I have this dream that I may like nature photography. Not to mention after shooting for 10 years, I may want to learn how to handle a camera. What better way than to purchase a very inexpensive, fully manual 500 MM lens for an ancient camera. By fully manual I mean focus, aperture, shutter speed, everything. I'm starting a new life by starting over. Hopefully doing it right this time. This is what I learned today.
For starters this lens needs a tripod. That should be obvious so to be consistent I brought my original, light weight tripod. Also the remote which I used more times today than the 10 years I've had it. I found that even the slight wind we had today was enough to shake the camera. Just firing it required a few seconds for the camera to settle. The next thing I learned is exposure times are hard. I've always been spoiled by the automatic settings of my cameras. I shot the above tree in about 3 minutes, full sun. What a dramatic difference a slight spin of the dial makes.
One item that really stood out is I was taking photos of things I could not even see. That fire plug is a bike ride away. The houses are on the other side of the golf course. I can't get closer than 40 feet and make a shot but 1,000 feet no problem.
I normally shoot with both eyes open so I can see the action around me in case there is a better shot. With this set up - its all set up. No random shooting and the image in the eye piece requires full concentration to dial in the focus. Something I was unable to do in over half the shots.
Once I got it figured out I was pretty happy with the results. Then came the rain. When I bought my D70 in 2004, I paid just about two grand for the camera and all the extras. A few years ago I got caught in a tremendous downpour in the Everglades and shorted the camera out. I got a replacement body on E-Bay - $75.00.
I have far better cameras in my inventory but it's skills I want to work on right now. Next time out I will use the professional tripod and see if it makes a difference - Stay Tuned.