Heading to Utah what should I take.

Discussion in 'Travel' started by mike_leone, May 5, 2008.

  1. Subjective I know but here is the plan.

    I have 4 days in the Moab area to see Canyonlands and Arches NP. I will be
    traveling alone so my primary focus is on food and water. Taking photos is
    secondary. No point in getting a once in life time shot only to die of dehydration.

    I currently own a 30d and 400d. Sigma 10-20, Canon 28-70, Canon 70-200 and Canon
    300 and Canon 50f/1.8. I have one Grad ND (B+W 502) and Polarizers for the lens.

    I was think I could get away with a shoulder bag (like a national geographic)
    for my 30D, the 10-20 and 70-200 plus accessories. I want to keep it simple and
    light but yet have everything I need or could need.

    I want my backpack to be focused on stuff I need in case I fall off canyon rim.
    Water, food, first aid kit and such.

    Am I taking too little or too much? I know subjective question but will to
    accept others pov.

    Also does anyone have any suggestions in terms of filters and such? I read the
    travel page about Arches and Canyonlands on this site but it seem a bit out
    dated. I don't use film... :/


    Thanks!

    Mike
     
  2. The Polarizer might come in handy. The 70-200 is heavy, but if you're going to use it and you can carry the weight, it'd be good to have.

    What else to take? Gallon-size ziplock bags. Or some other way to keep sand out of your gear. They keep a LOT of sand out that way, and for the amusement of electronic-camera-wielding visitors, they tend to blow it around through the air all the time.
     
  3. The lenses you need depend on what you like to shoot. I am not familiar with Canon cameras, but if yours is not full frame, you could use lenses from 12mmm to 300mm plus a tripod.If you are traveling with a car, take more. If hiking, take less, but have something that gets out to 70mm for sure and ideally 200mm. I use warming filters on my lenses in Utah. Joe Smith
     
  4. Hey! Thanks for responding!

    The zip lock idea is simple but so useful, great great tip!

    I normal shot deer and such. But sometimes I get the feeling to shot a landscape or two. I guessing since this is red rock country it will mostly be landscapes. I like having the 70-200 with an ext tube for macro like shots (flowers, insects). I will have car and will likely be driving between trails. My goal is to do no more then 5mi per trail or 25 miles per day which ever happens first (if a trail is longer). Simple because I think this most I can handle out there.

    The 30D is a 1.6 crop. Which why I opted for the 10-20 (fov on a 1.6 is 16-35ish). I love the 28-70 but I dont think it very wide for this application. Then again I dont really know any better.

    Mike
     
  5. I applaud your priorities. Water, clothing and other survival items come first. Camera gear comes after. I might also suggest you look for other folks heading in your direction so you're not completely alone.

    Having said that, I tend to the "less is more" view. While I've never been to those two parks, I have been to a few others and have come to enjoy a strategy where I bring the larger selection to the base camp (or car, etc) and take one lens and body for each hike. This may sound limiting, but I don't like gear getting in my way. In fact, last year I brought a "point and shoot" digital and a medium format along for my hikes. I expected the MF to give better results but the opposite happened. Sure, in better hands, the MF should have won, but the ease of the P&S made the difference. (I have since sold the MF and bought a DSLR!)

    Yes, it feels a bit uneasy up front as you select your tools knowing you're leaving others behind. But SW like hugin enables wider views with any lens so all is not lost if you come to the "vista of the year".

    My last opinion may be my strongest: Bring (and use) some hiking poles! You can guess I learned this the hard way... it affected the rest of the week! And if you can, maybe you can modify one pole to form a mono-pod. Alternately, I'd like to try the camera-to-string-under-the-foot idea.

    Best of luck!
     
  6. Which 70-200 is it, the 4.0 or 2.8? Just curious for the weight issue. The 4.0 is light enough to not worry about, I think. The 2.8... not so much.

    That aside, I think your "less is more" kit is perfect - one body, one wide zoom, one tele zoom. You'll have 95% or more of situations covered. I commend your focus on survival first and foremost.
     
  7. Dont take too much, and especially not the heavy 70-200 if you are hiking. You need only one body, and a 24-70/105 film angle of view lens. Not the cropped 1.6 digital of this. So, a 16-50mm range digital lens. You want and need the 24mm wide angle equivelant for Western Scenics. If you cant get such a lens, consider a used Canon Elan 7 and 24-105 lens for use on this trip, and sell it when you get back. You should just about break even, and you dont have to worry about banging it around. Kodak 400UC would be the film to use - you can easily get hi quality 12x18's off this with great quality.
    Oh yes, the polarizer and ND grads are a must.
    At any rate, try to stick to one light body, and 1 lens.
     
