Still more random thoughts from around home
I have to begin with some bad news, my Tokina 100 mm macro lens died on Sunday. That wasn’t completely unexpected, I’d been getting error messages at times from my camera bodies telling me that they couldn’t communicate with the lens when I tried to shoot a picture. That’s one of the reasons that I purchased the set of extension tubes that I mentioned in an earlier post, to serve as a back-up to the macro lens, as well as increase the versatility of my other lenses. After getting a couple more of those error messages yesterday, the lens quit working at all. It won’t try to focus, and the aperture is stuck partially closed. It could be a loose wire or bad connection inside of the lens, or it could be much more serious.
Now I’m faced with a decision, do I send the Tokina lens in and see if it can be repaired, or do I purchase the macro lens that I wished that I could afford when I did purchase the Tokina, the Canon 100 mm L series macro lens?
Optically, the Tokina was the best lens that I own, but it was ancient in design. The auto-focus was the old screw drive type, noisy and slower than molasses in January, and the lens didn’t have image stabilization, when macro photos are one of the times when you need it most, if you’re not using a tripod.
As you may be able to tell, I’m leaning towards replacing the Tokina, rather than trying to have it repaired. I’ve never had good luck with camera equipment that has been repaired, and while the Tokina was very sharp, I was never completely happy with the way it rendered some colors, especially blue.
I can live without the 400 mm lens that I was going to buy, but I can’t live without a macro lens at this time of year, when I never know what may slither past me…
…land next to me…
…or what flowers I’ll see.
I just installed 16 GB more of RAM in my iMac, and it has made even more of a difference when working in Lightroom than I thought that it would, it snaps right to the photo when I change which one I want to view. And, I can do a three image HDR in less than thirty seconds, not bad when it used to take my old computer twenty minutes or more. Even better, I added the 16 GB or Ram for less than half of what 8 GB would have cost me had I gotten it from Apple. It’s great to have nice things and get them at a good price!
The weather around here continues to be rainy and gloomy, although I’ve had two good days in a row this weekend. I can’t remember the last time that there was sunshine for both of my days off from work. Not only that, but it was cool for summertime, and very pleasant both days as well. Many of the photos in this post were shot in the rain, as if you hadn’t been able to tell that from the snail photos. I got more than a little wet while lying on the ground that day. 😉
The birds don’t seem to mind too much, here’s a mourning dove splashing around…
…but they prefer some sunshine at least once in a while also.
I shouldn’t do this, as far behind as I am in my blogging, but these photos are too good to whittle down to one or two, a turkey posing for me.
He had started out facing away from me as he fanned his tail out, and while a turkey’s butt is quite impressive when they fan their tail, it’s still a turkey’s butt. I was fortunate that he turned slowly and put on a show for me.
You can see how their feathers seem to change color as the light hits them differently, even better, he decided to let out a gobble for me.
Then he turned, looked at me as if to say “I hope that you got that, the show’s over, I’m off to find a willing female!”…
…before he turned and headed into the brush.
Changing gears, on day back in May, I went to the Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve. I arrived before dawn, hoping to get some good early morning landscape photos as the sun rose. That was not to be, for they lock the place up at night, and don’t open the gates until 8 AM. It was a mostly forgettable day anyway, a few minutes of sunshine early on…
(if you look closely, there’s a deer drinking from the lake in the lower left of the frame)
…before it clouded over shortly after I got started. The highpoint of the day was getting this male redstart while he was singing….
…and getting photos of bobwhite quail for the My Photo Life List project I’m working on.
I did find it interesting to find trillium still blooming there so late in the year.
And I remember playing hide and seek with a red squirrel.
It was very surprised that I had gotten into position to catch it coming out from behind the leaves like that.
Needless to say, it didn’t want to play after I had won round one. 😉
On the other hand, this chipmunk didn’t seem to mind being caught out in the open.
The only other wildlife of note was this pileated woodpecker…
…which perched in an almost impossible spot to get a good shot of it, almost directly between the sun and myself….
…so that’s the best that I could do.
I’m probably wrong, but I believe that this is the spore producing part of a cinnamon fern.
And I also think that this is horsetail beginning to “leaf” out.
My memory must be going, for I know that my mom told me what these were dozens of times, but I’ve forgotten what they are.
Since the gates to the Pickerel Lake preserve are locked until 8 AM, and because the place is so busy, I probably won’t go back until fall. There’s plenty of other places nearby, including right around my apartment where I can see enough nature to keep me supplied in photos throughout the summer.
Can you tell that many of these photos were shot early in the morning on the few days when there was some sunshine? I love getting out first thing in the morning, the light is better for photography, and there’s more wildlife to be seen. The one downside to getting out early is that some flowers don’t open until the sun has been up for a while. That’s okay, if they are closed on my way out, they are usually open when I’m on my way back home.
I could babble on for some time about my decision process for choosing whether or not to repair or replace the Tokina macro lens, and everything that there is to take into consideration, such as filter size, but I won’t bore you with that. I will say that I’ve decided to replace the macro lens with a Canon 100 mm L series, based on price, performance, features, and filter size to name a few of the many things that affected my decision. Maybe I’ll buy the 400 mm lens for myself for Christmas, or maybe not. I may very well find that I don’t need or even want that lens as much as I thought, only time will tell.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!