Wide angle or ultra wide angle for Angel Falls?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dllavaneras, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #1
    I'm going to Angel Falls next month, and I want to be able to take some great pics of the falls. I'm looking for a wide angle, and have been looking out for reviews of the recently released Sigma 10-20 f3.5 UWA lens. To all you landscape lovers and wide angle and UWA owners, is an UWA what I'm looking for? Or another lens altogether?
    I went there about a decade ago, armed only with a 35mm film camera (the cheap, no zoom kind you could buy at Walmart for about 15-20 bucks fifteen years ago), and I needed 3 horizontal pictures to get most of angel falls in a vertical panoramic, and I would still have liked something wider.

    I currently have my eye on the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 (I'm waiting for the reviews to come out), but I'd like to see what others have to say. The previous version of the Sigma (10-20mm f4-5.6) is about 200 dollars cheaper than the f3.5 version, and the Canon UWA (10-22mm f3.5-4.5) is 50 dollars more expensive than the Sigma f3.5.

    Currently, I have a Canon XTi, with the 18-55mm kit lens (non-IS version), 50mm f1.4 and 100mm f2.8 macro lens. I've had little luck with the kit lens when shooting waterfalls, and the 50mm and 100mm lenses are way too long to shoot the waterfall with.

    So, any tips? I've considered getting an UWA for a while now, so this is not a purchase based simply on this one trip.
     
  2. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #2
    are you hiking in there?!! I heard it is a 2 day hike or something. As i have never been there, and considering it is the tallest falls in the world, i would think it would depend on where you are at when taking the pictures. There are a lot of things to consider. Is there a clearing where you can get a good view? Are you wanting to get the base of the falls? I dont think there is anything wide enought to get the whole falls in, unless you are in a helicopter or cessna.
     
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #3
    actually, i would think you need the opposite. I am assuming the best vantage points are some distance away, maybe a 24-105L or a 100-400L...? or a Bigma, the 50-500mm that sigma makes..
     
  4. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #4
    No, we're taking a boat upriver, and it's a one hour hike from where the boat stops to the base of the falls. We're going to spend about 3 hours there, including the hikes to and from the falls.
    The two day trip is if you take a boat upriver, camp at isla Ratón and then the next day you go to Angel Falls and then return to camp.

    Yes, there's a nice clearing at the base of the falls, which is as far as we'll get. The view is amazing from the bottom of the falls.

    The plane ride over the falls is great, if you want to see the landscape, but I doubt good photo opportunities come during that trip. I'm planning on taking most of the pics during the hike. ;)

    You can get great pics from the little dock where the boat leaves us. Since we're going to get really close to the falls, a tele lens is not really needed. Besides, I have wanted a wider lens many more times than a tele, which is why I'm not really looking for a long lens. 100mm from my macro lens is more than enough for me, and definitely more than enough for the kind of pics I'm thinking of taking.

    Here are two pics from my last trip, just so you get an idea as to how close we were.
    1.- Three picture panoramic, scanned and put together in Photoshop. I lost a few pixels due to the automatic photo merge action, but not too many.
    2.- 4 picture pano, lost a few pixels on the top left and bottom right because I didn't take them straight (no tripod at the time - not making that mistake twice!)

    And yes, I know the pictures aren't really good :p I was young, didn't know about photography and I had an almost disposable film camera (three buttons: on/off, shutter, flash). This is just to give you an idea as to how wide a lens you would recommend.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #5
    I guess I should update this thread. :p

    I ended up getting the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 and a battery grip (and two extra batteries) for my XTi, and I'm very glad that I did! Not only did I get some good shots of Angel Falls, but Canaima proved to be a great place for an UWA. I only took it off my camera to take portraits, and even then, it was only for a couple of minutes. 471 out of the 510 pictures I kept from that trip were shot with the 10-20mm.

    Here are two shots of Angel Falls (10 & 20mm, respectively), plus one of the Auyantepuy taken while riding on the boat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Rickay726 macrumors 6502

    Rickay726

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
  7. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #7
    Wonderful photos, Señor dllavaneras. It seems that you got a good copy of the Sigma. I use a Tokina 12-24mm f/4 for all my landscapes. Most times it's around 12-13mm, and around 21mm occasionally.
    [​IMG]

    Try your new lens for taking photos of pets at close range. Some can be quite interesting, if not funny:
    [​IMG]

    By the way, I am certainly impressed with the quality of your photos at your web page, as well as the three above. Beautiful subjects, composition and colors.
     
  8. OrangeCuse44 macrumors 65816

    OrangeCuse44

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #8
    I love that first shot! Breathtaking image and the color is fantastic.
     
  9. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #9
    Thank you very much!

    Apparently so. I've had good luck with Sigma. I have the 50mm f1.4 lens, and it has been amazing as well. Thank you for your comments about my other pics! :)

    Thank you! We were lucky enough to have great weather in the morning, with the sun giving us great light during the boat ride. On the way back, though, we were surprised by a storm. Nevertheless, once the storm passed, the afternoon sun shone with a very warm, pleasing light. Take a look:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I know the images are more snapshots than artistic pics, but I had literally about 5 seconds to take each of them.

    Overall, I'm very, very glad I chose the 10-20mm lens instead of a lens in the 17-80mm range, which was my original concern. The perspective distortion and the extremely wide field of view is something I definitely like, and had I gotten a lens in the 17-80mm range, I would have been disappointed. I only wanted a bit more reach for about 10-15 shots (out of 500+), and I didn't miss any great shots due to the lack of reach.

    And the icing on the cake was that I had money left to buy the battery grip and two extra batteries. I consider the battery grip to be an even better investment than the lens! I'm definitely glad with my choice.
     
  10. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #10
    Both are beautiful photos, and the last one is just amazing!
     
  11. OrangeCuse44 macrumors 65816

    OrangeCuse44

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #11
    These are my favorite types of landscape shots...It just gives that feeling that the world can just go on forever. Who cares if it lacks artistic composition? It's a beautiful shot and that's what matters.
     
  12. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    #12
    I would try to borrow a fisheye lens if possible. 180 degree field of view. Mine is small and light weight, so it goes almost every where I go. It should give you some interesting shots.
     
  13. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #13
    Interesting, yes, but I fear the distortion might make it a "just for fun" lens instead of something I'd want to purchase. So far, I'm really happy with my UWA. :)
     

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