August 27, 2014, 07:00:59 AM

Author Topic: National Park Advice - Location and Body/Lenses  (Read 1244 times)


  • SX50 HS
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
National Park Advice - Location and Body/Lenses
« on: July 07, 2013, 03:39:07 PM »
First, you may remember this thread, ( in which I claimed to be going to Glacier National Park.  Well, plans have changed since then!  I still greatly appreciate the advice!

I will be visiting Yosemite National Park in September for 5 days.  I have a campsite in the park, and am extremely excited to visit the area Ansel Adams helped make so famous!

I have another camera and lens dilemma though.  My current gear:
Canon 60D – traded the t4i to a friend who wanted a physically smaller camera
70-200 f/2.8 IS II
10-22 USM
50 f/1.8
430 EXII Flash
Macro extension tube
Manfrotto tripod and head

My first question – I have the wide angle covered, but is it worth looking at buying/renting a 2x extender in case there is any wildlife?

Secondly, I have very much been enjoying my macro extension tube.  I tried the 100L macro at a camera shop recently.  I wasn't blown away by it, but I could definitely see how the dedicated macro would be a helpful tool to have.  Is it worth renting/purchasing the macro for these trips?

Third – I tried a 6D and 24-105 combination at the camera store several days ago, and absolutely loved it.  It is definitely something I am thinking about picking up before the trip.  I love astrophotography (particularly the Milky Way) so the incredible FF Iso difference would be extremely helpful.  The issue I face is that I sometimes find the 60D autofocus to be slightly lacking when tracking moving objects.  Would I run into this issue with the 6D as well?

The camera store I go to has a very nice option that if I rent something, if I decide I would like to purchase it after the trip is over, that the rental price will go directly into the purchase price of the lens (but obviously a new one and not the one they rent out).

Finally, I also have the option to visit either Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Death Valley or Zion National park in October.  Does anyone have an opinion on any of those parks?  If Sequoia/Kings Canyon is the choice, which of those should I look at camping in (assuming I can find a spot)?

Any other advice, including which hikes to take at Yosemite, is welcomed and very much appreciated!

« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 03:55:57 PM by Diverman »


  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
Re: National Park Advice - Location and Body/Lenses
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 06:03:54 PM »
1 - I'd say it's worth looking into it if wildlife is a big interest of yours; I've sometimes found myself wanting more than my 70-200, but it's not essential.  One issue IMO is that the 2.8 is so heavy, which could be a factor if you're going on long hikes, how many other lenses you're carrying, food, water, fitness level etc.

2 - Can't comment, I don't really have much interest in macro.  I guess that depends on what you want to shoot

3 - Will have to let others comment on that.

I've been up to Sequoia/Kings & Zion, but not Death Valley.  Personally I really enjoy Zion much more than Sequoia; it's much more spectacular and varied IMO.  If you're interested in the big trees, Mariposa Grove in Yosemite has giant Sequoias.  Depending on your time for Zion, I'd consider swinging by Bryce Canyon also.

I've used Yosemite Hikes for a lot of great Yosemite hiking info. 

Michael Frye also has a great photographers guide to Yosemite, both in book and app form.

Besides all the typical valley spots, I'd suggest going up to Glacier Point & Taft Point.  I'd also go out along Tioga Road and see some spots from there.  With 5 days, I'd also recommend following Tioga out the eastern exist and visiting Mono Lake, especially the south tufa area and the sand tufas at Navy Beach. 


  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 543
  • If only I knew what I was doing.....
    • View Profile
Re: National Park Advice - Location and Body/Lenses
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 06:24:16 PM »
Get a 1.4x because you will always find a need for it, no matter what equipment you have down the road (70-200 on a crop camera with the 1.4 gets an "effective reach" of 450-ish.......don't go crazy with the meaning of this semantically, guys :) )  .

But, if an amazing elk shows itself, you will not always be able to change lenses or stack the extender before it disappears from your photographic view. Unless you are carrying multiple bodies set up for any contingency, you just might not get the shot you want.

So my overall advice is to enjoy the trip and the environs and if you get some great photos while you are there, that's just a bonus.


5d Mkiii; Eos-M; too many lenses; 430 EXii and a whole lot of stuff


  • SX50 HS
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: National Park Advice - Location and Body/Lenses
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 08:08:09 PM »
Thanks for the advice so far. I'm torn between which extender to look at. I've heard to always go with the 1.4 because it will AF with f/4 lenses, and that makes sense. The worry I have is that I don't see myself getting an f/4 lens anytime soon, and I am worried that without the 2x I won't see much of a difference from 200 to 280.

Cali, do you still live in CA?  If so, where are some places you'd recommend a photo trip to?