Which len(es) to bring on a cruise

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by henry_l, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. It's been a while since I've scoured the forums....but here's my question.
    Going on a 7 night Mexican Cruise in August. Never been on a cruise before.
    Between my dad and I we'll have a 5DII, and 60D.
    For lenses, we have two 24-105, 50 1.8, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, EF-S 10-22.
    We'll be headed for Cabo and Puerto Vallarta.
    Should I rent a lens?
    **My wife and 1 1/2 Year old son is also part of my gear list.
  2. What is it, exactly, that you're hoping to capture?
  3. Rob,
    Not too sure right now, just booked it the other night, haven't gave it much though. But i was hoping to do a time lapse, and I guess touristy stuff when we dock.
  4. You're likely get every answer from "I brought a Canon point and shoot only" to "Why haven't you purchased a 70-200 f/2.8 IS II yet? ?" How you travel, especially with your family, is rather different than how others travel.
    I think you should look carefully at whether or not you're going on a photography vacation or a family vacation. The two are likely to drive very different choices.
  5. The 24-105mm on the 5D2 will cover tons of ground, from shipboard shots, to scenic travel shots. I'd probably keep the 10-22mm on the 60D, but the 5D2 would be my main camera for this type shooting.
    Be sure to take advantage of the stellar high-ISO performance of the 5D2. I've hardly every mounted my flash on the cruises that I've taken mine on. Still, it's good to have a flash, but you can use your 60D in a pinch if you don't want to carry the extra weight.
    The 70-200mm f/4L IS is a great lens on the 5D2. I use mine with and without the EF 1.4x TC. The high-ISO performance of the 5D2 is so stunning that you're unlikely to miss an extra f-stop gained by going to the much costlier, clunkier and heavier f/2.8. A few people "need" that lens, but you haven't listed any reasons. I wouldn't buy either just for this trip, but I'd put it on your "next purchase" list when the time is right.
    Leaving port and docking do provide some opportunities for the 70-200mm focal lengths. I've even used my 500mm for those type shots, but I don't know that you want to buy or rent new equipment. In my Flickr "Travel" collection I've got shots from a couple of cruises, with all the EXIF data. You might look at the ones taken with the 70-200mm to see if those types of shots would be important enough for you to rent or buy a 70-200mm. Besides longs shots, it's a great portrait lens for the baby. Look here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep/collections/72157622236814534/
  6. For this sort of thing, the "walk-about" lenses of moderate range will do almost all of what you need. This would be the 24-105 on the 35mm-sensor camera, but the EF-S 15-85mm on the APS-C body would be nice, but if I were you I wouldn't think it necessary since the 10-22 and the 24-105 cover the range, although not so neatly.
    The 10-22mm will be helpful for getting ultrawide, and your primes for low light. Who could ask for anything more?
    It would be nice to have a 70-200 or whatever, but I am always surprised at how much less frequently I actually use my lenses in that range than I abstractly expect. On a business trip some years ago to Puerto Rico, I only took a 20D and the EF-S 17-85mm and a polarizer and was happy as a clam at high tide. If I had had more time to shoot, I might have packed more kit, but it worked out fine.
  7. IMO a 24-105 + a 50 prime on a full frame body could cover most everything I would want to shoot.
  8. Couldn't agree more with what other's have said. Since you've mentioned renting, then bringing along that 70-200 F4L won't hurt. Low light, put it on the 5DII. Bright light (when the 5DII has the 24-105 ect) or want a little extra reach, put it on your 60D. With the cropped sensor you'll have an ~angle of view of a 300mm. It might sound like a lot to be taking along, but I'm assuming there will be two shooters, both you and your dad. As someone already said, wouldn't purchase the 70-200 just for the sake of the trip.
    Above all, bring back some memories!
  9. A highlight of my cruise that many overlooked: Be on deck when you go in/out of any ports that have bridges or other interesting features. You can see them a completely different point of view. Going under the Tampa Bay Sunshine Skyway bridge was really cool. It was amusing that many people were sure the ship wouldn't fit. Of course it did, but not by much.
  10. Marinas and activity decks on cruise ships are of a scale that make some shots suitable for 70-200mm. I wouldn't want to leave that at home. If you were thinking about buying one, this would be the time, IMO. Seems you have the wide through short tele range covered pretty well.
