This week features a few more photos than usual because I just received a new Nikon 70-200mm f/4 lens. I got this lens for walking around when birding isn't the only thing I'm doing and for travel to lighten by load. My 300mm f2.8 weighs 6.4 lb (2.9 kg) compared to 1.9 lb (.9 kg) for the zoom lens. I prefer prime lenses for their sharpness but after reading about the quality of the latest generation of zooms lenses I decided to go for the 70-200mm. There is a great website (DxOMark.com) that not only evaluates cameras and lenses they also evaluate how a lens performs on a specific body. I shoot with a D800 and the 70-200mm f/4 was rated the best with my camera and after a few initial shots - I'm pleasantly surprised.
Although every bird in my view finder is my favorite, Pygmy Nuthatches are so cute, friendly, and at least at my home most approachable. I have had them eat out of my hand and perch on my shoulder. This photo was taken at the full 200mm zoom and wide open at f/4 with an ISO800. Usually the sweet spot for any lens is between the limits. So for the 70-200mm it would be around 135mm and f/8 or f/11; however, you can see that the result was a very sharp image around the focus point of the head with the depth of field falling off nicely.
Here are a few more images using the 70-200mm zoom all producing surprisingly impressive results. The Finch looks like I used a flash but the reflection off the water added the fill light. The Anna's came out sharp along the entire body with sharp details from the bill to the feet. Finally, the Pygmy I like because of the classic Nuthatch pose. Nice to have new toys but remember that you still have to be the inspiration behind your photography to get people to stop and take in your images.
Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.