Lens recommendation? Taking a trip to California national parks.... Please Help

hxdrummerxc

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Hello,

Me and My girlfriend of 6 years are planning a trip to California.
Im also going to be proposing to her, so its going to be an important trip.

Which is one of the reasons why I am going to rent a 5D Mkii and a nice lens. I currently own a XSi (450d).
I am not new to photography, just never had the money to upgrade to a nicer body. I have a lot of accessories for my xsi though (battery grip, batteries, filters, lens) so I am still going to be taking that camera as well, since my filters and all that will most likely not fit on the lens that I rent for the 5D.

Another reason that I am planning on renting the camera, is my XSi has ALOT of use. And I know these models are only rated at around 50,000 shutter clicks, and I have read stories of some failing in the high 20,000 and 30,000. and Mine is right around that area. I would hate to loose a camera in the middle of a trip this important to me.

And the third reason is obvious..... I want to use a better camera.... and a better lens. Duh ;)


--------------

We are from the East coast and have never been to California, so its kind of a big trip.
We will most likely be visiting Big Sur, Yosemite and Sequoia National Park. As well as San Francisco.

Im looking at taking a lot of photos of me and her during the trip, but also landscape photos. I usually make prints of the photos that I take at the places that we visit, and she and I love them.
I also love taking long exposure shots of the stars and the Milky Way, which I hear is pretty nice to do in these areas (Hurray!, no Light Pollution).


I really want to rent a wide angle lens. I don't really have much use for a larger zoom lens, except for maybe random wildlife, which is awesome, but not as important to me.
I was thinking either between the 17-40mm EF F/4L USM, or the 24-105mm EF f/4L IS USM.

The 17-40mm is a cheaper lens, and therefore cheaper for me to rent.
It is also wider, which I think I might like.... Like I said, I like wide angle.
On the other hand, it doesn't have Image Stabilization. It only goes to 40mm, which is fine for landscape, but it might be nice to have a little more for portrait type photos of both of us.

The 24-105mm will cost me a few bucks more to rent.
Its not as wide, but still 24mm on a full frame is still wider than my current 18mm on my cropped.
It has Image stabilization. And it can reach out to 105mm, which could be good for photos of the two of us.

Again, I really can't decide.
Would it be better for me to go with the wider 17mm, or stay with the 24mm, and have that extra reach and added IS ??
And which one has better Image Quality ?


Sorry for the super long post and thanks for any help in advance,
Nick
 

MLeeK

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Get the 24-105. You'll want the longer zoom for many many things. You'll find it comes up short for a lot of stuff.
If I were making the choice I'd go with the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8 and probably a 7D to give that extra little bit of multiplier. Not to mention the focus system issues with the 5d2. If you REALLY needed to go to 18mm you could use your kit lens on the 7D as well.
The Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 OS is a great option if you are trying to save a few bucks as is the Sigma 24-70 and the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75.
 

cgipson1

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Listen to the lady! She knows her Canons! I don't know Canon at all, but I agree with her on the lens focal lengths she suggests! Especially on the 24-70 and 70-200 combo! Can do a lot with those! :)
 

EIngerson

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Get the 24-105. You'll want the longer zoom for many many things. You'll find it comes up short for a lot of stuff.
If I were making the choice I'd go with the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8 and probably a 7D to give that extra little bit of multiplier. Not to mention the focus system issues with the 5d2. If you REALLY needed to go to 18mm you could use your kit lens on the 7D as well.
The Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 OS is a great option if you are trying to save a few bucks as is the Sigma 24-70 and the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75.

Not much else to add to that.
 
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hxdrummerxc

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Thanks for the replies.
I don't know if I will be able to afford to rent both lenses, after all the trip and other expenses is already gonna be a lot.
So the maybe the 24-70 or the 24-105.
The 24-70 with the F2.8 sounds nice.

I forgot to mention that I also have my Nifty Fifty prime, that will work even on the 5D mkii. And I love that little lens for some things.

I know the 7D is gonna give me some extra reach and be better for portrait pictures, but the 5Dmkii sounds so nice for landscapes. But the 7D, is probably gonna be a better choice for pictures of me and her?
However, either of them will be a huge upgrade from my xsi.
 

EIngerson

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I upgreaded from the XSI to the 7D. It can handle landscapes and portraits just fine.
 
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hxdrummerxc

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Now that I think about it, the 7D will be cheaper to rent, giving me the possibility to rent two lenses. Like MLeeK suggested. Over the 5Dii with one lens.
Also if needed, my EF-S 18mm will fit on it, in case I need to use my filters. (but to be honest, ill probably stick with the nice lenses)

Its not like I will miss the full-frame, seeing as how, I don't have a full frame as it is.


