WALK | Cornwall | St Ives

Harbour Beach St Ives


THE WALK

A day out on Boxing Day 2020 to try out my new super lightweight Sony 28mm lens around St Ives. We had booked a four night stay here over Xmas but had to cancel due to the latest Covid restrictions. This was a chance to see a little of what we missed.

Everybody loves St Ives, it has a gorgeous look to it, a picture perfect Cornish coastal village. We had planned to go walking around the Zennor area, a favourite area of ours, which is a little further down the coast, so St Ives was going to be the ideal base. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.


PHOTOS

Cornwall’s Gem – St Ives
Winter Blue at St Ives
St Ives Bay and Headland Beyond

SUMMARY

This winter walk and camera combination have given me the best images I’ve ever taken of St Ives. So glad we came.

I really didn’t think I would use my old A7R much when I bought the new A7R IV, I even thought I’d get a second A7R IV at some stage or maybe an A9 for the times I needed the second body to carry my long zoom. I was sucked into the upgrade path and hadn’t really stepped back and taken on board the advantages the A7R had.

St Ives…..Cornwall’s gem…..that’s for sure!


PHOTO EQUIPMENT

SONY A7R – Fantastically specified and so small and light

Sony A7R Camera

SONY 28MM – Perfect walkabout lens – uncomplicated and also amazingly light

Sony 28mm Lens

PHOTO EQUIPMENT REVIEW

The A7R IV is it’s quite a bit heavier and bulkier than the A7R…..this had not been a problem in the past as it was generally kept in my rucksack and taken out as required, usually for church photography.

So when I read about the new super lightweight Sony 28mm I thought maybe that would work with the extremely light and compact Sony A7R as a walkabout camera…..for days like today.

I have never owned an SLR camera that I was happy carrying round my neck while walking. Usually they were too heavy or bulky or just got in the way! So it ends up in the rucksack and not being used because it’s too much hassle to get out…..subsequently the picture either gets missed or taken with my iPhone.

From my early days in photography with a Canon A1 the 28mm lens was always my favourite lens. I used to think it was super wide then but my collection of wide angle lenses now include Voigtlander 21mm, 15mm & 10mm plus a Samyang fisheye! These are perfect for my Church photography but a bit too wide for an all purpose walkabout lens.

A 28mm lens for me has the perfect perspective, it’s definitely a wide angle but with not too much distortion. I can still get that wide angle effect and if the subject is further away there’s still a chance I’ll be able to crop it out and get a decent image…..especially with the 36.4MP image quality that the Sony A7R gives me!

So now I have a super light combination that gives me fantastic quality images plus the amazing functions that come with the Sony A7R camera. The only hike I’ve gone without it is when it was forecast to be heavy rain all day but I’ve ordered a lightweight neoprene case to hopefully help in those conditions.


PHOTO TIP

I don’t want to have to think too much about camera settings on these walks so I have configured the Sony A7R’s Custom 1 option as follows: Manual Focus / Aperture f11 / Auto ISO / Continuous Bracket 5 Images 0.7 stop. I set the lens to a Hyperfocal Distance of around 2.35M then fix it with some surgical tape along the bottom of the lens. Now I have everything in focus from 1.35M to Infinity.

The resulting 5 images can either be used for Auto Aligned HDR or I can use a single image, usually the one with the best exposed highlights ….. clouds are normally the trickiest to get right. I like gritty images so when the ISO creeps up I don’t really have an issue with the results ….. it can often add to the atmosphere of a Black & White image …. the ease of use those settings give me far outweighs any image downside!


REFERENCES

ORDNANCE SURVEY – We always use their iPhone/iPad route planner app to create our walks and to check out any car journey routes. Can’t go walking without GPS these days ….. love it!

MET OFFICE – Used on every walk for weather information. An invaluable tool in planning what gear to take.

WIKIPEDIA – For finding information quickly Wikipedia is far and away the best, most convenient, useful source for anything ….. whatever their critics say! I use it all the time for information about places we visit on our walks.


LINKS

To view Photo Album of this walk click here: PIKTOUR: ALBUM-ST IVES

For Information on St Ives click here: INFO: ST IVES

To view the full Blog list click here: PIKTOUR: BLOG

To go to the Home Page click here: PIKTOUR: HOME


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The Photographer

Neville Wootton
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