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Thread started 23 Sep 2011 (Friday) 15:55
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Great Smoky Mountains - Here We Come!!

 
alphamalex
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Sep 23, 2011 15:55 |  #1

Heading out to the Smokies 10/14 - 10/16!! This is my first time going with full blown DSLRs and lenses; please help me decide what to take with me. My signature is current.

My wife will want nice landscapes (with her in it) and portraits in fall foliage so her FB friends can "Like" them, the kids will probably be riding go-carts, and I'll be taking pics :) I will be taking the heavy-ish tripod because I want to be in the pics as well this time.

I need to buy an ND for waterfalls/foliage; recommendations for a general purpose ND would be appreciated. To get the best of out Fall foliage, I should also invest in a CPL as well, right? Should I leave my UVs at home and just use the CPL, or CPL+ND(when needed) for the entire trip?

I don't think the 5D is the best body for the 24-105 F4 at wide angles; the distortion is very unflattering (at least for people). Maybe landscapes fare better; I'll have to check that out. Is the distortion reduced on crops or does the 24-105 behave the same way on every body? I'm just worried 38.4mm may not be wide enough for the incredible vistas you can see from Klingman's Dome and other spots.

I want to capture some good memories and don't want to screw this trip up. Any help would be appreciated ..... Peace :D


Freddy the Freeloader (external link) aka Freddy the Freeloader (external link)
5DIII, 5D II, 5Dc, 7D with 24-70 2.8L II, 24-70 2.8L, 24-105 F4L IS, 70-200 F2.8L IS, 100 2.8L IS Macro, 400 5.6L, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, 28-135, 55-250
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MCAsan
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Sep 23, 2011 16:08 |  #2

I need to buy an ND for waterfalls/foliage;

Many scenes have to big a range of light for a single shot from a DSLR. So you have three main choices:

    bring down the sky with GND (I would still bracket several shots just in case)
    bracket two shots (one for sky, one for foreground) and merge them in Elements, Photoshop or other layering program.
    bracket 3 or more shots and merge them in an HDR program like Photoshop, Photomatrix, HDR Efex Pro...etc.

To get the best of out Fall foliage, I should also invest in a CPL

To take the glare off water, foliage...etc. use a very good CPL. Note that it works best at a right angle to source of the light.

If you want to smooth the water in a waterfall or stream, you may need a ND so that you can use slow shutter speeds.

On my 5DII I use mainly two lenses: 17-40 for wide landscapes such as the views from Clingmans Dome or the many viewpoints along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I use the 24-105 for general walkaround shoots. If I want to shoot things at a serious distance, I use my 7D. I also use the 7D for wildlife as it has much higher FPS.

Two weekends ago we were at Montreat NC and came home via Blue Ridge Parkway. The leaves had not seriously started to change yet. Peak will likely be in October.




  
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SpeedyGoo
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Sep 23, 2011 16:27 |  #3

I did Yosemite / crater lake / lassen / redwoods / rainier / st helens last year I heavily used a cokin system for nd grads and nds, other than a tripod would be great if you can get it in your gear I could not sadley.

The other thing is don't forget your 70-200 it's good glass and your vistas will be so vast that the crop of a zoom is very welcome.

I used my 5d with 24mm for some of my travels and found little problems with distortion although I agree for people the lens compression is unflattering, therefore once again your 70-200 will be invaluble.




  
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stsva
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Sep 23, 2011 17:02 |  #4

With your current equipment the 5D and 24-105 are your best bet for scenic vista shots; I agree with SpeedyGoo that you should also take the 70-200. You won't have to worry about close-up distortion at 24mm like you get with people - the problem there is shooting too close, which you won't be doing on this trip.

For what it's worth, after this trip I'd suggest selling the 18-135 and 28-135 and getting a better wide-to-medium zoom for your crop cameras; maybe the EF-S 15-85 IS or 17-55 IS.

The Smokies are on my list of places to go sometime - hope you have a great time. :) Please post some shots when you get back.


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huntersdad
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Sep 23, 2011 17:11 as a reply to  @ stsva's post |  #5

Add a CPl if you don't have one. Agree with the above post about a split ND for scenics.

5d with 24-105
7d with 70-200 (might add a 1.4x depending on where you are going for wildlife)


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alphamalex
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Sep 24, 2011 12:02 |  #6

Bingo!! That's brilliant. Now why did that not occur to me :)

So how do you snap groups of people in a room/conference room/basement (where I can't stand far enough back) with a 24-105 without the ones at the corners looking fat :) Is a 24-70 better for this kinda shooting? Something else? 17-40?

