Canon 50-1000mm

Here we see a new Canon 50-1000mm lens rigged on a Red Dragon.

It was interesting to play with this new lens in the confines of the large OB warehouse at BBC Bristol.  OK, it is obviously a hefty package, but you would expect no less from a wildlife long lens combination these days, at least, when you’re shooting 2k plus on a large sensor camera.

The lens does not have an image stabiliser, so you’re looking at a hefty tripod head to cope with any camera-lens combination.  There was no wind in the warehouse and we were on a solid concrete floor, so stability wasn’t really an issue.  Anywhere else outdoors and there would be the usual problems of weather conditions and far from solid tripod placements ranging from bogs to sand and everything in between.

Never mind all that, on the monitor hooked up to the set up this lens looked a cut above the HJ18 and HJ40 options.  Actually, not just a cut, more like a slash.  This was just a ‘by eye’ sort of test, but it did look very good throughout the zoom range.  I can say no more at the moment, except that I want to try one out properly.

Wildlife cameramen and women have a tendency to be kit geeks.  Cameras advance, if you can call it that, all the time, but it is not often that a new lens arrives on the scene.  Perhaps this is because lens design is limited by physical design constraints: the laws of physics, glass and coating technology, and precision manufacturing probably have not kept pace with the ‘k’ race.  At least this is certainly true where zoom lenses are concerned, and telephoto zooms are essential sequence building tools for wildlife film makers.  I spoke to a couple of people who had sold sets of prime Zeiss distagons, superbly sharp lens designed way back… they wish they hadn’t sold them.