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Old 04-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
Angrypenguin
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Alaskan cruise...what to rent?

I know it's been asked a couple times, but I wanted to get opinions on anyone who's done an Alaskan cruise recently. I'll be using a Canon 6D, so it'll be FF so I won't have the default zoom factor of a crop. I'll be taking my 24-105L, and am looking to rent a zoom.

I was originally thinking of renting a 70-200 2.8 (I've always wanted to try one and this seemed like a good excuse), but from reading other people's experiences, it sounds like this won't be enough of a reach. I've heard good things about Canon's 100-400mm, does anyone have an opinion on that?

Also, with 24mm on the low end on a FF, you think that's sufficiently wide enough? Or should I look into getting a UWA as well?

Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
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Yes, I think that's wide enough unless you're a huge fan of the ultra-wide shots. Remember, when most people are using kit lenses on dSLRs. If you love those ultra-wide shots, then by all means.... rent an UWA.

For the telephoto zoom... speed versus reach. Personally, I wouldn't go for the 70-200 2.8 -- I'm sure it is a fantastic lens. But it's also super heavy, and won't give you a ton of reach for your wild life shots. And you won't desperately *need* the 2.8 aperture -- You won't be doing low-light telephoto photography.

Looking at a lens rental website...

I think I'd agree with you and go with the Canon 100-400. I use a 300mm on my crop body... the 450mm effective reach is great for birding, wildlife, etc.
Plus that lens has image stabilization.

Looking at the lens weight, they are both heavy lenses.. but would I rather lug around an extra 3lbs... and get 400mm reach... or lug around 3.5 lbs, for only 200mm reach.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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I agree with the speed vs. reach...some people have stated that a lot of days may be gloomy, so not the most ideal of light situations, but I'm thinking I can get away with bumping up the ISO since the 6D does a great job at limiting the noise of higher ISOs.

On the plus side, either of these lenses make for great weapons for clubbing things in case we come across some unruly wildelife (or other cruise passengers! )
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angrypenguin View Post
I agree with the speed vs. reach...some people have stated that a lot of days may be gloomy, so not the most ideal of light situations, but I'm thinking I can get away with bumping up the ISO since the 6D does a great job at limiting the noise of higher ISOs.
"Gloomy"... "cloudy"-- is not low light. In fact, many people would say that a cloudy gloomy day is the ideal lighting for photography -- don't have to deal with harsh shadows. (though I'd keep the camera pointed below the horizon, if the sky isn't going to be saturated blue, then I don't need it in the shot).

The main reason you might end up boosting your ISO... is to let you get some faster shutter speeds. Even with image stabilization, you'll want some faster shutter speeds to avoid blur. Especially if you have movement -- whether your own movement on a boat, or moving animals.

On a bright sunny day recently, I still boosted ISO to 800/1600, just to be able to use a shutter speed of 1/2500 to take some sports shots.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
I've heard good things about Canon's 100-400mm, does anyone have an opinion on that?
I rented one last year to take pictures of a school soccer match. It is a good lens, but very heavy.

I was planning an Alaskan cruise this summer until my in-laws said they wanted the whole family to save for their 50th in 3 years to go with them, so the cruise will wait. However, I was looking at one of the 300mm (f4.0, f2.8, or the 28-300) Have never rented any of these. But, if you want to see the 300mm f2.8 in action, search for Mark Barbieri posts in this forum. His 300mm f2.8 pictures were great.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angrypenguin View Post
I know it's been asked a couple times, but I wanted to get opinions on anyone who's done an Alaskan cruise recently. I'll be using a Canon 6D, so it'll be FF so I won't have the default zoom factor of a crop. I'll be taking my 24-105L, and am looking to rent a zoom.

I was originally thinking of renting a 70-200 2.8 (I've always wanted to try one and this seemed like a good excuse), but from reading other people's experiences, it sounds like this won't be enough of a reach. I've heard good things about Canon's 100-400mm, does anyone have an opinion on that?

Also, with 24mm on the low end on a FF, you think that's sufficiently wide enough? Or should I look into getting a UWA as well?

Thanks!
I use the 100-400 for sports, wildlife, and events - sharp with excellent image quality.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:49 AM   #7
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I went 2 years ago with a Nikon D7000 and Nikon 70-300 lens. I got some fantasic shots even on the gloomy days. I also would go with the 100-400.

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Old 04-20-2013, 12:33 AM   #8
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I used both 400mm and an ultra wide during our Alaskan cruise but the 24mm will probably suit your needs well enough. I'd say the telephoto will be more appreciated.

Fast speed will actually be important if it is cloudy but still, the reach will be more needed.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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When I went to Alaska, I had my 18-135 and 70-300 lenses with me. There were more times I wished I had a wider lens, than a longer one. There were times that I wished I had a longer reach so I think you will be very happy with a 400mm zoom. I merged many photos together in PS upon my return home because the 18mm was not wide enough. Totem Bight State Park in Ketchikan and Sitka National Part were 2 of the places I really wished for a wider lens, but there were many other times I wished I had it too.
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