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Thread: lens for alaskan trip

  1. #1
    Member matoriv's Avatar
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    Default lens for alaskan trip

    Hi all,

    probably going to alaska next yr september for a vacation.
    will be hiking around and try to take pics of the northern lights.

    I am using a d80 now and trying to reduce the number of lens to bring.

    thinking of bring a 17-50mm f/2.8 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.
    but a friend suggested that i bring the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and an ultra wide lens like 12-24mm or a 16mm f/2.8 prime lens for the night shots...

    anyone been to alaska and give some feedback?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member matoriv's Avatar
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    Default Re: lens for alaskan trip

    anyone can help?

  3. #3

    Default Re: lens for alaskan trip

    You suggested setup is good.
    A 17-50mm 2.8 usually produce very good quality images. A 70-300 is light and will give you the reach for wildlife if the opportunity arises.

    A 18-200 (especially those with VR or OS) is also very good in terms of grabbing a shot under different situations, but the quality will be inferior to your 17-50.

    Ultra-wide is only necessary if you want ultra-wide, otherwise 17mm should be sufficient. 16mm f2.8 is not particularly fast nor wide, so it is not versatile and I would give it a miss.

    I typically travel with just an 18-200 but if I want better quality, I will also bring an f2.8 zoom. I might bring a prime or two if there is a special need, e.g. macro, low-light, birds, etc

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    Default Re: lens for alaskan trip

    Same as above, A f2.8 zoom, perhaps a 70-200/80-200 f2.8. Also, bring along a prime lens. And, you shall be fine.

  5. #5
    Member matoriv's Avatar
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    Default Re: lens for alaskan trip

    thanks for the advice guys!

    I have a 80-200mm f/2.8 (my dad's) but i think its too big and bulky to carry around.

    wat kind of prime lens? 50mm f/1.8?

    would a 17-50mm f/2.8 be sufficient to get in a good view of the northern lights or a 12-24mm would be significantly better?

  6. #6
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: lens for alaskan trip

    A wider zoom can take a greater expanse of the skies. I went through flickr and most of the first few are taken with lenses on the wider end on a 35mm format. I would bring along a 12-24mm ( but then again I have never taken these lights. )

    Here are some articles regarding taking these awesome lights with several other tips other than the focal length to be used.

    How to Photograph the Aurora Borealis - Northern lights

    Photographing Northern Lights with Your Digital SLR

    There is a great amount of data on capturing these lights on film media as well.

    Ryan

  7. #7

    Default Re: lens for alaskan trip

    Quote Originally Posted by matoriv View Post
    would a 17-50mm f/2.8 be sufficient to get in a good view of the northern lights or a 12-24mm would be significantly better?
    Faster lens is better..........

    UWA or WA prime is preferred.

  8. #8
    Member matoriv's Avatar
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    Default Re: lens for alaskan trip

    cool, thanks for the links, giantcanopy!

    really informative and helpful

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