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Subject: "Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce" Previous topic | Next topic
JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 04-Jan-11 11:52 PM
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"Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"


New HArtford, US
          

This is a follow up post to;
Optimize sharpness for Wildlife D7000
http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=329&topic_id=3109

I had a chance to go to Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve on Sanibel Island in Florida and shoot some birds.
In my previous post I was having some problems with soft images.
I think this was likely related to low light using a 300mm 4.0 and 1.7 TCE and than cropping. I borrowed the lens so cannot prove this but I feel like I was able to get better results with my 70-200 2.8 and 1.7 TCE. I also post a few decent shots with my 18-200 VRII lens. I took some advice from the last post. I did not take the time to mask in photoshop and do selective sharpening. If I get motivated I will try.
I had VR on for most shots even though my shutter speed was >500, despite some advice.
The first bird below was shot with my 18-200 lens as below
Exposure
Aperture: F/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/320s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: +1.0EV
Exposure Tuning:
Metering: Center-Weighted
ISO Sensitivity: Auto (ISO 125)




The next one is a near 1:1 crop also with 18-200. This is a little soft but I like the action and birds were moving fast.
Exposure
Aperture: F/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/800s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: +0.3EV
Exposure Tuning:
Metering: Center-Weighted
ISO Sensitivity: Auto (ISO 400)

The rest are with the 70-200 and 1.7 tce combo


























I was fairly content with these images. Having VR off may help to further sharpen. I will continue to experiment. All images were handheld. I found I could not follow a bird on a tripod.

JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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richardd300 Silver Member
05th Jan 2011
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     Reply message Well done with the 18/200VR
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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Wed 05-Jan-11 06:46 PM
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#1. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 0


Dyserth, GB
          

Excellent images John.

I am having difficulty with my D7000 which I bought for BIF and wildlife with long lenses. I have a 70-200 f2.8 MK1, 80-400 and used to have the 300mm f4. I sold the 300mm because I felt that the 70-200mm with the X1.7TC did a better job. I've just put a post on the Nikon AF lens forum asking for advice and this is opportune. I should point out I sold my D90 and had no problems with my 70-200.

I note from your settings you use centre weighted and aperture prority, whereas for BIF I use colour matrix 3D tracking and shutter priority. After a long journey I think I have sorted out a lot of issue and was considering trading in my 80-400 and 70-200 for a MKII 70-200mm. What would be your opinion of that combination please?

Thanks

Richard

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 05-Jan-11 08:00 PM
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#3. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 1
Wed 05-Jan-11 08:20 PM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

>Excellent images John.
>
>I am having difficulty with my D7000 which I bought for BIF
>and wildlife with long lenses. I have a 70-200 f2.8 MK1,
>80-400 and used to have the 300mm f4. I sold the 300mm because
>I felt that the 70-200mm with the X1.7TC did a better job.
>I've just put a post on the Nikon AF lens forum asking for
>advice and this is opportune. I should point out I sold my
>D90 and had no problems with my 70-200.
>
>I note from your settings you use centre weighted and aperture
>prority, whereas for BIF I use colour matrix 3D tracking and
>shutter priority. After a long journey I think I have sorted
>out a lot of issue and was considering trading in my 80-400
>and 70-200 for a MKII 70-200mm. What would be your opinion of
>that combination please?
>
>Thanks
>
>Richard

Richard,
I have read many of your posts and am aware of your difficulties.
You have some wonderful images and are more experienced than me so any advice I give you is mostly second hand.

I have read that the new Nikon 2.0 TCE has IQ comparable to a 1.4 but have not tried it. I thought an MKII 70-200mm was a Canon lens and have no knowledge for any advice.

I think I was faltering with the 300mm 4.0 1.7 TCE combo mainly due to pushing its limits in low light overcast skies in the winter weather in Central NY. It was also very cold and they may account for further difficulties. To add insult to injury I was cropping.
I do believe some of my earlier frustrations were with the higher mega pixels and the crops being larger and showing more faults.

I use center weighted exposure because I mainly want bird well exposed and care less about background. I still have to play with exposure compensation and the Blue Herring above I overexposed nearly a stop. I brought exposure down in lightroom. I was not being diligent in checking my LCD screen which I have to manually press play button to see image. Arthur Morris although he is Canon guy shoots center weighted.

