Yes, you read the title correctly. I took Paul's advice last summer and bought a 1.4x teleconverter for the Sigma lens just to see what it would do. I have to admit that the results were less than spectacular. Keep in mind that these whales were waaaaay out there but even factoring that in I still wasn't that happy with the photos.
This first shot is an uncropped version so you can see the actual results. The lens shoots a lot darker and less crisp than a Nikon prime or even just the Sigma 150-500mm by itself. It also vignettes some in the corners and the colors weren't true to the scene. This photo was shot at f10 during the middle of the afternoon with full Hawaiian sun and I even brightened it up a little in photoshop. Even at f10 the background isn't clear and you don't get a clean, crisp photo.
The next photo is the same image cropped at 50% and the photo after that is another shot from the same distance and also cropped 50%.
As a comparison, here is a shot taken on the same day with the Nikon 28-300mm lens at f8. The whale in these shots was at about the same distance as the shots with the Sigma and teleconverter give or take 50 feet or so. The first shot is an uncropped version and the 2nd shot is the same photo but cropped 50%.
All in all I can say that if you have to have a photo and need to really reach out there the Sigma 1.4x teleconverter will do the job but your not going to get National Geographic qulaity photos with the combination. The only other negative I found was that you can't auto-focus with the teleconverter on the Sigma. That wouldn't be a problem if you are shooting a subject that is stationary for a few seconds or more at a time but when it comes to shooting whales, you never know when they are going to pop up or where so I had to just set the focus at a distance I thought one would jump at and hope for the best.
Next trip to Hawaii I hope to have a Nikon prime lens to replace the Sigma with.
Looking for some pictures to post last night but have pretty much posted my most recent pictures... Last week or so has been mild but "socked in" with low marine clouds and drizzle. Not that I'm complaining, you don't have to shovel this stuff!
I'm thinking I might have to take one for the "Shutterbugs team" and go to Hawaii in the near future just to get a few nice pictures to post here. A completely selfless act on my part of course... Ha ha!
I was sitting on the lanai one morning having coffee, a daily ritual while on vacation in paradise, and I saw this bird flying around trying to pluck something to eat out of the ocean. It was still a little dark but I put the Nikon 28-300mm lens on the camera and took a few photos. These were shot at 300mm with an ISO of 400.
And before you ask, I don't have a bird book so I have no idea what kind of bird this is. LOL
Tex forced me to find out what this bird was so you can blame this on her. LOL
This is a Hawaiian Brown Noddy or Noio Kōhā. It is considered indigenous to Hawaii and there are five sub-species of the brown noddy. The brown noddy is part of the tern family.
There you go, that's your Hawaiian lesson for the day.
I took this photo just as the sun got high enough over the mountain to light Moloka'i but leave the ocean in still in the shadows. It had rained about an hour earlier and the sky had started to clear over us and Moloka'i.
Finally got the opportunity to get up close and in the face of a Buffalo. Even close enough to smell it's musty breath. Why, I could have even reached through the pipe fence and gave him a pat on his woolly head! But that wouldn't have been a good idea. Messing with these guys would have been like playing with a short fused stick of dynamite that was lit. You might draw back a stub! Best keep your hands outside the pen and to yourself!
Between The Lines
Released from the solid tan gate behind them, they would bust into the sale area and make a beeline run to the other end. Thinking they had found a way out to freedom, all they found were a couple of picture takers with shutters clicking away from the safe side of the fence. Perched on one knee, the photographers had found a good place to capture the action from the buffalo blasting down the alley!
Good Hands to Make Camp With!
It seems it always turns cold on the day of the Buffalo Auction that is annually held at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Last years October 25th, 2012 proved to do the same. We accused Ron&Cheryl of bringing the cold weather down with them from Kansas! The crew above with their wives and a friend were there to take in the event. I was camped out in the Refuge by myself.
Around a hundred and fifty buffalo went through the sale. The first two were four year old males in their prime and brought Four thousand bucks apiece! Tidy sum I'd say! The others of various genders,ages, and size did not bring as much but I heard the gavel fall at a thousand to fourteen hundred quite often. The Fish&Wildlife folks seemed happy that the surplus animals sold so well! We were all happy that we finally got to attend this event and share the experience that was planned!
Will have more action shots of the Buffalo in my next posts!
We didn't run into any sharks while we were in Hawaii but the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this swimmer was the them song to the Jaws movie. I had to take a photo just because of that. I guess I just have a weird sense of humor.
Even though we didn't see any sharks this trip there was a shark attack on Maui just a couple of months before we were there so I was looking around quite a bit while in the water.
Since there were no sharks you will just have to be happy with another green sea turtle that came swimming by one day. This one was in much clearer water.
Yea, yea, yea, I'll let her have the Nikon P7700. (as soon as I buy a D800!)
This first shot she took on Ka'anapali Beach on Maui one night when we were going to dinner at the Hula Grill. A place I would highly recommend for lunch or dinner. Just skip the mai tai's, they make them a lot better at Kimo's in Lahaina.
This is another sunset photo she took on Kulanaokalai Beach south of Lahaina.
And then there is me, well, me taking a photo of my camera, just waiting for the sun to go down to where I want it. I practically had to pry the P7700 out of Cheryl's hand to take this photo!
I might mention the fact that all three photos were taken using the automatic mode on the camera. The P7700 seems to do a really good job of metering and adjusting for the depth of field.
Q was kind enough to re-work one of my photos and once again teach me something new. This is the revised version of the last photo and I must say it does look more intriguing.