Close up with the Nikon P610

About five weeks into the healing time for my eyesight. It is definitely better, but also definitely blurred. What is more, my ability to pick things out has decreased noticeably. For example I can see large/distinct objects near or far. I can see small objects up close. But spotting small objects that are not near, such as a song sparrow in a pine tree, is no longer possible. Since I like taking pictures of birds and they are often small and in trees this is something of a disadvantage. I have nabbed a few shots, all less than perfect, by virtue of triangulating on sound and spotting movement then pointing in the general direction and hoping the bird is somewhere in frame. All too often it isn’t.

So I am re-learning photography or learning to do it differently or learning to do different photography or all three and possibly more.

In this episode I’m exploring the fact that using a camera only one way is a mistake, so here I’m trying some close up shots. This not only exercises my ‘spotting ability’ but also my ‘in-focus guessing’ as well as ‘composition assumptions’ and even ‘exposure estimating’. These even though the camera automatically picks focus and exposure, albeit not always correctly as the Nikon has problems of its own.

Devil’s paintbrush. Reasonably sharp?
Black berry. I just like the tonal qualities.
Bubbles! (Lake froth.)
Young lingcod (aka burbot) sunning itself for some reason.
Spotted berries. No idea what they are.
Bumble bee on a thistle. This should be a demonstration of lens resolution.

I think I’m improving on most areas, except focus/sharpness. I simply can not tell even in the final image if things are a sharp as they should be. Whether there’s going to be further improvement in that area I don’t know.

Currently I’m toying with the idea of changing my camera arsenal. The lens is the thing, right? So instead of having four DSLRs and five lens systems, why not one camera with adapters as necessary to attache whatever best lenses I want? That way there’s only one set of controls to use and even though they’d mostly have to be operated manually – well I do that anyway. More on this plan later.

The best news of late is that we had some rain. Enough to make a difference on some of the fires including downgrading a couple and lifting some evac alerts/orders. But it is far from over and the weather is headed for hot and dry again.

That old devil snow

As I write this the temperature is just on the freezing mark and what is known as “mixed precipitation” is falling outside. On top of the 2″ of snow we got last night, which is on the 2″ of compressed ice pack underneath. Outdoors is dangerous right now.

When it snows it snows.
Underneath it all.

I’m waiting for things to arrive via post, but they are not due until next week at the earliest. At this time of year it could be much later.

It Came In The Mail.
The moon drips ice.

In the mean time there’s nothing for me to do. Except wait and get through each day as best I can.

This dog waits too.
I’m out of here!

Pictures taken with Kodak P850, Canon T100, Nikon P610, and Fuji F80.

Tamron toy

I’m not very self-indulgent. I don’t spend a lot of money on my photography. This is just as well considering the results. It seems when I do fork over the big bucks the results are disappointing, and when I purchase something for mere pocket change it’s much more rewarding. Sort of the opposite of what should be expected.

When I bought the latest indulgence I truly believed it would be an asset. For one thing, Tamron is a venerable name in lenses. For another the specs seemed good, especially the wide focal length range which gets around the need to lens-swap on the Canon at 55mm. That was annoying.

On the downside, the lens lists for crazy money and there is apparently no support from Tamron in this country; the equipment is considered “gray market” and if something goes wrong they won’t fix it even at your expense. Not encouraging.

So when I came across a used one for half price I figured it was worth a shot. Short form: nope, it wasn’t.

Pros: short, light weight, easy to handle with a good zoom range of 18-200mm.

Cons: slow to focus, poor low-light focus performance, and it’s not very sharp.

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Small fry with the Tamron. It’s blurry, no matter how you slice it.
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Small fry with the Canon 55-250mm. Significantly sharper.
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Small fry with the Nikon P610. Makes the Canon lens look poor and the Tamron look awful.
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Tamron at full 200mm. Significant and inconsistent vignetting. Also the shorter focal length makes one yearn for the ‘missing’ 50mm.

So what is the lens good for? Anything? Well it’s not bad for average picture taking of general scenes.

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When sharpness isn’t important, it’s fine.
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Female common merganser and her brood, watching the sunset. This would have been much better with the Canon lens, but there was no time to swap (why I like the vast range of the Nikon).
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The sunset they were watching.

For the record, I’ve made three photographic purchases in the past two years which I regret: the Nikon W100, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60, and this Tamron 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC. They all could have been great, but disappointed for the same reason: lack of sharpness in the lens.

I am now loath to make any more purchases at all, for any amount of money. It’s a shame too because I think I found a replacement for the ailing Nikon P610: a Sony DSC-HX300/B for <$300. Other options are well over that (like a used P610 for more than mine cost new). I’m not keen on buying any more lenses for the Canon either, as it seems ‘affordable’ is a synonym for ‘low quality’. It would be worse if I shelled out for the top dollar glass and was still disappointed.

I’m not trusting new equipment right now.

 

Hi. It’s me again.

I haven’t been doing much photography lately as it’s been raining and I’m really ramping up the work to try and get the place usable. By Thursday. That’s when the kids are coming for their vacation. I don’t know what “vacation” means but apparently some people enjoy it. The weather is about to go against me in a different way: it’s going to get hot. So I’d better get busy.

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Sunday morning; getting my slippers wet

I’ve had some visitors. A few of them human but they don’t matter. *LOL*

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Join us at the stag party

The upstairs bedrooms are usable but not finished. Nothing is finished. Nothing is ever finished with a house!

From no walls to studs to half-covered with the doors in. Now if I can just get the kitchen floor tiled and the rest of the place tidied up I can go home and mow the lawn.

Or I could go fishing.

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Small fry