Fuji GFX50s Medium Format Travels to Namibia: Images of Sossusvlei

Part 2  Off to Namibia from Cape Town.

After landing in Windhoek, I set off on a one week self-drive safari around the country.  I love capturing far off landscapes, but also expected to find exotic animals up close.  For this I brought two Canon lenses:  70-200mm 2.8 ii and an old school classic, the 200mm f.1.8 prime.  For more length, I also included a 2X ii converter.

My first stop was the Hoodia Lodge, near Sossusvlei and it’s world famous dunes.  I used the safari-included tour of the dune areas for scouting and returning the next morning early for the good light.  A few shots using mostly the 70-200 on the GFX50s:

Lone Tree Against a Massive Dune at Sossusvlei

Lone Tree Against a Massive Dune at Sossusvlei

People Climbing Big Daddy Dune in Sossusvlei Namibia

People Climbing Big Daddy Dune in Sossusvlei Namibia….and a tiny Oryx in the Foreground

Deadvlei Lost Forest in Namibia

Deadvlei Lost Forest in Namibia

The parched nature of the area and the vastness of the dunes were stunning.  105 degree midday temps added to the sense of a vast arid landscape.

Back at the lodge, I put up the drone for an aerial view outside the Sossusvlei park where drones aren’t allowed.  The sunset from above was a burner, and the aerial view added a new perspective of my surroundings.

Sossusvlei Burning Skies Sunset and Dry Riverbed DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone

Sossusvlei Burning Skies Sunset and Dry Riverbed DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone

Sossusvlei Sunset Ridge Across a Desert Landscape DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone

Sossusvlei Sunset Ridge Across a Desert Landscape DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone

Sossusvlei Sunset Peaks Last Light DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone

Sossusvlei Sunset Peaks Last Light DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone

I rested up for the next leg of my journey.   Tomorrow I would be heading to the coast for another part of the Namibian landscape:  Vast dunes against the beach and Atlantic Ocean.

Canon 11-24mm Another Opinion

Pros: Does 11mm. Substantial for the cost. Sharp. Does a nice job of making Nikon 14-24 shooters defensive.
Cons:
Canon colors. Has no soul. Superwide is a thrill for only so long.

This is an amazing piece of engineering. Everyone raves about it and calls it a game changer. I rented it twice and then bought. I’ve tried to like it, honestly. Its super sharp, substantially built. Does a nice job of making Nikon 14-24 shooters defensive. But it has no soul. The images don’t make the hairs go up on my back. Zeiss is my home.
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Canon 11-24mm at Dalles Ranch

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Sony a7r and Canon 11-24mm Lens Seattle Timelapse Sunset Video

I was very eager to test Canon’s 11-24mm at the Sky View Observatory. I wanted to see what 11mm meant as far as pov goes and aside from taking a number of random photos, I also made a timelapse video. I had adapted the lens onto my Sony a7r using a Metabones III adapter which allows for electronic control and eventual AF.  I can tell you that the protruding lens shade petals and front element make blocking out internal reflections against the Observatory’s windows challenging.  But I think I made a decent go of it.  I returned the lens this morning and felt ok about letting it go.  For me, 11mm is cool but a rare requirement and my Sony 16-35mm makes me very happy.  It certainly weighs a lot less, has OSS and of course doesn’t need a Metabones adapter.

http://www.mikereidphotography.com #a7r #canon #sony #mirrorless

11mm Seattle from the Sky View Observatory

…and now a nice timelapse made with the Canon 11-24mm lens:

Sony a7r and Canon 11-24mm Lens Above Seattle

Decided to rent the new Canon 11-24mm lens and adapt it onto my Sony a7r to see what 11mm looks like.  This lens has been called the widest full frame optic available.  I will call it freakishly wide and sharp corner to corner.  It kinda defeats the “small and compact” ideal of the a7r but the results are worth the heft. http://www.mikereidphotography.com

Canon 11-24mm on Sony a7rCanon 11-24mm on Sony a7r Canon 11-24mm on Sony a7r Canon 11-24mm on Sony a7r

Leaving Canon for Sony A7R

Leaving Canon for Sony A7R

That is, I am selling my Canon 5D Mark II to move along to a lighter, higher resolution Sony A7r. After much contemplating and renting of sample gear, I decided the move works for me. I am keeping all my lenses, however, and using them with a Metabones adapter. I hate buying new, so I scrutinized the forums for months to find a used A7R at my price point. I finally nailed one down last week 🙂

Went out into the Arboretum last night for one last round of Azalea shots before I ship the 5D2 off.

In other news, I have a small showing going on at the Phinney Ridge Starbucks. Feel free to stop by and check it out.

Tom Kubota’s Garden Vision

Tom Kubota's Garden Vision

While on the way to another Arboretum visit, I changed course to head south to Kubota Garden. I usually go there in the fall, but this would be my first Spring visit. Tom Kubota founded the garden in 1927, with a vision of creating a Northwest garden in Japanese style. It’s 22 acres flourish with many NW plants and flowers. Its a joy to visit.

Azaleas in the Arboretum.

Azaleas in the Arboretum.

This is a special time of the year. Azaleas and Rhododendrons are bursting with color and Cherry blossoms linger in the trees. I wander with my various fast Zeiss primes. Its less about getting everything in focus, and more about creating a painterly vision of the arrival of spring. It’s not Vaseline on the lens, not an effect in photoshop; It’s fast primes wide open.