View Full Version : Zion NP - Advice Sought

16-Aug-2007, 16:48
For those who have had the pleasure of visiting Zion, I was hoping I might get some feedback on a couple of items:

(a) Best filters at this elevation, considering Velvia 50, 100, and Kodak E100 will be my key emulsions. I figure warming filters will be essential, and have a good stock of 81A/B, but no 81C or 81EF or 812. Are these stronger filters required?
(b) Pro labs in the area that will process E6. I will be flying from Montreal (Canada) so will be shipping my film ahead and hopefully will be able to get it processed before returning (saves a lot of hassles with security regarding hand inspection)


Dave Jeffery
16-Aug-2007, 19:24
I only use warming filters with Provia and maybe Astia in Zion.

I don't think there are any E-6 labs left in Las Vegas or Southern Utah.

All my 4x5 E-6 gets mailed to Calyso Imaging in Santa Cruz, CA http://www.calypsoinc.com/

I live in Las Vegas if you need a shipping address here. I'll be in Zion Aug 22nd and 23rd and again Sept 12th and 13th if you want to meet. I'm originally from Ontario and Banff before moving south.

You'll love Zion no matter what.

Jack Flesher
16-Aug-2007, 19:39
The 812 rocks in Zion :)

16-Aug-2007, 19:57
If you're shooting in the early or late hours, using much more than a 81a wasn't needed for me with rvp 50 since the rocks and reflected light is so warm/red already.

Dave Jeffery
17-Aug-2007, 01:31
Thanks Jack,

I'll get an 812 for my next trip.


Jack Flesher
17-Aug-2007, 07:27
A side note on the Tiffen 812 for those that aren't aware of it. I believe it is an 81A with 5cc red added, so about the same net effect as an 81B only a touch more red pop than the yellow 81B. I found it worked so well for most things in nature from sea level to 7000 feet elevation, I stopped carrying my 81's. I still needed an 81C for 7K to 9K feet and an 81 EF for over 9K feet elevation. The only exception where I found I did not prefer the 812 was for human skin, where the reddish cast made most skin look a tad too ruddy.

Of course if you scan, which I do now, you can add these corrections in after the fact and don't really need to bother with correction filters at all any more.


17-Aug-2007, 07:38
You may wish to consider getting a warm polarizing filter. Additionally, you may find graduated ND filters of use as well. These are available in hard and soft gradations as well as 1, 2, and 3 stop versions.


Doug Dolde
17-Aug-2007, 08:10
I do all my filtering in Photoshop with the exception of ND grads and a polarizer. I use Photokit for warming/cooling and dodge/burn. An exceptional piece of add on software.

17-Aug-2007, 10:00
Cheers for the feedback everyone. I will try to source the 812 in a 105mm thread (my largest filter thread). Dave, I am most embarrassed as when I chased your link I was one of the responders to the question. I completely forgot about that P.net thread as it was so long ago. Back then I was into the Singh Ray Polarizing Color Intensifier filter which I now think was OTT. Having said that, the Singh Ray Warm Tone Circular Polarizer gets top marks. Problem is availability in thread mounts greater than 82mm. I've got a B+W WT-Polarizer (KR 1.5) I was able to source from Badger and I'm hoping the performance is comparable to that of the Singh Ray.

17-Aug-2007, 10:12
The Singh-Ray Warm Polarizer will not have as high a filter factor (loses much less light) as the B & W. If you can use 82mm as your largest filter size, you may be able to use the Cokin P holder which would allow you to use the Singh-Ray Lighter Brighter Warm Polarizer with the sprockets (Cokin P size); this filter can be turned in the Cokin P holder.


Dave Jeffery
19-Aug-2007, 01:08
"Dave, I am most embarrassed as when I chased your link I was one of the responders"

I didn't even notice that. If you are around on the dates above and want to meet up let me know. Some other photogs will be along and we'll have a nice applewood fire going beside the river at night.

