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Zeiss Loxia and Zeiss Batis on Sony: Ideal for Hiking

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Sony mirrorless wish list.

Zeiss Loxia 35/2 Biogon for Sony

Out hiking, I’ve come to a firm conclusion over the past few years: Sony mirrorless with Zeiss Loxia (or Batis) offer a combination of image quality, size and weight and usability that is unrivalled. The Zeiss Loxia lenses concretize the promise of full-frame mirrorless.

Anyone tired of still lugging a DSLR can only hope that CaNikon come to their senses within the next year or so, because while the Sony A7R II has its negatives, the lens line for Sony Mirrorless from Zeiss alone is superb, and I expect that more lenses are coming.

The Sony G Master lenses are excellent, but striking to me based 0n actual “lugging” on this trip is that while excellent, the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM and new Sony 50mm f/1.4 take too much space in the pack (huge hassle for long day hikes!) and are too heavy and too unbalanced on the Sony A7R II for outdoor rough terrain situations. The Zeiss Loxia lineup (manual focus) is perfect, with Zeiss Batis a close second.

See my review of Zeiss Loxia and review of Zeiss Batis.

Fisherman show up right on schedule when the fish stop biting. Warm and sunny is perfect for fishing—if the goal is a day out in the sunshine and a few beers.

f7.1 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 100; 2016-08-23 10:21:34
Sony A7R II + Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon

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Below, best fishing time just ended, with the fisherman all gone two hours ago. I should know, as I caught a 2.5 pound rainbow trout, which made a very fine dinner when grilled as shown further below.

f5.6 @ 1/30 sec, ISO 100; 2016-08-21 19:46:59
Sony A7R II + Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon

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The Zeiss Loxia are wonderful, but sometimes an iPhone 6s Plus is just handy as below—this little yakitori grill can be had for about $28. It is portable for travel (I put it in the rooftop carrier in my SUV), and it does a bang-up job on trout like this one. A 16.5" 2.5 pound rainbow trout looked like King salmon and tasted quite similar. It was fantastic. Smaller trout cook fine too, but are harder to grill because they are so thin on the tail end. Here I cut the trout into two large chunks. I shared some with nearby campers as it was a bit much for me.

Grilled Rainbow Trout
f2.2 @ 1/35 sec, ISO 25; 2016-08-21 20:54:30
iPhone 6s Plus + iPhone 6s Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 @ 29mm equiv (4.2mm)

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