Last Saturday I went on my much-ballyhooed Bald Eagle photographic trip. The trip was very interesting. The boat leaves Essex CT and travels up and down the Connecticut River with the guides pointing out to the participants a number of bald eagles flying over head and perched in the surrounding trees. The tour personnel were very courteous and helpful. The day was sunny and cold but mostly the environment was reasonable for a February day in Southern New England.
I rented the Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS lens for the occasion and mounted it on a monpod with a trigger-controlled lens head. I took over 1,300 photos. There were less than a hundred that were even acceptably sharp. This is a failure that I may never live down. It’s like landing on the moon, taking a million shots and on the return trip discovering that you left the lens cap on the whole time. What I did was leave the ISO at 100 and the camera in aperture mode. That left the camera no choice but to lengthen the exposure to as long as 1/100th of a second. With a 600mm lens on a moving boat that translates into motion blur.
The sheer bone headed stupidity of this blunder is breathtaking. Every time I looked through the eyepiece the exposure time was staring me in the eye. To ignore it for two hours is either the sign of advanced senility or the work of an intellect on par with that of a sea slug. I will never live this down.
After going through all thirteen hundred files I picked the two or three that were least blurred as exhibits A, B and C.
The next day when my morale had slightly-recovered I went out to the local lake with the 600mm lens and took some shots at the correct exposure time. And I found the lens quite sharp. These shots were taken at distances between 800ft and 1200ft. I decided to use a tripod instead of the monopod I had on the boat. Although I failed to take advantage of the eagle boat ride I at least was able to decide that the Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS lens is a very good zoom.