#876. Visit to New Brunswick and PEI provinces in Canada

By Chris Stump | Travel Photography

Jul 13

We drove up from Maine to Canada for a week’s vacation, which overlapped the July 4th holiday here in the States. The drive up was very pleasant with a half-way stop in Saint John, New Brunswick. 

We were based in Charlottetown, PEI, for the week and visited the dramatic north coast for our first excursion. We toured most of the east end of the island on our way back to town, stopping at views, villages, and shops along the way. Absolutely beautiful. The next day we headed over to Summerside to the west. 

Highlights of the trip were certainly the northern coast and beaches…and the driver will never forget the red earth [mud] main roads, nor the impressive 12+km bridge from the mainland. Wow.

Gear for this trip was just the Lumix GX85, and the most used lenses were the kit short- and long-zooms, as I’ve only added the Leica DG 15mm f1.7 (eq 30mm) lens to the original bundle. Quite a leap of faith for me, indeed.

It felt weird not to have my heavy FF Canon outfit along, but liberating as well. I don’t yet have all the filters and lenses in the m4/3 format that might have been handy, but don’t really think I missed a shot even so.

I reveled at the ease of walking around with the ‘mini-Leica’ hanging off one shoulder. One evening I noticed a guy next to us at a sidewalk restaurant cradling a big 5D and L-series zoom in both hands as he sat with his family. Looked exhausting. I understand not wanting to be without a camera, but how many greats shots are you going to get from a café table [with your wife watching anyway]…one every third or thirtieth outing? And, isn’t that what iPhones are for now? 

So do I have quibbles? Of course. I wish the Leica DG lenses consistently had aperture rings as the 15mm does. Love that lens; and really appreciate the tactile and visual ring right on the lens. Money. 

As I look to create my future travel kit I’m looking to the Leica DG 8-18mm and 50-200mm zooms, to augment the 15mm prime. Good news is that both zooms take the same size filter, although of course it’s not a size I currently own. No problem. Selling and re-purchasing is part of the bargain.

My other niggle is common to a lot of these smaller cameras…that I often accidentally hit tiny buttons on the back of the GX85. This resulted in a series of out-of-focus shots during the trip in question…I’d somehow turned off the menu item for autofocus. Ugh. If I were to ultimately sell off the FF gear, a G9-sized body might have to join the stable just as something more easy to handle.

In fact, now that I’ve confirmed that m43 is indeed viable, moving up to the bigger body might be the perfect compromise. Looks as if a rental is in my future. Next hurdle though is printing. If these images print well I’m on to next steps. I’ll let you know.

 
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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    ROTFLMHAO – well, Chris, as I switched over from half a century with my faithful Zeiss Contarex and all its assembly of extras, and started taking digital seriously, I looked backwards and realised that overwhelming majority of my photographs had all been taken with the 50mm Planar (scaled up to 80mm, later, to become the first lens ever, on the moon!), with a small minority taken on the 35mm w/angle and hardly any on the 135mm tele.
    So I tried similar reviews of my shots with digital, on big shoots – spreadsheets, with the meta data from every shot – analysed the lot – and got similar results.
    And of course one thing leads to another, and that encouraged me to head off to the other side of the world, keeping my junk with international aircraft hand luggage limits, and basically restricting myself to a standard prime and a w/angle.
    Except that my latest trip, I spent the whole time wishing I had my 70-200 zoom. I saw so many things it would have been perfect for, and had to ignore them in favour of more conventional subjects!
    Which leaves me thinking the answer to your question will vary from person to person, and from one shoot to another.
    Dips can recognise that Leica red spot/measle at a hundred paces! Nikon’s bright yellow belt ditto. And Canon’s lenses! When travelling, I prefer to look more natural – even to the point of sticking duct tape over some stuff. Even so, I’ve had a wallet nicked – and had a fight with one guy, to grab back a camera he’d lifted out over my rucksack style camera bag, while he was standing next to/behind me on a metro – so I am also wary of what I take, from that point of view. Next trip, I’m taking something like my Powershot or similar as a backup, just in case of disaster – and some means of backing up cards each night.
    You apparently have FF Canon gear, and this is a new (?) experience with m43? Not an issue – some people freak out if you don’t shoot with what they have, but I’ve yet to be convinced that you can’t take brilliant photos with practically anything from m43 or 1″ upwards. MF does seem to provide better detail in the highlights (and possibly in shadow areas), but you need gigantic enlargements to see much difference in anything else.

