Monday, October 17, 2016

The Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens And Sony A7R2

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

I bought the lens for hiking and backpacking in the mountains as primarily a wildlife lens. The compactness and weight, at less than 2 pounds makes it quite portable. I carry it on my web belt in a Digital Holster 2.0, which expands to accommodate this larger lens. I sewed the Velcro strip that holds the belt loop closed so that it would not accidentally detach when hiking off trail.

I gave the lens an initial trial in my back yard and found the autofocus, to be dependable and the images sharp. I think the combination of the A7R2 IBIS and OSS of the lens made for crisp hand held images. I was even impressed with how it rendered color. Since that time, I have had the lens in the mountains and been impressed with the performance with landscape and wildlife. Sony advertises this lens as dust and moisture resistant.

 300mm (Bokeh seems good to me)

Until Sony has an e-mount lens with a longer reach, this will be my backpacking wildlife telephoto lens. I would really love a sharp 400mm f/4 and 1.4-teleconverter combination. The images you see came straight from the camera. At about $1,200.00 dollars, I think this is a good lens and provides more dependable sharp images than my former Sony G 70-200 f4. Additionally, I did not find the speed of the auto focus to be a limiting factor in any of my shots.
All of these Photographs were taken in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

 Tenaya Lake 70mm
 Duck Pass 50mm Loxia For Comparison With Shot Below
 Duck Pass Top Of Mammoth Mountain 300mm
300MM Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter From Duck Pass 
 Minarets At Sunrise 150mm 
 Mt. Baldwin Center 118mm
 Ram And Ewe On Shoulder Of White Mountain Peak 300mm
White Mountain Peak 3rd Highest California Mountain 75mm
 Lundy Lake
Saddlebag Lake
I don’t think this is a one-size fits all lens for mountain landscape shots. This is my only zoom lens and I was pleasantly surprised at the results.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Short Hike On The McGee Creek Trail

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
Hike Route

The McGee Creek Trail is off Highway 395 south of Convict Lake across from Crowley Lake. There is a vista point on the north side of 395 that offers both a good view of Crowley Lake to the north and Mts. McGee (10,871’), Aggie (11,561’) and Baldwin (12,613’) to the south. The turnoff to McGee Creek Road is just north of the vista.

As you proceed, the asphalt road will become gravel past the campground. You will then pass the pack station and drive to the end of the road where there is parking and a toilet. As you read the information at the trailhead, there will be two trails that begin close to one another (they both merge further up). I recommend the trail to the right, which avoids the aspen grove and a colony of angry bees that stung me when I got off the trail a bit for a better angle for a photograph.

Left To Right McGee, Aggie and Baldwin

I recommend The Trail On The Right

The trailhead begins about 7,800’ and climbs from there. It is a well maintained and traveled trail, especially at this time of year with the fall colors so evident. Water for purified resupply is available over much of the route. On the return leg you can see the White Mountains in the distance.

Because of time limitations, I only climbed about 2.5 miles outbound to about 8,800’ before turning around. The numerous bee stings also dampened my enthusiasm. Many of my backpacking experiences have begun with day hikes as a kind of scouting expedition. I hope be on the McGee Creek Trail again to hike to Big McGee Lake next summer and stay overnight. I would then do a day hike from there to McGee Pass and back to McGee Lake for another overnight before returning to the trailhead.

This entire area is beautiful and I was less than five miles as the crow flies from the Mono Creek Trail where my McGee Creek hike turned around. McGee Pass would allow me to view the Silver Divide area where I hiked last year. May I be able to return to the Eastern Sierra Nevada next season. These photographs were taken with a Sony A7R2 and native 70-300mm, 18mm, 50mm lenses plus the RX1R 35mm.