  11. Mmmmm, I think I'd just take any old point and shoot and enjoy myself. Now if it was an African safari ....
  12. For ship-board shots, especially interiors, an UWA such as the EF-S 10-22 on the 60D or a 17-40L on the 5DII would be a must if it were me. If I could only take one camera and one lens it would be the 5DII with the 24-105L. YMMV.
    Cheers, Bob
  13. I'll throw in a contrary response. Photography while on a cruise can be very difficult: you're at the locations at the wrong time (middle part of the day), and you're pretty much always with hundreds, probably thousands, of other people. It's more Martin Parr than Ansel Adams. Of course, grab the shots you can, but don't expect it to be photographically satisfying.
    I've found that it's best to to regard a cruise as a family holiday with occasional photo opps rather than as a 'photo trip'.
  14. Thanks everyone for the insightful advice,
    Also forgot to mention that I also have a S95, so I can at least use that when I don't want to be anchored down by gear. I still want to enjoy myself, and not be too concerned about photography. Of the 14 people in our group, my dad and I are the only camera geeks.
    Anyhow, I do have access to borrow a 70-200 f/4 IS from a friend. It's just that it would put me at one more lens than I want to carry. For sure, the 24-105 will be mounted to the 5DII, and 10-22 on the 60D, I know the wide will come in handy for the scenery. As for primes, I was thinking of renting...or buying a 28 f/1.8 to use on the 5DII, since taking photos in the dining rooms and various dark venues would require fast glass, and being able to capture a party of 14 people in my group would be nice too. The 28mm on the 60D could be my lightweight set up. I don't anticipate using the 85mm 1.8 a whole lot, especially with the working distance. The 50mm on the 5D for night time is a maybe. But if I end up getting the 28 1.8, that'll cover for low light, and wide as well, so I can then forgo the 50mm.
    So that leaves me with the 24-105, 10-22, and a prime (either 28 1.8, or 50 1.4), and the optional 70-200 that I can borrow. I just don't want to borrow it and not use it a whole lot, or enough to justify bringing it along. But I know when there's that one shot that only the 70-200 can get, it would be worth it. If I bring all of the lenses I mentioned, it would break it down to 2 lenses per shooter, which is nothing at all. And the 70-200 is pretty manageable.
    So....do I bring a flash? I have a 580EXII and 430EXII. At dinner times, I'm sure there's no place to bounce, let alone bouncing it anywhere else while out on deck. It might be too crowded to worry about going off camera.
    Tripod? I have a carbon fiber one, and a gorilla pod zoom.
    I'm already getting tired, thinking about all this stuff I could potentially carry. Perhaps I'll be happy with the 10-22 on the 60D, and S95. While my dad can shoot with 5DII with 24-105. And for low light, we'll just bump up the ISO. That equates to less gear, no lens changes, and everyone has a good time....
    Thanks again all!
  15. If all you had to your name was a Leica M6 and a fast 35 mm or 50 mm lens, you would manage. Keep it simple.
    Carrying your son and helping your wife with your son, is more important than any gear you will worry about. Take the s95 and be a husband and father first.
  16. If you have two bags, one that works as a carry on bag to bring all your gear, and another, smaller one to use on excursions or when you're walking around the ship, then it wouldn't be such a hassle to have more gear. I pack the smaller bag inside my checked suitcase, and stuff it full of small things, like socks and underwear, to not waste space. You just use the smaller bag and the lenses you'll likely need for your excursion, since you know where you'll be going. I would definitely bring a flash, better safe than sorry. If you're worried about leaving gear in your bag in your room, consider the Pacsafe 55L Backpack & Bag Protector, they come in different sizes depending on your bag size.
    If you plan to do any snorkeling or diving, there's a waterproof housing available for your S95.
  17. Don't be shy about trying to be a good photographer. You don't have to chose between your family and photography. You'll likely find that they really appreciate your great shots and want to see them on the HDTV. If you start making books of your adventures (they only cost $30 to $40 each from several providers) they'll become keepsakes that your wife will adore.
    Don't just spew out pictures, but take a lot and then really put together a show of the best.
    I've got a relatively small LowPro bag with me right now, on a trip to South Texas and NYC. It's got the 5D2, the 24-105mm and the 70-200mm and it's no big burden.
    Be a good husband, father and photographer. Plenty of us do all three.
  18. Like all photography, plan a little to maximize results. The ship often docks early and leaves late, in the golden hours. Clearly, this is a good time to be shooting.
    I've been pleased with my cruise shots. There are lots of times where a polarizer comes in handy. Be aware of the light and make the most of it.
