Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Through a telephoto lens

I *finally* have a new lens for my Nikon.   An eBay purchase from last week, it arrived yesterday, and of course, I wasted no time in getting it on my camera.  While I do like the versatility of the wide-angle zoom lens that came with my camera, the limitations of it were felt on more than one occasion, particularly when trying to shoot distal subjects and wildlife.  This lens, the Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6, offers probably a bit more versatility, given what I like to shoot.

Finding subject matter  to shoot is never an issue here at the house.  I'm a sucker for a cute face.  Having a telephoto lens will make taking portraits of my favorite model even easier.  He's always dressed for the occasion, being nattily attired in his gray tuxedo.  The orange object in the photo?  That's his favorite toy - a fur-covered mouse, with the tail chewed off.  He fetches them when thrown, and carries one up on the bed with him.  It's one of the many Cute Cat Things he does.

f/4.8, 90mm, ISO 800

Later, after stopping by the library for the summer solstice celebration/reception they were having, I drove out to Bluff Point SP, which is just down the road.  Walking out on a small jetty afforded multiple photo opportunities perfectly suited to this lens, including this macro shot.  The combination of longer focal length, plus an additional stop up, makes for shots with pleasing bokeh:

Afternoon Grasses
135mm,  f/5, 1/500 sec.

Slightly further down the jetty, and I saw this young cottontail.  It was so absorbed in obtaining some dinner that it didn't immediately scamper off as I came up the trail.  No cropping.  Not bad for a hand-held shot.  

200mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec., ISO 800

Walking up the road towards Bluff Point, I was able to get my reflections fix, and some of those will no doubt become a series of paintings.   I noticed the waxing moon, and on a whim, decided to see how that looked.  Yeah, it's cropped to help the composition, but I was impressed with the detail that is visible on something that is over 238K miles away.  With my old lens, it always looked like a small white blip in the sky.

Waxing Gibbous Moon
200mm, f/5/6, 1/500 sec., ISO 250

And, finally, the sunset shot.  Metering directly off of the sun (and probably destroying some retinal cells in the process), produced this darker, more dramatic image.  Colors weren't really quite this orange, but the sky isn't blown out, so that's the trade-off.  I still rather like it.  Minor pp to darken the highlights and lighten the shadows.  A tripod would have been nice to have along.

Solstice Sunset
120mm,  f/11, 1/640 sec., ISO 200

Summer is now officially here!


  1. Beautiful photos...looks like that lens is a winner!

  2. Thank you so much, Loriann! I am definitely pleased with what I'll be able to do with this lens.

  3. That moon one just kills me. Wow!!

    Ha, does your cat do what mine do? When they get a new one of those fake mice, the first thing they do is eat the rawhide tail.

  4. Hi Jala - yeah, I was amazed at how well that moon shot came out! Seriously not bad for a 200mm tele.

    Oh gawd - Nelson goes absolutely *nuts* for those fake mice, and the first thing he does is to go and chew the tail off. He used to actually eat most of them, which clearly is not good, but thankfully, he stopped that. Silly cats!


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