Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 19, 2013

A New Toy

Thanks to a couple of B&H Photo gift certificates I’d received as Christmas gifts, I recently purchased a new lens for my Rebel. It is a Sigma 70-300mm zoom with a macro switch. It is heavier than I am used to using – my longest lens up til now was my 55-250mm – and there is no image stabilization, so it will take a little getting used to, but so far I’m pleased.

I stood in the sunshine coming through the sliding glass door to my deck this afternoon and waited in the warmth for birds attracted to the suet cake I hung on one of my planter hooks for the winter. These shots were taken from about 15 feet away with my new lens (SOOC, no cropping or editing):
chickadee and cardinal

male cardinal

approach to suet
I was quite surprised to find this shot of the little downy woodpecker approaching the suet feeder; I hadn’t realized I was shooting at that time.

downy woodpecker 1

downy woodpecker 2

I’ll be looking forward to spending some more time getting to know my new lens!


  1. Congrats on the new lens! Must be the Sigma brand which runs heavy. I have a 17-70mm which feels like a brick when I’m carrying it around.

    Comment by Mike Christoferson — January 19, 2013 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Mike – yes, a “brick” sounds like an apt description!

      Comment by Karma — January 20, 2013 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  2. Oh how exciting. Wonderful results so far.

    Comment by sybil — January 19, 2013 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

  3. One of my personal favorite past times…watching and feeding the backyard birds.

    Comment by diggingher — January 19, 2013 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

    • A good pasttime for winter when there isn’t much else to take photos of!

      Comment by Karma — January 20, 2013 @ 9:26 am | Reply

  4. I’d say you’re having a grand time with your new toy. I love that little downey woodpecker—they’re such fun. We sometimes get a red bellied woodpecker on our feeders and he always makes me laugh: he’s so huge and the perches on the feeders are so tiny. It just makes me laugh! Keep on practicing, you’re doing great!

    Comment by Kate — January 20, 2013 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Kate! I’m definitely enjoying the lens so far.

      Comment by Karma — January 20, 2013 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  5. Great shots! We have a large glass insert in our back door and I’ve taken a number of bird and squirrel shots through it. Thankfully the beagle nose art doesn’t come up high enough to interfere.

    It’s possible to improve your skills to shot a bird in flight. Bump up your ISO, set to jpg (not raw) and continuous shoot. I practiced on the bees on the basil. You might take 300 shots and only get 30 keepers, but you’ll be really happy to delete all the ones that didn’t work when you see the ones that did work. The birds don’t hang around as long, but if you hold down the shutter and click away, I bet you get 1 or 2 keepers with every bird.


    Comment by dogear6 — January 21, 2013 @ 10:44 am | Reply

    • The bottom shot is the hawk as it flew away. I probably burst off about 6-8 shots, but I did one acceptable keeper!


      Comment by dogear6 — January 21, 2013 @ 10:46 am | Reply

      • Thanks Nancy! Those are some pretty great hawk shots!

        Comment by Karma — January 21, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

      • Thanks Karma! Keep practicing – the great thing about digital is how you can take tons of pictures and then delete what doesn’t work without paying for a bunch of film processing.

        Comment by dogear6 — January 21, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

  6. Hooray! I love new camera toys. Enjoy it!

    Comment by Becky Sue — January 21, 2013 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  7. Very cool! Congrats on the new lens!

    Comment by TheDailyClick — January 27, 2013 @ 6:58 am | Reply

  8. Congratulations on your new lens! It’s always fun to have new toys. I can’t wait to see more. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Robin — January 28, 2013 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Robin. This lens is definitely going to take some work to get used to. But I’m trying. Hoping to post again at some point today.

      Comment by Karma — February 3, 2013 @ 8:37 am | Reply

  9. I love the litttle birds visiting your feeder Karma, they are so pretty and like nothing we have here. Isn’t it fun trying out new things on a camera? I “play” with my camera all the time! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Joanne — January 30, 2013 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

    • It does seem that “my” birds are so much smaller than “your” birds, aren’t they? The birds that you feature on your blog seem quite large – not to say there aren’t larger birds around here, there are, but they generally don’t hang around at my feeders. Do you have smaller birds that come to your yard, Joanne?

      Comment by Karma — February 3, 2013 @ 8:40 am | Reply

  10. Congrats on your new lens, Karma. What a nice gift to start creating with in the new year!

    Comment by Kathy — February 2, 2013 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Kathy. As I was telling Robin up there, this new lens is going to take a bit of work. It is quite different from the lenses that come with the Rebel! I suppose this is the price paid for spending less money on a different brand, but I’m doing my best and trying to learn. Hopefully I will find a few shots taken recently worthy of posting. The blogging muse is rattling around and poking my brain, asking to be heard.

      Comment by Karma — February 3, 2013 @ 8:43 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Say hello! Tell me your thoughts! I'd love to read them!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: