Yosemite with a 7D?

Started Jun 7, 2012 | Discussions
cambomj
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Yosemite with a 7D?
Jun 7, 2012

Hi all,

I've just booked a trip to California with the fam for this coming November and have a couple of days booked in Yosemite. I have no idea on whether this is a good time of year to visit but it is just fortuitous as I am in the area.

I'm seeking your advices please... I'm not really a landscape photographer but more of a portraits guy. I really love my kit BUT I'm thinking I need a wide angle lens to compliment my landscape capabilities.

I currently own :
7D,

Canon 20-35mm - had this for a long time but not very useful as the range is all wrong
Canon 24-105mm - main lens; length suits my style. Irreplaceable.
Sigma 50mm 1.4 - simply adore this lens for portraits
Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS II - mmmm...

I know a good photographer can just about use anything but I do sometimes feel restricted in width and do not wish to be caught wanting in such a remarkable environment. I like the thought of the Canon 10-22mm, and the price of the Sigma 10-20 seems right but I just don't know and I am keen to hear some thoughts and your recommendations.

I'm really looking forward to the trip and want to purchase the lens soon and start developing my landscape skills

Also really keen to hear of any tips and must-dos whilst I am there

Thanks in advance!

 cambomj's gear list:cambomj's gear list
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Canon EOS 7D
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Flying Fish
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 7, 2012

Any time is a good time to be at Yosemite. November should be into the beginning of the rainy season, but you still have a decent chance at sunshine. Clouds can make things more interesting anyway. There could be some snow at higher elevations--even lower elevations--depending on what kind of season it is.

I wouldn't get any new lenses for the trip given what you have. Your 20-35 lens should be quite useful, so don't worry that the focal range is "all wrong." (What's wrong with it, by the way?) The 24-105 and 70-200 also will be great. You're well taken care of in the lens department, IMHO.

FF

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kjbkix
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to Flying Fish, Jun 7, 2012

I agree that any time is a good time for Yosemite, except if it snows and the roads are all blocked off!

Anyway, I disagree that your current kit will suffice. 20mm is not nearly wide enough for the vast landscapes you'll come across, although stitching is an option (though a time-consuming one). I'd actually go as far as to say that you're covered in all the wrong places when it comes to Yosemite, or any national park, because you could use a bit more length also for wildlife.

If you don't shoot wide often enough (you'll already know whether 24mm doesn't suffice here), just rent a good UWA for the week. Canon 10-22 is nice for you because it means coverage right through to your 24-105. Sigma 8-16 for crazy wide, but 10mm should suffice.

I'd also recommend grabbing a 1.4 or 2x TC for your 70-200, in case you come across any wildlife which you may not want to get all that close to!

So take the rented UWA, the 24-105, and 70-200 w/TC, and you're all set. If you're doing other things on the vacation, I'm sure the 50 1.4 will come in handy also, but you won't get much use from that in the park.

Have fun!

Flying Fish wrote:

Any time is a good time to be at Yosemite. November should be into the beginning of the rainy season, but you still have a decent chance at sunshine. Clouds can make things more interesting anyway. There could be some snow at higher elevations--even lower elevations--depending on what kind of season it is.

I wouldn't get any new lenses for the trip given what you have. Your 20-35 lens should be quite useful, so don't worry that the focal range is "all wrong." (What's wrong with it, by the way?) The 24-105 and 70-200 also will be great. You're well taken care of in the lens department, IMHO.

FF

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Wyville
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 7, 2012

cambomj wrote:

I know a good photographer can just about use anything but I do sometimes feel restricted in width and do not wish to be caught wanting in such a remarkable environment. I like the thought of the Canon 10-22mm, and the price of the Sigma 10-20 seems right but I just don't know and I am keen to hear some thoughts and your recommendations.

There are just two EF-S lenses I care about, the 17-55 and the 10-22. I own the 17-55 and although I'm currently focussing on wildlife and birds, the 10-22 sits high on my wishlist of lenses. It's supposed to be a very high quality ultra-wide angle with very good distortion characteristics.

Personally I dislike third party alternatives (except maybe Tokina), so I won't comment on the Sigma. There are two versions of the Sigma 10-20, btw. A constant f/3.5, and a variable f/4-5.6.

If finances allow you, I think the 10-22 will be a great addition for Yosemite.

