Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 17 Nov 2015 (Tuesday) 09:41
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Grand Canyon Multi-day Hike: Which Lens Setup?

 
smmokan
Goldmember
Avatar
1,198 posts
Likes: 118
Joined Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
     
Nov 17, 2015 09:41 |  #1

I'm going on a 5-day Grand Canyon hike in two weeks, and I'm trying to figure out which lenses to bring with me. Obviously, weight and space are a concern. I've never been to the GC, so I'd love some advice from those of you who have done strenuous hikes carrying photography gear.

My gear options are as follows:
- Canon 5D3 (must have)
- Canon 17-40 f/4L
- Canon 24-70 f/4L IS
- Canon 24-105 f/4L IS
- Canon 70-200 f/4L
- Canon 70-300L IS

My main questions are:
- Do I need the 17-40mm ultra wide angle lens, or will 24mm on the wide end be enough?
- Should I bother with the extra weight of the 70-300mm (1/2 lb) to have 300mm on the long end, or is the 70-200 adequate?
- Can I get away with a "light" combination of the 17-40 and 70-200 while obviously missing the 40-70mm range?

I appreciate the advice!


www.ChasingEpicMTB.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Bcaps
I was a little buzzed when I took this
Avatar
818 posts
Gallery: 70 photos
Best ofs: 16
Likes: 1823
Joined Jun 2003
Location: Bay Area, CA
     
Nov 17, 2015 10:12 |  #2

From your setup I would take the 17-40, 24-70 and 70-200. But I shoot landscapes so if you are shooting wildlife that might not be adequate. I would absolutely take the 17-40 and 24-70, there is too many photo opportunities in the 17-24 and 40-70 focal length to pass up on those lenses.

Part of the decision should be knowing what kind of weight you are comfortable carrying for the distances/elevation you will be at. It is helpful to weigh all of your gear and enter into a database of some sort (eg, lightergear.com) so that you have a very accurate idea of how much everything weighs. For example, when I am deciding b/w my 14-24 and 16-35, it's not just the difference of weight in the lenses but also the difference in weight of the polarizer,5 and 10 stop ND's and the filter cases (27.7 ounces in this case).

If you haven't yet, I would strongly suggest doing some practice hikes with every item of gear you plan on taking. Nothing helps clarify your gear choices like a 12 mile slog with 4K elevation gain and a full pack :D


- Dave | flickr (external link)
Nikon D810
14-24mm f/2.8 | 16-35mm F/4 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/4 | Sigma 150-600mm

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
smmokan
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
1,198 posts
Likes: 118
Joined Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
     
Nov 17, 2015 11:13 as a reply to  @ Bcaps's post |  #3

Thanks for the feedback, Bcaps. It looks like I'm actually going to pick up a Canon 70-300 DO, so that's definitely going in place of the 70-200. I'm not concerned about wildlife shooting, so that should be plenty of reach on the 5DIII.

Luckily I won't be doing any 12 mile days... the longest is 6+ miles, so it's fairly easy compared to what I'm used to (I live in CO and hike above 10k feet regularly).


www.ChasingEpicMTB.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
pudgy_groundhog
Goldmember
Avatar
1,161 posts
Likes: 54
Joined May 2010
Location: Hudson Valley (NY)
     
Nov 18, 2015 08:56 |  #4

What hike are you doing? We're hiking in the Grand Canyon in a week.

I'm not much help on the lens since I only have one good lens that goes on every trip with me (24-105 mm). With all the sand/dirt, you might not want to be changing lenses too much - so take that into consideration.

Weight might be a concern depending on your route and how much water you need to carry + colder weather gear.

Have a great trip!


- Katherine
pictures from the pudge (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
smmokan
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
1,198 posts
Likes: 118
Joined Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
     
Nov 18, 2015 09:35 as a reply to  @ pudgy_groundhog's post |  #5

I'm doing the New Hance Loop with Wildland Trekking:

http://www.wildlandtre​kking.com …trips/new-hance-loop.html (external link)

Not much mileage, but I've been told it's a strenuous hike because of the terrain.


www.ChasingEpicMTB.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
gonzogolf
dumb remark memorialized
29,107 posts
Gallery: 7 photos
Likes: 1125
Joined Dec 2006
     