I use a U1 for my set up I have focus on release and auto iso. I try and shoot fairly open but if light available will go 1-2 stops above wide open.

Steve K has some incredible images and has success w D7000.
He gives us his set up as below. He likes to really up his shutter speed and its hard to argue with his results. He does have some nice glass that is beyond me at this time.

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=329&topic_id=3966&mesg_id=3966&page=

I may try focus instead of release and see how I do. I also may switch to shutter priority although in a way you can accomplish what you want with shutter by upping your minimum with auto iso so I am undecided on this.
Dave Courtney also does a great job but he uses release.
So I'll have to experiment.

JohnE Nikon
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https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Wed 05-Jan-11 07:10 PM
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#2. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 0


Alberta, CA
          

Great series John!

I particularly liked the Brown Pelican with the unusual neck stretched up pose

You mention you didn't do selective sharpening, but I am assuming you did sharpen the overall image. Are you stopping down the 70-200/TC17E combo and to which aperture? I have a link (back at home) that shows the benefit of stopping this combo down to at least f6.3 (and f7.1 light permitting).

Sidebar to Richard, because of the need (pretty much mandatory in my books) to stop down teleconverters I find aperture priority (or manual) more appropriate for this reason than shutter-priority. But literally each to his own. Am continuing to follow your postings, keep at it, you are getting there!

OK, back to John, My own personal bias or experience (not withstanding Thom Hogan advice about shutter speeds faster than 1/500) is that if one is obtaining sharp images with VR-ON then turning VR off is not mandatory. I agree with John's experience that one cannot follow certain bird action on a tripod unless you use a gimbal and even then a gimbal is limiting. Therefore I do the majority of my bird photography not on a tripod. BTW I have a couple articles in my blog that talk about my telephoto shooting that might be appropriate in general to the topic of bird photography.

Anyhow John, well done.

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
My Nikonians gallery
My Nikonians Blog

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 05-Jan-11 08:11 PM
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#4. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 2


New HArtford, US
          

Steve,
Thanks for compliment.



>
>You mention you didn't do selective sharpening, but I am
>assuming you did sharpen the overall image. Are you stopping
>down the 70-200/TC17E combo and to which aperture? I have a
>link (back at home) that shows the benefit of stopping this
>combo down to at least f6.3 (and f7.1 light permitting).

I did step down 1-2 stops. I'd have to check my EXIF on each to be more specific.
I sharpened in lightroom. I do have my set up to sharpen to 7 or 8 in camera but am under the impression this is meaningless if I use lightroom on my RAW images. Is this correct?

I do find it a little frustrating to be limited to 10 shots in burst mode with RAW because sometimes I start the shot when subject is far away and by the time subject gets close my buffer is filled and I missed shot. As I get more confident getting sharp images of BIF I may switch back to JPEG or at least compressed RAW for more images.

>

I was using release and not focus due to advice from Dave Courtney. Have you compared these 2 modes with actual birds in flight? I read your settings advice in a different posting. Thank you.


>
I'll check out your blog thanks.

JohnE Nikon
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https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Thu 06-Jan-11 03:16 AM
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#5. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 2


New HArtford, US
          


>
>I particularly liked the Brown Pelican with the unusual neck
>stretched up pose
>
I have another couple where just after this maneuver he everted his pouch. I'm not sure if this is typical behavior as I have limited experience watching or shooting birds.


JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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ronaldbegg Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Dec 2010Thu 06-Jan-11 03:58 AM
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#6. "Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 5


Ocean Grove, AU
          

Hullo, have just taken delivery of a D7000 with an 18/200VR, your birding shots most encouraging.

As an adjunct, I am interested in the Sigma Bigma 50/500mm.

Are you familiar with this one?

Ron

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Thu 06-Jan-11 02:14 PM
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#7. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 6
Thu 06-Jan-11 02:48 PM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

>Hullo, have just taken delivery of a D7000 with an 18/200VR,
>your birding shots most encouraging.
>

Thanks.
I have been very impressed with the 18-200 vrii. I recommend it whenever I can.
See post below.
http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=310&topic_id=3959

I have no personal experience with the Sigma. I have seen some soft images with this lens but have also seen some fairly sharp images by experienced photographers.

You should check out the 3rd party autofocus lens forum.

