I like to think that the reason I was able to get this lens is because I’ve got the gift of the gab and can sell ice to a Bedouin (or something like that), but ultimately it was my constant nagging that finally drove Jules to allow me to buy the lens and before she could change her mind eBay had another happy customer. First impressions were that it was bloody heavy, and in the constant penis-measuring contest that is photography, I thought I had won.
It takes some getting used to, and the minute you start moving towards 500mm you need all the help you can get to keep it stable – hand-held isn’t really an option. It also needs a lot of light, and I often find myself setting the ISO to 400 to take a photo that isn’t blurry without being too dark. Fortunately my mom was kind enough to make me a beanbag for it and this has made a huge difference.
It’s by no means anywhere near as sharp as the white jobs that Canon make, but then no amount of nagging would allow me to even look at one lest I get tempted.
Heading back to SA for a friend’s wedding in March I had the opportunity to try it out in the Pilanesburg. That’s when you realise that you can’t always win the contest – some are showers and some are growers and nobody can compete with an 800mm prime lens – bastard!
Here are a few pics taken with it