Tuesday, 13 March 2007

On lens envy

This weekend saw the happy confluence of good light and - that rare and precious commodity a free weekend - so I took the opportunity to head out with my camera. The morning passed amiably enough at Church Woods RSPB reserve near Slough. It had it's fair share of small birds, but they were being shy and opportunities were not forthcoming. Telling myself that the day was after all just reconnaissance - a useful cop-out for a zero image day - I headed on into the Chilterns.

Finally I found myself once more at Ibstone and was, once again, blown away by the numbers and sheer beauty of the Red Kites. I spent a happy couple of hours in their presence, before returning to my car, where I found two fellow photographers. These guys had all the gear. Both had Nikon full-frame bodies mounted on top-end Gitzo legs with Wimberley gimbal heads. As for lenses, one had a 600mm f/4 and the other a 400mm f/2.8 - big, black with front elements the size of dinner plates! I felt a flare of lens envy. Either one of those lenses alone represents more investment than my total camera set-up, and having spent the afternoon attempting had-held flight-shots I coveted the extra shutter-speed such lenses would have given.

Red Kite

When I got my pictures home though, I was not displeased with what I'd taken. I recalled an article from Luminous Landscape. My 400mm lens may be two stops slower, but at less than a quarter of the weight I definitely had the edge on them in terms of mobility that day.

Countdown to Falklands trip: 270 days to go

1 comment:

  1. Nice shot, funnily enough I have just blogged about red kites on my site http://blog.nicklewis.net, saw loads of them as we drove through the chilterns on Saturday.


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