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Author Topic: Kit for California trip  (Read 4277 times)

bholliman

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Kit for California trip
« on: June 30, 2013, 07:42:23 AM »
Next month my wife, 14-year old son and I are flying to California to spend two weeks.  The purpose of the trip is to attend my nieces wedding.  Following the wedding my extended family has rented a large home in Santa Barbara to have a week long reunion.  The final week of the trip will be visiting Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with just my wife, son and a nephew for lots of hiking, camping and photography.

So, week one I'll be primarily enjoying the company of my extended family.  Most photography will be indoors or outdoor outings and activities, 95% people shots and portraits.  Week two will be entirely outdoors and mostly landscapes and my immediate family enjoying the parks.

I plan to take my 6D and S100 as a pocketable backup.  My lens choices are:

24 1.4 L (loan offered by a friend)
50 1.4
135 2.0 L
85 1.8
24-105 L
24-70 2.8 II (just purchased yesterday)
70-200 2.8 II
70-300 L (offered as a loan by a friend)
430EXII speedlight
90EX speedlight (used for on-camera optical master/fill)

I would like to limit myself to 2-4 lenses and the speedlites as the other luggage will be considerable.  This is a family trip first and a photography expedition second. When taking overnight hikes and camping, we will leave much of our luggage and gear locked in the rental vehicle, as we will need to travel light.  I'll probably only take 1 or possibly 2 lenses for the long hikes.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 07:48:38 AM by bholliman »
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF-M 22 2.0, EF-M 18-55mm, Extender EF 2xIII; Speedlites: 600EX-RT(2x), 430EX II

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Kit for California trip
« on: June 30, 2013, 07:42:23 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2013, 08:02:53 AM »
I'd take the 24-70 II, 70-300L, 135L and 430EX II.  A good travel tripod, too.
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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2013, 12:56:24 PM »
24-70 II, 50, 135L, 70-300L.

Week 1:  24-70 II, 50, 135L.
Week 2:  24-70 II, 70-300L.

Another option is to replace the 70-300L with the 70-200 II + extender if you can deal with the weight, esp. for week 2.  The 70-200 II can take the place of the 135 and 70-300, so total pack weight might be less but in-use weight would be more.

For travel, I usually opt for the 70-300L over the 70-200 II, but I recently chose the 70-200 II because I wanted it with the 2x to take pictures of the recent large moon.  However, every night was cloudy/raining, so no moon shots, but I did use it at 200-400mm for kids jumping off docks into the lake.  Over 1000 shots taken, kept about 350, and ended up using the 70-200 more than the 24-70.

If you are bring a tripod for landscapes, you might want to get a nodal slide, which makes panoramas a lot easier.

bholliman

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 04:02:55 PM »
I'd take the 24-70 II, 70-300L, 135L and 430EX II.  A good travel tripod, too.
24-70 II, 50, 135L, 70-300L.
Week 1:  24-70 II, 50, 135L.
Week 2:  24-70 II, 70-300L.
For travel, I usually opt for the 70-300L over the 70-200 II, but I recently chose the 70-200 II because I wanted it with the 2x to take pictures of the recent large moon. 

Great suggestions.  The 24-70 II and 135 L were two lenses I was definitely considering taking.  The 70-300L does have a number of advantages over the 70-200 2.8 II for travel (lighter, greater reach).  I expect to be using it primarily outdoors, to the smaller aperture will probably not be an issue.

Using the 70-200 with a 2x extender is something I hadn't considered.  Would give me an additional 100mm of reach at the expense of weight and size.

If you are bring a tripod for landscapes, you might want to get a nodal slide, which makes panoramas a lot easier.

I'll investigate this. sounds like it would be useful as I do like to put together panoramas.  I have heard of nodal slides, but never seen or used one.  I'll be visiting the local camera shop this week, I'll take a look.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF-M 22 2.0, EF-M 18-55mm, Extender EF 2xIII; Speedlites: 600EX-RT(2x), 430EX II

Dylan777

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2013, 05:39:22 PM »
1. 24-70 II - wedding & family general shooting
2. 135L - protrait
3. 50 - backup, extreme low light
Body: 5D III(x2) -- A7r
Zoom: 16-35L II -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 50L -- 85L II -- 135L -- 400L f2.8 IS II -- Zeiss FE 55mm f1.8

bholliman

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 09:56:54 AM »
1. 24-70 II - wedding & family general shooting
2. 135L - protrait
3. 50 - backup, extreme low light

Good options. I wasn't sure if the 24-70 II would handle low-light well enough that I wouldn't need the 50 or not.

I'm anxious to give the 24-70 II a good try out, I just received it Friday and haven't had time to even get it out of the box yet.  I'll run Reikcan Focal on it this week to make sure its dialed in.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF-M 22 2.0, EF-M 18-55mm, Extender EF 2xIII; Speedlites: 600EX-RT(2x), 430EX II

neuroanatomist

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 10:05:59 AM »
Good options. I wasn't sure if the 24-70 II would handle low-light well enough that I wouldn't need the 50 or not.

