Daily Inspiration Bag Giveaway #18 by Martin Stelbrink

Daily Inspiration Bag Giveaway #18

by Martin Stelbrink

Hi Steve,

Thanks for such a nice “competition” and thanks for continuing to create such an inspiring website. I almost check daily for new postings and inspiration!

I have just returned from a trip to Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scottish Borders with my family, taking my equipment of a Sony Alpha 77II and long tele lens for bird photography and my Sony A7R and A7RII with 6 M-Mount lenses for landscape and documentary photography. The second week we stayed in the Lightkeeper’s Cottage on St. Abbs Head in Scottish Borders. This is truly a remarkable place. You ave to drive 1.6 miles up a (and down) steep cliffs on a single track road to land on top overseeing the North Sea and rocks underneath, where tens of thousands guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and kittiwakes breed. One of the best things of staying there is that you can experience the place in different weather and light situations and from many different angles. We had all sorts of weather up there (as one would expect in Scotland), but frankly the best shots I achieved were done ins some cloudy / rainy weather with the sun showing some light through the gaps.

The first picture was shot in the evening, when a rain shower just passed through and the sun came out again close to sunset. It shows the cottage, which is just above the lighthouse (in fact the square building in the left upper corner is the lighthouse operations building), and made interesting by the rainbow. The sea is almost blurring with the rain and fog above. I used my A7RII with a Leica Summicron 35mm pre-asph for this picture.


The second picture shows the lighthouse in operation at sunset a few minutes after the rainbow shot. You can see some remains of the rain (or a new shower) on the right over the sea. The picture looks almost unrealistic and photoshopped, but in fact I only worked a bit on contrasts and saturation to make it look like it is. It was taken with a Zeiss Planar 50mm f2.0 ZM and the A7RII.


The third picture (DSC05168) was taken at 4:30 in the morning (the Exif setting is at European time…) and shows the lighthouse and cliffs before sunrise, which happened around 4:45 in that day. This one was taken with the A7RII and the Voigtländer Heliar 15mm f4.5 III.


All three of the pictures I couldn’t have taken, if we had not stayed up there. It was a wonderful experience.

One more information that may be interesting for you and your readers is the reason, why I took both the A7R and the A7RII with me. The simplest reason is to avoid constant lens changes in Northern English and Scottish weather wind and rain may easily put dirt on the sensor. But one curious fact I learned with my Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 from 1968. It works fantastically on the A7R, whilst it creates very heavy vignetting on the A7RII, especially when shooting in backlight situations. I have no clue why that is the case and I have no other lens, which causes similar issues on the A7RII (a 1973 Leica Tele-Elmar 135mm works fine on both cameras and the wide-angle lenses work much better on the A7RII). If anyone has a clue, why this is the case, I would be happy to know. So now the 90mm is almost constantly attached to the A7R and I use the other lenses with the A7RII (where most of the time the 35mm Summicron is used).

With this I hope everyone enjoys the pictures and I would really love to win the Ona Bowery bag. If you like my pictures you can find more on www.martin-stelbrink.de.

Willich, Germany


  1. Yes, especially with wide M-mount and much better performance with high ISO. But these are improvements on an already very good level. Without the wide M capabilities I probably would not have upgraded.

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