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Steve Williams

Best shark / wild dolphin lens for Canon rig?

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Folks,

I'm headed off to join in the fun on the Shearwater in a few weeks and I'm at a loss as to what lenses to bring along. I see that Alex is heading there in a couple of weeks too, so hopefully this will be helpful to a few of us. I've read the comparison of the Tokinas and I enjoyed Mike's article on diving with sharks. I still don't know which lens setup will be the best for image quality with the 40D.

The shots I'm really unsure about are the wild dolphins. I would really appreciate your advise. I have been considering these to go along with my Tokina 10-17;

 

Canon 10-22

 

Canon 17-40L

 

Tokina 11-16

 

Tokina 12-24

 

I may never get another shot at swimming with dolphins for 4 days. I'm really hoping I can do this right.

 

I appreciate your thoughts,

Steve

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I would highly recommend the 17-40L, Steve - especially for dolphin shots. First off, it's a great versatile lens that you will end up using often and it's also tack sharp. I switch between that and the 10-17. Especially, with the other lenses you have listed, I don't think you'll see too much a difference in range to warrant getting one of them. I don't have any experience with the other Tokinas, but used to shoot with the Canon 10-22 and sold it off for the Tokina 10-17 and couldn't be happier. Not sure you can do much better for your wide angle arsenal than the 10-17 and 17-40 with a crop sensor.

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17-40L would be the best other option in my mind for the money. It will give you a little different portfolio of images from the 10-17.

 

Enjoy!

 

Todd

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Abernethy uses a 10-17, but then again, he also has a bait box in the other hand. Have a great trip :D

Just for reference, I use a 17-55mm with a Nikon D70/D300. It requires a diopter in the setup I use. +4 gives best corner sharpness but it won't focus at infinity on the 55mm end. A +3 works over the entire zoom range, but corners are just a bit soft, but not really noticeable unless you look closely. The same might pertain to the 17-40, but not sure since I don't speak Canonese. Just something to check.

Edited by jcclink

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Thanks guys! It's great to get input from the pros. Bryce and Todd both of your websites are wonderous. And Jim I saw you have over 50,000 views on yours, that's pretty cool. I was leaning hard toward the 17-40L but some other folks I asked thought it might be a little to narrow. It's hard to know how close one can get to the dolphins. JC brings up a great point. :D Do you Canon shooters use a +3 or +4 diopter with the 17-40? I plan to use my big fisheye dome and I already have the extention ring S&S recommends.

 

Steve

Edited by Steve Williams

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Steve,

 

I've just comeback from a Shearwater trip. I took 17-40mm & 15mm FE lenses for my 5D, and ended up only using the FE! However I can't comment on the dolphins as the only ones we saw were riding the bow wave! The sharks come very close though!

 

On previous trips with a cropped sensor I was using a 10-22mm lens which was fine at Tiger Beach but too wide for the hammerheads which were more nervous around us & didn't get close enough.

 

Regarding the diopter on the 17-40mm I can tell you I have a +2 only currently, but I am thinking of experimenting with a stronger one at some point!

 

Hamish.

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