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Archive 2013 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?
  
 
mhespenheide
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p.4 #1 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


philip_pj wrote:
Interesting story for climbing and photography, and what you might call adventure photography - Galen Rowell used a Nikon FM2 much of the time, NG gave him 100s of rolls each time out, he carried it around his neck a lot too, with small MF lenses and on occasion a small zoom...

For the same weight he could have taken a medium format Fuji AF 645 rangefinder which would deliver ultra quality for his action and scape stuff...maybe Nikon had him on contract...but later at the dawn of drum scanners and Lightjets he got his stuff printed large, and being 35mm
...Show more

A great picture will still hold up even if it's not technically as good as one with better detail, as I'm sure you'll agree. Back when I used to frequent the Eastern Sierra (before moving away), I often stopped in at MountainLight in Bishop. While Galen's big prints were a little soft and a little grainy, they never failed to be moving and inspiring.


But yes -- a small MF kit can weigh less than some 35mm kits. Back in 2005 a friend and I did the John Muir Trail (plus some side-trips) in 21 days. I brought a Mamiya 645e with three prime lenses and a tripod. My humility was assisted by my friend, though, who brought a 4x5...



Feb 07, 2013 at 05:38 AM
mhespenheide
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p.4 #2 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


gotak wrote:
You know, just wanted to point out to people who insists on a full frame.. It is almost always possible to stitch multiple photos. You can get as big a print at as high a resolution as you would ever wanted...


But I like stitching a collection of full-frame shots... Or at least APS-C shots...



Feb 07, 2013 at 05:40 AM
philip_pj
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p.4 #3 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


The idea of stitching does not appeal to many photographers - it's fussy, requires decent gear to do it right, the right lens characteristics (flat field, low distortion), it's hard to envision the final image in the field, won't work well in fast moving light or quick natural action like random changes in stream flows, wind shifts, light on clouds, it requires a lot of pre-shot planning, more computer power and time, and that is just off the top. It would destroy creative spontaneity too, I feel. More the sort of thing you do from the back porch..

And what happens if the sun breaks through the clouds for a few instants - anyone who has not done this kind of thing has no idea how often this happens on bad weather days in the mountains, where a little sun makes a great shot on the wet vegetation, but is gone in a few seconds.

It's kid of nerdy too, if you can forgive me for saying so, in a kind of 'look mum' way. More computer than photography, to sound old-fashioned.




Feb 07, 2013 at 06:32 AM
philip_pj
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p.4 #4 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Nice story, ms, that happens, but medium format film is pretty decent for landscape level detail, has real bite. Your other point works for certain kinds of images for sure - the soft light on the far hill, the sunsets, sun over the sea, anything low light, but if it has foliage in it, and you want viewers to say 'wow' that is FF or Merrill country IMO (or medium/large format film/digital). I sincerely wish it was otherwise.

John Muir always sounded good to me, we have Tasmania and New Zealand, luckily. And not many people, we have gone 3-4 days without seeing a soul, which must be rare these days. Galen was a pioneer, did some great work, quite the philosopher too, died early (light plane crash); did you know he was trying to get his adventure recognised for around 10 years (from memory) before his first assignment, lol. That is the taste of the world, I guess...

finally, a GA645 Fuji with leaf shutter, fine stepped AF, fixed 60mm f4 EBC lens, think of it as a kind of '90s MF RX1, weighs in at 815 grams (lighter than a 5DII body only); they made a wide that would suit someone like Vern - 24mm equivalent (don't shoot me, format purists). I found a couple of links might be of interest:

Steve Huff in the Hindu Kush with one:
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/tag/fuji-645/

Dante Stella"s review:
http://www.dantestella.com/technical/ga645.html

I still love 645's 4:3 to this day, great format for most purposes, and these shot vertical for portraits - 32 shots to a roll of 220. Times gone by.



Feb 07, 2013 at 06:37 AM
sebboh
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p.4 #5 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


philip_pj wrote:
It's kid of nerdy too, if you can forgive me for saying so, in a kind of 'look mum' way. More computer than photography, to sound old-fashioned.


like rangefinder shooting (only more so) it requires you to be able to visualize the shot without being able to see in the viewfinder. the computer can't make a poorly planned stitch look like anything other than what it is. i would say carrying a big honking tripod and giant camera around looks nerdier too. perhaps you just think that looks "serious", i suspect there may be some generational differences in our viewpoints.

my experience is that there is less need for a tripod if you plan on doing stitches because you can boost iso more without effecting final image quality noise at 6400 iso is a lot less noticeable in a gigapixel image than iso 800 noise in a 24mp image. obviously there are lots of situations where stitching doesn't work, but i really don't think there is anything that can beat it for image quality in the situations where it does work.