Have Fun!

19-Aug-2007, 06:33
Cheers Dave. Unfortunately my wife and I will not be in Zion until the first week of November. We will be in your previous neck of the woods in December however as we head out to Banff and Jasper. One benefit of LF is that it certainly does inspire one to travel. The expense of trips are worth it when you are able to capture with a device that makes "the final statement". Enjoy your trips to Zion and feel free to send a few pics.

John Berry
21-Aug-2007, 18:48
The subway is a nice side trip.

Jack Flesher
21-Aug-2007, 19:00
The subway is a nice side trip.

If you are in shape for it :)

21-Aug-2007, 19:38
Well, before I was diagnosed with osteoarthrities in the phalangial joint of my left foot, I was kicking out 10 mile runs 4 times a week. Now, I'm down to three 5 mile runs a week with plenty of anti-inflammatory's. Surgery is scheduled for January to fuse the joint, with 8 weeks before I can put pressure on the foot again and 6 months before I will be running again full steam. Have had to resort to weight lifting to make up for the shortened runs, and I'm not particularly enjoying that. No runner wants to be too bulky. My wife works out right along side me and pushes me along (her one stride is equal to 1.5 of mine, so my turnover needs to be higher to keep pace, otherwise I'm staring at her backside for the entire run). The Subway was on the agenda as was the Virgin Narrows, but now you have me worried Jack. What kind of shape do you need to be in for these hikes? I was going to get a Pack from Bruce and ditch the Super Trekker, which should help out considerably. Changed my Merrells for a much stiffer and better built boot by Raichle to minimize flexing of that nasty joint. Anything else I should be prepared for?

Adam Kavalunas
22-Aug-2007, 07:24
In response to color filtering I totally agree with Doug, why not just do it in PS, thats one less piece of glass in front of your film/sensor, plus you have way more control in PS. The only filters I use are a polarizer and ND's and I've been photographing in southern UT and northern AZ for the past 3 years.

Now about the Zion backcountry- You need to be in reasonable-good shape for the subway, its almost 10 miles round trip and NEVER flat. You have to start before sunrise and will get back after sunset if you take you time with your photography. The hike is never difficult, just uneven and tiring. Stiff hiking boots are a must, and you can keep your feet dry if you're careful. The Narrows is a lot easier. You can start mid morning and spend up to about 4 hours hiking up to how ever far you wish(go atleast to Orderville Canyon) and then just hike back down, but it will quite nippy in november, and the light will be somewhat less interesting as the canyon walls are super tall and narrow. I have a few shots from the subway and narrows from this summer on my site.

Adam Kavalunas


Jack Flesher
22-Aug-2007, 11:14
The Subway was on the agenda as was the Virgin Narrows, but now you have me worried Jack. What kind of shape do you need to be in for these hikes?

It sounds as though you're in more than good enough shape for the narrows or subway. Just keep in mind that if you do the up-stream hike from the parking lot, I recommend good boots to protect your feet from rocks and gravel, and a wading staff for balance in some of the deeper, faster water sections. I also wore a pair of lightweight fishing waders (the waterproof-breathable type that fit inside your boots) and stayed a lot more comfortable than my buddy who went commando with hiking pants... Oh, and I'd recommend a buddy for safety if you're doing either spot...

Also, down along the Virgin River where other small streams come in when dryer weather, is the ONLY time I ever encountered quicksand. And yes, I was by myself and got really stuck. Took me a good half hour to pull myseff out using my tripod as a spike. I was covered from chest to toe in gooey, muddy sand and smelled like pond rot all the way back to the motel. Took me another good 2 hours to rinse sand, mud and gook out of my clothes, boots and tripod... FWIW.


Dan V
22-Aug-2007, 17:54
ND grads & an 81b

Bob Tescione
25-Aug-2007, 09:25
When I last spent time in St George UT, several years back, Camera Country still processed E6 film. Im not sure whether the info is out of date.