    • Chris Stump says:

      Thanks Pete! The Canon gear was getting burdensome. I’m long past being paid for my photography, or judged by what I carry, and comfort now is paramount. This new little m4/3 kit gives me e-24~300mm range, along with the e-30mm f1.7 prime for some speed [and superb sharpness], and all fits in a $10 Tamrac bag that draws no attention. I even tape over the Lumix name to make things more anonymous. Ha! I love that the battery charges via the USB cable and lasts all day, so no charger to haul around either. I say above that I’m considering Leica DG zooms, but I’m not so sure…they’re much larger, expensive as heck, and the IQ of the current kit is very, very good. We’ll see!

  • PaulB says:

    Chris

    Welcome to the M43s world. I have been using a LUMIX G9 almost exclusively for a year and it really is lightweight and a lot of fun. As you are saying a great travel kit.

    I have the Pana-Leica 8-18 and I did not warm up to it as fast as I did the longer lenses I have. I needed to put myself in a place to use it exclusively for (quite) a while, to let my subconscious recalibrate to the closer working distances. Since I have done this, it is interesting to see how much better “the lens” has gotten. 😉

    PaulB

    • Chris Stump says:

      Hi Paul, and thanks for your comments. I’m perhaps a bit unusual [well…ask my wife…,] but I prefer something in the 20~35mm range as my ‘normal’ lens and then pick up again at 200~400mm, with little use for the in-between. I suspect the 8~18mm [e-16~36mm] would be right in my wheelhouse. Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the G9. I’m waiting patiently for a sale. 🙂

      • PaulB says:

        Chris

        I am a bit of a wide angle junkie. I really like capturing images that give the feeling of being under something. I like 24mm equivalent and wider. Even when I used my large format gear regularly. I also have the Canon 16-35mm, and I had a noticeable transition of expectations because there is a difference in rendering due to the true focal length differences.

        Keep watching for specials on the G9. Panasonic has had very good offers in the past.

        Though, leave the Canon at home more and just use what you have, and expand your envelope. The size, weight, and lenses of M43 can expand the level of spontaneity in your photography.

        I do like your images from the beach, and your portraits. Particularly the last image.

        PaulB

  • John Wilson says:

    Welcome to my half of the continent Chris. Though I’m 3000 miles to the west in Vancouver, I grew up in Montreal and spent far too many years travelling the country on business. PEI is one of those jewel like little places that charms you and calms you; got introduced to steamed mussels there in the early 80s and have been an addict ever since. Unfortunately business and photography never seem to mix very well, so there are no images from my time in PEI. Strangely, New Brunswick is still unexplored territory even though I’ve driven through it on several occasions on my way to somewhere else.

    Several years ago I dumped all my Canon heavy metal for a mirrorless system and have never regretted it. In the process I also acquired a Nikon V system and three lenses that cover 18-800mm and fit into a very small bag. My back thanks me regularly and, as you say, much less conspicuous and doesn’t scream PROFESSIONAL!!

    Do like your images. They remind me of places I haven’t seen for too long.

    • Chris Stump says:

      Hi John, I work in IT now, and one of my senior IT architects is based in Vancouver as well…so I ‘speak’ with your town daily! 🙂
      So happy to hear you enjoy my images. Photography and work-life have intersected so often in my life that I take it for granted. Hope this continues for you as well. All the best, –C

      • John Wilson says:

        Why not come talk to him in person some time?

        • Chris Stump says:

          Well, she came my direction a couple of years ago for a workshop, and we bonded over pizza as I recall. Travel budgets are tight everywhere, so not sure when that might happen again. I’ve always had a dream of taking an RV the length of the Trans-Canada Highway. Maybe that dream will come true someday!

    • PaulB says:

      John

      I think you can say we are neighbors. We are both on the left side of the continent and only about 200 miles apart. Though, I am South of you, outside Seattle.

      I used to travel through Vancouver a lot in my younger days. I can still see Horseshoe Bay in my mind. Nanaimo was my second home for several years.

      PaulB

    • philberphoto says:

      Thanks for kind words, John! And coming from you, too! Unexplored territory… in this world of overtourism, this does sound yummy…

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