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waltonksm

Rainbow at St. Mary's, AK

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Posted (edited)

I happened to look out of my front window, and there was a double rainbow looking back at me.  Yeh, I know, everyojne has seen them.  But this is one of the better ones I have seen, and certainly the best I have ever captured.  It is a double.  I used a Meike 7.5mm fisheye. It claims to be a fisheye, but I get rectangular images... although very distorted.

 

I live in the second story of a building that was constructed in 1973 as a flash freezing facility for processed salmon. 

 

I am also attaching one of my more interesting photos of what I think is sphagnum moss of some variety. I am too lazy to do two separate topics.

 

Early Spring Rainbow

 

 

This one was with a 60mm Sigma, F2.8.  I have not decided for sure, but think I still prefer the 12-50 Olympus macro lens. 

Tundra Foliage, Spring 2018

 

Edited by waltonksm
typo/misspelling
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I like 'em both. I don't know about that fisheye lens. Is it MFT? 

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Sorry, I gave you the wrong lens maker.  The brand is 7artisans, 7.5mm F2.8.  It is probably from the same factory as a bunch of others.  It is all metal, and totally manualwith no electrical contacts to anything. Yes,it is definitely MFT.

 

This is the link to Amazon where I bought the lens:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073GSY8KD/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

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Thanks Walton. It seems that every day there is a new lens for the MFT system! This is now a third one with 7.5mm focal length. I must add it to the database too.

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Yes, and how about a Meike 6.5mm F2.0 manual, mostly metal lens. This is a true fisheye. 

https://www.amazon.com/MEKE-Circular-Fisheye-Panasonic-Mirrorless/dp/B01MSJ9TRF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526969753&sr=8-1&keywords=meike+6.5mm+f2

 

 

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I like the first image with its double rainbow. 

 

If you get the chance to try Olympus's own 60mm f/2.8 macro lens, I am sure that you will like it.  It is my most used lens after my 12-40mm. Sorry that your Sigma 60mm has not ticked boxes for you, as I have heard others say that it is a good lens, but as I have not used it myself, I  cannot comment further.

 

Your 7.5mm lens looks very similar to my Samyang 7.5mm M43 lens (which in turn is a clone of the Robinon 7.5mm and a few others).  Major difference is that mine has a red strip around its base....

 

************************ 

 

Just looked up St. Marys on Google Maps - my word you are around 440miles / 700+km west of Anchorage.  How do you get around - do you have plane?

 

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Hugh:  Yes, you have the right place.  And I could almost afford a plane if I ever quit buying more photo equipment! (not really.)
The villages are almost always either on the coast, or on a river.  In the winter locals use snowmobiles (always called "snowmachines" out here.) And In the summer, you go by boat. With the recent changes in mail subsidies all village travel has become more expensive. Commercial Inter-village travel is mostly with Cessna 207's, but the Cessna 207 is becoming ancient. The Cessna 208 (Caravan) is becoming the standard plane for these trips.  When I first came here in the mid 1980's I had a job that required almost weekly travel to villages (from Bethel.)  I have been to about 40 villages in our region, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (maybe 10 I have only landed at)

Due to changes in our cargo and mail distribution,  travel has become more difficult (and costly.) It is now about $675 round trip, to Anchorage.  In better days we had multiple 737 flights per week.  But not now. So all travel has become much more expensive. 

Many years ago I managed to stick a small knife almost through my hand.  It was Sunday, and the weather was bad.  I had trouble controlling bleeding, and really needed a few stitches to fix it, so I paid for a charter to Bethel to get medical care.  Since it was rotten weather, I had to take a twin and fly IFR.  By the time I was done the stitches cost me about $1500 a piece.

The 12-50 is 43mm, only, when in Macro mode.  I have also used the 30mm Olympus macro.  And I keep coming back to the 12-50.  It will be a while before I even consider another lens purchase and I am not likely to buy the 60 Olympus, unless I can try it first. I also need to spend more time with the 60mm Sigma and the 30mm Olympus before I pass final judgement.

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Walton, today I made what is going to be an expensive mistake. I handled the new Panasonic-Leica 8-18mm which they had a copy of at my local electronic goods dealer. That is one absolutely sweet lens for MFT! The quality of the finish and the size / weight is about perfect for me. I didn't get to put it on a camera as the store's GH4 didn't have a charged battery in it, but they did say I should bring my own camera to the shop and try it out.

