At the end of all things…

Sadly, this blog will now draw to a close, as the time has come to say goodbye to my DSLR. Since the birth of our daughter, my photography had gone down a different route, and the precision tools have made way for smaller cameras.
Since my chosen system is incompatible with Tamron lenses, it is with much reluctance that I have had to retire from the testing game.  I would like to give my thanks for the opportunity to use some first rate gear, and for the creative benefits that followed my first challenge, which still rates amongst one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
I’ve accumulated many wonderful images over the years as a result of these projects, and have been delighted to see some of my input reflected in updates to later lenses.
Thank you for reading. I hope I have been of use to some of you. If you’re interested in what I’m doing now, please visit http://discreetphoton.wordpress.com/

150 – 600: Edinburgh Zoo

After a long hiatus, the 150-600 was given a good airing this week with a trip to Edinburgh Zoo.
Initially I had started with a monopod, but eventually gave up and hand-held the lens for flexibility. It’s surprisingly manageable for the size, not least of all because of the excellent stabiliser. I dropped the shutter speed to 1/15s for this shot to get the background effect I was looking for. Even at 150mm, that’s a tenth of the recommended speed for hand holding.

image

To get the shot I wanted, I had to sacrifice some sharpness on the tiger’s head due to motion blur, but the details captured on the log shows just how good the lens is at maintaining a steady image, and it didn’t detrimentally affect the image.  I did wonder if perhaps the lens collar should be detachable, but it makes for a good hand rest for manual readjustment when needed, so the only real advantage would be the reduction in diameter for packing into a bag.

image

A bit of directional light (even if it’s not very strong) makes all the difference to the quality of images produced by the 150-600. These rhinos had quite a dark enclosure, but the lens handled the conditions with ease.

image

I saw two ways of photographing this rock hyrax, as a frame-filling portrait and an environmental study, and the range of the 150-600 allowed for both.

image

The long end of the lens made it possible to “see through” several fences at once, producing some soft focus shots of some of the animals.

image

Of course, the high reach of the lens made for some lovely closeups of some of the shier creatures as well.

image

image

A quick note about my other kit chosen for the day: a Fuji X100T for quick-fire wide angle work (and family shots); and the highly dependable Tamron 70-200 F/2.8 for indoor enclosures where the maximum aperture of the longer lens was too limiting.
This meant I always had a telephoto on the camera, and didn’t miss an opportunity.

24-70: It’s a burrito!

Here’s the reason for me having fallen off the radar this month; the reason why the 150-600mm reviews have been on hold; and my new reason for being. 

Our daughter was born just over a week ago, eight days early, and if you’d have blinked, you’d have missed it. Since I have a small house, I can’t really get the required nine feet from her to take her photos with my current test lens. Normal service should resume some time this week, but for now, we’re just enjoying the thrill of having a new personality in the house. DSC_3348 DSC_3355

24-70: in search of Elves

image

Not too long ago, my father and I went to visit a friend in Pitlochry, and on the way home, stopped at the Hermitage for a few photos. It’s a lovely spot, which always makes me think of the hobbits’ fascination at entering Rivendell in The Lord of the Rings (although the illusion was marred somewhat by the balloons bobbing in the water!)
It’s probably no surprise by now that woodland is my favorite environment…

image

image