Spunk Approves

Murder over the bosque

Lavinia asked if I had used a telescope to photograph the moon last night. Lavinia never lets me down on being observant and asking questions when something seems different like a whole lot of detail in the moon photo. As I answered her, I did not use a telescope, I used a 400mm lens that is equivalent to a 640mm lens on my Canon 7D Mark II body. I have been considering getting a long telephoto lens for quite some time.

I was originally looking at the Canon 100-400mm lens, which is one of Canon’s best telephoto zoom lenses for mere mortal photographers, such as myself. However, the 100-400mm lens is ƒ/4.5 to ƒ/5.6, which is a little slow for as much low light photography as I do. I really needed a faster telephoto lens. I seriously considered both the Canon 400mm ƒ/2.8 and the Canon 300mm ƒ/2.8 lenses. The problem with those lenses for me is their weight. The Canon 400mm ƒ/2.8 weighs in at 12 pounds, and the 300mm ƒ/2.8 weighs 6 pounds, 1/2 the weight of the 400mm ƒ/2.8, but still a heavy lens.

I ended up compromising on speed for lighter weight and bought a 400mm ƒ/4.0 DO lens with Refractive Optics, which enables Canon to put a 400mm ƒ/4.0 lens in the same body as the 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens, shaving 2 pounds off the weight in the process. At 4 pounds, the 400mm ƒ/4.0 DO is easy to handle, and fast enough to get decent images hand held in low light. In the photos of the owls below, we could only see outlines of the owls with our bare eyes like in the first photo, but not nearly as close up. The new lens is able to focus on the owls in relative darkness, through the branches and get an amazing amount of detail.

Spunk loves my new lens

Preening

Spunk’s a lens hugger

Intermission photographed using a Fuji XE-1 with 27mm ƒ/2.8 lens

“Who are you calling a ‘lens hugger?’ Stupid Paparazzo!”

RAW image of the owls before I cropped the image and adjusted the exposure, contrast, color balance, etc.

“Oh my! The paparazzo found us again.”

Mirroring

The streak photographed using a Canon 5Ds with a Canon 70-200mm ƒ/4.0 lens

A little over half a moon on 01/21/21

 

63 thoughts on “Spunk Approves

  1. That is quite a lens! You will enjoy it, for sure.
    Spunk, as a professional model, understands it is important he knows just what equipment will be used around him, even if not on him. He considers himself an equal collaborating partner in any project or session. So I am glad he approves this new acquisition. 🙂😻

    • Hi Susan. Spunk is the man and top man cat around the house. The first photos I did with that new lens are the photos I posted of Spunk supervising my changing out the water heater.

  2. I enjoyed the lesson on lenses, Tim. Thank you! The photos are gorgeous. I agree with Susan, Spunk considers himself an equal collaborating partner in any project or session. 🙂

    I caught a few fleeting glimpses of moon through the clouds tonight.

    • Doesn’t your one Nikon that has a lens that extends to 1200mm or something ridiculously long like that? You’ve nothing to be jealous of as far as long lenses are concerned. Thanks, Inchcock.

      • Nee, it be the shakes and shuggers that do me, Tim. The Nikon is not working. I seem top think if I leave it a few days, the angels might mend it for when I try it agaiin tomorrow. Hahaha!
        Google calender is not opening either, going to go om web and have a search for help.

        TTFNski.

  3. Monster lens. You would certainly need to have a heavy duty professional tripod to handle the weight. The adapter for a DSLR telescope pairings are mostly spending money for a bad adapter. For a 35mm SLR in the film days, adapters were quite good. But, you needed to have a quality telescope.

    • I have a heavy-duty professional tripod that weighs 13 pounds. It’s very cumbersome to carry around, so a 12 pound lens was ruled out right away. but this lens is easy enough to handle without a tripod, even in low light. Thanks, David.

      • That’s a monster tripod at 13 pounds. I’ve been looking at buying a new tripod to pair with the new dslr. I did make an offer on one at eBay then retracted the offer a couple of hours later; the offer was low, but I still may make an offer at a slightly higher amount. Surprisingly, I can take photos at slow shutter speeds (1/15, 1/20, 1/25) without any shake.

