A few weeks ago I drove from Houston down to the Grand Chenier/Cameron area of Louisiana to work on a rig. I took the oh-so-popular I-10 Interstate to get there and saw everything I typically see when driving through southern Louisiana; Podunk towns and litter-strewn highways. A few days later, I decided to change things up a bit and take a different route back to Houston that would follow the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. What a difference! I couldn’t believe how pretty the land and water was out there. Wildlife was everywhere and the roads were better than most of the State. Part of the trip along LA Highway 82 even included a $1.50 ride on the Cameron Ferry to cross a river fed by the nearby Calcasieu Lake.
All photos were shot using a Sony NEX-7 with a Sony E-Mount 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens. I also used a Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizer filter. An excellent filter for the money. I’ve owned several.
A brief my-two-cents on this lens and camera setup: As some of you know, I’ve been using the Sony NEX-series cameras since the NEX-5 first came out. When I first bought into the NEX series bodies I bought the 18-200mm e-mount lens to go with it. I’ve experimented with the lens adapters and other lenses but I keep coming back to that lens for it’s good Quality:Convenience ratio. Coming from shooting professionally with all the power of a Full-frame Nikon camera and their best 2.8 lenses, it took some getting used to – (read, check my foolish pride. People just don’t take you seriously when you have a little tiny camera around your neck.) But the fact of the matter is, the images I’ve squeezed out of both the NEX-5 and NEX-7 bodies with that 18-200mm lens have been more than pleasing and I don’t feel they’ve hindered me one bit from getting the shots I see. The 18-200mm lens is not the sharpest, nor is it the softest, but it gets the job done. With the NEX 5 or 7, it works for travel photos better than anything else I’ve owned in that I have the choice of hiding my diminutive camera in the palm of my hand if I wish/need to go unnoticed, but then a split second later I can go from wide to super-telephoto to get that spontaneous shot with a level of quality that needs make no apologies. That word, Spontaneous, pretty much sums up my experience with this setup. For travel, the trade-offs I made in switching from a big clunky SLR to a small mirrorless NEX are worth it in my opinion.
For anyone considering it, I’ve owned the Nikon mirrorless V1 camera and I was not at all impressed. The image quality was not even in the same realm of a good DSLR or the NEX-7. I tried to like it simply because it was Nikon but it failed to impress in nearly everything I tried to get it to do. All the images felt very thin in their data, with hardly any latitude in exposure. Considering the hefty price tag of the V1, Nikon failed to even meet the bottom-end offerings of their competitors mirrorless cameras.