Goin’ to the zoo, part two!


I thought I’d continue on with my zoo post from Monday today. I apologize for those of you wanting a Wedding Wednesday post. I have stuff to talk about on that front (the minimoon will make an appearance!) but I felt like talking about the zoo again today.

So when we left off in our story Monday, Cobalt, A, and I had returned to the booth where we rented out camera equipment. I went up to the guy at the Nikon table and said “What else you got?!” Not that I was unhappy with my 18-300 mm zoom lens from Monday. Mostly, I just wanted to see what else I could play with. The Nikon guy hooked me up with an 85 mm prime lens. Really, the only word you need to take away from that sentence is the word “prime” as in a fixed, non zoom lens. He told me it would be excellent for low light conditions (the 18-300 mm lens really wasn’t that great for low light conditions) and then sent us back off into the zoo.

At first, I was regretting being so bold about switching lenses. Here we were in the middle of a BRIGHT day and I had a non-zoomable lens that was good at taking pictures in low light conditions. Ohhhh greattttt. Cobalt and A were zooming in on monkeys and I was grumpily glaring at my lens. Then we came to the spider monkey up above and I realized this lens had some potential. This lens is so good in low light conditions because it can do really low f numbers – this is something that controls the amount of light that goes into the lens as well as controlling the depth of field. When you set the lens to take pictures with really low f numbers, you are asking it to let a ton of light into the camera and as a result, it has a very shallow depth of field. Shallow enough that anything you are NOT focusing on gets really blurry… like the fence in front of the spider monkey. You can’t really see it at all even though there was definitely a fence between him and me. Wahaha… The other tricky thing about the spider monkey pictures was that the holes in the fence were really small. The camera’s autofocus function couldn’t find the monkey behind the fence so I had to manually focus the lens to find him. I think it turned out pretty good!

It was at this point that I felt a challenge rising. Zooming was one way to take cool pictures of animals, what about playing with the lighting and the depth of field? Challenge accepted, prime lens!

Okay, it’s no zoom lens but to be honest, the idea of a lens that could seemingly do everything (wide angle and crazy zoomed in) left me kind of suspicious as to what it COULDN’T do. Hence the bold “what else you got?!” and the handing over of the prime lens. And by the end, I had a healthy respect for the prime lens – especially after we visited the reptile house and my lens totally ruled at getting cool pictures of those creatures that like to lurk in the dark (without using a flash)…

Really, I think if anything, this experience with the prime lens reminded me why it’s good to have a variety of lenses – a zoom lens of course for zooming in on cool things that are far away, but also a prime lens that is really good at taking pictures at that one focal length and makes me focus on the details of the picture I am taking (the lighting and the composition of the picture). Makes me happy that I do have both (an 18 to 70 mm lens – nowhere near the zooming capability of Monday’s lens – and a 50 mm prime lens)!

And now without further rambling – some more prime lens pictures!

Another one of the adorable spider monkey…

The flamingo on the left wants to be the center of attention. Ooo ooo! Look at me!

This frog looks like it knows something we don’t. Also, I love how fat he is…

Hey guys… how’s it goin’? I’m just chillin’ here… you know how it is…

And finally, a penguin for those of you who asked…

Do you have a favorite picture (either from Monday or today)? Do you like the zoom lens pictures or the prime lens pictures better? Also, I love it when a picture tells a story. You guys want to play the caption game with my pictures? Let’s go! What are all the animals saying?

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4 thoughts on “Goin’ to the zoo, part two!

  1. Yay! A penguin! Have to say that he is my favorite! His caption “Yo, Dude! What’s Up? Me? I’m just chillin’….” (Rimshot)

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