 

They also have the other new Pan-Leica lenses there, including the 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron, the 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 and the 25mm f/1.4 Summilux. Guess where I am going again on Monday? 

 

I'm also very excited that apparently Panasonic have opened up their distribution here in South Africa again which is great for us MFT shooters. 

 

I was actually just watching Stephen Fry In America on Netflix this morning and in the last episode he travels up to Alaska. You live in an incredible part of the world I would love to visit someday. 

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Dallas, great news that you will at long last have access to Panasonic/Lumix kit in South Africa. 

 

(And I promise not to tell your wife that they have opened up their distribution & sales channels in SA! :D:D:D)

 

Ditto about travelling to Alaska - an uncle of mine made three trips there and he waxed eloquently about that part of the world.

 

 

17 hours ago, Dallas said:

Walton, today I made what is going to be an expensive mistake. I handled the new Panasonic-Leica 8-18mm which they had a copy of at my local electronic goods dealer. That is one absolutely sweet lens for MFT! The quality of the finish and the size / weight is about perfect for me. I didn't get to put it on a camera as the store's GH4 didn't have a charged battery in it, but they did say I should bring my own camera to the shop and try it out.

 

They also have the other new Pan-Leica lenses there, including the 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron, the 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 and the 25mm f/1.4 Summilux. Guess where I am going again on Monday? 

 

I'm also very excited that apparently Panasonic have opened up their distribution here in South Africa again which is great for us MFT shooters. 

 

I was actually just watching Stephen Fry In America on Netflix this morning and in the last episode he travels up to Alaska. You live in an incredible part of the world I would love to visit someday. 

 

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Thanks Hugh. :) Unfortunately I'm going to have to scrimp, sell and save if I want to get any new gear this year. I have about 1/3 of the cost from the Canon 200D sale, so if I can sell the Rotolight Neo and then also the Olympus 9-18mm I should be able to wing it. I am a bit concerned about the flare reported on in several reviews, which is also the only thing I disliked about the Olympus 7-14mm 2.8 PRO. What I do like is the size, the ability to use filters and that it's distortion is easily tamed. Robin Wong's review says the distortion isn't really a problem. 

 

Story continues... :) 

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Walton, many thanks for your vignette on life in your village.

 

Having grown up in the country, I can well understand the isolation and the challenges of getting medical treatment in a hurry.

 

Sadly postal services are getting meaner all the time.  In spite of the huge profits being realised from by parcel delivery fuelled by the boom in mail order and online shopping, nowdays they seeem to expect bumper profits from all busines lines.  Restrictions on mail delivery in both Australia and especially NZ (down from 6 to 3 days a week in NZ) are with us as well.  NZ is particularly cheeky where standard mail items are in some instances held back compared with priority items that deliver more income due to higher postal rates.

 

Good luck with your lens considerations, and I agree that trying out any lenses first is a must..

(An aside:   I have compared the Olympus 60mm M43 Macro lens with the fabled Cosina/Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 macro lens for 24 x 36mm sensors and the Olympus stands up to it very well.)

 

On 26/05/2018 at 17:12, waltonksm said:

Hugh:  Yes, you have the right place.  And I could almost afford a plane if I ever quit buying more photo equipment! (not really.)
The villages are almost always either on the coast, or on a river.  In the winter locals use snowmobiles (always called "snowmachines" out here.) And In the summer, you go by boat. With the recent changes in mail subsidies all village travel has become more expensive. Commercial Inter-village travel is mostly with Cessna 207's, but the Cessna 207 is becoming ancient. The Cessna 208 (Caravan) is becoming the standard plane for these trips.  When I first came here in the mid 1980's I had a job that required almost weekly travel to villages (from Bethel.)  I have been to about 40 villages in our region, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (maybe 10 I have only landed at)

Due to changes in our cargo and mail distribution,  travel has become more difficult (and costly.) It is now about $675 round trip, to Anchorage.  In better days we had multiple 737 flights per week.  But not now. So all travel has become much more expensive. 

Many years ago I managed to stick a small knife almost through my hand.  It was Sunday, and the weather was bad.  I had trouble controlling bleeding, and really needed a few stitches to fix it, so I paid for a charter to Bethel to get medical care.  Since it was rotten weather, I had to take a twin and fly IFR.  By the time I was done the stitches cost me about $1500 a piece.

