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Balloon Festival
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Balloon Festival

Lens suggestions for the balloon festival in NM?
I have brought with me:
Two bodies"


Oct 12, 2017 at 02:47 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Balloon Festival

Since you already brought all your gear, take them all.

Oct 12, 2017 at 07:17 PM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Balloon Festival


The wide zoom will get 95% of the use when you're on the field. (Balloons are BIG!!)
The 28-200 on the small sensor body should fill in any other sensible need...

Oct 12, 2017 at 08:02 PM

Search in Used Dept. 


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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Balloon Festival

I don't want to walk around with all the stuff. Looking for a two camera set up.

Oct 12, 2017 at 08:21 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Balloon Festival

The Balloon Fiesta uses one large field where all 500+ balloons set up in pre-dawn darkness to prep for launching at daylight. Spectators (that's you) are free to walk anywhere on the field in amongst all those balloons. The 17-35 on the D800 will get the most work.

For balloons in the air, your 70-200 on the D7000 can get you the details. Frankly, I doubt that you'll be happy with the image quality from your 28-200 (don't know which brand you have, but I've not heard anyone speak well of any 28-200), and the 200-500 is way too much focal length.

Around 6 AM, they will have one line of balloons ready, inflated to upright but not airborne, put on a light show - they call it the Dawn Patrol. You can get some great shots during this light show. One of the balloons in the Dawn Patrol show will launch as it starts to get light, and all the preparation activity by the balloonists all over the field will stop while everyone watches to see which way the balloon drifts - it tells all the teams where to expect their balloons to go that morning, info necessary for the chase teams.

If your schedule allows you the latitude, go on a weekday. Saturday and Sunday draw enormous crowds, taking hours to get into the site and hours to get out. My wife and I attended on a Wednesday and got right in (in my car, no bus required), parked, and caught a golf cart ride to the gate - we were almost an hour early because we got there so easily. If you can go on a weekday, just make sure the schedule for that day includes the "mass ascension" - they don't do the large scale launch on one or two weekdays.

All 500+ balloons launch in about 2 hours, which makes for a bit of a madhouse, but it's sensational to watch. There will be people in referee uniforms with loud whistles directing the launches so as to keep balloons from colliding in the air. Watching them can tell you which balloons are going to launch next.

Oct 13, 2017 at 06:12 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Balloon Festival

Thanks to all. We went today [Friday]. Got in and out easily but we did use the bus. Had a great time. Used there 17-35 a lot but mostly the 28-200 . I used that combination as I wanted all my gear in one bag. Thanks for your suggestions and help. I will have to come back and do it again. Too special for just one trip.

Oct 13, 2017 at 08:12 PM

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