Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens With The A7R2

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

I’ve had my new lens about 3 weeks and taken photos in various venues at various focal lengths. I also have some photos where I used the Sony e-mount 1.4X converter in conjunction with the lens at 400mm to give me an effective 560mm lens. I found the lens with the converter was still very sharp. With the converter, the camera in “Auto” mode tended to chose 1/500th of a second, which I found to be a bit slow, especially for moving objects. I used it in shutter priority mode at 1/600th of a second for better results.
This is not intended as a review but I was very happy with how lightweight and compact the lens is even with the 1.4X convertor. Much of my shots are while I hike on trails where a tripod is not suitable. All of these shots were hand held. I had the 2X converter but found the photos to not be as sharp as I would like and returned it.
While Sony will be coming out with a prime 400mm 2.8 lens soon, my bank account will not allow me to purchase it and my cardiologist will not allow me to carry it. I traded in my Metabones adapted Canon 400mm f4 D.O. lens and have never looked back.
I have not had any auto focus issues with the lens even with reduced light using the 1.4 converter.

Now all of my A7R2 lenses are e-mount and I am “adapter free”. Thanks Sony and Zeiss for finally filling out the range of lenses that fit my wildlife and landscape needs. Glad I have this lens. I carry it mounted to the camera hanging on my shoulder from a Promaster Swiftstrap mounted to the tripod foot.
 400mm  Crop Acorn Woodpecker
 Millerton Lake Last Swim Of The Season
 Historic Millerton Courthouse


 Moon At 400mm

 Pond At Coke Hollowell Nature Center
 Huntington Lake From Kaiser Pass Road


 Fisherman At 100mm
 Crow At 560mm f8 1/600th 
 Distant Bald Eagle 400mm Crop
 Hawk At 560mm

Grandson At 400mm
Edison Lake (7,000') From Whitebark Overlook Near Kaiser Pass

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Sony 24-70 2.8 GM And A7R2

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

Saddlebag Lake

I have had this lens since last spring and find that when I wanted a one lens-in the middle-solution, it fit the bill. The Sony 16-35 2.8 GM is my mountain lens and the Sony 100-400 GM is my wildlife lens.
This is not a lens review but I thought some would be interested in seeing photos taken in different venues over the last few months. My photographs are gleaned from several hikes since spring including Rancheria Falls, near Huntington Lake, Courtright Reservoir, near Shaver Lake, Kaiser Pass Road, Friant Dam Area, Convict Lake near Mammoth Lakes and other eastern Sierra Nevada locations. The photographs reflect an assortment of apertures from 24-70.

I think the build quality is great, the color is excellent and the lens is sharp. Glad I have it.

 Courtright Reservoir
Gorge Below Courtright Reservoir

 Kaiser Pass Road
 Convict Lake
 Friant Dam Area

 Lost Lake Below Friant Dam
 Mt. Tom Near Bishop CA
 Rancheria Falls

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tamarack Lakes Day Hike From Tamarack Bench Trailhead At Rock Creek Lake

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
Hike Route

Rock Creek Lake is reached off CA Hwy 395 turning at the sign that reads “Tom’s Place” between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop.
This hike was about 12 miles round trip with an overall altitude gain of 2,760’ based on my Garmin Map 64 and Suunto Ambit 2. This is further with more gain than other reports. It took us about 9.5 hours total but we took lots of photos and I am slow.
Our trailhead elevation at Rock Creek Lake was 9,734’ and our maximum elevation was 11,674’. We began just before 7am with a cool start temperature of 32 degrees under a cloudless sky. This does not make for the best photographs but this time of year clouds could mean an approaching snowstorm like our previous hike to Lake Genevieve. I wasn’t sure what the trail conditions would be like so I took micro spikes along. I realized as we traveled that the trail was clear and hung them on the wilderness sign outbound to pick up on our return. (Annie remembered to retrieve them for me or they would still be there). I didn’t want the extra weight since I was already carrying my 400mm Canon lens with an extender in case we saw some bighorn sheep. We did see a few tracks and scat on the trail.
The trail is essentially easy to follow but at the junction head toward Kenneth Lake to the right. Do not follow the trail with the sign “Sand Canyon”. Within about 100 yards you will see the wooden John Muir Wilderness Sign. The trail will initially take you past Kenneth Lake. There will be another junction that heads to the right to Francis Lake. After that you will go past the cutoff trail to the left that will go to Dorothy Lake. After that, there is a sign marking the trail you are on as the “Tamarack Lakes” Trail. (Tamarack and Buck Lakes).
As you hike, you will have to climb and descend several moraines, which were a bit of a struggle for me on tired legs inbound. After crossing these moraines, you will ascend several ledges outbound and think, “Tamarack Lake must be here.” At that point you are hiking a trail across treeless granite. Actually you climb above Tamarack Lake and finally descend to it. This is a high trail with an altitude higher than some of the JMT passes like Selden and Silver Pass and almost as high as Muir Pass. This is the summer range of Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep that move to the east side of Wheeler Ridge for their winter range.
When you get to the shore facing Tamarack Lake it should be obvious that Buck Lake is just over a ledge around to the left of Tamarack Lake. There is no trail but staying low and with some boulder hopping you can get to Buck Lake too. It is worth the extra effort. It is more hidden from the sun by the surrounding mountains. Even though it is only about 25’ higher than Tamarack Lake it was half covered in ice the day we arrived.
Both lakes are in what is called a glacial cirque, which looks like a granite amphitheater. Broken Finger Peak behind the lakes is just over 13,000’. There is also beautiful coloration in the rocks to the northwest. Tamarack Lake is the headwaters of the east fork of Rock Creek. It was a strenuous but rewarding day hike even if we didn’t see sheep.

The Photographs were taken with my Sony A7R2 and 16-35 2.8 GM and my A6000 with the S/Z 16-70mm f4.

 Buck Lake

 White Mountains Center Top
 Kenneth Lake

 Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Tracks
 Broken Finger Peak

 Tamarack Lake


 Buck Lake

 Sheep Scat