Naturally, August came around and I got the first of many "sorry, its still on backorder" emails. The most recent came on Thursday before Labor Day. Then, minutes later, I got notice that the lens had shipped! It will be here Tuesday.
The first thing I did was to see how its 840mm focal length (w/ the 1.4TC) compared to the digiscoping rig at 875mm (Swarovski STX85+Sony a7III+Zeiss 35/2.8 @ 25X).
|Sony a9+200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 @ 840mm|
|Digiscoped @ 875mm|
|Sony a9+200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 @ 1260mm|
Next, a House Finch on the thistle feeder. Despite the pink-eye, for which the bird appears to be recovering from, the image quality from both systems is very impressive. Advantage to the Sony, of course, for having extremely fast AF capabilities while I need to focus-peak manually using the scope in order to get the equally-sharp image from the digiscoping rig.
|Digiscoped House Finch|
|Sony 200-600mm House Finch|
I had no problem acquiring focus-tracking with the lens on this Chimney Swift that flew over the deck. Despite its erratic flight path I was able to keep it in my viewfinder for dozens of sharp images.
All in all, this new Sony 200-600mm f/5-6.3 is making me seriously contemplate the need for the 100-400mm f/5.6 lens that is now tucked back into the cabinet.
Will it be the death of my digiscoping days? Not hardly. Yes, it allows me much more versatility in the field for capturing those avian moments, but I won't stop carrying my scope in the field, and digiscoping is just too much of a challenge to give up. After all, I feel much more comfortable photographing the moon and Jupiter using the scope than I do trying to do so with a telephoto lens.
Bring on the hawks!