Feb 07, 2013 at 06:49 AM
alundeb
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p.4 #6 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


It is good that this doesn't have to be "pocket cam" vs "serious gear" considerations. There are nuances and intersections, and a bigger scale. If we make an imaginary scale 1-10 for fun, where say
1 is iPhone,
2 is IXUS
3 is XZ-1,
7 is 5DII / III with top glass
8 is D800 with top glass.
9 is IQ180,
10 is large format film

We are now discussing if we will get class 7 results or only class 5 or 6 results with a small mirrorless.

For the reasons philip_pj mentions (out in the field), I don't like stitching. Also, I am into compressed landscapes with tele lenses, and I cannot stitch to get more pixels per tree when FL limited. In those situations, the NEX 7 brings a real advantage over a 5DII and sometimes even a D800.



Feb 07, 2013 at 08:48 AM
alwang
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p.4 #7 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


philip_pj wrote:
Interesting story for climbing and photography, and what you might call adventure photography - Galen Rowell used a Nikon FM2 much of the time, NG gave him 100s of rolls each time out, he carried it around his neck a lot too, with small MF lenses and on occasion a small zoom...

For the same weight he could have taken a medium format Fuji AF 645 rangefinder which would deliver ultra quality for his action and scape stuff...maybe Nikon had him on contract...but later at the dawn of drum scanners and Lightjets he got his stuff printed large, and being 35mm
...Show more

I love MF film, but he may have also preferred 35mm to get more shots per roll. Not a factor for slow-paced landscape, but perhaps more important for "adventure photography". Also, I find 120 film a little trickier to load in the field.



Feb 07, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Paul Gardner
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p.4 #8 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Well Canon and Nikon better get off their butts and stepup. For my money the Sony RX100 has put my 1DS3 and D800E in the closet for 95% of my images that are printed at 24X36. For those that don't believe it can work, I invite you to get one and try it. Put it on a good quality monopod and take the load off. The relief is tremendous even if it does look strange.
Regards
Paul



Feb 07, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Uncle Mike
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p.4 #9 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Maybe I don't understand landscape photography well, because when I've done it I didn't think I needed high ISOs or fast lenses. I always used the lowest ISO and a slow aperture.

So I think the OP said he couldn't possibly use the Sigma DP1M/DP2M cameras because the ISO doesn't go high enough, but I just don't get it.

The only issue I've had with landscape photography is that, in bright summer light, I can't see the darned LCD screen! So an OVF or at least an EVF is desirable. But that's a problem of TOO MUCH light rather than too little light.



Feb 07, 2013 at 05:16 PM
alwang
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p.4 #10 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Uncle Mike wrote:
Maybe I don't understand landscape photography well, because when I've done it I didn't think I needed high ISOs or fast lenses. I always used the lowest ISO and a slow aperture.

So I think the OP said he couldn't possibly use the Sigma DP1M/DP2M cameras because the ISO doesn't go high enough, but I just don't get it.

The only issue I've had with landscape photography is that, in bright summer light, I can't see the darned LCD screen! So an OVF or at least an EVF is desirable. But that's a problem of TOO MUCH light rather than
...Show more

To be fair, the OP didn't say he needed a camera for landscape photography, he said he needed a camera for hiking. Which could include the sort of landscape photography you described, but could also involve more dynamic scenes, where high ISO and fast apertures would be useful.



Feb 07, 2013 at 05:34 PM
 

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Jacob D
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p.4 #11 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Phillip PJ, you might consider laying off the condescension a bit, no reason to make any disparaging remarks to get your point across.


Anyway, did we ever determine what physical size 'large' prints we're talking about here and/or at what size people are having problems? Since it was brought up that the 24mp sensor of the 7 was inadequate for large prints, I have to assume we're talking about much larger than 13x19. Seems like the first step in the right direction would be to stop using the kit lens and put some good glass on there.

I don't print much, but occasionally. 13x19 is about the largest I ever go, I do have a few stitched shots that could be printed several feet wide... but why Speaking only for myself, I don't need something like that to help me remember any place I've been. These days, I think very few people even print, but I guess that's besides the point of the conversation.

I read an article recently about hiking without a camera for a totally different experience. While I find it interesting, and think the article makes a valid point about becoming disconnected from the 'photo taking mindset' and instead enjoying moments as they happen, for me part of the enjoyment is taking a few photos. I'm out there to enjoy myself anyway, otherwise I don't see the point. Part of that includes having a light pack so I can move swiftly, efficiently, and comfortably. When I gave up my 5D and related lenses I dropped 1/3 of my carried weight. That's not peanuts. I don't feel like I gave up much, if any IQ in my case. (5D classic + L glass to NEX 5N + Voigtlander glass)

Different people have different goals though. In earlier parts of that series on my blog (link on first page of this post) I had 2 guest authors write essays to give a couple of different points of view; one of them being a landscape photographer and the other being a long distance hiker who uses a P&S. I don't think there is any one-size-fits all solution when it comes to deciding what to bring.

