Despite this predication, the day dawned cloudy and grey. I hadn’t planned on getting up before sunrise anyway, but when I looked out on grey skies I almost flagged the whole idea. Fortunately I decided to go out anyway, although I also decided to not travel very far (only 5 minutes down the road) since it didn’t look very promising.
My local beach (Cobden) has a track that leads up to a lookout over the coast (an area known as Point Elizabeth). You can stop at the lookout and take in a great view of the coastline, or you can continue through to Rapahoe beach on the other side of the Point. It had been a long time since I had visited the lookout on the Cobden beach side, so that’s where I decided to shoot. I figured that even if the images weren’t any good, the walk would be worth it.
|Lowepro Sling 100AW|
The Zuiko 12-50mm f3.5/5.6 EZ is my main landscape lens (at the moment), given that it starts at a very respectably wide 24mm (my favourite wide angle focal length). Landscapes require a larger depth of field, with smaller apertures (of around f8 to f16), so the relatively ‘slow’ variable aperture of the 12-50mm isn’t a big deal for landscapes. Actually, it’s a bonus, since a micro-four-thirds sensor exhibits a greater depth of field natively. The depth of field achievable at f5.6 with the E-M1 is the same as f11 on a full frame sensor using the same focal length (i.e 24mm). So you can get greater depth of field without having to stop down as much as you would on a full frame system.
|Panasonic Limix 45-200mm f4/5.6|
Even though when I think of landscape images I automatically think ‘wide’, there is still a place for a telephoto lens in any landscape photographer’s bag. Not long after getting the OM-D E-M1, I also purchased a Panasonic Lumix 45-200mm f4/5.6. This is another ‘slow’ variable aperture lens, which again, doesn’t bother me for landscape photography. It also doesn’t bother me for sports and action, as long as there is a decent amount of light. I don’t imagine it will be a great indoor sports lens, but outside during the day it should cope just fine. Especially if my previous experience using the Olympus 40-150mm f4/5.6 kit lens is anything to go by. That lens is super sharp and worked perfectly when I used it to shoot motor-cycle street racing (see the post here). The Panasonic 45-200mm f4/5.6 isn’t said to be quite as sharp as the Olympus, but it does give the extra reach, which may come in handy for sports.
Given what I’ve already said about only thinking ‘wide’ when I shoot landscapes, means I often don’t even take a telephoto with me on a landscape shoot. But since micro four thirds gear is so small and light, it’s no big deal to carry one with you, even if you don’t end up using it (the same can’t really be said for DSLR gear). I’m so glad that on this occasion I did, because I ended up using it more than the 12-50mm – much to my surprise.
|Cobden from Point Elizabeth track. Olympus E-M1 with Lumix G 45-200mm. 1/50th @f5.6, ISO 100 - 200mm|
Relieved to have captured at least one image I was happy with already, I continued on to the lookout. The sky continued to remain overcast, even though it was trying to clear in the east. The track itself didn’t offer up any photo opportunities, although a dedicated macro photographer would have probably had a wonderful time exploring the numerous flora. My destination, however, was the wide open vista of the Point itself.
|Coast from Pt. Elizabeth lookout. Olympus E-M1 with Lumix G Vario 45-200mm. 1/320sec @f6.3, ISO 100 - 45mm|
|Rapahoe from P. Elizabeth. Olympus E-M1 with Lumix G Vario 45-200mm. 1/2000th @ f6.3, ISO 200 - 55mm|
|Rapahoe from Pt. Elizabeth B&W. Olympus E-M1 with Lumix G Vario 45-200mm. Shot 1:1 format|