Testing a New Lens – The Things You See…

Today I took some time in the late afternoon to test a new lens – the Canon 400mm f2.8L IS MKII (I have long wanted to add this exotic piece of glass to my arsenal for both its super fast aperture and superb bokeh). Camera (1DX MKII) and lens (400mm f2.8L IS MKII) in hand, I grabbed a portable hide and wandered down to the local park where Eastern Grey Kangaroos often frequent the open grass areas at dusk. Finding myself a secluded spot just inside the tree line I set up the camera and crawled inside the hide expecting a rather long wait…

From my concealed position I could see a group of Kangaroos out in the field ahead of me; perhaps at 800mm+ range, but too far for anything more than a record shot. They were not particularly active and were grazing in the shade of a large gum tree. A few moments later from around the corner on the walking path comes a lady walking her German Shepard. She spots the Kangaroos, stops and looks around to see if anyone else is around or watching her (she doesn’t see me concealed in a blind inside the tree line). Satisfied she is on her own she lets her dog off the leash and points for it to chase the Kangaroos. Of course, the dog charges off for the Kangaroos, startles them and they scatter. One of the smaller Kangaroos bolts in my direction and I snap off some frames from my hidden position. It was just about perfect with the Kangaroo coming almost directly toward me at full tilt.

Of course, the dog had no chance of catching the Kangaroo and it quickly tired of the chase when it realised it was outclassed. Satisfied the dog had done well the woman called back her dog and went on her way, none the wiser that I had observed the entire fiasco. In fact, neither the Kangaroo, the dog or the woman ever knew I was there. Despite the fact her behaviour was inappropriate the woman had inadvertently set up a great shot for me with exactly what I had been hoping for – a Kangaroo at full gallop coming almost straight toward me. Just about the perfect test for this lens – ISO400 f2.8 1/2000th of a second.

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