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06-12-2008, 06:23 AM   #1
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50-135 enough for a Rockies Vacation

I'm planning to have my holidays in Canada next Summer, i will go to the Rockies with lots of animals and nature portraits to get photographed, my actual gear is a 16-45 f4, a Pentax 20 2.8, a Zeiss 50 1.4, and i also have a 28-300 sigma, and one 70-300 apo (old version not DG), but this one is damaged. So my question, is do you think a 50-135 would be worthy or maybe something "larger" a sigma 100-300 f4 for example.
Come on guys give me a hand.

06-12-2008, 06:32 AM   #2
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I would def take the 50-135mm, but I would also take the 16-45mm. If you are looking to do some wildlife, unless you plan on getting real close, you may need some extra reach.
06-12-2008, 06:52 AM   #3
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do you intend to do any wild life shots?

Look at my question and think carefully. There are two things in the rockies to photograph, (aside from shots of yourself and travel companions). These are scenery and wildlife.

I would almost suggest that the 50-135 is one lens you could almost leave behind, in favor of a 16-50, an ultra wide of some kind (10-20, 10-17 zoom or an ultra wide prime) and something LONG

When I went, I took my sigma 70-200F2.8 plus 1.4x TC. I wish I had taken my 300mm F4 and 1.7x AF TC also.
06-12-2008, 07:08 AM   #4
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I would have to agree with Lowell. I think your 16-45 and the 100-300 and a TC if you have one will get you though most of the landscapes and wildlife shots. You most definately will want somethng LONG.

As for the protraits, your guess would be better than mine.

BTW, I'm jealous. I would love to visit the Canadian Rockies!

06-12-2008, 08:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtr_fingolfin Quote
I'm planning to have my holidays in Canada next
Summer, i will go to the Rockies with lots of animals and nature portraits to get
photographed, my actual gear is a 16-45 f4, a Pentax 20 2.8, a Zeiss 50 1.4, and i
also have a 28-300 sigma, and one 70-300 apo (old version not DG), but this one is
damaged. So my question, is do you think a 50-135 would be worthy or maybe
something "larger" a sigma 100-300 f4 for example.
Come on guys give me a hand.

Not totally clear, do you already have the 50-135, or are you thinking of getting it?

If you already have it, I have to disagree with Lowell a bit about leaving the 50-135
at home, and here's why: For such an important, image-rich trip, you
want to have the highest resolving, sharpest glass possible. I recently took a
drive through Nevada, Utah & Colorado with mt 50-135 & 16-50 - I absolutely
recommend that combo, although your 16-45 would be more than fine also for the
wide end.

50-135 shots:







You'll need to ask yourself this - how many times will I be wanting that tight
shot of the bighorn, vs, just wanting a crisp vista or mountaintop scene
rendered? Personally, on my trip, my wildlife shooting was about only about
3% of my trip.

However, if you don't already have the 50-135 and you do think you'll be
shooting a lot of wildlife, you may want to get some really high IQ-able long
glass instead.

More 50-135's --> 50-135_in_the_american_west - a set on Flickr
06-12-2008, 08:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Not totally clear, do you already have the 50-135, or are you thinking of getting it?
good question
QuoteQuote:
If you already have it, I have to disagree with Lowell a bit about leaving the 50-135
at home, and here's why: For such an important, image-rich trip, you
want to have the highest resolving, sharpest glass possible. I recently took a
drive through Nevada, Utah & Colorado with mt 50-135 & 16-50 - I absolutely
recommend that combo, although your 16-45 would be more than fine also for the
wide end.
There is nothing wrong with a good disagreement, which is why I took the approach I did WRT the 50-135.

While I don't disagree with what you say, and in many instances, on major trips you want to take it all just because you will never go back, I wonder sometimes how much different lenses get used on a trip.
QuoteQuote:
You'll need to ask yourself this - how many times will I be wanting that tight
shot of the bighorn, vs, just wanting a crisp vista or mountaintop scene
rendered? Personally, on my trip, my wildlife shooting was about only about
3% of my trip.
Was that influenced by a limitation in focal lengths, personal interest, or the fact that there is not as much wildlife to see in some areas as opposed to others. I found in the south west wild life was somewhat varried, but still took many shots of birds, especially at Bryce and the North Rim. Also the condors at the South Rim.
QuoteQuote:
However, if you don't already have the 50-135 and you do think you'll be
shooting a lot of wildlife, you may want to get some really high IQ-able long
glass instead.
This was the point I was making, and is highly dependant on personal interests. If you have already the 16-50, what is of more use, a 50-135, or a high end 70-200 F2.8 plus a really good 2x TC.

I would trade off some perhaps slightly higher IQ of the 50-135 (I can't personally say, as I don't own one) for the extra length of the 70-200 and especially with the TC, and I am not so sure that you would really miss the gap between 50mm and 70mm as much as the added length.

As an aside, on your trip, have you run EXIF plot or something similar to look at what range of focallengths you used? That might show something interesting.
06-12-2008, 08:44 AM   #7
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Nice shots J.

