Hummingbird hawk moth

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The arrival of the humming hawk moth must be a sign that the climate is hotting up. I have only seen this interesting insect once before and that was in southern Spain 2500 kms south of here and that was also relatively recently.

This insect gets its name from the humming bird, which it resembles as it darts about hovering in flight, but there the similarity ends. On closer inspection it looks more like a mix between a fish, crustacean and butterfly.

While sat on a park bench I was surprised and delighted to see one hovering around flowers and quickly grabbed my camera for this rare photo opportunity.

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Damn! The autofocus once again refused to work, despite trying everything. In my frustration I banged the camera down on the wooden bench and gave up. When I picked the camera up again I noticed the lens focus ring was stiff and thought that might be the cause, maybe dirt had become trapped. Then the focus ring suddenly detached itself revealing the innards of the Tamron 18mm-270mm lens. At first I thought the problem was with the camera but it seems to have been the lens.

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The Nikon D300 has a magnesium alloy body, so it is pretty robust and I did drop it once onto concrete to no ill effect. However the Tamron lens is not build to the same standards and I may well have damaged it by banging it down on the bench. Anyway, I was still fuming as I wrestled with the focus ring, trying to force it back in place, all the time thinking a new lens replacement would set me back over 300 euros.

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With anger and brute force I knocked the ring back and resigned myself to replacing the lens as the ring was now stiffer than before. So was I surprised to find it working properly once mounted back on the camera … even the autofocus, so maybe I had dislodged some dirt in my frustration.

Having cooled down a bit, despite the hot sunshine, I resumed taking photos but a little more relaxed. Even with autofocus capturing this insect is a real challenge and this was the best I was able to come up with, but at least I got something. Maybe time to upgrade to a D500.

3 thoughts on “Hummingbird hawk moth

  1. i think i would rent another lens before thinking about a camera as i think it is the lens as nikon uses in lens focusing and not camera focusing. i have a d300s and it still works nicely but notice the quality is nicer when i switch to a different lens and i only get nikon lenses.

    but i am drooling over the d500. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, you are right of course. However an equivalent Nikon lens is out of my league at present as is the D500, but one can dream. I met a Canon photographer who had similar autofocus problems when pointing his camera skywards and I wonder if has something to do with the weight distribution on components, especially with cheaper lenses. Otherwise I still love the D300 & this particular Tamron lens too. I shall look into renting, not something I have ever considered. Wildlife is always so unpredictable, you can be sure the day I hire a lens there will be nothing to see πŸ˜€

      Like

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