Adapt, improvise, overcome

Adapt, improvise, overcome

Just because you don’t have the right tool for the job doesn’t mean you don’t have the right tool for the job…

I can almost hear the chorus of “huh?” echoing around the globe.

What I mean to say is, if you don’t own a macro lens, that doesn’t mean you can’t shoot closeups. If you don’t own a wide angle lens, that doesn’t mean you can’t photograph landscapes. Etc, etc, etc. For example, when most people think about photographing animals – other than their house cat, of course – they think of big telephoto primes and zooms with fast autofocus and image stabilization. While these types of lenses undoubtedly make the job easier, they’re not the only game in town. The above photo was taken with a manual focus 50-135mm zoom…

Many of the following photos were taken with the same manual focus zoom. Coupled with the electronic rangefinder found in many Nikon DSLRs, the single ring of this lens made for relatively swift zooming and focusing. A few of the photos were taken with an autofocus 180mm macro. When autofocusing from near infinity to life size, this lens is painfully slow. Yet small focus changes are fairly rapid. As long as what you’re photographing isn’t moving too quickly or erratically, the autofocus capabilities of this lens are sufficient. Obviously, photographing raptors in flight is out of the question with either of these lenses. However, knowing my subjects, and the strengths and weaknesses of each lens allowed me to use them effectively for a purpose for which they were not specifically designed.

Don’t have a wide angle lens? Try photographing landscapes by isolating smaller areas with a short telephoto. Do you want to try macro photography, but don’t have a macro lens? Get yourself an inexpensive extension tube, or a quality closeup filter. Your photography is not limited by your equipment, it’s only limited by your ingenuity and creative vision.

*All animals photographed in captivity.

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