150-600: The long game

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Cormorants

The Tamron 150-600mm is a very different beast to the lenses I’ve used before. Even the 70-200 F/2.8 is a fairly versatile lens with the right mindset, but there’s no escaping the fact that this is a lens with a very clear agenda. You don’t just walk around with this one in the hope of finding something to photograph.

So I’m starting to see how and why twitchers can kill hours waiting for something to come along. Take the following example. I’ve been going to the same nature reserve almost daily for about three years now, rarely photographing anything other than insect life. I’ve never seen a kingfisher there, even as a fleeting glance. So I was a bit surprised to find one sat on a stick over the water, and for the first time in my life I’m holding a lens long enough to shoot it with.

But I wasn’t expecting to see it, so the camera was slung over my shoulder, and by the time I brought it down and locked focus on its perch, this happened:

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The one that got away. I’m still kicking myself for this one.

 

Hardly a winning image, but it’s my first kingfisher image, and it’s identifiable. I think you’ll agree, it’s a beautifully sharp image of a stick 😉

I did go on to get some more images of the bird. They’re very distant, but it’s reassuring that details are still possible over a distance of about one hundred meters.

kingfisher

Cropped down from a larger image. I couldn’t even see this without the camera.

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The complete frame

As an entry level lens for wildlife photography, the Tamron is ideal. It’s extremely affordable, and has enough reach to help you see things that you can’t see with the naked eye. The stabiliser comes in handy if you’ve got a general purpose tripod which doesn’t have the rock-solid hold of a specialist model (which is likely if this is the lens you’ve chosen to buy), and it still leaves plenty of room for gear fiends like myself to move on to faster glass once you’ve got a taste for the new range of subjects you’ll be looking at.

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Little Egret

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Little Egret with fish

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a reed warbler trying to be sneaky

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Young Great Crested Grebe

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4 responses to “150-600: The long game

  1. What’s brown and sticky? Great review Dave and good examples to show! It’s good to see a informative,honest review. The tamron seem a very capable choice for the more casual nature tog. Its limitations can be overcome by careful thought,patience and the willingness to work a little harder for the images. The price is also a great draw for this more than capable beast!

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