I resolved to mail in my Nikon 80-400mm for service. Previously, I’ve had difficulty using it, including difficulty in tracking birds in flight and having it keep focus or, if it lost focus on the subject, reacquiring it.
I went to the Nikon site and started to fill in the information . . . when it came to describing what was wrong with the lens I wanted to make sure I got everything right, so I grabbed the camera, mounted the lens on said camera and stepped outside.
Well, this seemed pretty good to me . . . that, by the way, is a Say’s Phoebe. It feeds exclusively on bugs . . . which must have made the bug at its feet nervous. Except, I don’t think the bird ever saw the bug, of if it did, it was not one of the bugs it eats.
I then heard a commotion and turned to see a squirrel running along the back fence, a Magpie hot on its heels.
Those were not the best of shots, but that’s more my fault than the lens’s as I was not fast enough to focus on the squirrel. Still, the lens, and it’s a slow lens, responded admirably.
The squirrel took refuge behind the clematis . . . he (she?) looked tired.
It took only a half a minute for it to recoup and notice me (I’m about forty feet away).
By now I was almost frustrated. The lens was performing better than it had for a long time. I then tried the ultimate test. Focus on Bald Mountain . . .
. . . and then focus on something about twenty-five feet away . . .
Crap and double crap! Some might remember THIS POST about focusing and sharpness.
Well, the above shot of Bald Mountain, shot hand-held and without much care, is better than the shot on that post . . . and that post had the camera mounted on a tripod.
So, what’s going on here? I have no idea, but the lens is producing photos of the quality I have not seen for a few years. I don’t see much point to sending it in for a tune-up as long as it keeps working like this.
The above shots awakened my desire to shoot some macros . . . out came the Nikon 105mm Macro.
I do like this lens . . .
I even did me one of them “not everything is in focus” shots people love so much.
Heck; I was in a generous mood, so I did a few more . . .
I mentioned before that I was not sure about the peonies. They had been hurt by both the late snow/ice storm and the multiple hail attacks.
The early blooms had issues, and never really recovered, but there were many new blooms, and they poured their hearts into making up for the others.
This year I had to once again prop up the plant. The weight of the blooms and buds would have otherwise laid the plant flat if not actually snapped the stalks. It did make for a messy presentation. The blooms are mostly gone by now (see below), but I’m not unhappy with how they did.
Both our potted plants . . .
. . . and our flowerbeds have recovered nicely.
Earlier in the spring I debated if I should split all the Salvia and Stella D’Oro plants. I hesitated, and then we got all those weeks of rain . . .
. . . and now many of the plants are encroaching on each other and are overgrown. I will definitively have to split them in the fall (provided the weather cooperates.)
Except for a few, these photos and seventy-six more were shot in about an hour. However, I don’t have the time to do a one hundred photos post (I can hear people cheering – knock it off!)
I decided to split the presentation of the photos into four posts. This group of photos are, in my estimation, the less interesting of the bunch. I hope that over the next few days you will join me for the continuation of this photo shoot.
Oh, since these are flowers, there is a corresponding SmugMug Gallery HERE. Of course, you can just click on each photo to get a larger (but not full-size) version.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.