I’ve already said quite a lot here on the Blog about the Panasonic 100-300 lens. In fact this is a lens I’ve been using a great deal, thanks to the combination of relatively small size, light weight, excellent reach, and good resolving power. If you’d like to read some of my more in depth articles about this lens, and other micro four thirds lenses, there are plenty of earlier postings if you want to look back through the last couple of months.
As many of my readers know, I’m hugely impressed by the Olympus OMD EM-5. The camera is a revelation and I’m delighted to say that it’s no longer necessary to cart around my big heavy pro DSLR bodies and lenses for either work assignments or recreational outings. The OMD does pretty much everything, and it does it so well. The performance is outstanding and the image quality is very impressive indeed. The sensor is able to reveal wonderful detail and the tolerance of the files affords considerable latitude to recover highlights should you need to. The camera is also extremely fast and intuitive to use and the Micro 4/3 lenses are exceptional. I can comfortably shoot all day with this kit without feeling tired or achy. This means I am far more inclined to take pictures outside of my professional assignments and I don’t feel like I’m “working” when I have my OMD with me. In fact I hardly notice its presence, I can just grab it and shoot. Fantastic.
I found myself in Arundel in West Sussex today, a place I visit fairly frequently given that it’s only about 20 min away from my home. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre is a favourite place because it’s incredibly relaxing and the inhabitants (birds of all shapes and sizes) are pretty good company, and they’re always begging to have their photograph taken. The Panasonic 100-300 lens is ideal for wildlife since the effective field of view is of course 200 to 600 mm. As I’ve said before you will need to employ reasonably good technique towards the longer end of a lens like this because the higher your magnification the more evident your movement will be, potentially resulting in camera shake if you allow your shutter speed to fall too much.
As you can see I had quite a lot of company as I walked around the reserve. I had the chance to photograph enormous birds and tiny birds. I even saw some ducklings which was a bit of a surprise given that our horrendously awful winter is showing no signs of abating (and I was literally frozen to the core today) and these little ducks appear to have come early. But they seemed quite undaunted by the cold weather and were happily exploring their surroundings, I was even mobbed by a group of them at one point when I crouched on the path to take their picture, it was lovely to see them running around my feet and over my hands. The mother was very relaxed and stood patiently a couple of feet away waiting for her brood to follow her.