Joshua Tree National Park: How limiting is a "normal" lens?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by mgb74, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. mgb74

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    Planning a trip to Joshua Tree National Park in late March, after attending a wedding in Palm Springs. For a couple of reasons, I'd like to keep my "kit" as minimal as practical.

    I could take a Bronica ETRS with 50mm and 75mm and pare down by using it's WL finder and not taking the grip, but even though a compact MF SLR, it's bulky. So I'm debating on whether to just take my Bessa II 6x9 with 105mm. In either case, I'd have a small P&S with 35mm lens as backup.

    Looking though JTNP photos on Flickr that include exif data, it seems most are shot with wide to slightly wide FOV. But is this a matter of convenience or necessity?

    I realize that 2 people, in the same spot, may choose different focal lengths. But any thoughts - from those who have been to Joshua Tree - how limiting a "normal" lens might be?
     
  2. Trail Images

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    I shoot weekly at J-tree. I've been retired for 12 years and have been there a zillion times over the years. I use a Mamiya RB67 ProSD and a Wista DXIII 4x5. I DO NOT take both each trip. I alternate just for change of pace and also the need for the day, so to speak.
    I can't say the park is restricted to WA photos only. However, I find I use WA stuff a lot. Usually, based more upon the need for framing in massive rock formations. If you have the ability to take along with you at least a mild WA a STD & short Tele you'd have things worked out for most locations. In the end much less need for a Tele.
    Good luck with your trip overall.
     
  3. jtk

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    The most important limitation is your willingness to hike.
     
  4. peter k.

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    Lived in the outskirts of Joshua Tree, the town, from 1972 to 1985, and Trail Images suggestion is right on. Went there often.
    One suggestion...in what ever area you wish to shoot, sit down, put the camera down, and observe and soak in the vastness of the scene, and have yourself get in pace to the desert scene before you. The image will then appear, and another adventure will unfold, as you focus and try to frame your camera to capture it.
     
  5. Trail Images

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    Planning a trip to Joshua Tree National Park in late March.

    Well, here's hoping the park is back open by then. Although the MANY volunteers did their very best to help out and keep things going during the Fed Gov shutdown, they've hit a big snag. All the pit toilets are filled and in need of pumping out. So, it sounds like they may need to actually shut the access gates now. I'd planned on going this Thursday again, but will await to see if the Congressional rescue mission is successful and can help get these well deserving employees back to being paid here shortly.
     
  6. Arklatexian

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    Well said and applies to any desert location, not just Joshua Tree. Probably also applies to any "off-road" shooting location.......Regards!
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

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    on my opinion, the ideal lens kit is a normal,1/2 normal and double normal. I have this for several bodies and formats and it always works.
     
  8. OP
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    mgb74

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    You mean actually "see" before you shoot? (I'm not saying that sarcastically). You're right. Sometimes we get "blinded" by the immediately obvious subject and ignore the more subtle. Even worse, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the photograph that we fail to stop and fully appreciate what's in front of us.
     
  9. OP
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    mgb74

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    Space constraints may make a 3 lens kit impractical,
     
  10. OP
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    mgb74

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    My trip is almost 3 months from now. Even with the current political state of affairs, this shutdown should be over. I'm more concerned about the possible damage that might be done without supervision by the park service.
     
  11. Trail Images

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    I hear you and fully understand. Like other parks JTNP has seen abuse at times especially from graffiti. I found and reported some a few months back. Although by all accounts it seems as though people were self protecting things for the most part during the present shutdown. Apparently a lot of volunteers involved in support too. I live a solid 2 hours away so not easy to get there but once a week at best.
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

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    weight or bulk never stopped me photographing.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

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    And your creativity.
     
  14. Sirius Glass

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    They can close the paved entrances, but a knowledgeable off roader can enter and leave through San Berdoo road among others.
     
  15. jtk

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    Offroader damage is now increasing rapidly because there aren't enough cops to bust them....so the busts will increasingly be charged heavily in Fed courts. Classic situation: a certain religio/political cult loves to burn gas and destroy public lands.
     
  16. Sirius Glass

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    Off roading has no more connection to "Classic situation: a certain religio/political cult loves to burn gas and destroy public lands." than film photography destroying public lands. Have you ever bothered to read about Tread Lightly? https://www.treadlightly.org/
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

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    I'd take the 50 and 75 and live with the bulk.It's gonna ne useful for the wedding too.
     
  18. jtk

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    Sorry to report that off-roading does tremendous damage in my direct hiking/camping/elk-hunting experience.

    One dramatic and large scale example is the recent decision to dismantle Bears Ears in Utah (from where I've just returned) by the current admin in response to a) off road industry (Honda especially) pressure and b) religio/political anger about imprisonment of fake archaeologists who have long robbed graves in Bears Ears and other historic sites in SW.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

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    I agree that some assholes abuse the environment with their atvs and off road vehicles, but most are offended by what the assholes do. The assholes recently feel empowered by some truly stupid moves by unnamed politicians. We are definitely on the same page on this. We can continue this off line if you wish.
     
  20. CropDusterMan

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    If you can, bring something wide. Going somewhere you can't always go to, why not be covered?
    One option could be to rent a lens if you didn't own anything wide enough...
    Go prepared.
     
  21. Sirius Glass

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    And normal and telephoto would be useful. I have used all those there.
     
  22. OP
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    mgb74

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    It's not that I don't have something wide, it's that the trip itself is to Palm Springs for a wedding. Would like to avoid checking bags as we have a tight connection. So, as they say, size matters. Joshua Tree is, unfortunately, a side trip. If I had something like a Fuji 645, I'd take that and be done with it. But I don't. Even my ETRS, pared down to WL finder, no speedgrip, 1 back, and 50mm lens takes a fair amount of room in bags. But that's the route I might take.
     
  23. CropDusterMan

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    Why not FEDEX your gear ahead of you? I used to do it all the time. I use Lightware air cases that are designed for this. Cheap on EBAY. The Lightware Multi format cases are great and plenty used cheap.
    Jason
     
  24. DREW WILEY

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    It's entirely closed to the public for now, at least by legal routes of access. Some of the bonehead vandals were taking advantage of the lack of oversight to actually chainsaw down Joshua trees!
     
  25. OP
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    mgb74

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    Why am I not surprised. And I suspect it would have been even worse without the volunteers that are (or at least were) there.
     
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