Monday, March 16, 2015

Hiking with the Olympus E-M1 and the 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro Lens - Bridge to Nowhere

I have been a prime lens shooter from the start and to this day I would rather carry two bodies and two primes than carry a zoom lens. Speaking only for myself, I find zooms make me lazy with my composition. Instead of walking back or moving closer to my subject, I tend to use my zoom ring to do the heavy lifting. I can go on and on about my thoughts about zooms vs. primes, but considering my last adventure with my groomsmen and groomsgals, I had no choice but to use my E-M1 and the Olympus Pro Zoom. Why, you ask?  It is my only weather sealed combo and I heard from one of my bestmen (that's right I had 2) the possibility of getting wet was extremely high. He was right, I got wet but my camera did not =). 

On so many occasions I have thought about selling this lens, but this trip made me realize that this piece of glass is a keeper. What particularly stood out was how sharp this lens is after processing my RAW files through Capture 1 Pro (I would export TIFF files from C1P and import to Lightroom, my preferred editor - more on this in another post). Additionally, I loved how close I could get with some of my shots. You will see below some of the close ups I took while on the Bridge to Nowhere hike - a 10 mile round trip hike out in the San Gabriel Mountains, which I highly recommend to all Southern California residents. At the end of the day, I found this lens/camera combo a pleasure to use. While it may be larger than other m43 gear, not once did I feel the weight even after 6+ hours of walking on stones, tightrope walking across creek logs and scaling mountain ledges.    

I want to keep this post short on words, and heavy on images. I had no real processing style for this set. I merely wanted to test out some the cool VSCO presets I've neglected for the past year and a half. I was leaning towards the Fuji and Polaroid sets. Happy viewing 

Meet Vince, our adventure guru and the cousin who is always down to go on an adventure.
The organizer and co-best man 



I find this to be a great semi-macro lens for its close focusing abilities. Nothing will replace a dedicated macro lens, but that means limiting my photographic options. The 12-40mm is a fantastic all-around lens 



What I loved most about the hike is feeling like I was getting away from the city.  I will most definitely come back to this place. It really is beautiful


The landscape changed dramatically half way through the hike. Although I didn't have a long enough lens, we did see rams on the hillside. 

The grooms party minus a couple people

At the end of the hike you can bungee jump off the bridge...I am too risk averse to jump off a perfectly functioning bridge, but  the guy with the flag doing it looked pretty cool

There were a lot of rocks to cushion the fall IF the bungee happens to fail.


I made a new friend. 

Not perfectly in focus, but it definitely shows how flare resistant the Pro Zoom lens is. 

The Fuji VSCO presets have a really nice pop especially in the blue. 


I could have gotten closer but....

Some of the riskier parts of the hike.