Suggestion for one lens to take on US holiday
Heading off to the US for a holiday in a few weeks and am going to take a Mamiya 645 with one lens attached for B&W film in addition to the colour imaging device (dSLR). Photogenic places we're going to include Yosemite, Death Valley & Utah (road trip loop out of LV).
This is going to be travelling in checked baggage. Should I mount a 55mm or 80mm?
Do you see yourself doing low-light photography at all with the M645? If you do, then I'd probably pop the 80 on it and shoot with that lens. Last roadtrip I did, the only camera and lens combo I did any shooting with, was a Nikon FM2n with a 50/1.4 attached. Had most everything else with me, but didn't feel like bothering with the rest.
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I'd take the 55mm, all those landscapes.
Then again, the 80/2.8 doesnt weigh much, so maybe you can bring both?
I'd use the 80 if it had to be just one lens. Though those lenses are so small, it would be silly not to bring both IMHO.
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Doesn't sound like you have been to these places yet so two suggestions.
Go with the wider lens, the expansiveness of those places is incredible, even overwhelming.
Include a foreground subject; your partner, yourself, bushes/trees/water....
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
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Just remember, these places are nothing like you see in the movies or brochures--they are far more grand in scope and require wide lenses. Bring a normal as well for some intimate shots as well. If at all possible, visit Desert View Tower at sunset, and be on the roof with a monopod. I dont think they allow tripods up there, but the experience is breath taking and spiritual. Take your sweetie and make it a romantic moment as well. I proposed to my (now)wife there while shooting a sunset.
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I would be influenced at least slightly by what lens(es) I was taking for my other camera.
For example, if I didn't have a wide angle for the dSLR, I'd be sure to take a wide angle for the 645.
In my case, I would choose my 55mm lens. If there was room for two, I would add my 110mm.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest that taking a wide-angle into a big landscape is kind of asking for cliched results. There's a temptation to use the wide angle to "get it all in", and there's so much "all" out in the Great Basin that one often ends up with photos that try to swallow everything and end up being about nothing.
So that's my argument for taking a narrower lens and paying attention to details. Textures, colours, contrasts, things down at the human scale. Obviously this is just one viewpoint, though, and feel free to ignore it.
Also, be careful out there, especially in Death Valley. Things will be starting to heat up and dry out; keep your brain engaged, and if you're going off the main roads, make sure the park staff know where you went.
You know you're going to have to go around Yosemite and enter from the west, right? The Tioga Pass road virtually never opens before mid-May, and sometimes not until June.
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