Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Photo Project ~ 75-300 zoom lens

July has come and gone!  Hard to believe isn't it?  I'm still working on my July project of exploring with my lens. I have one more lens to go and two more to post about. The lens I chose to shoot with this week was my 75-300 zoom. Once again I made myself use my tripod. It does get a little easier, but it's still akward!!  I have not conquered this lens, so I'm not totally pleased with these images. They are not as clear and sharp as I want. I'll throw in a little disclaimer here, it is too shady under the tree where my bird feeder hangs and the bird feeder and birds were in constant motion. I know there are camera settings that will help in these circumstances. (more about that below) I could have chosen a stable subject, but, I really wanted to capture images of birds. I want to spend another week with this lens and a more stationary subject!!

Here's the results. I did them x-large in size so you could see that they're just not real clear.

I also had to crop some. The birds wouldn't let me get any closer.  The next two pictures are the same, I wanted to show you how much I cropped out.  I guess if you want close-up of birds you must have a longer zoom and that I don't think is in my future for a long time!

That pesky Cardinal didn't want to share the food and was in almost everyone of my pictures sitting on the same post with a seed in his mouth! He kept running everyone off!

Mr. Chickadee (I think this is a chickadee) did get a chance every once in a while!

These two doves stay in my yard all the time!  I think they have the smoothest looking feathers!

Hurry, hurry, the Cardinal is coming back!!

My settings are off; the one below is bleached out. It was late afternoon, but was still in the sun.  You can also tell I've cropped the image, the background is pixeled!

So there you have it. Not great, but they're better than I've captured before!!

I know many of you take excellent images of birds, butterflies, and even those amazingly fast hummingbirds, so I have three questions to ask you.
  • Would you share with me what zoom lens you use and the mode and settings you use to capture moving targets?
  • What causes the purple outline around objects when the zoom is all the way out and how do I avoid that?
  • Do you normally use a lens hood?

I so need some advice!!
Any help will be greatly appreciated!


  1. Cathy - 'fraid I can't help you at all with your questions but I greatly admire your commitment to testing out this lens and learning how to use it. That's what we have to do when confronted with technical issues like this - practice and be willing to make mistakes.

  2. Cathy,

    First, I have to say I love your images here! Kudos to you for practicing with your lenses and showing us the results.

    I do have an answer for that purple outline. It is called chromatic abberation. If you Google it you'll find all kinds of articles about it. I find that if I push my 70-300 lens to the limit - zooming all the way out and using a wide open aperture - I get this stuff on some of my images.

    A good friend I go on photo walks with tells me it can easily be corrected by adjusting the aperture so that it is not as open, maybe dial it "up" a couple notches. (very scientific lingo here....)

    I did find this article that you may want to check: http://www.tutorial9.net/tutorials/photography-tutorials/correcting-and-preventing-chromatic-aberration/

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks so much, Deb!! I'm off to read the article!! I'll be trying this again!

  3. I enjoyed looking at your shoots. I have so much to learn. Dove's were great. I enjoyed looking at the birds up close.
    I just enjoyed.

  4. i just adore little birds like sparrows and chickadees. :)

    i think you are totally right on about limitations with equipment, but really your images are great!

    i've have also been really working on sharpness and have made a couple of changes that i think have helped. #1 is that in most situations (except bright sunlight) i up my ISO to at least 800 if not 1600. having a faster shutter speed helps with my camera shake. i know there's the noise factor, but i have found that overall i am happier with my images. #2 i found a setting on my camera's (canon) internal menu options where i can adjust the sharpness of my images. i bumped it up a notch and i think it's making a difference.

    thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and your experiments with lenses. so great (and comforting) to have a friend on this (sometimes frustrating)journey with photography! :) xoxoxo

  5. How fun, Cathy! I would love to have more of a telephoto lens to take shots like these but I don't know about the expense. Is it super heavy?
    I almost always use a lens hood when shooting outside... seems to help with sun flare and just focusing the light better in general.
    I love all these photos, even if you don't!

  6. Cathy, I think you're doing really well trying out all your lenses and learning how to get the best out of them. I love those bird shots, especially the first three. I'm sure that practice makes perfect and looking up a few links on the internet when you have problems. Do you know this link:http://digital-photography-school.com/tips
    it's a really good site and they have helped me with some things I was having problems with in the past!


Thanks so much for stopping by!!