Great Divide Trail – March 2018 Update

A few more items have arrived! I own half of arc’teryx by now. I’ll definitely have a lot of equipment to review in the future, haha. At the end of the month, I should be placing an order for an opsack, bearbag, etc.

Now that the equipment side of things is completed, I’m going to focus on maps, navigation and permits :).

Great Divide Trail – February 2018 Update

Hey,

This post is going to be a bunch of unrelated gibberish much like the last, haha.

I’ve been researching a few final items for my hike in June/July, maps, apps, and everything in between.

I bought an Arcteryx Konseal fleece, I love it but it’s sooo long. It’s longer than the Arcteryx Atom LT jacket, and my Montbell Storm Cruiser rain jacket. I’ve ordered a medium and I’ll see if that fits better than the large. I get the impression my shoulders might be too wide for it, but we’ll see. The Arcteryx Konseal is an interesting fleece, it includes a hoody and a pseudo balaclava type thing, so although it’s quite heavy, it’s not that heavy when you include those separate items.

My Nitecore F1 charger has arrived, it weighs 29 grams. It can turn a single 18650 battery into a power bank, and so far I’m impressed with it. It charges slowly and its output isn’t that great, but what it does, it seems to do well. I also bought an Anker Powercore 13000 C, so I can have something with more amp-age. This will integrate with my other electronics quite well and I’ve grown to really like my little Zebralight.

Speaking of which, I did some additional tests in daylight, and the colour balance is real nice.

In regards to the mapping situation… For my Garmin Fenix 5x, I’ve downloaded openstreet maps, and I’ve basically downloaded every part of Canada, plus a file with all of Canada from another site. I’ll keep these on a MicroSD card and will be able to move files to and from my watch but I’ll probably keep them all on my watch as well (it has a lot of storage.) On my phone, I may have to pay a Gaia subscription, and there’s also a Great Divide Trail app you can get too which is cool! I’ve also downloaded a map (Ryan Silk’s GDT maps), in PDF form. I might print a few pages off or get someone else to print them. I’ll see.

The clothing situation still isn’t complete. I’ve fallen in love with Arcteryx, as they’re the only company that makes clothes which fit me well. I hate their prices though.

I’m thinking of getting some micro fleece bottoms, underwear, and some psiphon lf shorts. They’re for “rock climbing” but as I’ll only be taking one pair of shorts, I thought something a bit more durable than their normal fabric might make sense.

I also bought Berghaus Mens Paclite Pants but amazon sent the wrong length. The waist is also REALLY painful, like the elastic they’ve used is the worlds most powerful elastic? The trousers (pants) are more than wide enough if you stretch them out but the elastic makes them feel one size smaller. I’m considering getting another pair in extra large, but I’m also thinking about getting some Montbell Storm Cruiser trousers.

One of the problems for me is that the Great Divide Trail isn’t quite long enough for what I’d like. It’s funny, I’d have thought such a hike was really long years and years ago, but two months isn’t enough time to lose yourself in my opinion (or find yourself as it were.) If I buy slightly heavier clothing, it gives me more options. Additionally, if I do a SoBo and then NoBo hike, i.e. yoyo it, the durability will be a benefit. I don’t really have the experience to do that but it’s something in my mind.

I’m considering only taking the one camera lens too. My items are starting to pile up, but again I’ll think about it some more.

When I actually do the hike, my posts should improve a bit as I’ll be more passionate :). I don’t enjoy writing reviews much, so they’re of poor quality. I want to provide information after my hike, because the Great Divide Trail really doesn’t have that many websites with information (in comparison to the Pacific Crest Trail at least.)

 

 

 

Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Camera: ILCE-7RM2
Taken: 2018/02/22
Focal length: 24mm
ISO: 100
Shutter speed: 1/160s

Lightroom, Capture One, White balance and the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV

The Sony a7rII received a small amount of criticism from some for not having a built in flash, and it was only a small amount of criticism but it’s reassuring to see the Sony a7rIII lacks a built in flash. Regardless of the brand, occasionally, you’ll read the odd forum post requesting such a silly feature. The general argument pro this idea is that if it’s not used, it does no harm and you’ll occasionally forget to bring a light. My argument remains the same… Built in flashes introduce an extra point of entry for water i.e. the flash has to pop up somewhere and water can get in said “somewhere.” Additionally, you need a large capacitor inside the camera for the flash to function. This takes up extra space and capacitors are generally quick to fail.

I’m hiking the Great Divide Trail in Canada, this June, and I recently bought a Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV light for it. It’s advertised as having a 5000K colour temperature, a high CRI, it’s lightweight and upon switching it on, you can instantly tell it’s different to other lights of its kind. In case you misinterpret this post because I write too much, the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV is the perfect tool for a hiking photographer in my opinion; it can be used as poor man’s flash, a video light, and a hiking light. It has a nice spread, there’s no horrifying hotspot, it’s incredibly bright for its size and it’s great. This page isn’t a review, so I’m not going to be posting photographs of it and whatnot. I will be reviewing the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV light at some point though.