Nobody wants to carry more than they need to... but most people do.



Feb 07, 2013 at 06:07 PM
alundeb
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p.4 #12 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


I have to say also, when I carry more than a NEX 7 based setup for the sake of image quality, anyhting less than a D800(E) is totally out of the question.



Feb 07, 2013 at 06:29 PM
slungu
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p.4 #13 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


The real question is if it is not a better idea to get something like a RX100 for real lightweight and still hang on to a FF DSLR kit for studio, controlled, car based shooting.


Feb 07, 2013 at 06:54 PM
ISO1600
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p.4 #14 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Honestly, I'd have to agree with the thought of going small or big, nothing inbetween.

M4/3 isn't small enough that I'd prefer it over a PnS or DSLR.
NEX might be smaller, but I don't think it would make too much of a difference to accept the (relative) drop in IQ or ability vs a contemporary DSLR.
I have done a bit of outdoorsy stuff with just a S90 or even smaller powershots, or my phone, and I did not feel like I was really missing out on the photography aspect.
If the RX100 wasn't so expensive, I'd probably already have one.



Feb 07, 2013 at 07:42 PM
artd
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p.4 #15 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


My solution for hiking is a NEX5n with a couple of lenses. Typically it's been the 18-55 kit lens, the Contax G28, and maybe a Canon lens or two in my backpack. Most recently I took advantage of the super great deal on the two Sigma E-mount lenses (19mm and 30mm) and both those little lenses seem quite well suited for going along hiking. The 19mm will replace the 18-55. Not sure about the 30mm...it is a great lens, but my quick comparison seems to indicate the Contax 28 is a bit sharper. But I have to do some more rigorous testing. The 30mm of course does have the advantage of autofocus which is nice. But also more barrel distortion.

As far as the 5DII with 40mm pancake, I have that too. A really nice option, makes the 5DII feel much less bulky so it's real easy to just sling the camera around your shoulder and go. But if I really want to travel light, I go with the NEX setup.




Feb 07, 2013 at 08:03 PM
mortyb
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p.4 #16 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Personally, I'd only take a DSLR if the main purpose of the hike/trip is photography. If you're only after "everything in focus" type shots, then I wouldn't bother with a DSLR at all. I can understand it if you're shooting with TS lenses or 70-200 type shots.

I've been backcountry skiing a few days, and the Nex-5n + CV 15/4.5 was a joy to carry and use. It's so light I don't notice. Tiltable LCD is great. IQ is great. I'm considering getting a second Nex-5n for the Contax G 45/2. Then I don't have to switch lenses, a pain in the butt being on the move IMO. I'm guessing two Nex-5ns and said lenses will still be lighter than a DSLR + decent lens.



Feb 07, 2013 at 08:14 PM
ISO1600
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p.4 #17 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


My stance-
If I have to take a camera (and I DO), it either should be something small and pocketable, like a S90/95/100/110, RX100, etc....
or a "small" FF DSLR like the 6D or D600 + two primes- on the 6D, i think the 40/2.8 (or 50/1.8) and a wide like a Tokina 17/3.5 would be great.



Feb 07, 2013 at 08:17 PM
sebboh
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p.4 #18 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


slungu wrote:
The real question is if it is not a better idea to get something like a RX100 for real lightweight and still hang on to a FF DSLR kit for studio, controlled, car based shooting.


+1

the rx100 is a huge drop in bulk and weight while being competitive in iq with m4/3.



Feb 07, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Jacob D
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p.4 #19 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


slungu wrote:
The real question is if it is not a better idea to get something like a RX100 for real lightweight and still hang on to a FF DSLR kit for studio, controlled, car based shooting.


+2 it's a great idea. It's also another hit on overall IQ though, so it comes back to needs/purpose of the camera.

For me, the 5N represents the best set of compromises, but I would really like to have an RX100 for taking on trail runs. Maybe sometime this year.



Feb 07, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Vern Dewit
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p.4 #20 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


sebboh wrote:
+1

the rx100 is a huge drop in bulk and weight while being competitive in iq with m4/3.


Ultimately this is what really changed my photography. The RX100 is so good at low iso that it does compete with Nex and m43. But when I got back from several big trips last year I was disappointed with my low light shots from the rx100. M43 with a small prime would have done much better in those gorgeous low light moments!

I also don't get why stitching can't work!? I have the following "action" shot printed at 2x4 feet and it looks amazing. It's taken with the e-m5 and kit 12-50mm lens. I used it for four days on one battery and hung it around my neck exposed to such brutal winds and cold that we had frostbite on our faces! The camera and lens were coated in ice and snow and performed flawlessly. Pretty tough to beat this kind of performance for 1000 bucks. I handhold all my panos but I guess I'm not a serious landscaper so... (I'm not though - my photos are just for my own enjoyment - not selling.)








Feb 08, 2013 at 02:07 AM
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