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American Southwest Trip

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Brian G, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Haven't been present here for a while, so thought perhaps it was time to contribute something. Together with another couple, my wife and I recently did a "road trip" to see some of the national parks, canyons etc. in the Arizona, Utah etc. area. One half of the couple we travelled with is an avid & skilled photographer, who uses a Canon 5D MkIII. My pics are from a Panasonic GH3, with some contributions from my wife, who has a G5. Lenses are Panasonic, including a 7-14, 12-35 & a 14-140.

    Brian

    Horseshoe Bend
    15495968870_e80442f7e4_b. Horseshoe Bend by Blueshound250, on Flickr

    Canyonlands
    15660530042_800fb8872b_b. Canyonlands Tree by Blueshound250, on Flickr

    Arches National Park
    15348914969_abfea74097_b. Three Gossips & the Moon by Blueshound250, on Flickr

    Grand Canyon
    15499337659_f3965a5195_b. Lipan Point Sunset by Blueshound250, on Flickr

    Upper Antelope Canyon
    15570495599_5e6df13574_b. Color & Light by Blueshound250, on Flickr

    Bryce
    Bryce Overlook 1 by Blueshound250, on Flickr
     
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  2. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    It's hard to understand why anyone would want to go there. :eek: Amazing colors and textures.
     
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  3. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I like them all, but the halo in the Arches NP shot is too strong to ignore. What's the original look like?
     
  4. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I love your shots, and I do not see halos. Where do you see them Major?
     
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  5. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    How do your pictures compare with your friend's?

     
  6. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    I've added one of the original bracket series below, so you can see it for yourself (from a RAW, no editing of any kind, except for extremely light denoise, minor capture sharpening, and exported as Jpeg, including LR's sharpen for reduction. To be clear, the version I posted above is fairly heavily stylized, and the halo you see if just part of that look. I appreciate that some people won't find it their cup of tea - c'est la vie.

    The Three Sisters were shot late morning, in bright daylight. It just happened that the moon was still visible, and when I started to edit, I wanted to take it more in the direction of an evening look. The halo is moderate but certainly there, at least on my calibrated display. The added detail contrast on the Three Sisters is intentional as well, and part of the "otherworldly" look I was striving for. So it's all about intent. (I think that the image would be improved if I went back and masked out the halo.) The final result is an HDR merge of 5 exposres, with subsequent editing in Photoshop.

    None of the images I posted are in any way straight out of camera, not my intent nor my interest. The "0" exposure is below.

    Thanks for the observation and comment!

    Brian

    15936958432_8311c738fa_b. Three Sisters & the Moon no edits- by Blueshound250, on Flickr
     
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  7. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Well, to answer that fairly and factually, I'd have to go back to some stuff that I have on file, and look more closely on similar shots. When we started the trip, we agreed that we'd share everything, so I have quite a few of her RAWs on hand. Not all that sure that I want to go too far down that particular rabbit hole on this forum, though.

    Generally, I'd say that the M43 gear that I've used (primarily GH2, GH3 & Panasonic lenses, with a brief and somewhat unsatisfactory digression with the EM5), that m43 is very good in terms of overall acutance, the lenses are great for the format, and I love the weight and ease of carrying. I value the ease of getting lots of depth of field relative to the required shutter speed that m43 provides, compared to 35mm or larger sensors, so I see that as a huge strength of the system. The GH3 with the lenses that I use is speedy and responsive, has great exposure bracketing flexibility (great for HDR shooters), there's lots to like.

    For my personal preferences, and the type of images that appeal to me, m43 ticks an awful lot of boxes. BUT, IMO, it's weaknesses are resolution, which is somewhat related to capture of fine detail at mid - far distance from the camera (important to landscapes), and malleability of the files when you need to sharpen or contrast-enhance such details. This is where the larger sensor in my friends' 5DMkIII does better. (Not that the Canon sensor is state of the art, it isn't.) On certain of the shots in and around the canyons, there also seem to be colors brought forward on some of her files that aren't matched by mine.

    I've been hopeful that m43 would offer improved sensors before now, with greater resolution, and no AA filter. (Yeah, I know that the EM1 supposedly has no AA filter, but I prefer Panasonic for operability.) I don't care about video, so Panasonics' advances there are immaterial to me. (I'm expecting a Sony A7r & 16-35 lens later today, will be interesting to see how that goes!)

    Much respect for m43, but it has strengths & weakness, as does everything.

    Brian
     
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  8. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Did you purchase or rent the sony gear?
     
  9. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Purchased.
     
  10. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Cool! I go back and forth about that combo, but I will see what the new version of the A7r will look like, maybe it gets IBIS. So far I really love the EM1/12-40 combo for my landscape shots. I have a friend with a D600 and have some of his shot on my computer to play around with.

    BTW, the A7r should be a big improvement over the 5D

     
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  11. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    I'd be curious to hear your thoughts once you've been able to look at your friends' D600 images. I'll also look again at some of the 5DMkIII files that I have on hand.

    With the EM1, did you notice any particular improvement to clarity of your pics that you'd attribute to the lack of AA filter in the EM1? (I mean by comparison to other m43 cameras, assuming that you've used other models.) I've only looked a examples from the web, e.g. DPreview & Image Resource, couldn't determine anything useful.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  12. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    I too have been interested in the Sony A7 but every lens review I've seen of either E or A mount wide FF lenses have horrendous vignetting. Here's quote from LensTips for the A 16-35mm f2.8; "gives us the frame corner illumination loss of as much as 65% (- 3.0 EV!!!) Yes, you see the number correctly, it is not a typo - the frame corners are by three exposition values darker than its centre. What’s more important, closing down the aperture doesn’t help us a lot to get rid of the vignetting. By f/4.0 it amounts to 56%, by f/5.6 – as much as 52%, by f/8.0 it reaches 48% and by f/11 and f/16 it is 42% and 38% respectively." Some E-mounts are worse as I recall over 3 EV.

    This isn't the only FF WA or UWA with such severe vignetting. It may be that FF landscape users will be stuck using TS lenses until there are better - much larger - lens designs. And right now Samyang is the only maker of one for Sony.

    BTW, Brian, I agree completely w/ your assessment of m43 cameras limitations. But still when compared to the results I got w/ Kodachrome (showing my age-:), what I'm getting now even w/ the small sensor is both better & far more capable.

    Vignetting is also an issue I've been critical about for m43 but never seen anything as bad as the above. Correcting this in post will create other problems.
     
  13. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I don't think I am the right person to ask. Don't have much experience in photography, but his d600 with the 35 mm 1.4 didn't make me want to sell my em-1 and 12-40. I didn't see THAT big of a difference, however we didn't have side by side shots. plus i almost always use ISO100 to keep noise down. Next time I see him, I'll take some of the same pictures.

     
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  14. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    FWIW I much prefer the straight out of the camera 3 Sisters shot...perhaps with a bit more contrast. To each...etc.

    Also like the Canyonlands Tree
     
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  15. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Very nice pics! Thanks.
     
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  16. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Here's a shot (well, a series of them, really . . . . exposure brackets . . . but the final looks like one pic!). This is the front interior of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Brian

    15750258250_9df282a4fe_b. Loretto Chapel by Blueshound250, on Flickr
     
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