Hot air balloon...

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#1
Hi all

I’m going on a trip to the states soon, and I’ve arranged for a trip up in a balloon in Arizona. They’re fairly strict with what you can take with you so I think I can just about get away with camera and large lens, but more than one lens I don’t think I can get away with.

Anyone got any experience with what focal length to take? I was thinking 70-200 but a quick google showed most people suggesting wide angle (I have a 16-35, 24-70, 55 prime and 85 prime in addition to the 70-200)

Any suggestions?
 
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Philip
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#2
Take the 70-200 for in the air. You'll be high up anyway so even at 200 you'll capture a wideish view.

On the ground use your wider lenses to shoot while the balloon is being prepared. You can get great shots inside the balloon mouth capturing the interior and the burner.

Be prepared to change your lens to the big one quickly because once the balloon is ready you get just seconds to clamber aboard.
 
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#4
I had a balloon trip over the Serengeti in January. I had been given advice as above, and used 24-70 2.8 L pre flight on the ground, then went for 70-200 2.8L in the air. Definitely useful to have the longer length to be able to pick out bits of landscape and wildlife. Also, try to get a position in the corner of the basket to give you a view two ways. It’s great fun!
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#9
See if you can find a selection of shots from a similar (Arizona based) flight and see what focal lengths were used for the shots you liked most. TBH, I'd probably take a decent compact with a reasonably wide range of focal lengths rather than faff around with potential lens changes in a relatively cramped space.
 
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Dudewheresmybrain
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#11
Just wanted to update this thread in case anyone asks the same question in future.

In the end I managed to get both 16-35 and 70-200 on board with me. At the time the 16-35 seemed like the better choice, but my favourite shot actually came from the 70-200.

That said, I think the sweet spot may actually be something like a 24-70 or 24-105mm lens. Attached a couple of the results... the one with the biggest balloon was at 70mm, the others on the 1635 :)

If the images were purely about the landscape, without the other balloon in the foreground, the 16/35 or 24/70 would have been a clear winner.
 

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