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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 30 Apr 2015 (Thursday) 21:38
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What lenses to take to Galapagos Islands

 
Douglas ­ Conway
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Apr 30, 2015 21:38 |  #1

So I have booked a trip to the Galapagos Islands in September and I'm not sure what to take with me. The body is a 6d and I have a 35 f1.4, 85 f1.2, 25-105 f4 and a 17-40. all Canon lenses. This will be the first trip where I will be taking mostly nature pics. I understand that the wildlife can be very close but on the other hand you are not allowed to leave the trails so a longer lens can be an asset. I've been thinking about the Sigma 150-500 which would be used hand held or maybe a mono pod. If I can justify the expense I had also thought about the Canon 25-300.
Would really appreciate thoughts and opinions


Ybnormel

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nqjudo
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Apr 30, 2015 22:05 |  #2

It depends on a few factors including what islands you are visiting, what your goals are and what kind of trip you have booked. Some excursions are fairly rushed and others offer more time. In general terms I can say that you would be very well served by a 100-400 and depending on the other factors you might want to look at buying or renting a 2nd body. It could be very convenient to have one set up wide and the other tele and if this is a particularly special trip for you it would be a backup as well.


No photographer is as good as the simplest camera. - Edward Steichen.

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Immaculens
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Apr 30, 2015 22:06 |  #3

I think your 24-105L IS (?) and a 70-300L would be a great pairing on the island.

If you are going considering spending the money for a 28-300L IS, than I would suggest you get the new 100-400L IS II instead - stupendous sharpness in a great zoom range.
The 28-300L IS is... well... technically an L lens and .. has a some weather-sealing with a nice range... (read reviews...)


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Immaculens
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Apr 30, 2015 22:08 |  #4

words of wisdom below ~

nqjudo wrote in post #17539126external link
It depends on a few factors including what islands you are visiting, what your goals are and what kind of trip you have booked. Some excursions are fairly rushed and others offer more time. In general terms I can say that you would be very well served by a 100-400 and depending on the other factors you might want to look at buying or renting a 2nd body. It could be very convenient to have one set up wide and the other tele and if this is a particularly special trip for you it would be a backup as well.


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Learn to love to do well, and you shall. ~ C. Poseidon

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BG ­ Ed
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Apr 30, 2015 22:30 |  #5

I went to the Galapagos two years ago; it's fantastic. I used my 24-70 and 100-400 with great success. From your gear, I'd take the 24-105 and rent a 100-400 II or Sigma 150-600 if you don't want to buy either. Check out some video reviews though; comparing the 150-600 vs. the 100-400 you will see that the Sigma is MUCH larger and heavier, which might not be good for all the walking you will do in Galapagos. With your 6D, you could happily shoot the 100-400 and crop in post very well. Have a great time on your trip!!!!




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Jon
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Apr 30, 2015 22:36 |  #6

Two bodies (and one of them a crop). And a long zoom to at least 400 mm. When I was there, my 100-400 pretty much lived on the 7D (although I do have a few shots when it was on the 5D2 when we were on North Seymour; I can't recall why) and I used it a lot at the long end. I mostly used my 24-70 on the 5D2, and used it all through the range; I didn't really miss the gap between 70 mm on the 5D2 and 100 on the 7D, although North Seymour might be the exception Jake (CyberDyneSystems) was there after me and he took his 500, and used it extensively), so don't believe the guidebooks that say not to bother with long lenses. I did go as wide as 15 mm at times.
Sometimes the wildlife will be close in:

IMAGE: http://jonbarrettphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-stFMRKB/1/XL/i-stFMRKB-XL.jpg
24-70 at 24 mm on the 5D2

Other times you'll need long:

IMAGE: http://jonbarrettphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-LDGdMJ6/1/XL/i-LDGdMJ6-XL.jpg
100-400 at 400 on the 7D

Cover as wide a range as you can - you won't be sorry. Just be able to protect your gear from the spray on the pangas shuttling you to the islands.

Jon
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Douglas ­ Conway
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May 01, 2015 06:50 |  #7

Thanks for the reply's, we are on a 12 person ship for 8 nights doing the south route. We will be spending another week in Equator, flying out of Quito. Any recommendations for thing to see that are not too much of a commute from Quito? I know the market is suppose to be a must see.


Ybnormel

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Tommydigi
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by Tommydigi.
May 01, 2015 08:34 |  #8

I was there a few years back and my most used lens was a 70-200 and 24-105. In many cases you can get close but I would take something wide and longer next time.

My ideal setup would be
2 bodies
UW like a 17-40
24-XXX
100-400
and a macro just for some fun close ups.

I also strongly recommend an underwater camera.
This is not the greatest photo but it was a great moment as I was swimming around pinnacle rock and this guy was bumping and playing with me.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4018/4620948900_12820567a1_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/83kz​7L] (external link)My buddy (external link) by Tommy DiGiovanni (external link), on Flickr

Website (external link) | Flickr (external link)
Canon 5DII • 7DII • G15 • 24LII • 50L • 100L • 135L • 40 STM • 16-35L F4 IS • 24-70L F4 IS • 100-400L II • 1.4x • 600EX II • 270 EX II

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FarmerTed1971
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May 01, 2015 08:36 |  #9

Perhaps rent a 100-400 II?


