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jmahto

One lens to shoot them all, one lens to find them in the wild

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I just came back from a very nice backpacking trip and carried my M240 with just two lens. Cron ASPH 28 and Macro Elmar M 90. I have settled on this combo as my backpacking lens set. This is just three and a quarter pound combo with one extra battery and a lens pouch. Pretty light compared to anything out there equivalent. I didn't even feel it in my entire trip... not in the full 40lb backpack, nor in the light and fast summit backpack. I shot around 250 pics with 60% battery remaining.

 

28mm remained as my go to lens most of the time. It is perfect for any beautiful scenary and allows me to shoot fast without too much concern for framing. Aperture f2 helps me to get those nice campground shots in low light evening and campfire night shots.

 

I changed to 90mm some times to get tight shots of the scenery and full body shots of my hiking buddies. I also used it to get multiple shots for stitching giving me 50MP picture of the scenery easily for few nice ones.

 

Here are few pics:

 

#1 View of Mt Whitney (14,505ft) in the center from Mt. Langley (14,026ft) using 28mm. Mt Whitney is the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Before I had Leica (I had Canon gear), it was unthinkable for me to carry a high res camera with a sharp lens on this kind of trips.

 

#2 Closeup of Whitney using 90mm (cropped heavily). I was amazed to see the hut on the peak. You can even make out few hikers (one immediately left of the hut and others on the right towards the drop. 90mm Macro Elmar M is sharp !! You can read about the hut here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Institution_Shelter.

 

#3 Sierra bighorn sheep on a lifeless landscape using 90mm. We were threatened by the afternoon thunderstorm and rushing down as fast we could. You can see dark clouds behind the ridge. suddenly we spotted these animals running across the landscape. They are at the bottom on a smoother soil. These are endangered animals with only 500 in the wild. I simply pulled the camera and fired many shots focused to infinity keeping at f4 to get as fast shutter speed as possible.


#4 Crop of the above to show how sharp it is at f4. I could even identify the animal from the crop.

Now I just need more wall space to hang huge prints.



 

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The other two pics didn't go through.. another attempt.

 

#3 Sierra bighorn sheep on a lifeless landscape using 90mm. We were threatened by the afternoon thunderstorm and rushing down as fast we could. You can see dark clouds behind the ridge. suddenly we spotted these animals running across the landscape. They are at the bottom on a smoother soil. These are endangered animals with only 500 in the wild. I simply pulled the camera and fired many shots focused to infinity keeping at f4 to get as fast shutter speed as possible.



#4 Crop of the above to show how sharp it is at f4. I could even identify the animal from the crop.

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Thank you for posting these photos Jayant. Spectacular and rugged landscape. I agree with you about these 28 and 90mm lenses, but I don't know if I would have gone without a 50. Theres not much extra weight but I guess that every extra lens slows one down by presenting more options.

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Thank you for posting these photos Jayant. Spectacular and rugged landscape. I agree with you about these 28 and 90mm lenses, but I don't know if I would have gone without a 50. Theres not much extra weight but I guess that every extra lens slows one down by presenting more options.

 

Thanks. You are so right about more lenses slowing you down. For me 28mm makes so much sense since I don't think about anything before shooting. If I can see it, I shoot it. Composition is done in PP by cropping. For 50 or longer I will have to keep scanning the scenery to find which isolated part of the view may look better. This means focusing (mentally) on the task of photography. While hiking I am simply looking at the scenery and not thinking like a photographer. It is a bonus that I get some decent pictures worth printing.

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Very interesting. Thank you. I believe you can get good coverage with any small combination of lenses and your choice works very well for you. My selection would possibly be 35 and 75 for such an unlikely trip for me. Otherwise, a 50 is a key lens for me.

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For such a trip, I would bring a 15mm, 28mm and 50mm. Got to have that ultra wide perspective for such an interesting rocky landscape.

Edited by Mornnb

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For such a trip, I would bring a 15mm, 28mm and 50mm. Got to have that ultra wide perspective for such an interesting rocky landscape.

I somewhat agree. I did have 15 but I left it at my tent for the summit attempt. The summit attempts are generally tiring and long day affair and I hardly feel like changing lens. I shot 28 on the way up. Changed on the top to 90 and shot with 90 on the way down. On the way down once I needed 50 FOV and I shot bunch of 90mm shot to stitch. Now I have 50MP picture of the mountain of 50 FOV!!

I don't miss 50 when I have 90.

Now I use my 50lux only for people shots.

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