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Thread: M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

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    Question M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

    I'm looking for advice on what lens to bring with me on a hike this year to the top of Half Dome. I'm bringing my M and was thinking my 35 cron would be an ideal travel package w/ respect to weight, but wondering if this focal length will do the wide majestic background justice.

    I started thinking maybe something wider would be better but at the same time, I will be shooting a lot of people in the group while up there and want a good mix of scenic background and people (don't want to get them too distorted). What do you all think?

    If it does require something wider, I'll likely just try and rent it since this is a one-off trip so a particular lens recommendation would be helpful. Speed is definitely not going to be an issue as it'll be bright out and I want greater DOF to give the background some sharpness so my only real concern is focal length and weight.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

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    Re: M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

    Ansel Adams did Half Dome with a tele lens as well as a wide angle, so don't think that just because its landscape 'wide angle' is the view, it can make great features look like a pea on a plate if you aren't careful. In fact in a landscape like that I would say 60% of the time a short tele lens, a 75mm or 90mm, would be better to make your photograph with. So what about a 28mm and a 90mm as Yosemite landscape lenses?

    Steve

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    Re: M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

    Great food for thought there. I hadn't considered that aspect and while I do want wide, there will be times on the trail I'd probably like to focus on a magnificent feature of the scene. I guess I will need to consider carrying a lil more weight if I want to have versatility. Thanks!

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    Re: M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

    Here are some shots from Yosemite 14, 24, 50, and 70mm.
    Attachment 55399

    Attachment 55400

    Attachment 55401

    Attachment 55402

    Regards, K-H.

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    Re: M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

    Very nice. Love the 14 mm shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Here are some shots from Yosemite 14, 24, 50, and 70mm.
    Attachment 55399

    Attachment 55400

    Attachment 55401

    Attachment 55402

    Regards, K-H.


    My Photos: 500px
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    Re: M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

    My own view is that you need to decide whether your objective is hiking to the top of Half Dome as part of a group and enjoying the experience (and take a few casual shots on the way) or whether it is to come back with some seriously fine landscape photographs. I'm not sure a group hike provides the ideal circumstances for getting the best out of the trip photographically speaking (particularly in terms of being able to be up there when the light is 'best') and IMO it can become a bit of a pain to be fiddling around swapping lenses while your companions hang around waiting. For me, the 35mm Summicron as a single lens is a sound choice for this kind of trip. Having done the hike you'll be a better position to judge what kind of focal lengths you might want with you for a more photographically focussed (excuse the pun) return trip. If you are determined to take more than one lens, my own recommendation (FWIW) would be for a two lens combination like 28mm and 90mm but we all have our personal preferences and have different photographic styles.
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    Re: M9 and a wide angle for Half Dome...

    You're totally right about that wattsy, hiking w/ the group is going to limit my photographic endeavors greatly. I've only done the full hike once before and had brought my D300, 18-200, and 11-16 zoom (at the time) and not only was it heavy, but it rarely saw the light of day until I got to the top when I had the wherewithal to pull it out and actually try to focus on photography. I was just too physically engaged during most of the hike, so I imagine a similar experience this time around (it is a LONG journey to say the least!).

    I'm hoping the difference this time is that I'm smarter by only selecting one lens that will get me the most versatility and the lighter M will at least cut down on the weight that was bearing me down. That may or may not lead to it being used more during the hike but at the very least, I will definitely enjoy shooting at the top, to help everyone in the group capture the glory of passing such a unique physical test.

    I think the 35 cron will definitely be the best combo of weight, minimal distortion for portraits, while still allowing for some scenic beauty to be a part of the resulting photographs. If we do a shorter hike the next day, I may bring a medium tele for more focused photography.

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