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rpiotr01
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In reply to cambomj, Jun 7, 2012

If you don't have one already, I'd focus first on getting a lightweight travel tripod set-up. I think that's going to help you get better shots out of what you already have than a new lens would. It'll make long exposures possible, as well as bracketed exposures to be combined later if you want to do anything with an HDR effect. On top of that you want to catch as much detail as possible, which is made harder by hand holding.

The more landscape I shoot and the more I want to be better at it, the more I realize what a hindrance my current tripod/head are.

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ktownbill
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 7, 2012

You can use your 20-35mm with a tripod and shoot a panorama if you need a wide FoV. If you do want to invest in a UWA lens I highly suggest staying with the Canon brand and getting the 10-22mm. It has the most resistance to flare and can shoot into the sun. A very very good lens and worth the extra cost.

Be sure and hike to Vernal Falls!! It is spectacular! Ideally you want to go to Yosemite in the late Spring when the falls are running full tilt.

I noticed that you are from AUS? If this is your only trip to California then you definitely must visit Sequoia National Park about a 4hr drive south of Yosemite. Ck it out on Google Images. If you go there make sure you check the weather for possible snow showers. Generally there is no snow there in Nov.

Enjoy your visit to CA !!

Bill

cambomj wrote:

Hi all,

I've just booked a trip to California with the fam for this coming November and have a couple of days booked in Yosemite. I have no idea on whether this is a good time of year to visit but it is just fortuitous as I am in the area.

I'm seeking your advices please... I'm not really a landscape photographer but more of a portraits guy. I really love my kit BUT I'm thinking I need a wide angle lens to compliment my landscape capabilities.

I currently own :
7D,

Canon 20-35mm - had this for a long time but not very useful as the range is all wrong
Canon 24-105mm - main lens; length suits my style. Irreplaceable.
Sigma 50mm 1.4 - simply adore this lens for portraits
Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS II - mmmm...

I know a good photographer can just about use anything but I do sometimes feel restricted in width and do not wish to be caught wanting in such a remarkable environment. I like the thought of the Canon 10-22mm, and the price of the Sigma 10-20 seems right but I just don't know and I am keen to hear some thoughts and your recommendations.

I'm really looking forward to the trip and want to purchase the lens soon and start developing my landscape skills

Also really keen to hear of any tips and must-dos whilst I am there

Thanks in advance!

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Mayo1434
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 7, 2012

Took a trip to Yosemite last November during Thanksgiving weekend. It was absolutely beautiful. Pretty chilly, but pure sun. I think this time of the year is absolutely perfect to visit, you even get some fall colors. In the summer months, the crowds are WAY too much for me to actually enjoy the tranquility of a national park. Thanksgiving was busy, but I would suspect the remainder of Nov will be just fine. Yes, Tiago Pass will be closed, but there are a lot perfect picture spots. We took a trail which went past Mirror Lake. When we first arrived, a wonderful thin layer of ice coated the lake. After our quiet, peaceful hike, we came back to about 50 tourists slamming rocks into the beautiful lake. I guess where I am going is, if you want to take some great shots without a million people in your frame, I suggest waking up at the crack of dawn and catch the sunrise. Like any National Park, sometimes people just dont respect it the way it should be and can really ruin a great shot. Oh and prepare for hundreds of people climbing up the waterfalls, so again, get out there early.

Your going to want a very wide angle lens. You'll see what I mean when you get there. The landscape is incredible. Also, the wildlife is abundant and (unfortunately) very used to humans, so the deer get very close to you.

Have a great trip and Happy Shooting!

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gdanmitchell
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to ktownbill, Jun 7, 2012

ktownbill wrote:

I noticed that you are from AUS? If this is your only trip to California then you definitely must visit Sequoia National Park about a 4hr drive south of Yosemite. Ck it out on Google Images. If you go there make sure you check the weather for possible snow showers. Generally there is no snow there in Nov.

Maybe. But the choice isn't quite the slam-dunk you make it out to be.

First, I'm a big fan of SEKI. I've visited the place for decades and spent months or more all told on the back-country trails there. I'm especially fond of the very high country in the upper Kern River drainage, but there are other really astonishing things in this park.

However, if one is at all limited as to visiting time, coming in California, and not prepared for some difficult-weather back-country travel... I still have to say that it might not be a great idea to give up part of a short stay in The Valley in order to drive down to the wonderfulness that is SEKI, especially in November.