If you use it with a Nitecore F1 and a 18650 lithium battery, you can have a small USB powerbank and a light for whatever you desire too but again this might not interest everyone. When I write my review, I plan to review all of these products mentioned as I think it’s a light that should be a part of a system rather than a light on its own.

Summation:

  • Built in flashes — The Devil
  • Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV — Amazing
  • Adobe Lightroom — The Devil
  • One One Capture One — Awesome

I’m a nerd weird and I guess the thought of spending so much money on a tiny little light meant something to me. This should behave as advertised right, or why not just get a cheaper light? I felt I was being pedantic for caring but these things aren’t cheap. Okay, so I took a photograph of a grey card, completely disregarding whether the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV would be useful for hiking with, and in Lightroom I noticed it said 4600K or thereabouts. I emailed the shop I bought it from and they were incredibly kind on the matter. They said I could return it if it wasn’t suitable.

I tried ArgyllPRO ColorMeter trial software, it crashes a lot and uses the battery even when the app is closed, but I really like the look of the app and this could be useful to me. I didn’t realise the readings aren’t real in the trial version (in fairness to the author, this is clearly stated if you click “read more”.) I wonder if the full version has more updates and crashes less. If it were cheaper, I’d take the risk but at £93.99, it’s a bit much.

So here’s where things get interesting… I installed Phase One Capture One 11 software for Sony. It’s free and it looks good. The colour temperature was different with the grey card, and I thought how could this be? I prayed for a blue sky to use as a reference, and it only rained more. So I began looking at all my old photographs looking for blue skies (which in England is no easy task) and judging white balance based on that. Additionally, I used the camera’s built in white balance tool and it yielded the same results as Capture One 11. .

 

I know what you might be thinking… The wall looks slightly cooler in one, and yes you’re right. The shadows are different. It all looks a bit different, but that’s as close as you can get it with the white balance tool alone. If you type in the same numbers for each program, for the white balance, you’ll be horrified at the results.

I did this with hundreds of photographs, using different lights (flashes, natural, natural cloudy, the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV) but trying not to use the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV very much in case I returned it, and it’s my belief that Adobe Lightroom is full of shit.

I’ve drawn the conclusion that this light is indeed the advertised 5000K or thereabouts. It matches natural light close enough.

It looks slightly cooler here but that’s just the angle. It’s actually slightly warmer than sunlight. As with all lights, the smaller the light source the more defined the shadows, but it’s still quite nice for macro photography I think. I think it’s bright enough you could add a modifier too. Again, this isn’t a review but it’s a few points to consider.

 

 

Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 Lens review comment

This is just a heads up to the people looking at Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 lens reviews, you’ll probably find a few bits of misleading information.

My reviews aren’t very good, so please don’t take this as me implying mine are better. However, I searched google and I noticed two statements that caught my attention. These statements exist with the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2.0 lens and the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens reviews that I’ve read so far too:

  • “Weather-resistant construction”
  • “there’s very little non-rotating real estate on the barrel to grasp when attaching or removing the lens. This makes changing lenses a bit slower and more awkward than it really should be…”

There’s no seals inside these lenses. There’s one seal at the back of the lens which helps to prevent dust but it’s not a sealed inside like a Sony G Master.

To mount or dismount the Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 lens, and other lenses in the series, you turn the focus ring fully until it stops. Then you dismount as normal. A lot of people try gripping at the back to dismount their Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens and I’m sure they’ll try something similar with the Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 lens too, lol… They think because the focus ring turns, you can’t use it as a gripping point, but you can (you just have to reach closest focus or infinity depending on whether you want to mount or dismount the lens.)

Backpack modification update – Hyperlite Mountaingear 4400 Southwest

I’ve spent some more time with my Hyperlite Mountaingear 4400 Southwest backpack modification. I’ve redone parts a few times because it looked bad.

For those that haven’t read my previous post, I am attempting to add d-rings to the shoulder straps so that I can hang a separate camera bag.

Not to be a downer dave, but I’m a little irritated that my sewing was slightly off with some of the webbing. I also made ample mistakes that still irritate me but I think I’ve saved it :).

The bit near the d-ring isn’t complete, that’s why it looks a mess. The carbon fibre rod still needs to be trimmed and I’m probably going to add a few of those bright green things. They look cool.

It’s not yellow, the lighting in my room is bad. I took this with my phone (I’m lazy.)

Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV review incoming

I have great news :). The Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV is in stock as of this morning and I have ordered one. I’m not 100% sure when it will arrive but I’m looking forward to trying it out. It’s something I want to review, as it’s a high CRI light and it might be quite useful for photography as well as the obvious.