Saturday, April 14, 2012

F770EXR Review – Part 6 – Lime Kiln Trail

I was looking forward to finally seeing the ruins of the old Lime Kiln, so I decided that today was the day and drove over to the trail head with the F770EXR and a fresh battery taken directly from my charger.

As I was leaving, I chatted with Nick for a few minutes … he was out enjoying the fresh air :-)

f770exr  100iso  f/3.5  1/120  -1/3ev  RAF

I processed that from the RAF, as I did a few other sin this series. But the JPEGs were fine for many of the images. Even this one looked ok on the built in JPEG. Lots of detail, although the tones are less subtle.

And just before I leave, I must capture today’s state of the Lilac buds. Coming along beautifully. This cam is brilliant for flowers at 500mm.

f770exr  100iso  f/5.3  1/100 –1/3ev

Note the slow shutter speed. Stabilization works pretty well, when you consider that 500mm is 2.25 stops above the shutter speed at 1/focal length.

So finally I am off to the Lime Kiln Trail.

The parking lot is tiny for this trail … next time I’ll just park out on the highway I think. The first thing you notice when you arrive is that the trail is cut out of a long patch of woods and swamp. The canopy effect for the early part is rather beautiful. Almost like those Magnolias in classic scenes of the South … perhaps when the trees are in full leaf.

F770exr 100iso f/5.3 1/20 -1/3ev

Note the extremely slow shutter speed there. Brain fart. I shot this entire series on a very dull afternoon with the ISO pinned at 100. The softness of this image serves me right …

At this point I’m going to stop popping the EXIF info under the images. Most are pretty similar with shutter going up and down depending on the thickness of the trees.

There is a bird house near the trail head. No idea why, as there are surely more than one breeding pair in these woods. Rendered in B&W for the crappy skies …

A sharper image as I proceed don the trail. This camera sure captures fine details. It’s quite stunning.

The trail is lined for a ways with what I believe are Birch trees. Could also be Poplar … online sources are very unhelpful in trying to figure out the differences.

The woods thin a bit for a while.

The JPEGs I was processing ended up coming out a bit dark and rich looking, but I don’t mind that look on a dull day. Here, I encounter the first bridge over the swamp.

Here, I noticed this really interesting tree with very light leaves. Must really stand out in the summer. We’ll see …

I accidentally uploaded it in full size, so some of you will be happy for a close inspection (you know who you are.) The top, bottom and right edges are perfect. The left edge is uniformly slightly blurred in a narrow band on the edge. All in all, a good lens.

That one appears rather “crispy” looking when downsized by the web itself. You’ll need to click on it to look at it.

One section looks like it’s been heavily logged. No idea what they did this for … perhaps just to let in some light.

Approaching an open area of swamp with a very long bridge.

As I approached the bridge, I stopped to photograph a squirrel who was trying to hide from me.

This bridge goes for a while.

And I arrive at the first of two sites for the old Lime Kiln. This site has a huge stone foundation and nothing else. There is a squirrel munching away on seeds or something that has been left by someone who was no doubt photographing these fellows. I take advantage …

Still getting shutter speeds around 1/105 … tough to get really crisp images. Brain fart still intact.

I catch a really sharp image here.

And at this moment, my battery shockingly packs it in. Having taken it from the charger, I can only speculate that I had it in backwards :-) … so I don’t proceed further down the trail to see the main ruins of the kiln. That would be a waste … instead I head back.

After a while, I turn the camera on again and shoot the roots in the trail.

The camera died a moment or two later again. But while it was on, it read 2/3 full for several minutes. Another Fuji quirk. The battery meter lies. It read full when I put in the obviously empty battery before I left the house. It managed to ruin my look at the Lime Kiln ruins. Thanks Fuji.

As I approach the trail head, the shaping of the entrance becomes really obvious. This is pretty cool stuff. And look how well the EXR technology handles the transition to brightly lit from dark canopy. By this time, the clouds had thinned considerably and the sun peeked out just a few moments after I left.

I realized for a moment that I had not shot a single macro image. Probably because nothing is yet alive this early in the spring. But I just had to rectify the omission, so I shot some bark. Very clean rendering too …


Not much to say, really. The range is awesome for someone like me, who really values subject isolation. The sharpness is excellent. I will be busting out the second copy soon to compare them head to head. And of course it is a joy to hold and shoot. The body is much more refined than the F550, which itself was nice.