      • My tripod will hold an 8X10 View Camera. I use it for my 4X5 and night shots with a DSLR. I rarely use tripods. With 5 stop stabilization in my Canon lenses, I can do really slow shutter speeds with decent results.

    • Thanks, picholio. Camera gear is in the safe when it’s not in use, so poor Spunk only gets to hug the lens while I’m getting ready to go out or when I’m transferring photos to my computer.

  4. Be careful going outside with such a big lens, especially in the Capitol area. They might think you’re out there with a bazooka… 😉

      • Looks like Spunk also loves the Bazooka… The moon photograph is very impressive and full of details.

      • Spunk also loves the notion that he could “blowup” things with it if it were a real bazooka. The Bazooka does a great job capturing the moon enabling me to “blowup” the photos to get all the details.

        We’re going to have all kinds of fun with your brilliant observation about the lens.

  5. You realize of course that you are not the owner of that -pretty spectacular- lens! Permission will be needed for each photo shoot and probably Spunk’s presence too as an approval sign! 😉 Great photos, my friend and cheers to your new lens! 👍

    • Thanks, Mary Jo. Now that Herman has brilliantly and appropriately named the lens “the Bazooka”, Spunk and I are going to have a “blast” “shooting” and “blowing up” photos.

  6. Lots of photography spec talk here. However, if Spunkie – Poo 💋 loves the new lens, then I do, too!
    He truly is photogenic. Is being a lens hugger akin to a tree hugger?
    Lots of beauty shots here, Tim.

      • …Of course he would say that! It could be a song… to the tune of “These Boots are Made for Walking” … This Tree is Made for Climbing!

      • The guy that named me Catman when we were in high school told me how he tortured cats. I gave him a little of the torture he said he did to cats. After that he called me catman. He was an egotistical maniac. He was killed in a car wreck a few years later. I didn’t know it then, but when you consider all the typical behaviours of serial killers when they are young, that guy exhibited almost all of them.

      • Crazy! Scary! Insightful!
        Poor cats. They have been tortured, reviled and feared by many over history.
        Yet, they are the sweetest loving creatures. They should rule the earth, not humans!

  7. I didn’t understand any of the tech specs Tim….but your pictures are always soooooooo gorgeous and perfect…..like these…..you’re just tooooooo good.

  8. Wow, I think I’d be a lens hugger as well! So jealous … mind you, I think I’d have problems holding one of those monsters for too long. Tim, you say some are f2.8 or f4 .. is that their fstop starting points? I really want a new camera now 🤩 Awesome photos!!

    • Thanks, Julie. Yes that is their f-stop wide open. The f2.8 lenses are huge and heavy. This f4 DO is big, but at 4 pounds it’s manageable for me, but might not be so manageable for other people. The higher-end point and shoot cameras with 20x to 60x zoom lenses like Lumix FZ series, Nikon Coolpix series, Canon Powershot series and Sony HX series give you a long zoom range with good quality photos for reasonable prices. The Sony RX series are more expensive, but offer fast lenses. The Sony RX10 gives you 25x zoom (24mm-600mm) from f2.4 @ 24mm to f4 at 600mm.

      • Thanks Tim .. I have a LUMIX GH4 … my zoom is 100-300 but it can be slow. I never get great bird shots. They have usually flown off by the time I swing up my camera 🙂

      • The slowness has more to do with the mirrorless focussing system. I had a 100-300mm zoom on one of my Lumix mirrorless cameras. I never got it to focus on anything that moved. It was really frustrating. I’ve had different mirrorless cameras and they all have trouble with focusing on moving objects.

        If you want to do wildlife photography switching to a regular DSLR with a mirror is probably best. Lumix was early in mirrorless cameras. Since you have one, you are familiar with the issues. Now all the camera makers are into mirrorless cameras and pushing them hard. They are cheaper to produce, but they are asking a lot for them, and acting like it’s the latest cool thing.

        A couple of my ditch bank buddies bought one of the latest Canon mirrorless cameras for a couple thousand dollars and expressed disappointment that it didn’t seem much better than their cell phones.

      • The reason I mentioned the high-end point and shoots is I’ve seen people get amazing bird and wildlife photos with those cameras.

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