I just got back from a 7 day tour of SW South Dakota with Larry Anderson (mnbuilder49). It was a great trip and my first time in the area, and my first try at using a Nikkor Telephoto lens. Larry, being a great host, let me borrow his 200-400 f/4. Man, that was a lot of fun. Thanks Larry - I'll be in the market for a big lens soon and spending money that I don't currently have. I think Larry passed on a serious case of NAS. .
Anyway, here is my first attempt at shooting wildlife with a true wildlife lens. Both the Pronghorn buck and the Rocky Mountain Bighorn ram were shot using my D4, the aforementioned 200-400 with my TC 1.7x teleconverter (650 mm equivalent). The buck was shot through the window of the vehicle using it as a rest, the ram using my Gitzo tripod and a Kirk BH-1 ball head (no gimbal). Shutter Speed Priority, f/6.7, 1/500 sec., ISO 560 - using Auto ISO. I would guess the pronghorn was at about 30 yards distant while the ram was a good 100 yards away.
Thanks Jon. Oh, I'm bitten for sure. I'm already looking around the house to see what I can sell to raise money. I was staring at my wife's wedding ring today - she looked me in the eye and said, "Don't even!"
Yes, I know about the birding places, more justification for a new lens.
Thanks for the comments everyone. A little bit about the processing choices for the ram image. I think I was stretching the limits of my severely limited skills and experience with a long lens - this was the very first time I had ever used a Nikkor 200-400 mm. And since I had a 1.7x teleconverter, and the ram was a good ~125 yards away the images I got were a little soft. On top of this the light was very dull with most of the sky overcast. As I worked on this image I decided to go a little lighter because every time I tried to add more contrast the dark areas would just clog up. The only way to add some impact to the very bland base exposure was to boost the highlights. Looking at this with a very critical eye you could say that the white rump and the tops of the curved horns might be just at the precipice of falling off the edge of the highlights end of the histogram.
Sun 31-Aug-14 05:41 PM | edited Mon 01-Sep-14 04:59 PM by JonK
The 200-400 with the TC17 is a bit soft The 200-400 at distance is a bit soft Try PP in Lightroom and the shadows wont clog up Now that Ive got you in LR, place the radial filter on the ram and add underexposure and/or contrast and/or etc. to the background. Got the Nik collection? The various contract filters might solve the problem
Its a fine photo just the way it is. And if you gave the RAW file to five of us, youd get back five different renderings
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!