A bunch of shots from Bolsa Chica

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Taken during tests of the D2Hs and D2x last weekend:

Two large 1:1 crops from the D2Hs, in sequence (hand-held 300mm VR, f/8) (click to open images full-size):
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One more 1:1 crop from the D2Hs, again hand-held w/ the 300mm VR, f/8:
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Two in sequence from the D2x, 500mm, f/5.6, tripod + Sidekick, resized:
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Eared Grebe in mating plumage, D2x, 500 + TC14e (700mm), 1/250 @ f/8
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Lesser Scaup, D2x, 500mm @ f/8
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Brown Pelican, D2x, 500mm @ f/5.6
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Snowy Egret in mating plumage, D2x, 500mm @ f/8
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Marbled Godwit portrait, D2Hs, 300VR+TC14e (420mm) handheld @ f/5.6 (1:1 crop)
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Marbled Godwits, D2Hs, 420mm handheld @ f/5.6
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Dancing Marbled Godwit, D2x, 700mm @ f/8
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Eared Grebe, D2Hs and 300mm + TC14e (420mm) and converted to sRGB:
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and finally, here is a tern image from the D2Hs, set to 1600x1200 in case you want to use it as wallpaper -- you can convert it to a BMP and place it in the Windows folder, or drop the JPG into c:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper, or right-click the image and set it as your Desktop (or Wallpaper) depending on your operating system). Enjoy!

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Ron
 
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The X seems a touch warmer by default vs the Hs. I've been 'focusing' on the focusing issue and getting a ton of projects done, but I'll define the actual required alteration set soon.

Nice 'seeing' you, Paul :^)

Ron
 
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Ron, great detail if I say so myself and dang-it, I just did :lol: .

I am going to be down in the the SoCal area drifting between LA and San Diego sometime during the last couple of weeks of June and plan to shoot for one day, we are on vacation so I need "spousal dispensation" :wink: , and Bolsa Chica seems like a grand place. Given that I haven't been there in a LONG time, we moved up here 1992-ish, can you give me directions as to the best place to shoot from as well as what time of day you would suggest being there?

Also, if we any other SoCal folks around who might like to get together to say "Hi" at that time I'd love to meet up.

Thanks, Ron.
 
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Hi Bill,

PCH about 3/4 mile south of Warner, east side is the parking lot you'll want to hit. From there, check the bridge over the channel first, then walk down the trail next to PCH back towards Warner to the Causeway. That trail and the Causeway are usually well-populated. Continue on up the hill and you'll find raptors, nesting Herons, etc. in the area beyond.

Shooting late afternoon is generally good there, or early morning (as usual) The light is unobstructed in many areas, so you'll get good light throughout the non-harsh periods. The birds are less active during the harsh periods anyway...

Ron
 
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Thanks, PD. I've been completely swamped lately, with no end in sight. I'll get here as often as I can, believe me. It's like a breath of fresh air...

Ron
 

PGB

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Your expertise is so amazing.

One word WOW!

I hope to one day have a 1/4 of your skill.

Thanks!
 
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Chris
Hi Ron! I especially like the 'bird with fish' series you are continuing here. It shows the food chain in action, and somehow brings these birds more to life for me Thanks for taking and showing them to us. Your technical information just makes 'em better.

Ron Reznick said:
you can convert it to a BMP and place it in the Windows folder, or drop the JPG into c:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper, or right-click the image and set it as your Desktop (or Wallpaper) depending on your operating system).
I can't find that folder on my (har, har, har) Mac. For mac users, download the picture and then locate and select it from the 'Desktop and Screen Saver' control panel.
 
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Ron,
Brilliant series. After reading your entire ebook in one sitting, and getting ready for re-reads on the critical exposure information I am convinced that mastering exposure is one of the most critical keys to digital success. You clearly have an eye for luminosity and I for one hope to have a fraction of that eye after study. Thanks for taking time from your extreme schedule to post these.
 
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Thanks for taking time from your extreme schedule to post these.
_________________
my computer was not my concern with this post. Thanks for the update, however.
 
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I didn't mean to imply that it was...

