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Author Topic: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America  (Read 3060 times)

VelocideX

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Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« on: August 24, 2013, 07:04:09 PM »
My future wife and I will be taking our honeymoon in Central America (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala).  We will be spending most of the time on a tour.

We will have backpacks for our gear, so can't travel too heavy.

Balancing considerations of weight and practicality, what lenses do you think I should take?

I currently have a 5D III which will be coming.

I am also thinking
  • 16-35L (yet to be purchased
  • 35L
  • 24-105L

I have the 24-70L II which I am considering taking in place of the 24-105L.  The image quality is just so much better. I don't think that I will miss the long end. As always, IS would be great but I find my photos from the 24-70L to be so much better than those from the 24-105L.

I have a 70-300L but don't think it will be needed. I'm not into birds at all, much more landscape, culture and people.

I also own a 24L, 85 f/1.8 and 135L but don't think that it's worth the weight to take these.

I have a 600D that I will probably take as a backup body in case I get robbed at any point.

Thoughts? Thanks :)
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Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« on: August 24, 2013, 07:04:09 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 07:13:28 PM »
I'd take a P&S like a G15 or a 1G X.  Having to lockup your gear or take it with you to every place you go on a honeymoon seems to me to be a bad idea. 
 
Enjoy your honeymoon, and take a low end camera so you don't have to worry about theft.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 07:37:03 PM »
^^  Good advice.

If you're set on a dSLR, perhaps take just the 5DIII and 24-70 II. Having said that, I often find a tele lens vey useful for people and landscape shots.  For example, at Tikal there are contemporary Mayan ceremonies, and shots of major temples (pyramids) taken from other temples - we climbed Temple V very early in the morning, there were wonderful views of other temples that a tele would have been good to capture.

You'll likely be traveling through the Cayo area of Belize, consider visiting Actun Tunichil Muknal (although apparently you need a permit for a camera now).  I've also heard it may close permanently soon (we were there many years ago, our niece was there a few months ago and mentioned that).

Another thought - do you dive/snorkel?  If so, rather than buying a 16-35L, consider a G1 X or Sony RX100 with a waterproof housing.

Congrats, and have a great trip!
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docsmith

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 07:51:09 PM »
I've traveled to Costa Rica twice now.  Amazing area.  My most used lens was the 100-400L.  As Neuro says, it isn't just for wildlife, but the wildlife isn't just birds, but monkeys, sloths, deer, raccoons, and a lot of other things.  And, if you see a toucan (I've seen 4) or a macaw in the wild, aren't you going to want a picture? 

I would recommend the 24-70 II, a 400 mm or greater telephoto lens, a good tripod, and a P&S.  I have also used my macro lens for frogs, but you could get by with the other lenses.  I've brought UWA lenses before but they hardly saw any use.   Perhaps where you are going it will be different.

One more thing, you'll be fighting for light in the forests those tree canopies do not let much light hit the ground.  ISO 6400 is common. 

Congrats on the wedding....and the trip....  :)

YuengLinger

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2013, 07:53:48 PM »
I think it's hard to mix serious photography with a wonderful honeymoon--unless both bride and groom are obsessive-compulsive photographers. 

Make beautiful memories with your loved one; capture snapshots with a good point and shoot.

The previous recommendation to stick with the minimum is great advice on many levels! 

VelocideX

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2013, 08:06:43 PM »
I have a S95 that I will take as well for if I want to leave my camera gear wherever we are staying.  My bag will be lockable, and I have a combination cable lock that I can use to lock the bag to something pretty immovable (eg bed frame) which will discourage all but the most serious of thieves.

The advice to take just as P&S is a good one, but part of the reason we are going there is because of the photographic opportunities, so I know that I'd kick myself for not taking my good gear.

I don't own any lenses >400mm, and given the cost and weight I can't see myself getting one.  I suppose the 70-300L + a Kenko TC is one option there, but this would be MF anyway then.

I'm not going to take a tripod... although I could make use of it, setting up etc may become an imposition on others. I'd rather just handhold and take the shot for most things.

nWmR12

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2013, 08:24:39 PM »
Since this is your honeymoon, don't get too bogged down with gear. I would go with either 24-70/105, and if you want you could take the 85/135 for extra length. 70-300, if you really wanting something long and want to shoot wildlife...

Take a CPL with you since it is very bright and sunny down there (depends on the time of year of course). If you do go into the jungle it will be quite a bit dark, and high ISOs will be used for sure.


Hope that helps have a fun trip!

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2013, 08:24:39 PM »

VelocideX

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 08:28:10 PM »
The trip is in March/April next year. Thank you all for your advice!

rmfagan

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 08:52:16 PM »
Congrats on your trip and wedding! I've travelled Central America extensively, having backpacked from Mexico to the Darien Gap in Panama, with considerable time in Guatemala, Belize, and southern Mexico. In my experience, many of the most interesting places (IMO) can have pretty low light: jungle, market stalls, museums, temples, etc. So...

