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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 02 Jun 2014 (Monday) 04:51
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Good lens for zoo

 
Frodge
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Jun 02, 2014 04:51 |  #1

What is a good focal length for the zoo? It will be the first time I'm taking a child there, so I'm not sure if I should take 17-50 or something like a 70-300.


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UKmitch86
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Jun 02, 2014 05:23 |  #2

Frodge wrote in post #16945892 (external link)
What is a good focal length for the zoo? It will be the first time I'm taking a child there, so I'm not sure if I should take 17-50 or something like a 70-300.

My opinion would be something to take the subjects out of the 'zoo' environment, i.e. something with a narrow field of view - otherwise you'll struggle to get shots where they look anything other than standard captive animals in a zoo!

Long lens, your 300, also allows you to blur out the background more-so than anything else - while it sounds artsy, you don't want to have somebody's legs on the other side of the enclosure visible in-frame.


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FerozeK
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Jun 02, 2014 05:25 |  #3

Depends on the zoo and how far the moats are from the fence, I'd take the 70-300....u can do nice portraits of the kids and get close ups of the big cats with one lens




  
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Frodge
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Jun 02, 2014 05:26 |  #4

I must add that I want to get shots of my daughter as well....if I wasn't doing thy and just going for the animals, the 70-300 would be a no brainer.


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“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney.
Equipment: Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 40mm 2.8, Tamron 17-50 2.8 XR Di, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8, Tamron 70-300VC / T3I and 60D

  
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UKmitch86
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Jun 02, 2014 05:29 |  #5

Frodge wrote in post #16945930 (external link)
I must add that I want to get shots of my daughter as well....if I wasn't doing thy and just going for the animals, the 70-300 would be a no brainer.

The 70mm end of the Tamron should do the trick. Only problem is MFD - what is it again, 1.5m?

If you're providing context to the portraits, then the max aperture shouldn't be such a concern.


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nightcat
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Jun 02, 2014 05:33 |  #6

At my local zoos, I need at least a 300mm lens. The longer, the better. I don't understand why you can't take photos of your daughter with the 70-300mm? If you want a shorter focal length, take the 70-300mm and put the little 40mm 2.8 in your pocket. Problem solved.




  
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UKmitch86
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Jun 02, 2014 05:36 |  #7

nightcat wrote in post #16945935 (external link)
At my local zoos, I need at least a 300mm lens. The longer, the better. I don't understand why you can't take photos of your daughter with the 70-300mm? If you want a shorter focal length, take the 70-300mm and put the little 40mm 2.8 in your pocket. Problem solved.

+1 from me, although he's on crop so might benefit more from the wider max aperture of 1.8 on his 50.


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gocolts
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Jun 02, 2014 07:17 |  #8

When going to the zoo with the family, I either take my 7D/35-350L combo, or a dedicated zoom lens and a separate point & shoot for family shots. That way you have the zoom range for the animals, but also something for your family.

If you find yourself in this position often, it might be worth investing in one of the newer 18-250 or 16-300 superzooms, as that would eliminate the problem for you.




  
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Digital ­ Story
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Jun 02, 2014 07:37 |  #9

I've always used my 70-300vc only. Simply because most big animals are being held at some distance. Smaller, like birds are small enought to shoot at 70mm without any problem.


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vengence
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Jun 02, 2014 07:44 |  #10

It's all about what you want to capture. If you want to capture pictures of your daughter in a zoo, that means wide focal lengths and not destroying the background. If you want pictures of animals that don't look like they're in a zoo, you want telephoto lens to destroy the background/environment​.

I think the 17-50 is a no brainer here if what you want is to take pictures of your daughter at the zoo.




  
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hennie
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Jun 02, 2014 07:52 |  #11

A little dependant on the age of your daughter:
If you want to take pictures of your daughter in the zoo take the 17-50.
If you want to take pictures of the animals go without your daughter or give her a camera of her own.




  
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Moonshiner
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Jun 02, 2014 08:36 |  #12

Take the T3i with the 17-50 and the 60D with the 70-300...

Then put all the rest of your gear in a backpack and lug that around too...

:)

In all seriousness 70-300 on a crop will be hard to get personal shots with your daughter in a crowd... I use a 55-250 and still find it to be tough at times... It would still be my choice though...




  
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Aki78
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Jun 02, 2014 08:54 |  #13

I went with 7D + 70-200 last time. Our zoo is isn't huge but got plenty of photos with my daughters running around just fine. Just depends on the style you're looking to shoot like others have said.




  
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artyH
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Jun 02, 2014 09:22 |  #14

I took my grandson and had the 24-105 on my crop. You will need the wide end for photos of your daughter, but there were times when I wished I had a longer reach. Take both lenses.
If the zoo is modern, with natural habitats, then you are going to need a long lens for the animals. Your 17-50 won't be long enough, but the 70-300 will not be wide enough.




  
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daleg
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Jun 02, 2014 09:28 |  #15

nightcat wrote in post #16945935 (external link)
At my local zoos, I need at least a 300mm lens. The longer, the better. I don't understand why you can't take photos of your daughter with the 70-300mm? If you want a shorter focal length, take the 70-300mm and put the little 40mm 2.8 in your pocket. Problem solved.

400mm f/5.6 on monopod + G2 (or better equivalent) over the shoulder for wider shots. if I'm w/sherpa, the messenger bag probably has a 1.4 TC, & the 70-200 f/4 IS. long is good, but...

does anyone else find zoos depressing? I find myself sympathizing with the prisoners and wondering who left the jailers in charge. then again, ymmv. obviously.




  
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Good lens for zoo
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