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Old Dec 17, 2009, 1:53 PM   #1
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Default Lenses for Antelope Canyon?

I'm hopefully going to be visiting Antelope Canyon next week, assuming that the weather cooperates (looks good so far). I'm trying to decide what to take into the canyon. We'll most likely do the lower canyon, with the upper as a possibility if there's time and opportunity. Has anyone else been there?

I'm trying to decide which lenses to take - I'm not going to carry the kitchen sink since there are ladders involved for the lower canyon. We'll take 3 cameras (Pentax K100, K20 and K-7) and since the canyon has the reputation for being very dusty, I'm going to try to keep lens-changing to a minimum - thought I'd take no more than 4 lenses. Normally I change lenses at will (I have good lens-changing techniques) and perhaps I'm overstressing on this point. But there's also a limit to what I can carry and still negotiate stairs/ladders. We'll have 1 tripod (definite - my camera bag has a tripod carrier) and perhaps a monopod (if I can convince my other half that he really wants to have one).

So my lens thoughts are:

10-17 fish-eye (definite, love this lens and think it would work well in a slot canyon that's also known as "corkscrew canyon")
12-24 (maybe - the lens doesn't always reliably AF to infinity and so isn't the best choice for my hubby but I think I'd like to have the pentilinear capabilities in addition to the fisheye)
77 f1.8 (for detail shots and its my fastest AF lens. The other option would be a manual 50mm 1.7 and it's not as good a lens).
50-135 f2.8 (this might be nice as a fast zoom - wonder if this would be better than the 77. It's a very nice lens but the 77 is sharper and has better contrast and would normally be my pick).

Would I be better off with an older 18-55 kit lens instead of the possibly problematic 12-24 - would its focal length overcome the fact it's such a slow lens when compared to the slightly faster, wider and sharper 12-24? The kit lens is OK on the 6 mp camera, but the higher resolution cameras show up its limitations.

Would there be any need for something longer than 77mm? I have a 200mm f2.8 lens that I love, along with a much slower 55-300 zoom. I know the canyon is quite deep, but don't know that it's deep enough to want something that long.

Would there be any need for a 100mm macro lens? I wonder if I'd want the close-focusing capability, but think probably not as it would be too long.

Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old Dec 29, 2009, 10:36 PM   #2
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I've been there a few years ago. Not on the photographic tour but on the regular one.


Don't think you need a telephoto lens - it's not that deep.
Tripod is defiantly needed tho.
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 8:04 AM   #3
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We went last week, visiting the Lower Antelope Canyon only. I ended up taking the 10-17 fisheye (great fun, loved the results), the 77 1.8 and the 50-135 f2.8. It wasn't at all as dusty as I had expected (it had rained/snowed a couple of days before which settled the sand/dust, it was cold and the few other people I saw were too few to kick up the dust) so there was no problem with changing lenses. I really wished that I had brought along the kit lens, as I often wanted something between 17 and 77, and it's slow speed wouldn't have been a problem using a tripod. My other half took some really excellent pictures with the 50-135 hand-held (camera shake a problem with others - IS is useful but not a miracle worker).
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