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Old May 11, 2017, 8:47 PM   #1
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Default E-M1 Mark II at White Sands National Monument

I've made a couple of passes through the 900+ image files, processed and loaded what I consider the best 138 images here..

https://gmchappell.smugmug.com/Trave...2017/i-dv5wpRK

I could load 300-400 images, I will load a few others over the next several days, but after a while most of them will start looking the same to be honest. When you start looking at files like these, the ones that jump out are the unique shadow/details vs. dune "veins" images with little to no other unique shadow characteristics.

There's also no getting around just how good the 12-100mm f4 was. There were a couple of afternoons where I arrived to the dunes for an evening shoot and there was an active sand storm happening with 35-40 mile per hour winds blowing (mornings always start calm, with winds picking up a couple of hours or so after sunrise, then calmed down again a couple of hours or so prior to sunset), which can start to make you worried about switching lenses, even a system with the type dust-fighting features of the Olympus system. The 12-100 made that worry mute. 12mm is wide enough way more times than not, and 100mm was plenty long for the distances you were working at to isolate features or compress backgrounds.

I could have shot the vast majority of what I captured with the 12-40mm f2.8 M. Zuiko. The problem would be those every, maybe 15-20 shots where you need a 66mm lens, or an 80mm lens, or 100mm, which would have forced me to change to the 40-150 6-7 times, then having to change back to the 12-40, not to mention having to tote that 40-150mm f2.8 in the bag that was hung around my neck while I hiked the entire 3.5-4 miles over 2-3 hours each evening, so I'm figuring the 12-100 saved me at least 12-15 lens changes each day, not to mention the extra soreness from having carried the 40-150mm f2.8 all day to maybe use it for maybe 9-12 images.

And as far as I can see, using the 12-100mm f4 comes with no loss in optical quality compared to the 12-40 and 40-150mm f2.8's. It is optically superb. It's obviously a stop slower, but it also comes with that dual IS, which is just remarkable. The one weakness I can report are those situations where the sun is just a little bit outside the field of view, but close enough the rays can get around the hood and hit the front element at an oblique angle, creating a couple or so flare bubbles, some of which were easy to correct if they were in the sky, or more problematic if they fell in the sand field. I also at times, when I noticed it, was able to add some extra protecting with my left hand shading the sun.

The real surprise was when I decided to just start placing the sun in the direct field of view at times, which produced no real visible flare. Really surprising and quite different compared to a lens like, say the 7-14mm f2.8, which will flare if you just say the word "sun" while you are shooting with it.

You can click on any of the images below and the hyperlink will take you to the file on my web page and you can take them to 100% if you want to look at them closer. They were all captured raw and processed in DXO Optics Pro 11. Nothing else I have used currently can touch the colors, optical corrections or noise reduction capabilities of DXO.



















Shooting directly into the sun..






Last edited by Greg Chappell; May 11, 2017 at 8:59 PM.
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Old May 12, 2017, 9:27 AM   #2
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Love those shots !!!
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Old May 12, 2017, 11:16 AM   #3
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Sweeeeeeet!!!!!!
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Old May 13, 2017, 6:11 AM   #4
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As always, your images want me to go and see first hand, the beauty of the areas that you've visited. Although, after looking at the 143 posted in your gallery, I'm tired and thirsty.

These images support your argument for using a zoom lens with a long focal range that minimizes changing lenses in the field.


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Old May 13, 2017, 6:33 AM   #5
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Beautiful shots! Now I want to go there.

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Old May 14, 2017, 10:49 AM   #6
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Enjoying viewing these shots very much. Very nice job. I like the depth that was created.
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