First photos with the 150-400 lens

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JRobins Veteran Member • Posts: 3,496
First photos with the 150-400 lens

The lens arrive just as I was leaving on our first-time out in a new camping trailer. I little too much newness all at once! Yes, I wanted to learn how to hookup and break down the trailer, but I REALLY wanted to chase some birds.

In my very limited time both mornings, I found a few small birds and went at it as best I could sleep-deprived (never take cats in a small trailer).

Kingbird and Dogwood blossoms-handheld

Western Bluebird handheld

Anna's Hummingbird monopod

"Heel" monopod with internal tc

Hummer again monopod and internal tc

Western Kingbird handheld

hummer monopod and internal tc

the catmobile

The Sleep Killer. My first shot with the lens just out of the box. Taken from my living room sofa the dining room with back light.

First impressions:

  • It is big. I had to take the pocket out of my Lowepro Flipside 300 AW II to fit it in with hood backwards. No room for a second camera. 
  • Solid, well-balanced, heavy but comfortable to shoot handheld, "feels" like $7500 worth of lens--hard to explain this, but it's true
  • Ok for hiking a mile or two for this 84 year old, but starts to feel very heavy towards the end. Carried first day with peak design slide strap comfortably. Second day I carried it on a monopod with a wimberley head, with the lens resting on my back (see Steve Perry video) Again, my limit would be a couple of miles tops.
  • I need a LOT of practice to find the exact settings I want--need to locate the sweet spot for the type of shooting I do. This will take some time--but the results of trying a variety of settings on the ones above are promising. Using Procapture was fun, bird detection etc. All will be fine-tuned in time.
  • The tripod foot is wonderful for helping to carry and for being long enough for my tripod, which I intend to test out tomorrow. The collar clicks into place at 12, 3, 6 and 9 on a clock face, which I'll have to get used to. On a wimberley head, I would prefer not to have those.
  • I'll probably use the buttons, but not sure how yet.
  • The internal tc is simply wonderful and so simple to use.
  • I'm using the (very expensive) oly protective filter because I once accidentally sprayed mosquito repellent near a good lens. I will never do that again, but I do want to protect this one fully. I might take it off in time, but for now . . .
  • It's big and white (a friend on this forum calls it Moby Dick) so I ordered a lenscoat cover.
  • Do I dare take it on a calm creek in my kayak? I don't know the answer yet--I would love to, but it might just be too nerve wracking.
  • This is not the be-all and end-all magical lens that will make me a brilliant photographer with no effort, that is obvious. But it will make it easier for me to get more keepers in challenging lighting situations. Because it's a fast lens and because the autofocus is instantaneous, catching those sudden fleeting moments is just . . . well . . . easier. When I come home, I have more sharply focused images to choose from.
  • Is it worth the money? To me, definitely. 

Tomorrow I'm going to an eagle nest that I have struggled with with my 300 f4 and 2.0 TC. That will be fun. I will test the following:

  • on tripod
  • with 2.0tc and 1.4 tc with the internal tc.
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"Find a perspective that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary."

 JRobins's gear list:JRobins's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro Olympus 12-100mm F4.0
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