Thanks for all the input everyone, I really appreciate it.

stsva wrote in post #13152700 (external link)
With your current equipment the 5D and 24-105 are your best bet for scenic vista shots; I agree with SpeedyGoo that you should also take the 70-200. You won't have to worry about close-up distortion at 24mm like you get with people - the problem there is shooting too close, which you won't be doing on this trip.

For what it's worth, after this trip I'd suggest selling the 18-135 and 28-135 and getting a better wide-to-medium zoom for your crop cameras; maybe the EF-S 15-85 IS or 17-55 IS.

The Smokies are on my list of places to go sometime - hope you have a great time. :) Please post some shots when you get back.


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5DIII, 5D II, 5Dc, 7D with 24-70 2.8L II, 24-70 2.8L, 24-105 F4L IS, 70-200 F2.8L IS, 100 2.8L IS Macro, 400 5.6L, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, 28-135, 55-250
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SpeedyGoo
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Sep 24, 2011 12:59 |  #7

Have you ever tried playing with the lens distortion correction via raw on PS this will correct it a bit




  
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SpeedyGoo
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Sep 24, 2011 13:00 |  #8

One further thought... Hot shoe spirit level could save alot of post processing




  
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tonylong
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Sep 24, 2011 15:14 |  #9

alphamalex wrote in post #13155899 (external link)
Bingo!! That's brilliant. Now why did that not occur to me :)

So how do you snap groups of people in a room/conference room/basement (where I can't stand far enough back) with a 24-105 without the ones at the corners looking fat :) Is a 24-70 better for this kinda shooting? Something else? 17-40?

Thanks for all the input everyone, I really appreciate it.

The 17-40 should be good -- get wider to where the people aren't pushing the edges!

Shooting close with a wide-angle lens can "mess with things", no matter what lens -- this shot was taken with the 5DC and the 16-35 @16mm, and obviously the guy at the edge didn't turn out so well, but the folks closer to the center came out fine.

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/tonylong/image/109088831/original.jpg

Have a good time, and I'd agree to use that 24-105 on that 5D for your scenic shooting -- it's a great combo!

Tony
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MCAsan
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Sep 24, 2011 15:49 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #10

Obviously you can use 17-40 or 16-35 on a room of people. But for me those two lenses are about wide landscapes....such as from the parking lot of Clingman's Dome, or from Rich Mountain road looking back into Cades Cove.....or great shoots of waterfalls. ;)




  
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frule
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Sep 25, 2011 14:14 |  #11

Come back in October when the foilage is so amazing!




  
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MCAsan
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Sep 25, 2011 14:58 as a reply to  @ frule's post |  #12

Absolutely! I grew up just to the west of Knoxville. I put in the first cellular system in Knoxville in the mid 80s. I remember after work driving to Cades Cover for fall sunsets. Beauitiful colors with the deer coming out of the woods into the fields and around the houses and barns. Truly a great place to be at fall sunsets. :D




  
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alphamalex
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Sep 27, 2011 09:29 |  #13

Someone just told me 10/14 - 10/16 might be a tad early for the Smokies/Gatlinburg .. can someone please confirm/debunk that??? I want to make changes (if I can .. everything's booked up) ASAP if I need to ..


Freddy the Freeloader (external link) aka Freddy the Freeloader (external link)
5DIII, 5D II, 5Dc, 7D with 24-70 2.8L II, 24-70 2.8L, 24-105 F4L IS, 70-200 F2.8L IS, 100 2.8L IS Macro, 400 5.6L, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, 28-135, 55-250
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stsva
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Sep 27, 2011 09:41 |  #14

alphamalex wrote in post #13170727 (external link)
Someone just told me 10/14 - 10/16 might be a tad early for the Smokies/Gatlinburg .. can someone please confirm/debunk that??? I want to make changes (if I can .. everything's booked up) ASAP if I need to ..

I'd suggest calling the National Park Service folks and see what they say - here's their current report, which states it will be updated in early October:
http://www.nps.gov …anyourvisit/fal​lcolor.htm (external link)


Some Canon stuff and a little bit of Yongnuo.
http://www.pbase.com/s​tsva/profile (external link)
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alphamalex
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Sep 27, 2011 13:10 |  #15

Thanks a bunch .. I'll keep an eye on this site.

stsva wrote in post #13170778 (external link)
I'd suggest calling the National Park Service folks and see what they say - here's their current report, which states it will be updated in early October:
http://www.nps.gov …anyourvisit/fal​lcolor.htm (external link)


Freddy the Freeloader (external link) aka Freddy the Freeloader (external link)
5DIII, 5D II, 5Dc, 7D with 24-70 2.8L II, 24-70 2.8L, 24-105 F4L IS, 70-200 F2.8L IS, 100 2.8L IS Macro, 400 5.6L, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, 28-135, 55-250
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