So how was the photography?

In my previous posts I mentioned I went to Wilmington and took my 18-200 and 150-500 lens. So the next question would be, how did they work? Well the answer is both good and bad. The weather played a big part. It was pretty cloud and windy during the week so I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I would have liked. However, the 18-200 is a great all purpose lens and the warming polarizer works extremely well. When the weather cooperated I got a very nice boost in colors. The range and portability of the lens is excellent. It’s very easy to pull back and get the wide shot and then without changing lenses focus in on the details. I used it quite a bit, especially when actually sitting on the sand and on the ferry. I took plenty of close up shots of seagulls grabbing the food people were offering up and then wider shots showing them swarming overhead.

The 150-500 was quite a bit trickier to work with. It has great zoom and capability and I was able to zoom in on boats, pelicans and seagulls a fair distance away. The main thing is you need to make sure it’s bright enough to capture the subject. Even though the picture is steady with the OS that doesn’t mean it’s getting enough light to freeze the action. Plenty of shots were clear, but the shutter speed was slow enough to show motion blur as the birds flapped their wings or started walking. With the overcast skies its hard to judge the color saturation of the lens, everything seemed a little dull and dark because of the overcast skies. The same problem existed with the 18-200, on a sunny day the shots were crisp and colorful. On the cloudy days it couldn’t get enough shutter speed to keep up. Not a fault of either lens in my opinion, but the conditions under which I used them.

I think I added to my problems with my choice in what mode I chose to shoot in. Program mode was probably not the best choice, at least not when cloudy. For a sunny day it would have been fine, but I should have been working from Sport Mode or Aperture. Sport Mode may be cheating but I got a lot better results using that mode. Aperture would have been the best choice, and just leave it wide open. So while the big lens was fun to have the conditions were totally wrong for getting the most out of it. I did get some nice shots of boats and pelicans, but nothing spectacular; and they will need some processing work to get the most out of them. They will probably be relegated to desktop wallpaper at best and probably just sit on the drive as a reminder of the event.

I didn’t really get to try out the big lens like I wanted, so I will have to try another time. I’ll have to come up with another outing to see what kind of results I can get. I still think the 150-500 is going to be a fun lens to work with, but as you will read in lots of reviews, the weather really does play a big factor in getting good results with it.

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