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One Lens for 5D II for JMT, 17-40 or 24-105
Which one lens would you bring on a hike of the JMT for a Canon 5D II, 17-40L or 24-105L?
Obviously this depends on what subjects you go after, scenery, wildflowers, wildlife, or whatever.I use a crop sensor, and my most versatile lens is 18-200. But then, I go after wildlife.--B.G.--
Mostly scenery, mountains and landscape stuff. I know the 17-40 would sound like the obvious answer, but will the 24-105 be wide enough for most mountain pics, then I have almost 3 times the zoom.
Weight, man! This is BPL. Ounces matter.--B.G.--
I think you need to take a hard look at the photos you've taken under similar circumstances to see what works for your style of shooting. The first time I hiked in the Grand Canyon I carried a 20D with an ultrawide zoom (EFS 10-22; 16-35 eq) and a short tele (50/1.8; 80mm eq). The UW was great for getting it all in, but when I reviewed the shots later most of them just made the canyon look small. The majority of my keepers were at ~17 mm (28mm eq) and above. To my surprise, a lot of my favorites were taken with the 50. The next time I went I took a lighter crop body (Rebel XT) and a Tamron 17-50/2.8. Next week I'll be above treeline in NH with the light body and a lighter midrange zoom (18-55 IS). My point is that UW is great but for the way I shoot, if I had a FF body (maybe next year?) and one lens I'd go with the 24-105. Another consideration is that for sweeping panoramas there are some pretty good stitching programs out there; I've been pleasantly surprised by how well CS5 does combining handheld shots.
I agree with the above comment about the 50mm focal length. I know this is probably not what you're after, but it's worth considering taking even just a prime lens like the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (mark I or II; the II is make of plastic and very light, like 4 oz.) Here is a review, if you are not familiar: http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/50mm-f18.htm. You barely notice it on the 5D, and if it breaks for some reason (it's tougher than it first appears) it only costs a hundred bucks.
My 24-105 is my most used lens. It's plenty wide enough for all but special-purpose photos, the IS works very well, and it's sharp, light (ish), and and compact.
IMHO it depends on perspective and how close to the subject you are. I am not a superwide fan as I don't usually get real close to the subjects (inches). If the subject is not real apparent and everything is small, my photos don't turn out well. The ones that isolate and show drama get printed. As stated above look at the photos you like and check which focal lengths are used.
Edited by carlbecker on 07/20/2012 09:23:19 MDT.
I used the 24-105 on a Whitney trip a few years ago and found it worked great for the type of shooting your considering.
I would bring the 24-105. If you need wider than 24 take several shots and then stitch them together with software when you get home.
If the choice is between those two lenses - definitely go with the 24-105. Mountain terrain is so huge and open - 24-35mm is very wide for most of those scenes - the reach and IS is a big plus. For a lighter weight and higher IQ lens for that camera - a converted Contax "N" 24-85 - for lighter weight than that one - a Contax 35-70/3.4 - prime like image quality - by far my favorite backpacking FF lenses.Have fun - post some pics.
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