Grand Canyon Trip - Which Lens to Rent?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by travelerb, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. travelerb

    travelerb TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm on the heals of a small dilemma and hope to either confirm my thoughts or get a different idea on picking a lens to rent. Here's the deal (and I hope I don't say too much that keeps anyone from reading the whole thing and responding): In about a month, I'm heading to Arizona for a short trip. My Wife and I will be heading to the Grand Canyon for one (only one) day, to the south rim. The plan is to hopefully arrive by noon, stay until after sunset, and start heading toward Las Vegas to fly home the next day. We also plan on stopping at the Hoover Dam on the way to catching our plane for a couple of hours (depending on when we wake up in the morning).

    I want to rent a lens for the trip, and am mostly doing so only for the sake of renting a lens. The main reason is that I'm planning on a trip to Yellowstone next summer, and anticipate renting a nice big telephoto for that trip (which one is a discussion for another day). I want to go through the process at least once before it really matters, and this is the perfect opportunity. The only question is, which lens would be best for me to take to the Grand Canyon?

    First, I have a D60 with the kit lens (which is 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VRs). I also have the 55-200mm f/4-5.6 ED AF-S DX, which gets me by with a tripod and covers a lot of range for not a lot of money.

    I've been leaning towards the 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED AF-S DX, which I understand is a pretty decent wide-angle lens. For a little wider, maybe the Sigma 10-20mm. But I'm not entirely sure wide angle is necessarily the way to go, particularly for a big landscape that I'm not likely to enlarge to poster size when I get home. Maybe there's some good angles I can get close up to the walls a little way down or something that would make it useful. On the other hand, I suspect a good wide-angle lens might be very useful at the Hoover Dam, where I'm likely going to me taking pictures from relatively close to the dam.

    Problem is, I've never been to either, and don't know if it might be better to get a fast telephoto lens for wildlife or some other purpose. So, anyone who has (or hasn't) been there have any thoughts or suggestions? Am I on the right track in thinking wide angle (even with the crop factor)? Or should I go in another direction for the short time I have to take pictures there?

    (Murphy's law says it'll be raining or something the whole time and it won't much matter what gear I bring, but I'll put those thoughts in the back of my head for now!)
     
  2. Doug

    Doug TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,053
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I can't help you with the Grand Canyon because I've never been there either. However I've been to the Hoover dam but it's been a few years. If they are still giving tours I would go with a lens for low light. The tunnels are on the dark side. the tour involved riding an elevator down to the level of the generators. Then walking a bit to the generator room. From the top side there is a parking lot on the Arizona side that will allow you to walk along the top of the dam to the Nevada side. The Nevada side is the side where the tour starts and the gift shops are. The north side if the dam is lake side where you can see the intake towers. and the south side is the steep curved concrete side. It's quite a ways down to the Colorado River at the bottem. The river looks small from the top of the dam. I don't know of any where to drive south of the dam to get shots looking back at the whole dam. If I were going I'd take a wide angle fast lens for the tour and maybe your kit lenses for the other areas.

    I hope this helps and I'd love to see your photos when you return, so please post.
     
  3. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Waxhaw, NC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I was just at the Grand Canyon about 8 weeks ago. I took all my gear, but I kept my Sigma 10-20 on the camera for most of the trip. This lens or another similar wide angle lens is the only way to capture the magnitude of the place. You may even want to set up panoramic shots with the wide angle to get some of the scenes. If you've never been there, you will be impressed.
     
  4. clarbin

    clarbin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Litchfield Park, Az.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Try to make time to stop in Sedona.

    You'll be glad you did.
     
  5. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I see mucho wide angle possibilities in the future!!!! I would rent the Tokina 11-16 if its available or the 12-24.

    Derrick
     
  6. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'll be there in a week and a half and was wondering the same thing. I haven't been there in many many years. I figured my Sigma 10-20 would get the biggest workout, but things with the UWA tend to look better if you have something up close for perspective, and wasn't sure I'd have that at the canyon. I'll bring everything, but it will be interesting to see what works out best.
     
  7. travelerb

    travelerb TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the feedback, I guess I was on the right track with the wide-angle. (I hesitate to refer to it as ultra-wide since I have a DX sensor). I didn't even think of the Tokina, so that'll make my decision a little harder between the three. If its the one I'm thinking of, its a lot faster than the 10-20 or 12-24, but that may not be that necessary for landscapes. Might be helpful for the sunset though, and would be sharper at higher aperture in case I do decide to poster-size it.

    Just realized I'm probably going to have to rent a polarizer filter for this thing too, since I don't have anything close to a 77mm. Wish I could use filter-size as a tie-breaker. Amazing how this "hobby" can add up fast.
     
  8. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    I'm not sure, but don't think the Tokina is much faster than the Sigma 10-24mm f4-5.6. I will caution you that Polarizers on an UWA lens can do some strange things. They are not unusable, but you should be aware that, because of the very wide field of view, the sky can look very strange across the image because the degree of polarization changes with respect to the angle to the sun.

    http://photo.net/nature-photography-forum/00NHqK
     
  9. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Tokina 11-16 f/2.8.

    Wide angle is the way to go, and this lens is both fast and provides the best in wide angle quality for Nikon DX (even better than Nikon's pro 12-24's). If you want to do wildlife, your 55-200 should be fine provided there is enough light. If you absolutely insist on renting a telephoto too, maybe 70-200 f/2.8 VR or 70-300 (again if there will be enough light)?

    If you only want one more lens though, wide angle for sure.
     
  10. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'd definitely recommend the wide angle as well. The Sigma 10-20mm or the Tokina 11-16mm.
     
  12. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Waxhaw, NC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Red Rock Crossing near Sedona AZ.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
beginners guide to photography at grand canyon
,
best lens for grand canyon photography
,
best lens for photographing grand canyon
,
best lens to take to grand canyon
,
best lenses for grand canyon
,

best wide angle lens for grand canyon

,
do you need wide angle lens in grand canyon
,
good lens to rent for grand canyon
,
grand canyon with wide angle lens
,
lens rental near the grand canyon