Thanks Caz, much appreciated.
An intriguing hypothetical. I'll play.
The short answer is that I loved having every lens and got a lot of use out of each one. In fact, my dad who was also on the trip (shooting with a D70, an 18-70, an older 70-210 and a P&S) said it almost looked like we were on different trips.
The longer answer is more complex.
It was really two very different trips. In the Galapagos, while you're immersed in the wildlife, there are very strict limits as to where you can walk. For instance, if there's a cool looking mating dance taking place 100 feet from the edge of the trail, you are NOT going to get closer than 100 feet and your guide will make certain of that. It's pretty non-negotiable. So in that case, having the reach of the 80-400 was great. A lot of the penguin shots, the yellow warblers, the male sea lions guarding their beach and/or fighting were all taken at 400mm. Maybe I could have shot at 200mm and cropped, but I probably wouldn't have liked the results as much. One guy I became friendly with shot with a 70-300 and a 10-24 on a D7000 and was very pleased. Another women had a 28-300 and used it almost exclusively. Because things happened so fast and there was so much going on, having the huge range of the 80-400 was a major plus; much more so than I'd imagined. And I have to say, the 80-400 at 200mm is faster and of better quality than the 18-200 at the same focal length. On this trip the 12-24, while great to have, was something of a luxury. Yes, I got some great shots with it (particularly the close ups of the sea lions and the tortoises), but it wouldn't have ruined my trip not to have it. Same with the macro, but even more so; the only thing I shot with that was the cacti and some of the crab shots).
Peru was totally different. Aside from shooting hummingbirds in some botanical gardens the 80-400 was pretty much dead weight for the whole week. There were tons of flowers on those days as well so I got a lot out of having the macro. The 12-24 was a bit of a luxury item, but I don't think I could have gotten the shots I did of the rainbows at Machu Picchu without it (stepping back wasn't really an option, not unless I wanted to fall 1,500 feet or so). So for that reason alone I would call it essential. I used the 18-200 a lot in Peru as well, particularly for street scenes in Lima, Cusco, and some of the markets shooting people. And here's the other thing about Machu Picchu: there is a $300 "professional photographers' fee" charged to anyone who the guards think might be taking shots for commercial use. There were no set guidelines as to what was professional or not (even our guides couldn't really articulate it), but things like multiple lenses, long lenses, or carbon fiber tripods will certainly get their attention. I took my body, the 18-200, the 12-24, and stashed everything in a backpack. A word to the wise: this is not a place to flaunt your gear unless you have an extra $300 in cash you're willing to part with.
So that's my take. I've been scheming about a way to get back ever since I got home. Next time I'm going for a month. Who's with me?
Lens choices for Galapagos Islands(27 posts) (17 voices)
Thanks Caz, much appreciated.Posted 3 years ago #
Congratulations! Great pictures from an unforgettable voyage.
Maybe you can use a GPS in your next trip, in order to geotag your pictures. I have a geotagging device from Sony, very easy to use and helpful to organise the pictures and remember the trip.Posted 3 years ago #
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