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12-09-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
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Traveling to Vancouver

I'll be in Vancouver from Christmas until Jan 3 on a family vacation (wife and two sons).
We will take some side trips.
Being a family vacation, I'm planning on traveling light. I'm thinking about bringing my 18-135 WR lens as the daily walk-around lens and FA31 f1.8 for evening/low light.
Do you think I should take anything longer or anything else? I've been to Seattle but never Vancouver or Victoria Island.
From my experiences with Seattle, I'm thinking that taking a WR lens is a good idea. I do have the DA*50-135, but it is in for repair.
Any suggestions?
Thanks,
David

12-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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I grew up in the Vancouver area. It is currently warming up from a recent cold snap there with it forecast to be in a more normal westerly flow off the Pacific for the next ten days. That doesn't get you to Christmas but the probablity of having two waves of Arctic air in one month in Vancouver is low so I would plan on a more normal dull, grey and occasionally wet winter experience. The WR lens thus makes much sense. Other than that, I always find the choice of lenses to be personal since there are so many genres of photography. Are you into macro? Wildlife? Landscape?

Jack
12-09-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
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If you get into the surrounding mountains with lookouts you may want something longer than 135 mm. Just depends. . .

Vancouver is an incredible city. My suggestion would be to bring enough money and a healthy appetite--the food there is diverse and world class. They tend to have decent Boxing Day sales in Canada too.

M
12-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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Hi David,
I live here on Vancouver Island and I would definitely recommend bringing WR lenses this time of year since you can expect snow or rain or just dry cold days.
I think your lens selection sounds good, it generally starts to get dark around 4 when I get off work which is pretty early, so a fast lens is a good idea if you'll be out and about in the evening.
Cheers
-jason

12-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions.
the boys do want to go snowboarding, so a longer lens isn't a bad idea.
I may be able to also take the 55-300, but it isn't the new WR version. Is it still work taking?
I did consider getting the WR one on the Black Friday sales, but went for the 100mm macro WR instead.
Thanks,
David
12-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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Non-WR will be just fine. I've been shooting in the rain with non-WR gear for decades. The world doesn't end. You can get a cheap OP/Tech Rainsleeve for a few bucks.

M
12-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DAKS Quote
Thanks for the suggestions.
the boys do want to go snowboarding, so a longer lens isn't a bad idea.
I may be able to also take the 55-300, but it isn't the new WR version. Is it still work taking?
I did consider getting the WR one on the Black Friday sales, but went for the 100mm macro WR instead.
Thanks,
David
Vancouver is awesome
If you want to go to the Zoo, then 300mm is nice, but not mandatory.
I personally would feel more comfy with a WR option if I knew that I will be out in the snow. But others like Miguel above me have plenty of experience without WR. So maybe if you are really concerned you can use one of those sleeves.
12-09-2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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One of the must-sees in Vancouver is the aquarium in Stanley Park. You can easily spend a whole day there.

Jack

12-09-2013, 03:07 PM   #9
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If you are going to the aquarium, book tickets in advance. We were there in the summer a couple of years ago...massive queues. It is a stunning place though!
12-09-2013, 03:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
If you want to go to the Zoo
The tree-huggers have so badly intimidated the aquarium and zoo, that it really isn't worth a trip on its own. I've only been to Stanley Park in the summer, and the flowers don't come out until February, but it should still be green and lush, so check it out anyway. Close to the water also means the temperature should be higher there than if you go up to Harrison or Golden Ears. If you can swing it, take a vehicle to Vancouver Island and return to Vancouver along the Sunshine Coast. Whistler if you can afford it, otherwise Manning Park has lots of snow. The odds of seeing sunshine this time of year are pretty low, but there are lots of opportunities to take pictures of mist, rocks, water and trees. I highly doubt you will need a focal length wider than 55mm, because the low clouds will ruin all the sweeping vistas.

I'm told it's a good time of the year to take pictures of killer whales from ferries, but I can't vouch for that myself. I found that my A 70-210 wasn't long enough for sea mammals, so you should definitely bring the 55-300, but not being WR, you will have issues with condensation, especially with all of the temperature changes you will experience. At least you don't have to worry about dust!
12-10-2013, 03:16 AM   #11
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If you could get something wider than 18mm (such as the DA 15), that would be great for landscapes and cityscapes of all types. The DA 15 would work well taking pictures of Vancouver at night, and any landscapes should you decide to perhaps try one of the local mountains for some snowshoeing.

The DA 18-135, FA 31, and DA 15 seems like a pretty efficient combo. If you do decide to take a ferry to Vancouver Island and you think you might want to take pictures of whales, then maybe bring a telephoto (DA 55-300?) but the whales don't appear all the time so that's up to you.

And enjoy your time here! We just had our first snow today. Everything is very pretty right now. Hopefully it's just as nice when you arrive.
12-10-2013, 07:27 AM   #12
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I forget the name of it, but there is a bird/plant conservatory that is amazing. The train takes you pretty close to it. You want a long, fast lens for that. My 55-300 was good, but I had to push the ISO.

the 18-135 and 43mm served me well as the only two other lenses last time I was there.

Aquarium is awesome in winter as there is no line ups, same with the zoo.
12-10-2013, 09:50 AM   #13
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Good suggestions.
I will take the 55-300 and check out those places.
thanks,
David
12-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #14
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I would recommend the VanDusen Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights. it's one of the best family things to do here in the city during Christmas.

Featured Events | VanDusen Botanical Garden | Bloedel Conservatory

2013 Hours & Admission:
December 11, 2013 through January 4, 2014, 4:30 to 9 p.m. each evening, except December 25th when the Garden is closed. A magical experience for the whole family with 1.4 million twinkling lights.


Phil.
12-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #15
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Thanks Phil, that looks like fun.

David
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