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Old Feb 6, 2006, 7:18 AM   #1
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Hi all thanks in advance for any suggestions,

Im visiting the US and canada for 3 months in Sept and will be travelling around many of the national parks in the north west I wondered what lens is goingto help me do justice to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone etc etc

I havent decided on a budget yet as really I have no idea!

Any help or suggestions would be great
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 8:11 AM   #2
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stustaff

I would recommend an ultra wide for one of your lenses. The few in the area are the Sigma EX 10-20mm, Sigma EX 12-24, Tokina ATX 12-24, and the Canon 10-22. These would give a great view of the vast landscapes at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. And if your going to Yellowstone, visit the Tetons just south of Yellowstone.

If you are traveling light, where you can only bring one lens, then the Canon EFS 17-85mm or the Sigma 18-125mm would work good for this. The Canon L 17-40 and Sigma EX 18-50 could work too, but you will lose some at the long end.

For animal viewing at Yellowstone, you will need at least a good 300mm zoom. One of the good 70-300mm would be a minimum. If you can deal with the size, either a Canon L 100-400mm or the Sigma 50-500mm would be great. I had a Canon 75-300mm at the time I was at Yellowstone, and I wish I had a bit more than 300mm for the animals.

I would also recomend a good Circular Polarizer for your travels. Thiscan really help withthe colors and sky ofthe area.

When I visited Yellowstone last year, my Sigma 18-125mm was on most of the time, but my telezoom was on for the animals. When I went to Yosemite, I had the Sigma 10-20mm on alot, but I did use the Sigma 18-125mm a few times.

Bill
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 8:19 AM   #3
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Thanks Bill

I am travelling with what I have basically! the kit lens plus A.N. Other,

I dont plan to be taking many animal shots mostly landscapes and cant really afford bothe the wide angle and the zoom!

Im visiting 9 or 10 places over a few weeks in that area from Vegas to South Dakota, so yes yosemite, the Tetons and many many more!

At yellowstone or nearby is there anyonw who rents lenses out do you know?

Thanks for the info though thats a great starting point for me.
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 9:31 AM   #4
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stustaff

If you have at the kit lens,the 18-55mm, then that should be able to cover the wider end of the spectrum for landscapes. For that lens, stop it down to about F8 and you should be able to get some really goodimages. If you don't have a circular polarizer, then you might want to get one. Mine was on all the time while out west.

If you aregoing to Yellowstone, animal shots are one of the things there. They are everywhere. The bison, elk, moose, pronghorn, sheep, bald eagles,and bearscan be seen daily. It gets addictive of what animal to shoot next.

A tele lens that complements the kit lens is the Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro. It is around $200 US dollars. I have read good things about it, but have not used one. This can work for landscapes also, as that is some vast landscapes in the west. The kit lens and this Sigma mentioned here would make a nice travel kit for traveling light. You have a large area covered, from about 29m to 480mm with two lenses. The gap (55-70) inbetween these two isn't that noticable. You can just zoom with your feet!!

For me, if you don't have a tele lens yet, then that would come before an ultra wide. The long end does come in handy in the parks.

For renting glass out there, I am not sure. I have never had to look into that. I did read about a place called http://www.rentglass.com, but I have not used them.

If you are covering that many parks, you might want to think of an external storage device to for your images. When I was at Yellowstone for aweek, I shot about 10 gig of images, but that was in the RAW format too. A good tripod and/or a monopodwill also help.

Your welcome on the info, and if you need any help with areas to go in Yellowstone let me know.

Bill

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Old Feb 6, 2006, 12:35 PM   #5
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Thanks again Bill,

Storage should be covered planning on taking a laptop with a dvd burner out there as plan to take a lot of photos in almost 3 months of travelling!

Will also probably buy the lenses over there as should be much cheaper than getting them in the uk.

I would love any recommendations for yellowstone, Im also planning on visiting Zion, Bryce canyon, Arches, timpanagos cave, mesa verde, grand canyon, yellowstone, devils tower, mount rushmore, badlands, wind cave, and then off towards the great lakes and up into Canada for ontarion quebec and the niagra falls then new england and finnally flying into DC from boston bfore returning back to the UK...Pheww
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 9:52 PM   #6
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at 18mm, the kit lens is (overall) sharpest at f/11

At f/8 the center performance is best, at f/11, diffraction softens the center (by a small amount), but the border performance is better (again, by a small amount).

Another thing to note are the distortions at 18mm. You could fix this if you had some kind of software.

If you can, I'd wait to buy a lens when in the US. They're a lot cheaper than canadian prices.
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 10:53 PM   #7
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That's a lot of traveling!! I would recommend a small pocket shooter to compliment your 20D for those moments when you don't feel like taking your 20D. I went to Alaska for 2 weeks and there were occasions, ie dinner, when I left the 20D back in the room and still captured some great photos. I have a 5 mpxl Panasonic which was OK, but would probably opt for something a little higher end now. Another consideration would be a backpack. If you already have one, which one did you chose? I still have to decide. I also recommend a monopod which will come in handy if you are going to be using a tele any length of time.

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Old Feb 8, 2006, 3:16 AM   #8
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Great stuff folks, thanks for the tips with the kit lens, already have a monopod and will be getting a nice rucksack, I have a small digicam a sony 5mp which does fine for those times when dont want to take the big boy out

Re distortions at 18mm I have photoshop so could correct in that? or do i need a specific piece of software?

I have a while so will do plenty of shots over here with the kit lens to see what I can get out of it.



and Yes it is a lot of travelling!
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Old Feb 8, 2006, 12:07 PM   #9
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All I had in Alaska was the 17 -85 and it was really pretty adequate. I was able to get some fairly good crops for small prints, but for larger prints or to get the real close-ups of animals, I really wish I had gotten a longer tele sooner. I did just get a 70 - 200 Sigma 2.8 with a tele extender. That would be the equivalent of a 300 on the long end. But if I was going for 3 months shooting in the wild, I would definitely invest in something longer. You can always sell in after the trip if it somewhat exceeds your budget, but at least you won't look back and kick yourself like I did!

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Old Feb 8, 2006, 12:33 PM   #10
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A nice pocketable mercedes point and shoot is the Canon S80.

I agree, the 17-85 would be a nice all around lens.

You could get by with the 18-55 kit lens but sometimes you'd be looking to reach farther on the telephoto end.

-- Terry


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