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Thread: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

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    National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    Hi, I'm planning a special holiday, to the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, and Yellowstone National Park, Montana and am hoping for fantastic landscapes and wildlife opportunities. I will be hiking in the Rockies and Yellowstone.

    I own the Canon 10-22 and 17-85 lenses, and am looking for the most useful telephoto.

    Can anyone offer advice, please?

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    It really depends on the price range and what else you want to capture. A lens with a focal range of around 70-200/300 would be a perfect complement to what you have already. Each of the Canon 70-200 mm L-series models are superb. The f/2.8 would likely be too heavy for hiking though, which leaves the f/4 IS and non-IS models. The non-IS 70-200 version is extremely well-priced for the quality it provides, but I think you will find that the IS version is great for hand held compressed landscape shots. Right now I feel that Canon's 70-200 mm f/4L IS is their most versatile long focal length zoom lens.

    If you want the lens for strictly wildlife shots though, I would get something a little longer than 200mm, or bring along a 1.4X extender. Regardless, I would make sure you have the 70-200 range covered before getting a dedicated bird/wildlife lens (such as a 400mm f/5.6 or 300mm f/4L IS). Wildlife lenses are also very large and heavy...
    Last edited by McQ; 25th September 2008 at 08:11 PM.

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    Thank you for your advice. I shall be looking at the 70-200mm f/4L IS with an extender. But I'll also look at the f/2.8 - just dreaming! Thanks, again,

    DaveB

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    Hi DaveB
    I agree with McQ re the Canon lenses, but you might also want to consider third party possibilities. I use a Sigma 70-300mm f/4 APO lens and I think it's great. It also has a macro facility, great for close-ups of wild flowers.

    Also, don't forget a good support for your camera for telephoto shots. Tripod or monopod.

    Enjoy your trip.

    David

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    Thanks David,

    Have you compared the focussing speed of your Sigma lens against any Canon lenses?

    DaveB

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    I would suggest a CPF (Circular Polarizing Filter).
    However, you should be careful on buying it for your lenses which can vary in diameter ...
    I mean: one filter may not fit all your lenses ... and CPF are expensive.
    Nice journey and don't forget to show your pictures ...

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
    Thanks David,

    Have you compared the focussing speed of your Sigma lens against any Canon lenses?

    DaveB
    No I haven't, but I do have a Canon 75-300mm image stabiliser EF f/5.6 lens (not originally for digital cameras). My feeling is that this particular Canon lens is slower than the Sigma, but in any event my experience of the Sigma lens is that it is as fast as you would normally need. In addition, there may be some data on the Sigma web site.

    David

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    Considering the subject matter I would strongly suggest a stitching approach with whatever lens provides a reasonable coverage. 8 megapixels in a national park is cutting it too thin IMO. Given the typical focal distances involved, using a dedicated panoramic head is not absolutely necessary and shouldn't stop you from blanketing a scene with 30% overlapped exposures, effectively turning your 8 megapixel camera into one of 30 megapixels or more.
    The 70-200 f4 L is simply astonishing and is easily my sharpest lens, when I can hold it still. IS is definitely the way to go.
    Last edited by DanielJ; 2nd November 2008 at 07:44 AM.

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    Re: National Parks: Recommended Lenses with the EOS 20D

    I agree with McQ:

    "Right now I feel that Canon's 70-200 mm f/4L IS is their most versatile long focal length zoom lens."

    I used the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens in conjunction with the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens (on two 1.6x bodies) on a recent trip to the national parks and monuments of Utah and I shot about 60% of my images with the 17-55 and 35-40% with my 70-200 to compress distances and isolate specific areas of scenery.

    I also had a 12-24mm Tokina and a 300mm f/4L IS lens with me and hardly used them at all. I did use the 300mm for a few shots of an antelope near Bryce canyon before the animal spotted me and ran off.

    The 70-200mm f/4L IS gives me the ultimate in portability combined with outstanding IQ and A/F. The f/2.8 model is just too darned heavy for me. I can carry an f/4L IS lens mounted on a 40D camera at the weight of a f/2.8L lens alone.

    The f/4L IS works quite well as a 280mm f/5.6 lens using a 1.4x TC. I would not elect to use a 2x TC due to image and auto-focus degredation.

    I love having two bodies and will in the future, have my longest lens on one body when driving. Stopping and switching lenses when I see an animal is too time consuming and results in either missed or poor shots. Usually, when I want to use a wider lens for a shot, the subject such as a landscape is not going anywhere and I have time to switch lenses. Of course, having three cameras is a nice possibility but, is heavy and expensive.

    BTW two accessories I would not be without are a CPL and a sturdy but, reasonably light tripod. I modified a SLIK Pro 330DX tripod into a 2-pound 11-ounce rig by switching to the shorter center column and replacing the SLIK head with an Adorama Flashpoint F-1 magnesium Arca compatible (allows me to use my RRS L-bracket) ball head. This light tripod easily supports my 40d and 70-200mm lens. I shot 95% of my images using a tripod and I most often shot in RAW and aperture priority (f/11 usually) using exposure bracketing so I could merge three exposures into a HDR image.

    Another good accessory is the OPTECH Rainsleeve which will protect your camera from both dust and percipitation. They are dirt cheap and weigh next to nothing.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 6th November 2008 at 01:28 AM.

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