The 7 Geese of the Apocalypse
I like Geese, especially Canadian Geese. I grew up feeding these (along with ducks) bread at the local park when they where probably as tall as I was. I remember them as generally being after the bread and not being too nasty in the process. Swans on the other hand, they can go away nasty things. Who ever said swans are beautiful obviously has not been within 20 yards of one. My experience with swans has been that even when you just stand there and don’t remotely disturb them, one of them will take offence and charge at you hissing. They are like teenage gangs who hang around my local town back home, even glancing at them causes them upset.
Back to Geese
My partner and I took a one day trip to Algonquin Park here in Canada back to the place we first went camping and had a wonderful time. We where only there for a single night, mainly determined to have a camp fire and to cook food out in nature before winter closed in. I took my new (old) Nikkor-H Auto 300m F4.5 prime with me to test. The lens is quite challenging and I have read alot of reviews saying that it gives quite a soft focus in general. Well I have to agree and disagree for a number of reasons. First of all, focusing a manual lens takes practice, Second, all lenses will give you a soft focus unless you have a tripod or are shooting at high speed, thirdly, big lenses tend to only go down to f/3.5 at best. So comparing a 150mm+ lens to a 55mm or less lens that is much faster is not really fair.
That said, with enough patience, hand held and a bit of luck you can still take a sharp-ish image. The other thing is shooting conditions, Lenses that give you alot of zoom allow you to shoot further, but people sometimes forget that when shooting at long range, you tend to pickup haze in the air or general turbulence. Once more, if you are going hand held and the light isnt fantastic, you will be looking at a mess.
So enough of my yapping. I present to you 7 Geese on the water of lake of two rivers just after sunset. Because the air was cold, the water was beginning to mist up, which gave for a really nice effect. The photo is a bit noisy, i had to boost the gain a lot.
F/8 at 450mm ISO:800, Exp 1/10s
I did indeed survive that night and the freezing temperatures, even if those Geese looked a bit demonic in the water. The next afternoon, I got this shot
F/11 at 450mm ISO:200 exp 1/400s
My verdict so far (i have more pictures to develop and post up) is that this lens is not as sharp as the Vivitar Series 1, but is definitely a capable lens with some practice. I took a shot once with the vivitar with the doubler, making it about 620mm and the quality shooting through air was terrible because it was very difficult to focus. I want to do the same with this lens and bring it up to 900mm (note here that though the lens is 300mm, on a DX the crop factor compared to a 35mm film brings it to an effective 450mm) but there is a prong on my doubler that sticks out too much to couple the Nikkor, once i have that modified I will do some more testing.