08.11.2019 New lens

I’ve been wanting something with a bit more reach for shooting animals.  My 70-200 is often enough for obliging frogs and turtles that allow approach and the 180 macro works well for smalls like red efts.  But birds, even large leggy ones, mostly elude me.  The crop required to fill a frame in post-processing often leaves them softer than desired.  So, not really in the positition to drop 5G’s on a Canon 500, I recently purchased a Tamron 100-400.

I set out yesterday for the Norwottuck Rail Trail and Poor Farm Swamp here in Amherst.  I had hoped for one of those leggy folks but would have settled for another frog. After hiking about a mile, I decided to turn around as I had a lot of chores, including custom splitting our already cut and split firewood, so kept it short.  To my surprise and possible reward for heading back for the responsibilities of home ownership, I was presented with this:

For a pixel peeper, it’s not as crisp as I would expect the Canon 500 to capture but for a financially limited guy like me I am pleased just the same. It was a choice between a Sigma or Tamron and I’ve never owned a Tamron.  But the Sigma had no option for a tripod ring mount so Tamron it was.   I’ll have to give it more time but I think with careful use I’ll be satisfied enough.

Since the Great Egret-Ardea alba was backlit and I didn’t want to blow out the background, I dodged the bird’s plumage to brighten it up some.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Animal Behavior, Fauna, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to 08.11.2019 New lens

  1. Gallivanta says:

    What a treat for all of us. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete Hillman says:

    Beautiful capture Steve! It’s always good to have a new lens! Enjoy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Todd Henson says:

    I often find new lenses both a lot of fun and somewhat frustrating as I get used to them, learning their quirks, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they sometimes reveal my own weaknesses in technique. But in the end the fun side of that equation usually wins out.

    I really hope you come to enjoy the new lens. Getting that extra reach can be so nice. I like the rim light effect of this photo, and nice job with the dodging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I told myself that I will learn how to use this lens in every aspect of its possibilities. But I do 99% or more of my shooting on a tripod and am very particular about focus and depth of field. Learning to hand hold this will be a new experience for sure when I have the opportunity to do so. These waders aren’t as challenging as the little brown jobs. 🙂

      An egret always gets my attention, but I did like the fact that it was backlit and knew some post-processing was gong to be required so tried to just get the best file possible for the work later. Thanks, Todd.


  4. shoreacres says:

    Now you’ve done it: stirred my lens envy back to life. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been frustrated by the limited range of my 70-300mm. Of course, it’s not that limited, but birds being birds — capable of flight — walking closer for a better shot isn’t usually very effective.
    It doesn’t help that I’m often surrounded by bird photographers with lenses as long as my arm. Lens envy is a terrible thing!

    That said, I am happy for you, and for the fun you’ll have with this new bit of equipment. We’ll no doubt enjoy a new look at your world, too. I’ve never thought about the possibility that your water lilies come with egrets, but they clearly do, and it’s a great photo. My first thought was, “How does that bird see any fish under all those lilies?” Maybe it’s just hanging out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve had plenty of people ask why I don’t photograph birds more often and my answer is the same as yours but a little more so as my limit recently was 200mm. I do have an old 300 but since I lightened my load I don’t carry it much. Now I mount the 100-400 on the tripod and remove it as needed when something in the backpack is more appropriate. I did flowers today so it stayed in the car. Yeah, all my bird/wildlife photography friends have glass that cost about what my car did. I recognized that I will not likely ever be able to purchase one, although I have started buying lottery tickets, so compromised for the Tamron. I know the difference but have decided I can live with it.

      On a more personal note (more personal than finances?), I just went through donut hole hell with my provider over my blood thinner meds. I had a recurrence of a DVT, no PE this time, so it is critical to get my Xarelto. I just passed the first layer of cost so now have to spend another $2000+ before the cost comes back down. Medicare for all sounds better every day. So an expensive lens is even more remote now.

      Maybe they have x-ray vision? I guess they can see or sense the movement in the water. I’ve never seen a catch in all those pads but I imagine they know what they are doing. Not much in nature is accidental.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome to the 100–400mm lens club. It’s still the lens I use least often of the three I regularly carry with me, but as you pointed out, 400mm gives us an entry into the world of birds. I used mine two days ago for a pelican on the Alabama Gulf Coast.


