I found a ‘reflex’ telephoto lens from Tamron, f8 and now I cant think about photography in the same way.
Ive been looking for a 500mm or higher for a while and biding on a few, just for someone with more money to bid higher than me. Then after months of searching I found a ad for a Tamaron 500mm to Canon FD mount, his ad seemed annoyed at another person not paying and wanted to get rid of the lens asap. So it was up for 500kr (£50) buy it now. I did not hesitate and clicked buy it now!
I have this lens on my Canon A1, its looks amazing small but large at the same time. I can hold it in my hands and get fairly stable view through the viewfinder, shaky, ish but still more than understandable and not needing a tripod.
I have also had the lens around my neck for about 3 hours and had little trouble. I notice it’s there but whilst taking photos it’s a nice break for my neck.
The Canon A-1 has a aperture piroity mode, so stuck it on f/8 and kept an eye on the shutter speed to make sure we where shooting above 125. I was using Kodak t-max 400 and we are entering the summer months here in the North of Sweden, so it’s a little chilly still in the air but 24 hours of sunlight.
Let’s start with layering.
With a telephoto lens like this, you can do crazy stuff with your backgrounds to make them more interesting, like this floating sanua is about 1.5km away from those trees and the observational tower on the hill is around 15km away. With a 50mm that would be a dot. This lens just adds it to another layer of your image. Not taking away from your main subject but adding supporting character’s to make your photo look better.
We all love the idea of taking pictures of people in candid situations, like this professional lady walking her bike through town. But this sort of photography can make some of us nervous about getting caught or having awkward interaction, even though they probably wouldn’t care. But with a 500mm lens I have to be 30/50 meters back so I’m not cropped into there faces. Downside to this style is people move and finding focus is something I have had will need to train myself to do. Especially as the viewfinder is shaking quite a lot… but, I get to do street photography and no one cares.
With this lens, I have found I get to look at the world differently, and a lot sharper than before. This is an art piece in the one of the parks in my city and no lens I had before could get this angle, most are from below and a lot wider angle. With this lens I can cut out a lot of the noise from the around the picture and show the viewer (and myself) a picture I imagined the first time I looked at this tree with bird boxes on it. I can really focus on what the subject is and then start to think about what else I want add to the photo.
Of course now I can take pictures of animals without them being scared of me and leaving. This also works with animals that want to come up to me and makes it harder to shoot. They should be far enough away not notice you and come for cuddles. Again animals move fast and focus will take time, lucky this little guy kept coming back to the same spot for me.
I can take pictures of things really far away. I was impressed I was able to get such a close photograph of this plane. Just makes me wonder what I will find next that is so far away that I will get to shoot next.
Side note – apparently this makes bokeh balls turn into donuts… I think I love the sound of that but I didn’t find many in the photos I took with this roll. But I have seen pictures and I don’t find myself offended.
In conclusion, this is another tool I have been happy to add to the toolbox. It does so many things that my current lenses don’t do. Im in love with how it can flatten a scene so I can get so much information into a shot. Mainly because I live in a place where its mainly trees so I need to find objects 20km to add into my pictures. It can also travel with me without taking up a lot of space.
If you find a nice reflex lens going for cheap, it’s my opinion that you will not regret it.
While writing this article a 1000mm appeared at my local secondhand shop and after being talked down from buying it, I went back and picked it up. I am intending to write a article about it soon once I have processed the film, right now I’m learning towards getting rid of it to someone who has patients and a sturdy tripod… but I also wonder about saving it for when I can see the moon again…
Share this post: