Which lens for Hoh Rainforest/ Olympic National Park?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by DeeJayK, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I'm heading out to Olympic National Park next month. The main attraction (for me) is the Hoh Rainforest. I'm considering renting a lens to play with while I'm out there and need some advice on which lens I should bring to supplement my kit (basically the P20, a couple of kit zooms and maybe a legacy 50).

    I've had my eye on the [thread=7051]Voigtlander 25/0.95[/thread] after falling in love with the lovely rendering it provides (e.g. [post=386295]these shots[/post]), but then sort of talked myself into its wider brother the [thread=25954]Voigtlander 17/0.95[/thread] since I feel that the wider FOV will work better for me in this situation. Then I got to thinking, why not go ultra-wide with the [thread=295]Panasonic 7-14[/thread]. I also came across [post=349865]a set of nice shots[/post] another user took in Olympic with the Olympus 12/2.

    Obviously, since the Hoh is one of the wettest places on earth, a weather-sealed OM-D and 12-35 might be ideal, but I want to shoot with the bodies I've got. This is a family trip, so I'm not going to be backpacking or anything where weight is of the utmost essence.

    I'm looking for input from anyone who's visited the Hoh as to which focal lengths are likely to be most useful as well as to anyone who has specific feedback on any of the lenses I've considered or ideas of another lens to look at. Since it's only a short-term rental, the difference in price/cost of the lenses is negligible, so don't include that in your calculus. Which lens/focal length would you want to shoot?
  2. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 29, 2012
    I've been twice. It's lovely.

    I'd go with the 7-14. You'll want to be wider than 7mm sometimes, as most of the trails are close-in forest/jungle. The wide zoom will be nice for beach landscapes as well (possibly with rocky beach, driftwood, or tide pools in the foreground).

    If you have a short telephoto, that might be nice for isolating particular subjects as well, but I wouldn't prioritize it over the ultrawide.

    Definitely do a beach hike at low tide if you can. The tide pools are awesome.
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  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Thanks for the input! I've been out to the peninsula (and around the whole 101 loop) several times, but despite living in Seattle for 15 years, I've never gotten to the Hoh, so I'm looking forward to it.

    I think I'm starting to convince myself that you're right that going ultra-wide is the way to go. My only concern is whether the 7-14 will be fast (i.e. bright) enough at f/4 in the dense forest and (likely) clouds/rain.

    We're staying at Kalaloch, so there will definitely be some beachcombing as well.
  4. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Marc Sitkin
    I've been there, and it's good to have a wide lens in your kit. I'd consider a lightweight tripod, so you can do some longer exposures at smaller f stops to get a bit of depth of field. This would negate the need for a fast lens.
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  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I do have a tripod I'll bring (although I'm not so sure how much time I'll have to really set it up between chasing the kids around), and that's a good point about DOF.

    So would your choice be the P7-14? Or the O12? Or something else.
  6. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    I've been to hoh once and took many pictures with a super zoom. I am lucky enough to live in an area (rural Clackamas county) that is very similar to hoh. I'd go with the 7-14 over a prime, but that is just me. Enjoy your trip.
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