Advice on what wide angle canon lens for trip to Glacier Park

Started Aug 8, 2013 | Questions thread
bflood
Contributing MemberPosts: 523
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Re: Advice on what wide angle canon lens for trip to Glacier Park
In reply to runninmi, Aug 9, 2013

Wide angle - I suggest something that gets at least as wide as 16 mm.  Wider than that tends to be personal preference - some folks love wide angles and want the really wide lenses, while others find 16 wide enough (like me).

The 70-200 overlaps your 28-135 quite a bit. If you hope to get wildlife shots, I suggest you consider the 100-400 instead.  Excellent lens, and wildlife generally demand the longest lens you can find/afford/handle. If you aren't used to shooting with a long lens, you should get it a couple of days early and practice - don't try to get the hang of a long lens while missing the shots of a lifetime.

As for the trippod, 2 ideas: first, does your tripod have a hook at the bottom of the center post? If so, you can hang your camera bag on it to help stabilize the tripod. And if you still want to get the steadiest your tripod can offer, don't use your hands. Turn on the self timer in your camera, and make your shots using that self timer - allows you to fire the camera and then have your hands off it so it steadies before the shot is taken. Works pretty well and is a lot cheaper than a new heavier-duty tripod. A lot lighter, too.

A polarizing filter seems to me to be an obvious choice, but as you've been advised, be careful of using it on a wide angle lens - the field of view can be wider than the polarizing effect, giving you an unfortunate change in the depth the blue in the sky across a photo. Also be careful of how much polarizing effect you dial in at high altitude. The polarizing effect is stronger at higher elevation, and you can literally get a black or nearly black sky. It will be visible in the viewfinder if it happens.

Graduated filters: if a 2 stop filter assembly isn't in your budget, you work around it with effectively planned photos and post processing in Photoshop or equivalent. I've taken 3 shots of a sunset where the focal length, focus, and f-stop were all constant for all 3 shots - only the shutter speed changed. One was exposed for the shadows, one for the sky ayt sunset, and the other halfway between. Stacking the images in layers allowed me to erase everything but the parts that gave me the intended image. That third image really helps along the transition boundary between the brighter and darker sections of the image. If the focal length, focus, or f-stop changes among the shots, they won't blend together very well.

As for locations, I can't help - I'll be making my first trip to Glacier September 26 for a week.  Make liberal use of Google/Bing and you can learn an enormous amount from others, though.

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