Utah In September - What to bring?

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Luis Casals
I am planning on going to Utah in September. Be staying at Cedar City and going to the different state parks. I know for sure that I will be going to Moab for a couple of days.

I only have a Nikon D80, Nikon 18-200MM VR, and a Nikon 50MM 1.8. I'm thinking of getting a tripod or another lense, maybe both if I can afford them by them.

Those of you who may have been in Utah, what do you recommend bringing as far as gear go and what places would be a must go? Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks. :smile:
 
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If you do a search on the parks in southern Utah you'll find an abundance of information and great pictures.

One point of interest near Cedar City is the Parowan Gap Petroglyphs. Here's a link:

http://www.utah.com/playgrounds/parowan_gap.htm

That site also has information on other areas in the state.

Have lots of water wherever you go, and have a good time!

Regards,
John
 
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Near Moab are Arches NP, Canyonlands NP and Dead Horse Sate Park. Mesa Arch in Canyonlands (Island in the Sky section) at sunrise can be spectacular. Here is an HDR pano I made in May from the viewpoint at DHSP - it covers about 180 degrees. Lasal Mountains at the LH edge and Island in the Sky mesa in the right half.

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Click to see larger pix then click again and scroll. The road you see is 4WD only

Green River Overlook (Island in the Sky)

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and some flowers in Arches NP, Balanced Rock in the background

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Utah is amazing. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

I think after having been to all the major national parks in the country, Zion is one of my very favorites if not my favorite. That and Bryce are musts if you're in the area.

Cheers,
R
 
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When you get to Utah, don't forget to set your watch back 50 years ;)

I find the 50mm not great in big spaces. I usually want something wider or tighter. If I was adding one lens to your collection, I'd get a prime that is 24mm or less or a wide angle zoom.

Utah is an odd state. It has some of my favorite outdoor areas, but I can't stand the culture in the state. I lived there for 6 months and couldn't wait to leave by the end. I'm a twenty-something and I couldn't believe how many 21 year old college kids I met who were married with two kids and described their favorite activities as "going to church and spending time with their family."
 
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Hi Luis,

Sounds like a fun trip. Moab is actually quite a bit to the east of Cedar City - about 280 miles or so. If you've got a couple of days there, then you'll have time to shoot in the Arches and Canyonlands parks. If you enter Canyonlands north of Moab, Mesa Arch at sunrise is spectacular as well as shooting along the Shafer Trail (preferably in a 4WD). Also, the Moab rim formation that runs north-south along the west edge of Moab city is amazing to shoot during sunrise. Here's some shots I took Easter '08:
https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=156769

Another side trip you don't want to miss is Bryce Canyon National Park, it's about 90 min. east of Cedar up a beautiful canyon to get there. Here's the mapquest info: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?1c=Ced...=UT&2y=US&2l=37.673901&2g=-112.156403&2v=CITY

Shaun posted some great panos of it recently:
https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=236626

Also, Zion's National Park is about a couple hours south off of I-15. Numerous opportunities to shoot there.

One word of caution, if you decide to hike into any of the narrow canyons either in Moab area or Zion's, check the weather reports first for flash flood warnings. We start to get these in the early fall. You'll get into these narrow sandstone canyons with blue skies overhead and a storm starts brewing nearby. The water starts to collect gathering speed and comes roaring down these narrow "slot" canyons. They can be so tight, you've got no where to escape. Not trying to scare you, but it pays to keep aware of weather conditions. Otherwise it's a great time to visit southern Utah. Summer has cooled off a bit by then and it's much more pleasant.

Have a great trip,
Dave
 
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Forgot to mention, what the other guys said, you definitely want a wide angle lens for the trip. I usually use my 16-85 or my 12-24. Polarizer filters are nice for cutting the glare and bringing out the blue skies. I also use a grad ND for horizon shots - it worked very well on my sunrise over Moab Rim pano to bring out the foreground that was in shade yet not overexposing the highlights where the sun was hitting the sandstone.

Dave
 
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If you do a search on the parks in southern Utah you'll find an abundance of information and great pictures.
Thanks for the site and information very valuable.

