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Camera equipment suggestions - Lens

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 07:03 pm
I'm going to Costa Rica in May for 2 weeks and plan on taking a lot of pictures. I understand that the quality of a picture has much more do with the photographer than the equipment, but this is an experience that I won't get a 2nd chance at and I want to make sure I have the right and enough equipment to minimize the negative effects of the photographer.

Equipment I own
Canon EOS XTI digital camera, 10.1mp
18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens
55-200mm f4-5.6 lens
4gb memory card

I'm looking at this lens
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002Y5WXO/?tag=fasazo198-20

It gets good reviews and the range would replace my 2 lens'. I like to take low light pictures though, and I'm kind of want a camera with a larger aperature.

Can some of the experts here help me make with some good suggestions.


I did a search on the tags and couldn't find any similar post, so this will be helpful for future people as well.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 1,582 • Replies: 16
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maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 07:20 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:
55-250mm f4-5.6 lens


I should add that this is an Image Stabilizing lens.

And it's actually out to 250mm, not 200. Whoops.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 08:09 pm
@maporsche,
I'm not an expert, but this is what really helped me and I am told I am now taking professional quality pictures.

Think about the the subject matter and conditions you will be taking pictures in. Let's say Costa Rican landscape. Start taking pictures right now with conditions as close as you can get to what you will be shooting in Costa Rica. Keep a record of your settings or just look at at the settings you had your camera on in the photographs. Trial and error and the prosess of elimination will soon have it to where you can look at your subject and set your settings at the drop of a dime or have them preset. If you don't do this trial in error now you will be doing it in Costa Rica.

A professional told me "Get to know your camera like it is an extension of you hand and eye, the only way to really do this is to take ALOT of pictures."

She also told me new photographers have the great blessing of being able to take as many pictures as possible with no cost or dark room so take advatage of it because it is invaluble.

Also you or your subject might be moving so you can't always pick you aperature. If you try to stay with one aperature you will miss many good shots.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 01:52 am
17-85mm is a good range for all and everything, besides perhaps for such items where you really need a tele.

4-5.6 is good enough for 'average' light, though you might notice some disadvantage when it's not bright weather.


(I've a Nikon, and use Sigma lenses [10-20, 1:4-5.6; 24-70,1:2.8; 70-200, 1:2.8. macro; 50, 1:2.8 macro (1:1)] and a 2x teleconverter = always a lot to carry.)

I've got a couple of 4GB cards and more 2 and 1GB's - I only photograph in raw formate, and this helps to get the pics sorted. A little bit at least.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 04:08 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Thanks Walter; since you use Sigma, what do you think of this EF mount lens?

http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-17-70mm-2-8-4-Canon-Digital/dp/B002ZNJB32
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 04:42 pm
@maporsche,
Generally, I think that Sigma lenses are one of the best alternatives too original camera-brand lenses.

This one - I've just looked through the specification - is really an excellent standard lens, especially for that price.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 05:45 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
What do you think about tripods Walter? I don't know that I want to carry one around all the time while on vacation, so I was leaning towards one of those gorillapod setups. Do you have any experience with those?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:13 pm
@maporsche,
I'm obviously not Walter, but I am a gorillapod fan.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:32 pm
@maporsche,
I bought a Canon last year and I like it a lot. Ive been looking into some lenses. Ive got a Canon stad 26 to 130 mm (telescopic) qand a MAQCRO. I want a longer range lens too (like up to 250 telecopic).

With the stad lens and a macro I do most of what I want but a nice mid telephoto is good for pans and scenery.

Ive seen some ads at Princeton for lens shops that do long term rentals for Cnon and Nikon..
I think you will need a macro because Costa Rica you wanna get real close or long distance.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:34 pm
@maporsche,
th SD cards are so cheap now, why not go to a Walgreens and get a stack of them. I dont like big Gb cards because of times involved in downloads. I get em at 1 or2Gb lots.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 02:52 pm
@maporsche,
I don't have a tripod myself in the moment, but use a monopod. And that isn't really thaaat helpful sometimes.

I don't think that I've ever been in a situation to use a gorillapod: I always find some place to keep the camera calm instead.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 11:16 pm
@farmerman,
Good point FM. Macro would indeed be cool.

I did some craigslist shopping today and found this lens only 3 months old for $275.

http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/253093447.htm?utm_medium=productsearch&utm_source=google#reviews

It's the same range as the Sigma lens I posted above, but doesn't have the stabilization factor. I don't think this will be too much of a problem with the larger apature, and I have IS on my 250mm lens which is where I really need it.

Walter, thank you for the favorable review of Sigma; I probably would have overpaid for Canon brand otherwise. I can't wait to shoot with this lens this next weekend.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:58 am
@maporsche,
I'm sure, you won't be disappointed!

re macro: the macro feature really is a very good item, but I doubt that many use it often.
What I do like with my 50 mm lens is ... the 1:1 macro factor.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 04:12 pm
@maporsche,
I do lots of close-ups, as you may figure what with dirt and rocks and fossils and all. I need a macro and extender rings that allow me to focus on the print of a nickle. If I can read a nickle, Im set to take what I need.

Ive started taking pix of flowers last summer and have several neat shots with dew and bugs and stuff.

So the SIgmas are not steady cam?. I love that feature in my Canon.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 04:13 pm
@maporsche,
The Costa Rican froggies and the velvet green beetles on flowers are , of course, why you need a macro and extender rings.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Feb, 2010 10:38 pm
@farmerman,
I've been taking some shots with the lens, and it passes the nickel test (the nickel fills more than 2/3s of the frame).

It should be fun in the jungle.

Sigmas do have steadyshot, but this particular lens does not. It has a large apature though and has done really well in low light, steadyshot or not.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Feb, 2010 10:44 pm
I recieved a shipment from Amazon today.

A 4gb memory card.
1 remote control shutter release.
A large gorilla pod.
A circular polarizer for my new lens, and one for my existing lens.


I also got one of these:
http://www.surefire.com/E2DL
http://www.surefire.com/surefire/content/images_inv/v/t/24531/E2DLED_45L_large_24531.png
0 Replies
 
 

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