Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens we’re in Iceland. And I brought with me what I feel is the perfect trinity. The travel trinity of three lenses because I’m trying to pack light, that allows me to do all the things that we’re going to encounter here in Iceland. Everything from animals and birds, to the buildings, to just the grandeur of this place. Now this trinity of three lenses is really built on how Julene and I travel. We travel on our own. We’re not in tour groups. We’re a lot of times going to be out doing things, more active kinds of things. So we’re in the city. We’re out looking at these kinds of national parks. We’re in a lot of different places.So I want a trinity of lenses that’s going to cover everything that we’re doing. And especially, I want to be able to shoot animals, birds, anything that we come in contact wildlife wise when we’re in national parks, or when we’re out on our own. One of the first stops we made was we photographed some puffins and it was just fabulous and fun. It was stinking wet and rainy but it was a lot of fun. I learned that the plastic bag I brought to get my hands in to work was pretty restrictive. So I just took the bag out of the trash can at the hotel, shoved it on the end of this, clamped off the lens shade, tore the bag open and I got it over my hands. And I was able to keep the camera nice and dry and shoot. Yes Sony, I kept your a1 nice and dry while I shot.
So let’s take a look at those three lenses that I’m bringing with me. And the first one I’m going to talk about is the 150-500mm lens. Most people are going, “What? You carry a 150-500mm lens?” I can’t go anywhere without it. This 150-500mm lens is very hand holdable. It’s got VC so it allows you to settle into your hands. It’s going to really give the ability to shoot on a slower shutter speed. Surprisingly, for the size, as compact as it is, it’s very sharp and gives you great image quality. It’s easy to handhold. It’s fast to use. The autofocus is incredibly fast. I’m shooting these birds coming in and I’m shooting on high speed here on the a1. And it’s following them in as they come in. This lens also gives you some macro capabilities because it focuses up to 23.6 inches. So the moisture resistant construction and the fluorine coating on this lens is going to make it much better for shooting out in a situation like this. We were shooting in the rain a lot. I was glad to have that. So this lens comes with an Arca-Swiss plate on the bottom. It’s built in, which is great. I’ve been using that on that Fotopro gimbal. It just hooks right in, locks in and it’s perfect. I also can put pins in this if I want to allow it to keep from falling, sliding out. It has the safety pins you can put in it which gives you that ability to set those pins in it so it won’t slide off the gimbal. Also, it’s got a lens hood. It’s got that rubberized lens hood. It’s got the rubberized edge of the lens in case you bump it on something so it’s not going to hurt your lens. So the autofocus integrates perfectly with Sony. I’m seeing, on the puffins, I’m seeing the eye of the puffin. I got the eye tracking that is on. That’s working wonderfully. I’m able to track the puffins. So it’s really using all of the autofocus features of the Sony camera. The a1 is keeping up with it and is doing a great job. I love the autofocus limiter on these kinds of lenses because it just gives me the ability to restrict the distance that that motor is trying to move the lens. I don’t have to have it all the way from infinity to 23 inches. I can limit it to three meters to infinity. And that’s going to cut down the area it has to travel. It makes it autofocus a lot faster. Generally speaking, the animals I’m shooting are a little ways away. They’re going to be more than nine feet. And so I’m going to, I hope I can get closer to nine feet. But if not, generally speaking it’s not, it gives me the ability to focus a lot faster. Anyway, that’s my first lens. I’m going to take a 150-500mm lens. This is on that Sony platform. I’m shooting with the a1 and I will not just shoot animals with that. But a lot of times I will start looking at scenics. If I’ve got a distant kind of a house it stacks the background. It brings the mountains in, which is really interesting to see on some of the different kinds of Icelandic homes. It’s great for cutting into scenics, little sections of areas. I find it really fascinating to work with. I love having a lens that allows me to do wildlife and interesting kinds of landscapes with that telephoto lens. So that’s the first one in my trinity.
