Tomorrow I will attend a Meetup of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. The group plans to walk to a site to view some eagles that are nesting along the swamps near Bordentown. I rented a Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC USD super telephoto lens to help me capture images of the eagles. I have no experience using this kind of lens so I took it out on my walk on the D&R Canal near the border with Princeton, West Windsor and Lawrenceville.
The air was cool and the filled with the sounds of birds calling out to each other. I’m not experienced with this and didn’t know how to find the birds in the trees. But I hear a coo-coo noise and followed the sound. I thought the sound was an owl but I knew that most owls are nocturnal. It was pigeon. Focus was easy but keeping my hands still, especially with such a large lens, was difficult.
I didn’t walk too far. That’s typical for me on a photo walk. There is so much to see that I don’t walk more than a few metres without stopping to snap a picture with my camera.
What did I learn? I learned that using a super telephoto lenses requires a very steady hand or better yet a tripod. The Tamron 150-600 (35mm) is 225-900mm on my Nikon D5100 with an APS-C sensor. The slightest movement gives a blurred image. I found that it was necessary to hold my breath and stay as still as possible. I think cutting back on your caffeine also helps.
I learned that super telephoto lenses loses a lot of light even during bright daylight. Shooting as wide open as possible helps. I also had to shoot at ISO 400. ISO 100 was just too low to get a usable shutter speed.