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Author Topic: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear  (Read 5470 times)

KKCFamilyman

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Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« on: June 16, 2012, 01:05:45 AM »
Going with my family to San Diego zoo, sea world, Disneyland,  beach, etc.

I have canon 5d3, 24-105, 50 1.4, 430 ex ii.

Was looking for a good bag choice with easy access.
Also considering 70-200 f4 is can get new for $900. Tempting
40mm pancake for close to 35mm coverage at least at 2.8 and it would be light.
Only considering the 270 ex ii for flash
Possibly g1x for smaller pics and the beach day.

Any help would be appreciated as I am going in about 45 days.
2 x 5d iii, 24-70L II, 70-200 f2.8 IS II L, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2 ii L, 100mm 2.8L macro, 70-300 L, 40mm 2.8, 3 x 600ex rt

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Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« on: June 16, 2012, 01:05:45 AM »

Pitbullo

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 04:18:10 AM »
I am no expert, but I think it comes down to how you are traveling. Are you going by car, pack everything if you have space for it. Are you flying, go for a general purpose zoom (24-105), a fast prime (50mm) and a flash. Just my two cents! Less gear means more time to enjoy the family holliday, but you still have the gear to take amazing photos. And it is less gear to get broken or stolen.

Albi86

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 05:24:25 AM »
For walking around I have found Tamrac Velocity to be great. The 8x model should suit your needs, maybe even the 7x ;)

KKCFamilyman

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2012, 11:44:33 AM »
Thanks I will look into that bag.

My question is should I get the 70-200 f4is for the trip? There is a zoo and sea world. I know I will not need it anywhere else but could see a need for it at home when the kids are running around. Just want to spend my money wisely. Also would anyone recommend the canon g1x or upcoming Sony rx100 for a pocketable camera? I had the s100 and was not impressed. Also considering the sx260 and no zoom allowing me to carry a smaller bag like the Lowe pro 102aw or 202aw
2 x 5d iii, 24-70L II, 70-200 f2.8 IS II L, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2 ii L, 100mm 2.8L macro, 70-300 L, 40mm 2.8, 3 x 600ex rt

neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 01:52:17 PM »
Ok, so this is the third, maybe fourth, thread you've started on this topic.  To be honest (and perhaps a little blunt), this isn't about gear choice...it's about philosophy.  You and your wife need to sit down and discuss 1) what you want to achieve with the pictures from this trip (momentos for a 4x6" album that will remind you of the trip as in 'ahh that gorilla was pretty cool', a coffee table book or 16x20" prints for the family room, precious memories of a once-in-a-lifetime trip, etc.); 2), what quality if images will be 'good enough' for the intended use; and 3) what her tolerance will be for you lugging the gear, changing lenses, and having the camera in front of your face for much of the time.

Once you've made those decisions, then picking gear becomes straightforward, the gear determines the bag, etc.

Just my 2¢.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 02:09:47 PM »
Just to add, if you weren't happy with the S100's IQ, you'll be less happy with a superzoom P&S, and should be looking mainly at the new Sony or the G1 X for a P&S solution, if that's what you decide.
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KKCFamilyman

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 07:37:16 PM »
Ok, so this is the third, maybe fourth, thread you've started on this topic.  To be honest (and perhaps a little blunt), this isn't about gear choice...it's about philosophy.  You and your wife need to sit down and discuss 1) what you want to achieve with the pictures from this trip (momentos for a 4x6" album that will remind you of the trip as in 'ahh that gorilla was pretty cool', a coffee table book or 16x20" prints for the family room, precious memories of a once-in-a-lifetime trip, etc.); 2), what quality if images will be 'good enough' for the intended use; and 3) what her tolerance will be for you lugging the gear, changing lenses, and having the camera in front of your face for much of the time.

Once you've made those decisions, then picking gear becomes straightforward, the gear determines the bag, etc.

Just my 2¢.

I understand. I just am worried I will not be back there for many years and do not want to miss out. If my wife had it her way I would go without a camera. She hates that I fiddle with settings and mount lenses etc. while on vacation. Asking her is not an option or I would and then I understand your point.

Baseline photography needs are:

Disney (24-105 Day) 50mm for night 270exii

san diego zoo and seaworld I know the 24-105 will cover my family shots but I wanted to be able to get some of the rare animals like the Panda's and etc that they do not have by me. I guess I don't have to get them but it would be nice.