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - 18-55 - 35 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

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Jon
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May 01, 2015 10:37 |  #10

Quito . . . we were really only there one day.
Cathedral (the gargoyles & grotesques are all of native animals).
Quito's in a valley - there are parks all around on the surrounding hills. Parque Metropolitano has a variety of hummingbirds. Fellow Mod Rpolitsr and his son took us up there.
The old airport is right in the middle of the city; it's been converted to a park with the opening of the new airport - might be worth a look-see.
I think there are tours that will take you up Pichincha Volcano.

Don't forget a good wildlife guidebook (or two). The guides are very good, but with 12 people you may only have one. And the guidebooks are handy later for identifying what's in your photos. Two I like are Fitter, Fitter & Hosking's Wildlife of the Galápagos and Swash & Still's Birds, Mammals & Reptiles of the Galápagos Islands.


Jon
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CyberDyneSystems
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by CyberDyneSystems. 2 edits done in total.
May 01, 2015 11:09 |  #11

Some good advice in this thread, and congrats on the big trip!

I'll echo the advice given, take two bodies!

I would strongly emphasize the recommendation for something along the lines of the Canon 100-400mm, preferably the new MkII This is the trip of a lifetime, spend the money on THIS lens! (not on a single 28-300mm solution!)

If I had had the new version I might NOT have dragged the 500mm prime along :)

I did in fact bring the 500mm prime and was happy to have it, but I was going for and getting some shots that most would not be worried about ( Boobies diving off the shore, etc)

The new 100-400mm from an IQ and AF speed standpoint, now (nearly) equals the characteristics of a good prime. (it beats some!) This was not the case with the version 1 when I went , so for me, the playing field has really changed.

If you can get a 7D2 or a 1D4 for the 100-400mm II you will also have the ability to add a 1.4x t-Con if desired.

Pack:
-your 6D, 17-40mm, (lots of amazing wide angle landscape opportunities as well) and 24-104.
One of those lenses will be on your 6D all the time. The 24-105 most likely on the more wildlife oriented islands, and the 17-40 for the landscapes.

- Maybe add one or both of your primes for times shooting on the boat, or in more relaxed conditions.

Acquire:
- Canon 100-400mm IS MkII
- Consider adding a 1.4X T-Con (older Canon or Kenko will do just fine) *
- A 70D, 7D2 or other good crop body.

- * If you go for the idea of extra reach with a 1.4X, then get a body that will AF @ f/8 (7d2, 5D3, 1D4)

A waterproof submersible point and shoot is a great idea as well, and something i had not considered and regret.


Bring extra batteries and chargers for them, and lots of cards. If you plan right, all your bodies can use the same battery.


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Douglas ­ Conway
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May 01, 2015 22:05 |  #12

I have a 1D Mk2 body but I didn't really want to pack too much. I just put my name on the waiting list for the new 100-400. I always end up carrying way too much gear and wanted to pair it down to maybe just the 100-400 and 17-40.


Ybnormel

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Jon
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by Jon. 2 edits done in total.
May 02, 2015 21:22 |  #13

Take 2 bodies. Really. If for no other reason than to protect you against your only body packing up on a trip of a lifetime. If they use the same battery, that's a bonus so even getting a used 60D, 70D or 7D would be worth it. And take chargers for both cameras even if they use the same battery. I spent much of a trip to Greece juggling batteries for my 5D and 20D and shooting with my A620 for "normal zoom" situations because my only BP511 charger fried. Fortunately, I found a store in Rhodes where I could get another one. Another trip, the baggage handlers managed to burst a toothpaste tube, which got all over the contents of my suitcase, including a charger for the BP-511s. I'd learned from that Greek trip - I had a second one along, and it survived.

For the Galapagos, I had 5D2, 7D (upgraded both the 20D and 5D so both cameras used the same batteries), A630 with waterproof housing and SX-1 (the latter 2 both use AA cells; a real plus). And I used them all. Likewise with lenses - I used the 15-30, 24-70 and 100-400. And I used both the tripod and the monopod I brought. If you don't want to be overloaded, don't take a flash. They won't let you use them on the island wildlife anyhow.


Jon
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Douglas ­ Conway
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May 04, 2015 22:19 |  #14

Thanks for the advice, I have read such horror stories about checked baggage and we only have 40 mins between one connection so carry on is the only option. I guess I'll have to give up some cloths to carry extra gear.


Ybnormel

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CyberDyneSystems
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May 04, 2015 23:06 |  #15

FYI, my modus operandi for these sorts of occasions is to use a normal rolling carry on luggage that is certified to fit in overhead compartments. I pack it with all my camera gear wrapped in articles of clothing, socks t-shirts, , yes, boxers.

This packs the most camera gear and other essentials into one bag, bar none! It also offers more "padding" than most actual camera bags, and hey why waste space and weight on useless padding when it could be clothes!


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What lenses to take to Galapagos Islands
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