LX5 WA challenge at Owens Lake, Mono Lake and the Alabama Hills.

Discussion in 'Nature' started by tanngrisnir3, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    So I got another WA adapter for the LX5, the LWA52, as the first one had some sort of defect on the outer coating, and have the following observations.

    A. It's a high quality build, but it's a nuclear dust magnet.
    B. There is distinct fisheyeing, so to speak, if one shoots at odd angles, but I don't have the computer/software mix (yet) to correct for lens distortion.
    C. I don't like the fact that if one chooses the WA setting in-camera, it disables any and all zoom. You're stuck at 18mm which, if you're far away from your subject, w/a little sensor, makes things difficult.
    D. No exterior threads means no polarizer. Grrrrr.......
    E. It can create odd pink and green polygonic lens flares. There ARE non-threaded lens hoods available, but I haven't got one yet.

    I decided to challenge myself on last weekend's trip to keep the WA on the entire time, come what may, and simply shoot around any difficulties or problems that might present. The camera was usually set to 'Dynamic', everything was shot in manual, and all photos here are PP'd jpegs, as my current (soon to be replaced) computer cannot easily handle LR, PS or DxO. All NR in camera was turned down to -2. The only thing I did to any of these was contrast adjustment, sharpening at times and a touch of backlight when it made sense.

    I also shot all the daytime shots using the EVF available for the LX5, which is GREAT for bright light/wide open spaces, but it's small enough where one doesn't always see the lens flare until after having shot. It's a super framing tool, but it's not the be-all end-all answer to occluded LCD screens.

    This is right next to a rather disgusting natural spring on the south end of the Owens Lake called "Dirty Socks". I include it only to show the flaring on the lens.

    P1000346cshdeepdecol-3.

    The best luck I've ever had at Owens Lake: beautiful clouds, the beginning of a Sierra Wave formation (the blacker clouds) AND an opportune alkaline dust storm. This is looking due east from a derelict PPG chemical plant on the west shore.

    Owenslakesandstormandlenticular.

    Mono Lake, from the southern shore. About 45 minutes from sundown, and maybe 30 minutes afterward. The colors were as they appear in the pics. It changes FAST there. For those who've been to the tufa reserve there, we walked in and I decided to hike west to get to to a grouping of tufas that I've seen for many years, but never bothered to walk out to. Took about 10 minutes, and it was WET from melted snow. It's the westernmost of the three major ones at the reserve.

    P10003551lcshbl.

    I like this one because the tufas on the left are actually like hollow pipes, and the last light is caught within them.

    P1000352csh.

    During the short-lived Band of Venus period

    P10003771blshcrop-2.

    P10003801blsh.

    Yeah, I know, if that tufa had a name....

    P10003821lcshbl.

    P10003721lcblsh.

    A short dawn spent at Convict Lake, where no clouds emerged, so we left quickly. The reflection of the moon in the water was nice luck, though, since that part of the lake hadn't frozen over yet.

    P10003841sh.

    Finally, the Alabama Hills, where I need to spend a LOT more time, and will do so shortly with and w/out the WA.

    Mobius Arch. I know, I know, it's a warhorse like the GG Bridge, so I decided to shoot it from a different angle, w/out Mt. Whitney in the background.

    P1000396lcblshcondepmed.

    P10003891blshc.

    P10003971lcsh.

    All in all, a useful tool, but a handicap if one had to use it all the time.
     
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  2. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Nice! I love the Eastern Sierras.
     
  3. Wow

    That is surely unique looking landscape. I am assuming these are hike in locations.
     
  4. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I am liking these photos, even more so that you were able to take these with a compact like the LX5. There's a lot of dynamic range in those photos.

    A thought popped in my head when I read that - I wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry if the camera panned around 180 degrees and there's an urban ghetto right behind these landscapes.
     
  5. never know


    Ya never know do you.
     
  6. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    Well, define hike ;-)

    You're in luck, given that the longest hike in to ANY of those places is about 1/4 mile, and that's Mono Lake. When I took the Owens Lake shots, I was, maybe, 20m from my car. At Convict Lake, maybe 3m away from it. I have a lot of backcountry shots, but these here are just remote in distance, and don't have to be hiked to at all.
     
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  7. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    Ha! The metropolises of Keeler, Lone Pine and Lee Vining, CA are near these shots.

    Remind me to post my photos of Keeler one day. It, Trona and Bombay Beach are the oddest places I've ever been in my life.
     
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  8. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Thanks for posting those, a fantastic series of shots.

    I was listening to a radio programme the other day and a photographer who grew up in Fargo, North Dakota (person and location totally unknown to me) was staging an exhibition in New York. He had a shot taken near Fargo showing a desolate flat landscape stretching to the horizon. The curator, a native New Yorker assumed that the town was behind the photographer and couldn't get his head around the fact that the landscape was the same as the photograph in all directions.

    Barrie
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I'm with Barrie, this is a fantastic series. Beautiful and far from ordinary. Gosh, the sweep of your second one is out of this world - especially if someone's never been out west or in similar wide open country!

    The moon rise reflection picture is stellar. It is awfully difficult for me to pick a favorite. I'm going to have to come back to them later because right now I'm a bit bowled over by the intense beauty and other planet kind of feeling going on. Good going T3!:drinks:
     
  10. Karen Cole

    Karen Cole SC Regular

    92
    Sep 2, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tanngrisnir3...your pics are wonderful and the wide angle lens seems to have worked quite well in showing the depth and beauty of the area's photographed. As a frequent visitor photographer of these areas of Ca, I know all of these places and have taken pics in all these locations. One thing I have noticed with the LX5 is the quality of blue..it seems almost too blue..to bright..too saturated..I think your pics show this too..not sure if it's a fault or it's just an observation I've made over the course of shooting with it for the last few months. I'm attaching a couple of mine from this region just to show what I mean.