Near Moab are Arches NP, Canyonlands NP and Dead Horse Sate Park. Mesa Arch in Canyonlands (Island in the Sky section) at sunrise can be spectacular. Here is an HDR pano I made in May from the viewpoint at DHSP - it covers about 180 degrees. Lasal Mountains at the LH edge and Island in the Sky mesa in the right half.
Thanks, it seems that I may need to get a wider lens. Would my 18-200mm at 18 not be good enough? By the way, those are some amazing pics you have. Thanks for sharing.

Utah is amazing. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

I think after having been to all the major national parks in the country, Zion is one of my very favorites if not my favorite. That and Bryce are musts if you're in the area.

Cheers,
R
My friend has told me a lot about Zion and Bryce. I am sure going to try to go to both.

When you get to Utah, don't forget to set your watch back 50 years ;)

I find the 50mm not great in big spaces. I usually want something wider or tighter. If I was adding one lens to your collection, I'd get a prime that is 24mm or less or a wide angle zoom.
Forgot to mention, what the other guys said, you definitely want a wide angle lens for the trip. I usually use my 16-85 or my 12-24. Polarizer filters are nice for cutting the glare and bringing out the blue skies. I also use a grad ND for horizon shots - it worked very well on my sunrise over Moab Rim pano to bring out the foreground that was in shade yet not overexposing the highlights where the sun was hitting the sandstone.

Dave
I have been looking at some of the 10-24mm, 12-24mm and 14-24mm. Any recommendations on a specific lens.
 
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I've got the Tokina F4 12-24 and have been very happy with it. I don't use it a lot - mainly for building interiors or when I need an extra wide shot outdoors. My Nikon 16-85 has proved to be quite versatile for me and stays on my D300 body most of the time.

Dave
 
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I was in Moab in the spring. My primary lens was the 12-24. Lots of wide open spaces. Have fun.
 
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I've got the Tokina F4 12-24 and have been very happy with it. I don't use it a lot - mainly for building interiors or when I need an extra wide shot outdoors. My Nikon 16-85 has proved to be quite versatile for me and stays on my D300 body most of the time.

Dave
Ok, I will check it out. I have never used a Tokina Lense, how is their quality. Is it a hit or miss type thing?

I was in Moab in the spring. My primary lens was the 12-24. Lots of wide open spaces. Have fun.
The more I look at it the more I think that I will need a wide angle. I was saving for a 300mm or a 70-200mm 2.8 but it seems that I might have to get a 12-24mm before.
 
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The big pano was made using a 35mm (84 shots in all, 12 positions with 7 exposures at each), Green River OL = ??, but suspect the 35mm as well and the flower using 100mm. Here is a shot of the South Window [Arches NP] at 21mm

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And Nefertiri using 180

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Ok, I will check it out. I have never used a Tokina Lense, how is their quality. Is it a hit or miss type thing?



The more I look at it the more I think that I will need a wide angle. I was saving for a 300mm or a 70-200mm 2.8 but it seems that I might have to get a 12-24mm before.
I'm quite happy with my Tokina, image quality is good and reasonably priced. It was less $$ than the Nikon 12-24, but I haven't used the Nikon so I can't compare lens quality. A search of the "lens lust" thread will give you some good info.

Dave
 
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and dont forget its all about light and trying to be at the right place at the right time.....
no matter what lens you bring with you...and that s not really easy in utah....

below some picture taken around Moab beginning of May 09

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I say a ultra wide and maybe a Macro lens would would be good additions for you trip there, add your 18-200 you should be set
 
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menbrial #3 and 4 are stunning!

I live here in Utah and use the 12-24/4 tokina and 90 tamron more than anything lately
 
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thanks Waltny

all pictures above with nikon d2xs and 70-200 vr 2,8 Nikon....i dont think u need a wide angle in Utah ....if you do so , you will bring back same pictures that everybody else does.....im going bact to Moab in October im bringing only one lens: 70-200 VR 2,8 Nikon ( do not forget you are going to do A LOT of hiking no need to overload you bag with lens you wont use)
 
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Thank you all. I think that I have made up my mind on a Nikon 10-24mm. As far as the tripod goes, looking at the MF 190CXPRO4. Not sure on the ball head yet.

menbrial, I loved the first 4 pictures but if I had to choose one, it would be #3.
 
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