Then, now . . . and next month . . .

Out for a walk in the morning, I took the CL and—for once—the 180mm APO-Elmarit without the extender. It reminded me of some years ago, when I’d used it to capture confiding birds, before I even owned the extender.

Later, in the cool of indoors, I dug through my archives. Back then, an area where I shot most frequently was ideally located and foliated such that it attracted passage migrants and occasional vagrants. One of the more unusual, almost nine years ago, was a tiny female Daurian Redstart, obviously way off the usual migration route for this critter.

She hung around for much of the winter, eventually becoming quite an attraction for the local bazooka crowd. The first shot below, taken before she became “famous,” was with a Sony NEX-7 and the 180mm. The second was taken with a miserable Fuji X-E1, pressed into use with the 180mm while my well-worn NEX was having the grip repaired. By this time, she’d become more confiding.

Buoyed by my morning shots, I headed out into the mid-afternoon bright sunshine, this time foolishly armed with the extender. I managed to grab a few shots of a dove, a myna, and a couple of sparrows, none worth posting. Images were plenty sharp, mind you, just almost totally devoid of feather details. I hope I learned from it this time.

Hopes of finding a good copy of an M9 are out the window due to heavy current demand. Maybe Providence was looking out for me until I came to my senses—or until I took time to look through a trove of photos by seasoned M9 photoraphers and found them decidedly more ordinary than the first few images that had originally put the idea in my head.

After nixing the idea of even trying the new Sigma L-mount super zoom, I ran into a favorable review by a Manhattan shooter whose findings I trust. Some images were not taken in optimum conditions and were still decent, leading me to think it might be worth a try on the CL.

It remains to be seen whether shops will even bring in the L-mount locally, although the FE-mount version will surely give the two Sony-branded zooms some stiff competition. Oh, well . . . something to look forward to . . .

UPDATE:  While reviewing my afternoon shots and wondering why the veiling flare was so obvious with the CL, 180mm and extender today when it wasn’t before, it occurred to me that the other times I shot the combo on the CL I used the R-Adapter-L. Today I used the R-Adapter-M, which has a smaller throat, coupled to the M-Adapter-L. It’s understandable that the R-Adapter-M might make a difference on M cameras, but on APS-C?

At any rate, back into the field again tomorrow to see if that was indeed today’s problem . . .

Sony NEX-7/180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R
Daurian Redstart (female)

Fuji X-E1/180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R