Which ultra wide angle lens to rent for Hawaii honeymoon?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by OrangeCuse44, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. OrangeCuse44 macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2006
    Long Island, NY
    In a month and a half I'll be heading to Hawaii for my 2 week honeymoon and am looking into renting a really nice ultra wide angle lens. I want to kinda of go all out on a really great lens given the fact its my honeymoon and that I may never go back to Hawaii; I really want to take advantage of the beauty there. I have a D90 body, what can you guys/gals recommend?
  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    The nikon 10-24. If you are wanting a little more low light performance (for indoors) then the 14-24 f2.8 although it's not that wide on DX and also is very large and heavy. I'd recommend a tripod too but it is your honeymoon and you have to remember why you're there to start with.

    Getting good compositions on UWA lenses is non-trivial. If you just zoom out to get everything in the frame you often get boring, empty results. UWA usually is much better at letting you get into things, rather than letting everything get in the frame. What I mean is you need things that are in the foreground (and often only around 1ft from the camera). It will take a bit of practice and maybe you should rent the lens starting a little before you go, so that you can get a little practice time in first.

    Here is what I found to be a pretty decent article on UWA. I know lots like to bash KR but not everything he writes is garbage.

  3. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I'm not really sure you'll get the results you want on your honeymoon with an ultra-wide zoom. To begin with, they're really not ideal people lenses, and I'm assuming you'd want plenty of pictures of yourselves... and most people look actually pretty bad in super wide angles. Also, for the landscapes, you don't need super wide. Often those shots have a tendency to look boring, unless the shooter really makes use of the foreground elements and extended depth of field. They can be dramatic if well composed, but a lot of boring shots are possible, as mentioned. Instead, I'd consider a Nikkor 17-55f/2.8. It actually reduces what you already have zoom-wise, but the image quality is far, far superior... and you get the f/2.8. It's a very nice overall walkaround lens, and your portraits will shine. Leave the 18-105 at home.

    If you're going to be doing serious photography (and really think about this...) I think you should really consider a longer lens, like an 80-200f/2.8, or 70-200f/2.8, although one of those will be a handful to carry around. But, the shots of people excel with one of these behemoths. They're fast, have great image quality and the depth of field separation that makes for pleasing candid shots. But... they're big... they're heavy...not really good companions on a honeymoon.

    However, I've been there, and my preference is to leave most of the heavy gear at home, and just take a seriously good, small, pocketable point/shoot which can do 720p video and take really good stills. Look at something that can do fairly decent wide-angle shooting, like 25mm equiv. on the wide end with a reasonable zoom (4x or 5x.) Look at some of the Lumix offerings because they do 16x9 wide-screen video and can do stills in 4x3, 3x2 or 16x9 aspect ratios/formats. Something you can wear in a small waist pack or belt holster. You can take it with you anywhere, and get so many more memorable shots of your time together, which is what I think will really be going on. You don't want to spend so much time on 'serious' photography that you wind up divorced on your honeymoon. ;)

    Anyway, just some thoughts.... but whatever you do--have a great time!! :)
  4. OrangeCuse44 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2006
    Long Island, NY
    All good points and thinking about it, maybe the ultra wide isn't the best idea. Although, obviously you were joking about the divorce ha, my fiancee and I sprung for a dSLR as a wedding gift to each other to use in Hawaii. We absolutely love photography and pictures so, needless to say, the D90 will be with us. With that said, I won't be running off alone snapping photos, haha. Most shots will be of us and I feel well equipped for that with my current lenses. We are doing some activities that will revolve around scenic overlooks and what have you for those once in a lifetime shots, like I said we are really into displaying photos.

    I guess what I was going for is trying to figure out if there is any specific type of lens, out of my budget to buy, would be worth renting for the trip for those nature/scenic shots.
  5. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I'm not a big fan of big heavy lenses for walking around, personally.

    When I was in Hawaii, about five years ago, I found my Nikkor 18-70 was a great lens for photographing plants and flowers - it was versatile and lightweight but still has good optics. So I'd recommend the updated version, the 16-85.

    A wide-angle might be nice for shots of Diamondhead and/or beaches, but it won't be the best generic walk-around lens.
  6. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    I'm not sure if you're going just to Maui or to the Big Island or Kaua'i as well, but my sense is that you'll probably be pretty satisfied with 16 or 17mm at the short end. However, the times where you may not feel this way would be when you're on a boat looking back at the islands - however as has been said already you won't have enough foreground perspective to make your images work with a UWA.

