Located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Abrams Falls may be the most famous falls in the entire park. The water fall has more water flowing over it by volume than any other water fall in the GSMNP. It is also a dangerous waterfall for swimmers and people who get to close to the falls. You must respect the falls and not swim or put yourself in a position to fall in the water close to the falls. Death will occur. However, there is plenty of water to wade and possibly swim in around the waterfall that is safe (but really cold) and the waterfall is beautiful.
The hike is 5.2 miles round trip and is half shaded and half sunny. Take plenty of water and some lunch. Pack out what you pack in. Arrive early to avoid the Cades Cove traffic. Plan to be parked by 9 am if possible at the trailhead in order to have a nice day. Expect a delay leaving the park because you get to join the crowds circling Cades Cove.
The hike is kid friendly and our at the time 6 year old son can attest to. You should be able to walk 8 miles without issue before considering this hike. It does have some elevation gain and the trail is rocky in some spots.
Waterall location: Trailhead is located in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountain National Park. GPS Coordinates 35.591438' N 83.852988' W
Full frame recommended focal length: 16mm for right beside the water fall to 85mm away from the fall. Longer focal lengths are welcome as you will have plenty of space between you and the water fall.
Do's: Pack a hammock, lunch, and maybe your swim gear to wade in the water far away from the falls if you can stand the cold water. Have fun.
Don'ts: Do NOT get near the water falling into the lower pool. This waterfall has been listed as one of the ten most dangerous hikes in the entire United States. This is due to the number of drownings that occur at the falls. Once you go under, you stay under. Do not get too close to the falls and do not climb to the to top of the falls.
Spruce Flats Falls is located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) near the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont, Townsend, Tennessee. Or "Tremont" as us locals refer to it. Finding Tremont Road sounds easy but be on the look out for the turn onto Tremont Road. If you are not paying attention you will end up in Cades Cove, aka, a parking lot that never ends.
The hike to Spruce Flats Falls is an easy hike but does gain elevation quick within the first half mile or so. It is a two mile round trip and the hike back is super easy and goes fast. Park across the road from the entrance to the Tremont office. You will walk up the hill toward the sleeping quarters and start your hike. It is well marked. Watch out along the way for rattlesnakes. I almost stepped on a four footer while instantly jumping in the air ten feet.
As hikes go, I would classify this one as one of the more easy hikes in the park. After all, my six year old son accomplished this hike without any issue. People tend to come and go at a leisurely pace. They don't show up and leave. A lot of people park it and enjoy the view. Walking downstream a small bit gives a great view of the falls. Earlier in the day the better would be my motto for this water fall. If you disagree with this by all means let me know.
I photographed the waterfall with my Sony a7ii and Sony 16-35/4 lens. I also used the Lee Filters 100mm Lee Big Stopper ND filter. The Lee Big Stopper was too powerful in my opinion. I would suggest using the Lee Filters Little Stopper.
Lee Big Stopper
The low amount of water you will encounter at the base of the falls makes little visible mist. Unless it has recently rained, mist should not be a concern. Once you set up your tripod and camera. Be patient and don't allow anyone to rush you. People are going to be in your shot. You are going to have to blend several exposures to get one without people in it. I want to encourage you once again to walk 100' down stream and get a nice shot of the Spruce Flats Falls with another small fall in the foreground. Will be totally worth it and is missed by many (including me!).
Waterall location: Townsend, Tennessee - GPS Coordinates 35°38'4" N 83°40'55" W
Full frame recommended focal length: 21mm or wider (18mm or wider may be wiser)
Do's: Pack a lunch (and pack out your trash) and make a nice stay at the falls. Be ready to take a really long exposure with normal photos. You will need to blend in at least one extra photo to get the people out. Everyone wants their photograph taken behind the falls. You will most likely need several photos to blend the people out. Look out for snakes along the path and at the falls. They like to sunbath on the rocks.
Don'ts: Sunscreen isn't a concern as the hike is mostly shaded. It is a crowded falls but downstream is less crowded and may provide some rest. Do not be in a hurry.
GPX File: I have attached my track log of the hike for you to use. I use Minimalist GPS Tracker on my iPhone to track my hikes and later geotag my photos in Adobe Lightroom.
Lee Big Stopper
Location: 35°38'3" N 83°40'53" W
[Eric] Hello and we're back with the Sony a7ii and the Sony 24-70 FE f/4 zoom lens. This lens quite frankly takes a lot of crap off people on the internet, on the boards, on reviews. Because one, it's $1200, and two in the early days it had some pretty bad copies. But my copy is ok. My copy is good. It's good enough. Let's say that. It's good enough.
Compared to Canon 24-70 f/4 lens, I like it because it is more compact. It's not as big. Those are things we like in mirrorless. But is it sharper than the Canon? No. It is sharper than the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 ii? No. But it's a lot smaller. I have Eye Autofocus. Eye AF with it. Facial recognition. Optical steady shot is built in as you have the little marking here on top of the lens. So, it does what I need it to do. But I do feel it is over priced. If you're looking for a zoom and you're looking for a 24-70, I think you should think real hard before you purchase a Sony version because it's just overpriced at $1200. If they come out with a F/2.8, how much is that going to cost? Well north of $2,000 I'm sure. And we will be sitting that one out.
So I going to give two photos here. I'm at 70mm. Back it out. 24mm and you all can judge for yourself what it looks like. I think at the end of the day for me it's a keeper because it's a 24-70. Very versatile for just walking around. If you're on vacation, it's in the day, not a big deal. You can get your wide angle and you can get... you can zoom in a little bit. Although I'd probably just prefer to carry like a prime for that. Like a Batis 25 or 16-35 f/4 is my favorite vacation lens. I wouldn't hesitate to take this on vacation and again, it's really over priced. I've probably talked a little too much about it as far as that goes.
