All the Pretty Horses – Getting used to a manual telephoto lens

Shetland Pony

Shetland Pony captured with a Nikon D7000 using a Rokinon 500mm manual telephoto lens.

Photography with a Nikon D7000 using a 500mm lens.

Working on the Cowboy Country TV series gave me access to oodles of beautiful cinematography shot by Rick Bremness. I’ve utilized several of those images as reference for my Pyrography, but one of the principle reasons for getting my DSLR was to capture some nuggets from nature of my own. There’s a satisfaction in knowing that I was there to experience the moment, then translate it into another medium.

I haven’t use the above images for other uses yet, but I thought I’d share them. I’m lucky to have an Equine Centre a short bike ride from where I live. It was early spring when I made these pictures using my brand new 500mm lens.

Rokinon 500mm lens on Nikon D7000

Rokinon 500mm lens on Nikon D7000

I realized shortly after purchasing my D7000 that the 18-105mm kit lens wouldn’t give me the range to grab wildlife. The prohibitive cost of a quality telephoto lens led me to search eBay to see what I could see.  I decided to give the 500mm made by Rokinon a try.

It’s a fully manual lens that looks more like a telescope than a conventional camera lens. For those used to the comfort of auto focus, the adjustment is huge. While I have been able to get some decent shots of birds and other twitchy critters it’s best suited to stealing the souls of slow moving beings in good light.

Canada, you Silly Goose

Canada Goose captured with a Nikon D7000 using a Rokinon 500mm manual telephoto lens.

I’ve never had the desire to hunt, but I imagine that is a similar mindset to going manual with a DSLR. Find your target, adjust your focus, adjust your exposure, SHOOT!

It’s an interesting almost zen like process that commands patience and attention to detail. Learning that, I purchased a 70-300mm lens with auto focus not long after. The last two photos at the top were made with it.


About Chris Wulff

I like to make pictures. Sometimes they move across the screen, sometimes they move you. I draw with fire on wood, with my finger on a phone, with a keyboard and fancy filters and sometimes even with a pencil on paper. I use a camera to capture what I see and my imagination to capture what I can't see.

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