My flight has been booked to Canada. Certain parts of the GDT aren’t open yet (in Waterton) and may not be this summer, which is just my luck (I’m good like that) but I’m hoping I can navigate around the obstacles.
I feel like the list of items I’ve had to buy has been neverending. I saved some money with ravpower np-fw50 batteries (they’re much cheaper than Sony’s own) and I saved a few quid with a headnet, too (mine was only about £3 from China, haha.)
I realised that I had focused too much on equipment lately when I began booking camp sites. A few were taken, so I’ve had to pick other sites. This has promoted me into making a “mistakes I made with the GDT page.” I will add to it as I go along. Rather than wait until I’ve completed the GDT and add everything, I’ve posted it now and I’ll add each thing bit by bit so it’s fresh fresh in my memory.
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.
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.
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:
“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.)
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.
I can’t remember if I mentioned that I bought the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GMaster lens. When I initially planned to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (I’d still like to, perhaps in 2020 if I can find the funds), I imagined myself only taking two small, lightweight lenses.
After two visa denials, some other problems and a metaphorical kick in the face, I sort of impulse bought the Sony 24-70 GMaster lens. It’s a bit heavy than what I’d like, and I considered the Sony 16-35 f/2.8 GMaster lens but I can’t afford it. I’ve decided I’m going to bring a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens to accompany it. The latter will stay in my backpack until evenings most likely.
I would like to write a review of the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 G Master lens but it’s likely I am going to wait until I’ve hiked the Great Divide Trail in Canada. My photography skills should increase ten fold, well, perhaps not that much, haha, and I’ll have lots of photographs to show in my review.
My first impressions of it are great though. Everything about it is pretty awesome excluding the weight. It doesn’t focus breathe much either which is a rarity for Sony.