So, off to New Zealand to experience magnificent landscapes with the Phase IQ4-150 with the latest firmware upgrade that includes the new Frame Averaging Tool, Cambo RS-1600 Tech camera, a set of Rodenstock lenses (including prototype 138 mm f6.5 HR Digaron SW Float lens) as well as the Wine Country Camera Filter System.
For someone who usually photographs street portraits and cityscapes, this was a whole set of new experiences in New Zealand’s South Island.
Let me start by saying that the landscape opportunities in New Zealand are no less than spectacular. Without some discipline, I would have simply marveled at the scenes before me in both the early morning hours and at dusk. The challenge was to try to capture some of this magic in a single photograph. To take advantage of this rare opportunity, I traveled hundreds of miles over the Southern Island of New Zealand in late July, early August (for the record that is the middle of winter in New Zealand) chasing the light. The capture below was taken at Tasman Lake. Staying near Mount Cook provided the opportunity to capture this beautiful blue light in the morning- a vantage point established by me tripping down the side of a glacier in the very early hours to capture first light.
The image was captured with the Phase IQ4-150, Cambo RS 1600, the new Rodenstock 138mm lens along with a soft grad filter to deal with the bright light over the mountains. In addition, frame averaging was utilized to create the smoothness of the water. The new Rodenstock 138mm lens was a perfect choice to accommodate the fairly tight composition. The level of detail and sharpness afforded by the lens is quite exceptional. The combination of filters and frame averaging allowed me to accommodate the wide dynamic range-smoothing out the texture in the water and softening the brightness of the clear sky.
Another great example of the superior rendering performance of the Rodenstock 138mm lens is this shot of the Moeraki Boulders.
A 100 % crop of the boulder shows the level of detail, texture and sharpness which can be achieved. Just exceptional.
There is a challenge using this lens in any environment involving a good amount of wind. The sheer size of the lens barrel attachment to the Cambo, at times, makes this a condition to pay close attention to when shooting.
I found the new frame averaging tool in the IQ4-150 to be of great use in capturing the winter mood that I was shooting in. It turned out that a combination of filters and frame averaging complemented each other to produce a better image then what I could achieve with either separately.
I was also very pleased with the other Rodenstock lenses that I had the opportunity to photograph with. In particular, the 50mm.
This photograph was shot in very difficult weather conditions (cold, rain, threatening storm clouds). On numerous occasions, I packed up my equipment to leave. But then, for only a very brief moment, the weather cleared enough to set up and take this shot. Sometimes persistence pays off. I consider this one of the best images that I captured on my trip. The great color and mood, in my mind, captured the moment.
In all, the equipment performed exceptionally well, giving me a very wide range of opportunities to capture some of the magic that is New Zealand in the winter.
I would like to thank the team at Digital Transitions, especially Lance Schad, for providing me with the opportunity to use this exceptional new lens (138mm Rodenstock) as well as their general support and encouragement. Stay tuned for my website update of the images captured in New Zealand!