|© Mark LaMonica. All Rights Reserved.
|200mm ISO 200 1/1250 f/8
|Long Glass refers to telephoto and super telephoto lenses with focal length of 300mm
and up. With primes being the norm for years new lens manufacturing technology has
made it possible for lighter telephoto zooms like the AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED
VR lens used for this article. The question many people have is can you actually hand hold
at these focal lengths and still get sharp images? The answer in short is yes, but it
requires good technique. I decided to use a D500/w grip and the 200-500mm lens which
is now being offered as the Nikon D500 Sports and Wildlife Kit.
The entire kit weighs 8 lbs on my vintage scale and I'll be carrying it on the strap ready to
use if something piques my interest. I brought my backpack which weighs in at 39 1/2 lbs
and includes crampons, trekking poles and cold weather gear for emergencies. No
support of any kind was used for these pictures, not even leaning against a tree.
Bird photographers usually use a minimum shutter speed of 1/1600 and wide open most
of the time (f/5.6 on this lens) and I've heard the new minimum shutter speed is 1/3200.
It's not unusual for ISO's to be anywhere from 100 to 51,200 depending on the light and
time of day. With the D500 I was able to get sharp images of interesting subjects with
shutter speeds as low as 1/250.
The D500 has a DX sensor, 500mm on the lens is really 750mm (1.5x).
Always try to use a solid stance supporting the lens underneath like the
picture to the left. I leave the tripod foot on using it like a grip and have a firm
but not overly tight grip on the body. When pressing the shutter button I use
even pressure, not a *push* which could shift the entire kit and cause picture
blur. By hand holding on these hikes, I was able to quickly get grab shots
with many of those being subjects partially obscured by brush or I came upon
them suddenly where I had to get the shot within a few seconds.
For the static subjects, I tried fast and slow shutter speeds finding it didn't
make any difference in image sharpness most likely because of the 4.5 stops
of Vibration Reduction incorporated in the lens.
|Captured this Robin in some
dense Bittersweet vines. The new focusing system in the
D500 proved to be excellent in situations like where the
subject is partially obscured.
|The sun spent a lot of time behind clouds
making it difficult to get pictures with vibrant blue
skies on several occasions.
|Black Cap Chickadees
are small and quick. They will get close
and I didn't even get to 400mm on the lens
to capture this one.
|One of the few days when it was perfectly clear
out, I came across this woodpecker.
|All pictures have been left in their original capture form (No cropping in) to show 100% of how it looked when captured at the specified focal length.
The 3 Eagle pictures on page 2 are at quite a distance and I have included a cropped version.
Pictures are in order of focal length starting at 200mm and going up to 500mm. I included more at 500mm since this is about *Long Glass*
|200mm ISO 20000 1/250 f/11
|290mm ISO 3600 1/1000 f/5.6
|When viewed at print size, you can see the
barbed wire fence and it would make a great
panoramic style print.
|200mm ISO 320 1/250 f/8
|This cluster of leaves was interesting and the
lighting was good enough for a low ISO and
|I saw this as I got closer to the river and
decided to shoot wide open and use the zoom
|I captured this one on a dense pine forest trail
that leads to the river. This required a boost to
ISO 20,000 and I used f/11 for extra depth.
|390mm ISO 2800 1/1600 f/8
|500mm ISO 640 1/500 f/11
|500mm ISO 640 1/1600 f/8
|500mm ISO 1000 1/1250 f/8
|Hand Holding Long Glass
(Telephoto and Super Telephoto Lenses)
Cinematic and Photographic Ethics - I provide cinematic and photographic services to a variety of clients using the best equipment suited to the project at hand.
I do not engage in "setting up images" by means of staging. There's a difference between creating an advertising campaign and actually catching life as it happens.
All digital pictures are processed like film pictures. They are captured in RAW/NEF format, then uploaded and exported in a RAW/NEF file converter like film in a developer.
I do not alter/manipulate pictures. I prefer that they look just like what I saw when I pushed the shutter button. If I alter/manipulate an image, it is clearly marked as such.