Just before Christmas, I took advantage of free time on a couple of Saturday’s, to try out my recently purchased Nikkor 200-500 lens. What better location to do this than Como Lake. The lake is one of our favourite walking spots; it’s close to home; and the ducks are always there.
After nattering on and on about it here at PN, I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is, and actually post something. I decided to post it here because using a lens that big; and shooting birds is pretty much new to me. Feedback, tips and tricks are actively encouraged.
All of these images are hand held. Lugging this behemoth AND a tripod around that lake wasn't going to happen. Besides, I wanted to see if the glass was as good as reputed to be. On the first Saturday, I shot wide open at f5.6, using auto-ISO and shutter priority set between 1/500 and 1/640 sec. VR was turned off.
Looking at the images from Day 1, I was expecting to see much more blur in the images. Using auto-ISO also resulted in a lot less noise than I feared I would see. I got lazy and only used LR's noise reduction sliders. I was seriously impressed.
Day 2 was the Saturday right before Xmas. That turned out to be a proper challenge. Metro Vancouver received it's first major snowfall the week before, then weather turned clear and cold. That meant that walking around the lake required considerable care, to avoid slipping and falling. Worse yet, the lake was frozen, and there wasn't a duck to be seen. Then finally, I came to the only patch of open water. Duck Convention in progress! Every single duck on the lake chose to hang out in the same small patch of open water!
Settings were similar to the previous Saturday, except VR was turned on. There was a lot of sunshine, so auto-ISO wasn't as high as it had been two weeks earlier.
I thought that I could tell that VR was turned on. Perhaps that was just me.
So, my conclusion about this lens is that I love it to pieces! Now, to learn how to put it to good use.
So, would I go back for more photographs? Most definitely! Angela and I have been around Como Lake so many times this year, that we can spot individual ducks, just by their markings (that doesn't mean that they cooperate! ). Further, these guys are quite comfortable around humans. I missed some of the funnier moments. Hopefully, that will come with practice.
I will making more trips to Como Lake. Also, to La Farge Lake, Coquitlam's very large, man-made lake. Then there is the Reifel Bird Sanctuary and Rocky Point Park. I'm starting to understand why folks like photographing birds!
Thanks for looking, everyone.