I find that the 24-70 handles low light well enough for me, with the caveat that the 1D X does ok in the ISO 6400 - 12800 range.  The thing is, with many fast primes and my typical subjects, the DoF at f/2 or f/1.2 is too shallow for 'general' use in low light anyway (the exception being the 35L with reasonably distant subjects).  So for routine use, I grab the 24-70, and the fast primes are used only when I want that extremely thin DoF (portraits, usually).
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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 10:05:59 AM »

dilbert

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2013, 10:52:50 AM »
...
I plan to take my 6D and S100 as a pocketable backup.  My lens choices are:

Wedding:

24-70 2.8 II (just purchased yesterday) - maybe...
50 1.4
85 1.8
430EXII speedlight

Hiking:
24-105 L
70-300 L (offered as a loan by a friend)
... you may even wish to buy the Tamron 70-300 VC, as it isn't far off in terms of IQ but it is 1/3 the price and about half the weight (consider both hiking weight and checkin weight if you're flying.)

You may even want to consider just going with the three zooms - 24-70, 24-105 and 70-300. At a wedding, you don't want to be swapping your lens around too much otherwise you'll be missing photo ops.

For hiking in Sequoia, I'd recommend finding a tripod that weighs in at about 2.5lbs or less. Depending on which part of it you're in, you really don't want to be hauling around heavy gear as that'll mean less food/water.

heavybarrel

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2013, 12:23:22 PM »
Don't bring too much stuff! I just did a similar trip... 9 days in Utah, a couple in vegas. I had a 5D3, 24-70II, 70-300L, and zeiss 18. Never felt I needed anything else except once I wished I had a 600 to get close to some falcons. Haha most people don't have one of those lying around tho.
I have a Gitzo basalt tripod that was light enough (especially since one of my hiking buddies was willing to lug it around) but even then, I found myself placing it somewhere and using the timer. It was tough leaving the 70-200 f/2.8 II at home but in the end I didn't miss it. Every ounce of those heavy lenses gets heavier when you're hiking around. At altitude.

bholliman

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 12:22:46 AM »
I am looking into purchasing a 1.4x and/or 2x extender before I leave on this trip.

I'm thinking I could maybe leave the 70-200 and 70-300 home and use my 135L with the extenders for added reach.  I typically don't take a high percentage of shots at longer focal lengths anyway, and this would save quite a bit of space and weight at the expense of some IQ and convince.  Maybe i could just get by with the 24-70 II and 135L + extenders?  Maybe the 50 1.4 as well.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF-M 22 2.0, EF-M 18-55mm, Extender EF 2xIII; Speedlites: 600EX-RT(2x), 430EX II

Drizzt321

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2013, 12:52:34 AM »
I was just up in Sequoia National Park a month or so ago. Make sure to bring plenty of water (it'll be HOT in the central valley, and probably hot up in the mountains too), and however long you think it'll take to get around in the park, add an hour just to be safe. Lots of windy, small roads that you won't want to go over 15-25mph. There's a variety of hikes, and a cave tour (you need to get tickets in advance, check the schedules and get there early for tickets). You might consider hiking early in the day (start hiking 8-9am), lunch in the shade somewhere with lots of water, and then tours or driving around in the afternoon when it'll be at it's hottest. There is a shuttle bus between some of the main attractions in the center of the park, so you can park in one spot, hike around, shuttle to somewhere else, hike some more, and then take the shuttle back to your car.

In terms of photography while hiking, I basically just left my 17-40 on the whole time because then I could actually capture the trees, while including the friend I was with to show how dramatic they are. Seriously, they are HUGE. I mostly shot at 17-20 and 35-40 while there.

The 24-70 v2 and 70-300L would make for a good, lightish weight kit with the 430EX thrown in for indoors/fill-flash.
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
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bholliman

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2013, 02:22:37 AM »
I was just up in Sequoia National Park a month or so ago. Make sure to bring plenty of water (it'll be HOT in the central valley, and probably hot up in the mountains too), and however long you think it'll take to get around in the park, add an hour just to be safe. Lots of windy, small roads that you won't want to go over 15-25mph. There's a variety of hikes, and a cave tour (you need to get tickets in advance, check the schedules and get there early for tickets). You might consider hiking early in the day (start hiking 8-9am), lunch in the shade somewhere with lots of water, and then tours or driving around in the afternoon when it'll be at it's hottest. There is a shuttle bus between some of the main attractions in the center of the park, so you can park in one spot, hike around, shuttle to somewhere else, hike some more, and then take the shuttle back to your car.