    • I think I’ll use it a fair amount. Today’s landscape was shot with it and pretty much used the entire 400mm and still cropped. I am sure it’ll get used more for landscapes than birds. Maybe landscapes and frogs will even out. Years ago I was wading, with knee high boots, in leech infested water shooting water-lilies with my 180. My friend Mark was sitting on a guard rail above me getting pretty much the exact same shot with his 600mm “macro”. So many ways to do the job and still avoid the leeches.


  6. bluebrightly says:

    Enjoy it, Steve, the Great egret is beautiful, and just think how many photos you have ahead of you with the new lens. It will be fun to see what it can do. And sorry to hear about the medication cost – it’s terrible what happens with the cost of non-generics. I just spent several thousand $ in dental work, and feel a similar tightening of the proverbial belt. 🙂 Oh well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope all the dental expense has given you a great smile, Lynn. That’s a lot of money. I have been fortunate all my life to have nice hard teeth and so far only one chip. At least we haven’t had to declare bankruptcy for our medical bills as all too many have. I don’t agree with the conspiracy theorists that the pharmaceutical field tries to keep our maladies under control but not cured to maintain their profits, but our costs in this country are ridiculous.
      More happily, I have made three images with the lens, two landscapes and the egret. I am sure there will be more of the first as that is my main interest although all of nature attracts me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        The only way the dentist affected my smile was that I smiled to be out of there…I think my teeth are the opposite of yours. Let’s just keep our eyes, right? 😉


      • Two dental experiences from childhood. Rather than suck my thumb, I sucked my tow fingers, pointer and the ever popular middle, which over time forced my lower jaw to jut. My folks took me to a dentist who fashioned a couple of upper middle tooth chrome plated fangs that stuck out of my mouth to pull the jaw back in. Didn’t work and the stigma hung around for a few years. Think of Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

        We were always afraid I’d fall and lose them.

        The second happened a few years later. I was helping a friend clear out a shed and we were tossing bricks out of an opened window. He went out and decided to toss one in. I got it right in the moosh. Lots of blood, a chipped tooth and a whole bunch of crooked teeth. No money then for braces so they remain. I still don’t often broadly smile.

        Oh yeah. Teeth can easily be replaced. Eyesight not so much. 🙂


  7. Beautiful shot. The Tamron does an admirable job. I am so sorry that you have blood clots again. That is the pits. I am not sure but I think that the company that makes Xarelto has some sort of discount program but I have no idea how one qualifies. Maybe you could look at the pharmaceutical company but surely there are pharmacies that can provide that kind of info. Two K is an awful lot of money. It is staggering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Yvonne. Unfortunately, that discount is not available to Medicare folks. I looked into it, CVS actually signed me up for the program when I got my first dose, but when I called he company to check they said no. It is a lot of money, but not as bad as others have it. Mary Beth is lucky that she qualifies for assistance with her MS meds but who knows for how long that will remain in play. It’s ridiculous that we are the only country in the developed world that allows its citizens to go bankrupt over health care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my goodness. I figured there had to be some quirk on the reduced cost of Xarelto. How pathetic. I feel for anyone that has such high costs for meds. I am extremely lucky that I am a civil service retiree. I had insurance that I got while I worked and payment for insurance is deducted from my retirement. I take Xraleto for my afib and I pay $55 copay for a 90 day supply. But I am not sure if that is because I have Medicare and NALC so that is why I don’t pay more. The reality of our government is that over the years the masses have elected less than honest politicians who respond to lobbies so that they can remain in office. But maybe I am wrong about that. So many things wrong with the government on so many levels. I don’t see it getting any better and not for years to come. Voters can not see the light because they are blinded by rhetoric and persistent lies.


      • I think you are 100% correct about politicians, Yvonne. I think many, if not most, don’t even read the legislation which is in all too many cases written up with the help of those lobbyists. And as long as the majority of voters on either side of the campaigns blindly follow those who they’ve sent to office without taking the time to educate themselves on the matters at hand we’ll just see more of the same.

        Liked by 1 person

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