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Thread: Lens choice for Alaska cruise (v4.00)

  1. #1
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    Lens choice for Alaska cruise (v4.00)

    Some may remember my previous threads on picking lenses for an Alaska cruise, this being one of them: https://community.the-digital-pictur...ead.php?t=8029

    We're headed back to Alaska in September, and I'm on the fence for what to take. Assume we're doing a wildlife excursion in Ketchikan (commercial fishing demonstration/catch&release, with a variety of other wildlife while enroute), a whale watch/photo safari in Juneau, perhaps a trip to Kroschel Animal Refuge in Haines, and the typical viewing from the ship all along the way.

    Here's what's pretty well set in my mind: 1Dx with 100-400 II (hanging from my right shoulder), 5DsR with 600/4 with 1.4x or 2x TCs (I plan to rent both) on a monopod.

    Here's the question that's left: assume 5D Mark 3 hanging from my left shoulder (though possibly 5D Mark 4), do I go with 16-35/4IS and maybe a 50/1.2 in a pouch if I want something in the middle, or do I go with 24-70/2.8 II and the 14/2.8II in a pouch for something wider than 24mm?
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by peety3 View Post
    Some may remember my previous threads on picking lenses for an Alaska cruise, this being one of them: https://community.the-digital-pictur...ead.php?t=8029

    We're headed back to Alaska in September, and I'm on the fence for what to take. Assume we're doing a wildlife excursion in Ketchikan (commercial fishing demonstration/catch&release, with a variety of other wildlife while enroute), a whale watch/photo safari in Juneau, perhaps a trip to Kroschel Animal Refuge in Haines, and the typical viewing from the ship all along the way.

    Here's what's pretty well set in my mind: 1Dx with 100-400 II (hanging from my right shoulder), 5DsR with 600/4 with 1.4x or 2x TCs (I plan to rent both) on a monopod.

    Here's the question that's left: assume 5D Mark 3 hanging from my left shoulder (though possibly 5D Mark 4), do I go with 16-35/4IS and maybe a 50/1.2 in a pouch if I want something in the middle, or do I go with 24-70/2.8 II and the 14/2.8II in a pouch for something wider than 24mm?
    Hi Peety - I recently faced a similar decision re:24-70 or 16-35 and went with the 16-35 2.8 III over the 24-70 II as a landscape lens to have along. On my trip, I definitely needed wider than 24mm (some architecture in tight places). On an Alaskan trip, I didn't use wider than 24mm often. If you look back through your previous trips, how often did you need a wider angle? Either of your options cover most bases, it might depend on how often you want to swap off the zoom on your landscape camera. Or whether you want to play with the bokeh you can get from the 50 1.2. I did take the 85 1.2 on an Alaska trip and liked the results for portraits with creamy soft glaciers in the background. btw - I'd be interested in your choice of the 5DsR on the 600 versus the 5DMKIV (or III). I would think the opposite configuration might be preferred. best, Vern (hope this isn't too late)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I missed this before.

    I would opt for the 24-70 ii on camera and 14 mm f2.8 in pouch.

    Personally, I find even landscapes in Alaska to need some focal length to give some isolation. Wider focal lengths, the enormity of it all gets lost. Also, my favorite wide angle shots are typically anchored to something in the foreground. With Alaska from a cruise, much of your foreground will be water. Nothing to anchor the shot.

    That isn't to say you won't need wide. Just what I shoot, I'd favor the 24-70 ii and only occasionally go wide.

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    Thanks to both of your for your input. Turns out I'm slightly stalled on the decision, as it's somewhat dependent on what my wife chooses to use. Your emails did remind me to revisit the topic and I actually came up with a slightly better way to present the options to her.
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  5. #5
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    Well, T-minus 12 days until cruise time, and based on the wife's wishes and budgetary factors, I think we're set. For me, 5DsR, 600/4, 1.4x TC III; 1Dx, 70-300L; 5D3, 24-70/2.8II; 14/2.8II in a pouch. For her, 1Dx, 100-400II, 1.4x TC at times (she'll have to learn to choose whether aperture and AF points trump reach; personally, I suspect the TC won't get a lick of use, but that's not for me to decide); 5D4, 24-105/4IS v1; 11-24/4 in a Shootsac and probably the 100/2.8 IS L Macro as well. I'd certainly prefer the 100-400 over the 70-300L, but I just can't bring myself to rent another 100-400 and leave an otherwise-fine 70-300 behind.

    We do have a custom private photography excursion booked for Skagway/Dyea, and for that we'll take the remainder of our prime collection in case something strikes our fancy, which includes the 35/1.4II, 50/1.2, 85/1.2II, and 135/2. I want the 24/1.4II as well, but can't justify it based on its look alone (and certainly don't anticipate needing it for the aperture).
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  6. #6
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    Wow...thats a small camera shop!! Good luck, hope to see some wonderful images.

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    Here's the follow-up: everything worked fantastic. I regret not taking the 1.4x TC out of the "picture" during a few periods, but I'm still super-happy with what I/we got regardless. My wife liked the 100-400 (funny how losing 120 pounds makes someone more willing to carry heavier lenses...), so I may have bought the 70-300L "in error" (and may now need to buy a second 100-400). Anyhow, here's a link to the landing page for the cruise, which in turn has a link to our Flickr gallery for the cruise along with an index of what's what: http://photos.templin.org/cruises/alaska/rt3.html
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Great album! Looks like you had a very fine time indeed. Love the glacier and eagle shots especially. Thanks for sharing!

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