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Thread: Post your best bird shots!

  1. #5561
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Getting caught up here. A few from a visit with Mike (aka Busted Knuckes) that I liked

    537A8685 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    537A8687 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    Thanks for viewing...Brant

  2. #5562
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    My niece came out to visit and she is also into photography. So, I took her down to Parker River NWR. We saw gulls dropping mussels to crack them open (yet to be processed). But, on the way out, we saw a Short Eared Owl with the late afternoon sun behind it. I ended up with a few dozen shots I really like. Here is a sample:

    537A1595 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    537A1659 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    537A1670 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    537A1704 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    537A1774 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    Thanks for viewing...Brant

  3. #5563
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Wow great series Brant! SEOs are so fun to photograph and I'd love to do that with the R5.
    Questions:
    - I assume you're loving the 200-800. Focal length is probably ideal for this sort of fun. Any performance comments? You're obviously getting a high keep rate with it.
    - How on earth did you get the Tern perfectly exposed with that black background? I checked your exif on Flickr and it shows zero exposure compensation. Did you just go full manual?
    Thanks for sharing those.

  4. #5564
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    Wow great series Brant! SEOs are so fun to photograph and I'd love to do that with the R5.
    Thanks Jonathan! I had never really picked up on the fact that Shortys are such photogenic birds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    Questions:
    - I assume you're loving the 200-800. Focal length is probably ideal for this sort of fun. Any performance comments? You're obviously getting a high keep rate with it.
    I am loving it. But I do really wish Canon had done just a bit more and charged twice the price. It is a great lens and the real key to me is that it natively does what no other lens out there can do. I do want to note that I have come away very impressed with the RF 100-500 w and without the 1.4tc. The issue with adding the TC is that you cannot zoom out all the way, the extender only fits into the lens at ~300 mm. So, with 1.4x TC, it essentially becomes a 420-700 mm lens, which is very useful, but I got it on loan to test out and often zoomed back into the TC. Plus, one of my primary uses for this lens will be in the kayak, and I do not want to be messing about with a TC while in a kayak.

    So, that aside, it is a very good lens. With enough light, the AF is good to very good. As you start dropping in light, even dense clouds, the AF takes a hit. In a side by side test, my 500 II was 100% hit rate...the 200-800 was ~68%. That day was a bit dim (toward end of day), so I do want to mention there have been several times with good light where the hit rate was near 100%.

    So very usable for casual shooting, but you do need to be aware of the limitation with light.

    I like the size and weight. It handles very nicely. I wish you could remove the foot, but ok. The zoom ring is a bit stiff with a long throw, but I am learning to make it work.

    All that said, in terms of IQ out around 800mm and beyond, only my 500 II w/1.4TC is better. The zoom range is great. It takes a 1.4xTC pretty well. The lens is sharpest at less than 700 mm, it is just at the shorter focal lengths, other lenses are also very good, but the 200-800 is right there with them in terms of IQ.

    As for the extended reach, what I am finding is reaching out great distances you are still limited by other factors such as heat haze, etc. But getting more focal length for small birds at <15m and large birds at <100 m, it really does add something that I didn't have before.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    - How on earth did you get the Tern perfectly exposed with that black background? I checked your exif on Flickr and it shows zero exposure compensation. Did you just go full manual?
    Thanks for sharing those.
    Thanks...I would say that is a combination of two things: 1) With white birds in sun, yes, I usually do switch to full manual and I try to dial it in so the white is properly exposed. A bit of a lesson after years of blowing out the chest of Common Loons. I do sometimes use manual with auto ISO and spot metering, but looking at the images before and after, they are all the same, so I think I was full manual; and 2) I spent a good amount of time with that one in LR. Some blacks may have been crushed in making of that image.

  5. #5565
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    Jason, sorry the late response. Most if not all the shots where walking along a path (sun set shot) 50 yards from the jeep. The rest where from inside the jeep standing through the open soft top. Or maybe a few feet from the jeep, if is a low angle shot.

    If you like birds you MUST come to Orlando in late January through late February - all the migratory birds are here in density along w/ the locals. We have several parks that anyone of them would be a world class birding site and there are 4 that are about 45 minutes from one to the next.

    Kayaker has been coming down for several years and we tried the west coast of FL vs. east coast. WAY more birds on the east coast, but with some patience and luck we got several keepers (his tern shots and the ones I posted where from that trip).

    I would be double pleased if you wanted to chase around next year with us (I assume Kayaker is coming) or on your own. As mentioned, I have a soft top jeep (gladiator) kick up the back seats, drop the top and looks all the world like a National Geographic vehicle. .

    Hope to see you in FL soon.
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  6. #5566
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Iíll be there


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #5567
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    That's great feedback on the 200-800. I guess design tradeoffs always come into play. For example, with regards to low cost, low weight, and high IQ --- you can have only two of those, but never all three . But at least the fun factor is there in spades. Thanks again for the detailed hands-on review!

  8. #5568
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    I've only been down the once, and only to a few select locations, and too late to catch most of the migratory birds, but yeah, more variety on the east coast like Mike says. Spoonbills, egrets, cormorants, various herons, pelicans and gators on the east. On the west, add in terns, and far more osprey, but lose the spoonbills, and most of the egrets, herons. Didn't see any gators on the west either.

    There was a spot going from St. Pete's beach down to Fort De Soto that there seemed to be an osprey on every second post, so if you're after Osprey, that would seem a better location. It was also easier to get closer to the Pelicans at St. Pete's dolphin boat rental area. For anything else, go east coast.
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  9. #5569
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    I've only been down the once, and only to a few select locations, and too late to catch most of the migratory birds, but yeah, more variety on the east coast like Mike says. Spoonbills, egrets, cormorants, various herons, pelicans and gators on the east. On the west, add in terns, and far more osprey, but lose the spoonbills, and most of the egrets, herons. Didn't see any gators on the west either.

    There was a spot going from St. Pete's beach down to Fort De Soto that there seemed to be an osprey on every second post, so if you're after Osprey, that would seem a better location. It was also easier to get closer to the Pelicans at St. Pete's dolphin boat rental area. For anything else, go east coast.
    Sebastian inlet and Merritt Island are great spots for Osprey. Sebastian inlet sets really well with an outgoing tide (low tide) schedules for an hour or two after sunset. The fish get swept up on a sand bar on S.E. side of the inlet (southern side of the Atlantic side). Low sun angle, diving Osprey, Pelicans and Terns.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  10. #5570
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    With Mike in Florida at the Celery Fields Audobon center.

    A couple more of the painted bunting I liked:

    537A0618-Enhanced-NR by kayaker72, on Flickr

    537A0631-Enhanced-NR by kayaker72, on Flickr

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