  19. Exactly, David. With thirteen of the most important people in your life gathered together, the photo ops should be endless. Everything from quiet contemplative moments to animated conversations to the hackneyed but ever important group shots. Scout a few good locations for those early. For sure, bring the flashes.
  20. For our cruise through the Panama Canal, I took every lens I could comfortably carry. 5DMKII, 70-200 2.8 l is, 24-105, 1.4x, 2x converters, image tank, D60 backup. I used it all at one time or another. I only took what I thought I would need at each event or excursion, however.
  21. Robert, great example of how to document a cruise.
  22. You have the wide-to-medium-tele end covered quite well with that kit. Several people have suggested a 70-200, and all of those are great lenses. There are also three different Canon 70-300mm lenses that might be worth renting. The 70-300 IS is least expensive and very popular. It rents around $80 for two weeks. The 70-300 DO IS is much more compact; it's designed for things like travel. Some people hate it, others love it - a search will turn up lots of opinions. And there's the new 70-300 L IS. It's very new but early reviews seem positive. The DO and L lenses both rent around $120 for two weeks.
  23. Think light. One camera body, and something like a 18-200mm lens, will get you more than enough images on your cruise. Your son will take some attention, and you may not want a camera bag full of lenses to tag along on your shore visits. It gets hot and muggy in parts of Mexico, even in the spring time.
  24. I just came back from 7 awesome days Mexico and Honduras an I over packed gear if I did it again here is what I'd take, My Nikon D3, Nikon D7000 back up 16-35mm f4 VR, 70-200mm 2.8 CP and ND grad filters 1 flash 2 1TB. hard drives and laptop as well tripod for awesome sunrise and sunsets. Have a great time as if I have to tell you to.
  25. Jay makes an excellent point - you're going to have a hotel room, basically, and you'll be relatively close to it all day on the boat, and at least the morning and evening off the boat. There's no sense in trying to pack ligt, assuming you can fit and carry everything.
    If your children are young enough that you need to carry their things for them ... then yeah, you might need to leave some gear at home :)
  26. Not sure what ports of call you have, but most Mexican Cruises stop at XCARET, which has great photographic opportunities. When I went I had a crop sensor camera and a 50 f/1.8 because I was travelling light.
    Hindsight being what it is, on that trip I would have skipped a few excursions they offered at the park, (the reason I was travelling light), and brought my 70-200mm. There's a big cats display that I was kicking myself over when I got there with only a 50mm.
    If I went again I'd forget travelling light and bring my FF camera, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, and 300mm f/4.

  27. I agree with almost every think that has been said. I took my 24-105 lens and my wife took her 15-85 and 28-135 lens and were able to capture almost every thing we wanted to take on our last cruise in December. The only time my 70-200 f/2.8 was used was to capture fish shots from our cabin balcony and while going into and out of port.
  28. Wife and I have been on 20+ cruises. I consider myself an accomplished photographer with more than 50 years of film and digital exposures under my belt.
    As this is your 1st cruise go easy on yourself. A good point and shoot with wide andle capabilities is a "must" to live with onboard. A DSLR with wide to med zoom is a good all around lens to take. One thing you will soon find is that time on shore at various ports of call is way too short / hectic to really get into serious image making. Way too many people all wanting to be in the same spot at the same time.
    Enjoy your cruise from more than just the back of your camera.
  29. thank again everyone for the insight,
    I have a much better idea now. Bill Haag, thanks for the wisdom, I anticipate chaos when we're visiting the port. Maybe, shooting for two excursions, but one if I'm lucky.
    I'm leaning towards NOT bringing a 70-200, as it may yield excellent shots, but probably won't indicate that we're on a cruise. I'll go wide on the 60D with the 10-22, and supplement with S95 for everything else.
    My dad will take the 5DII with 24-105, and that should suffice for his needs. We can swap gear as needed.
  30. If you want to travel light, I suggest the 60D, 24-105, and 10-22. This is my main travel rig and covers a fair range. Even lighter, then just take the 5DII and the 24-105.
    Depending on you shooting style a 70-something tele might be useful too.
  31. I've found that it's best to to regard a cruise as a family holiday with occasional photo opps rather than as a 'photo trip'.​
    I'd agree with what the other Tom said previously, since you have an 18-month old. Bring the S95 and let Dad carry the dslr. Your wife will be happier, and that's more important. Nothing worse in my experience than playing with lens changing when the wife is asking for help with kid care...Tom

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