I was advised to get a 300mm Nikon 4.0 AFS and pair with my teleconverter for a reach of 510mm. I was told the IQ should be better than with the Sigma. This is second hand info and I will investigate further before making any purchases. If anyone else has any comments I would love to hear them.

Below are a few more birds with the 18-200 some are significantly cropped. Sorry they were taken with my D5000 on a recent trip to Costa Rica. This is a great travel lens.

I used VR and was on horseback for the birds in the trees.
















JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)
Attachment #4, (jpg file)
Attachment #5, (jpg file)

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Thu 06-Jan-11 11:19 PM
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#8. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 7


Alberta, CA
          

Ron, my brother shoots with the previous version of the 50-500 (non-stabilized) and stopped down to f9 or even f8 it is very good. I have likewise heard the Nikon 300 f4 plus teleconverter is better.

John, on my D300 there was a mode called Release+Focus which was a nice combination of firing the first frame regardless and by second frame mandating Focus must be achieved. Since we don't have that choice on the D7000 I am not wedded to either as a strong preference. Also you are correct about Lightroom/Raw/and Sharpening setting. I have never witnessed the Pelican eversion before - very interesting.

Due to the smaller buffer, what I do with the bursts is half-press and follow focus until the bird is larger in the frame and then start hammering away. With the D300 I would hammer away much earlier and longer but it was a chore to delete all the extra photos from earlier in the burst

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
My Nikonians gallery
My Nikonians Blog

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Fri 07-Jan-11 01:55 AM
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#9. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 8


New HArtford, US
          

Thanks Steve.
Did not mean to complain about buffer size. This is still a big step up to be able to shoot 16 MP with 14 bit color in bursts of 10. With my previous camera I basically only shot sports and wildlife in jpeg. I'll try to refrain from mashing the trigger too early. I will look into lossy compression and see if that gets me a few more. I likely will not notice a difference.


I noticed nearly half of my pictures do not have focus spots when opened with view NX. I wonder if I would have missed these or in a small fraction of a second I would have had sharper images if I used focus mode. With continous auto focus Nikon's default mode is release. I will experiment both ways although I suspect the variables will be high making a determination difficult.
Anyway this will have to wait as I am back home with few birds in sight. I'll start working on my snow landscape photography until spring or another trip.

JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 09-Jan-11 08:05 AM
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#10. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 9
Sun 09-Jan-11 08:12 AM by richardd300

Dyserth, GB
          

Hi everyone

I ahve been watching this thread with interest and practicing with my 70-200mm. I have posted in another thread an image of which I think shows what I can achieve with perseverance. For those who have seen it my apologies if I repeat myself.

The biggest two things I've learnt with help from others, is wherever possible use a sturdy monopod, which I now do and secondly to beware the vageries of VR and remember when and when not to use it. The attached image is:

VR off 1/400 @ f2.8 ISO 400. Cropped and levels. Un-sharp mask to amount 81 Radius 0.9. The image has been tidied up since I last posted by getting rid of snow dots.

I am interested in everyones view and have noted down much information on this thread which will be useful.

Richard



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Visit my website www.pixels4u.co.uk
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Sun 09-Jan-11 10:39 AM
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#11. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 10


Joanna, US
          

Hello Richard,

It looks dead on to me as you can see the feather texture and scales on the legs. Impressive, and it appears you have turned the corner with the 7k. Continue with your efforts and please share the results.

Regards,

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 09-Jan-11 05:09 PM
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#13. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 11


Dyserth, GB
          

Thank John

Yep, the more I use the camera the better it's getting. I think that some fundamentals were involved and the disappointment of the first camera being faulty threw me and had to be overcome.

Richard

Visit my Nikonians gallery

Visit my website www.pixels4u.co.uk
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

  

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ronaldbegg Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Dec 2010Sun 09-Jan-11 10:56 AM
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#12. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 10
Sun 09-Jan-11 11:01 AM by briantilley

Ocean Grove, AU
          


A good effort with your 70-200mm, I would have thought.

Ron....still thinking about the new Sigma OS lens....150-500mm (comments?)

