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Author Topic: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?  (Read 4312 times)

DeadPixel

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Howdy all,

I’m taking a driving vacation in a couple months out west for the first time – leaving from southwest Michigan, through Chicago and then eventually Yellowstone National park.  Along the way I plan to stop at Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands and the Teton National Forest for sure.  As a side note I’m not a professional photographer at all, I just enjoy taking and sharing my photos with friends and family.

My real question is whether a 15mm lens is wide enough on my T3i to capture these places or will I be left wanting wider shots?  Here in Michigan I have too many trees to get vast expansive landscapes so its currently a non-issue.  With my current lenses, the EFS 15-85mm is as wide as I can get.  I’m not opposed to renting an EF 10-22 or something else if I’d get that much more utility out of it.

 Additionally I do have an EF 70-300, 50mm f/1.8 and 100mm Macro in the bag.  These should cover the other 99% of what I’m looking for, right?

As a last note, are there any other locations along that route in the general vicinity people would recommend as worth visiting or photographing?

Thanks!

DeadPixel

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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 07:28:25 PM »
It really depends on your shooting style.  Most of the time, if you want to photograph a particular feature you won't need that wide.  For wildlife, you might wish for 800mm.
 
However, if you want wide vistas, bring a 10-22mm.  There are some places where it would be impressive.
 
28mm on FF
 

 
about 28mm on FF
 

 
 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 08:51:43 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

Cali_PH

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 08:43:01 PM »
I agree, it depends on your shooting style, but I'd really suggest the 10-22.  Once I got one for my T2i it immediately became my most-used lens (I mostly shoot landscape), with a 24-105L must less frequently. Once I go FF though, I wonder how much I'd use a, say, the 17-40L vs 24-105L. I think I tend to shoot in the 10-16mm range (cropped)

Spooky

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 04:44:21 AM »
I'd agree with the 10-22, however thats a lot of lenses to lug around. My 15-85 is a great all rounder and there is sometimes a risk of leaving the picture rather empty with very wide angles. Rather than using them to capture an expanse, I prefer to use them to accentuate foreground details. You could also try stitching shots from your 15-85 which keeps the perspective more natural and is pretty easy to do these days.
Don't let this put you off the 10-22 though... :)

razar2012

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 04:46:17 AM »
I used to own a 17-40 on a 5D and I tended to always find myself zooming right out to the 17mm end. It can be tempting to always want a wider and wider view, almost to the point that it can make you a little 'lazy' photographically speaking. The wider angle of view also by it's nature includes more height as well as width, so you start adding more foreground and sky to your images.

I've recently found that another option is to take a couple of images to stitch together as a panoramic. This gives you the extra width without having to buy another lens!

dr croubie

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 04:55:54 AM »
I always thought my 15-85 was wide enough, but i've been gradually coming to the opinion that it's not. ANd I haven't even been going anywhere special, just hiking around the local hills and the last week in Sydney.

But there's also stitching, of which I do quite a lot. Firstly, I stitch a lot with my Samyang 35, it's practically distortion-free (on a crop body), and it's sharp as all hell.
But I have also taken shots to stitch with the 15-85, and it depends what program you use (and how much you overlap the shots), but the barrel-distortion can be a bit much at 15mm. Zoom it in a tiny bit to 18-20mm and that's where the lens goes from barrel to pincushion, there's a practically distortion-free point somewhere. But you'll need a good tripod and head, a pano-setup becomes more and more necessary once you get wider and wider because you'll have more things closer to the frame where parallax becomes a problem.

Or just get the 10-22, take care of it, sell it once you're back (if you don't love it enough to keep it), and you're down less than the cost of hiring it...
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dilbert

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 05:47:48 AM »
There are a few locations in Yellowstone where you need wide angle to shoot what you can see.

For this, you need something like a 10-22.

My advice would be to try and rent such a lens because the number of times that you actually use it is quite small.

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 05:47:48 AM »

dturano

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 06:55:42 AM »
Take a look at the sigma 10-20mm f/3.5.
For the price it a good wide lens on a crop body, meant for smaller sensors

docsavage123

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 08:06:24 AM »
I went in 2010 one of the best trips Ive been on Yellowstone, Tetons and Utah/Southwest I took the Sigma 10-20 before I went full frame and its a cracking little lens. Fantastic at 10mm on a crop sensor.