If im not mistaken, the 7D still uses Compact Flash correct? Just curious, I have CF also....
 

EIngerson

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Yes, CF cards in the 7D. I look forward to seeing the photos.
 

Hardrock

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Personally I think you will be better off with the 5dmkii and 17-40 for the Landscape shots. Also it has better high ISO abilities for the night shots. Don't get me wrong the 7d is a great camera but I think the full frame is more beneficial for landscapes. Maybe you could go to a local camera store and try them out.
 

MLeeK

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The ISO handling on the 7D is amazingly capable at high ISO-especially for a crop sensor. I use it every day at ISO 12800 so the high ISO argument has gone out the window. If you are concerned and want to see some high ISO images just let me know.
The 5d2 is designed for weddings and portraiture. It's focus system is WEAK. Really weak.
The 7D is designed to be an "everything" sort of camera-it's got the ISO capability that will blow your current camera out of the water. It's got a high frames per second for action with animals/sports. It's got an amazing focus system compared to anything other than the new 1DX. The only thing it doesn't have is the full frame sensor. I am getting to where I use this camera more often than I use my 1D Mark III. It gives me more reach with my lenses and handles so that at ISO 12800 I have a perfectly sellable image that is sharp and clean.
If you can only go ONE lens then I'd go the 24-105 for the largest reach and the wide paired with the 7D to give you a little bit more reach. I promise you that you will get out there in your landscape stuff and want to zoom in on something and you won't have enough zoom even with the 105mm end on the 7D.
You can then use whatever EF-s lenses that you have with it also giving you even more flexibility.

I have the 5d2 and frankly, I find it mostly useless. I use it for weddings and portraits. It would be fine for landscapes as long as I wasn't shooting in low light or low contrast or needing critical focus. If you use anything other than the center focus point in any of those situations you have about a 50/50 chance of missing focus. If you happen to be viewing wildlife in the parks it doesn't track focus really well and it's got a low FPS for multiple shooting.

The f/2.8 is nice to have, but really not necessary. I RARELY shoot at f/2.8. Now the only thing I will say about it is that at wide open all lenses are not at their sharpest. They're best about 2 stops down. Hence why I shoot at about f/4 on my 2.8 lenses. HOWEVER... L lenses at their softest are going to be sharper than your kit lens, so that makes 2.8 more than useable on them. On top of that the ISO handling on the 7D is going to allow you to shoot indoors in a fairly lit room (not exactly bright) at f/4 with ease. I am shooting sports at 12800, f/4 and a shutter of 1/400-1/500. There is a lot of leeway to drop shutter speed there and keep a normal shot under 12800. Make sure you read up on ETTR and high ISO's if you think you are going to be shooting that high.

5D2 and 7D both take CF cards. Make sure you have several. The files are pretty good sized. In raw you are looking at 4G holding 110 to 120 images and in JPEG about 400-420 images.
 

LifterCatcher

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MLeek Great info can you please post a link to some of your hi ISO images? How are you not getting a lot of noise at that ISO range?

Thanks
 

bratkinson

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If you can take only one lens, I'd go with the 24-105. If you can take two, then add the 70-200. Although 24-70 + 70-200 is a nice combo, I like some focal length 'overlap' between lenses. Otherwise, you'll find you want just a little more reach to 95, for example, when the 24-70 is mounted and have to switch to the 70-200.

Also, the 24-105 has IS and is a bit lighter weight than the 24-70.

Just my $0.02 worth...
 

lasttango

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I think the full frame is more beneficial for landscapes. Maybe you could go to a local camera store and try them out.
g.php
 

MLeeK

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MLeek Great info can you please post a link to some of your hi ISO images? How are you not getting a lot of noise at that ISO range?

Thanks
I do use the noise removal in ACR/Lightroom at about 25 for luminance and 15-20 for color depending on the exposure-darker is higher on color noise. ISO 12800 on the 7D. The images are large size, so if you click you can see even better.

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MLeeK

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Now HOW... Expose To The Right: SLIGHT overexposure. Expose to the point before you'd have an unacceptable blow out. With the basketball photo I have some slight blow outs in the white jersey in the gym. Withe the wrestling one in the dark-whites are blown. With the other wrestling images the whites have slight blow outs. Reducing exposure hides noise. Use the curve to get your pop in exposure instead of pushing up the brightness or exposure.
 

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