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02-03-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
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Utah Nation Parks and Grand Canyon lens?

I am going to make a trip to these places in June and I am curious which lens would suit this outing. Most of the landscape shots I take are 21mm and above but I think because of the vastness and some close shooting I may need to go wider.
I currently have the Sigma 24-70/2.8 but I think I will need need something just a little wider. In my mind I think 20mm should be fine as a prime and I am thinking on reacquiring the DA16-50. I would also like to get the 50-135. I would love to have the DA12-24 but it is costly I don't think I would get much use out of it other than this trip.
I have googled photos of these areas and can find lots of photos but these don't have the information of focal length.

Would anyone that has visited these places post photos along with the focal length info.

Thanks a bunch
Oren

02-03-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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I did a trip around the canyon in 2005. I took a light pack at the time and wished I took more in the end

What I took was my *istD, my PZ-1 and the following lenses

FA-J 18-35. Fa28-105 and sigma 70-200F2.8 plus a 1.4x adaptor and AF500FTZ

I shot film with the 18-35 and digital with the other lenses. I used the sigma and TC for wildlife and wished I had takeen my 300F4 and 1.7x AF TC. There is a lot of wild life especially in Utah and at the north rim and condors atthe south rim but you could use more than 300mm for wildlife

If inducing again I would take from 10mm through 500mm
02-03-2011, 06:58 PM   #3
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Thanks Lowell, can you find out what focal enght you used most when shooting the canyon. And if you have some photos to share that would be awesome. Let me know what the FL is for each photo if you can.

I have the Sigma 300/2.8 with tamron 1.4x and Sigma 2x so I think I will be alright for wildlife. I am glad you mentioned that as I am very interested in the wildlife also.
02-03-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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Hi Oren,

I think any of those will work, just depends on what view is the most natural to you. We've been in that area several times now, so I have a little experience with it. Personally, I'd go with the DA 12-24 for the grandeur of the Grand Canyon (this is with the 12-24 @ 12mm):



I think it would also be good for Bryce Canyon. For the other parks, the 16-50 would be just as good. On one of our trips the aperture spring came loose on the 12-24 right when it started, so I was relegated to the DA 21 for my widest (this was Arches, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and three Colorado parks) and didn't feel too terribly limited. Thus, I think the 16-50 would be a solid choice. One more thing, if you're going to the South Rim of the GC, stop by Horseshoe Bend just south of Page to see this (again, the 12-24 would be great):



It's just a little parking lot on the side of the highway, and a .5-.75 mile walk (be careful at the edge, no rails!).

Todd

One more thing: if you snoop around my zenfolio site a bit, you can check focal lengths at any of the Utah parks or Grand Canyon (in the "American Landscapes" galleries)...just click on the "Photo Info" tab for each photo.

02-03-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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Oren,
I was in the area a few years back and the answer is mixed. In some places (like Zion), a 12-24 would work best. A 35 prime paired with a 50 prime would cover the mid-range and a 70-200 would round it out. Of the bunch the two zooms would see the majority of the action with the nod going to the tele. Photo opportunities fall into the two extremes of tight, claustrophobic spaces and vistas too huge to address with a wide angle.

There is a lot of looking up steeply and looking down steeply. So much so that when I return, the view camera will be in the bag for perspective correction. You might want to contact Marc Langille. He is one of the mods here and has lead a couple of photo safaris into Southern and Central Utah.


Steve
02-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #6
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Summer-Fall 2010 I spent a couple months on the road from Yosemite to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Santa Fe, Mesa Verde, etc. I took 24+ lenses. What I actually used (in order): DA18-250, Zenitar 16/2.8, Nikkor 85/2, SMC-M28/2.8, FA50-1.4. The 16 and 28 were most-used at Grand Canyon. When I return in late Spring 2011, I'll have a Tamron 10-24, Vivitar-Komine 24/2, and Nikkor 35/2 to work out. I figure my basic kit will be the 10-24 and 18-250 zooms, and the 24+35+50+85 fast primes, and a Raynox. I'll still take 25-30 lenses -- I'm booked into Grand Canyon for a week, Santa Fe for a month, Four Corners for a couple weeks, so they'll all get used this time. Maybe.
02-03-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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I highly recommend the 12-24, which would be a perfect complement to your 24-70. I think you will use something longer than 70 only rarely.

24mm


24mm
[IMGtall]http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Arizona%20Mostly%2009/D6%20Grand%20Cyn/090910-4157BATrailView.jpg[/IMGtall]

33mm
[IMGtall]http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Arizona%20Mostly%2009/D6%20Grand%20Cyn/090910-4179BATrailView.jpg[/IMGtall]

18mm


31mm
[IMGtall]http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Arizona%20Mostly%2009/D6%20Grand%20Cyn/090910-4212BATrailView.jpg[/IMGtall]

18mm


70mm


17mm


17mm


28mm


18mm


17mm


12mm
[IMGtall]http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Places%20Generally/Las%20Vegas-Zion-Bryce/090504-8697ObsTrail.jpg[/IMGtall]

17mm


24mm

Last edited by SpecialK; 02-03-2011 at 08:53 PM.
02-03-2011, 09:30 PM   #8
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sigma 10-20 seems like a good choice, especially when you already own one sigma.

02-03-2011, 09:37 PM   #9
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A friend of mine has some nice galleries of national parks and surrounding areas in southern Utah. Hover your mouse over the upper right corner of each photo for EXIF data.

