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Discussion in 'Other Animals' started by Ron Reznick, Jun 7, 2007.
Mother Love (Elephant Seals, San Simeon) 300mm, f/4
Great shot Ron. Really like how you have it composed.
Really sweet pose. Great job Ron!
Another supurb shot, Ron. Thanks for posting it.
Beautiful shot!! Makes me want to go brush that sand away from her eye! :tongue:
Yes it is of course sharp but what I love the most about this shot is the composition! all lines lead into the subject so nicely, a lot of food for thought there...
Thanks, folks... glad you liked it.
Ellis, 1/750 sec. @ 300mm isn't much of a challenge as long as your arm doesn't get tired :^)
I can't see the shooting data on this puter. Just knowing you, I figured you shot this at some mind boggling shutter speed and got a perfect shot.
I am really considering this lens for my next purchase. Price and quality wise, it makes the most sense for my pocket.
Do you have any comments for the 500mmP as this lens keeps popping up here and there?
Any details on the location, approach technique...?
Ellis, a lot is going to depend on what you are going to shoot.
The 500/4P is optically superb, but while it can meter just fine with a modern body, shooting one with moving targets is very difficult due to the fact that you have to have perfect manual focusing technique and excellent timing. Static subjects or subjects that are moving slowly and relatively predictably do not present a problem.
On the other hand, shooting the 300mm f/2.8AFS with moving targets is far less of a problem -- it focuses very fast and tracks like a champ. It seems to me that the AFS/VR is a bit faster-focusing, but that may be an illusion... they are both very fast. The AFS/VR is much, much easier to handhold, and gets a higher yield than the original AFS or AFS-II even at relatively fast shutter speeds such as 1/250-1/500 sec. When it comes to speeds slower than 1/250, the comparative yield goes up very rapidly as the shutter speed drops.
The 500mm cannot be handheld effectively except in very bright conditions unless you are quite strong. If handholding the lens is a consideration, I'd stick with the 300mm and a TC14e.
If you're planning on hiking with the lens, the 300mm is far easier to work with too... this may also be a consideration. You may want to stop by a dealer and examine a 500/4 compared to a 300/2.8.
Different animals. Entirely.
Panos, this is off of the Coast Hwy just past the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. The seals come there every year to raise the pups (check this link):
There is a parking lot and small bays on either side. The side south of the lot can be approached by walking down a path, allowing for several angles of view. On the north side there is only one angle of view as the path is blocked off past the large sign describing the scene and info on the seals. Medium telephoto (~150-200mm) will get group isolation, medium-long (300-500mm) will get individual isolation, and normal-to-short telephoto (50-150mm) will get the entire scene. Of course, depending on the angle you're shooting you can get closer individuals with a short lens or groups at a distance with a long lens...
Some more samples:
same shoot but with the 500mm:
Female from the "Mother Love" shot, close-portrait @ f/4
female, fighting for her territory, also 500mm @ f/4
Male leaving the water, also 500mm @ f/4
from a different shoot, with the 300mm @ f/5.6:
I love the flying sand in the second one!
WOW!! What a visual treat!
Ellis, it's again a matter of what you want to do.
The 300/4AFS + 500/4P combo would give you a good-light handholdable telephoto with decent focusing speed and tracking ability as well as a superb long telephoto for use with slow-moving targets or targets that can be shot based on anticipation of position, both for a fairly reasonable price. The 300mm AFS-II has much to say for it, as it focuses with blazing speed and tracks very, very well (much better than the 300/4 AFS), and adds higher contrast, better micro-detail rendition, and excellence all the way down to f/2.8 -- the 300/4 reaches it's sweet spot at ~f/5.
While the contrast is a little higher and you get a little better detail from the 300/2.8 at f/4 than you do at f/2.8, it really does provide pro-quality results at f/2.8.
The 300/4 focuses closer than the 300/2.8, which means that you can achieve near-macro shots with it if you want. This makes it a better overall field lens, esp. since you can walk around with it all day without tiring. The quality of results from the 300/2.8 are SO MUCH SUPERIOR that everyone I know who has had both prefers to use the f/2.8 lens any time a 300mm is required, except when you want a walkaround lens in good light.
Now, add to the mix the fact that you really can handhold the 300mm AFS/VR in ridiculous situations and get a very high yield, and this is not an easy decision for me to make for you. You have to analyze your needs and desires and make the appropriate decision. I found that once I had the 300/2.8, I never wanted to use the 300/4 AFS, and sold it. When I want a walkaround field lens, I carry the 200mm Micro and get a real Micro lens with good reach, giving up the 300mm capabilities and fast focusing in favor of close focusing distance, but when speed and tracking are necessary I bring out a big gun.
Tough call, Ellis. Think carefully.
Hallmark is right! Absolutely wonderful!
Fabulous capture, Ron.
Thanks for sharing it with us!