Rob Wilton explains what wildlife photography means to him
Anyone who photographs wildlife knows how challenging it can be, they will also know it’s often worthy of the effort required and that the rewards can be great, for me not material rewards, it’s more about rewards that reach my soul, happy memories and a sense of pride in my work.
It’s mental and often physical challenge- early starts, long waits, blurred images, frustration and missed opportunities. On the Physical side- heavy, bulky equipment, long treks and a painful choice of what gear to take and what to leave home.
It’s a challenge, but one that I relish.
I guess you could say I’m an opportunist, I struggle to sit in a hide for hours waiting for my subject to (hopefully) show up. I much prefer a bracing walk in the country side with my gear on my back and in my hands- if I’m fortunate enough to meet some wildlife on the way then I’ll do my thing. For me it’s more rewarding, I have to act fast, get into position, I need to focus and go for it.
Yes, it can be demanding and I know I may sometimes miss that perfect shot- but when I look back at my images and show them to family and friends, I feel a sense of immense achievement- I did this- this was my challenge, my image and it was worth it!
That’s where the Kowa Telephoto lens plays its part. I’ve used lots of telephoto lenses in the past, but this one is different.
It’s hard to explain, but it feels like an extension of myself, I control the lens, it doesn’t control me- I create the picture the way I see it in my head before I press the shutter. For me it’s wildlife photography in its simplest and purit form, it’s how it should be- my choice is not removed by the decision of electronic circuits. What I’m trying to say is that I’m no control freak- but I want to control how my image turns out.
So why the Kowa Telephoto lens? For me it matches who I am and the way I photograph wildlife- here’s why:
The Kowa Telephoto lens has no electronics- it’s manual focus only. That may raise an eyebrow of some photographers out there to question Kowa’s decision to do this- but not me, my choice for wildlife is manual focus all the way. I don’t need to worry about autofocus hunting. If you’ve photographed wildlife yourself, I’m sure you’ve been there, you know, the one with the blurred bird, but a lovely sharp branch. But it’s not just the technical issue and restrictions that autofocus can bring, if it’s manual focus, then it’s my achievement- my creativity and that’s what I find really appealing.
It’s sharp- boy it’s sharp. A Fluorite crystal objective lens delivers the goods on image quality with beautiful contrast and detail.
It’s Flexible. I want compact and portable, not heavy and restrictive. I have the choice of three focal lengths, 350mm/500mm/850mm, the uniquie modular design means I can take the master lens and all three adapters in one kit bag, that’s three prime lenses out in the field at the same time! So one minute I’m photographing Terns flying over my head with the 350mm adapter- the next I’m photographing them on a distant nest with the 850mm one.
It’s tough and reliable. It needs to be, I’m always squeezing into tight spaces, knocking myself and my kit on rocky outcrops or crawling about in dark and damp places and I love it!
The Kowa Telephoto lens has my seal of approval- it may not suit everyone but it suits me and my world. It’s helped me get shots I would have missed with conventional kit and when I’m sitting at home on the computer browsing my images- one thing’s for sure, I created them!
You can learn more about the Kowa Telephoto lens at: