Hike Kauai Na Pali Coast Nikon Z9 PhaseOne Photography

Capturing Kauai – Traveling with the 800 to the Cliff’s Edge at Nua’lolo

The setting is the Nua’lolo Trail on the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai.  I am hiking the route for the 2nd time in eight days.  This time I have added the new Nikon 800mm Z PF 6.3 S lens to the gear being carried on my back.  My intention is to perform distance resolution testing on the lens from the cliffs of Nua’lolo.  The vantage point is 2,125 feet above the Nua’lolo Kai beach at 1/2 to 1 mile distance.  In the image below, the beach and corral reef is located in the bottom left corner.

The Na Pali Coast mid-afternoon as seen from the cliffs at Nua’lolo.

The beach in the image above, is but a tiny piece of the total picture.  Below are pictures of the beach and the surround area using the 800mm lens from the same location.

Snorkeler’s take in the fish and corral reef at Nua’lolo Kai Beach on the Na Pali Coast of the island of Kauai.
Snorkel Away
Seiko, a boat that is part of the Makana Charter Tours pulls away form Nua’lolo.
A helicopter part of the AirMaui tour groups flying over Nua’lolo.

I carry in a Mono-pod of which I plan to place on the lens.  This is to add stabilization.  Given the exceptionally steep terrain and materially downward focus, the monopod is effectively useless.  I remove the mono-pod.  Therefore all of the images captured are Hand Held.  All of the images are full frame 35mm without any cropping. The top image is actually multiple images stitched together and reduced in size.

A Flowering tree in a grove of trees near the cliffs.

The Nua’lolo Canyon at mile 3.25 on the trail.

*** Jeff’s Thoughts and Other Worthless Trivia ***

The Nua’lolo Trail to Lolo Point is 7.6 miles (round-trip) and involves about 2,500′ vertical gain\loss.  The addition of the Cliffs makes the trip 8.5 miles and 2,800 vertical.

Old Guy Lots ‘a Gear on the Back

Yesterday turned out to be a bigger test of me that for that of the lens.  My total hiking travel for the day would be over about 13 miles.  The 8.5 miles and 2,800 vertical feet of gain on the Nua’lolo involved carrying a bit north of 50 lbs. of camera gear.  The return to the trailhead was conducted in full sun and HI temperatures.  Last week’s shoot was conducted under partly cloudy skies, ten degrees cooler, and with 13 pounds less in weight on my back.  Luckily I had packed enough water and food for the trip.  I decided to conduct the return at 2/3 my normal pace.  This proved to be a smart move.

I bring extra water and food, not only for myself or the Border Collies, but other people on the trail.  Yesterday I gave rations of water and trail-mix to others who could benefit.

Who’s Crying Now

I am fortunate to be able to photograph with the very, very, best gear available to a professional photographer. Right now that means Nikon in the 35mm arena and PHASEONE in the 4×5 arena.  I brought kits from both on yesterday’s shoot.  The Nikon Z Mirrorless offerings are the new Darling of the industry. So far, Nikon has earned every bit of praise.  PHASEONE remains the industry standard for image quality.  While I whined and complained on the way down and up for this shoot – I am sure glad the gear was at my beck and call.

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