Big Lenses

Weighing in at a little over 5&#189 pounds I was scared it would rip the mount right out of my camera’s body! This lens on a camera is so big it’s tough to miss.

FoxCT, where I work, and the Hartford Courant are one. We’re co-owned and share a large newsroom. I love being around the newspaper people. Because I enjoy photography I especially enjoy being around the photographers. Each of them has decades of experience and know how. They’re amazingly talented and underappreciated by anyone who thinks photography is mainly pointing.

I was back in their area this evening, being admonished not to keep a cap on my lenses because it might slow me down while getting a shot. I’m scared of scratching stuff. I have a lot to learn.

We are a Nikon shop. I am a Canon shooter. That disappointed me since it meant their gear and mine are incompatible.

I mentioned this one night only to be told we used to shoot Canon. Then a tall metal cabinet was opened. Inside was a collection of well worn and now unused Canon lenses.

Tonight I borrowed one and attached it to my camera. It was a Canon 300mm F/2.8.

Here’s how one site reviewed this lens.

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens produces absolutely awesome image quality. This may be the highest image quality Canon EF lens made.

This lens on a camera is so big it’s tough to miss. Weighing in at a little over 5&#189 pounds I was scared it would rip the mount right out of my camera’s body!

You have seen this lens on the sidelines at football games or catching runners as they cross the finish line. It’s also used to capture birds-of-prey in flight. It is a very long telephoto lens designed for fast shutter speeds and shallow depth-of-field.

I put it on my Canon 7d and walked outside to take some random shots and test it out. At the same time a group of young men walked by. They wanted their collective picture taken.

“You’ve got to be far away,” I told them. The lens is made to sports and wildlife, not portraiture.

I popped the shot you see at the top of this entry. Though we were at least 100 feet apart we were too close. Some of the group is cropped out! I was embarrassed to ask for a retake.

Actually I was embarrassed to tell them it was a lot more glass than I’m used to.

I took the lens back inside and put it away. If it’s possible this is too much lens for everyday photography. It’s certainly too much lens to use without a monopod or other mount.

It felt like I’d borrowed an Indy car without really knowing how to drive. It was cool, but scary.

8 thoughts on “Big Lenses”

  1. I’m SO jealous! Oh, to have all those wonderful Canon lenses at your disposal! I rented a Canon 100-400 and a Tamron 150-500 for a Florida vacation a few weeks ago specifically for bird shots — both are AWESOME! I also have a 2x extender that I could use on the 100-400!! DEFINITELY need a tripod for that set up. The Tamron was actually comfortable hand-held. Enjoy!

  2. I’m jealous! Long ago I had a really good Canon camera but it broke and I went to the point and shoot (still Canon!). Not as much fun.

  3. I had a Canon T-70 with several lenses for years. Absolutely loved it. I stood on my head trying to get it fixed, to no avail. It was last film camera I had. Now I just have a small Nikon point and shoot. Handy, serviceable, and saves on film costs (dating myself), but not as much fun.

  4. Wow, that lens would be great for shooting my daughter’s figure skating competitions. I find shooting under the natural light of a skating rink with all the white ice is very challenging.

  5. I was the Chief Photojournalist for a University in CT for almost 20 years. I retired in 1999. I used Canon equipment exclusively, ever since my Uncle Abe brought me a Canon FT-QL from Japan around 1970. I stuck with Canon through all their lens mount changes. Never had the 300 2.8, but drooled over it (not literally) often. You’re lucky Geoff! Don’t let those lenses collect dust!

  6. I don’t own any long lenses since I shoot landscapes, but have borrowed or rented some. My recommendation next time you use a big lens that isn’t yours is to treat it like your own…seriously. Sort of like driving someone else’s car. If you are too timid with someone’s car it will lead to self doubt and bad driving (and possibly some car damage!). I’ve found it to be the same idea with camera gear. I say, just snap that lens on and think and act like it’s yours and has always been there. You’ll have much better clarity of thought to focus on the photos instead of “ohmygodIcan’tbelieveI’musingthisfiveTHOUSANDdollarlenswhatifIdropit!!!!!”

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