Nov 18, 2015 10:24 |  #6

So much depends on your style. Do you like working ultra wide. I wouldnt want to go without the 17-40, but I like to frame relatively small foreground objects with a vista behind them. But 24 is plenty wide for most landscape shots and you can pano if you wish. So 24-105 and a longer lens for a lightweight kit. 17-40 and longer lens if you want the wide option. Losing the range between 40 and 70 isn't critical but I find the 24-105 to be a better walkaround lens as you dont have to change lenses as much. With the 17-40 I'm often bouncing back and forth between lenses.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
HeyBear
Mostly Lurking
12 posts
Likes: 8
Joined Mar 2012
     
Nov 18, 2015 11:59 |  #7

Not an expert by any means, but I did a 5-day Grand Canyon backpacking trip a few years ago (Grandview to Bright Angel).
Here's what I would suggest:

- Take the 17-40 and the 70-300. Forget the 24-70. The Grand Canyon is immense and the views change so slowly you'll feel like you're not even moving. So in many cases that 40-70mm gap can easily be filled with "foot zoom" without losing the shot you want. Also, with a tripod (see my next bullet) and all those pixels in the 5DIII, you can crop a clean 40mm shot into a clean ~70mm shot.

- Take a tripod. You said you've never been to GC before, and how many chances will you get to take a 5-day hike below the rim. Take the tripod. I'm not familiar with your route, but on my trip we went through some huge side canyons (Cottonwood, Grapevine, Lonetree), and those side canyons cause the sun to "set" very early. So we were in low light much earlier in the afternoon than I would've thought. Take the tripod so you don't have to fear those 1/15sec shutter speeds. Also, you can set up some nice shots of yourself hiking toward/away from the camera.

- Be very careful about switching out your lenses too much. I was surprised how windy it was and that red dirt gets into everything. Lots of time you don't even see the dirt/dust it's so fine, but it's there, and I'm sure it LOVES the insides of cameras.

- Not photo related, but fill your water bottles and bladders at every possible water source. You never know if the next one is dry. Bring sun protection (safari hat and lotion). That GC sun is brutal. Oh, and bring ear plugs for sleeping...the bull-frogs have amazing volume and stamina.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
pudgy_groundhog
Goldmember
Avatar
1,161 posts
Likes: 54
Joined May 2010
Location: Hudson Valley (NY)
     
Nov 18, 2015 12:13 as a reply to  @ smmokan's post |  #8

We're doing something similar and the terrain does sound challenging in spots.


- Katherine
pictures from the pudge (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
8,718 posts
Likes: 672
Joined May 2003
Location: Southeast Pennsylvania
Post edited over 3 years ago by John from PA. (2 edits in all)
     
Nov 18, 2015 14:16 |  #9

I'm surprised at the recommendations for the long lenses. I've rafted the river twice, about 225 miles each time, and seldom seen anything spectacular in the way of wildlife. A goat or two but not enough that if I did the trip again I carry a telephoto zoom. Having said that I've only rafted the river and that was June so what might exist from the rim down to the river bed I don't have a feel for.

You also have to carry out everything you bring in...hint, so bring suitable plastic bags. You won't find porta-johns anywhere.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
vwjoe76
Senior Member
Avatar
465 posts
Gallery: 29 photos
Likes: 216
Joined Nov 2006
Location: Wawona, CA
Post edited over 3 years ago by vwjoe76.
     
Nov 28, 2015 15:31 |  #10

I would agree with a two lens set-up that pretty covers the 17-200/300 mm range. Any hike in the GC is going to be extremely downhill one way and extremely uphill on the way back, so try to be light. My opinion is that the wide angle will be a priority while 300mm telephoto would be a luxury. I think a max 200mm would do great for a compressed landscape shot or two. At least that's what I would do. You'll have loads of fun, hope to see the pics once you get back!


Fuji XT-2 | Fujinon 10-24 | Zeus Touit 32 | Fujinon 55-200
flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
mikepj
Member
Avatar
204 posts
Likes: 63
Joined Jan 2011
Location: Central Michigan
     
Nov 28, 2015 20:58 |  #11

I backpacked the Grand Canyon several years ago with nothing but a 50mm prime on my 450D back in the day. It worked pretty well, and I was thankful not to be lugging around a bunch of glass. Here are my photos from that trip:

https://www.flickr.com …albums/72157625​840428608/ (external link)

I second the dust issue. After that trip was done, I noticed some dust starting to collect in my 50mm f1.8 II. An internal zoom like the 17-40 would have that additional benefit.

I wouldn't bother with the tele; you won't run into much wildlife in the Grand Canyon. We saw some deer at the top of the South Rim, but otherwise it was pretty limited. Wide angle to medium telephoto would definitely be a range you'd want to cover.

