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Archive 2012 · Belize Trip
  
 
SidewinderX
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Belize Trip


Hey everyone,

I'm taking a trip to Belize in the near future and I'm having trouble making up my mind about what kit to bring. I'm planning on either buying or renting a waterproof p&s for the kayaking/snorkling portions of the trip (Any particular favorites out there?), but I'm struggling to figure out why SLR gear I should bring.

On my other trips ("classical" sightseeing), I've done very well with just my 50D + Sigma 17-70. The distortion and CA on the wide end is annoying, but it's an easy kit to travel with.

On the other hand, this trip will have a day of wildlife hiking plus days on nice little islands that I'd like to have something better/nicer for the wide end. So that leads me to bringing my Tokina 12-24 and the 70-200/2.8 + TC as well.

But then If I've got wide and tele covered with better lenses, that's got me thinking that maybe I want to bring something nicer as a "normal" lens, like the Canon 35/2 or the Sigma 30/1.4, instead of the 17-70.

Any suggestions? I think I've got three options..

a) 17-70, only

b) 12-24, 17-70, 70-200

c) 12-24, 30 / 35 / ?, 70-200

Any advice? Thanks!



Jan 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
12monkeys
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Belize Trip


Depends where in Belize you're going. Also, make sure you go to Tikal for at least a day, ideally an overnight trip.
a) isn't an option
b) if you're not bothered about the weight
c) out the three, though I could personally live without the middle FL.



Jan 24, 2012 at 03:16 PM
lighthawk
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Belize Trip


I would go hybrid of a) 17-70 + 70-200 + TC
The pyramids really want the wide end and the wildlife will need the reach.

BTW, I lost my DSLR due to theft while visiting Belize. Our room was on the ground floor and the windows were easy to break into. I believe I was observed using my gear near our B&B and they got in while we were out to dinner.

I don't mean to raise any fear, but to refresh the concepts we all need to follow when traveling with expensive gear. Either lock it up secure (if that's even possible), or have a small enough kit that you carry it with you all the time.



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:33 PM
didierv
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Belize Trip


I used a Canon G11 with its waterproof housing.
Cheap solution that worked well (http://www.pbase.com/didierv/belize)
If you want to go birding you will need a long lens, longer than 200 mm.
I am usually a wide angle freak, but did not use it too much in Belize. I think a regular all purpose lens would do.
Didier



Jan 24, 2012 at 05:17 PM
timpdx
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Belize Trip


I used an S90 with housing on Maui last fall, worked great and shot RAW, of course, got a good number of keepers. Used the reasonably priced Canon housing.




Jan 24, 2012 at 06:05 PM
SidewinderX
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Belize Trip


timpdx wrote:
I used an S90 with housing on Maui last fall, worked great and shot RAW, of course, got a good number of keepers. Used the reasonably priced Canon housing.



Unfortunately, I don't already have a p&s, so just adding a waterproof housing isn't the "cheap" option for me. I was thinking of getting a ~$300 waterproof p&s and then just flipping it here after the trip.



Jan 24, 2012 at 09:43 PM
TheWengler
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Belize Trip


Where are you planning to go in Belize? I did 8 days in Belize and 8 days in Guatemala last March. Lots of fun! I only took a Pentax K100D and 16-45/4 lens. I would only take the telephoto if you're willing to carry it around with you everywhere.


Jan 24, 2012 at 09:58 PM
timpdx
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Belize Trip


Well, consider a used s90, there is one for $199 on b&s and the case (I think) set me back $150. You could easily sell both when you get back, and that is not much more than the $300 you are already thinking of doing, that give you clean RAW files and you can go to ISO400 easily, but lots of the underwater p&s cams don't do RAW and don't do 400 ISO without big time noise. I would sell my S90 case to you, but I enjoyed my snorkeling with it so much, I am going to keep it around for future trips.


Jan 24, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Sgt93
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Belize Trip


Bring what you will actually carry. That is the best advice I can give you.


Jan 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM
SidewinderX
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Belize Trip


TheWengler wrote:
Where are you planning to go in Belize? I did 8 days in Belize and 8 days in Guatemala last March. Lots of fun! I only took a Pentax K100D and 16-45/4 lens. I would only take the telephoto if you're willing to carry it around with you everywhere.


It's this trip: http://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/latin/blr.html

Mostly around Lighthouse Reef.

I'll take a look in the b&s forums -- are Canon's underwater housings pretty good?



Jan 24, 2012 at 11:58 PM
 

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Sgt93
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Belize Trip


SidewinderX wrote:
It's this trip: http://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/latin/blr.html

Mostly around Lighthouse Reef.

