Sea Otter at Morro Bay

Discussion in 'Wildlife/Nature' started by JimFox, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    I went up to Cambria in California at the bottom of Big Sur this last weekend to go through their Christmas Market and enjoy the possibly millions of light bulbs on display. I decided to also bring my soon to be Christmas present, a new Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens to hopefully play with.

    On Sunday I got to shoot this Sea Otter playing in Morro Bay before heading up to shoot the Elephant Seals north of San Simeon to shoot also.

    So I have a lot to learn or get used to. My favorite shots of the Sea Otter was when he was holding this crab. It's funny, I was getting mostly sharp images as I was shooting with the 150-600mm, but the section where the Sea Otter had the crab on his belly? All of those are soft. And of course, the more boring shots of the Sea Otter? Well, they are all very sharp. So I added extra sharpening, and here with go with my first photo processed from the Tamron 150-600mm with the Nikon D850.

    So I haven't really tested the lens with charts or anything, I had done a quick test, and the lens did seem sharp. I will now this week set up my calibration chart in the backyard and double check the lens.

    All comments are welcome,

    Jim

    _D850157_dw.jpg
     
  2. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    Sweet new toy and a nice creature feature shot.

    Now start thinking about when/how to employ that lens for your landscapes too :D
     
  3. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Thanks Alan!

    Ha ha, I am way ahead of you. While shooting the elephant seals I kept getting distracted by the waves crashing over the rocks in the bay near the seals. May had to remind me several times to start photographing the seals again. Landscape is in my blood, what can I say? :eek:
     
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  4. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    There is a world of interesting scenes that come alive when you add telephoto compression to a landscape.
     
  5. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Ha ha, don’t go thinking I will be going crazy, the 16-35mm is still my favorite lens. But if I do have the 150-600mm attached I will be looking for ways to shoot landscapes still. :)
     
  6. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    Nice one Jim. I used to do a lot of calibrating on my 500 f4 when I had it, these long lens have no tolerance for even factory specs for focus, the DOF is so narrow that they need to be perfect.
     
  7. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    Can you post some 2000+ shots that we can click into? Thats the only way to really see the sharpness in full detail !!
     
  8. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Thanks so much Ben. What I had found was I still had the VR turned on. I know some of the newer Nikon lenses that have VR are able to detect they are on a tripod and cancel out the VR, but the Tamron's don't do that, so I needed to have turned it off. So knowing that now, I feel fortunate to get as many sharp images as I did.

    I do need to get outside with my calibration chart in the backyard and double check the calibration, but it's raining... so maybe tomorrow. The lens must be pretty close to being in focus though as the majority of my shots are sharp.
     
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  9. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Dave, you didn't get my texts? I texted you screen shots of this image at 100% I took on my iPhone for you to double check the sharpness... :cool:
     
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  10. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    LOL, I meant 2000+ pixels not 2000 pictures... :)
     
  11. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Ha ha. Well see, I am pretty well stuck on 800px... :rolleyes: Now if you want to see them larger, just get a larger monitor. Lot's of good Christmas sales right now. :cool:
     
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  12. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    :p
     
  13. Mike Lewis

    Mike Lewis Staff Member
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    Aha - so I see now you have the one of the Tamron flavors of 150-600 and not a Sigma like I was supposing. Getting very nice results with it for sure. These guys are super photogenic; easier to capture good poses than with many human subjects I think :)

    ML
     
  14. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Thanks Mike! Yeah, I was set to get the Sigma but ended up changing my mind based on a couple of reasons.

    Craig has the Sigma Sport, but told me if he bought one today he would go for the Tamron. That made me rethink my reasons for the Sigma.

    Almost all of my lenses are Nikon, I found out that Tamron zooms in the same direction as Nikon, Sigma turns the opposite (like Canon).

    From more reading it sounded like the Tamron G2 was the sharpest of the 4 lenses I was considering (the 2 Sigma, the Nikon 200-500, and the Tamron G2).

    It had much better weather sealing the Sigma Contemporary that I had thought I was going to get.

    I think that’s about it.
     
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  15. Mike Lewis

    Mike Lewis Staff Member
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    Very good. In my case, I was not going to get any of them, but was convincing a friend to take the plunge on buying the Sigma Contemporary. Then it went on flash sale at B&H (one day sale) for like $750 new. Oops. Next thing I knew, both my friend AND myself had one. Dangerous game, spending your friend's fun money on photography gear :)

    I saw some of the same info you did, but at that low price and considering I was not yet 'all in' on wildlife shooting, I decided to start with this lens and see how it goes. I have been pretty happy with the sharpness, but it does take good technique, and for me, it is tough to hand hold. I expect if I get more serious about wildlife shooting at some point, I may upgrade to something else, but for now, this is a great way to shoot some stuff and get better at the skills required to get the best results.

    ML
     
  16. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Yeah, I was totally sold on the Sigma Contemporary. Although it’s the cheapest of the 4, the photos from it that I had seen rivaled and in some cases surpassed the more expensive ones. If I had seen a flash sale of that at $750, I would have bought it in a heart beat also.

    But as it was, there was only $300 difference between the Contemporary and the Tamron G2, so I decided those small differences added up to making the extra $300 worth it.

    And I forgot about another difference until you mentioned about handholding. The Sigma Contemporary OS/VR etc was not as effective as the other 3 lenses. The Tamron G2 had the highest rated VR. So that was just another notch into why I went for the Tamron. And I can confirm the VR on the Tamron is awesome. When I tested it in the house I handheld it at 600mm shooting at 1/20th of a second. Granted without sounding big headed, I have above average handholding skills thanks to the Army drilling into me how to shoot with a weapon effectively, I was at the top of my class in accuracy. But still, to have the VR steady it that much is pretty insane.
     
  17. Douglas Sherman

    Douglas Sherman Supporting Member

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    How cute is the little guy ? Great job, Jim.
     
  18. Joe Colozzo

    Joe Colozzo Well-Known Member

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    very nice capture! I wish we some around here, they are so very cute. How far over the water were you shooting, and what were your shutter speeds?
     

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