The second one of my trinity is, I have fallen in love with the 35-150mm. It’s an f/2-2.8 lens by Tamron. It’s a great walk around lens. If I’m going to do any kind of portrait work that lens is perfect for portrait work. So I’m not bringing the 28-75mm. I’m bringing that 35-150mm. It just gives me an f/2-2.8. It gives me a lot of options. So I can shoot just everything from portrait kinds of things to some really interesting landscapes and more of that telephoto if I want to bring something in. So that’s become my medium walk around lens I’m carrying with me. This is an f/2-2.8 which means at 35 you’re at about f/2 when you go to probably 45, at 45 or 50 you go to f/2.8 and throughout the rest of the lens it’s f/2.8. This really is a professional lens. It gives you fast autofocus. It gives you a very fast speed F/2-2.8. It is an excellent, for a zoom lens, is really an excellent range. And it also gives you some macro capabilities. It’s a 1:5.7 which means you can get to about 13 inches with this and get fairly close. That’s going to give you a macro magnification. This one is really interesting because it does have the port so you can plug this into your computer and you can customize this lens. You can customize the direction of focus and customize all the things you want to use and work with this lens through Tamron’s software. It’s not as lightweight, obviously, as that smaller 17-28mm. It’s a beefier lens. But it just gives you a great walk-around lens to be able to use on location and to give you a range of subject matter from 35mm to macro to 150mm. It does have VXD which is voice coil extreme torque drive. Say that 10 times in a row. But that makes it screaming fast when it comes to autofocus. Which is really useful when you’re shooting with a lens like this. I have photographed people with this lens. I photographed just walking around all through Iceland. An excellent all-around lens and it gives me a lot more flexibility than a 24-70mm or a 28-75mm. And that’s what I think is really appealing about this, the broader range, macro capabilities and just a great professional lens.
Then the last lens in this group is, I definitely need the 17-28mm. That f/2.8. It’s a wide lens if I want to be in town and get some of the buildings it just gives me a beautiful shot. I did some incredible shots at the waterfall. This is a double waterfall. It was seen on Game of Thrones. We shot some images there with that lens. It gave me the ability to see that entire vista in one shot and not have to pano that together. Because sometimes when you’re doing water and it’s giving long exposure doing a pano makes that, doesn’t look real good on the waterfall because it starts to be hard to stitch those when there’s water involved. This is that series of lenses that Tamron put out with 67 millimeters on the front. It’s lightweight. All of the controls like autofocus and things like that are controlled inside the camera. So it’s very, very lightweight and small. It’s so simple to put in my pocket and to carry with me. But it gives you a lot of great options. It’s a 17-28mm on a full frame sensor. It has an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/22. It’s got the b-bar and the flourine coating so it’s going to be good for flare and those kinds of things. It’s just a great lightweight, in your bag, carry with you kind of lens. It’s got the XDS stepping auto focus motor so the autofocus is very fast. This just turns out to be an excellent simple lightweight lens. It gives me basically some macro capability and 17-28mm. So there’s that little 17-28mm great little pocket lens.
This is an unexpected treat. We came from this place called Iceberg lagoon. These icebergs are coming off Europe’s largest glacier right here behind us. And so these icebergs are coming off into this lagoon and floating right out to the ocean. It’s pretty amazing. So I definitely grabbed the 17-28mm. I’m going to come and shoot some stitch here. I wanted to be as wide as possible. This is a really, just a great pano I’m going to stitch together from several images and I’ll put this together in one large pano. I’m going to let my exposure just follow the meter which means it’s going to be underexposed, because anytime you look at something this white the meter is going to try to make it 18% gray. And that’s okay. I’m going to let it under expose it slightly. Because now that gives me a lot of detail on all the whites in the background and allows me to recover those when I go back into photoshop.
So we have been trying out on this trip a backpack from AtlasPacks. So that backpack gives me a camera bag inside but it also gives me the ability to put my jackets, my hats, my other things, my snacks and things around it on the back side. Which really is a great way to work.
It was fascinating being in Iceland because it was just such a different cultural type of experience. We’re from Los Angeles. Iceland’s entire population does not exceed the population of Burbank and Pasadena which are two little cities in the larger metropolitan LA area. So it was just a lot fewer people than what we were used to. But it was wonderful. The weather was cold. The scenery was absolutely stunning. The people were wonderful. It was a great experience. We really enjoyed being there. We got some great images and we put that travel trinity to the test. And you know what, it turned out to be way better than what we had thought it was going to. It just gave us a great range to be able to work with. That 35-150mm became a walk-around lens that I used most of the time. I kept the 17-28mm in my pocket because when I would get in town walking around I wanted something a little broader to be able to shoot the buildings and take pictures in the city. And then of course anytime I was doing wildlife I’m on that 150-500mm lens. So it’s a trinity that gives you a wider angle of view from that long 500mm telephoto to a 17mm wide angle. Just a great work around series of lenses. I hope you enjoyed this. I hope it gave you a great perspective and in the future this is what I’m going to travel with. So leave us a comment. Tell us what you think and keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!