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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk
Thread started 16 Feb 2017 (Thursday) 13:37
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Costa Rica Wildlife Photo Trip Gear

 
Mr_ipsum
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Joined Aug 2012
Yonkers, NY
Feb 16, 2017 13:37 |  #1

So it's official I've booked my trip for Costa Rica later this year. It's a trip purely for photography. My main goal is to photograph as much wildlife as I can. I would like to get some sunset shots and general rain forest shots as well. I'll probably only be spending a day and a half at the most in San Jose, the rest of the trip will be on the Osa Peninsula.

I wanted to get some opinions on what to bring/leave at home. What I have:
Canon 5D Mark iii
Canon 7D Mark ii
Canon 100-400 L ii
Canon 24-70 L ii
Canon 16-35
Canon Speedlight 430 EX ii

One of the things I'm worried about is packing light but still having some versatility. The planes to get to some of the remote areas have weight limits for carry-ons. I can probably leave the 16-35 at home. The other lens I was thinking of getting before leaving is the Canon 100 L Macro. Going to be doing some evening rain forest exploration hoping to get shots of red-eyed tree frogs. I've learned from other outings to always keep my gear with me and ready to shoot. I've missed some great shots because of that. So most likely I'll being carrying two lenses on most days. Yeah, it's heavy but I've done it before. At least my bag will be much lighter.

The 100-400 might as well be glued to my 7D2, I swap around the 16-35 and the 24-70 on the 5D3. I would think that the 100-400 on the crop body of the 7D2 should be long enough, though I will probably have to crop down some photos of smaller birds and animals, etc.

Right now I have a Sirui tripod and monopod. I will most likely get a lighter carbon fiber tripod to bring on the trip. But I am debating on whether to bring the monopod. I would think that I will have to shoot at some slower shutter speeds while in the rainforest. But I think a monopod is easier to carry/set up than a tripod. Though I would love to due some dark sky photos by the beach using the tripod. Maybe I'm over ambitious?

Any tips on what I should bring for photo gear and other essentials? Thanks!


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Tommydigi
Cream of the Crop
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Joined May 2010
Chicago
Feb 16, 2017 13:44 |  #2

I was in Costa Rica a long time ago, I wasn't really into photography but looking back a macro would have gotten a lot of use.

Also you mention leaving the UW at home, I would think the UW would be more useful than the 24-70 but that's just me.

Also I would prefer a tripod over a monopod, or you can look at one of those Mefotos that have both. Not bad little tripods.

So for me I would probably take both bodies, 16-35, 100-400 and macro and flash and of course a tripod and filters.


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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photosbytw
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Joined Jan 2015
Blue Ridge Mountains
Feb 16, 2017 14:02 |  #3

Question...........are you hiking through the rain forest or our you in a vehicle? If you are hiking, you'd be right about your gear getting heavy especially as the day wears on. A couple thoughts. Are you taking a backpack designed for your gear?........and is it weatherproof? Note, your monopod can double has a walking stick. One last thought.........
can you take me with you?


Don't even begin to think I'm criticizing your images.
Just a natural curiosity.
tw
www.photosbytw.net (external link)

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Mr_ipsum
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Joined Aug 2012
Yonkers, NY
Feb 17, 2017 09:37 as a reply to photosbytw's post |  #4

I'll be hiking through the rain forest. I have my main camera bag that I bring when I travel but, I'll most likely leave that at the lodge and bring a smaller backpack with just the bare essentials for the day.


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Stephen ­ Stephen
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Joined Jul 2005
Nepean, ON, Canada
Feb 17, 2017 14:41 |  #5

Hello Richard I've been to Costa Rica twice. I'm sure that you will love it!

I've never been to the Osa Peninsula but it's often very dark in the rain forests in the country but your two bodies should work out well for you at higher ISOs. At times your gear may also be exposed to very high humidity. I brought along some LARGE Ziploc type bags and lots of small dessicant packs like those that come with shoes and other goods. My flash was acting up one day so I placed it in a bag with the dessicant packs and within a few hours it was working again.

I brought the monopod on my first trip but my tripod on the second. A tripod will be good for creating panoramics or low exposure waterfall shots.

Depending on where you are staying on the west coast it's likely that your hotel grounds will have many birds and even some monkeys. Many hotels put out fresh fruit and hummingbird feeders to attract the local birds. I was often able to see up to 10 new bird species before breakfast.

Daylight is usually less than 12 hours per day as the country is closer to the equator.

You didn't mention where you are staying in (near?) San Jose. We stayed at the Hotel Bougainvillea about halfway from the airport. It has quite an extensive gardens and we were able to photograph a few new species there before we started our main tour.

Have a great time!

Stephen

Enjoy.


Stephen
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MatthewK
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Joined Apr 2009
Maryland
Feb 17, 2017 17:13 |  #6

I'd pass on the 100 Macro. Get a 1.4x for the 100-400, it can double as a near-macro setup and birds on the long end w/ 7D2. Save you some space and weight.


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Mr_ipsum
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Joined Aug 2012
Yonkers, NY
Feb 21, 2017 07:55 |  #7

Stephen Stephen wrote in post #18276745 (external link)
Hello Richard I've been to Costa Rica twice. I'm sure that you will love it!

I've never been to the Osa Peninsula but it's often very dark in the rain forests in the country but your two bodies should work out well for you at higher ISOs. At times your gear may also be exposed to very high humidity. I brought along some LARGE Ziploc type bags and lots of small dessicant packs like those that come with shoes and other goods. My flash was acting up one day so I placed it in a bag with the dessicant packs and within a few hours it was working again.

I brought the monopod on my first trip but my tripod on the second. A tripod will be good for creating panoramics or low exposure waterfall shots.

Depending on where you are staying on the west coast it's likely that your hotel grounds will have many birds and even some monkeys. Many hotels put out fresh fruit and hummingbird feeders to attract the local birds. I was often able to see up to 10 new bird species before breakfast.

Daylight is usually less than 12 hours per day as the country is closer to the equator.

You didn't mention where you are staying in (near?) San Jose. We stayed at the Hotel Bougainvillea about halfway from the airport. It has quite an extensive gardens and we were able to photograph a few new species there before we started our main tour.

Have a great time!

Stephen

Enjoy.

Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely keep that in mind about the desiccants and the moisture.


RichardCervellonePhoto​graphy.com (external link) | Follow me on Instagram (external link)

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Mr_ipsum
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
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Joined Aug 2012
Yonkers, NY
Feb 21, 2017 08:06 |  #8

MatthewK wrote in post #18276876 (external link)
I'd pass on the 100 Macro. Get a 1.4x for the 100-400, it can double as a near-macro setup and birds on the long end w/ 7D2. Save you some space and weight.

With the low-light condition of the rain forest I was thinking that a 1.4x would but tough to shoot with. With the 7D2 and the 100-400 ii doesn't it force you to use the center focus point at a maximum aperture of f/8?


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