Long lens photography

I’ve got a new long lens and I’m going back to birding. Not that I maintain a life book (a journal of birds seen over a lifetime) or anything, but it gets me out of the house.

I took this late this afternoon out my back door. It’s just a mockingbird shot with a Canon 80d and a Tamron 150-600mm at 450mm, f8, iso 400, exposure 1/640. It’s not too bad for handheld, with a camera/lens combination I’m none too familiar with. –It didn’t hurt that the light was near perfect for the shot.

mockingbird on a  wire

When I bought my 80d I also bought the cheapest long Tamron (about $900), then I wound up using my 18-135mm kit lens for almost everything.

Now I need to practice with this little beastie.

The 150-600mm (240-960mm on a crop sensor) lens is f5-f6.3 and weighs just over 4lb. It’s 10.5″ long at 150mm and you can add about 4″ for the hood. But fully extended, at 600mm including the hood it’s approximately 17″ long. This means that whenever you carry it, you should lock the lens at 150mm, or it will extend to full length anytime you point it downhill. –Maybe you’re more graceful than I am, but that extra 3″ means I’ll bump into all sorts of stuff.

Another thing about long lenses that bugs me is the bokeh. At a distance it’s great, but up close, especially with a busy background, it makes me crazy.

This Virginia Rail surprised me while I was out shooting cormorants at the wetlands. My Sigma 300-800mm was at 500mm f8, and I managed to get one decent shot of the critter at a distance of something like 10 yards.
Virginia Rail taken with Sigma 300-800mm
Notice the squiggly bushes and the gravel.

Still, it’s the best shot of a rail I’ve ever taken. Okay, so it’s the only shot of a Virginia Rail I’ve ever taken. At least I got one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.