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Southwest Trip - What lens should I bring?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by TomD., Jul 11, 2008.

  1. TomD.

    TomD.

    181
    Jun 7, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    I'll be hitting: Grand Canyon North Rim/South Rim; Bryce, Zion, Petroglyph National Monument, Sedona, Saguaro National Park.
    Will bring 12-24, 28-70, 70 -200.
    Would it be useful to bring my 200 -400 or 105vr?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  2. if you are driving i would
    the 200-400 would be nice for birds and the 105 for macros
    I am headed to fla via air in an hr and have agonized for days on what to take
     
  3. Toby D

    Toby D

    Mar 7, 2006
    Iowaay
    WIDE, as you're shooting the GC. The canyon has deer and elk that get pretty close. Pinon and scrub jays and many ravens. But its all about landscapes here. If you get up real early(6-7) and get down to the rim near the Bright Angel lodge, the Condors fly around on the thermals there. hey will land just below the rim. Also you will be near Page, AZ so think about Antelope Canyon.

    http://www.navajonationparks.org/htm/antelopecanyon.htm

    http://www.nps.gov/archive/grca/pphtml/2highlights94.html

    Sedona, Oak Creek, Cathedral Rock and you will be near Montezuma's Castle and Tuzigoot Cliff houses.

    Tucson. I HIGHLY recommend a visit to the Mission San Xavier del Bac on the Tohono O'Odam reservation. Ansel Adams has shot there, why not you?

    Saguaro East is nicer than West, but thats personal opinion. Expect quail, thrashers, gila woodpeckers and desert tortoise. The 200-400 very useful there. And lizards, lizards, lizards. You won't see them very long. Do the desert Museum when the light gets bad, and there's an air/space museum, too.

    http://www.nps.gov/tuzi/
    http://www.sanxaviermission.org/
    http://www.nps.gov/moca/
    http://phoenix.about.com/od/sedona/
    http://www.desertmuseum.org/
    http://www.pimaair.org/

    and stay in the National Parks if at all possible, but make reservations today. they usually go pretty fast.

    When in New Mexico, I recommend Chaco Canyon. If you are going there via I-40, check out the Painted desert/Petrified Forest. They don't take too long and are pretty fascinating.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2008
  4. Take as many as you can carry. But at least the 12-24 and the 70-200. The 28-70 and 200-400 may will be used if you can carry the additional weight. Don't forget your tripod, filters and flash. The flash will come in handy as a fill-in for close ups, due to some the harsh light in the southwest. I have visited the area many time and generally use only the 28-70 f2.8 AF-S with filters and tripod. Again, don't forget the tripod.
     
  5. For where you are going, the 12-24 and 28-70 will get you by very nicely. Unless your shooting birds leave the 200-400 home. The 70-200 will probably not get used much at least for my style shooting. Been to all of those places many times, hope this helps.

    gene
     
  6. Toby D

    Toby D

    Mar 7, 2006
    Iowaay
    A couple more bits of advice.

    Take flashlights, if you're out prowling before dawn, the woods around the GC are pitch black. So ar Zion and Bryce, but if theres a moon at Bryce you can adapt. Its pretty open tree wise.

    At Bryce, head out to the rim before sun up, I have never seen so many stars in the sky except at sea. It was worth the sleep loss. Inspiration Point for sunrise. Definitely walk the Queen's Garden and Navajo trails. The 200-400 can do up close detail of the Hoodoos.

    Don't know what order you're going in, but if you do GC from Flagstaff/Tusayan, then do desert View as you leave the park as you'll be headed to Cameron, AZ for the highway north. If you are coming from Navajo Bridge/Page, then hit the Desert View on the way in from Cameron. Its 25 miles from the Village. The overlooks that way also are different than whats further west.(What overlook isn't grand at GC?).
     
  7. TomD.

    TomD.

    181
    Jun 7, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    ***if you are driving i would
    Yup, I am driving all 2800 miles RT and estimated $800.00 in gas. Still beats flying with 5 people
    ***Tucson. I HIGHLY recommend a visit to the Mission San Xavier del Bac on the Tohono O'Odam reservation. Ansel Adams has shot there, why not you?
    Great Suggestion Thanks.
    ***Don't forget your tripod
    I am bringing 2
    ***filters
    I do not own any ND. I will bracket and fix in PS
    ***Antelope Canyon
    That is on the agenda. Will be in Flagstaff the night prior and aiming for a 11:00 AM arrival

    A big thanks to everyone on their comments and suggestions!
    Tom
     
  8. Definitely take the wide angles and the 70-200 will allow you to isolate sections. Doesn't sound like you are looking for birdies, so the 200-400 would be overkill. Definitely hit Antelope Canyon. The Wave is not far from Page, but has limited access due to controlling the crowds. Have a great trip!
     
  9. If I could only take 3 lenses, I would take the first 3 you mention (except I've got 17-35 vice 12-24). If you have to choose between the 200-400 and 105 micro, I guess it depends on your relative interest in small critters vs. purty flowers. One thing to keep in mind if you are not real familiar with the desert Southwest: desert areas can be an absolute gold mine for gorgeous and unusual flowering plants (e.g., cactus), especially after the monsoon season starts.
     
  10. Tpsfoto

    Tpsfoto

    307
    Jun 15, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    I would take the 12-24, 24-70 & the 200-400mm........or you could send me the 200-400 to safeguard til you get back....the 70-200 for this trip is too middle of the road to be used much..

    Enjoy your trip...
     
  11. TomD.

    TomD.

    181
    Jun 7, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    I will be bringing my ThinkTankSecurity Bag in the car. http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_RllrGrp.php
    It is solid bag and I love the locks for when I leave it in the hotel room (not very often)
    It allows me to cable to furniture or in the car. I also bring a LowePro bag when I need to go light and walk/hike where these is no pavement.
     
  12. Tpsfoto

    Tpsfoto

    307
    Jun 15, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Buy a second cable for the bag.....I went to a hardware store & for very little $ They took a cable & put loops on each end ....then I put better lock on it....also you need to lock the zippers so they can not get in easy.......never go to your trunk & just remove some of the gear....plan ahead & put the gear in a smaller bag inside.....this way no one sees you leaving something in the trunk.....
     
  13. TomD.

    TomD.

    181
    Jun 7, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    Larry,
    I know what you mean about the trunk. When I take the car I always do that. We are driving an SUV so if we all get out, the roller bag comes with us!
     
  14. TomD.

    TomD.

    181
    Jun 7, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    Images from Trip

    28 - 70 was the workhorse on the trip followed by 12- 24.
    Images from the trip http://www.tomdoranphotography.com/HTMLRT/index.htm
     
  15. Artorius

    Artorius

    125
    May 1, 2005
    Tacoma, WA
    ND filter

    A graduated ND filter is also very helpful for the GC, with any of the lenses you are carrying.
     
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