In preparation for our vacation, I have been admiring many Animals in Zoo photographs from other photographers. I had bought a Nikon 100-300mm f/5.6 AiS just for taking photographs of animals in the Zoo setting. I practiced at first with Bird Photographs outside my apartment, and was fairly successful I hope. I have a few articles that I wrote on this Blog. My Son had a birthday recently, and we were waiting for his summer break so we could take a day at the Zoo. Today was the day. (6-29-2012)
At first, I would focus on each animal, but, after about a hour, I decided to switch to using f/16 or f/32 and setting the DOF zone by using the DOF scale on the lens. This worked a lot better. I also used Center Weighted Metering along with a +.03 EV on exposure. and Auto-ISO from 200-5000 (yes 5000, because, in the shaded areas at f/16 or f/32, you’ll need it). No worry, the Olympus OMD E-M5 can deliver at ISO 5000.
The lens was not a burden to carry at all. it does weigh in at just under 1.8lbs. The Native Panasonic or Olympus 100-300mm are lighter, but at $900 a pop, no thanks. Yes, AF is very convenient, and so is the twist zoom ring as opposed to a push-pull like the Nikon 100-300mm.
I would suggest, if you want to try this out, you will need to practice a bit with a manual focus lens. It is a cheaper way to start, before you decide to shell out $900 for a new native lens or $700 for a used one. Word of caution, Legacy lenses have better contrast stopped down a few stops, so, keep that in mind when you use them.
Now for the Photos, in a slide show when you click on the 1st photo. Enjoy.