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Back from Eastern Sierra

Get Sigma DG HSM Art lenses at B&H Photo as well as Sony A7R III and see my Sony wish list.

I am back from a 7-day trip to the Eastern Sierra and White Mountains. My daughter was along and as a result I shot some images with portraits as well as my usual fare. I am pleased to know that although she is 33 years younger, I can still out-hike her, so I’m not quite a geezer just yet.

I shot a lot of material, a good deal of which I’ll be publishing: Zeiss Loxia and Zeiss Batis, Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM, Sigma FE 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art.

I concluded two things while shooting my Sony A7R III on this trip: (1) manual focus lenses suck when grab shots or people images are wanted, particularly when the photographer or subject is moving, and (2) large and heavy lenses totally suck for this kind of hiking compared to Zeiss Loxia and Zeiss Batis lenses. The last day at Rock Creek over Morgan Pass to the Morgan Lakes, I lightened my load by about 12 pounds (tripod and lenses), and my lower back thanked me by not bothering me at all, whereas it had nagged me all the prior days—too heavy a load in a pack without good support for the back.

While iPhone image quality ranges from total crap (the 2X camera is frequently garbage) to quite good (panoramas), there is just no beating the iPhone for grab shots with one outstretched hand while walking (or while the other person is), and iPhone panoramas are (usually) of high quality and minimal effort. Still, iPhone still images are sadly lacking in many ways—heavily compressed with mangled detail in so many cases, including the shot below.

We had glorious weather for the first half of the day: cool temperatures for the time of year, with puffy white cumulus clouds racing across the sky, urged along by a brisk cold front.

The aspen are already starting to turn at the the 10,000 foot elevation level—fall color looks like it will be earlier this year. There was an early frost near Tioga Pass just a few days ago, with frost remaining in shaded areas even at 9 AM, so some colder days have already started, though most nights it did not freeze, even sleeping up at 11,600' elevation.

Crossing over Morgan Pass towards Morgan Lakes
f1.8 @ 1/19000 sec handheld, ISO 25; 2018-09-15 09:57:10
[location “Morgan Pass”, altitude 11110 ft / 3386 m, LACA corrected]
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]
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