New lens

Recieved my 55-200 tele-zoom lens which I ordered from Chistchurch today.  Because it’s on a DX body, it has an effective range of 88-300mm, so it’s very zoomy!

I spend about an hour in the backyard experimenting with it, it’s very different from my other lens, which is a 18-55mm, or 29-88mm equivalent.

For starters the minimum distance you can focus is about a metre and a half, instead of 10cm, so you have to stand much further away from anything.  Also it’s much more prone to getting blurry shots when it’s zoomed in because every movement is exaggerated by a factor of 4. When this lens is sharp, it’s sharp. It’s just the getting it to sharp is quite a bit harder, whereas with the smaller lens it happens practically every shot.

Those negatives aside, it I can now make shot which I simply couldn’t before, revealing details I’ve never noticed.

I developed a strong urge to shoot every bird that was flying around

One thing that is really remarkable about longer focal lengths is the ability to throw the background out of focus is far, far greater. There’s no way I could get this level of background blur / subject isolation with my other lens, and it’s simply in a different galaxy from compact cameras.

Another interesting thing at local focal lengths is compression. What this means is there’s less background given the same sized subject/foreground. You have a far narrower angle of view. This is very useful for removing annoying background distractions. I could have taken this shot with my other lens, though I don’t think it would’ve been as good because there would’ve been more background details, as well them being much more in focus.