The 12-50 is 43mm, only, when in Macro mode.  I have also used the 30mm Olympus macro.  And I keep coming back to the 12-50.  It will be a while before I even consider another lens purchase and I am not likely to buy the 60 Olympus, unless I can try it first. I also need to spend more time with the 60mm Sigma and the 30mm Olympus before I pass final judgement.

 

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Posted (edited)

Hugh:  You caused me to do more work with the 60mm f2.8 Sigma.  It does not focus as closely as the 12-50 Olympus. But I did get some decent photos from it.

 

Tundra Vegetation, Spring 2018

 

Tundra Vegetation, Spring 2018

 

 

Tundra Vegetation, Spring 2018

 

 

Tundra Vegetation, Spring 2018

 

Tundra Vegetation: Spring 2018

 

Tundra Vegetation: Spring 2018

 

 

So...... the biggest differences in the two are: 1. The 12-50 focuses a lot closer than the 60mm Sigma.  But you can see the results from above.  Since the 12-50 is fixed at 43mm when in macro mode it is no longer  zoom.  2. And it is a constant F2.8 (the 60mm Sigma).  It just focuses closer (the 12-50) . I guess I will give the 30mm f3.5 macro another try, too. I have become too sleepy to make any sense.  So this will have to wait until tomorrow.

Walton

Edited by waltonksm
mistake in text

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Posted (edited)

Hi Walton - yes indeed, you have got some decent photos out of your 60mm Sigma.  If your 12-50mm is fixed at 43mm in macro mode, do you end up with  greater or about the same magnification as with the 60mm Sigma at its closest focus distance (I am assuming the Sigma still behaves as a 60mm up close)?

 

Another low cost option is that Meike, Kenko, Velo and one or two other Asian manufacturers are making M43 extension rings in 10mm and 16mm extensions with electrical contacts.  Not all lenses work well with extension tubes, but those lenses that unit focus usually do work well.  Pays to look closely at these items as some of the cheaper ones have plastic bayonets.  Another option if you still have older manual focus macro lenses, a Nikon/Canon/Minolta/Pentax to M43 adpater is pretty inexpensive.

 

Link:  http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/review/accessory_reviews/meike-mk-p-af3a-10mm-16mm-extension-tube-set-review-103911

 

 

 

Edited by Hugh_3170
bad spelling

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I need to do a few direct comparisons between the two.  My impression is that I get more magnification from the  12-50, because I can get much closer to the subject than with the 60mm.  I also just corrected a few terrible editing mistakes I made in my last post.

I bought a cheap extension ring set a few months ago.  So far I have not tried it. I always intend to do these tests, then go out and use what I am familiar with.   I guess I will have to spend a couple of hour with some comparisons. 

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And one more (almost) unrelated comment.  I knew (from reading) that the tundra is very diverse, and a very interesting "system."  But I had never really "looked" at it that closely until I started taking all of these photos that I have been doing the past two years.   In spite of having lived in this region of Alaska for much of the past 30 years, this diversity has been a real surprise to me.  So my photos are really a surprise to me, too. 

 

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Well the six images below certainly show up the diversity you speak of.  I am taken with the last two

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I have a few more of those photos now.  Even the name is sort of special.  This is a "Woolly Lousewort."  How in the world do they com up with some of these names?  Also unrelated to the photos, I was living in Anchorage for about 12 years before coming back out here. This town was my home from 1992 until 2004. 

I was in a coffee shop not far from Anchorage, and I got to overhear a conversation that some tourists were having with a sort of local (she lived "off the grid" in a cabin with no electric or plumbing.)  She was telling them about how the inconvenience was minor compared to the rewards.  After the local left, the family group (seemed to be five of them) was discussing what they had heard.  One of them said something like, "I have never been anywhere before where all of the residents are so positive about where they live, and how they would not change locations for anything."  And were so willing to stop and talk with them about how great it is to live here.

I moved here (Alaska) in 1985, and really would NOT want to move anywhere else.  That includes returning to the high desert area of Arizona. Maybe if I was  guaranteed a decent location like the 4 corners area I would have to give it some thought.  But I honestly have dreamed, more than once, that I was back in Arizona, had made a mistake in leaving, but had no money to move back.  I have recently reconnected with some old friends from 30 years ago. I now sometimes  explain to them where I am and what I am doing.  And I really wonder how on earth did I manage to get here? I am really fortunate.

