Going to Cancun

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by alma_jimenez, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. We are going to Cancun at the end of the month. I have a Nikon D5300 what tips can you give me for our beach vacation? There are 15 of us 7 are kids. I want to take cute pics of mostly them. What accessories are a must to take? These are the lenses I currently have, will those work or do I need something else?
    AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED
    AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
    AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm F1.8G
    AF-S DX NIKKOR55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED
    I love taking pictures of sunrise and sunsets but they NEVER come out as colorful as others any tips on those? I really hope to take some cool pictures while there.
    Thanks for you advice.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Your lenses are fine. I would leave the 55-200 home. It is already covered by the 55-300. (Or you can take the 55-200
    instead if 200mm is sufficient.)

    For sunrise and sunset, meter the brightest area in the sky outside of the sun and set that to +1 over medium. With digital,
    it is easy to bracket your exposure.
  3. As Shun says, modest and even more underexposure will increase the color saturation of twilight shots. Much can even be done in post-processing, especially if you have shot RAW.
    You only need one of the tele-zooms, but which one depends on how much you value 'reach' or 'compactness.'
    The 35mm prime will be handy for night shots at club and beach.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The rule of thumb I mentioned earlier is from the days of slide film, with 5 stops dynamic range. Today, digital has the potential of many more stops of dynamic range. In any case, since the D5300 has a spot meter, I would spot meter that brightest area in the sky outside of the sun, and you can use +1 or +2 stops for that area as you starting point and bracket your exposure. The sun itself is going to blow out, of course. Hopefully you can retail a fair amount of details in the dark shadows, which shouldn't be an issue for digital.
  5. if you're going to be on the beach a lot, i would protect the front element of your lenses with UV filters. sand is super-coarse and blows around a lot, and can damage glass surfaces without you realizing it. also make sure you have an extra battery. it's also a good idea with vacation pics to upload them to a hard drive after each day's shooting and/or take enough memory cards so that not all of your pics are on one card. if you lose a card or it gets corrupted, it's a real bummer.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have been shooting digital since 2002. Although I am not a professional photographer, I shoot a lot and also quite often. To date I have had only one memory card failure, and in that case it started acting up for a couple of weeks before it failed completely such that I had plenty of advanced warning not to use that card any more. However, when I started using SD cards a lot since 2010, I misplaced at least half a dozen SD cards in the first 2, 3 years. After I lost a $100 SD card in 2013 (which costs $30 now), I have become extremely careful with SD.
    IMO, the best practice is to buy a 64G or 128G SD can leave it inside the camera during the entire trip. I would be more than glad to take the chance of a corrupted card over lost cards any day. In the OP's case, it sounds like there will be 8 adults on this trip. There will be plenty of images from other cameras and smart phones.
    If one is serious about photography, it is a good practice to upload your images daily onto multiple hard drives. Mechanical hard drives are actually far more vulnerable than solid-state memory cards. You are much better off trusting your images on one memory card than on one mechanical hard drive. SSD are cheap enough that nowadays I carry an SSD, in addition to hard drives, on trips for backup. However, I am very serious about my photography. For most people, I wouldn't let all the backup, etc. spoil your fun.
  7. If you are a snorkeler, the reefs off Cozumel are not to be missed. A Canon p&s in one of their waterproof housings will get you some great fish and coral photos.
  8. A side trip down to Tulum is a great side adventure. The kids will like all of iguanas running around. We paid for a private
    guide - I don't recall the cost, but five years ago it was not that much. Bring a wide angle to capture all of the great builds
    and landscape. Enjoy!
  9. when I started using SD cards a lot since 2010, I misplaced at least half a dozen SD cards in the first 2, 3 years. After I lost a $100 SD card in 2013 (which costs $30 now), I have become extremely careful with SD.​
    it's pretty easy to not lose SD cards while on vacation: just keep them in a card wallet. if you only swap cards once you're back at your room, there is little chance of losing them. a large-capacity card is a good suggestion too, but i would always want to have a backup card or three.
  10. it


    Camera Insurance.
  11. An armed guard to keep you safe...
  12. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    An armed guard to keep you safe...​
    Cancun is extremely safe.
  13. If it were me (and it's not), I'd just take the 35mm f/1.8 and leave the rest behind. One lens, one camera. Easy peasy. Enjoy your vacation instead of becoming a pack animal.
  14. Here are some additional thoughts. In sunny conditions, you may need to use the built in flash to fill in the shadows around the eyes for your people shots. Or take a flash you can attach to the hot shoe.
    For sunrise and sunset shots, I do not use auto white balance. I set the white balance I want for the light that is present and the mood I am trying to capture. I use daylight, cloudy or shade or sometimes all three on different shots. You must do this in camera if you are shooting JPEG. If you are shooting in RAW, you can do it in post processing. I also experiment with different WB like incandescent and florescent just to see what happens. I also remove my filter from the front of the lens for such shots to prevent any double sun reflections from the filter also acting as a lens. For exposure, I use Aperture priority and set exp compensation, usually starting with a mius .3 or .7. Then take some pictures, look at them on the LCD and make adjustments as needed. The other suggested techniques above are more correct and should be used, but I just do it the lazy man's way.
    I would add a polarizer filter to your list of needed items and a tripod and maybe a cable release. Or use the self timer. And mirror lock up. Experiment and do a lot of different things. If you have any graduated neutral density filters, I would take a 2 stop and a 3 stop.
    Do not forget the street scenes you can find too. Get out in early light and shoot until after sunset.
    I would definitely take the 35mm f1.8G. It is always good to have one fast prime lens with you and that one is a winner.
  15. Circular polarizing filter

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