Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

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SrS12 New Member • Posts: 18
Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

Hello all,

I'm headed to Page,AZ around Christmas and have a reservations to Lower Antelope Canyon @10:15. I'm looking for help with camera settings since the photo tours are no longer available and I'll have to shoot handheld . I'm a newbie but reasonably comfortable shooting landscapes in Manual mode with a tripod but am not confident I can make the needed changes to settings while being rushed thru the canyon.

I'll be using a full frame Canon 6D with a 17-35 f2.8 . So,a few questions

  1. What settings would you recommend I use  in manual mode ? Thinking ISO 800 ,aperture f11,shutter speed??
  2. Would a 24-105 f4 be a better lens to carry?
  3. Should I use Aperture priority (f8/f11?) instead of Manual mode ?
  4. Lastly,is a 10:15 tour good for the light? I've read conflicting  reports here on the best time of day to visit (most references are to summer but couldn't find much  for Dec)

Thanks in advance ,

S

 SrS12's gear list:SrS12's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Canon EOS 6D
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stretchman Senior Member • Posts: 1,207
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

SrS12 wrote:

Hello all,

I'm headed to Page,AZ around Christmas and have a reservations to Lower Antelope Canyon @10:15. I'm looking for help with camera settings since the photo tours are no longer available and I'll have to shoot handheld . I'm a newbie but reasonably comfortable shooting landscapes in Manual mode with a tripod but am not confident I can make the needed changes to settings while being rushed thru the canyon.

I'll be using a full frame Canon 6D with a 17-35 f2.8 . So,a few questions

  1. What settings would you recommend I use in manual mode ? Thinking ISO 800 ,aperture f11,shutter speed??
  2. Would a 24-105 f4 be a better lens to carry?
  3. Should I use Aperture priority (f8/f11?) instead of Manual mode ?
  4. Lastly,is a 10:15 tour good for the light? I've read conflicting reports here on the best time of day to visit (most references are to summer but couldn't find much for Dec)

Thanks in advance ,

S

I've photographed lower numerous times and the time of day really makes a difference. I like shooting it with as little direct sunlight as possible coming into the canyon. In the lower canyon you'll find yourself shooting up quite a bit and if the sun is hitting the dark canyon wall it makes for some very uneven lighting so earlier the better.

I like to shoot @ iso100 but that makes it tough as the exposure time is increased. Shooting @ iso 800 should be fine with any newer camera. You'll get some DOF problems so f8-f11is what you'll need to shoot at. Since tripods are no loner allowed shooting handheld slower shutter speeds is tough just go as fast as you can and lighten in P.P. Best lens would be 24mm or wider for most shots.

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Nikon D850 Nikon D800E
rick decker
MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 18,147
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

At this time of year, lower has more potential lthan upper.  However it is not a great time of year in general.  For lower at prime time of year (high sun) it can be too much.  Most likely, you will not get any of the light rays.  Of my 10 favorite shots, 6 are from lower, 3 upper and one at the moment I cannot identify.  As far as focal length goes, from lower,  the 35 equivalents are 66.42. 22. 26. 34. and 85 mm.  The tigher the image, the more you can control light although my favorites are on the wider side.

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Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 11,867
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

I've only shot Lower once.  Of the two lenses you asked about, I'd suggest the 17-35.  (I used a 12-24 on aps-c and it covered what I wanted.  Not that long isn't useful, but if limited to one, I'd take the wider.)  Depth of field is needed so f8, f11.  I don't think you'd want to consider changing lenses, whether for time or dust issues. The light varies a lot.  Remember, at the top it's potentially direct sunlight on the walls or shooting into the sky, and at the bottom, you are well down into a narrow walled canyon.  You may want to practice hand holding for "longer" exposures, maybe leaning up against walls, etc.

I don't recall which mode I used just wasn't Manual.  But that was 7 years ago and I might try something different if visiting there again.

Reggie Stration
Reggie Stration Contributing Member • Posts: 712
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

I would say take your widest lens, f8 and the lowest ISO that you can handhold. I found that exposure bracketing gave me lots to work with afterwards. Shoot raw for sure.

When i was there several years ago there was a constant shower of fine grit falling from above which took a lot of time to get out of my 14-24 so maybe consider a plastic bag or rain cover to keep your camera grit free.

ken_in_nh Senior Member • Posts: 1,999
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

You're just going to need to experiment.  I don't think there's any right answer to your questions.  Exposure bracketing is a good idea.  Keep in mind that the canyon is narrow enough that you can often brace either your camera or your body against a wall if you want or need longer exposures for more DOF.

AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 2,316
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

In December the AZ sun is not that high in the sky. And it will be chilly even at 10:15. Even though the average elevation is 4,100'. Sunset is near 5:15 give or take.

Don't expect much in the way of Lake Powell. At the moment it's only a lake in name only at 32% full. You also have Horseshoe Bend ($10. parking fee) and now there are tours to Waterhole Canyon just south of Horseshoe Bend. Waterhole is another slot canyon that goes basically east to west. But there are several slot canyons in that area you could check out also.

https://www.thewave.info/AntelopeCanyonCode/Map.html

OP SrS12 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings
1

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I'll go with the 17-35 in Manual mode ,3 or 5 shot exposure bracketing ,ISO800 ,f8-f11 and hope for a shutter speed over 1/25 sec.I hope I don't blow the opportunity!

 SrS12's gear list:SrS12's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
joeletx Veteran Member • Posts: 3,709
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

SrS12 wrote:

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I'll go with the 17-35 in Manual mode ,3 or 5 shot exposure bracketing ,ISO800 ,f8-f11 and hope for a shutter speed over 1/25 sec.I hope I don't blow the opportunity!

I took the lower tour in 2016. The first thing the tour guy recommended was the set the white balance to "Cloudy Day" and he was right on the money. I shot with the E-M1 at the time and was at ISO800, aperture mode, F8.0 with shutter speed around 1/20s - 1/60s. The IBIS did its best at about 4 stop advantage with my only 12-40 mm zoom (24-80mm equivalent). Pictures came out great and got ourselves a couple of wall hangers.

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OP SrS12 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

Perfect. I'll work with those settings .

 SrS12's gear list:SrS12's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
rick decker
MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 18,147
Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - camera settings

I don't know if this was mentioned..I would shoot RAW.

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