Jared Polin posted a video about photographing the Grand Canyon recently. He wasn't backpacking the canyon, but it was interesting to see the different approaches he used:

https://youtu.be/CsIbj​SD-W0U (external link)

Have a great trip!


Radiant Photography (external link) Instagram (external link) Instagram (Sports) (external link) Flickr (external link)
5D Mark IV, 7D Mark II, Rebel SL1
16-35 ƒ4L, 24-105 ƒ4L, 70-200 ƒ2.8L IS II, 100-400 ƒ4.5-5.6L, 85 ƒ1.8, 50 ƒ1.8 STM, 24mm ƒ2.8 STM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
pudgy_groundhog
Goldmember
Avatar
1,161 posts
Likes: 54
Joined May 2010
Location: Hudson Valley (NY)
     
Nov 28, 2015 22:09 |  #12

We just returned from our trip and I used my 24-105 mm lens. For me it was sufficient. There were two times where I potentially might have wanted more zoom (but it wasn't critical to me and would not have been worth the weight of an extra lens) and that was when we saw a water bird we weren't expecting (it was perched on a cliff side) and when we saw some rafting parties on the river. With the rafting parties, I would've had to have had the lens on the camera because there would have been no time to change lens it happened so quickly (we saw two different rafting parties at Tanner Rapids).

We went down the Tanner Trail to the Escalante Route and up the Grandview Trail. Beautiful, but certainly rugged. I'm not a fan of exposure, so let out a big breath when were finally back at the rim. Hope you get good weather and have a great trip.


- Katherine
pictures from the pudge (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
smmokan
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
1,198 posts
Likes: 118
Joined Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
     
Nov 29, 2015 09:12 |  #13

Thanks for all the feedback guys. Based on the input here and some articles I've read over the last few days, I'm leaning towards bringing my 24-105 and 70-300.

Looks like the weather will be perfect the first few days of the trip, and it has a chance to get interesting during the last couple. :)


www.ChasingEpicMTB.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MNUplander
Goldmember
2,527 posts
Gallery: 10 photos
Likes: 107
Joined Oct 2009
Location: Duluth, MN
     
Dec 01, 2015 08:41 as a reply to  @ smmokan's post |  #14

I too would lean toward the two lens set up - UWA and telephoto. Curious why you want to add the 70-300 DO when you already have the superb 70-300L?


Lake Superior and North Shore Landscape Photography (external link)
Buy & Sell Feedback
6D, 16-35 f4 IS, 50 1.2, 100L Macro, 150-600C

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
Avatar
13,104 posts
Gallery: 1552 photos
Best ofs: 4
Likes: 10000
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Florida
Post edited over 3 years ago by MalVeauX.
     
Dec 01, 2015 09:19 |  #15

smmokan wrote in post #17800284 (external link)
Thanks for all the feedback guys. Based on the input here and some articles I've read over the last few days, I'm leaning towards bringing my 24-105 and 70-300.

Looks like the weather will be perfect the first few days of the trip, and it has a chance to get interesting during the last couple. :)

Heya,

24~300mm sounds like everything is covered. The only time I find I want ultrawide on something like that is when I am right on top of something and want to shrink it to incorporate it, or if something is huge and I'm on top of it and want it dwarfed. Ultrawides are good for that. Otherwise, a massive gorge will lose it's size when put through an ultrawide. I'd stick to the 24mm. You can always do panoramas for the truly large stuff instead of dwarfing it!

If I had to choose a single lens, I'd do the 24-105 on full frame. I'd rather have more room for a speedlite, small stand, transmitter, tripod, remote shutter release, etc. But I like grabbing portraits of self and the group in the context of the place we visit. Just another way to look at it. I can fit all that into a small backpack no problem.

But it depends on how you do things. I'd rather have one versatile lens on a long hike, and just be creative with it. Less opening the camera, less chances of funky dust and debris, etc. Also less stuff to bust. If it were me, I'd take a camera + versatile zoom (mid range, wide to telephoto like the 24-105) and a little 2nd camera for the "snap" stuff, like an EOS-M + 22mm pancake. I do a ton these days on my swamp hikes with my EOS-M more than my 5D, 1D's, etc. It's so small and when I'm just doing landscape, etc, I don't need fancy autofocus and it's nice to have the screen to look at so I don't have to lay in the mud. My ultrapod ii fits in my bag, smaller than some of my lenses!

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

5,225 views & 3 likes for this thread
Grand Canyon Multi-day Hike: Which Lens Setup?
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is dan1282
607 guests, 329 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.