Friday, 1 April 2011

Holly Blue and a New Lens

Last year I noticed a species of butterfly that I had not seen before a Holly Blue. I have not seen many butterflies so far this year but today I noticed a bright blue fluttering and on closer inspection realised it was a Holly Blue (male I think).

As luck would have it DHL had just delivered a new lens and set of extension tubes in the morning - ideal for butterfly photography.

Have you ever put off a purchase due to rumours of a new product? I had with this lens ( a Nikon 300mm F4 ) but finally decided that my old Tokina 300mm F4 needed replacing as it just does not get on with the D300s requiring manual focus and exposure. Although there have been rumours of a VR version of the Nikon nothing has appeared and as I often switch off VR on the lenses that have it I decided that it wasn't a feature worth waiting for. Thinking that a lens in the hand is worth more than one rumoured on the forums I decided it was time to buy ( I am also of the opinion that inflation will be allowed to carry on as it favours a government in debt so lens prices will only rise - mind you I have just read the book When Money Dies so maybe I am worrying too much! )
I prefer to travel light and keep on the move so the Nikon 300mm F2.8 is just too big and heavy for my style of photography ( and also a bit on the expensive side) but the 300mm F4 is just right. As well as the extension tubes I bought the 1.7 teleconverter which gives just over 500mm at F6.7 (I already have a 1.4 converter which gives 400mm at F5.6 ) so with the lens and attachments I hope I have a versatile but reasonably light set up.
I tested the 1.7 converter in the garden and must say it gives better results than expected. The light wasn't good at this point but autofocus was as good as the 70-300 VR (it is very quick on the 300mm F4 without converters).

 A few Redpolls popped in.

The Tree sparrows have started to build their nests.

If a new version of this lens does appear I will still be happy with the one I have.