I like walking and I like photography. On a walk it’s great to have a wide variety of lens focal lengths; wide-angle to telephoto, to give maximum photographic flexibility. I’ve got a Lumix superzoom compact digital camera that’s really light, but the online photo library I use won’t accept images from that camera. To produce images that the library will accept I need to use a DSLR. My DSLR lenses all have large maximum apertures, and as a result they’re very heavy – not great if you are on a walk!
I’ve been looking for a “walkabout” lens for a while, and bought one last weekend. A “walkabout” lens is one that removes the need to keep changing lenses while you are walking about, as it has a large focal length range. The lens I bought is a Tamron 28-300mm. On my crop sensor Nikon DSLRs it has an equivalent focal length range of 42-450mm. It’s not that wide-angle, but it’s very light and has great telephoto “reach”. I decided to test it out…
This shot, of a jackdaw having its breakfast bacon, is a perfect example of the lens’ “reach”. It’s perched on our chimney stack, and was posing nicely in the morning sunshine. Taken from ground level @ 300mm.
The lens doesn’t have a large maximum aperture, and isn’t image-stabilised, but that just means my camera stabilisation technique will need to be up to scratch. Lots of leaning on posts, walls, fences, car roofs, etc.
Rather than using a car roof to stabilise my camera, here’s a shot of my car roof with frost on it. I used the longest focal length again, and the largest aperture, to get a small depth of field. I like the look of the out of focus areas or “bokeh”.Here’s another “bokeh” image. The morning sun melted the frost on a tree in the garden, giving lovely sunlit water droplets. I’ve set the aperture to its maximum again and focused on some branches in the foreground. The out of focus highlights in the background look beautiful.
You will have noticed from previous blog posts that I like simple images. I saw the clothes peg and a drying frosty car cover against the blue sky, and thought it would make an interesting wider angle image. As I was taking it a plane flew past high up leaving a white contrail. I quickly lined up the peg and the trail and took a few shots. It looked best cropped to a letterbox format.
This last image is of the sunset a couple of days ago. The sky went an attractive colour but needed something else to make it interesting. I took a shot of the sky and a hedge through the wobbly glass of the bathroom window. Now, instead of being a straight shot of the plain sunset sky, it’s a beautiful abstract of interlocking colours and shapes.
Thus far I am pleased with the results from my new lens. It won’t replace my professional specification lenses for creative portrait photography, but as long as I work within its limits I’m sure it’s going to be a very useful part of my photographic arsenal. It’s going to be especially useful on my Photo Treks – photography training “al fresco”.