I'll take a look in the b&s forums -- are Canon's underwater housings pretty good?


Have you looked at the price of underwater housings!? You may want to rent one.



Jan 25, 2012 at 01:01 AM
SidewinderX
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Belize Trip


Sgt93 wrote:
Have you looked at the price of underwater housings!? You may want to rent one.


Haha, yeah, I meant the underwater housings for a p&s, not the 50D! I can think of lots of things to spend $1500 besides an underwater housing for the DSLR!



Jan 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Sgt93
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Belize Trip


I was going to say


Jan 25, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Kisutch
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Belize Trip


You could always scrap the P&S and just take your SLR in the kayak--that's what I always do... Most (all in my personal experience) cheap underwater setups are a let down and are best suited for macro type stuff with static subjects in shallow clear water. Only cheap one I like is the GoPro. Bring some duct tape, find a pole, make pole-cam and shoot video--no joke this is a killer setup--a completely different league than sticking a P&S in a housing. Only issue there is you gotta spend an hour and a 58 mm UV filter to make a flat port for the lens.


Jan 26, 2012 at 04:47 AM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Belize Trip


I would suggest the panasonic ts3 for the p&s. Great for underwater and grab shots and does video very well also. It also has gps for taging the shots. I would probably go option c for your 50d. Last cruise we went on I typically had the 5d2 with the 24-70 on it and the 7d with a 135 and this combo was very good. Sometimes I would do the 17-40 on the 5d or the 14mm or on the 7d add the 1.4 converter, but most shots were with the 24-70 and bare 135.


Jan 26, 2012 at 04:58 AM
SidewinderX
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Belize Trip


JohnBrose wrote:
I would suggest the panasonic ts3 for the p&s. Great for underwater and grab shots and does video very well also. It also has gps for taging the shots. I would probably go option c for your 50d. Last cruise we went on I typically had the 5d2 with the 24-70 on it and the 7d with a 135 and this combo was very good. Sometimes I would do the 17-40 on the 5d or the 14mm or on the 7d add the 1.4 converter, but most shots were with the 24-70 and bare 135.


Yup, the Panny TS3 was the one I was looking at. Amazon has them for $240 now -- I figure I can turn around and flip it for $180ish after the trip in the likely case I don't want to keep it, which is cheaper renting a camera in the first place.

I am leaning towards option C... I'm just trying to convince myself that I should just buy the Sigma 30/1.4 and add it to my repitoire... this trip is getting expensive!



Jan 26, 2012 at 02:40 PM
SidewinderX
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Belize Trip


And looking at my options, I'm pretty much between the Canon 28/1.8 or the Sigma 30/1.4. Any thoughts on how the stack up to each other, optically? Obviously the Sigma gets down to f1.4, and the Canon works on full frame, but is there much optical difference between the two?


Jan 26, 2012 at 04:48 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Belize Trip


I had the canon 28 1.8 and didn't care for it too much. Not real sharp wide open. I just bought a Rokinon 35mm 1.4 and really like that one as long as manual focusing is fine for you. I've heard the sigma is good, but have never had good luck with any of their products and try to have my lenses able to work on full frame as well as a cropped body.


Jan 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
SidewinderX
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Belize Trip


JohnBrose wrote:
I had the canon 28 1.8 and didn't care for it too much. Not real sharp wide open. I just bought a Rokinon 35mm 1.4 and really like that one as long as manual focusing is fine for you. I've heard the sigma is good, but have never had good luck with any of their products and try to have my lenses able to work on full frame as well as a cropped body.


Thanks for the thoughts... I'm making myself more and more conflicted now... we switched to a slightly different itenerary that won't have as much wildlife hiking so now I'm not sure if I'm going to bring the 70-200. If I don't do that I'd lean toward bringing the 12-24 and the 17-70 because I don't think 12-24 + 30/1.4 will be enough. Grr, why can't I have all the lenses and a pack mule to carry it?!



Jan 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Yakim Peled
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Belize Trip


I just came back from a 2 month trip in India (never been to Belize, sorry). I went with 7D, 10-22, 17-55 IS, 55-250 IS and 270EX II. All performed very well and if I had to go again I'd take the exact same kit. I have several primes which I love but all got left at home. You see, it was not a photography trip. It was a regular one and most pictures were taken as a memory, not as an effort to make art.

Therefore, your 12-24 and 17-70 looks like an easy recommendation but taking any 70-200/2.8 lens on a trip sounds too big and too heavy for me. I'd rather take a 70-300 IS or 55-250 IS or 70-200/4 IS.

Travel light, enjoy more.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



Jan 28, 2012 at 12:08 AM
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