The Sony A9 and the best laid plans.

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HL53 Contributing Member • Posts: 511
The Sony A9 and the best laid plans.


I recently traded my Sony a7R-2 for a Sony A9. I had been very tempted by the A7R-3 but the AF and zero viewfinder blackout on the A9 won me over. As I had an upcoming visit to my brother house on the Isle of Mull in Scotland planned I did a quick test with the A9 to test its suitability as a landscape camera and I was suitably impressed with the resulting RAW files and their editing malleability.

So armed with the A9 plus 16-35 f\4, 24-105 f\4 and the old 70-300mm f\4.5-5.6 I made my trip to Mull. Now, in fair weather, Mull is a landscape photographer’s dream but, unfortunately, I arrived in torrential rain, grey skies and poor visibility. On the second day, the rain intensified to the point where I started to think that a course in Ark building and animal husbandry to be a wise move.

On the fourth day, the rain relented, well I say relented, what I really mean is lessened to persistent light rain. Light rain to the inhabitants of Mull is akin to a heatwave in the rest of the UK. Women abandon their sou'westers, barbeques and highland games spring up all over the place and men start liberally tossing cabers in all directions. A general air of merriment pervades.

Caught up in this heady atmosphere and a slight, almost imperceptible, brightening of the grey skies I determined to grab my camera, don my brand new hiking boots and make the journey to a high point across the Loch that provides a glorious view of the Loch and surrounding mountains. I reasoned that if the weather did not improve that I could always use B & W.

Of course, the fates had just been toying with me and during the course of the 4-mile hike, the weather steadily deteriorated and by the time I reached my chosen vantage point I could not see the Loch or the mountains let alone photograph them. So drenched and frustrated I began my return hike. It was at this point that I noticed a dull burning sensation in my heels which, by the time I reached my destination, had intensified into feeling similar to walking on broken glass in bare feet. On removing the offending hiking boots I discovered a golfball-sized blister on each heel rendering any further hiking impossible.

On the fifth day, the weather was glorious and I was immobile. Someone somewhere was laughing.

On the sixth day, the weather was still ok so I adapted a pair of my brother’s sandals, took several pain killers and was able to move again if somewhat cautiously. My brother drove me to a local castle to take some shots just so the entire trip would not be wasted. So instead of hundreds of images from the more remote regions of Mull, I ended up with a few dozen from the tourist hotspots. And, finally, just to rub the salt in when I came to read them into Lightroom I discovered I set the camera to jpeg only – no raws.

So here is the moral of my long rambling tale; it does not matter whether use Sony, Canon, etc just be certain to never, never take new boots on a hiking trip.

Cheers, H

 HL53's gear list:HL53's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Nikon D800 Olympus E-M1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D +7 more
Sony a9
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