Saturday Evening Post# 188: Elusive

There is so much about photography that is elusive. Sometimes like Eastern Spinebills, it is the subject. Our friend Rodger has been photographing them at Royal Park with varying degrees of success and as we were in the area we decided to go have a looksee.

After several hours it was sad to conclude that they would remain elusive. 🙂
We did manage a brief glimpse of one that came by, settled on a branch, and frustratingly was surrounded by small twigs and branchlets.


We did see one.

I’ve only just received back from repair my 300mm f/4 PF lens. It is a great little lens to be walking about with and, as here, I use it almost exclusively with the teleconverter TC 1.4 which gives me a fine 420mm focal length.

This one I’ve owned since the get go. I received one of the first of the lenses in Australia. The dealer could only get an allocation of one lens. It’s been one of my go-to lenses for birds ever since. It does have a software issue with the D810 and vibration reduction settings, but as I’ve retired that camera it is no longer a concern. EE uses one and it never comes off her D500. That lens I’ve always thought has a little more highkey contrast than mine. Not much, but just noticeable if we shoot side by side.

Earlier this year mine started to look a little soft and rendering fine detail and feather markings became a problem. It came to head when I was working with a Little Egret that had some fine breeding plumage feathers and they all looked doubled-edged and soft. Strange. So began the usual: check focus accuracy, suspect the camera, increase contrast in the camera and turn off first one setting then another.

But to now avail. Then one morning when I was going to try again, I picked the lens up and it had a distinct rattle. ???
Seems that one or more of the glass elements had worked loose. The local authorised repair centre was about to close its doors and it seemed that I’d have to send the lens to Nikon Techs in Sydney. I managed to find a repair centre in Adelaide. DigiCam seemed to have some very good reviews, and I filled out a form on line, and the following day received details of how to ship the lens. It went the following day with their arranged courier.

DigiCam came back quickly with an initial report and it seems that several retaining rings had worked loose and needed replacement.
Yes Please!

They kept me updated regularly on the progress, the need to order parts, and the likely turn around time. Great to have a good story to tell.

And about three weeks later the lens was returned looking very fine. They had even replaced a damaged element (which I have to say I put my hand up as culprit), so what I had was pretty much new out-of-the-box. Given all this happened over the Easter break, it was a super quick turnaround.

Tentative first test on the tv antenna across the road showed it looked as good as ever.
Now that it has had several trips to the bush, and made some special images I must say that DigiCam have won me as a customer and I’m delighted to tell the story of exceptional service.

Now all I need is to find some more Spinebills to work with.

(From the Election Free Zone)