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Lens choices for Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by jklofft, May 16, 2007.

  1. I’m going on a family vacation to Costa Rica at the end of June. We are going to visit the Arenal area (including the cloud forest, Manuel Antonio, Toruguero as well as a couple of days in San Jose. I’m going to bring my D200 as my primary camera body, but I need help deciding which lenses to bring. My lens kit consists of the following:
    10.5 DX
    28 f/1.4
    50 f/1.4
    85 f/1.4
    135 f/2
    Lensbaby 2.0

    12-24 f/4
    17-55 f/2.8
    70-200 f/2.8
    18-200 f/3.5-f/5.6

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
  2. jaleel


    Apr 3, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    i personally like going as light as possible when travelling.. when i went to the UK all i brought was my tokina 12-24 and 18-200VR (before i sold it).. 80% of my shots were taken with the 18-200

    if you plan on doing a lot of night/low light shooting you may want to take some of your primes
  3. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    I went two years ago. At that time I only had a 24-85D and a 70-300. I used the 70-300 for 90% of the shots (used the 1:2 Macro on the 24-85 the rest of the time). I'd take the 17-55 & the 70-200.

    Do you have a TC, SB800, or a Canon 500D (closeup filter)? You would find them very useful. You will need more range (the TCE1.7), you will need more light (the SB800), and the 500D attaches quickly for the Macro Opportunities.

    Here are two I could not have gotten without the SB800:


  4. barisaxer


    Apr 6, 2006
    Albany OR
    18-200 17-55 70-200 and a close up canon 500d filter for the 70-200. If you like real wide add the wide zoom but for me 17 to 18 is wide enough. If you take 2 bodies forget the 18-200 and just keep the 2 mounted and you are covered just screw on the close up lens for close ups. A good 1.4x xtender may be of some value if you like long. Less is generally more when traveling.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2007
  5. I've thought about relying mainly on the 18-200 (I did in Washington DC), but am concerned that the light levels might be to low.
  6. Edward,

    I took those same lens (minus the 85) to Alaska a couple of years ago, and it worked well. Frankly that's where I'm currently leaning, but the experience with the 18-200 in Washington has me thinking.
  7. I've got a set of Kenco extension tubes that will be coming for close-up work.
  8. How about formulating a shot list and take just two lenses that would best suit your needs?
  9. Jeff I generally have an ideas when I go to a place, but until I get there and soak it in, I don't know for sure. I suspect that wildlife will be a big component as well as a couple of landscapes and the usual people and urban city stuff. Unfortuniately that makes for a pretty wide list :) .
  10. yoyo


    Nov 9, 2006
    The Netherlands
    I'd take the 85 f/1.4 (or 135 f/2) and the 17-55 f/2.8
    The 70-200 f/2.8 is very versatile, but too big and heavy IMHO.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2007
  11. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Jeff and Jeff - I'm in the process of planning a family trip to Costa Rica in August. If you have any tips you can reply with or PM me (like good tour companies, car rental companies, things to avoid) I'd appreciate it.

    Jeff - of the lenses you listed, I'd bring the 70-200, the 17-55 and the 10.5. The 17-55 would be my walk around family lens. The 10.5 would be my fun in the rain forest and at the volcano lens. But, and this is just me I guess, I would never go without a dedicated macro lens. I'm expecting to see too many beautiful things in the rain forest that I'm going to want to get a quality close look at.

  12. obelix


    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA

    I am headed there end June. I am planning to take Sigma 10-20, nikon 17-55 and nikon 70-300 VR [going to leave 70-200 VR at home]. May lug along the tamron 90.

    I am going to watch this thread with great interest :) 
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