Thursday, November 14, 2013


If you've been looking in you know that my Sigma 500 mm telephoto lens has been shelved due to focus issues.  This is a disappointing situation as I have relied upon that lens entirely for all wildlife photography.  Well, not to worry.  I just happened to have a spare 120 - 400 MM telephoto lens in the cabinet.  I haven't used it in a couple years so I wanted to play around with it on the water to get used to it before I ran onto one of those once in a lifetime shots.
Common Loon

I was curious if the bald eagles had arrived at Douglas Lake yet so decided to run on down for a turn around the lake.  Yes - it was cold.
I almost forgot how beautiful the shoreline was on Douglas Lake.  Right!
The prominent bird on the water was the bonaparte's gull so I started right in to test out the lens.
 Bonaparte's Gull
The first thing I noticed was the ease of handling.  This lens felt very light weight compared to the big 500 mm.  The auto focus was quick too.
The lighter lens swings onto the target a lot faster.  Humm - this might be alright.
 Pretty little bird.
I wouldn't know how crisp the pictures would turn out until I got home and downloaded them into the computer.
Lets see how quick I can put the lens on a subject that has just lifted off the water at top speed.  The lens has to auto focus like lightning.  Slow focus will equal fuzzy picture.  Gulls leave the water at top speed and the below shot is a good indication that this lens will deliver good aerial shots.
The surface was dotted with common loons.  This is a treat.
 I like that second shot with the loon and the flying gull.  The loon was the subject and the gull is an accident.

I'm satisfied with the results of the lens so far. These loon pictures should be clear and crisp as the auto focus locks onto the image and does not falter in the least. 

Ah - there's that gorgeous shoreline.  How quaint!
Anyone want to buy some lake side property?
There are a few resident loons on these lakes here in Tennessee but, the majority will fly on shortly and they will be gone, and missed.

Hi there!

I turned the Gheenoe around and headed for the dock.  I was very satisfied with the way this big lens handled.  I feel confident I can get some great wildlife shots with it.  When I looked up in the air, an adult eagle passed over and headed for the far shoreline.  He was almost gone by the time I extracted the camera from the case.  That's him - that tiny line to the right of the trees.  Oh well.  Take my word for it.  It was a bald eagle.
I don't know what lake I'm on tomorrow, Cherokee I think, so maybe something will appear worth putting in the camera.  We'll see, If I don't freeze to death.