A few weeks before departing for my photography expedition to Costa Rica, I pondered the idea of trying something a little bit different. For me this was tough as I would hate to get so far away and be unhappy with the gear I chose for the trip. I decided to switch out my regular, go-to gear for Tamron 70-200 F/2.8, Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 and the lightweight Vanguard VEO 235AB tripod. At first, I was skeptical ditching my trusty lenses for these new comers, but was quickly surprised. I loved the fact that I could throw both lenses, two bodies and the tripod in a backpack and not be burdened with their weight. Most days were spent hiking along rivers and streams in the montane regions of the Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, therefore, you needed to pack light. On recent trips, a heavy tripod was always a problem for me – their weight, the constant swinging around and constantly hitting my legs while walking or just getting in the way due to its size.
Being in this beautiful, primary rainforest led to more problems than just weight. I truly underestimated just how dark it was in the jungle, even midday. Without the addition of these light, fast lenses, I wouldn’t have been able to obtain even half the photos that I managed too. As anyone that shoots wildlife knows, you don’t always have time to setup a tripod. Many of my favourite images from the trip were captured my camera handheld. However, none of the weight or low-light issues compare to the “moisture” nightmares of shooting in a rainforest.
Being the beginning of the rainy or “green” season, it rains constantly. It can be 40 °C and sunny one moment, then an extreme downpour the next. During the day, it would rain and instantly, the humidity so thick it would fog up the forest. I would shoot all night, through the rain storms, as it is the best time to see Costa Rica’s reptiles/amphibians. I have heard from friends of countless lenses being ruined and cameras quitting after just a few days in these conditions. After 10 days of shooting in brutal conditions, I never had the slightest issue with either the Tamron lenses or Vanguard tripod. For anyone looking for professional grade equipment at a great price, I highly recommend checking out these pieces of gear, and if want an amazing place to photograph, Costa Rica is the right place for you!
About the Author:
Ryan Vince is a published Canadian outdoor photographer, he specializes in wildlife and commercial outdoor. He is based out of Keswick, Ontario. www.ryanvince-photo.com