Dan

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allanmh
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Hetch Hetchy and Mariposa Grove
In reply to gdanmitchell, Jun 7, 2012

Hi,

If you only have a couple of days in Yosemite, you might consider adding Mariposa Grove at the south end to your itinerary: it'll give you a taste of the redwoods. Also,Hetch Hetchy just north of the park itself is magical place, and the drives to both destinations are absolutely beautiful, especially if there is a bit of fall colour.
--
allanmh

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cambomj
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to Flying Fish, Jun 7, 2012

Flying Fish wrote:

Any time is a good time to be at Yosemite. November should be into the beginning of the rainy season, but you still have a decent chance at sunshine. Clouds can make things more interesting anyway. There could be some snow at higher elevations--even lower elevations--depending on what kind of season it is.

I wouldn't get any new lenses for the trip given what you have. Your 20-35 lens should be quite useful, so don't worry that the focal range is "all wrong." (What's wrong with it, by the way?) The 24-105 and 70-200 also will be great. You're well taken care of in the lens department, IMHO.

FF

Thanks for the tips. There 20-35 has been a good lens and I originally bought it for when the Olympics were here in 2000. It has served me well through my film days when the widest lens I had was 28mm. Now that I am using the 24-105, the little 20-35 only has 4mm effective advantage.

Thanks for your input..

 cambomj's gear list:cambomj's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +4 more
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cambomj
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to kjbkix, Jun 7, 2012

kjbkix wrote:

I agree that any time is a good time for Yosemite, except if it snows and the roads are all blocked off!

Anyway, I disagree that your current kit will suffice. 20mm is not nearly wide enough for the vast landscapes you'll come across, although stitching is an option (though a time-consuming one). I'd actually go as far as to say that you're covered in all the wrong places when it comes to Yosemite, or any national park, because you could use a bit more length also for wildlife.

If you don't shoot wide often enough (you'll already know whether 24mm doesn't suffice here), just rent a good UWA for the week. Canon 10-22 is nice for you because it means coverage right through to your 24-105. Sigma 8-16 for crazy wide, but 10mm should suffice.

I'd also recommend grabbing a 1.4 or 2x TC for your 70-200, in case you come across any wildlife which you may not want to get all that close to!

So take the rented UWA, the 24-105, and 70-200 w/TC, and you're all set. If you're doing other things on the vacation, I'm sure the 50 1.4 will come in handy also, but you won't get much use from that in the park.

Have fun!

I'm from Sydney, is renting an option for o/s visitors? Oh, I forgot I already have a 2x TC from my old Sigma 70-200. It's not great (it's not really that good either :)) but it might fill that gap if it were required.

Thanks for posting..

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cambomj
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Re: Hetch Hetchy and Mariposa Grove
In reply to allanmh, Jun 7, 2012

allanmh wrote:

Hi,

If you only have a couple of days in Yosemite, you might consider adding Mariposa Grove at the south end to your itinerary: it'll give you a taste of the redwoods. Also,Hetch Hetchy just north of the park itself is magical place, and the drives to both destinations are absolutely beautiful, especially if there is a bit of fall colour.
--
allanmh

Thanks for the tip! I'm still looking at what we can do there and appreciate your input..

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Dan_168
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 7, 2012

Yosemite National Park is one of my favorite park, both in terms of hiking and photography, I hike there on average of 8-10 times a year.

I agree with everyone there is really no 'bad time" to visit there, you will just have different experience when you go different time of the year. But getting around can be an issue during winter months due to snow depending on the weather condition, for example last Nov, there was hardly any snow in the park during that time of the year, Tioga road was open and I spend almost a week up there hiking, and the year before was crazy during that time of the year and it was tons of snow and storm everyday during the same time period, and I was snowboarding up there instead that year, just let you know the weather can be very different from year to year these days. Anyway, As you already know, Tioga Road is normally closed, Glacier Point Road is normally closed during winter months, so you don't have access to a pretty big part of the park by car, ( of course you can always hike in in the snow if you like), but the park is big, even without those area, you still have quite a lot to see, the Yosemite valley, Mariposa Grove and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir area, all beautiful area and different from each others. even in winter time, you can do a little bit of hiking in the valley area if you want, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall are few of them, you won't see much water during that time of the year but still a pretty fun hike, or walk around Mirror lake area if you want a easy one, or take a short hike at the mariposa grove to see some of the big trees.....you will have plenty of stuffs to do to kill few days easily.

As for lenses, I think you should bring both WA and telephoto, it's hard for us to suggest what you need because we don't know your style, I personally use WA a lot more than telephoto there, but that's just me.

here is few winter shots I have posted in this forum before:

And a few more from other time of the year:

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cambomj
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to gdanmitchell, Jun 8, 2012

gdanmitchell wrote:

ktownbill wrote:

I noticed that you are from AUS? If this is your only trip to California then you definitely must visit Sequoia National Park about a 4hr drive south of Yosemite. Ck it out on Google Images. If you go there make sure you check the weather for possible snow showers. Generally there is no snow there in Nov.