Zenfolio | Lloyd Shell Photography | Utah's Red Rock Country
02-04-2011, 03:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
Thanks Lowell, can you find out what focal enght you used most when shooting the canyon. And if you have some photos to share that would be awesome. Let me know what the FL is for each photo if you can.

I have the Sigma 300/2.8 with tamron 1.4x and Sigma 2x so I think I will be alright for wildlife. I am glad you mentioned that as I am very interested in the wildlife also.
It is very hard to do that on the wide end because that was film, so I have no exif data.

I used the 18-35 (which came as a kit lens for the origonal *istD) on my PZ-1 because it was a full frame lens and offered a great FOV. Probably shot 200-300 frames using the widest end of the lens. There are great shots to be had at Zion and Bryce canypns. Never got to Glen Canyon, but wish I had. Take a UWA and Polarizer for Bryce, the Blue Sky against Red canyons is a good shot.

As for the long end, I used the 70-200F2.8 at 200mm with the TC all th etime for wild life and found it was a little short. a 300/2.8 with a couple of TCs would be much better. Also, most of the wild life (except the condors) is at the north rim, and bryce canyons, and is found ar dawn in the trees and on the ground. You will need a flash, and ideally a better-beamer flash extender. I captures about 30 different species of birds, with some great shots, birds ranges from small ones like mountain chickadee's to something in the range of stellars jays etc.. South Rim, the attraction is the condors, but even with 300mm I came up a little short. a 300/2.8 plus 2x TC would be much better. While condors are large birds (10 foot wing span) it is hard to get close to them,

Also note, each condor has a large set of ID tags, based upon the scale of the birds, about 6 inches in diamter, clipped to the wings. At the time of my visit, there was only one condor free flying the canyon that had not been tagged.
02-04-2011, 04:09 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I think you will use something longer than 70 only rarely.
If nothing longer than 70mm is taken, then nothing longer than 70mm will be used. In July 2010 I used my 18-250 extensively, at all focal lengths. The 16/2.8 grabbed the wider shots. The 28/2.8 took 'normal' views but also segments for stitching. The faster primes (50/1.4, 85/2) took interiors and people shots, and nearby animals; they'll be supplemented with 24/2 and 35/2 this year, and maybe 135/2.5. Oh yeah, and a 500/8 mirror. Not to mention 10-17 FE and 10-24 UW.
________________________________________________________________

An aside: In various threads wherein potential travelers ask for lens advice, I've seen numerous recommendations to avoid longer lenses. I do not understand this. One joy of photography is to be able to capture stuff that we can't just reach out and touch: architectural details, distant faces and places, odd perspectives, small slices of the visual field -- the otherwise insignificant. We have tele and macro lenses for just such purposes. Why not use them?
02-04-2011, 04:55 AM   #12
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Wow, a lot of great info!

SpecialK, thanks for the photos with the FL. It really helps with perspective. I would love the have the 12-24 but as I said it is a bit costly and I would probably only use the long end.

I have went through a few lenses over the past three year and I am trying to stick to Pentax from here on out. ( just a personal thing I have decided ) so the Sig 10-20 is out.

I think anything wider than 18mm I am going to deal with distortion unless in tight quarters.

I am thingking of getting rid of the Sig 24-70 although I love the range ( but it is a huge lens) and replace with Pentax 16-50 or 16-45. And like I said I would love one Pentax prime , a 20/2.8 or DA 21.

This is what I am leaning toward. Pentax 16-50, 50-135, A 20/2.8 or DA21 along with my sigma 300/2.8 and 1.4x & 2x.

BTW Gnaxtee, I wil put Horse Bend on the list . Love that shot

Steve, thank for the suggeston to contact Marc. I know he heads up some outing down there which I would love to go sometime.
My vacation will involve picking my daugter up in Livingston Montana, my son in Burlington Wyoming and heading out from there. I will probaly do the Grand Circle.
I am so excidted, I have never spent time like this with my kids and have wanted to visit the Utah parks for a long time.

Last edited by OrenMc; 02-05-2011 at 06:55 AM.
02-04-2011, 07:04 AM   #13
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WOW! Great photos!

I have never been to The Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon. I just finished scanning my Great-Grand Parents' Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon Kodachrome slides from 1951. Incredably, a few of the scenes in the pictures above are replicated in the 60 year old slides I just scanned last month.

I'm hoping to make a California-Missouri-California trip this year, with stops at The Grand Canyon and Moab along the way. I'm sure my 16-50mm will take alot of shots.
02-04-2011, 09:24 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If nothing longer than 70mm is taken, then nothing longer than 70mm will be used.
Of course. I would be taking a longer lens as well, but the OP seemed to be asking about wide lenses, and focal lengths in general, for the canyon.
02-04-2011, 03:04 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:

An aside: In various threads wherein potential travelers ask for lens advice, I've seen numerous recommendations to avoid longer lenses. I do not understand this. One joy of photography is to be able to capture stuff that we can't just reach out and touch: architectural details, distant faces and places, odd perspectives, small slices of the visual field -- the otherwise insignificant. We have tele and macro lenses for just such purposes. Why not use them?
if you have seen my posts on the subject I generally recommend leaving long lenses at home if tou are city bound. I do this because I find that even architectural detail can be captured with something in the 75-135 mm range and therefore you don need a 500 in the city. But you will also note in this thread I made it clear that 300 mm was not long enough for the Grand Canyon. Totally different type of vacation
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