Sony 24-70 GMaster and Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Review

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.

Several years or determination, website plans and whatnot

For the last few years, my plans have been turned upside down repeatedly. As my about page explains. Finally things are going according to plan and buying lots of hiking and camping equipment has hit me in the face, I’m finally going to be doing this! I think 2018 will potentially be the best year of my life :).

Before I travel to Canada, I’d like to neaten my website up a bit. I should really put more effort into my reviews too! I’m one of these people who will either spend hours on a minute detail or rush something altogether.

My plan for the website while I am travelling is to post a few photographs with a short bit of information attached and details of how the hike went for that week. My long term plan is to provide a lot of information about hiking the Great Divide Trail in general. There is tonnes and tonnes of advice for the Pacific Crest Trail, but only about 30 people each year hike the Great Divide Trail. It’s also a bit confusing because there’s a bike route with the same name; it’s not the same hike though–it’s much longer and is in America. This aids to the fun of things too because it’s going to be a completely unexpected experience.

At the moment, the current style of my site isn’t too suitable for blog photos with photographs attached as the front page only shows a part of the title. What I might do is put each week/day under the travel section and separate it from my blog posts. It’ll be cleaner that way and if I change website themes, it won’t upset anything too much :). I’ll give it some thought :).

I’m still waiting for a lot of items to arrive, but I’ll take a photograph of them when they do!

 

Back from holiday, thoughts and photographs

My holiday was nice. I stayed around the western boarder of England, just next to Wales. It’s allowed me to chill out and think about what I’m going to do this year and next–the last few months have been stressful to say the least. I’ve had time to think about my travel plans for next year some more, and I’m slightly over the disappointment of my US Visa being declined, although I’ll never come to terms with how unfair it is but it doesn’t have to prevent me from going to a nice, more accepting country i.e. Canada :).

Here’s a few photographs I took. I haven’t edited many; I have hundreds to go through. The chicken shot is composed really poorly, I know, I know, haha. However, I thought he looked cute in that position, and I only had half a second to get the shot :D.

I used a Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2.0 lens and a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens for these shots. I have been thinking I would like something wider and something longer, but I’m not 100% sure what I’ll get yet. a Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 FE lens and a Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens would be really nice, albeit out of budget.

I’ll probably start writing more about my travels on the travel section of my site, so I’ll keep this post short for now. I just wanted to share a few pictures.

My Samsung Galaxy Note 8 should arrive this monday. I would have liked it on holiday, so I could edit photographs and post in the evenings (I had good internet there, haha) but I’ll try it out soon enough and report my findings.

UK Holiday and some thoughts about lenses

I’m going to be gone for a week or so, as I’m going on holiday. I’ll mostly be staying in England but I will briefly visit Wales as well. I’ll be doing a bit of hiking despite what the people at the US Embassy think, I do actually like to walk places lol and photography.

When I return home, I should have my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and I’ll work on doing a review for that. I’ll be reviewing it as a portable backup solution and a device to benefit travel photographers, rather than the stereotypical type of review (there’s plenty like that that’re far better than anything I could create; I suggest you check out Krystal Key on YouTube and Flossy Carter.)

A telephoto lens for Canada

I’ve also been looking at more photographs of Canada and it’s really pretty! I need to give lens consideration some serious thought. For my planned Pacific Crest Trail 2018 hike, I thought taking a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens and a Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 or a Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2.8 lens would be enough. Weight’s a serious problem for a hike like that.

However, as I’ll be going to Canada and will likely not have to stress about hiking speed quite as much, I definitely feel I should concentrate a bit more on photography and I’m considering all options really.

The Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens is overpriced (in my opinion), it’s relatively lightweight and it’s a fairly good focal length. If it was a macro lens as well, this lens would be a no-brainer for me.

The Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM lens is beautiful by all accounts, but it’s big and expensive.

The Sony 100-400 f/4.6 to f/5.6 GM lens is lightweight for its focal length but it’s still a heavy lens in its own right. This lens could be incredibly useful for wildlife photography, including bears and wolves.

The Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM lens is a great standard zoom, it will allow me to take flower shots, landscape shots and various things. Combine this with my Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens and I’d have myself a decent kit, with the exception of being able to take wildlife shots (I mean, you can, but it’s not an ideal focal length.) It’s expensive and heavy but I think it’s priced about where it should be.

I’m considering bringing a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens, a Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens and a Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens, but perhaps 135mm isn’t long enough. It’s a really hard judgement to make. I really want a telephoto zoom, but the weight of one might prove to be too much. At about 600 grams, the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens is considerably lighter than all the other longer focal length lenses, and 21mm is incredibly versatile for landscape shots. Plus I’ll be able to use my phone’s cameras a bit; its quality isn’t as good obviously but it will still have its place in my bag.

In truth, the prices of all these lenses stretch my budget beyond what I’m comfortable with, but I really don’t think 21mm to 50mm is long enough. I manually approve all comments, so if something doesn’t appear, please wait a week until I’m back.

Travel News, Canadian Visa and The Photography Show NEC

As previously stated, there’s a Photography Show held at the NEC in Birmingham every year. The event starts March 18th. I won’t be attending but you can usually find cheaper equipment at UK stores during the days the show runs. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens announced around then too. I’m still looking for a telephoto lens but I’m not sure if I can afford one yet; it’ll be especially useful for travel photography. Continue reading “Travel News, Canadian Visa and The Photography Show NEC”