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Thread started 19 Oct 2011 (Wednesday) 08:33
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Headed to Yosemite next weekend

 
Rocky ­ Rhode
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Oct 19, 2011 08:33 |  #1

I am very torn on lenses to take with me; this will likely be the very last time that our close friends will have the chance to have a family photograph with all (6) kids.
Their oldest will turn 19 in a month and will be getting on with his life; likely to include beginning his family making this trip very special to them, since once he marries they become part of his extended family.

I need a wide angle for the group shot; my 18-135 kit lens will do the trick, as would the el-cheapo 18-55 that came on the T1i.

If I decided to rent a lens for this trip -

Canon 17-55 f2.8 or Canon 10-22; or go with what I have.

Your comments and opinions are very much appreciated.


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wondershots
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Oct 19, 2011 09:08 |  #2

Last time I went to Yosemite I rented a Tokina 11-24. I was glad I had it. I've since purchased a Tamron 10-24. Go with the 10-22 in my opinion.


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Numenorean
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Oct 19, 2011 09:11 |  #3

wondershots wrote in post #13273102 (external link)
Last time I went to Yosemite I rented a Tokina 11-24. I was glad I had it. I've since purchased a Tamron 10-24. Go with the 10-22 in my opinion.

Not for portraiture. The 17-55 will be better at that.

Honestly, even for landscape, the 10-22 isn't always what I want.


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hensgonwild
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Oct 19, 2011 09:47 |  #4

well id go with the 10-22 for the great landscape shots you can and will get at yosemite. i went there twice this summer and i am from southern california. you dont really need the 17-55 as much since you do have your 18-135. even though you are compromising on the 2.8, you wont really need it. just bring a tripod. the mountains arent going to move and you are definitely not going to shoot wide open.



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Numenorean
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Oct 19, 2011 09:47 |  #5

hensgonwild wrote in post #13273280 (external link)
well id go with the 10-22 for the great landscape shots you can and will get at yosemite. i went there twice this summer and i am from southern california. you dont really need the 17-55 as much since you do have your 18-135. even though you are compromising on the 2.8, you wont really need it. just bring a tripod. the mountains arent going to move and you are definitely not going to shoot wide open.

Depends on what types of portraits you shoot. I shoot wide open for portraits all the time.


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SkipD
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Oct 19, 2011 10:25 |  #6

Rocky Rhode wrote in post #13272936 (external link)
I am very torn on lenses to take with me; this will likely be the very last time that our close friends will have the chance to have a family photograph with all (6) kids.
Their oldest will turn 19 in a month and will be getting on with his life; likely to include beginning his family making this trip very special to them, since once he marries they become part of his extended family.

I need a wide angle for the group shot; my 18-135 kit lens will do the trick, as would the el-cheapo 18-55 that came on the T1i.

If I decided to rent a lens for this trip -

Canon 17-55 f2.8 or Canon 10-22; or go with what I have.

Your comments and opinions are very much appreciated.

Thinking wide-angle for a group portrait in a place like Yosemite is absolutely the wrong way to think in my opinion. You would probably be putting the camera WAY too close to the group and you'd miss all of the stunning background in the shot as a result. The potential for a great perspective would be ruined.

Study this (taken from my article on perspective control which I am posting a link to below) until you fully understand it:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Here's a simple example of how perspective control can work for you:

Let's assume that you are taking a photo of some friends in a scene that has mountains in the background. You stand 20 feet from the people and view the scene. A 50mm lens will let you fill the frame with the group of people and some of the background quite nicely, so you take a shot. Then you realize that the mountains are rather small in the background.

Back up to to 40 feet (twice the distance) from the group of people and view the scene, you will see that the mountains are now larger relative to the people - twice the size they were before, in fact. However, the people are smaller in your viewfinder. You now need a 100mm lens to keep the people the same size as in the first image, but the mountains now appear twice the size that they were in the first shot.

Why is this? It's because the additional twenty feet that you put between yourself and the people is insignificant relative to the fifteen miles between your viewing spot and the mountains.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Please read our "sticky" (found in the General Photography Talk forum) tutorial titled Perspective Control in Images - Focal Length or Distance?.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

In addition, you'll definitely want some long focal lengths available to you for scenic work from places like Glacier Point.


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amfoto1
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Oct 19, 2011 10:38 |  #7

You're covered for groups shots and candids with lenses you've already got. Take em. No need to duplicate them renting a 17-55mm.

You're most likely to want a wider lens for scenic shot opportunities in Yosemite. I'd rent a 10-22 or similar, if I were you.

Sorry, but I disagree with Skip. In Yosemite there are a lot of iconic views that you can pose a group shot in front of, using a very wide lens. Just be careful to not position the poeple too close to the edges or to get too close to them with a wide lens, or you'll get the various wide angle distortions that can make people look silly (unless it's your intention to make humorous shots).

Actually, if it were me, I'd want to shoot both types of shot. Tighter group portraits with a longer focal length that will minimize perspective distortion. Plus wider, environmental portraits showing them in the impressive surroundings.

Have fun and experiment!


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Numenorean
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Oct 19, 2011 10:43 |  #8

amfoto1 wrote in post #13273481 (external link)
You're covered for groups shots and candids with lenses you've already got. Take em.