I've just completed the base assembly (case prep, drives, power supply mount, etc.) and tomorrow morning (when I'm fresh), I'll do the motherboard (CPUs & RAM mount), load the board into the case, mount the cards, and start testing the beast. Then comes the partitioning, Operating System load/configuration, etc. We're going to get there rapidly assuming no glitches impose themselves on our lives.

I'm pleased you liked the shots, Dave.

Ron
 
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Ron,

Great pics a usual. Your hand-to-eye coordination is amazing. 8)

So you have a D2Hs now, huh? Does the Hs suffer from the same type of focus problems as the X (obviously this one doesn't)? How are you liking the 300VR? I continue to be amazed by the 300 that you were so kind to sell me. I can't even imagine having VR too.

Any chance that you can join us at Merritt for the 5/30 to 6/4 shoot? We are going to have a blast.
 
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Thanks, Thierry and Bud.

Frank, those terns either zoom at high speed or float. These shots are all zoomers except for the last, where I waited until the guy got into a neat patch of sky. That one was pretty easy. The others were a cast iron b*tch to catch.

Both the X and Hs have trouble acquiring and holding lock on a subject moving in front of a background. I've been working with the guys at Nikon Torrance on getting my cameras focusing properly, and have discussed this issue at great length, most recently taking a 'survey' on shooting and settings requested by Japan. I personally think that some of the changes they made to the CAM 2000 control algorithms for tracking and predictive AF are at fault here... but we'll see what they come up with.

I got the Hs because I figured that it would be a good idea to have total ergonomic and display compatibility between the two cameras, and I wanted to take advantage of any improvements they made in the higher-ISO performance for low-light handheld work. I got a great bonus in the improved shadow transitions and color characteristics. I did take a bath on the D2h bodies though... it wouldn't have been as bad if I'd have waited until the D2h bodies left the pipeline, but I needed to recover some dough before blowing a wad on the new bodies. As it is, I just covered the cost of the D2Hs with both D2h bodies [sigh].

The 300VR really is a nice tool. You know how much I missed my 300mm after you arranged such a good home for it, and I nearly pulled the trigger on an AFS-II a couple of times just because I really needed to have a 300/2.8 on several shoots after you got mine (Yellowstone especially). I worked without one for so long that I was itching, and I almost went for the 200/2VR as it would have given me the handholdability and very low light capabilities with the ability to hit 300mm at wide apertures, but since I would have often been using it with a TC I held off hoping for a 300 VR. When they announced it I perked up. Bjorn's review got me champing at the bit. I got this one as soon as I could, just after the release in the USA. It really is different in many good respects. The center of gravity is a little further back, so the extra weight is balanced well. The VR does make this lens far easier to work with hand-held, and it does seem to have improved VR technology over the 70-200VR, which is no slouch itself as you know. The defocused character is even better than the 300 AFS-II at the f/5.6 and f/8 apertures, although they are about the same at f/2.8 and f/4. I think I'm really going to like this baby...

That Florida shoot is just after I get back from Yosemite. Nancy Gerson mentioned that she was interested in a session... maybe if there were a couple of others I could pull it off, but otherwise it would probably be smart if I get to the mountain of stuff that needs doing rather than taking another week away.

Ron
 
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Ron,

I understand being busy. The shoot is still almost a month away and I'm already feeling pressure to get ready. If you can break away it would be great. We would certainly enjoy your company.

I'm going to totally ignore your comments about the Hs and the 300VR. The last thing I need right now is to spend another $8,500. Janie would do a snip, snip with a pair of rusty scissors if I even mentioned such a thing. 8)

BTW, the counter on my D2H just rolled over to 30,000 yesterday. I've had it slightly less than a year. I am putting less shots per outing on it now though. As my skills improve (ever so slightly unfortunately....;-)), I am concentrating on getting more high quality shots, not just more shots.
 
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Believe me, I understand completely. I just sunk a small mountain of cash into gear and I've definitely hit my limit... it would cost you $1200 or so to switch the 300s, and about the same to switch the H to an Hs. I'm not altogether certain it would be worth the risk to various body parts.

Ron
 
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Toronto Canada
Wonderful shots, and thankfully that grebe is in plumage, I thought it had been thru an oil slick (pheww). Stunning captures of motion...
 

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