I vote bring the 24-70 II for most needs, the 35 for low light, street, and such, and the 135 as I second the above mention of shooting in Tikal (the 70-300 is also a fitting choice). That gives you a pretty versatile kit without getting too heavy or cumbersome.

If you happen to make it to Copan Ruinas, visit Nola's (maybe Lola's, can't recall). Great food for next to nothing! Congrats and enjoy!

scottkinfw

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 11:45:32 PM »
If you want to minimize the weight, 24-70 and 70-300 on two bodies, flash, extra batts, and memory cards.

I am not sure what else to advise you on regarding your other lenses, but these will handle most things except maybe birds.

sek

I'd take a P&S like a G15 or a 1G X.  Having to lockup your gear or take it with you to every place you go on a honeymoon seems to me to be a bad idea. 
 
Enjoy your honeymoon, and take a low end camera so you don't have to worry about theft.
sek Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, EOS M  Lenses:  24-70 2.8 II IS, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8 Flashes: 580 EX II600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

scottkinfw

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 11:48:15 PM »
    On a side note, I have been looking into Central and South America a lot lately.  I have heard, though travel agencies, etc., don't really advertise it, that Belize has a lot of crime.  A friend of mine just got back last week and I spoke with her yesterday and she confirmed that.  A good point and shoot may be a great idea, plus you will spend more time with your bride than behind the camera, and this is a good thing.

    sek

My future wife and I will be taking our honeymoon in Central America (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala).  We will be spending most of the time on a tour.

We will have backpacks for our gear, so can't travel too heavy.

Balancing considerations of weight and practicality, what lenses do you think I should take?

I currently have a 5D III which will be coming.

I am also thinking
  • 16-35L (yet to be purchased
  • 35L
  • 24-105L

I have the 24-70L II which I am considering taking in place of the 24-105L.  The image quality is just so much better. I don't think that I will miss the long end. As always, IS would be great but I find my photos from the 24-70L to be so much better than those from the 24-105L.

I have a 70-300L but don't think it will be needed. I'm not into birds at all, much more landscape, culture and people.

I also own a 24L, 85 f/1.8 and 135L but don't think that it's worth the weight to take these.

I have a 600D that I will probably take as a backup body in case I get robbed at any point.

Thoughts? Thanks :)
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sek Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, EOS M  Lenses:  24-70 2.8 II IS, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8 Flashes: 580 EX II600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

Daniel Flather

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2013, 11:58:32 PM »
You can see my gear list in my sig.  I'd take the 5D3 and the 35L.  I recommend a 600rt flash purchase over the 16-35 if you don't have a flash.  I think you'll take some people (wife) pictures and the 600 is great for fill inside and outside, and bounce indoors.  Have a nice trip too.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 12:01:05 AM by Daniel Flather »
| 5D3 | 8-15L | 24L II | 35L | 50L | 85L II | 100/2.8 | 200/2L | EOS M | 22 STM |

CANONisOK

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2013, 01:17:10 AM »
On a side note, I have been looking into Central and South America a lot lately.  I have heard, though travel agencies, etc., don't really advertise it, that Belize has a lot of crime.  A friend of mine just got back last week and I spoke with her yesterday and she confirmed that.
While I have no basis to comment on the experience of your friend, I will respectfully disagree that Belize has a lot of crime. At least as an across the board statement.

Now, if she's referring to the City - well, that is obviously a true statement. But tourism is the largest part of their economy and they don't have a tendency to #%*$ where they eat (so to speak). In my decade-plus association with the country, I've found the following: Cayo is the safest region. Coastal areas besides B.C. can be dangerous if you are in the wrong parts of town at the wrong time of night (like any other place on earth), but tourists don't tend to see much of crime at resorts, shopping areas, historical/adventure locations, etc.

Now, all that being said; to the OP: save the big gear-fest for a non-honeymoon trip. C.A. is a pretty short flight away and not that expensive. Gear up on your next trip. And, for the love of god, enjoy the food/drink, culture, history of a beautiful region with your new bride. Oh, and watch out for crazy drivers and stray dogs.
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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2013, 01:17:10 AM »

VelocideX

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2013, 02:54:18 AM »
Now, all that being said; to the OP: save the big gear-fest for a non-honeymoon trip. C.A. is a pretty short flight away and not that expensive. Gear up on your next trip. And, for the love of god, enjoy the food/drink, culture, history of a beautiful region with your new bride. Oh, and watch out for crazy drivers and stray dogs.

I'm from Australia... Central America is not that close :P

I do have a flash, which I will take.

The consensus seems to be to take a telephoto over the UWA, which is helpful to know.

I have the 40mm f/2.8 as well. It's super light so I might pack it anyway... probably more useful for street than the 35L.

duydaniel

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2013, 03:21:42 AM »
try 18-55 f3.5-5.6

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Re: Recommended lenses for travel to Central America
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2013, 03:21:42 AM »