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Mon 10-Jan-11 07:46 PM
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#14. "RE: Well done with the 18/200VR"
In response to Reply # 10


New HArtford, US
          


>
>VR off 1/400 @ f2.8 ISO 400. Cropped and levels. Un-sharp mask
>to amount 81 Radius 0.9. The image has been tidied up since I
>last posted by getting rid of snow dots.
>

Richard,
Tack sharp great image. I like the composition.
Did you apply sharpening globally?
If so, the bokeh may be more aesthetically pleasing if you create a mask and sharpen only bird. I was recently given this advice.
>

JohnE Nikon
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waxart Registered since 16th Jan 2008Mon 10-Jan-11 10:34 PM
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#15. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 0


Vallejo, US
          

OMG, these are terrific! Maybe I'll just stick to the studio and leave you to do the birds..

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PRADATTA Registered since 10th Jan 2011Wed 12-Jan-11 08:04 AM
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#16. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 0


New Delhi, IN
          

Hi! JohnE,

I simply can believe that all the photographs you shoot thro.D7k that too wid 18-200mmBravo amazing and startling job done. Excellent color detailing. It gave me immense confidence that your photographs are answers to those crying against poor sharp image quality of D7k. I simply cant imaging what wid have been happened should you use single focal length glass viz 300, 400 or 500mm with TC.

One thing please clarify me what you mean by 'near 1:1 crop factor'.

Best Regards,
pradipta
New Delhi India

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 12-Jan-11 12:38 PM
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#17. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 16
Wed 12-Jan-11 09:28 PM by briantilley

New HArtford, US
          


Thank you.

I find it is a great camera but more sensitive to camera motion. If you can hold it still you will be amazed. I have been very pleased with all Nikon lenses including my kit lenses from the D5000.

1:1 crop means that when you view image at full pixels it is blown up to a large image often about 8-10 times as much as your screen depending on screen size.

I work on a Dell 30" ultrasharp monitor where full magnification is like 8x as big as image out of camera. If you crop to only include what is seen at full magnification on your screen, this is a 1:1 crop.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Mon 31-Jan-11 10:50 AM
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#18. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 0


Dyserth, GB
          

After an earlier post I have been reading the comments with interest. I have explained that I have had a problem with the Nikon 80-400 lens and in fact still do. However, the results with my 70-200 + 1.7 TC are getting better all the time and mounted on a monopod the results are excellent, even hand held they are pretty good. I now tend to up my ISO setting to between 800-1000 so to achieve a minimum shutter speed of between 1/800 to 1/1000th. I do these two things both to eliminate the need for VR at high speeds and low speeds when using a monopod. In fact I think a lot of problems I had were misuse of VR!

As for my 80-400mm I've stopped using it with the D7000 handheld at any length over 300mm as I cannot achieve sharp images so I shall sell it.

As I am going on 4 wildife holidays this year I am thinking of selling both the 70-200 and 80-400 and investing in a VRII 70-200 and TCIII x1.7. I am intending to hire a 400mm to for the trips away. This thread has helped me in my decision making.

So yes, the 70-200 is working very well with the D7000 and I attach some images to demonstrate. All these images were shot without VR, all subjects were a minimum of 100-150 yards away. In fact the one of the Chaffinch was probably neary 200 yards away. The pink footed goose was an opportunist shot and is a bit soft, but the RSPB in the UK liked enough to comment kindly.

Cheers

Richard








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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Mon 31-Jan-11 07:49 PM
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#19. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 18
Mon 31-Jan-11 07:57 PM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

Richard,
Great shots.
I just got back from another trip to Florida and shot many bird pictures. For BIF I try to keep the shutter above 1/1600 as has been suggested and try to stop down at least 1 fstop with teleconvertor. I rarely have to go above iso 640.
I find when birds are very far away ( occupy<5% of FOV) a tripod would definitely help. I shot a bald eagle that seemed to be about 1/4 mile away and my only decent shot was while lying in the grass and using my wrist as a sandbag. Needless to say I did not have tripod.
I will post some of the images.
You can also see 1Gb version on my Picasa site.

http://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677/Birds?authkey=Gv1sRgCLOa64b0nc_gpgE&feat=directlink



























JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Mon 31-Jan-11 08:36 PM
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#20. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 19


New HArtford, US
          

A couple more.....

















JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
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Attachment #4, (jpg file)
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Attachment #6, (jpg file)

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Tue 01-Feb-11 09:19 AM
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#21. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 20
Tue 01-Feb-11 09:20 AM by richardd300

Dyserth, GB
          

Excellent images. I think the fundamental difference is in terms of available light. I contribute to Project365 where people post a daily image. On there a guy posts the most amazing images taken in Florida. Although he has a longer lens (500mm! I wish) but like you he shoots at about 1/800 - 1600 and his ISO's are either camera default or never above about 800. In the spring, summer and early autumn I expect to do the same.

