I didn't actually have to give up a kidney but after searching all summer long for the best deal possible it was a little painful to part with my hard earned cash. With that said, here is my new bird and whale rig.
"Say hello to my little friend"
After playing with the lens for a few hours I have come to learn that the logistics of shooting with such a massive lens are a little different than anything else I have ever done. Because of the weight and size of the rig you have to plan your shots a lot more and not move around too much. You also have to take into consideration the amount of magnification and small field of view the lens has. Any, and I mean ANY movement at all when taking photos will show up in the shot. Being able to shoot at f4 and a really fast shutter speed comes in handy just so the shots aren't blurry from vibrations or tiny movements, epecially when trying to track birds. You also need a Sherpa to get from the car to where you want to take photos!
I was wanting some really nice bird photos to show with this post but the temps here shot back up to 100 last week so the birds didn't want to move around too much. I had to agree with the birds, especially when trying to lug this behemoth of a lens around. I had to wait about a week for the temps to drop a little and Aaron and I went out to the nearby lake this morning looking for birds. We found pelicans! (and an eagle but we won't tell Q, shhhhh)
And just in case 600mm isn't a long enough reach I also acquired a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter which will get me out to 840mm at f5.6 with auto focus! Even with the teleconverter the auto focus on this lens is fast, snappy and accurate. Even though I haven't had a chance to take very many photos with the new rig I am extremely impressed with how this lens works and the photos it takes. Now all I need is a whale to jump out of one of my ponds. Maybe I should be looking for birds?
All of the pelican photos were taken with the teleconverter on, shooting at 840mm handheld. No, I'm just kidding about it being handheld. I tried shooting just with a monopod and I couldn't even keep the lens steady with it. I had to mount it on the tripod for any hopes of getting a good photo. I really need to go to the gym more often! These photos are straight from the camera with no editing except for cropping a couple of them and resizing them for the blog.