Need some advice/help PLEASE. Camera GEAR
/forum/topic/1070656/0



mwassell
Registered: Jun 03, 2005
Total Posts: 231
Country: United States

Hello..

I am going to Alaska next fall to photograph bears. I have these lenses:


17-55mm
28-105mm
100-400mm
access to 28-300mm.
I love the larger zooms, especially the 28-300mm because of the wide and somewhat telephoto (convenient).

This is a once in a lifetime trip, so I want to make sure I have what I need. I can rent as well.

Also, I am in need of a new tripod. I have a Manfrotto which I love, but would like to get a sturdy lightweight one - if they make them. I do travel a lot. Can someone recommend a good sturdy tripod?

Thank you!





TrojanHorse
Registered: Apr 04, 2008
Total Posts: 2747
Country: United States

How much money do you want to spend on your lens and your tripod? What is lightweight to you for a tripod? Depending on how much lens you plan on putting on top, the gitzo 1542 might work for you- here's a link to Art Morris' blog where he reviewed his experience with it... http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/12/16/the-skinny-on-the-lightweight-gitzo-gt1542t-4-section-traveler-tripod/

How close do the bears get? 400 may not cut it but 500mm and up lenses are pretty pricey to rent. 600 f4 will run you $500 or so for 10 days, never mind shipping both ways. http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/supertelephoto/canon-600mm-f4l-is

You'd be cool though.



reno.peterson
Registered: May 13, 2009
Total Posts: 3077
Country: United States

Maybe check into renting the Sigma 50-500 OS for a short term before the trip, and if it works well enough you may have a 2 lens travel kit...17-55 f/2.8 and Sig 50-500 OS...

http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/supertelephoto/sigma-50-500mm-f4.5-6.3-hsm-os-for-canon



mwassell
Registered: Jun 03, 2005
Total Posts: 231
Country: United States

Yes, just looked at the 500mm this morning from lensrentals. I may go that route. Its worth it. Not exactly sure how close the bears get, but it sounds like they could get really close, close enough to where we have to move to required distance. And I do have a second camera body.

Quality of tripod is more important to me. I am looking for a long time tripod, so I am willing to spend say up to $800 on a tripod, but if I need to spend more, then. I love my head I have now, but it doesn't really hold the 100-400mm all that steady. Sometimes I can get it to, but am thinking I need a head that can hold more weight than the 100-400mm. Its an acratech head. Doesn't look like they carry the one I have anymore, but its similar to some of them listed. Love it too. I will check out the link you sent.

Thank you!!

Edit: tripod head info



mwassell
Registered: Jun 03, 2005
Total Posts: 231
Country: United States

Thank you reno.perterson. I looked at that lens this morning on lensrentals as well. What is your take on it in comparison to my two telephotos? I love the idea of a 2 lens travel kit and is actually what I am after if I can pull it off.



TrojanHorse
Registered: Apr 04, 2008
Total Posts: 2747
Country: United States

As for Tripods, just about everything Gitzo makes is awesome but priced accordingly... the 3500 series will hold a small jet off the ground. Just get a head to go with it.

Dudes using those big lenses tend to get wemberly or mongoose heads to faciliate moving the lens around while taking pictures. if you're really going to do it you may wish to rent a head too.

And of course, when you say "up to $800 on a tripod" it looks like you'll also need a head to go with it. Feisol seems to produce good tripods that are much less expensive than Gitzo and I picked up a carbon Slik tripod last February that I'm pretty happy with.



bbasiaga
Registered: Nov 14, 2008
Total Posts: 508
Country: United States

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the 100-400 work with the TCs? Albeit in manual focus....

If so, maybe you'd rather rent or buy one of those. They are small and light compared to a 500mm lens. You could travel with your 17-55 or 28-105 + your 100-400 on this trip. With a 1.4x tc, you could then get up to 560mm if your wild life is too far away for a pleasing crop on whatever body you have. If you went with a 2x TC, you could reach up to 800....if that won't get it done, you'll have to rent time on the Hubble.

-Brian



TrojanHorse
Registered: Apr 04, 2008
Total Posts: 2747
Country: United States

If you get a non-reporting TC (or tape certain pins on the Canon model) you can get your camera to AF. It's going to be wicked slow though - I put a 2x on a 300 f4 just to see and it was noticeable. It worked though (on a 1d3)



LDRider
Registered: Sep 15, 2003
Total Posts: 1682
Country: United States

Take everything!

JP



James Anderson
Registered: Oct 25, 2006
Total Posts: 3
Country: United States

I am not a pro but I live in Alaska. depending on where you are going you might not need as much zoom as you think. some places like McNeil river, Denali Park and many others, you are in the bears habitat, they are not afraid of you. last fall a friend "Mark" and I went to Denali Park, we had to get back in the truck because the bear was coming towards the truck, it actually knocked over a tripod that was left leaning against the truck. at that time Marks 500mm was to much, I was able to get more shots with my 100-400mm.
Another thing to remember, you are going to have to pack your gear to some locations, weight becomes a factor.
I am on my laptop so I don't have images to post, but if you are interested you can PM me and I will see if I can help more.
Jim



James Anderson
Registered: Oct 25, 2006
Total Posts: 3
Country: United States

I am not sure how to put a photo in but I'll try


Bears