St George is about 45 min from Zion NP


John Berry
28-Aug-2007, 11:07
If I went to the subway again I would get a pair of large heavy socks to put over my boots to use like felt fly fishing boots. It's not called slick rock for nuttin. I would plan on walking in some water. I walked out after breaking a metatarsel walking in my socks so I wouldn't slip. Walking in the cold water did feel good at that point. You don't have to be in great shape to make it. Leave the long lenses at your base camp. When I went I used a fuji GSW 690 and found it worked quite well.

Dave Jeffery
3-Sep-2007, 14:18
I have a permit to hike in on the 12th once again :)

The Subway is one of the best places to make use of hiking poles for balance when scrambling over the rocks. Once you have tried hiking poles you'll always use them for heavy loads and rough terrain.

A lot of people leave from both trail heads at the same time and seem to arrive at the Subway all at once, and if people swim in the small pools they get stirred up and they don't clear up for a long time. It's good to leave early and beat the crowds.

The rock inside the Subway area is very slick and one of my friends fell and popped a hole in his face which required 17 stitches. It was a bizzare fall to say the least and he had just been warning small children to be careful. On my last hike there another freind rolled his ankle badly and it swelled up quickly, but he managed to hike out in a lot of pain.

I find the hike easy and very enjoyable but for people that do not hike a lot, and scramble over wet rocks a lot, I highly recommend using hiking poles (REI Trekker), get an early start and be careful with every single step.

4-Sep-2007, 19:53
I haven't spent as much time in Zion as I would have liked but when I was there, I didn't use any warming filters. Had them, just didn't feel the need to use them. Save your warming and such for "post production".

I also live in Las Vegas and no, we no longer have E6 processing in town. I send all of mine to A&I in Los Angeles. http://www.aandi.com/trans.html

One last thing: until October 29th, you cannot drive in the park. You must use the shuttle service. I just wait until after the 29th since I like to be in charge of when I go and how I get around.


9-Sep-2007, 15:30
Camera Country no longer processes E6. If you are driving to S. Utah from Salt Lake City, there are still several pro labs there including Nichols Photo Lab. Nichols will give you three hour turnaround on E6 at no additional charge as well as push/pull processing at no additional charge.

Terence McDonagh
9-Sep-2007, 17:03
Not to hijack the thread, but I'm heading to Zion (and Bryce) in the first week of October. I primarily shoot B&W, and will only be bringing medium format along this time. This is my first trip and is obviously more of a survey/pleasure trip than a serious photo trip. Other than shooting color (which I promise to do a bit of), does anyone have advice on film and filter combos for B&W?

I typically use Ilford FP4 and HP5, but also dabble with SFX, Pan F, Tech Pan and Efke IR. I tend towards higher contrast. I print in a wet darkroom. I also tend towards longer lenses (150mm on 6x6, 240mm on 4x5, etc.), but am assuming I'll be leaning more to my semi-wide angles in the canyons.

1-Feb-2008, 13:42
Just got 25 scans back, so worked one up really quick and dirty from the Virgin Narrows. I would like to thank everyone for their advice. The trip was a resounding success.

Arca Swiss F-Field
Rodenstock 135 APO Sironar-S
8 sec @ f/32.3
Velvia 50
Singh Ray Warm Tone Polarizer

Loved Zion so much we booked another week next year and are going to spend another 2 weeks travelling to neigboring areas. LF was definately made for the Southwest.

1-Feb-2008, 16:20
There is a photo shop in Kanab filled with old camera goodies. He might know who would process E-6.

Just realized that this is a very old thread.

That is a beautiful shot BTW.

1-Feb-2008, 18:29
Just realized that this is a very old thread.

Yep, I forgot all about it until I got my chromes back yesterday.

Cheers for the feedback. I'd love to see some other pics of Zion. Maybe I should start a "post your Zion pics" thread.