Tuesday, August 7, 2018

150 to 600, or the behemoth

If you've been keeping up you know a buddy has lent me a Tamron 150-600 mm lens to see if I like it enough to buy. It weighs a ton, but is half way to being a telescope, and that's on my full frame camera. On my old T6 it would turn into 250-960 mm lens. I'll have to try that sometime.

These are the first mostly serious photos. I think one is cropped slightly just to get the horizon level, but the rest are as is. The point here wasn't to get artistic photos (It just KILLS me not to crop those two poles out of the first one!), it was to get a sense of what the lens would shoot, and what the photos would look like for colour and sharpness. All of them are hand held, with minimal processing in Lightroom.

In one sense, it was a bad day for this, and you'll see why shortly. The construction photos are from the ring road. These first two are from the top of the sound barrier near 130 Ave looking west at the new intersection. First at 150 mm, then 600 mm. You can see how much closer the lens takes you. I'm not sure how far away that bit of scaffolding is, but it's down the sound barrier and across 4 lanes of highway and a bit of a median, plus a construction zone.

These are from just before the bridge on 37th St, looking mostly south towards the new bridges over Fish Creek.

These next ones are in about the middle of the zoom range, where the lens ought to perform the best. Yes, there's a hill. Yes the bright hazy sun washes out the yellow a bit.

This is from 146th Ave, what used to be a little known or travelled short cut to 22X. I've ridden my bike past here a great many times, but without this view. They cut down all the trees to build the highway. Now I wouldn't dream of riding my bike here. This is at 150 mm. Note the excavator bottom centre.

From the same vantage point, this is the skyline at 150 mm.

This is why it's a poor day to test a lens. From the same spot at 600 mm. Look at the haze! This is even with more processing than the rest of the photos to try to reduce the haze.

The excavator looks sad sitting there all by itself. Same one as a couple photos ago, at 600 mm.

All the rest of the equipment is neatly lined up in a herd.

Then down into Fish Creek park near bridge 2, just to see how the lens deals with green and water, though there isn't much water just now. The first is at 150 mm from the bridge, then the same rocks at 600 mm.

Bridge 2 from the bend in the river downstream. Some of you might remember several winter shots from a little over a year ago, three different lens at 3 different distances. This is about the same place as the last shot in that blog, only a bit to the right and a few feet higher. I tried a panorama at 600 mm, but but goofed. Next time. It would be a whole lot easier on a tripod. There's some haze showing up in this shot as well, and the direct overhead light sucks for colour.

This is the part of the bridge at 600 mm that is almost in focus. I got rid of most of the haze in Lightroom.

Even at low water, the stream is pretty.

I hung around for a while looking for dragonflies, but they were too quick for me. Lots of wildlife photographers carry around a big lens so they don't frighten their subject. This is the only bird I saw the entire time. Then again, it wasn't the best time for birding.

The toughest target in all of these. Embiggen and look at the terminator line. There are craters! This is uncropped, on a hazy morning, no tripod but resting on a support, 600mm, ISO 6400, f 6.3 (I think that's the fastest the lens is at that zoom), 1/25 of a second. If you look really carefully you can see some stars. As I've said before, the moon is a tough target. I'll have to work on this more on a less hazy night.

This is a tough lens to hold up to your face for any length of time. I might need to start pushing some weights at Repsol, instead of just hitting the pool, if I'm going to do some serious shooting with it.

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