The new 100-400 mm lens post 3
I’m loving the new 100-400 mm lens, maybe too much. I’ve already used it to capture the peregrine falcon hopping on the ground, trying to pounce on something that I couldn’t see. Now, I’ve used it to capture a series of photos showing a red-tailed hawk eating a snake.
But before I go on, I see that one of my photos has been published by the statewide that consortium that includes the local Grand Rapids press and other newspapers around the State of Michigan.
I have to say that it’s a great ego boost to see one of my photos used in such a way!
I’ve also told you that I’ve been following the North American Nature Photography Association Facebook page as a way to judge my photos against the photos of others, and with all modesty, I have to say that I’ve been improving the quality of my images, but that I still have a way to go to match the very best that I see.
Anyway, I spotted the hawk perched on the fence as you can see in the photos above, and I assumed that the hawk would fly away as soon as it spotted me, so I was setting the camera to shoot birds in flight when the hawk jumped off from the fence and to the ground. Since I was busy setting the camera, I missed that. The hawk soon emerged back out of the tall grass with the poor snake.
I should have remembered what this look meant, “Are you ready there Mr. Photographer?”.
But, it’s been a while since I’ve seen that look, so I was a bit slow on the shutter.
Once the hawk had finished off the snake, I moved closer to shoot a few portrait shots.
I thought that the hawk would have to come towards me if it took flight, due to the wind direction, but the hawk performed one of the niftiest moves that I’ve ever seen a large bird make to avoid the camera. It did leap up in my direction, but it was already turning in midair as it did so, then it dropped down below and behind the fence to build up speed as it flew away from me. So, my attempts to catch the take off were thwarted. However, the hawk must have felt bad about that, so it flew back towards me for these.
Okay, you may be wondering why I posted so many photos of the hawk, that’s a fair question. The reason is, that just as when I was photographing the falcon hopping around on the ground, the new 100-400 mm lens on the 7D Mk II didn’t miss a shot! I could have filled several posts with all of the good images that I shot of the hawk, both perched, and in flight. That’s the difference between my new set-up, and any of the others that I have used in the past, almost every image that I shoot is usable.
I’ve had the new lens for two weeks, and already I have supreme confidence in it, it will get me the shots that I want, whether they’re of a hawk, or a small bird like a chickadee.
While I would love it if I could shoot only photos when there was great light and the birds cooperated…
…that doesn’t always happen.
Many of the birds stay hidden in the brush as much as they can.
I’ve said repeatedly that I want to be able to shoot anything, any time, any place, and the 7D and new lens make that very close to possible, even action shots before dawn.
I was on my way to shoot sunrise photos when the wood duck took off. I had trouble seeing the wood duck through the viewfinder, yet I was able to get several shots that I could use if I wanted to. Just after sunrise, this mallard was a piece of cake…
…even though there still wasn’t much light.
There will come a time when I either see a rare species of bird, or I witness the behavior of a critter that I want to record and pass along, when the ability to get those types of shots will be important.
I’ve also tested the new lens out on a few landscape photos…
…as well as a few still life photos.
I don’t want to go into all the details, but the performance of the new lens has me rethinking many of the future purchases that I was planning on making, because I wish all of my lenses were this good. I think that I have come up with a plan B that will work out just fine.
Instead of boring you with what that plan is, I’ll leave you with a few more photos.
The forecast for the coming weekend is for much cooler temperatures, lower humidity, and lots of sunshine! I sure hope so, I’d like to see what this new lens can do with conditions better for photography than what I’ve had so far since I got it.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!