So many ways to shoot mountains. I live at the foot of the Rockies in Calgary and visit them several times a year to hike, enjoy a resort for a weekend or just shoot for the afternoon. I'm a prime shooter myself and looking back at my pictures, I've used everything from 15 to 400mm on the just the mountains. I tend to favour fine details and have found one of my later acquisitions, a 90mm Lanthar to be a great compliment to the 58mm Nokton as a good 1, 2 punch with the FA31 being my vista choice. Whatever you bring, favour a sharp lens as J has mentioned, there is as much detail in those rocks as you can capture and more.

I'd also highly recommend a good circular polarizer as the sky will feature in many of your shots, and perhaps a neutral density filter for the classic soft water effect if you'll be shooting any falls.

Also, depending on how much time you'll be getting to dedicate to shooting, don't overlook a good close-focus lens for many of the flowers, bugs or other interesting details you'll come across. Again, for me, the 90mm close-focus Lanthar is probably my default lens in the mountains since I got it, and its not a bad length for shooting the elk or mountain goats you may see along the roadside as well.

If you prefer wildlife, as Lowell has said, its a different consideration altogether.

Anyways, feel free to have a look at some of my Landscape and Nature shots to see how the various focal ranges worked out for me -

Collection: Nature

Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 06-12-2008 at 08:57 AM.
06-12-2008, 11:00 AM   #8
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Ok, maybe i didn't expressed my way well, i have not either the 50-135 or the 100-300. There's a good offer here for buying the 100-300, but i also can wait and buy in canada the 50-135, ovbiously i can't afford both of them.
I think that i agree with sherman, the 50-135 are more "useful", and in the other hand the weight might be a problem as well, the 100-300 is quite haevy.
But anybody can tell me anyway, if it would be worthy to try to repair the 70-300, it has problem of blur, it seems as if it were water inside, in fact i had myself and my gear absolutely wet in a trip through thailand, and i tried to dried it up, but it has been impossible, there is always blur. Somethind indeed that could have been not happened with a 50-135!!!

Thanks

06-12-2008, 11:01 AM   #9
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i forgotten, what a pictures, whoah, love it.
06-12-2008, 11:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtr_fingolfin Quote
Ok, maybe i didn't expressed my way well, i have not either the 50-135 or the 100-300. There's a good offer here for buying the 100-300, but i also can wait and buy in canada the 50-135, ovbiously i can't afford both of them.
I think that i agree with sherman, the 50-135 are more "useful", and in the other hand the weight might be a problem as well, the 100-300 is quite haevy.
But anybody can tell me anyway, if it would be worthy to try to repair the 70-300, it has problem of blur, it seems as if it were water inside, in fact i had myself and my gear absolutely wet in a trip through thailand, and i tried to dried it up, but it has been impossible, there is always blur. Somethind indeed that could have been not happened with a 50-135!!!

Thanks
I think it is all up to you. What do you think you want to shoot, if it is mostly scenics go for the 50-135, if you want wild life go longer.
06-12-2008, 12:35 PM   #11
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I'm going on a similar vacation in about 6 weeks. 1300 miles (not including day trips) from Vancouver to Calgary. This will include going through the Canadian Rockies twice. Also, a section from Banff to Jasper, a slow, scenic drive. I only have what's in my sig so that is what is coming with me. Knowing the areas reasonably well, I'll do fine.

-
06-12-2008, 12:42 PM   #12
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I would take your 16-45 and your 28-300,but I also recomend the 50-135. I wouldnt leave home without it.
06-12-2008, 01:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtr_fingolfin Quote
I'm planning to have my holidays in Canada next Summer, i will go to the Rockies with lots of animals and nature portraits to get photographed, my actual gear is a 16-45 f4, a Pentax 20 2.8, a Zeiss 50 1.4, and i also have a 28-300 sigma, and one 70-300 apo (old version not DG), but this one is damaged. So my question, is do you think a 50-135 would be worthy or maybe something "larger" a sigma 100-300 f4 for example.
Come on guys give me a hand.
Hey! I am also from Barcelona and I recently purchased DA*50-135... recommended 100%, trust me when I tell you that I got it always on my K10D and it is hard for me to replace it for another one... incredible lens, and 16-45 with 50-135 is a perfect match, covers almost everything I need.

The only downside is its weight... Camera + 50-135 its heavy!! but worth it..

Saludos!!
06-13-2008, 01:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtr_fingolfin Quote
i will go to the Rockies with lots of animals and nature portraits to get photographed.
You'll need something wide for landscapes and something loooong for wild life. 50-135 would be the least used I think.
06-13-2008, 04:57 AM   #15
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135mm is not enough!

to get back to the origonal question of the OP.

the photo below was taken with a Pentax 135mm F2.5. While I accept the Kestrel is a small bird, about the size of a morning dove, it was only 30-40 feet away

the 135 was the longest lens I had. Note considering shot through double pane tinted glass at an airport, it is not too bad.

The simple point is, 135mm is not enough by a long shot for wild life.

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 09-27-2010 at 05:44 AM.
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