I always make a point of testing out new gear and settings before using it in the field. I’m still getting comfortable with the Nikon D500, which has a few new nuances in the autofocus system, before I head down to Texas next week for my annual South Texas Birding Safari. So here’s a house finch from the backyard, cropped to actual pixels (100%).
A few weeks ago, I received the new Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 AFS G VR zoom Nikkor lens. My initial impressions were quite good for a lens of this design and price point. I had a chance today to take it to the local nature center and try my hand at some bird photography; something that I think that the target market for this lens is quite interested in.
Bird photography is probably one of the most challenging activities for a nature photographer to tackle. I started out like most people, trying to take a photo of a bird in a tree with a short (200mm) telephoto lens. When I look at my old photos, I sometimes have to squint to see the bird in them! Now I’m very happy with my bird photography, and as you’ll see it takes skill, patience, and a little bit of luck to really get a dynamic bird photo. I recently presented a live online webinar on bird photography, during which I shared some of my favorite photos and shared camera settings and tips on gear and processing. If you have some free time, I hope you can check it out.
Spring is still a ways off here in the Rockies, but I did take advantage of some recent nice weather to field test my new Nikon 500mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor telephoto lens. In case you missed it, I switched to this lens recently after selling my 600mm f/4 VR. You can check out my podcast to hear about my rationale for switching.