25th of August 2011 – This is when this photograph of a sparrowhawk devouring its kill was the last photograph that I would classify as a long lens wildlife shot (In this case a Canon 500mm). Shortly after this I sold all of this photographic gear and changed tack completely (This is well documented on this blog if you wish check it out). Anyway fast forward nearly 10 years and a lot of things have changed in the world of photography but I have now finally returned to long lens wildlife photography (this time with a Sony 200X600mm).
So what are my first impressions? Really good. The F6.3 (I know it officially is a 5.6/6.3 lens but for most of its reach it is f6.3 so that is what I think of it as) isn’t a problem with my R3. The images I took today were taken at dawn so for a start I was shooting at 640th at 5000 iso and this seemed to work.
The one advantage I have now over 2011 is that I don’t expect anything from my photography. Back then I was still entering competitions, with mixed success, and it was full on. Then I suddenly realised that take my photography to the next level would require commitment that I was unable or willing to give it. This time I’m much older and hopefully just a bit wiser and so I accept what happens and move on. Photography for me now is a great enjoyment: I go out; I capture images and hopefully I can make some decent photographs at the end of the process. That is the limit of my expectations. It really is quite liberating.
I have other plans for the lens beyond wildlife shots but just at the moment I am trying to get my adelled brain and body back into some form of shape so that I can try and make the best photographs possible. I have to say I had forgotten what a heavy lens feels like after an hour or so of carting it around and this is lightweight compared to what I used carry around with me.