Costa Rica Lens

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by sidney_shah|1, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Hello.

    I've been reading and learning as much as I can from the site as well as
    forum for the last 2 years. I am going to Costa Rica for a vacation at the
    end of July for 6 nights. I have the following equipment and was wondering
    what else, if anything I need to buy/rent.
    Canon 350D (XT) with vertical grip (for my big hands)
    Canon 50 f1.8
    Canon 28-135 IS (my usual walk around lens)
    Tokina 70-200 f2.8 ATX-Pro
    Canon 420EX flash
    Tamron 90 2.8 macro
    Tokina 19-35

    I am planning on buying a backpack style case. Any recomendations?

    What do you recomend that I carry as well as do you think I need to buy
    anything? Will a Macro be necessary? I have been thinking about the Canon
    100-400 IS plus a monopod and carry that so that I can leave the 70-200 at
    home. I was also thinking about the canon 10-22. I am not sure if I should
    rent or buy.

    Thank you all very much in advance.
  2. I was to Costa Rica two years ago any you must be aware that a good deal of your shots will be from a shaky boat of monkeys and birds far away. It?s not to easy carrying around a monopod or tripod or even a big lens. The most convenient setup I saw on that trip (not me) was with a EF70-300 DO IS USM on a crop camera, relatively small and light with good range. It?s not a great lens but very effective in the right hands.
  3. That's allot of gear to be lugging around. I dont see why you need to bring the 90mm since you already have the 28-135mm IS. The same goes for the 50mm 1.8. Leave that stuff at home and save some room in your bag for plastic bags incase of the high humidity or if it rains.
  4. Thanks for all of the ideas. I was planning on just carrying the body, flash, 28-135, and maybe the 50 1.8 since it is so small. I like the idea of the 70-300 IS DO, but it is almost the same price as the 100-400, which is a L lens. I feel that IS will be essential. I feel that I will need a tele zoom lens too.
    I've bought the large Ziplock bags to protect my gear in as well as well as I will be carrying my SD 550 with a water proof housing for snap shots as well as if the weather gets too bad.
    I will basically be doing a bunch of tourist activities, like hikes and going on the zip lines. Do you think that a wide angle lens would be used much in Costa Rica?
    Thanks again for all of your help.
  5. You neglected to tell us what you are interested in photographing. If it's landscapes and
    street scenes you what to shoot, our suggestions will be very different than if you are after
    birds, mammals, reptiles, flowers, insects....
  6. My experience in Costa Rica included trips to botanical research sites,and several of the National Parks. For the photography of wildlife, I used a 70-200 zoom, and 1.4X and 2.0X extenders. Much of the wildlife was in the overhead canopy of the forest. To get shots of the monkeys, birds, sloths, etc. a flash extender such as a Better Beamer was helpful. Make sure you understand how to use the Better Beamer before you fly to San Jose.
  7. Your cary on must be 22"x14"x9" or smaller. This limits the long lenses as carry on luggage somewhat. I would not try to tell you what to take and some airlines will allow two cary on pieces. I took a Canon 200mm f2.8L with 1.4X and 2X telextenders to Belize last year instead of a bulky super zoom. It was smaller, lighter, versitile and didn't mark me as a rich tourist. I also took a macro because there are lots of interesting small fauna and fauna. Since you have the 90mm, I assume that you are interested in these too.

    I might add that the 200mm focuses to a meter and with the 2X it gets me as close to some of these critters as I want to get.

  8. To be honest, a bit of everything. There in lies the problem of what I should bring! I will surely try to take of photographs of the wild life. I have mainly shot potraits in the past, but I just want to doucment my trip. This is not a trip solely for photograhy, my wife would not like that, but I know i would regret it if I only brought a small point and shoot.
    I think I will borrow my brother-in-law's 10-22, but I am still thinking about a tele-photo zoom. I am assuming that I would be using that the most.
    Thanks for your help.
  9. Sorry there are two r"s in carry and I should have said flora and fauna not fauna and fauna.

