Monday, April 20, 2009

It all started with a field trip to test the DA 15mm limited...

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

Yesterday, Monday April 20, 2009, I woke up with the intention of going to the San Bernardino Mountains and test the ability of the new Pentax DA 15mm f/4 ED IF Limited lens. The wild flowers are emerging everywhere and I thought they would be good subjects for field testing this promising new lens. I did indeed drive to the mountains with my Jeep and brought the K20D with the 15mm lens and the K200D with the new DA* 55mm lens.

It was our first really nice day this year and the thermometer reached over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I really had good intentions and I had the cameras and lenses with me, but once I reached the foot of the mountains, it seemed that it would be so nice just to drive up to the summit with the jeep. The lens testing became secondary. I took plenty of photos, but none were intended to test the lens.

As I was climbing the mountain with the Jeep in "four-wheel-drive" mode I kept thinking that I still had not named my Jeep. It is customary to name your Jeep. Men usually give a female name to their Jeep and women usually give a male name to their Jeep, but not necessarily. Well, I knew my Jeep was a "she" because when I bought "it" I was told "she" liked to climb.

My two principal hobbies are photography and four-wheeling. I wanted a name that would reflect both hobbies. The Jeep came unaltered from the factory and we worked on improving it and finishing it the way it is today. We lifted the whole Jeep 6", put a new motor, new coil-spring suspension, 35" monster tires, etc. It's sort of parallel to digital photography, whereas your original pictures can be taken in "RAW" format and after working on the images, they can be saved in "JPEG"format. My Jeep was originally in "RAW" form from the factory but after altering it, it becamed like a "JPEG" format. So I decided to name my Jeep Miss" J. Peggy". This is an acronym for "Jeep Photographer Environmentally Going Green...Yes!". For short, her nickname is really Miss Peggy. It fits both of my hobbies and my views about the environment. I always drive on assigned trails, and usually pick up the trash that other people left behind. It's our only earth and we better take care of our little planet.

So, although the photos here were taken with either the DA 15mm limited or the DA* 55mm, they are not what I would have used to field test the lens and draw my conclusions. You can still see the resolving capabilities in some of the pictures. I guess I will try testing the lens this coming weekend, and maybe I shouldn't drive Ms. Peggy. She might distract me from my mission by taking me to new places that only she can take me. I could be distracted again and forget my mission for the day.

I swear that I saw Ms. Peggy smiling. I got the proof right here!

The San Bernardino Mountains are about 60 miles North/East of Los Angeles.

This is where we started our escapade, Elevation 2,000 ft.

The vegetation changes according to the elevation. These wild flowers were starting to bloom between 3,000 to 4,000 ft.

Here we are at about 4,000 ft elevation and we took the wrong direction. The trail ended here. Turning around is harder than it looks. I was on top of a ridge.

Back on the trail and climbing. We're at 5,000 ft.

Time for a rest. We are at around 6,000 ft and the air is fresh and the temperature down in the seventies. No city noise, just the chirping of birds. It's beautiful up here.

We are on top. The mountain with the snow cap is Mt. San Gorgonio at an elevation of 11,499 ft.

It's time to go home. You don't want to get stuck up here without camping gear.

It still a bumpy ride going down...

and you can't go there with your car...

but we'll be back soon.

Thank you for reading.

Yvon Bourque and Ms. Peggy!

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