    I agree with pdxflint on taking a compact along too. Maybe you and your wife can trade off and see who can take better images with your LX3/S90!

    Either way, enjoy Hawaii, it's a special place!
  7. Stratification macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Spokane, WA
    I'm a Canon shooter, but I really enjoyed the Tokina 11-16 we rented for a trip to Ireland, and it looks like they have a Nikon mount also. So much fun to pull in that much in a photo and play with the way it works with angles, and having f2.8 available was very handy for indoor shots. Just my take.
  8. dfx macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2010
    Which ultra wide angle lens to rent for Hawaii honeymoon?

    We got married in Hawaii, and have been back a couple more times since, visiting all the islands. I've got a Sigma 10-20mm lens, and although it is a lovely lens, and I get some great shots with it, I don't use it a lot. It is not a flattering portrait lens, and when you are composing for landscapes you have a lot of foreground to fill, so usually end up sprawled on the ground or looking for something to frame the shot.

    I usually bring it, an 18-55mm and a 70-300mm when we take a trip (I leave my primes at home), but use the UWA least of all. The lens I use most is the 70-300 (its also a macro). You want the long end for those yacht sailing in front of the setting sun in the distance fringed with a palm leaf shots, or the surfer riding a wave, or the dolphins leaping out of the water (there'll be a lot of those...).

    For shots of yourselves, the zoom you've got will do a great job.

    A good investment would be a bean bag of some sort - either the saddle type or one with a mount (preferably a refillable one - bring it unfilled to save weight in your luggage and buy some beans or bird seed when you get to Hawaii [you can leave it to the birds when you go]). This will make it a lot easier to take those loving couple shots on the beach at sunset, because you can position the bean bag in the rocks and then rest the camera squarely on it. Most of our favourite couple shots have been done that way - also useful for videos.

    A remote control would be useful too. Also get a polarizing filter, for deeper blue skies and a better view of the dolphins leaping in front of whatever boat trip you take.

    Also, buy a cheap underwater camera or two for those snorkeling or diving trips (or even better get a proper underwater housing for a point and shoot) - you will get great use out of them.

    If you don't fancy getting up before dawn to go to the top of the volcano (presuming you're on an island with one to go up), go up for sunset instead - it'll be really cold, but you'll get some great shots and the drive back down in the dark on those twisty roads is great fun (beware the jumping sheep - we had one leap right over the front of the car just inches from the windscreen....).

    As we're a Pentax and Canon household I can't really recommend any particular lenses, but don't forget to bring a simple camera with you too, for those times you're in some really nice restaurant and want someone to take a shot of the two of you to remember it by (I can recommend Roy's - a small chain with restaurants on most of the islands, but the one outside Honolulu is particularly good - great chocolate specialty desert too).

    Have a great time...
  9. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    When I travel I prefer small primes like a 20mm. Sharp and compact perfect for travel
  10. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    If I were going to Hawaii, the 10-24 would be in my bag. Also, the 35 1.8 for evening shots at Momma's Fish House. I would then leave out a pair of underwear or two and take my 10.5 fisheye, too.

    Have a great trip and takes lots of pics. :D
  11. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2009
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    definitely get a remote so both of you can be in the picture without having to set the timer repeatedly. Not sure if it works on the D90, but the Nikon wireless remote for the d40 cost me $12.
  12. OrangeCuse44 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2006
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks for the suggestion on the 70-300mm, I'll definitely look into it. It probably would suit my needs pretty well.

    The bean bag is a great idea as well, is there a specific model you like?

    I have my trusty Canon Powershot that will definitely be coming along. Still taking great pics after 7 years.

    Definitely bringing the 35mm prime for indoor pics of us, it's so small and light it takes up no room anyway.

    Yep, I have that remote and use it a lot actually. Very handy and will be coming along.
  13. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y

    I was in Hawaii a few years ago when I had a friends 10-22 and it stayed on the camera pretty much the entire time!
  14. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    I just got back from Maui in November (also my Honeymoon). Such an amazing place, I am extremely jealous you'll be there! At the time I went I had a rebel XS (I bought the 5DII two days after we got back - no clue why I didnt buy it before?) with just the 35mm 1.4L. I used that plus I took along my canon point and shoot. The 35mm on a crop body worked out to about 50mm which was a perfect lens to capture about everything.

