Day 92: Grey Heron

The other day I was asked about background separation. The shot you see here was taken this morning at a distance of 94.4 metres (as measured by the camera), and is a 20% crop of the frame coverage. Looking at the reeds in the background, and the duck, you can see that there is a marked difference in focus even over this range. Of course shooting at this distance, you would normally want a shallower depth of field for this sort of shot. That’s why the Tamron 18-270 PZD won’t replace my faster lenses. This was shot just a third of a stop below maximum aperture. It’s worth pointing out that I don’t have a lens that would get me significantly closer than this: my longest lens and converter combination gives me a focal length of 340mm. That’s why I don’t do much wildlife photography beyond insects. However, the depth of field is so much shallower with that combination that it would give the heron more punch by smoothing out the background. Mind you, even that wouldn’t get me a prize-winning image at 100m.

I never expected the Tamron to replace all of my lenses. I think that there is a niche that it fills quite nicely though. My long lens wasn’t on the camera when I saw the heron take off, but I was ready to shoot it in seconds. It’s not a great shot, but it’s a respectable one. It was impossible for me to get closer, due to fencing and the layout of the reserve in which this image was taken. I think the Tamron’s done as good a job as any 300-ish mm lens could for under ¬£500.

Nikon D300; Tamron 18-270mm @ 270mm; ISO 400; F/7.1; 1/400s. VC on.

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