But besides that those are the things you should know about. Has a good feel to it and it's not... doesn't feel too much heavier than say a... it actually feels a little bit heavier than the Batis 85. We will have to weight those and find out. There you go. There it is without the lens hood. There's the lens hood. Typically 24-70 lens hood. Nothing too special about it. So there you go. Are you going to buy it for the sharpness? No. Are you going to buy it for price? Absolutely not. Are you going to buy it for the versatility and to get to use all the great features built in to the Sony a7 series of cameras? Yes. That's the selling point. Let me know your thoughts below. Gotta a little long winded on that one I think.
[Producer] Three minutes and seven seconds!
[Eric] Really!? Yeah, that's pretty long winded.
[Producer] Yeah! Ha. Ha. Haaaaa.
Today I am reviewing the Sony 20mm 2.8 APS-C lens. It's a pancake lens for the crop body E mounts. So for your Sony a6300, Sony a6000, Sony a5100, and Sony a5000 I guess. You can see here it's really small. Lightweight, very portable. Absolutely my favorite lens that stays on this camera 99% of the time. Love it. Can't say enough about it. Image quality is... I would say spectacular. Some may disagree with that.
Has a nice little lens hood. It makes for a nice, convenient small package. We are going to put some photos up and show you some photos that we have taken with this lens. This lens is different. It's a prime lens. So it's a 20mm. That is a focal length equivalent of 35mm on full frame. It has a 1.5x multiplier. And what I will say about this lens, it's fast at 2.8, so it's fast enough. It could be a bit faster. But still, it's very light.
It is a little pricey at $348 USD. If I was going to pick one lens and one lens only for the Sony a6000, I would pick the 20mm 2.8 APS-C E mount lens. With out a doubt! Most versatile lens ever. This combination right here is pocketable. Especially in a winter jacket. It's not going to be pocketable in your blue jeans. Slide it in a purse. You can put a strap on it but it's so lightweight I don't bother with camera straps. It's a good travel lens. It's just a good all around lens. It's a good lens on the inside of a home. It's just a good lens.
If you have not thought about it and I don't see many people talking about it. The 20mm 2. .8 Sony APS-C E mount is a definite winner for the Sony a6000 and a5100. We'd appreciate if you subscribe below. Give us a thumbs up and most importantly your feedback regarding the 20mm 2.8 or your favorite lens that is a must have on the Sony a6000. I'd really like to know because I don't know of a smaller, lighter lens than this that has autofocus. Thanks and we'll see you next time.
The Voigtlander Heliar Hyper-Wide 10 mm F5.6 aspherical lens is a new focal length for Voigtlander made for Sony E Mount (FE) and Leica M mount (VM). On Sony E mount cameras the lens communicates the EXIF data and works seamlessly with focus magnification.
The Sony a5000 was introduced in March 2014. It features a 20.1 megapixel APS-C sensor and weighs 255.5 grams with battery and memory card. The Sony a5000 is an entry level mirrorless camera from Sony trying to bridge the gap between point-and-shoot and full featured mirrorless. The most annoying thing about this camera for me is the zoom switch. Sony must have assumed most people purchasing this camera would not change out the kit lens that uses this feature. The only redeeming quality about the zoom switch it’s use when zooming in to pixel peep on the back LCD.
The camera does not have a viewfinder. The LCD is ok but can be hard to see in direct sunlight. Video quality is not great and I would only recommend this camera for Youtube or vlogging if you are on an extremely tight budget. I would recommend stepping up to the a5100 for an entry level camera for video. The flip up back LCD screen is very convenient and will allow you to take a selfie or to see if you are in frame when recording video.
This entry level mirrorless camera takes good photos and is just right for a family on a budget. If your budget is tight, picking up this camera used may be a smarter option as it is priced very close to the Sony a5100 and Sony a6000 brand new. If you already own this camera you should get out and start taking photos. This camera is very capable and suits a beginner well.
Let me know your thoughts on the photos and share your experiences with the Sony a5000.
Continuous Eye Autofocus works great on the Sony a6300. Turn on EYE AF and get those shallow depth of field portraits without the need to focus and recompose. This is a feature that is very important to muself and highlights where DSLR technology continues to fall behind. After using Continuous Eye AF on the Sony a7Rii, I have come to love and depend and use the feature for a very large percentage of my portrait work. I am able to focus on my framing and not worry about the subject moving around. The days of focus and recompose are long behind me.
I am a big fan of long exposure photography and the Sony a6300 is very capable in this area. I went out and shot a few long exposures to share with you all on screen. I have two photos from Ozone Falls, a 110 foot tall, 33.5 meter, plunge waterfall. This was a challenging situation for the Sony a6300 as the rock wall carved out from behind the waterfall was in the sun's shadow. I used the Sony FE 16-35/4 at 16mm, a 24mm full frame equivalent with the Lee Big Stopper and IR remote. Give a thumbs up below if you like tall waterfalls because this is a tall waterfall!
I want to share with you my top 5 reasons why I believe the Sony a7 Mark ii is a better camera than the Canon 5D Mark iii. Quick little bit of background. I have shot with a Canon 5D Mark iii since its introduction. I shot with Canons before that. The 7D, 50, 30, 20, you name it. Rebels, film Rebel. So I’ve been a long time Canon shooter, long time. 25 years of shooting Canons. I love Canon image quality. There is no question. With resolution they are almost the same. Close enough that we won’t even count it. Color depth is a big deal. I did not realize what I was missing. Everybody talks about dynamic range, dynamic range. It was significant enough for me to realize after my first few shots that, oh I was missing something and it’s truly amazing the image quality that comes out of this small full frame camera.