    I like the pics a great deal ..all of yours..I'm just curious about your thoughts on the blue and those of others using the lx5. I also own and use the Panasonic GF1 and usually have both with me..the difference in pics taken between the two in the production of blue is amazing..but why? Your pics are great and I love what the LX5 is capable of doing and I even love the blue..but I am curious as to why blue is sooo blue.

    Yosemite Jan 22nd LX5

    http://<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/karencole22/5384882181/" title="Tunnel View Jan 21, 2011 by lovelyinlatoo, on Flickr"> 5384882181_d7b03499a6. "500" height="500" alt="Tunnel View Jan 21, 2011" /></a>

    Tunnel View Taken with GF1

    http://<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/karencole22/5385505442/" title="El Capitan from Tunnel View by lovelyinlatoo, on Flickr"> 5385505442_ff0147c635. "500" height="308" alt="El Capitan from Tunnel View" /></a>

    Lembert Dome Yosemite LX5

    http://<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/karencole22/5345514220/" title="LX5 2010 by lovelyinlatoo, on Flickr"> 5345514220_70fa65d752. "500" height="287" alt="LX5 2010" /></a>
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    Did you use a polariser for these photos?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Karen Cole

    Karen Cole SC Regular

    92
    Sep 2, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a circular polarizers on both the LX5 and the GF1 for daylight shooting outdoors. I realize that makes the blue bluer, but why so much difference between the GF1 and the LX5? Also, both have the exact same polarizers on them Hoya's. In LR, I usually change the WB from as shot to auto and make some minor adjustments in brightness, blacks and contrast..if needed.
    Karen
     
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  13. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I think I'm starting to see where I'm going wrong with my previous attempts at landscape. My shots looked really flat and the sky looks characterless and blown out sometimes. But your shots and tanngrisnir3's shots are very well done. There's a lot of character in your skies.
     
  14. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    That would depend, I suppose, on what color setting one is using and what level the saturation is set to.

    For example, these were LX5 shots of Yosemite, taken in Nov, on 'Dynamic', IIRC

    P10000561cshbl.

    P10000151lcshblcrop.

    P10000251cshbl.

    Now, granted, the shots don't have that wide open sky, but they were shot on the exact same settings (w/NR at -2) that the Owens Lake pics were shot in.

    Perhaps it has to do with intensity of available light?
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. Nice shots you added, very chilly looking.
     
  16. Karen Cole

    Karen Cole SC Regular

    92
    Sep 2, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    tannsgrisnir

    Thanks for the reply and the pics you attached are fantastic! I have not tried Dynamic IR on the LX5..these pics are stunning! Thanks to for your insights into settings..On my visit to Yosemite Jan 20-23rd, I kept both cameras pretty much on the same settings to see the difference between the two on color rendition..the LX5 definitely produces bluer blues. Not complaining just noticing. Are you in Los Angeles? I will be going up to Bishop on Feb 2nd and staying for a few days, hope to get up into the mtns as far as possible on plowed roads. I simply love the Eastern Sierras and try to get up as often as possible. Pics like yours inspire me even more...to capture the beauty that is inherent there. Thanks
    Karen
     
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  17. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    Very nice photos!

    For me, it could very well be the settings on the camera but I was taking RAW photos on my LX5 and 7D and I couldn't really spruce them up them in post either (or maybe I don't know how to). But there are other factors involved, it could be that I'm just bad at framing the shot maybe but the filters would help, I think.
     
  18. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    I'm up there there every 2nd or third weekend, it seems, w/the G/F who's a semi-pro.

    Flickr: Robin Black Photography's Photostream

    She's a Canon-head, but I forgive her ;-) I'll probably get a 7D this year so we won't have to spend more on lenses.

    As far as going up into the mountains, Horseshoe Meadows Rd., Onion Valley Rd., Pine Creek Canyon Rd., Rock Creek Lake Rd. and others are all closed. RCL up to the snow-park, in any case.

    The best you'll likely get is 168 up to Aspendale (we were just there).

    But then, there are always snowshoes!
     
  19. Karen Cole

    Karen Cole SC Regular

    92
    Sep 2, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the info on roads open/closed. I went to Robin's Flickr and took a look..nice work! Since I am going up..I'd like to visit the mules..I'll leave the carrots and apples at the store...don't want to risk mule thugs as you both did. Can you send directions on how to get to the LADWP Intake in Independence. Thanks! This would be a first for me! Love to see it.
    Karen


     
  20. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    Sure! Been there several times, and it's GPS coordinates are N 36.97462 W 118.21195 Just plug that into Google Earth or Acme Mapper and you'll find it. You have to drive north of Independence to the turnoff for the hamlet of Aberdeen, then take Goodale Rd. EAST, not west, go through the gate (which requires getting out, opening it & closing it) and drive about, oh, 1 1/2 miles to where it will be obvious to park. Ignore the no trespassing signs, esp. if you've got camera gear. No one from LADWP is ever there that I've seen, and they likely won't care anyhow.

    It looks like this (all taken w/a teensy, beloved FS7)

    P1000014.

    P1000013.

    P1000012.

    And w/the right weather, you get big sweeping shots like this:

    P1000018.

    To give you an idea of how Sabrina Lake looks in snow conditions, we got lucky last spring and made it up there the first day the road opened all the way up.

    P10009151-1.