I have, as said, found a world of difference using a monopod and ensuring VR is OFF over about 1/400, this equally applies to handheld. I do use a tripod occasionally, but only for low flying birds and occasionally can get higher flight images using a ball head. I have thought of buying a gimble.

Wildlife like sport is certainly of all the photographers skills the hardest, but probably the most rewarding.

Cheers

Richard

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 01-Feb-11 12:31 PM
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#22. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 21


New HArtford, US
          

Thanks Richard.
I agree about the light. There is strong sun in Florida allowing me leeway with iso. Now back in central NY my settings would not work and I would have to bump up iso.

I do feel constrained with a tripod and will keep trying to optimize my hand held technique. I don't have a gimble head but a ball head like you. I was shooting next to a photographer with a 600mm lens a Gimble head they did seem to be able to track birds in flight but they had a big set up and did not have the flexibility of walking around that I had. Their set up also cost a few more bucks than mine.

I wish I took my monopod and think I might have done a little better.
I was nervous about getting through security at the airport with a monopod as conceivably this could be considered a weapon. I did ask security at the airport and was told this would be no problem in the future.

Some of my shots were with VR on and some off. I have not analyzed my images to decide which came out better. I wish this EXIF data was included in lightroom as it is a pain to toggle between lightroom and View NX as I try to determine which is better.
I also noted my images looked sharper when I viewed with view nx and really need to optimize my presets for wildlife. I need to better understand how the sharpening feature works. It seems like a small radius is good for hair and a larger radius is good for eyes in my experimentation. I will have to read up on this and continue to experiment.
Also BTW I like release better than focus priority mode. I find I use AE lock button for focus and am able to compose images better with release mode.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Tue 01-Feb-11 05:44 PM
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#23. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 22


Dyserth, GB
          

That was interesting John. I refer to the fact that you thought the images sharper in View NX, exactly as I do, but I also see it sharper in Capture NX2 as well! I know not why and cannot explain that quirk and it's highly unlikely that it's because it's Nikon software looking at a Nikon captured image.

With the D7000 and 700 I use no sharpening or picture controls. I did, but as I always shoot in RAW I can set them in Capture NX" later. The sharpening on the D7000 is certainly reduced at default compared to my D700. Remember if you take images in JPEG any in camera picture settings are burned in and cannot be altered post processing. If RAW, then these can be seen in ViewNX and Capture NX2 and adjusted further, but no other 3rd party software can see them.

If I want to sharpen images in Photoshop I rarely exceed a setting amount of 125 and a radius of 0.9. If the radius is increased too much a halo becomes apparent.

I use Focus priority, but do often hold the focus lock.

All good stuff and I certainly am getting used to things now.

Richard

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 01-Feb-11 06:56 PM
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#24. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 23


New HArtford, US
          

Richard,
Thanks for advice on sharpening.
I mainly use lightroom for this and think the sharpening algorithm is different but the concept is similar. I also like to use the mask mode as I indicated previously to preserve bokeh.

As I am no pro and most images will never be printed I have not spent the time in photoshop for true optimization. I find the processing in lightroom to be very fast and can then be applied to multiple images.
I checked out 365. There is a dedicated website with .org and one on flickr. which one do you post on?

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Wed 02-Feb-11 08:02 AM
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#28. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 24


Dyserth, GB
          

<<I mainly use lightroom for this and think the sharpening algorithm is different but the concept is similar>>

John

I am on Project365 "pixels4u". It's a bit of fun, but as I am studying for a BA Hons degree (you're never too old to learn) it's useful to get me out and about for the course exercises, it's not easy during a British winter sometimes.

Yes, I use Lightroom 3 and find the sharpening controls superb, but even more so the "luminance" and "colour noise" sliders for noise reduction. The noise reduction facility is, in may opinion, the finest advance in image processing technology yet. In photoshop noise reduction is not so intuitive.

So yes, I totally agree Lightroom is fantastic for sharpening. It's my first port of call for batch editing.

By the way, method in my madness re: doing a degree - where else can I get CS5 extended and full lightroom 3 together for $390?

