23 June 2011

photo friday. six. zoom.

 I like when I have to sign for UPS deliveries.
It means the contents of the package are extra special.
Or extra expensive.

Or both, in this case.
My new lens arrived Tuesday.
Nikkor 80-200mm 2.8

(Without getting into too much detail, the 80-200 is the focal length, which has to do with angle of view and magnification. The 2.8 is the maximum aperture, which means I can open the lens way up and let in a lot of light. This gives me many more options overall and helps in low light situations.)

The only lens I had previously was a 50mm 1.4. If I wanted to “zoom in” with that prime lens, I had to move my body. With the 80-200, I can zoom from 80mm to 20mm without changing lenses. Here's a little graphic to show you the differences. Each photo was taken by me, standing in the exact same spot.
 (Click here for another that shows shorter focal lengths.)

By the way, I am currently accepting recommendations for T-cushion armchair slipcovers.

This new lens means that I can (hopefully!) capture migrating orcas on our upcoming vacation to the San Juan Islands. And it means I can take better photos of our mountain (Mt. Hood) from the comfort of my living room.
But what I'm really enjoying right now is the extra magnification. The lens manual says it has a “macro” focusing distance. That may be technically true, but it's not quite “macro” enough for me. (My sister-in-law Megan does amazing things with her real macro lens. I will get one, someday.) It does let me get closer than my 50mm, similar to the old macro shots I would take with our point-and-shoot. You can count on seeing more of these on the blog.

(No cropping this time, Jen!)

The only drawback is that the 80-200mm is bigger than me. No, seriously, it's gigantic. And it's heavy. My camera body is like an accessory for this lens. (Here's a picture, but that's not me holding it.) :) I was finally feeling comfortable with the body + 50mm—comfortable enough that I wasn't going to drop it at any given moment. Now I'm paranoid all over again. But I'll get used to it.

For those of you with dSLRs: As skeptical as I was, I'm seeing significant focus improvement using back button focusing. If you haven't tried it, you should. It's really not scary. I think it actually helps me keep the camera more steady.


Anonymous said...

Oh yay for your new lens! That truly is exciting. Thank you for the comment on my blog about back button focusing and no, I haven't been doing that. I'm hearing buzz out there abt it, and gathering that I really need to learn this technique! Thanks for confirming it. I am going to click your link to see what I need to do. You images are amazingly sharp!

Grandpa Bill said...

Ditto what she said--incredibly sharp images.

I just bought a Vivitar VIV-VT-67 monopod/walking stick to aid with camera shake. I am a lot older than you, remember. Amazon, very sturdy, about 12 bucks. And a swivel head, which isn't here yet. If your lens has a tripod socket--the lens, not the camera--you might get considerable help without bulk.

Marisa said...

Thanks, Dad. Good suggestion. I'll keep that in mind!

Anonymous said...

Love the strawberry image and the hummingbird too! I would be nervous with that lens too.

I keep wanting to take my camera to the beach but I am scared it will get wet. Would you take your camera to the beach? Just curious. I do want to catpure some shots of the boys at the beach since that is our lifestyle now. ;) Maybe I should make B go with me and he can be on lifeguard duty while I do my own thing with the camera.

Cathy said...

I love the mountain and the strawberries! Just so you know, I'm going through your archives and pinning today. Get ready for lots of page views!

Megan said...

Awesome! The images with new lens look fabulous. The colors in the strawberry shot are perfection. Red can be tricky to deal with and you made it look easy :)
I'm not sure if that lens is destined to go camping in, oh, say... July... but if it is, you might just find it missing for a couple hours. Of course, you could avoid the stealing if you'd like to temporarily trade for a macro :)

Anonymous said...

So true about the first line when you have to sign for a UPS package- and congrats on your new lens! I have a 50-150 f/2 and I completly understand what you mean about total bulkiness! But- at least you know its a solid, well made lens! Best of luck with it-- looks like you're loving it already!

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