Saturday, December 19, 2015

Catching up, first impressions of the Nikon 200–500 5.6 on the D 7200, and get a flu shot

On the non sequitur (for this blog) comments on the flu shot, you can read to the bottom of this post to find out why I think you should get one. I promise there will be bird and nature relevant material further down in this blog.

I am both way behind and way ahead. I'm behind because of the flu, plus some other superbug, 23 days and counting, three weeks of work missed, a day in the hospital. I just have to let the missed work go, and I hope my employer does too.

I am ahead because one more time I have been shown how many great friends I have, as well as how wonderful my grown children are. Everyone has been taking care of me. Unearned grace. Count my Chessie Daniel Boone in that mix of unearned grace. Thank you all.

I'm also ahead because a month ago I decided to make some capital expenditures in the form of a camera and lens for my side business. The camera is a Nikon D 7200, the lens is Nikon's new 200– 500 mm f 5.6. Many friends have been asking me what I think of this rig. We have only just begun, since it was only today that I cracked 3500 shots with it. I know that sounds like a lot, but it really isn't.

My impression so far is that Nikon has said (finally!) to Canon's 7D Mark II and 400 mm f5.6, "Oh yeah?"

As I often say, I am a naturalist/birder who carries a camera so he can document and share what he sees. Not the other way around, so don't expect any "measurbation" here. As we go along learning, I'll share some photos along with what I think about them, about what's in them, and generally rarely about what I think about what the camera did. It's not about the camera.

A final caveat before we see some images: the only computer I have right now is a crummy laptop, and I'm blogging using an iPad, and I've had to figure out how to get photos from my camera to the computer and thence to the iPad. I think if you click on these images they will be rendered as 1200 x 1600. I think. They have been minimally processed using Picasa, since with my main machine down again that's all I've got to work with. OK, here we go:

[This is one of the first images I took with the new rig. Kind of grainy, nothing particularly special... Except it was completely dark outside, and this was handheld at 200 mm at 1/50 of a second at ISO 25600. Nikon claims 4.5 stops of Image stabilization for the new lens. I'll grant you that some of my shots in the dark were blurry but many were startlingly crisp.]

[The scissor tailed flycatcher at Forsythe a few weeks ago. 500 mm, F7 .1. The focusing capability of this camera / lens combination seems very good, certainly much faster than my D7000 with the 300mm F4 prime and 1.4 teleconverter.]

[The new 200–500 is not considered a "" prime lens, but strikes me as very sharp. This song sparrow was at the beanery a few weeks ago. 500 mm, F8, ISO 140.]

[Red shouldered hawk over Cape May a few weeks ago.]

[These Bufflehead were shot more recently than the other photos in this post, just a few days ago when I dragged my sorry butt down to 2 mile Beach to see the humpback whale show (more on that in the future blog,hopefully many of you got to see them). This was one of the first times I tried to take more than a snapshot with the new gear. 500 mm, F6 .3, one 500s, ISO 160. All the shots in this blog by the way were handheld without flash, and with the len's Image stabilization on sport mode.]

Today, thanks to the support of my adult kids, I stumbled my way through our annual Christmas Bird Count of in Walnut Valley, Warren County New Jersey. For really the first time, I took some serious pictures with the new camera of some wonderful birds. I will be sharing those soon.

Finally, on that flu thing, please get your shot. I've never had a flu shot, and I've never had a cold in the last 20 years. This thing seriously came close to, I don't know, Killing me? No fun. Too many birds left to be seen, and too many friends left to make.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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