Richard

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 02-Feb-11 12:28 PM
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#31. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 28


New HArtford, US
          

><<I mainly use lightroom for this and think the
>sharpening algorithm is different but the concept is
>similar>>
>
>John
>
>I am on Project365 "pixels4u". It's a bit of fun,
>but as I am studying for a BA Hons degree (you're never too
>old to learn) it's useful to get me out and about for the
>course exercises, it's not easy during a British winter
>sometimes.
>
>Yes, I use Lightroom 3 and find the sharpening controls
>superb, but even more so the "luminance" and
>"colour noise" sliders for noise reduction. The
>noise reduction facility is, in may opinion, the finest
>advance in image processing technology yet. In photoshop
>noise reduction is not so intuitive.
>
>So yes, I totally agree Lightroom is fantastic for sharpening.
> It's my first port of call for batch editing.
>
>By the way, method in my madness re: doing a degree - where
>else can I get CS5 extended and full lightroom 3 together for
>$390?
>
>Richard
>
Richard,
I'm jealous over your software savings.
I agree lightroom has great noise reduction. I have printed images taken with my D5000 and iso 6400 that have come out great. Not one photographer that I showed the images to were able to guess that I maxed out on my iso.
With the D7000 I will be able to push past this limit.

For some reason I had some noise reduction on with my initial post for these later image I turned noise reduction down to < 10.


JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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lifewings Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jun 2008Tue 01-Feb-11 10:19 PM
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#25. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 23


Santa Fe, US
          

Images appear sharper in NX2 & View NX because those programs read whatever sharpening is applied in camera to a RAW image; Lightroom and Bridge/ACR do not.

I usually turn my sharpening down to 0 in Camera Sharpening if I am editing in CNX2, and then manually sharpen afterwords; if I;m working in PS or LR, I apply a bit of pre-sharpening as necessary, then selective or output sharpening as I go.

- Beverly

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 02-Feb-11 02:14 AM
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#26. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 25
Wed 02-Feb-11 02:34 AM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

Thanks Beverly.
This makes sense. I do keep my sharpening up in camera. While this does not effect my RAW images I still occasionally shoot jpeg.
I have Kelby's book on Lightroom and just read his sharpening page. I feel like I know how to optimize sharpening better.
See the Osprey below. I think this looks significantly sharper than my original post.









This last one was shot as jpeg. I added sharpening.
I shot this jpeg because I was just practicing with seagulls and did not realize I was going to shoot this Osprey.




JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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lifewings Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jun 2008Wed 02-Feb-11 04:04 AM
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#27. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 26


Santa Fe, US
          

Very nice John ... you nailed the sharpening. Great shots as well. Did you do any selective sharpening on the eye, or just global sharpen?

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 02-Feb-11 12:24 PM
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#30. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 27


New HArtford, US
          

>Very nice John ... you nailed the sharpening. Great shots as
>well. Did you do any selective sharpening on the eye, or just
>global sharpen?

Thanks.
I did not do selective sharpening. I sharpened and used lightroom mask slider. You can see what will be sharpened by holding down alt key on a PC. I like this way of sharpening because it is faster than having to create a mask in photoshop and works well if there is high contrast between subject and background.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Wed 02-Feb-11 08:04 AM
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#29. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 26


Dyserth, GB
          

John

Fantastic images, very well done. Great sharpening and no halo artifacts.

Richard

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 02-Feb-11 12:31 PM
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#32. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 29
Wed 02-Feb-11 12:37 PM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

>John
>
>Fantastic images, very well done. Great sharpening and no
>halo artifacts.
>
>Richard

Thanks,

I have learned that sharpening on wildlife is very different than on buildings and this halo effect and other noise induced by sharpening can be kept down by lowering your detail slider and increasing your radius. The detail slider tip I got from Kelby's book.

Also the Osprey on the line was cropped nearly 1:1 decreasing detail. The original looked very good with no sharpening, but the bird was quite small.
More of these images are on my Picasa page link in my original post. These were all done before I just learn to optimize sharpening.