You're most likely to want a wider lens for scenic shot opportunities in Yosemite. I'd rent a 10-22 or similar, if I were you.

The 17-55 is far, far better in quality than kit lenses. If the primary purpose is to get portraits, out of all the lenses he mentioned, that one is your best choice IMO. You can go wide or more normal view, have the option for shooting wide open at 2.8 for individual shots, and it has IS which can help if you don't like the feeling of being limited by a tripod for portraits.


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T2i4me
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Oct 19, 2011 10:51 |  #9

I used my 10-22 a lot in Yosemite but found that when looking at the shots later and comparing to tighter focal lengths like around 35mm I did not like the ultra wide shots as much. The 10-22 really comes alive when you have something in the foreground as your focal point as the background scenery looks too far away and you lose the perspective of how large the cliffs are. I found myself using my 18-55 much more than I thought I would. Since you want a large depth of field you don't shoot much wide open. Add to it the fact Yosemite Valley is very difficult to shoot as the sun sets as the valley floor and trees becomes very dark from shadows yet the granite cliffs are lit up, a light meter challenge....can you say HDR.

I bought my 15-85 after going there as my buddy had a 17-70 he used and that lens seemed like the perfect range for the valley. So I think what you have is perfect for landscape as well as group photos, and if you want to play with some artistic angles then rent the 10-22.

10-22 (not at 10mm though)

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BaghdadFred
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Oct 19, 2011 10:57 |  #10

I was photographing Yosemite this past summer. I had my 8-16MM Sigma, 17-55MM Canon, and 70-200MM 2.8 OS Sigma.

My most commonly used lens was the 8-16MM and also my zoom 70-200. There is a lot of applications where you want a Super Wide Angle and also a nice zoom.

Wide:

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Oct 19, 2011 11:16 |  #11

SkipD wrote in post #13273427 (external link)
Thinking wide-angle for a group portrait in a place like Yosemite is absolutely the wrong way to think in my opinion. You would probably be putting the camera WAY too close to the group and you'd miss all of the stunning background in the shot as a result. The potential for a great perspective would be ruined. ...

I was just about to say the same thing (In fact, it was Skip who helped me become aware of this concept some time back.)

With good lighting, your 18-135mm lens will take great shots and allow you to vary the perspective to your taste.

Perspective, which is mostly controlled by distance from your subject, will make an incredible difference in Yosemite. Think in terms of how large and majestic the moon looks when it's first rising above distant trees, and how small it looks when it's straight overhead. Stand close to your group with a wide angle and El Capitan will appear to be the size of a postage stamp. Stand a good distance away from the subjects, zoom in with a telephoto, and distant El Capitan will tower over the group, the way it's supposed to. (Not to mention that your friends will thank you for not fattening them with the wide angle's distortion!)

That said, there may be some cases where you want to get the whole valley in the photo. With just two shots, you can stitch together a much wider and higher quality panorama than the 10-22mm lens can capture.

Just remember, for the critical shots, to take plenty of "backup" shots at different exposures, different apertures, etc. (Also, it wouldn't hurt to grab an extra shot with your point and shoot, just in case of disaster.)


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Rocky ­ Rhode
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Oct 19, 2011 12:27 as a reply to  @ cacawcacaw's post |  #12

Thank you everyone for your amazing and enlightening opinions.

Thank you especially Skip for liking the write up on "perspective"; I remembered reading about this once and you post jogged my memory.

Living in Sacramento we go to Yosemite every couple of years, and the last time I was there with with my T1i and the kit lens. This year will be different and thanks to your post gives me another reason to love my 70-200.


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ar10
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Oct 19, 2011 13:08 |  #13

I went to yosemite earlier this year with only a 55-250. It was too long for most of the shots I wanted to take. If you are into landscape photography most of the hikes will position you right under/over the waterfalls etc. Also being in the valley the viewing and photo angles are limited at times. Next time I go back im definitely taking my Tokina 11-16 with me. UWA's are fantastic, they take a little time to adjust to.

If I had to choose between the lenses OP posted: 17-55 if I could only bring 1 lens. 10-20 if bringing multiple lenses, UWAs will get you shots people with P&S, iphones can't get.




  
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Oct 19, 2011 13:50 |  #14

the 17-55mm is a great lens and all, but definitely rent a 10-22mm...it gives you a different perspective on things

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but also remember to use longer focal lengths to get other details
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KurtGoss
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Oct 19, 2011 14:06 as a reply to  @ DreDaze's post |  #15
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Last visit I took 3 lenses:
16-35 f2.8
50mm f1.2
70-200 f2.8


Used the 200mm about 99% of the time. Tripod used for shooting 6-7 frame vertical panoramas, especially up at Glacier Point. Stitched together and tonemapped. The 200m m FOV has much less horizon distortion, and brings out far away details. When you are on top of Glacier Point, Half Dome is a mile away!

Same thing on my last Grand Canyon trip... used 200mm focal length and shot 8 frames using tripod for 180 degree panos.

I find then when using any lens under 35mm, you need to get the horizon dead center, or you get a lot of horizon curvature, especially when the subject has many miles of distance in the FOV.




  
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