May 242011
 

I’m back from China, and just in time for the Victoria Day weekend! I’ll post some thoughts and pictures from China later – but first, I just found the contrast in weather that we experience here in Toronto in a 31-day timespan to be pretty interesting. ¬†We went to the zoo just over 4 weeks ago, and suffice to say it was cold:

They may look nice and warm, but the reality is, we were a little under-prepared and didn’t bring gloves. Luckily, ingenious kids are more than capable of deriving a makeshift solution to the problem – Linxi figured out how to help Olivia with the no-gloves issue:

Just 31 days later, and our trip to the zoo was looking noticeably different:

In fairness, there was a downpour of rain while we were at the water playground inside the Toronto Zoo that almost sent us home; fortunately we stuck it out and things were quite nice after that.

I talked before about having wide angle lenses, and I’m sure glad I did in China – more on that later – but the one place in the world where having the 2.0x teleconverter attached to the 70-200/2.8 (making it effectively into a 140-400 f/5.6) is useful is the zoo. I used this combination on the D3, but Wen also tried it out on his D90 (the crop factor of which gives it effectively 600mm of reach!). It was quite effective for getting up-close shots of animals while still being far enough away to avoid any danger of being eaten, or stomped (both are at the maximum reach of 400mm):

The tiger, of course, was behind a cage – but with that kind of zoom, you just don’t even see the out-of-focus cage grill that’s in front of the camera. With an elephant, 400mm is so much reach you don’t even get the full elephant anymore – but you do an get an interestingly detailed cropping of one (as always, click for a bigger image):

I’m not sure I’ll use the TC all that often, since it’s at odds with my non-photographer goals of really just taking pictures of the people around me, but it’s certainly a better way to get to 400mm than the $10,000 Nikon 400mm f/2.8!

 Posted by at 12:22 pm

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