Challenge: Free Study 2014-05 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-1D X
Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4.0 IS II USM
Location: Genesee Park, CO
Date: May 21, 2014
Date Uploaded: May 10, 2014
|I have been contemplating buying a longer lens for about 6 months. The ones that really reach out there and get spectacular images of birds and wildlife. I was going back and forth between the 100-400 with the built in 1.4 extender, the 2.8 400mm, and the 500mm f/4. After really doing my research and reading lots of articles, I decided on the 500mm and the 1.4 extender. I think I chose wisely.
It arrived in time for our first camping trip of the season which was just a 2 hour drive from home. It was Crow Valley campground which is right next to Briggsdale CO in the middle of the Pawnee National Grasslands. This area is about 45 miles east of Ft Collins CO on Hwy 14. The Memorial day weekend was perfect weather and this campground happens to be a highly rated location for birders this time of year. It did not disappoint. I saw and learned about birds I had no idea existed. I'm not a birder, but what a place to go use my new lens and learn. The campground has only 10 single RV spaces and a few spaces for group camping, it's not very big but there is plenty of space between camping spaces. We really didn't even have to leave our "backyard", the birds just came to us! We had an awesome time.
I'm excited to get out and do more wildlife photography now.
The story behind this entry is however taken at a different location. I received the lens and a RRS (Really Right Stuff) gimbal head mount at the office. But when I finally had time to take a few minutes and start playing with it, it had started raining like crazy, I drove up to Genesee Park, (where it was not raining yet,) which is just 10 minutes from my office and I got the lens out and started setting it up. I started to install the RRS lens foot, and realized I had ordered the wrong foot!! I couldn't mount it on the gimbal head. I was a bit bummed and had to call RRS right away to get the correct foot shipped overnight. I decided to go ahead and shoot a few shot just handholding the monster lens. Quickly realized handholding more than one or two shots is really not very practical. During this time, I noticed a bird making some noise in a nearby tree. I was at a picnic table so I rested the lens on the picnic table seat and started shooting. So, within 10 minutes of using this lens, I had already gotten a really great shot! I was so happy. That raised my confidence level greatly going into the long holiday weekend.
Here are some shots from the weekend. The gimbal head makes all the difference with using a lens of this size. You can adjust it so it's perfectly balanced. One pinky finger is all you need to move it.
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