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Featured San Gabriels- Big Mermaids Canyon, 6/2/19 (a live-fire test of the EM1 mk ii)

Discussion in 'Nature' started by martink111, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. martink111

    martink111 Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 31, 2012
    Orange County, CA
    Here in the LA area, we have plenty of obscure yet fantastic back-country canyons and washes to explore. This morning, I decided to check out "Big Mermaids Canyon", a minor tributary of the San Gabriel west fork just east of Cogswell dam. There are no trails here and you can't get very deep in bushwhacking before you reach some impassible pools, but there is an awful lot of beauty in that short trip...
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    Black bear on the west fork road. This shot would have been impossible without the EM1mkii- got it handheld at 1/20s at 200mm while straddling a bicycle!

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    The first of two falls in the Big Mermaids canyon. This one was pretty easy to work around, but it only gets worse from there.

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    Side view of this first falls. There are some nice hand-holds to get up, but its still pretty tricky getting a clean shot.

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    A nice quiet spot on the creek

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    End of the road. This second fall is as far as I'm willing to go today. The water is at least chest deep by that fall.

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    very deep and very cold! Camera is on a tripod, using the wifi and remote control on Oly app (phone is in my hand)
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    One of the locals here (California Newt). The stabilizer and good close-up on the EM1/ 12-40 combo works great for awkward handheld shots like this one.
    32mm at f4, 1/13th second and ISO 64

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    Another small set of falls further up the West Fork.

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    This one was done playing with the focus stacking with the 12-40. Much better performance than the EM5mkii!

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    And another waterfall. This one was shot using high resolution mode and resampled (camera is resting on a log). The EM1 does seem to handle moving objects much more gracefully, and the level of detail is stunning!

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    What a way to cap off a hike! I spotted this guy from the road (HW39) and nabbed him from about a quarter mile away with the 50-200.
    182mm at f6.3 and 1/60th. ISO 64

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    Crop from above. I love that lens!

    Conclusions:
    This may be the ultimate backpacking and hiking kit. Its light, incredibly responsive and rugged as anything I've ever used. The stabilizer is so otherworldly that you rarely need to bump ISO for landscapes. Handheld waterfall blurs are a real possibility and early morning gloom is not a problem. Equally important to me is the low ISO mode (64) still has some headroom (unlike the old 16mp chip, where you really had to watch your highlight clipping). Tracking really works (albeit much better if you are using a fast m43 lens... not so much with the non-SWD 50-200). To bad I didn't have an opportunity to use it here. If you are planning to spend real time in the rough, this is the kit to have!
     

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  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Nice, didn't even know we have nice wilderness here in LA! I need to check this out!
     
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  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    These are awesome. I grew up west of Riverside, and the San Gabriels were a familiar sight. I miss, well, I miss some aspects of the place!
     
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  4. SteveAdler

    SteveAdler Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    118
    May 12, 2019
    Pretty amazing that such nature can be found so close to LA.
     
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