The Long Range Shooter
Nikkor 600/5.6 ED-IF AIS 600mm f5.6
With the help of digital technology with very good image quality at high ISO allows me now to get back into shooting wild life again. I chanced upon this Nikkor 600mm f5.6 ED-IF AIS used with a good price and decided to give it a try. Anyway, this is the first lens that I use with no German origin. I bought the lens with an original Nikon 122mm filter and the lens looks very impressive with a very big front element group.
This is a very old lens, the very early design of the 600mm series from Nikon. At f5.6 the weight at less than 3kg is more manageable by me. There is already the used of special lens elements to reduce chromatic aberation. With internal focusing the length of the lens remains unchange thus very good for practical use, especially if both the lens and the camera body are mounted on tripods. This early design is quite strange with all the len elements in the front of the lens with a integrated filter right at the back, and that makes the lens very front heavy.
After bought the lens of course I went to try some easy subjects. Below is a black swan in Singapore Botanical Garden.
Alpha 7R2, f5.6 1/500, ISO 800, Manfrotto 190XPROB/054Mg.
Actually come to bird photography, other than the skill of the photographer, the knowledge on the birds is also very important. For me I am not so deep into bird photography. But I am lucky enough to bump into bird experts when I bring my 600/5.6 around. Below is a shot of the Brown Hawk Owl at the Singapore Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. I happened to see two groups of photographers all shooting this pair of Brown Hawk Owls. I had to wait for the moment both of their eyes were facing the camera.
Brown Hawk Owls, Alpha 7R2, f5.6 1/250, ISO 5000, Manfrotto 190XPROB/054Mg.
I used the lens with the Nikon TC14B 1.4x tele-convertor. The results are quite good like the shot below. Fringing is unavoidable for lens of this focal length and technology at that point of time. Stop down from maximum aperture of f5.6 to f8 will improve the fringing effect.
Curlew Sandpiper, Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve Singapore, Alpha 7R2
f5.6/8, 1/1000, with TC14B, ISO 800, Manfrotto 190XPROB/054Mg.
I am also lucky to photographed a rare Straw-Headed Bulbul in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. I did not know it was a rare species until later.
Straw-Headed Bulbul, Alpha 7R2, f5.6 1/500-1/1000 with TC14B,
ISO 5000, Manfrotto 190XPROB/054Mg.
This lens is also quite fun to photograph flower.
Alpha 7R2, f8 1/125, ISO 640, Berlebach Mulde/Konica erde-3065.
Below is a shot of Grey Heron in Japanese Garden Singapore. For this I tried to use a shutter speed of 1/125 to bring down the ISO.
Grey Heron, f8 1/125, ISO 3200, Berlebach Mulde/Konica erde-3065 ball head.
The two compatible tele-convertors for the 600/5.6:
TC-14B (1.4x) and the strange looking TC-301 (2x).