JohnE Nikon
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https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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adamcartwright Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Jan 2011Wed 02-Feb-11 04:24 PM
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#33. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 32


Castle Rock, US
          

Thank you for this thread. It made me pull the trigger on the TC-17E II to math with my 70-200. For $309, seems like a good deal.

http://www.adamcartwright.com

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 02-Feb-11 06:27 PM
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#34. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 33


New HArtford, US
          

No problem. I learn more from sharing than I teach. I feel like I still can improve on my technique. This may involve a monopod or I may be near limitations with teleconverter.
I am considering the 300 AFS 4.0 or the Sigma 150-500. The reach would be nice but I want to maintain and improve upon my sharpness.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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SoCal Dave Silver Member Charter MemberSun 06-Feb-11 06:02 PM
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#35. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 18


Marina del Rey, US
          

Before you get rid of the 80-400, have you played with the AF fine tune for the lens? On my D7000 a setting of +8 was unbelievably sharper! I can see the difference even between +7 or +9.

Not to say +8 will be THE correct setting on every D7000/80-400 combo but rather that AF fine tune can make a huge difference.

Best,
Dave

"Content is King"
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lifewings Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jun 2008Sun 06-Feb-11 09:01 PM
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#36. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 35


Santa Fe, US
          

I'll put in my 2 cents here as well. I have not yet tried to adjust the fine-tuning for my D7000/80-400 lens (great suggestion by the way ... thanks!), but I have noticed a huge improvement in speed of focusing with the D7000. Previously this lens has proved to be a bit of a dog for use with BIF, or small birds against a busy background; only slightly faster with my D300 than my old D50, but still a bit too frustrating to count on; Much better with the D7000.

I too, had been thinking of ditching the lens, and in fact had moved to using the 70-200 with the 2x converter as my walk-around bird lens of choice with the D300; with the D7000 I am once again using my old trusty 80 - 400.

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Mon 07-Feb-11 09:41 AM
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#37. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 36


Dyserth, GB
          

Thank you for the responses relating to me saying I was considering ditching my 80-400mm. I've been away so here is where I stand at present. I have to admit my results are still very hit and miss with the 80-400mm. With the 70-200mm + x1.7 combo my hit rate is about 90% success rate, compared to about 20% with the 80-400mm. I really do now think it's a compatibility issue as it is far more able with my D700 than the D7000, bringing my success rate up to about 60%. Last week I took both lenses to a wildlife reserve and soon ended up using the 70-200 + TC exclusively.

Interestingly at the reserve I met a guy with a D7000 who had sold his 80-400mm for the same reasons as I have and bought a Sigma 300mm f2.8 + Sigma x1.4 TC, his results were astonishingly good and so consistant. Makes me wonder if I should look at the 3rd party route! I doubt that, but I may now send my lens to Nikon for calibration. I am hesitant as it performs well on my D700.

Still not sure what is the right thing to do.

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jmiguez Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2010Mon 07-Feb-11 11:53 AM
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#38. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 37


Lafayette, US
          

Richard, What type of monopod do you have. I have been considering purchasing one. I use the Sigma 50-500 lens, which I love. Except it weighs about 8 lbs. After an hour my left arm gets sore trying to support that lens.

I am 6' tall and have tried to use my tripod, with the legs folded in, as a tripod. I have had limited success here. I want something light enough to hike with and still be long enough when extended to bring the camera up to eye level. Do you use a ball head with it?

John, It is so good to see some else who likes the 18-200 VR lens. With the exception of wildlife shooting and low light conditions, I love that lens. It is so versatile.

John

My Pictures may be seen here: http://jmiguez.smugmug.com/

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Mon 07-Feb-11 06:25 PM
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#39. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 38


Dyserth, GB
          

John

Is that the new version 50-500mm with OS? I've read cracking write ups about the lens. My monopod is the Manfrotto 681B, it's very sturdy and a reasonable price. I think I paid about £50 ($79) and it's worth every penny. I use it mostly without a head, but sometimes for BIF with a SLIK ball head.

As said, I would be most interested on you opinion of the 50-500mm.

Thanks

Richard

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jmiguez Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2010Mon 07-Feb-11 07:51 PM
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#40. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 39
Mon 07-Feb-11 08:02 PM by jmiguez

Lafayette, US
          

Yes, it is the OS version. has a two stage OS. Number 1 is for the shakies and Number 2 for moving subjects.

I really like the lens. I do find it heavy and after an hour or so, my left arms aches. Because of the weight, holding it steady is impossible for me. I have missed some shots or had trouble focusing because of nearby branches throwing off the auto-focus. I am sure the use of a mono or tripod will solve this issue. In the open with normal light it is very fast and accurate.