    We did about a 50/50 split with the cameras. We would take the SLR to get a few beach pics, sunset pics, etc. We also took it when we knew we would be staying in the jeep (ie Road to Hana) or the Luau where having the bigger bag wasn't a big deal. Other times when walking around town, being at the pool or beach for hours at a time, etc, we opted for the point and shoot. We also took a waterfall hike and took the point and shoot (though we stayed pretty dry when not swimming and I regret not bringing the SLR).

    In my mind I agree with you wanting to bring the SLR - after all whats the point of owning one if you don't take it on such a scenic and huge vacation like Hawaii?! But def bring the point and shoot for the flexibility.

    I wouldn't worry about having UWA too much. I had a 50mm equiv (35mm on a 1.6 crop) and I got plenty of landscapes as there is ample room to back up on a beach :) Just remember to pack light! I like the above ideas of sticking to a 17-55 zoom with the lowest aperture you can afford! In particular I am thinking about luau pics, pics under lots of trees/shade/rain forest etc.

    Most of all, have fun! And congrats on the wedding!
  15. ronjon10 macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2009
    Check out the 17-55 2.8. It's a little big for a carry around, but not obnoxiously so.

    The optics are fantastic and it does a GREAT job of controlling lens flare during those sunset moments. It's wide enough to get a really expansive view and the zoom is really helpful. You wouldn't need another lens.
  16. gødspeed macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
    Tokina 11-16. Built like a tank, tack sharp, minimal barrel distortion. Finding one might be a challenge, though.
  17. dfx macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2010
    The bean bag we use most is a double bag from Wildlife Watching Supplies [http://www.wildlifewatchingsupplies.co.uk/dbbag.htm], in the UK, but I'm sure there are similar bags available in the US. Its design makes it really useful for balancing on car windows or fences.

    As for the 70-300mm lens, the one I have is a Sigma, which I got at a spectacular price (because the retailer was no longer stocking Pentax gear). It's a pretty good lens. I get lots of really nice shots with it.

    If you get the chance to do a helicopter flight on one of the islands, take it. The one around Kauai was the best. We also had a great flight on our 2nd trip to Maui that took us round Molokai (and up the valley used in Jurassic Park), and we got great views of whales with their calves, but that was at Christmas and there aren't so many whales about now. If you do, it is better to enjoy the flight than try to concentrate on taking photos - however, if you use video mode, set the focus for the middle distance and just point it in the general direction as and when, you'll probably get some great footage anyway without a lot of thought (although an ND filter and polarizer would probably be a good idea, so you don't have to select f22 to maintain the correct shutter speed for video).
  18. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I'd seriously consider renting the Nikon 24-70mm. Even on a crop body, I find that range to be pretty ideal and it's a lens that's as good as anything ever made. I don't think you can go wrong with one of those on the front of the camera most of the time.

  19. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    Hi. I shoot here in Hawaii as often as I can. I have a full frame 5D and generally use the 17-40 for most shots. I've rarely found that I have a need to go wider. The other lens I use frequently is the 70-200, which I think is great but I'm not sure you'd want to carry it around.

    I'm not that familiar with Nikon, but something that would cover the 24-70 mm range on a full frame body would be ideal.

    What island are you going to be on?
  20. standingquiet macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Nikon 10-24mm everytime, it's an outstanding lens. I loved the 12-24mm and was so happy when Nikon released the 10-24mm.

    The Tokina 11-16mm is just as good if not just a little sharper than the Nikon.

    I personally do not like the Sigma 10-20mm as its very flat compared to the Nikon and Tokina.

    Like has been said as it's your honey moon a Nikon 35mm f1.8 is the perfect partner for the Nikon D90 for your people shots.

  21. ericlaurence macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2010
    i went to hawaii in november and used two d90s. main favorite lens for the trip was the nikon 10.5mm fisheye. there are plugins you can get for photoshop that will correct the distortion and just make the image 'flat'. here are some shots i took with it...




  22. M-5 macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2008
    @ericlaurence: Those are excellent photos. Great job.
  23. runlsd macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2009
    I think everything I would have said has been mentioned. Just wanted to say congratulations regardless. Congratulations!
  24. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    Enjoy your trip to hawaii. Which island(s) are you going too?
    I've been there a few times, fantastic place!
    ericlaurence - was the first picture taken in Kauai?
  25. OrangeCuse44 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2006
    Long Island, NY
    WOAH, those are some sick shots and pretty much what I was picturing in my head. I'm going to have to look into that. Great work!

    Thank you very much!

    Oahu, Kauai, and Maui

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