We are also visiting family we never see but I figure the 24-105 or my 50mm would cover it.

As far as the beach and rides I guess I can get by with the wifes PS 320hs but I was thinking G1x or Sony RX100 for size to have when I just want to pull a quick candid. If I left out the zoom then I would have no problem with bag choices because I could get a lowepro 102aw and be content or many other similar bags like the tamrac evo 6 also. The concern is the zoom potential and larger bag it would require. I am flying but we will have a rental car the whole trip.

Sorry but my last slr was the 60d and I had lens coverage for all those needs. Now that I went FF I am having a harder time making good lens choices for places I have never been.

Finally thank you for taking the time to try and help me. I truly appreciate it. I am not just posting for nothing but these choices are expensive and I do not want to make them lightly.
2 x 5d iii, 24-70L II, 70-200 f2.8 IS II L, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2 ii L, 100mm 2.8L macro, 70-300 L, 40mm 2.8, 3 x 600ex rt

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 07:37:16 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2012, 09:49:19 PM »
I hear you.  I'm fortunate in that my wife has become reasonably tolerant of my bringing gear on family outings and trips (case in point, an all-ages outdoor jazz concert last evening, I brought the gripped 5DII, 35L, and 70-200/2.8 IS II, and the S100).

Some tips:

  • Use a Blackrapid strap - having your hands free and the camera at you side/lower back makes it less obtrusive, but still very quickly accessible
  • Insure your gear - that's not just about protection from theft, it's also piece of mind. Knowing my cameras and lenses are covered means I am comfortable treating them like the tools they are, so I can pay attention to family instead of gear.
  • Don't chimp - bring lots of memory cards, use high speed continuous shooting. When you take a shot, AF and fire a 2-3 shot burst, then AF again and fire another short burst, then let the camera hang from the strap.  More work to triage images later, but that's when you'll have time, and the pair of bursts means a keeper is very likely.

The 70-200/4 IS would be great for Sea World, pretty good for the Safari Park (if you have time to drive up to Escondido), and ok for the Zoo. The main 'problem' with an f/4 lens at the zoo is it's usually not wide enough to fully blur out the net/wire of the enclosure - try to get the lens as close as possible to the wires.
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KKCFamilyman

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2012, 10:44:41 PM »
I hear you.  I'm fortunate in that my wife has become reasonably tolerant of my bringing gear on family outings and trips (case in point, an all-ages outdoor jazz concert last evening, I brought the gripped 5DII, 35L, and 70-200/2.8 IS II, and the S100).

Some tips:

  • Use a Blackrapid strap - having your hands free and the camera at you side/lower back makes it less obtrusive, but still very quickly accessible
  • Insure your gear - that's not just about protection from theft, it's also piece of mind. Knowing my cameras and lenses are covered means I am comfortable treating them like the tools they are, so I can pay attention to family instead of gear.
  • Don't chimp - bring lots of memory cards, use high speed continuous shooting. When you take a shot, AF and fire a 2-3 shot burst, then AF again and fire another short burst, then let the camera hang from the strap.  More work to triage images later, but that's when you'll have time, and the pair of bursts means a keeper is very likely.

The 70-200/4 IS would be great for Sea World, pretty good for the Safari Park (if you have time to drive up to Escondido), and ok for the Zoo. The main 'problem' with an f/4 lens at the zoo is it's usually not wide enough to fully blur out the net/wire of the enclosure - try to get the lens as close as possible to the wires.

Thanks. I think I will grab the 70-200 since I could see using it for more than just the vacation. If I desire the 70-200 2.8 mk ii after I can always sell mine and get it then when the weight will not matter. I would rather the 24-70 mk ii to be my first 2.8 zoom though after I finally could cover 24-200mm. Then I can start upgrading. Anyway. My wife wants me to bring it but just not playing with it everywhere we go. I need to learn to balance it. I think if I set up my c1-3 modes correctly and only shoot the photo's I need rather than several pre photo's to judge for iso, shutter, f stop etc. I think that gets old bc I would have taken at least 5-10 shots before we take ours. I think that's what gets old. I am attending a photography session next weekend which will hopefully give me some additional tips on technique. Also I think I will bring a small bridge like the g1x or sony sx100 so I can have some days without it and have fun and at least know I am carrying something reasonable vs a low end powershot. I am excited though because the 5d mark iii will grab some nice images which I do plan on a photo book and want a nice one in front of the Castle at Disney to blow up to 24 x 36 or something large for above the couch in the front room. To give you like a quick glimpse of the atmosphere at Disney. I hope really to capture that the most. One last question. Do you think it would be worth it on my off photography days to walk around with that 40mm pancake since its cheap and light? And where would I get this insurance your talking about? Any suggestions?
2 x 5d iii, 24-70L II, 70-200 f2.8 IS II L, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2 ii L, 100mm 2.8L macro, 70-300 L, 40mm 2.8, 3 x 600ex rt