  8. Thanks for the responses everyone.

    Let me catch up here.

    William- I was think of just taking everything and leave what I dont need in the car. But was not sure if it was worth lug around. I have trekking poles too, saves my knees on the climbs up the 14ers/12ers in Colorado/Teton's.

    Peter- I have 70-200 f/4L IS.

    Randall- Great suggestion using a film body. I sadly have to report two problems: 1st I cant spend that kind of money :( 2nd I suck. I'm fairly new at using dSLR's and last film camera I had was a P&S about 15 years ago. I like digital because I see what I did and fix it right there. Maybe a 5d rental? That would do it right? a 24x35mm frame and digital for dummies like me.

    Back to filters for a moment. The grad ND's should I get a 2 and 3 stop soft or just a single 2 stop soft will be fine?
     
  9. If the question is what to bring in your ?luggage?, it depends on how you're traveling. If by car, I'd bring it all effectively postponing any decision... otherwise, I would favor both bodies, the 10-20, the 28-70, and maybe the 50. And the filters. Cameras break and the extra body is paid for. If you were off to Yellowstone, the telephoto would make the list.

    If the question is what to carry on the trail, personally, I'd pick the body that feels good in your hands and the lens you think will be better suited for the scenes or simply your mood. One perspective is to bring every piece of equipment needed to capture 95% of the expected scenes. But another is to think of the possibilities as infinite so that any lens you bring will enable you (or force you) to create great images. I too was forced to do this when my camera died at Bryce and had to use my wife's SLR with a ?common? 50mm lens. (Like I said, bring two bodies...).

    Last is the problem of carrying the thing. A shoulder bag wouldn't make me happy; I don't like stuff flopping about. I would look into one of those holsters and make sure it fits any body and lens combination you ultimately decide. Ease of access is key! I'd even try to fit it so it carries right in front of me. (I'm sure it looks silly.) Grrrr... this is one area I continue to wrestle with!

    That's my two bit opinion. What I am sure of is that you'll have a great time. Be sure to post your favorite(s)!
     
  10. Regarding polarizers and GNDs, take what you own. Personally I do not see a huge need for them at Arches or Canyonlands. If you do not have any GNDs, the usual kit is a 2 stop and a 3 stop. Polarizers used with wide angle lenses even carefully can result in uneven sky colors. I much prefer a strong warming filter to enhance the sky and the rock colors, like an 81C or a b+w KR3. And the effect is even across the image. This applies to both slide film and digital capture. When I was at Arches (minor hiking) and Canyonlands (mostly driving) I took most of my images with a 28-70mm (film capture) on a tripod. Some with a 20mm , 24mm, 70-200mm, and quite a few with a 300mm at Arches in that I wanted to isolate rock features. When I was hiking, I took one camera body, zoom attached, and one or two extra lenses and my tripod. Gear in a LLBean back pack designed for hiking with two water bottle holders. Domke inserts in the inside for lenses and camera.

    Lighting is critical for best images at Arches and Canyonlands. Be in position before sunrise. Early morning sun is great at Arches. Late afternoon sun is great too. See if Photo Traveler guide to both parks is still available. Check to see if moon is full when you are at Arches. If it is, try the Delicate Arch trail and get the moon rise over the arch.

    Joe Smith
     
  11. Mormon repellant?
     
  12. Joe- Thanks I will check out the backpack/domke inserts. Was also thinking of a photo vest then I cant carry too much :s

    Mahonri- HAHAHA! nice one
     
  13. I like your choice of lenses...I like that combo myself.

    A guidebook I've found very helpful for tips on photographing the southern Utah parks is "Photographing the Southwest", available typically in visitor center bookstores or through http://www.phototripusa.com/. Great sunrise icons to photograph include Landscape Arch in Arches and Mesa Arch in Canyonlands. Great sunset icons to shoot include Delicate Arch and Balance Rock in Arches. There tons of photo-ops in those two parks! Have a great trip!
     
  14. Well I'm back. Sorry I have not posted sooner.

    Everything worked out well. I got a ThinkTank Change Up bag which was great. I ended up using the 17-40 90% of the time, and the 28-70 about 5% and the 70-200 5%. But in the end 17-40 would have been all I need.

    Thank you everyone for your response and help. Here is a link to some of shots, enjoy. And yes I'm a newbie. :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mleone/sets/72157605677956710/

    Mike
     

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