The Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens for butterfly photography — a user experience review

Some months back I purchased an Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens (officially, the M. Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro lens) and MC-14 1.4x teleconverter for my E-M1 body.  I’d given them some exercise on a road trip previously, but when an opportunity came up for a “Tripod Session” at a local butterfly pavilion, I thought I could give them a real workout on the facility’s residents.

Paper Kite

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So why *did* the elk cross the road?

Apparently to stick his tongue out at me:

So why *did* the elk cross the road?

Or, maybe he’s just a big Miley Cyrus fan?  At any rate, let this image serve as a reminder to always keep your camera in your lap when venturing into an area with active wildlife.  We took a family trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park (in northern Colorado) this past weekend, and not far inside the park’s gate, we spotted this stunning bull elk grazing just off the far side of the road.

By the time I’d pulled over and retrieved my camera from the car’s back seat, our visitor was up on the road, crossing over to our side.  I only had time to fire off a couple of hasty shots (through the closed driver’s side window) before he was behind our car entirely.  Thank heaven for auto-focus.

The elk’s expression is, of course, hardly majestic.  But you know how bad they are about following direction…

Room enough for two

This weekend, the local honeybees were giving some echinacea blooms in our yard a good workover, so I thought I was overdue in documenting their work.

Room enough for two

Normally, the bees seem to prefer working solo.  But even though we’ve got a swath of echinacea for them to work on, sometimes they need to “double up” in order to keep working.  I used an Olympus E-M1 and 60mm macro for this shot, BTW.

Waiting for breakfast to come along…

We managed to sneak away for a few days’ vacation this past holiday (in the U.S.) weekend — for its cultural amenities, we chose Chicago. But this little guy (gal?) was just waiting for breakfast outside our hotel room window our first morning in town:

Waiting for breakfast to come along...

It must have been a good judge of real estate, as its web was littered with the remains of past meals. I thought the local buildings made a nice colorful backdrop (not too cluttered, though, when you put them out of focus):

Waiting for breakfast (redux)

If you’re working on your own case of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), I took these with an Olympus E-M5 camera equipped with a Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm lens. A potent combination, if you ask me…

Waiting for a break in the weather

Life’s been a bit busy for us lately, but we managed to run off into the mountains for a little R&R over the July 4th extended weekend.  One of our stops was the neat little ghost town of Ashcroft, near Aspen.  On our way through the sights, my daughter alerted me to this little hummingbird perched on an old bit of wood.

Waiting for a break in the weather

Fortunately for me, this little guy was very patient on his perch — alert and watchful, but never startling or making any apparent move to fly off.

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Putting on a show

A white tiger at the 2013 Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur, Colorado:

Putting on a show

Admittedly, white tigers are eye-catching, and maybe their presence at shows like this somehow supports or encourages conservation.  But the reality is that white tigers are Bengal tiger mutants not normally found in nature — and they’re only still around thanks to generations of human-induced inbreeding.  They are often used by zoos and other shows (most famously, Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas) to draw in visitors — but the breeding of white tigers has been banned by the American Zoological Association (AZA) since June of 2011.