My “serious” photography adventures have me lugging a couple of cameras and a few lenses into the wild outdoors.
A long lens lets me capture four footed or slow moving animals in the field easily if I remember to be patient.
I’ve found that capturing flying birds with a camera are one of the most challenging endeavors. Fast moving birds are difficult to track with a long lens and using a shorter lens produces smaller subjects in the image.
I’ve thrown away countless images of wildlife that were blurry, poorly exposed, badly composed, etc. Below are a few that I’ve kept over the years.
As an avid outdoor-nature photographer, I’ve always believed in the saying: “you can never have too many mm’s between you and a distant subject”.
Recently I decided to add more mm’s to my camera bag and purchased a Sony 200-600mm lens to accompany the Sony A7 III.
My first opportunity to use the new lens was on a trip a few weeks ago to Florida.
This is one of the first images that I snapped. As I closely reviewed it in the viewfinder I could tell that it was obviously out of focus.
The first thing I did was to immediately check the lens setting to use autofocus. It was.
I then checked the camera menu to see if it all settings were correct for autofocus.
Next I took several more photos but no luck.
They were all severely out of focus.
Disappointed, I decided to set this lens aside for the reminder of my time in Florida.
Upon returning from this trip I planned to send the lens back to the vendor for repair or exchange.
However, before calling the vendor for a return authorization, I spent a few minutes googling “Sony 200-600mm autofocus problem”.
To my surprise I found a post that was identical to my problem. When I purchased the lens, I also purchased a circular polarizing filter (huge 95mm) to help reduce glare. The individual who wrote the google post explained that his filter interfered with the lens’ autofocus mechanism. By removing the filter, his images were no longer out of focus.
So I took the filter off my lens to see if this solution applied to my problem.
BINGO. The autofocus mechanism worked perfectly and produced this image.
I’m happy that Google helped me solve my problem.
I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to take advantage of the extra mm’s during my stay in Florida. And I’m reminded that I need to test out new equipment before I’m in the field. I’ll continue to search out for a filter which may not interfere with my camera’s autofocus. Perhaps a different brand has properties that enable the autofocus to perform correctly. We’ll see.
Anyway, I’m ready for my next opportunity to get outdoors with this lens.