A Crossbill in the east of town this morning....................there were quite a few of them around as well as lots of Redpoll................
Both of the above are males................
Although it was a bright, sunny (even warmish) day most of the time the birds were in shade. I was handholding the 500 f4 lens and it was wide open most of the time. I should have used a monopod or tripod: after a couple of hours my arms were pretty tired.
One point about using f4 is that it is easy to mess up the focus as the plane of focus is so tight. The birds are best if they are side on................
There has been a real influx of both Crossbills and Redpolls this winter and although I've taken lots of shots of them (especially the former) this was the first attempt with the 500mm lens.
Also in the park was a flock of Hawfinch, 3 Woodpeckers including Grey Headed and the usual tits and nuthatches. At Onuma there were the first Great Cormorant of the spring and lots of newly arrived Grey Heron standing around waiting for the ice to melt. Other stuff included Black Woodpecker, Japanese Grosbeak, Smew , Goshawk, Great Egret, Whooper Swan and Goosander. Here's a BIF of the latter.
Hi Stuart. What a fantastic series in bird shots and the bird in flight in the last shot is so clear. Sorry about your sore arms but it certainly was worth it.ReplyDelete
Hi Margaret, well it was good exercise in the end I suppose..........Delete
Pfft you'll get used to the weight! ;P (PS near the minimum focus distance it's worth stopping down if you have enough light, the depth of field is usually too narrow in that situation).ReplyDelete
Hi, yes I know about MFD but handholding such a heavy lens needs a reasonably fast shutter speed.....................in dark conditions something has to give and as over ISO800 on the 7D is not pretty I plumped for wide open.Delete
Time to upgrade your body! Although it would add to the weight, the 5D3 will produce acceptable results at ISO 4000-5000, and the 1Dx to ISO 8000-10000 I would say :)Delete
Like a lot of birders I've been waiting for Canon to announce a 7D MK2 with vastly improved high ISO performance......................but Canon are being very quiet about the 7D replacement. The 5D MK3 (or maybe a secondhand 1D MK4) may be my next move.....................but not yet. I still have to pay off the 500 lens! Only another 11 months to go.............Delete
Beautiful bird portraits, Stu. I think f4 is great and gets some stunning results if you just keep the eyes in focus as you have done. You get some nice birds there.ReplyDelete
Hi Russell, if they stayed still I could focus on the eye every time...............................Delete
Great series of shots, and the lens is proving well worth the money !ReplyDelete
I took my 500mm to Costa Rica etc. and often relied on a light Gitzo tripod and a "Mongoose" tripod head. The Mongoose is also light and adds to the height of the tripod. But the image stabilization on the 500mm was pretty useful, too.
Hi Hohn, I have a decent Benro tripod/gimbal which I really should try and use more, it'd mean I could step diown to f8 in these situations..........Delete
Bird photography provides challenges in many ways, but at least you have some nice results to show. My husband suggests sticking them in place so they remain still!!!!!ReplyDelete
Hyptnoism would be great then I could persuade them to stay still.Delete
Do you use I.S.? I literally could not hand hold the 500. I like the freedom of movement on a beanbag but only practical in limited situations.ReplyDelete
Yesterday was first time shooting with a gimbal head - it was excellent!
Love the male Redpoll and another smart BIF.
Hi Stuart, I have the newer 500 which is lighter and has the newer IS system. It is easily handholdable but only for short periods. If you are following a bird in the viewfinder waiting for it to turn around or pose nicely then it becomes tough pretty quickly.Delete
I'd really love to see the redpoll!ReplyDelete
Hi Ayuwat, lots of them this year but I tend to go for the crossbills first...................Delete