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Thread: Post your best current shots

  1. #3801
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    You have an impressive diversity of species and some really good results, especially with the technique of stalking them rather than luring them close.

    Keep 'em coming!!

  2. #3802
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Song bird photos that aren't staged in some manner are very difficult. I have a stick located close to a bird feeder. I wait for the birds to hit the stick and then take the photo.

    2018_11_10_1133_LR_upd_8x10 by dthrog00, on Flickr

    Using gear that is not extremely expensive this is the only way to go IMHO. The 80D is a modest camera and 100-400 II is fairly spendy, I find it makes a good combo. A 1DX with $10,000 lens it is not, but it is good enough for my needs.

    More basic stuff can work fine too. This is with a 60D and 70-200 f/4 L USM (non-IS) with a gen II 1.4X extender.

    2013_03_05_3368_upd by dthrog00, on Flickr

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Throgmartin; 05-01-2020 at 01:05 AM.

  3. #3803
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Throgmartin View Post
    Song bird photos that aren't staged in some manner are very difficult. I have a stick located close to a bird feeder. I wait for the birds to hit the stick and then take the photo.

    2018_11_10_1133_LR_upd_8x10 by dthrog00, on Flickr

    Using gear that is not extremely expensive this is the only way to go IMHO. The 80D is a modest camera and 100-400 II is fairly spendy, I find it makes a good combo. A 1DX with $10,000 lens it is not, but it is good enough for my needs.

    More basic stuff can work fine too. This is with a 60D and 70-200 f/4 L USM (non-IS) with a gen II 1.4X extender.

    2013_03_05_3368_upd by dthrog00, on Flickr

    Dave
    I think the lens is more important than the camera body for a bird photography "set up". The version II 100-400mm Canon is an extremely sharp lens and if your perches are set within range to get your subject relatively large in the frame you can achieve excellent results with most cameras. The full frame sensors of course will give better high ISO performance whereas the 1.6 "crop sensors" may provide more pixels on the subject. My son uses a Canon 6D Version I and has really nice results.

  4. #3804
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    Great insights, thank you both.

    Dave, you must have been quite close in your last shot (I assume at 280mm). Are you sitting in a blind or in the open? Anyone using a camo sleeve? Does it help? I'm finding that just raising the camera to take the shot has been enough to scare several away.

    I'm now using the Canon 400 5.6 prime and a 6D. Debated between this and the 2x III for my 70-200. Also briefly considered the 100-400 I. I was a bit worried about lack of IS before the purchase, but to Joel's point I can push the ISO on the 6D pretty far before I run into trouble. The lens itself is light and easy to handhold. I've had to keep both eyes open a few times to find my subject, but viewfinder jitter really hasn't been bad.
    So far liking the lens a lot.

  5. #3805
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickH View Post
    Great insights, thank you both.

    Dave, you must have been quite close in your last shot (I assume at 280mm). Are you sitting in a blind or in the open? Anyone using a camo sleeve? Does it help? I'm finding that just raising the camera to take the shot has been enough to scare several away.

    I'm now using the Canon 400 5.6 prime and a 6D. Debated between this and the 2x III for my 70-200. Also briefly considered the 100-400 I. I was a bit worried about lack of IS before the purchase, but to Joel's point I can push the ISO on the 6D pretty far before I run into trouble. The lens itself is light and easy to handhold. I've had to keep both eyes open a few times to find my subject, but viewfinder jitter really hasn't been bad.
    So far liking the lens a lot.
    I'm shooting through my sliding door window in these shots. I try to keep it reasonably clean to avoid affecting the image. I'm typically ~ 15 ft away.

    Dave

  6. #3806
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    I do not like to shoot through a pane of glass at all. It really degrades image quality in my experience and tends to often confuse the AF system (again in my experience)

    I have used a "pop up" blind (these are marketed for deer hunting) but more often I sit inside and open the back door just enough to get a clear shot.

    I have found that the birds are not too sensitive to sound but very sensitive to motion so I keep my rig on a tripod and keep the lights out so I am hiding in the dark to some extent. Camo lens covers make no difference but I like the lens coat neoprene covers just to protect the lens.

    Some birds will still spook even if I raise my hands quickly to take a shot or move the lens too quickly.....I assume they can see light reflecting from the front lens element.

    I favor shutter speed over ISO and have found it difficult to get really sharp images below 1/320 sec even with a tripod as small birds are constantly moving a bit even when perched. I have often used Tv mode to set the shutter speed and then set ISO to auto. If you get the exposure correct then noise can usually be handled in post even with very high ISO settings. (especially with "full frame" cameras)

  7. #3807
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    Yes, been using Tv with auto ISO. May also try M with auto ISO to see if stopping down the aperture slightly makes any difference. Appreciate the tips guys, thank you.

  8. #3808
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I am not sure about others, but my issue with birds and auto anything is that the bird is usually a small part of the scene that the metering system exposes for the background and not the bird. Of course, if they have similar exposure/light, that is fine.

    But most often if I am in auto anything I have it set to underexpose by 1-1.5 stops.

    More often, I am in full manual and I set my exposure on something similar to what I expect for the birds. I get burned once in awhile if lighting changes. But more often than not that is working for me.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #3809
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    The auto iso trick works a bit better using spot metering with the spot linked to the AF spot ..... that meters for the bird and ignores the background. I've noticed with evaluative metering that often exposure compensation is needed to get the bird right because, as you said, the entire scene is being metered. With practice it isn't too difficult to dial the exposure up and down as needed .... with this technique I use Manual mode mostly. Once you acquire a good understanding of metering and exposure you can make it work in many ways.

  10. #3810
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    The auto iso trick works a bit better using spot metering with the spot linked to the AF spot ..... that meters for the bird and ignores the background. I've noticed with evaluative metering that often exposure compensation is needed to get the bird right because, as you said, the entire scene is being metered. With practice it isn't too difficult to dial the exposure up and down as needed .... with this technique I use Manual mode mostly. Once you acquire a good understanding of metering and exposure you can make it work in many ways.
    Have you had much luck with the 5DIV and spot metering? Unless I am mistaken, it is for the center AF point only (linked to AF point is a 1D feature). This just shows how long I have been at this but I did try spot metering "a couple of years ago" and opted for my current system. But, a "couple of years ago" could have easily be 4-5 years ago on my 5DIII. So, I'll give it another try on my 5DIV (its not like I am going on a trip soon or something) and see if it has improved, or, if I have improved .

    Thanks.

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