In terms of photography while hiking, I basically just left my 17-40 on the whole time because then I could actually capture the trees, while including the friend I was with to show how dramatic they are. Seriously, they are HUGE. I mostly shot at 17-20 and 35-40 while there.

The 24-70 v2 and 70-300L would make for a good, lightish weight kit with the 430EX thrown in for indoors/fill-flash.

Thanks for the Sequoia NP tips.  I was thinking it would be cool at the higher elevations, but hadn't checked the weather in detail yet.  I kind of wish I had a 17-40 or 16-35 for some wider angle shots.  I can probably get by putting together some panoramas from 24mm shots.  Now that I have the 24-70 II I've been wanting, I think an UWA zoom or UWA prime is on my short list.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF-M 22 2.0, EF-M 18-55mm, Extender EF 2xIII; Speedlites: 600EX-RT(2x), 430EX II

Drizzt321

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2013, 02:48:00 AM »
I was just up in Sequoia National Park a month or so ago. Make sure to bring plenty of water (it'll be HOT in the central valley, and probably hot up in the mountains too), and however long you think it'll take to get around in the park, add an hour just to be safe. Lots of windy, small roads that you won't want to go over 15-25mph. There's a variety of hikes, and a cave tour (you need to get tickets in advance, check the schedules and get there early for tickets). You might consider hiking early in the day (start hiking 8-9am), lunch in the shade somewhere with lots of water, and then tours or driving around in the afternoon when it'll be at it's hottest. There is a shuttle bus between some of the main attractions in the center of the park, so you can park in one spot, hike around, shuttle to somewhere else, hike some more, and then take the shuttle back to your car.

In terms of photography while hiking, I basically just left my 17-40 on the whole time because then I could actually capture the trees, while including the friend I was with to show how dramatic they are. Seriously, they are HUGE. I mostly shot at 17-20 and 35-40 while there.

The 24-70 v2 and 70-300L would make for a good, lightish weight kit with the 430EX thrown in for indoors/fill-flash.

Thanks for the Sequoia NP tips.  I was thinking it would be cool at the higher elevations, but hadn't checked the weather in detail yet.  I kind of wish I had a 17-40 or 16-35 for some wider angle shots.  I can probably get by putting together some panoramas from 24mm shots.  Now that I have the 24-70 II I've been wanting, I think an UWA zoom or UWA prime is on my short list.

It will be cooler...but it's relative. If it's 100+ down in the valley, it might be a nice and cool 80+ up in the trees, and 90+ in the bare areas due to the direct effect of the sun. And on the way down the roads, downshift to 2, it'll save your brakes a LOT.

You'll probably be fine with 24mm on the 24-70, although you'll have to back up a bit more to fully capture some of the trees.

For a UWA zoom, not sure if you want to hold off or not given the rumors of a 14-24 or 16-35 replacement. As always we don't know how true they are, but I've seen a few in the past few months on the front page. Otherwise for UWA primes, Canon 14L, one of the Zeiss ones, or give the Samyang/Bower/Rokinon 14mm a try.
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
Film Cameras: Mamiya RB67, RB-50, RB-180-C, RB-90-C, RB-50, Perkeo I folder, Mamiya Six Folder (Pre-WWII model)
http://www.aaronbaff.com

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2013, 02:48:00 AM »

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 08:29:51 AM »
I am looking into purchasing a 1.4x and/or 2x extender before I leave on this trip.

I'm thinking I could maybe leave the 70-200 and 70-300 home and use my 135L with the extenders for added reach.  I typically don't take a high percentage of shots at longer focal lengths anyway, and this would save quite a bit of space and weight at the expense of some IQ and convince.  Maybe i could just get by with the 24-70 II and 135L + extenders?  Maybe the 50 1.4 as well.

A 135L + 1.4x and 2x will weigh more than the 70-300L.  You will gain 1+ stop in aperture/shutter speed, but the zoom will win in IQ, focal length range, and convenience.

Perhaps renting a UWA lens in CA for a few days will be a good compromise.

bholliman

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 05:27:17 PM »
7/3 update...

I took advantage of the $299 EOS-M/22mm deal from B&H, so that will be my pocket/backup camera.  I need to pick-up an adapter so it can use my EF lenses.

I failed to list my 35 1.4 L as an option.  I had loaned this a friend who just returned it today, so temporarily forgot about it.  I also included my tripod on the list.  Changes in bold.

24 1.4 L (loan offered by a friend)
35 1.4 L
50 1.4
135 2.0 L
85 1.8
24-105 L
24-70 2.8 II
70-200 2.8 II
70-300 L (loan offered by a friend)
430EXII speedlight
90EX speedlight (used for on-camera optical master/fill)
Manfroto medium duty tripod with 324RC2 ball head
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF-M 22 2.0, EF-M 18-55mm, Extender EF 2xIII; Speedlites: 600EX-RT(2x), 430EX II

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Re: Kit for California trip
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 05:27:17 PM »