It is past my bedtime, and I am looking out over the Andreafsky River with a full moon rising.  There are moose, black and brown bears, and other wildlife just a few minutes from here (actually, a brown bear has been spotted on our village roads already this spring.) From the local cemetery on a hill,  we watched three bull moose feeding across the river one day last week.  The cemetery is where I get a lot of tundra photos.  It is maybe 1.5 miles from here. OK.  Enough sales pitch.

 

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the double rainbow image is fantastic ! 

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Thank you, Armando..... and a few others, too.  But I am a bit surprised by the complements.

 

I am the just the guy who snapped the shutter. The rainbow was there, all on its own. I just figured I was lucky to see it, and then luckier to have just the right lens to get it all into my frame (my 7.5mm manual lens.)  I took about 6 shots before I was satisfied with the exposure.

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And Dallas, I do want to thank you too, for answering many of my questions, as well as commenting on my photos.  I still have a ways to go to learn the menu structure of the Olympus EM-1 cameras.  But I have to say I am really pleased with close-up/macro photos with the EM-1.  I am having a lot of fun getting these closeups. Frankly, I look at them and wonder.... they are better than I thought that I had done......taken by someone else, not me.   Ultimately, I hope to get some of these used (or even sold.) There are not too many of these tundra photos around.  But then I suspect there is not much demand for them, either.

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Always happy to assist, Walton! 

 

What I have found is that the IBIS plays a massive role in improving the sharpness of images I shoot with the Olympus cameras. I don't think I will ever be able to go back to shooting without it - my experiences with the Canon 200D were more than enough evidence for me in that regard. 

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Wow that's a heck of a rainbow. I think the curved horizon is OK here, but I would remove that black angled thingie from the top left.

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That "black angled thingie" is my porch roof overhang.  I have a couple of reasons that it is still there:

1. I had no idea the photo woud get this sort of response.  I posted it more as a "lark" So It was not the most serious job of editing.

2.  I might can use some sort of "touch-up" or "healing" brush.  But I had trouble keeping the whole second rainbow in the image if I cropped it out.  I will put this on my list of things to do sometime in the near future, or when i have winter nights of 18 hours, rather than summer sun of 20 hours!  I just checked.  On June 21 our sunrise is at 4:59 AM, and sunset the 'next day" at 12:52 AM. 

 

But thank you for the complement.  I was using an almost new lens on the sunset.  I have nothing quite as good as this one the past two summers.  But something about our topography seems to make rainbows form at that same spot fairly often.  Just nothing quite as spectacular as this one.

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Walton, it is actually good that you are looking at the diversity of the tundra vegitation and documenting it.  In a few more decades of global warming I wonder just how much of it we will have left and whether the ground underneath it will allow people to access it if the perma frost below gets too "boggy".

 

I have just taken another look at your last bracket of images in this post and FWIW, you may be a little too hard on yourself, although reasonable levels of self criticism are always helpful in refining ones outputs. 

 

 

On 30/05/2018 at 15:10, waltonksm said:

And Dallas, I do want to thank you too, for answering many of my questions, as well as commenting on my photos.  I still have a ways to go to learn the menu structure of the Olympus EM-1 cameras.  But I have to say I am really pleased with close-up/macro photos with the EM-1.  I am having a lot of fun getting these closeups. Frankly, I look at them and wonder.... they are better than I thought that I had done......taken by someone else, not me.   Ultimately, I hope to get some of these used (or even sold.) There are not too many of these tundra photos around.  But then I suspect there is not much demand for them, either.

 

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Hugh: I was going to respond that I am not as pessimistic about the future as you, BUT.....

 

In the past many years that I have lived here, there has been fairly dramatic change. Many of the prime berry-picking areas adjacent to the village are now gone.  I do not mean to say that berry picking no longer occurs or is in danger.  It is not, for now. But some hillsides that used to be tundra grasses and vegetation are now covered with really dense "forests" of tundra willow.  These willows seldom exceed 6 feet in height, but they are really "thickets," and are almost impossible to walk through. Perhaps this is just "normal" change.n But winters are very different than even 10 years ago.

Last winter I never even used my heavy winter coat.  We had only a handful of days below minus 20 F. My coat is good for minus 20 to colder than minus 40 with a stiff wind. I used to need it frequently in the winter. 

But someone better want these photos soon.  I am too old to wait for much more change. 

Thanks for your complements.  If you are interested, I have many images of plants of various types on my flickr pages. 

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