I only use one lens. Let’s ignore the fact that the reason for this is that I only own one lens, and just agree that my Canon EFS 15-85 is a serviceable all-purpose lens. Portraits, landscapes, sports, it does okay at just about everything. If lenses were inexpensive, I would own two more tomorrow: a low light wide angle, and a decent zoom lens. But since they aren’t, and I won’t, and in less than a week I will be shooting an event for a story and could really use a zoom, I borrowed a 18-200 lens from a friend.
So today I went for a walk with the dogs down to the river to find something to practice on. And since the great blue herons, eagles, hawks and deer decided to stay in and watch the Ravens game, I trained the camera on my usual subjects, my Hungarian Wirehaired Vizslas.
I definitely need more practice with the lens. I need to figure out what it can do well, what it can’t, and how I can get the most out of it. I probably won’t figure these things out by Saturday when I need it, but what I figured out already is pretty valuable.
I think the greatest thing about a zoom lens is you can take many pictures quickly before the subject even knows you’re looking at it. This is particularly helpful with dogs and wildlife. When I’m close to my dogs, I can sometimes get nice portraits, but it’s virtually impossible to get anything candid because they’re focused on me. But from twenty yards away or more, I found I got many more candid photo opportunities.
They all seem a little grainy to me, and I was using ISO400, aperture wide open. It was very shady, and I know a telephoto lens is going to be a bit of a light hog, but I’m confused a little about the grain. Maybe someone smarter than me can comment with an answer here.
Still, the angles I was able to get as Winnie and Finn ran up or down the hill far ahead of me made for some interesting shots unlike those I typically get, and I look forward to continued experimentation.