Extended reach

Lately I seem to have spent a lot of afternoons wandering the local area with my camera. Mostly my photographs have been of birds, though occasionally something else – insects, flowers, or foliage – has caught my eye.

This year I have upgraded my equipment twice in the search for better images of birds. The RF 24-240 mm lens I have been using on my Canon R6 since early 2022 is great for travel, allowing wide angle for landscapes and moderate reach for details in a single lens. However, it was a bit short for photographing birds at distance so I added the RF 100-400 mm in January. This week I added the RF 2x extender to make that effectively 200-800 mm.

The four images here illustrate the difference that makes. They were all taken from the same position with the camera set on a tripod. The two in the top row show the extremes (100 mm and 400 mm) without the extender. The second row shows the effect of the extender at the extremes (200 mm and 800 mm).

I took the new combination out on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and managed to find a few cooperative birds. I’m still coming to grips with the challenges of keeping something a bit longer and heavier pointing in the right direction and, of course, what I get always depends on there being cooperative birds about and conditions including light. These are two decent shots I managed yesterday afternoon.

As I thought about this post I began to wonder about how many photographs of birds I had been taking and to what extent that has changed over time. That’s another story.