When considering its purchase, I read several post here in the lens section comparing it to the 150-500. The general consensus seemed to be, one the IQ is as good or better than the 150-500 and the versatility of the 50mm makes the 50-500 worth the additional cost.

Here is a photo taken with the lens, which I posted earlier today in the wildlife forum.

John

My Pictures may be seen here: http://jmiguez.smugmug.com/

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Mon 07-Feb-11 09:55 PM
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#41. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 40
Mon 07-Feb-11 09:58 PM by richardd300

Dyserth, GB
          

Thank John.

I am always envious of the wildlife images I see from the US. The light is just so good. Here, in the late Autumn and winter, I am always battling with low sun, bad weather and at best poor light. When we do get a few sunny days I'm off to the wildlife reserve like a rocket.

I shall heed your advice and give the 50-500 serious thought, especially after seeing the picture you posted. Thanks for the help again.

Richard

PS. I too suffer from aching arms and shoulders after a few hours, however the monopod has been a superb help in aleviating much of that problem.

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 08-Feb-11 12:33 AM
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#42. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 40


New HArtford, US
          

John,
Great capture.
How does this lens compare to others with keeper rate?
Branches give us all problems. When subject is isolated how does it do?
Is this image 1 out of a 100, 1 out of 10 etc?
Thanks for sharing.

JohnE Nikon
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jmiguez Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2010Tue 08-Feb-11 02:18 AM
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#44. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 42


Lafayette, US
          

>John,
>Great capture.
>How does this lens compare to others with keeper rate?
>Branches give us all problems. When subject is isolated how
>does it do?
>Is this image 1 out of a 100, 1 out of 10 etc?
>Thanks for sharing.

John, These two pictures might help answer your question. One, of course, is a crop of the larger picture. It is one of 32 shots of the same bird. Virtually everyone is usable. The pictures was taken from my car. I had the lens pointing out the driver's side window and my arm was resting by my elbow on the armrest.

The heron was about 50 yards away across a body of water. The picture was taken at ISO 200, 420mm, f/11 and 1/400 around 10:00 in the morning on a sunny day. I shoot RAW. The WB is as shot. I bumped the exposure up about 1/2 stop and increased the contrast with the tone curve and added 52 sharping at 0.9 radius.

Little Blue Heron shot at Lake Martin, Lafayette, LA




John

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 08-Feb-11 02:56 PM
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#47. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 44


New HArtford, US
          

John,
Thanks for the info.
I will be considering the sigma to upgrade.
John

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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lifewings Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jun 2008Tue 08-Feb-11 01:20 AM
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#43. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 40


Santa Fe, US
          

Beautiful photo John. This was hand-held? Very sharp.

I have the 500mm which is HEAVY ... I tried hand-holding when I first got it (even took a "hand-holding big lens" class) ... wound up needing 3 chiropractor visits afterwards!

I have heard that the 50-500 was a good lens, although a slow lens & so not so good for low-light conditions. I have thought of getting it as a travel lens (traveling by air with the 500 is a bear), but the slowness has always held me back.

The IQ though is gorgeous ... something to think on ...

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Tue 08-Feb-11 03:35 AM
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#45. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 43


Alberta, CA
          

FWIW I would consider the 680 rather than 681.

I have the 681 monopod which has the advantage that it extends quickly because it has only two extensions. BUT I often sit on the ground and the 681 does not reduce in length enough that it meets my eye level. The 680 collapses smaller so would be a better choice for me. On the negative side the 680 has three extensions so is slightly slower to extend in an emergency.

One other thing, I recommend the Kirk tilt-swivel on top of the monopod (even though I have two RRS tilt-swivels). The Kirk just works, both my RRS have issues, the smaller one twists out of alignment and the heavy duty one squeaks which causes birds to react.

Best regards, SteveK

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Tue 08-Feb-11 07:39 AM
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#46. "RE: Birds with 70-200 and 1.7 tce"
In response to Reply # 45


Dyserth, GB
          

Great images John and suddenly I am now more than interested in a Sigma lens. I suppose the real beauty of this forum is yet again I'm being led to think outside of the Nikon only box.

Regarding the tripod the SteveK has a valid point. I was interested in the Kirk tilt-swivel. I cannot find them on Google UK, so perhaps they are US only. However, I have a Slik SBH-280E Ball Head which I guess does pretty much the same job.

Richard

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