dlleno

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2012, 11:50:25 PM »
been to all those places;  here's some thoughts.  When traveling with family, esp. those less tolerant of equipment changes, you optimize your photography around the situations you anticipate.  Here is what I do

1.  I use a LowePro slingshot bag because I can change between my 17-55 and my 70-200 while walking.

2.  disney;  depends on you of course, but you can take some shots on some rides.  I have a favorite shot of my grandson sitting behind me and my wife on the thunder mountain railroad.  I fired off a few bursts blind and let the AF do its job.  I got lots of backgrond blurr and the boy reasonably in focus.  Thats the kind of thing you can do if you all ride stuff together.  nearly all of my disney photos were taken with my std zoom.

3.  zoo. if you want to capture animals (not just family members looking at them) the 70-200 is a must.  I'd get a 1.4x TC as well if you can.

4.  sea world.  you can get some nice photos of Shamu  with the 70-200 if you plan the backgrounds accordingly.  one of the things difficult there is that the backgrounds are complex, so just watch out.  esp the dolphin show-- horribly complex backgrounds, so use fast shutter speeds and large apertures.    Do the "dinner with Shamu" thing and you will get better pics with a standard zoom (not the 70-200).

neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 08:15:19 AM »
Do you think it would be worth it on my off photography days to walk around with that 40mm pancake since its cheap and light? And where would I get this insurance your talking about? Any suggestions?

I see the utility of the 40mm pancake only when not bringing a camera bag on the trip at all.  Otherwise, a pancake really benefits a small mirrorless camera, less so an already large dSLR.

The insurance, as long as your photography is a hobby and you're not selling images, you get from your honeowner's/renter's insurer. Some do it as a rider on the main policy, others as a separate policy. State Farm calls it a Personal Articles policy, I pay $7.60 per year per $1000 of covered gear.
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Chewy734

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 08:50:28 AM »
I would've said, keep it simple and enjoy your vacation...  take just the 24-105mm f/4L.  But, since you'll be going to the zoo, I'd recommend a telephoto as well.  I recommend the 70-200mm f/4L IS just because it's relatively cheaper than the f/2.8, and really sharp too.  Plus, your arms will thank you since it weighs much less for walking around.

As much as I love my 50mm f/1.4, and as light and small as it is, I don't find myself switching constantly back-and-forth between that lens and the 24-105mm f/4L.  It's just too cumbersome to carry both and keep switching lenses for me (especially while walking around).  Take one or the other.  That's why I recommend the zoom just for that reason...  more versatility.  If you enjoy shooting mostly at 50mm, I recommend taking the 50mm only and leaving the zoom at home.

tron

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 11:13:24 AM »
5d3, 24-105, 50 1.4, 430 ex ii and a 70-200 f/4 IS is NOT too much.

I believe that you will regret if you don't bring your gear with you.


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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 11:13:24 AM »

tron

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 11:15:59 AM »
Don't forget the tripod (preferrably a small one) ...

dlleno

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 11:32:11 AM »
I can see a 50mm 1.4 and a 70-200 at the zoo.  I switch between 17-55 and 70-200 all the time, but as I say that is only possible if you have a bag like the slingshot that allows you to do that quickly and while walking, so that you don't hold up the rest of the family, some of which is inevitable of course.  At the zoo you will have a great many lighting conditions, from indoors under low light and outdoor bright sunlight.  you'll just want to plan ahead what kind of photos you want. 

Yea I agree with the suggestion to take all three.  outdoors you'll use the 24-105 the most I would say, and stick on the 70-200 for the occasional animal portrait, esp if you have a 1.4x.  the 50mm 1.4 would be great for the indoor low-light shots. 

I love zoos and my grandkids so I come prepared for all lighting conditions.  I don't take a tripod in because of the bulk, and because personally my objective isn't necessarily to get every possible animal portrait -- I'm there to capture the kids as they interact with the scenery too.

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Re: Recommendations for vacation lenses and gear
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 11:32:11 AM »