. As far as lenses, for Alaska you'd want at least a wide-angle zoom for landscapes and a fast telephoto for wildlife. If you're willing to spend the money, for WA I'd recommend the Olympus 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED or the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, and for tele the Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED SWD or the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8.

Or you could go the cheaper and more convenient way and get an all-in-one lens at the expense of quality and speed. The Olympus ED 14-150mm f/4.0 -5.6 would be a good option.

I was looking at the Sony Nex 6 and Nex 7. They are roughly the same price and have great ratings. Since they are so much lighter, is there any reason not to go with those over the olympus? I notice that they only accept Sony E-Mount lenses...
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #86 on: May 06, 2013, 01:42:21 PM »
I was looking at the Sony Nex 6 and Nex 7. They are roughly the same price and have great ratings. Since they are so much lighter, is there any reason not to go with those over the olympus? I notice that they only accept Sony E-Mount lenses...

That's the issue exactly. While with M4/3 you have a huge selection of fast, pro-level zooms, there is nothing to speak of in NEX. No solid wide angles, no solid teles. The 18-200 is not bad, but a) is pretty big, b) it's slow, c) it's typical superzoom quality, and d), its only an effective 300mm vs. 400mm on M4/3.

Of course you could mount any full size (SLR) A-mount lens with an adapter, but then you're defeating the entire purpose of the NEX.

I think the OMD will serve you better in every way. It's what I would've gotten.
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Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #87 on: May 06, 2013, 02:12:07 PM »
That's the issue exactly. While with M4/3 you have a huge selection of fast, pro-level zooms, there is nothing to speak of in NEX. No solid wide angles, no solid teles. The 18-200 is not bad, but a) is pretty big, b) it's slow, c) it's typical superzoom quality, and d), its only an effective 300mm vs. 400mm on M4/3.

Of course you could mount any full size (SLR) A-mount lens with an adapter, but then you're defeating the entire purpose of the NEX.

I think the OMD will serve you better in every way. It's what I would've gotten.

Thanks. I am going to weigh it against the weight issue because I hate schlepping around bulky heavy things when I travel. I don't want it to drag on my trip.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #88 on: May 06, 2013, 02:15:42 PM »
Thanks. I am going to weigh it against the weight issue because I hate schlepping around bulky heavy things when I travel. I don't want it to drag on my trip.

The NEX 7 is 4.7oz less than the OM-D. It's not a lot.
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Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #89 on: May 11, 2013, 11:19:02 PM »
I just got the Fodors Alaska guide and reading through it there are so many things I'd love to add to our itinerary. The town of Whittier sounds really cool. And taking a flightseeing tour of Denali sounds amazing.

Can anyone recommend whether to take the glacier tour of Prince Willam Sound or of Kenai Fjiords Nat'l park? They both sound great.
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Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #90 on: May 11, 2013, 11:25:50 PM »
Work is what you do between vacations.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #91 on: May 11, 2013, 11:28:46 PM »
Can anyone recommend whether to take the glacier tour of Prince Willam Sound or of Kenai Fjiords Nat'l park? They both sound great.

This is exactly the question I was busy with all of last week, and still don't have a clear answer. From all my researching, it seems that PWS is better for glacier viewing, while KFNP is better for wildlife viewing. But KFNP has Bear Glacier, which is supposed to be even more awesome than the ones in PWS, although harder to get to.

This is compounded with the fact that I want to both go on a tour and go sea kayaking to the glaciers, and can't seem to decide where to do what. I don't even know if it worth it to do both.

Anyone have any ideas?
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #92 on: May 11, 2013, 11:32:58 PM »
Also, as I understand it, there's nothing to do in Whittier besides for the PWS tours (although the tunnel getting in is cool). In Seward there's hiking (Exit Glacier, Marathon Mountain) and the Sea Life Center. Whittier is not much more than an old military base, while Seward is a beautiful little town.
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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #93 on: May 12, 2013, 12:18:57 AM »
Whittier is really pretty and cool. That being said I did a tour in the PWS and at Kenai Fjords, I did a 9 hour cruise at Kenai and found it a lot better then PWS although the PWS was also incredible.

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #94 on: May 12, 2013, 12:21:23 AM »
Whittier is really pretty and cool. That being said I did a tour in the PWS and at Kenai Fjords, I did a 9 hour cruise at Kenai and found it a lot better then PWS although the PWS was also incredible.

In what way was it better? And what time of the year was did you go?
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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #95 on: May 12, 2013, 12:28:03 AM »
In what way was it better? And what time of the year was did you go?
I went in July. There was way more wildlife, including a whole pod of killer whales jumping in and out of the water. We also saw huge humpback whales breach next to the boat. We didn't see any of that in PWS just sea otters. The glaciers that we saw in the PWS were really nice but so were the ones at the Kenai Fjords. Make sure to pick a long cruise it's worth the extra time and money.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #96 on: May 12, 2013, 12:39:27 AM »
I went in July. There was way more wildlife, including a whole pod of killer whales jumping in and out of the water. We also saw huge humpback whales breach next to the boat. We didn't see any of that in PWS just sea otters. The glaciers that we saw in the PWS were really nice but so were the ones at the Kenai Fjords. Make sure to pick a long cruise it's worth the extra time and money.

Why is it that simple answer on DDF could yield more concrete and useful info than a week of googling? :D

I think you just settled the issue for me.
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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #97 on: May 12, 2013, 12:47:41 AM »
Why is it that simple answer on DDF could yield more concrete and useful info than a week of googling? :D

I think you just settled the issue for me.
Happy to have helped :)

I wanted to point out that not all the cruises on the Kenai Fjords go to the glaciers so make sure to pick a good one. The PWS is all about glaciers but Kenai has them too and if you pick only one for sure just to Kenai. We actually saw one calve which means to drop off a huge chunk of the glacier into the water. It sounded like firecrackers!


Offline yehuda S

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #98 on: May 12, 2013, 12:48:09 AM »
Why is it that simple answer on DDF could yield more concrete and useful info than a week of googling? :D

I think you just settled the issue for me.

WAIT! Don't settle it until you watch this video: It looks so amazing.
http://bcove.me/o9ve0knm


« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 12:52:32 AM by yehuda S »
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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #99 on: May 12, 2013, 12:49:43 AM »
WAIT! Don't settle it until you watch this video: It looks so amazing.
http://bcove.me/o9ve0knm
Bringing back good memories  :)