Antarctica Trip Lens choice

Started Oct 20, 2006 | Discussions thread
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waimoku New Member • Posts: 19
Antarctica Trip Lens choice

I will be going to Antarctica in mid december and would like a recommendation of a lens for wildlife and landscape photography. Here are some details:

1) Although I will have 3-5 expeditions on land, I will be on an icebreaker for some time (so how important would IS be, i.e. in a panning mode).

2) Weather may be a factor even in their summer so any suggestions on improving/helping protection for the camera and lens would be appreciated (like a plastic bag to a commercial product)

3) Although it is summer there, I am having difficulty determining the level of available light, so what I'm asking is does anyone know the lighting conditions there and if they are dimmer then that might advocate a lower light lens.

4) I also want to consider choices to be useful when I return (not to gloat but I live in Hawaii so it should be useful for Whale watching, capturing wind and kite surfers, etc.)

5) I currently own a 30D with kit lens (just picked it up from Costco) and 100mm macro (from my previous rebel for mostly underwater use)... so I need a good telephoto and maybe a better mid range lens

Although money is not unlimited, I can afford one of the more expensive lens below. Here are the lens I am considering:

1) 100-400 mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM - with the 1.6x this should give me quite the range without getting to close to penguins or seals. Also, I should be able to take long range shots of glaciers and such. Not sure if there is weather sealing on the lens. Don't think an extender will work unless I have a 1Ds.

2) 70-200 mm F/2.8 L USM (possibly with a 1.4x extender) - I believe this is a very very sharp lens and with the extender I could have great range... in short it would give me flexibilty for a closer shot if it presents itself. Also, it would allow for lower lighting.

3) 70-200 mm F/4 L IS USM - I hear great things like it weighs less and is capable of 4 stops less from the IS (for a stationary target).

4) 70-300 mm F/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM - lower on my list b/c of some negative things I've read about image quality. It did make the list b/c of the smaller size and general carriability factor.

5) 70-300 mm F/4-5.6 IS USM - bottom of my list but it is the cheapest choice. I'm just not sure of the quality.

Thank you

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