Wildlife pictures with the SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2

Tricolored heron © Lewis Kemper
Tricolored heron. Publicity: 1/320 sec., ƒ/6.3, ISO 3200, 600mm, hand-held.

For greater than two years, I’ve used the Tamron 150-600mm lens as my main telephoto lens, and I’ve saved over 94,000 photos taken with it. I liked that lens, and once I heard Tamron had up to date it, claiming the brand new model was sharper, quicker, higher constructed and had improved picture stabilization (Vibration Compensation, or VC in Tamron phrases), I could not wait to get my palms on it. And boy am I glad I did! The SP 150-600mm F/5-6.Three Di VC USD G2 lives as much as all of Tamron’s claims. The photographs are noticeably sharper and to me look equal to the sharpness discovered on lenses costing many occasions extra.

The brand new VC system now consists of three modes. Mode 1 is much like the mode on most lenses the place you push the shutter button and see the stabilization seem within the viewfinder. Mode 2 is designed particularly for panning along with your topics and works nice for birds in flight. Mode Three is the mode I name the “belief me” mode, the place you don’t see any stabilization happen within the viewfinder however the lens applies the utmost quantity of stabilization on the time the shutter is launched. Tamron claims that is equal to 4.5 stops of compensation, which actually helps when holding 600mm and photographing from my kayak! I’ve had nice success with this mode, particularly when being very near my topics at excessive focal lengths.

SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2
The up to date lens includes a new design with improved ergonomics.

Different new options that I actually like are the addition of an Arca-Swiss plate on the foot of the tripod mount and the flexibility to lock the zoom at any focal size. The benefit of the built-in Arca-Swiss plate means I need not add the burden of an extra adapter plate. In the event you do not use an Arca-Swiss-style tripod head, there are two normal threads for mounting the lens on to your head. The power to lock the lens at any focal size by merely pulling on the zoom ring means if I’m pointing up or down when zooming, I haven’t got to fret about lens creep, and when I’m panning, I haven’t got to fret about unintentionally altering my focal size between photos.

One other function that I discover most useful is the improved coating on the lens that reduces lens flare. I like to take backlit photos, and within the earlier mannequin this might current an issue. Plus, the G2 model of the lens can now focus as shut as 86.6 inches (2.2m), permitting me to get excessive shut ups of cooperating topics.

Double-crested cormorant © Lewis Kemper
Double-crested cormorant. Publicity: 1/640 sec., ƒ/8, ISO 2000, 500mm, hand-held.

My first actual expertise with the lens got here on a number of visits to Inexperienced Cay Wetlands in Boynton Seashore, Florida. That is an space with an extended boardwalk over water and host to a wide range of birds and wildlife. It’s a fashionable space for hen watchers, photographers and walkers who use the boardwalk for train. Because the birds see so many individuals right here, many are acclimated to people and can land on the railings and allow you to move inside a foot of them. It’s right here I discovered one significantly affected person and trusting feminine double-crested cormorant. I may get so shut the lens wouldn’t even focus! I needed to again as much as minimal focus distance. If you find yourself 7.5 toes from a cormorant at 600mm, you can’t even get the entire invoice of the hen in your body. I used to be capable of check the lens at a wide range of apertures and shutter speeds, and was amazed how sharp the lens was large open, however did discover a slight enchancment if I used ƒ/Eight or ƒ/11.

In one other instance, a tricolored heron standing on the railing allowed me to get fairly shut. It was a bit darker on this location, and I wanted a slower shutter pace. With the brand new VC Mode 3, I used to be capable of hand-hold sharp photos at 1/320 sec. at 600mm, being solely 7 to eight toes from the hen. At this distance, any slight motion of the lens could be exaggerated, blurring the picture.

After utilizing the lens for a number of weeks, I’m happy to say Tamron took an ideal lens and made it even higher with the G2 model. I can’t wait to see what my subsequent 94,000 photos appear like!


See extra of Lewis Kemper’s work at lewiskemper.com.

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