What A Big Lens You Have…

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Penny 1 Comment

It was 14 February and I was up at 3am in order to make sure I was conscious by 4am so that i could drive to Bedfordview. For all who know me, i’m pretty sure you are currently gasping with shock. Be proud – I did not even put my alarm on snooze.

That morning was a great morning. I was so excited as I was going to join Andrew and Jono at Marievale on a bird photography excursion!

Sounds great right? Wait, it gets so much better: I got to use the Nikon 600mm f/4 VR lens.

Told you so.

When Andrew took the lens out of its case, my heart lept out of my chest and wrapped itself around the lens. There are a lot of things in life that I find beautiful, and this lens is definitely on that list.

The lighting and scenery to Marievale and itself was just breathtaking. The mist (what Jono said was smog, but i’m going to carry on believing it was mist) and the light blues and soft pinks of dawn overhanging patches of water, reeds, and age-worn buildings…my photographic and dream-filled section of my heart was taken away on the wings of the birds.

I really cant describe the beauty of the scenery in accurate detail and words that it rightly deserves. Some things are better left unsaid and rather seen.

Setting up my camera, which looked pretty ridiculously small with the giant lens on it, I started testing out what this lens had to offer.

I felt a bit like a kid trying to colour in inside the lines; I know what I must do to get a certain result, but quite a few of my images turned out with spectacular birds having spectacularly unfocused heads. The depth of field was giving me a run for my money!

With the magnification of this lens, the shallow depth of field at f4.0 was very obvious. Adding in this images specific camera settings into the Online Depth of Field Calculator, I found out that at f/4 my depth of field was 2.63cm… If that doesn’t put things in perspective then take a look below!

Here is a great example of absolutely nothing being in focus apart from the birds feet and the branch 

This image is not as dramatic as the previous one, but just that slight off-focus can really render an image unusable

It was a really wonderful morning and experience. With the more than welcomed and helpful advice from Andrew and Jono, I ended up getting a couple of images that im pretty happy with putting my watermark details on.

At least now with more knowledge about the lens, its depth of field at this focal length, and a better feel for the lens’ weight, I feel confident and really excited to use it again.

I cant wait until I am out snapping away again!

Who’s with me?


Penny Robartes


Comments 1

  1. Martin Kuller

    Hai Penny
    i think i know what you try to tell us.
    Last week i bought a sigma 150 -500 for my nikon.
    Taking pictures is with this ( my son who is in the army sayd is a Pantzerfaust ) lens is not that easy.
    But the pictures will get better every time i used it.
    I cant wait to practise again.
    I am dutch so sorry for my english.


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