Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Way Down Yonder

(Click on the thumbnail to view larger image)

The last time we spent some time in Bear Valley, we were treated two evenings in a row to a visit by some of our four-legged neighbors. On both occasions, the deer hung around the little stand of trees at the far edge of our property about a quarter mile (according to The Husband) from the house. (This deer, "way down yonder" is actually just beyond our property line.) I don't have the lens to get a good shot, but I tried my new 70-200 f4 IS lens combined with a 1.4 teleconverter and, after a bit of cropping, I managed to get this teaser.

I don't know how I long I will be able to tolerate not having a good 300mm lens that will work with that converter what with deer, coyotes, and hawks tempting me on a regular basis. A person can only tolerate that sort of pressure for so long. Right? Heck, I have even found myself fantasizing about a blind of some sort out in that field. Too many temptations.


  1. My 100-400L turns into a 640mm on my 20D when you factor in the sensor cropping. Adding in the 1.4 telextender takes it to just shy of 900mm. You'd think that with a 900mm lens I'd be able to get some good closeups of deer and other wildlife.


    I may have to build a blind and learn some patience. Apparently there are some shots you just can't "buy" through upgrading equipment.

  2. My heart immediately started going pitty-pat over the idea of a 100-400L. Of course, I went straight to the B&H site to gawk at it, and I may be in big trouble soon. I'm already trying to imagine what I could cut out to make room for that in the budget. You say you haven't gotten good closeups of wildlife, but what you do get is more than enough.

    Second, now if only B&H had some of that patience to sell. I guess you covered that pretty well. Drat. More work to do on me.

  3. Hmmmm? Sounds like someone is working on an 'excuse' to buy a new lens! :-)

    When I think of 200mm, or even 500mm for that matter, it seems like a lot. I own a Tamron 200-500mm and it's pretty good, but in order to fill the frame, you still have to be pretty close. It's not magic; that's for sure.

    Good luck on your purchase. :-) Fortunately, for now, I don't have anything on my radar to purchase, save for an L-bracket for my D300, but it can wait.

  4. No question I am probably working on an excuse to get that lens, but the fact is it will probably take quite some time to work up to this one.

    What?! It isn't magic? Darn. Only kidding. Having seen what the 200 with the teleconverter gets me puts this in perspective. No doubt, that deer is awfully tiny in the frame. Maybe just a bit of improvement though? Come on, Paul, I need more people in my corner. This is going to be a big job here. Give a gal a hand.

    Furthermore, unfortunately there are other things on my radar. After all, I have had only a few short years to acquire my kit. I have considered that Tamron lens you have. I notice you said it is "pretty good." I have yet to buy any lenses other than Canon—actually I have one Tamron extension tube, but that's it.

  5. Regarding the Tamron lens, it is very good. Sure, it's not on par with the Nikon 500mm f/4, but a guy's got to operate within his budget! Dontchaknow?!

    Tamron = $769, Nikon = $7,899 a whopping factor of 10+! So, the Tamron is the best bet for my money. :-)

    By far, the best lens that I have in my 'kit' is my Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8, but it is also one of my most rarely used. It's big, heavy, sharp, and fantastic in low light, but I just don't use it that much. Go figure.

    Usually the only time that I use the 200-500 is when I go to the zoo or when I go to the lake or river and want to capture some shots of the birdies. Even then, at 500mm, it seems to be inadequate sometimes. I don't own a teleconverter.

  6. Paul, my version of your lens is the Canon 70-200f2.8 (I call her Big Bertha) and is a beauty, but rarely comes out to play. When I shoot horses (for money) that's the rig, but that's about it. I am simply not strong enough to muscle that lens without at least a monopod. (I feel better knowing that you also feel the weight of that lens.)

    My newest addition is her little brother the f4.0 with IS and what a wonderful difference. That one I can (even though I shouldn't) manage to shoot handheld, if I really want to live dangerously.

    I would dearly like to have something available for one of the evenings we are bound to spot critters foraging in the spot down by those trees. The price differential you quoted is rather persuasive. Let's see how strong I can be.


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