Am planning a 2 day trip to Yosemite around Memorial day and wanted to know what lenses would be appropriate for the trip. Have the 24-70 but unsure about whether I will need wider or longer. My gut is both, but I cant carry everything, so would love any feedback based on your experiences. Link below may give some sense of what kind of photos I take/like. This is my first trip to Yosemite and dont want to return disappointed
Am looking to buy a wide and a longer lens over the course of the next year or so anyway but wanted to know based on experiences which end Nikonians tend to use more at Yosemite? Might start my lens acquisition there.
May also rent have not decided yet.
Would have loved to stay longer but can't this time.
24mm on a DX camera will not be wide enough, period. You will find that very frustrating. Rent or buy a Nikkor 10-24 or Sigma 10-20. Visit my gallery to get some examples of the kind of scenes you'll see and what focal lengths they require (and trust I know what I'm talking about):
In Yosemite, you will find yourself standing close to enormously huge things. More than anywhere else, this will have you re-calibrating how wide is wide. I find I'm always shooting a wider focal length there than what my instincts originally tell me. The scenes are just that... big!
You will also see in my gallery, you can make some cool and interesting shots with a telephoto. There exists the chance you'll see wildlife and want telephoto for that. If I had to choose vs. telephoto or wide, I'd say go wide, but personally I'd recommend carrying at minimum a range from 10-300mm for a DX camera.
Consider the cost of the trip and I think adding the lenses doesn't seem like so much, certainly not compared to paying to get out there and missing an opportunity.
If cost is an issue then rental is worth considering. If you don't want to carry too much stuff on the airline, assuming you're flying into the Bay Area, rent from borrowlenses.com with an option to pick-up, which is just a few miles south of SFO. You can pick up right after leaving the airport and drop off on your way back. I'd rent a 10-24 and 70-300 to complement your 24-70. Get a tripod too if you don't already have one. ...and have fun!
I was in Yosemite in February for 4 days and could have stayed another 10! I used both my Sigma 8-16mm and my nikkor 18-200mm. There are ample opportunities for wide angle shots and you'll find that your telephoto will be used for shots of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Half Some from the bridge,etc.
My trip to Yosemite was in 2003, shortly after i bought my first Digital SLR (the Canon D60). Looks like I shot everything with a 24-85mm lens, and I'm guessing that was all I owned back then. In general, as I look at the pictures, it is clear they would have benefited from a wider field of view.
Today I have an 11-16mm Tokina, 17-55 Nikon and 18-200 Nikon and i just got back from the Smokey mountains. I used all three lenses, but quite honestly, the 18-200 is so darn convenient I used that for most of the shots.
I have kept all the Nikon lenses I ever bought in over 50 years of photography so it's quite a collection. However in researching what lens serial numbers show up in EXIF metadata I was surprised to find I use one of my newest lens the 18-200 VRII far more than any other. It's a heavy glass but IMHO one of Nikons best. Now I know this my next project is to figure out the most used focal length with it. Anyone want to guess? I have a feeling it will be probably around 85mm. In passing I mention that there are few cameras where lenses bought over such a timeline still all fit & work even on the latest camera. Ok not every function but you can use them.
I would recommend the Sigma 10-20 as another poster has mentioned here. I have one of these lenses and it is really superb at half the price of the Nikkor equivalent. If, on the other hand, price is no object, go with the Nikkor 10-24 and a Nikkor 70-200 VRII with a TC-20E III 2x teleconverter. That should get you just about any shot you want and still be possible to carry easily.
Thanks for all the suggestions. After narrowing it down to three the Sigma 8-16 Tokina 11-16 and the nikkor 10-24. I went and chekked them out at B&H. I found the Tokina and the Nikkor almost on par in quality and sharpness and the sigma was a bit behind. Not much though. Also the 8 seemed excessively wide for my needs. Might have been a tough decision between the Nikkor and Tokina but cant find the Nikkors in stock at reasonable prices so ordered a Tokina from B&H. Hopefully I will havefunwith it.
I just got back from CO and UT, looking at my shots, most were with the Tokina, focal Length 14-16 seemed the most popular.
I used the 35 about 6 times, and barely used the 70-200 I think due to weight, opted for the 70-300 but the split was 80% 11-16, 20% split between all the other lenses, sorry not a scientific measurement just what I see in View NX real quick.
I think next time I will struggle with the same decisions again because while I thought I now know, when I come to write it down I cant because the other 20% would have not been possible without them, ugh my shoulder.