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Hot air balloon, what lens?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Perreault, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Perreault


    Nov 24, 2006

    Next week, I have the chance to go in a hot air balloon flight. It will be in a 'festival' with a hundred balloons at the same time in the sky. I shoot with a D3 and want to bring, if possible only one lens.

    Anybody ever did the same kind of flight? Which lens, 14-24? 24-70? or 70-200? Any insights?


  2. jonh68


    Sep 21, 2008
    This venue will lend itself to a wide angle and the 70-200. Those would be the ones I would take.

  3. 24-70mm is all you should need.
  4. Actually, all of those lenses would be quite useful. If you're going to be in a spectacular landscape, wider will be more important. Otherwise, do whatever you can to take all three! In fact, add a fisheye to the lineup! :) 

    One warning - wear a hat (preferrably light colored). The top of your head will get VERY hot from the burner.
  5. Bob Mohr

    Bob Mohr

    Oct 20, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    When the balloon is being inflated, it is lying on its side. Get up close with a wide angle and you can get the flames and inside of balloon. 24mm min. Neat when back lit. Wide for panorama of the whole field.
    With the D3, I would take the 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 or 70-300 VR.
  6. I'd take the 14-24 and 70-200.
  7. tfboy


    Aug 22, 2008
    Berkshire, UK
    I'd take the 24-70.

    Depending on the size of the balloon / basket, it may get a bit tight. I fly hot air balloons quite a lot and in a 90 or 105 (thousand cubic feet of air!), there's only room for 4 or possibly 5 if it's a really cool day and they're slim people! And not only might it be cramped, it's also quite a dirty environment. I'm not keen on changing lenses in the basket :wink:

    Best bit is being inside during the inflation



    And yes, wear a cap if you're tall. The burner is hot!
  8. Do you have a fish eye? If so, take it along for the in-basket shots, looking around, looking up, etc.
  9. I go ballooning most weeks as a photographer and would recommend taking the 24-70 and 70-200. At preparation time you will need to keep your wits about you and have the 24-70 mounted. You will most likely need to stay close to your balloon as when it's ready to go you need to be there! Get there early - an hour before hand so you can wander about and get shots of others inflating, etc.
    When you are in the air both lenses will have their uses.
    As others have said a hat is a good I use a "beanie" type hat.

    Take as much storage as you have as you WILL take more than you thought you would!!:eek: 

    You should be able to see some of my balloon images here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/35971625@N05/

  10. Perreault


    Nov 24, 2006
    Thanks everybody!

    Thanks for the great info.

    Geof, your pics are great.

  11. This was the 17-55mm on a d300, not the lenses you mentioned, but I like the mid range zooms. 24-70?

  12. Rob T

    Rob T

    Aug 27, 2008
    I'd try to take all 3, but if you can only take one, I would take the 24-70.
  13. Yves, Merci de toutes vos bontés.

    Looking forward to seeing your shots!! Hope the weather turns out!!
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