Wednesday, 27 June 2012

New toy!

I am weak. Very weak. Totally and utterly weak. Why? Well, I have used a 400mm f/5.6 L-series lens for four years now for my bird photography, backed up with a 70-200mm f/4 L zoom for close up shots, sometimes with a 1.4x extender on it to make it 280mm at the longest end. However, I was lacking anything between 200-400mm and I was missing the flexibility and versatility of a zoom.

I'd been considering a large telephoto zoom lens for months now, not just for birds, but for other subjects as well. The 1.4x extender on the 70-200 worked well enough but at the cost of some quality and I wasn't that happy with the results, as using the bare lens then doing a hefty crop often produced more pleasing results. Many times since December I have perused magazine pages and websites looking at Canon and Sigma long zooms and comparing them. In the end the choice came down to the Canon 100-400 L IS or the Sigma 120-400mm OS which is half the Canon's price.
Anyway, and this is where the weakness comes in, I'd resisted getting a large zoom for ages but finally weakened before completely caving in yesterday and bought a Canon 100-400mm L lens. Unfortunately the weather is still crap - crappier in fact - being foggy and grey all day and the birds have vanished (it's that time of year), so I have not had a chance to properly try it out yet.

One of my aunt's cats, Molly, was a less-than-willing subject. (Yeah. Cats. I know. But Molly and her sister are indoor cats, from Cats Protection).

And a noisy pic of a Chinook helicopter that was flying around this afternoon. The light and visibility were atrocious

I am keeping the 400mm f/5.6 - I'd solicited opinions on Bird Forum and elsewhere and it seems that a lot of people have both lenses - as I can't bear to part with it and it remains one of the best birding lenses there is. My 70-200, though, is now up for sale. If you're passing the Island Photo Centre in Newport, Isle of Wight, and see a commission-sale 70-200mm f/4 L looking a bit lonely in there, please do me and it a favour by giving it a new home - yours for the princely sum of £400! No it isn't, I changed my mind. Better keep it, just in case.

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