Maybe. But the choice isn't quite the slam-dunk you make it out to be.

First, I'm a big fan of SEKI. I've visited the place for decades and spent months or more all told on the back-country trails there. I'm especially fond of the very high country in the upper Kern River drainage, but there are other really astonishing things in this park.

However, if one is at all limited as to visiting time, coming in California, and not prepared for some difficult-weather back-country travel... I still have to say that it might not be a great idea to give up part of a short stay in The Valley in order to drive down to the wonderfulness that is SEKI, especially in November.


Been to CAL 3 times before but this is the first I am going outside the city limits. Definately wont be the last time either so what i can squeeze in now and what we can check out for next time. I'm also ther for Thanksgiving! Not sure what to do yet but the thought of spending time in the US on one of your big days really excites me and I can't wait!

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JThorsen
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 8, 2012

If you are interested in renting an ultra-wide, I can't think of why being from overseas would cause a problem. You may want to check the websites of some of the US-based rental companies. I've used lensprotogo.com, and they will ship directly to the hotel you stay at via FedEx.
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cambomj
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to JThorsen, Jun 8, 2012

Just checked out LensProToGo and the pricing and service seems perfect. I can get a lens and tripod for very reasonable costs and it saves me from lugging my own tripod around. I kinow some US sites have a hesitation if you dont have a US address or Credit Card but I've sent them an email so we'll see how it goes.

If i can rent it, I'm leaning very heavy towards the 10-22mm. Only if I were to buy would I be considering the Sigma and just for price.

Thanks for e heads-up all!

Now, I need to get cracking on brushing up my landscape skills....

 cambomj's gear list:cambomj's gear list
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ktownbill
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 8, 2012

definitely use a polarizing filter where needed. Watch out for uneven darkening of blue skies when using uwa lenses though. Besides skies and water they also reduce reflections from foliage. You will definitely notice a difference. Be aware that polarizers angle dependant to the sun.

where all are you visiting?

cambomj wrote:

Just checked out LensProToGo and the pricing and service seems perfect. I can get a lens and tripod for very reasonable costs and it saves me from lugging my own tripod around. I kinow some US sites have a hesitation if you dont have a US address or Credit Card but I've sent them an email so we'll see how it goes.

If i can rent it, I'm leaning very heavy towards the 10-22mm. Only if I were to buy would I be considering the Sigma and just for price.

Thanks for e heads-up all!

Now, I need to get cracking on brushing up my landscape skills....

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img7d

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cambomj
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to ktownbill, Jun 9, 2012

Staying at Tanaya Lodge and that's all we have organised ATM. We have a week in LA (Disneyland) then Yosemite and back to LA for the Thanksgiving weekend before flying home.

Keen to give the kids a different experience of CA than the theme parks

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SLOtographer
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Hiking?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 9, 2012

Lots of great advice here. Yosemite is special, and one of my favorite places. I could go there every weekend and be stoked.

If you are going to hike or move on foot, I'd recommend getting the 10-22 and take it with the 24-105. That's all you'd need. Since you are traveling a long distance, I'd go with a light, simple kit.

If you are staying in the valley, I recommend "meadow meandering" at the ends of the day. Go to some of the meadows, and walk, look, feel, smell, enjoy. Yosemite is a place to be savored outdoors, with the wind, the rocks, the trees...

Also half dome is a great soft box late afternoon near mirror lake, in case you want to take portraits in the forest.

Lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel... yummers!

There are books on photographing Yosemite which will save you time.

http://www.amazon.com/Photographing-Yosemite-Digital-Field-ebook/dp/B003BLY736/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339222453&sr=8-2&keywords=yosemite+digital+photography

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"If we limit our vision to the real world, we will forever be fighting on the minus side of things, working only too make our photographs equal to what we see out there, but no better." -- Galen Rowell

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gdjoslin
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Re: Yosemite with a 7D?
In reply to cambomj, Jun 15, 2012

Last year was uncommon the high roads were not closed until January. That might not happen this year.
If it snows Mariposa road will be closed to cars but you can walk back.
Most of the fall color should be gone by that time.

On your way thru Oakhurst heading north to Tenaya Lodge there is a Barbeque place called Todd's. It is a favorite for the locals.

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Gary

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