  10. If you want to do a bit of everything, I'd take the 10-22, 28-135, and try to get (buy, borrow)
    a 100-400 zoom. Maybe the 50/1.8 for low light. The Better Beamer suggestion is a good
    one for wildlife shots in the dim forest.
  11. I spent five weeks in Costa Rica four years ago. I was shooting with an OM-3 at the time,
    and I took a 21mm, a 90mm Macro, and a 65-200 zoom. The OM-3 is smaller and lighter
    than my current Canon kit, but even that felt like a lot to be lugging around. I rented a
    tripod for the week I was around Monteverde, and I was glad I did.

    My photos fell into three rough groups: people, macro (bugs & flowers), and long (birds &
    monkeys). For people I used both the 21 and the 90 in about an even split -- these were
    about 10 percent of the total. The macro shots were obviously all with the 90, and these
    made up about a third of the total shots. The rest (more than half the total) were taken
    with the 65-200, and almost all of these were with it racked all the way out. I found
    myself wanting more reach pretty routinely.

    So, suggestions. First off, the 28-135 should cover everything you actually _need_ except
    for long shots. Anything else in your bag will be a special case lens.

    If you are going to be around Monteverde and have any interest in butterflies and or
    hummingbirds, you will want your macro. The flash could help here, as could the
    monopod. Plan to spend a day with just your macro at the Hummingbird Gallery, the
    Butterfly Garden and La Finca de Mariposas. If you are indifferent to hummingbirds and
    butterflies, leave the macro and the flash at home.

    Birds and monkeys will be too far away to frame decently with your 28-135, and the
    70-200 won't be much better. Renting a 100-400 IS is a decent choice, but if it were me
    I'd rent the 300 IS prime instead. It's sharper, a stop faster and about a half a pound
    lighter. Your long shots will usually be under the canopy, so you will not have a ton of
    light. Your subjects will probably be too far away for the 420 EX to do much good, though
    a Better Beamer would help. Even with IS, the 100-400 isn't going to be very useful in the
    300-400mm range under those conditions without a real tripod with a real head. A
    monopod is a good compromise, but the extra stop of light with the 300 will make it a
    better compromise.

    Lastly, consider renting whatever you are going to rent for a few days prior to leaving on
    your trip so you can try it all out, see if it works, how it works and that it's what you really
    want. You don't want to be getting used to the switch placements while the Quetzal or
    Motmot you _had_ in frame heads for cover.
  12. Thanks agian for all of your help. I plan on borrowing my Brother in law's 580 EX, but I may just buy my own since I was planning on that anyways. I will also go ahead and buy the Better Beamer any play with that before we go on our trip. I'm going to the local camera store to hold the 300 IS prime as well as 100-400.
    The advise of getting familiar with the equipment is great. I have made that mistake before.

    Any ideas on a good camera bag? I am partial to the backpack styles.
  13. Get a backpack that is water proof or one that has room for trash bags inside as the rain can really come down and in a boat, open or closed it is quite amazing. Lowe Pro has a water proof backpack, it is the Dryzone and should work out well.
  14. For backpacks there's the regular LowePros and the big ones, and waterproof/non-waterproof versions. They're all good and will take years of abuse. Since you'll be spending a fair amount on it, maybe think about its future use as well.

    If you're going to rent a lens for CR and it's between the 300IS and the 100-400, definitely get the zoom. Some wildlife there is far away but some of it can be pretty close. You'll want the range. There are lots of dramatic sweeping landscapes throughout the country so definitely bring a wide angle. Unless you're going to languish in the forest, you may not need a macro, but then you'll likely see quite a few bugs and will regret not having it.

    I've shot birds in Costa Rica most of the time without flash, or with diffused fill flash within 20 feet of the subject, with no need for flash extension.

    If you go to Monteverde look for my book! I'm the photographer for the Tropical Science Center, which administers Monteverde, and I authored the first and only official photo book of the Preserve. Have spent lots of time there. It's a photographer's paradise, and the light is a lot friendlier than most of the rest of the country.

    A few of my MV pics

    Have a good trip -
  15. Brett, WOW, those are amazing photographs.
    I am going to rent a 100-400 IS as well as I just bought a Lowepro DryZone backpack. I plan on borrowing my Brother-in-law's 10-22, and I'll have my 28-135 IS. I guess that covers about everything.
    I will be going to MV and I'll look for your book.
    Thanks to everyone for all of your helpful advise.

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