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darrellrhodesmiller

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 08:31:40 AM »
i went to bozeman,mt  and glacier national park (about 200 miles north of yellowstone) last august. my sigma 10-20mm almost never came off my camera. amazing lens. what ever lens you have you'll make do and take great shots. 15-85 is a great focal length range.. if you want to splurge and rent the sigma, do it.. but if not the 15-85 will do fine. if you do have a scene that wont fit in 15mm you can always stich multiple shots together in photoshop.

D

RC

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2012, 09:03:08 AM »
I've did a fair amount of landscape photog when I had my 15-85.   Not home now but if I check my exif data, I would expect 95% of my shots are at 15mm.  I don't recall not getting a shot because I could not get wider. 

So bottom line is, I think you would be fine with 15mm.   However, if you bring a 10-22 or equivalent, I doubt that lens would ever leave your body and you would discover that a lot of shots would wider than 15mm.

If you are in investing in this trip and are planing to take time for photog (as apposed to a quick pass thru), I'd rent a 10-22.  If you are planning to stick with crop, at least for a while, I'd buy the 10-22. 

Also, make sure you have or rent a telephoto zoom for those animal shots.  Something like a 70-200 at a minimum. 

Good luck and enjoy your trip.   

dawgfanjeff

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2012, 10:10:44 AM »
I was there last September, and I'd recommend the longest zoom you can get (300mm should be a minimum), and without a doubt, rent a 10-22.  You'll be walking along boardwalks and standing literally 3 feet from open thermals, "pots" and geysers that have so much visual interest you'll feel like there is no way to frame it without sacrifice, so go wide.  I'd also leave the macro lens at home, instead bring a tripod and a polarizer for the 10-22. 

A few other tips...you're going to see lots and lots of bison.  Unless they are really close, don't stop to photograph the first ones you see.  The opposite is true of moose and elk, but especially bear and wolves.  I struck gold on wolves, but no bear.
When in Teton, visit the best visitors' center I've ever seen, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and take the short hike to Phelps Lake.   

The park is huge, so you'll be driving alot, so will everybody else so get out there EARLY and try to catch wildlife and avoid alot of traffic.  There are hiking trails everywhere, but really do heed the warnings on bear. 
Lastly...you cannot possibly see everything you want to but you'll want to check off the snake river overlook that Ansel made famous, Old Faithful and without a doubt, spend some time in Lamar Valley.  I bought a couple of photo related guidebooks for kindle and read them on the plane ride, it helped out.  Enjoy!

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itsnotmeyouknow

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2012, 10:54:59 AM »
I agree, it depends on your shooting style, but I'd really suggest the 10-22.  Once I got one for my T2i it immediately became my most-used lens (I mostly shoot landscape), with a 24-105L must less frequently. Once I go FF though, I wonder how much I'd use a, say, the 17-40L vs 24-105L. I think I tend to shoot in the 10-16mm range (cropped)

If you normally shoot in the 10 - 16mm range then you'll ise the 17 - 40 more than the 24 - 105 as the 10 - 16 is equivalent to 16 - 25/6mm

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2012, 10:54:59 AM »

RC

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2012, 11:00:42 AM »
... You'll be walking along boardwalks and standing literally 3 feet from open thermals, "pots" and geysers that have so much visual interest you'll feel like there is no way to frame it without sacrifice, so go wide.... 

Very good point for justifying a 10-22 or equivalent.  Don't leave home without it.

DeadPixel

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2012, 12:47:22 PM »
Mt. Spokane, thanks for sharing, beautiful pictures! 

Cali- glad to hear the first hand vouch for the 10-22! 

Razar2012- that's a great point about the height and foreground.  I'll sheepishly admit i didnt consider that.

dawgfanjeff, great shots and I really appreciate the tips - I probably would have tried to shoot the first bison I saw! 

Rc and others, I might pick up the 10-22 - its a valid point that it could be resold if I didn't want it to have a permanent home in my bag.

In terms of more zoon as some suggested, im not overly keen on taking one of the big whites (rented or otherwise) so the biggest I have now is the 70-300 f/4-5.6, I know the canon teleconverters won't work with this, but I understand some of the kenko ones would?  Of course id loose a stop or two but might that be a viable option?

For those who have been before, how many days are needed to really get a decent overview of the park?  I've been told at least 3 by some friends that visited last year.

Thanks for the great feedback so far, I really appreciate it!

DeadPixel

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Re: 15mm Wide Angle on a Crop body for Yellowstone/Western US enough?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2012, 12:47:22 PM »