Size Matters

When it comes to lenses, size matters. I have been doing bird photography with my 100-400 mm f/5.6-6.3 Canon lens and loving it. 400mm is big but not big enough to really get the birds at a distance. So, I took a loan of a 600mm f/4 Canon lens and was very excited when it arrived. The images it produces are excellent but there is one big problem…the lens is enormous. Hand holding this lens is difficult. I was able to do it on a bright sunny day at a very high shutter speed but, there has been no sun all week. I was only able to use the lens on a tripod. Normally, that is not a problem for me (I do have 4 tripods) but when trying to shoot song birds, you have very little time to find the little fellow in your viewfinder, focus and shoot before the bird flits to another branch. The woodpecker and cardinal were shot at my bird feeders in the back yard while I am crouched in front of an open bedroom window waiting for them.

I took the lens to Sandy Hook, hoping to find some migratory birds and water birds. Water birds were much easier, as they stay in one place for longer. They were just very far away. The only migratory bird I found there was a cedar waxwing.

So, today I shipped the lens back. Fedex wanted $400 for insurance so I took a chance and didn’t buy it. Now that I had a chance to use the big 600, I can stop having lens envy.

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About Jerry

I was a science teacher for 31 years. During that time I photographed wedding and Bar Mitzvahs for about 15 years but that was in the days before digital. Being a teacher, I had my summers free so I assisted food and commercial still life photographers in NYC for 3 summers and fell in love with it. Having a wife and a mortgage, it was not practical to give up a job in teaching and go into photography so I put off my dream of becoming a food photographer until I retired from teaching. Now I am living my dream - I am a food and product photographer servicing New York City, Philadelphia and all of New Jersey.
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