Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Good, The Bad And The Irritating

Over the weekend I rented a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II. Fun to play with and incredibly irritating. The fun comes from, well, I don’t know about you but I don’t own any $6000 lenses… The irritation came from shoving the new equipment learning curve into 2 days. Now that’s it has been returned and I have spent some time digging around on the interwebs I think I have figured out some of my issues. Next time, I guess, more play and less….what the hell?

I am sort of at that photography point where you decide to stay put or start saving. It has been the usual progression: P&S, high-end P&S, entry level DSLR, mid-range DSLR with kit lens, get tired of kit lens, buy mid-range lens, etc. The problem is, with Nikon anyway, that there is this huge jump… you can get nice glass for 1K, really nice glass starts at 4-5K. No in between. Since I have been having that itch, I decided to rent the sort of first step in bigger birding glass.

This lens is tack-sharp without the teleconverter. Pretty darn sharp with the teleconverter, too. I had some issues with sharpness, but I think that was more due to the fact that a) my monopod is completely inadequate for a lens of this size and b) it was windy this weekend and that lens is so big it’s like a sail!

The following 3 with 2x teleconverter

On monopod
Rufous Hummingbird
Bewick's Wren
Black-crowned Night Heron

Oh and FYI….nesting herons will totally try to poop on your head.

A little to the right, lady
Black-crowned Night Heron

No teleconverter
Yes, anger

A little self contemplation

Ring-necked Pheasant

Just manhandling this this thing was a challenge. It’s like panning while holding a newborn at arm’s length. There were a lot of these…
More Whoops!


And from accidentally hitting the focus ring and starting the hunting again….these…

That kills me. Would have been such a great shot! Egret With Crawfish just becomes POS. Boo.

And even having 600mm isn’t enough for good shots of the owls. DSC_3487

This is an equally crappy photo, but it kills me. Not sure if this is mom or dad, but the leaning up against the tree is so funny. California owl. Even our birds of prey are all casual. DSC_3486

I suppose the best thing that came out of the weekend was my realization that I have absolutely no desire to own one of these. I could certainly find uses for it, but unless one of those lottery tickets that I don’t buy hits some numbers, no need what so ever. I won’t even lust over it anymore. Honeymoon is over. When I see those people hiking with the 400mm+ lenses I won’t think I wish I had one, I will think I'm happy that I can carry my camera AND my coffee.



  1. absolutley fantastic!
    Benny & Lily

  2. Amazing! I just inherited a bunch of photography stuff, and now find myself rocket-launched from mid-range P&S to SLR (digital and non), with a ton of lenses and filters and stuff to play with. I hope eventually to get some nice bird shots, but it will be a long time coming!
    Any recommendations for a really, really easy to understand book on photography? My skills with new technology came to a grinding halt once we moved beyond cassettes and VCRs and big bulky mobile phones that could only be used for phonecalls. Most photography books I've looked at lose me by the third or fourth page.

  3. The hummingbird shot up on top is PHENOMENAL. Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing!!

  4. beautiful snaps as they are taken with the great patience.

  5. love love love!!!!!!!!!!!!!pet

  6. Loved your story. I have a canon S100 and it does me. Takes great action shots even from a moving car.
    I really like your bird photos. Your hummingbird picture is great and I was highly amused by the headless pheasant.