Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A New Lens!

I'm so excited because I purchased a new-to-me lens for the Canon Rebel T6 camera that Marc had received from work as his perk for reaching parts sales goals.  I am still learning how to use the camera and its many settings, but I realized fairly quickly that unlike my little point-and-shoot camera, the DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera didn't have a digital zoom function.  Sometimes the digital zoom works well, especially for casual pictures, but a DSLR camera can accommodate different types of lenses, which my point-and-shoot camera can't do.  The lens that the T6 came with is great for lots of regular pictures, and it's also great for my moth photography, but it really wasn't working at all well for birds, unless they were really close (like the hand-fed chickadees!)

I decided to look on Kijiji (which is like Craig's List in the USA) to see if I could find anyone selling a zoom lens that would fit the T6.  I wasn't sure what I'd find, and the first few times I searched, there wasn't anything suitable.  However, this past weekend, I saw a new posting offering an EF-S 55-250 mm F/4-5.6 IS II lens with image stabilization.  I had to go look that up on Google and find out what it was, what it normally sold for (new) and whether it was appropriate for the kinds of pictures I wanted to take.  I also asked the seller a couple of questions to see if it was suitable for my needs.  As it turned out, it was just perfect for my needs, and I decided to take the plunge because the lens was in excellent condition and the price was fair and reasonable.

I went on Sunday morning to look at the lens and try it on the camera, and the seller turned out to be a delightful lady who spent more than an hour with me teaching me all sorts of useful tips about the lens and how to use the T6 camera in general.  She is a great photographer and showed me some of the images she had taken using the lens.  She gave me lessons about some of the settings on the camera, particularly the non-automatic settings.  I learned so much - I felt like I should pay her extra for the camera lesson!  I felt newly confident as I left with my purchase, and couldn't wait to get started, but I had work projects to do, so I had to be very strict with myself and limit my time with the camera.

Anyway, I am SO excited with the pictures I've been taking with my new lens!  A whole new world has been opened up to me, especially when it comes to bird photography.  Of course, when I first went out with the lens, ready to take some pictures, there was not a bird to be seen.  Isn't that just typical?!  I did, however, find a willing squirrel, although it certainly complained at me very loudly while I was photographing it.

Then, I managed to get a little warbler.  This little bird was far away from me, and moving fast, so this isn't a super picture, but it is still better than what I was getting before.   I think, although I'm not 100% sure, that this is a pine warbler. It's a shame about the shadow on the top of its head.  I'm open to corrections on the ID!

I got a great shot of a nuthatch!  So clear compared to my point-and-shoot with digital zoom.

Then, since there weren't that many birds about, I took a picture of a junco.  They're ordinary little birds, but I was anxious to keep trying out the new lens.  The junco landed on a branch quite close to me, so I thought it was worth a snap.  Anyway, it wasn't until later when I took the time to download and review my pictures that I had a grand surprise!  It wasn't a junco!  It was a black-throated blue warbler!  I am really excited about this one because it's a new bird for my life list!  I have never seen one of these before, at least not to my knowledge!  The shot I managed to take with the new lens is so clear and sharp.  I am really pleased with this photograph.

A cedar waxwing landed almost right in front of me and I missed it.  I was annoyed about that, but I'll be watching for it now.  Meanwhile, I'm working on the ID for this little tweeter.  I believe it is possibly an ovenbird, given what appears to be that dark stripe on its head.  I think the female ovenbird, given that there is no orange on the head.  I'm pretty excited about this one too, because it's another new "life list" bird.

Sorry, blogosphere, but you're probably going to be seeing more bird pictures from me in future, given my amazing new lens!  Tweet tweet!  Not to mention squirrels...


porkpal said...

Wow! Amazingly sharp detail. What a lens! What a photographer!

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

What a find! Beautiful pictures!

Lin said...

SWEET! These are really great shots! Happy New Lens!