From two days in the Muskegon area, Part II
While I was on vacation, I went to the Muskegon area for two days of birding. On the first day, my first stop was Lane’s Landing, then the State Game Area headquarters, next was the wastewater facility, then the Muskegon Lake Nature preserve.
Even though my thoughts about the new 300 mm prime lens are now moot, I’m going to include them in this post, as they were definitely on my mind at the time.
This picks up where my last post ended, towards the end of the first day in Muskegon, my last stop of the day was the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve.
I had been growing more frustrated with the new 300 mm L series lens all day. It was too slow to auto-focus, it wouldn’t auto-focus at all far too often, so when I got to the nature preserve, I removed the Tamron extender and shot these photos.
The bad thing about a day of birding like that day is that I didn’t know how “soft” many of the photos from earlier were. When I went through the nearly 400 photos that I shot on this day in total, I was even more frustrated with the new lens.
So, a few days later, when I returned to the Muskegon area, I took old reliable, otherwise known as the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) and started the day using it.
In good light, the Beast is no slouch when it comes to getting excellent images! There’s very little difference between what it can produce, and what the 300 mm prime lens can produce, as you can see here.
It’s under less than ideal conditions that the better quality of the 300 mm L series lens begins to assert itself. But, on this day, poor lighting wasn’t an issue, so here are the rest of the photos that I shot with the Beast.
There weren’t very many species of birds around to photograph, my timing was off that day, as I arrived at mid-morning when the birds were taking their siesta.
In a pinch, the Beast also works for landscapes.
And finally from the Beast, a woodchuck trying to help me out by pretending to be a bird, since I hadn’t seen many.
This was the day when as I was walking back to my vehicle at Lane’s Landing, that I decided to bite the bullet, and switch the settings of the camera body that I had only used for landscapes and macros up until then, and to use that body with the 300 mm lens and Tamron extender for birds at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve. The difference was amazing, right off the bat.
Not only was the auto-focus faster and more accurate, the second body came up with slightly different exposure settings for the lens/extender combo than the first body did.
If you remember, for a few days, I thought that the problem with the 300 mm lens was an exposure problem, as the first body came up with different exposures for that lens than it does when I use the Beast. It wasn’t, well, I suppose that’s a symptom of the overall problem, which is that the first 60 D body that I bought simply does not work well with either of the L series lenses that I own.
Anyway, here are the photos, although I didn’t find as many birds as I had hoped for.
So, it may not be “right” that one body works well with the L series lenses, and the other body doesn’t, but I can live with that. I have since done more testing, and the 300 mm lens definitely works better on the second body.
I have also tried the Beast on the second body. I used that combo for one day, and for very few birds. I can see that when I was shooting flowers and insects that the auto-focus of the Beast missed by between two to three inches, focusing that much behind where I wanted it to focus. But, the Beast has never done well with close focusing, the margin of error that I saw was very close to what I had come to expect from it on the first body. But, I’ll have to shoot more birds before I can say for sure whether it will work well on the second body.
It really doesn’t matter that much any longer. It was only my stubborn streak that made me stick to having the bodies dedicated to just certain types of photos anyway. As I’ve had the Canon bodies for a little over a year now, I’ve gotten used to changing the settings all the time as my skills have improved, as well as my photos. I still have my basic walking around, shoot quickly settings, but I use those settings less all the time, I’m changing at least the exposure compensations for almost every photo. I automatically go to aperture mode for flowers and insects, to get more depth of field, for example.
So, if I have to use the Beast on the first body for birding, and the 300 mm lens on the second body, it’s no longer a big deal to me. As long as I have a second body along that I can set-up for landscapes or macros, it doesn’t matter which is which.
I think that you’ll see what I mean when I get to the photos that I’ve been shooting since this I shot the ones in this post. Here’s a teaser of what’s to come.
That just happened to be shot with the 300 mm lens, Tamron extender, on the second body. But, I’ve been getting many other really good photos the last two weeks as well, using almost of my gear, other than the 70-200 mm lens. I may even get that lens out one day this coming week. When I was planning my lens purchases, I thought that the 70-200 mm lens would be my least used lens, and that has held true.
Before I begin babbling like a brook, I’d better end this post. 😉
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!