Living in Northern Ireland you can’t always guarantee the weather especially when venturing up into the Mourne mountains. Weather sealed lenses and cameras are essential even in the height of summer. I was recently tasked to captured the Garmin Mourne Skyline MTR race a gruelling 35km run with a 3370 meter elevation. It would be a challenging race in the dry but throw in Storm Brian and the challenge is acutely concentrated.
Fortunately, I wasn’t running it but documenting the start and latter stages of the race. This still involved climbing a mountain and suffering the challenge of Storm Brian.
Partnered with the X-T2 both lenses offered fantastic performance. I set the X-T2 in continuous focus mode so was able to track the runners as they appeared through the mist. The X-T2 offers 5 default continuous focus settings and a 6th option that can be completely customised by the user.
To be honest I haven’t had the need to venture beyond setting 1, the all-round multipurpose mode. Mode 1 was perfect in the trail running setting and back at the computer I didn’t discard a single image due to focusing concerns. One of the challenges of shooting in fogging or misty conditions is having enough contrast for the autofocus to perform accurately but the X-T2 excelled.
The biggest challenge with shooting runners descending a mountain through a cloud was keeping rain and moisture from the lens especially. It wasn’t long until nothing was dry and my lens cloth was saturated within the first few minutes of arriving on Donard’s saddle.
No matter how confident you may feel about the letters WR every photographer will still make every effort to ensure their gear stays dry but this was simply impossible as we reached mid-afternoon and the throes of worst of Storm Brian. That said, it was reassuring to arrive home and dry off and re-check my gear to find everything perfect.