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Come Fly with ME Let's Fly Away

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Desert Rat, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. This is one of the very few BIF shots I got that was in pretty decent focus... It seeme like either I am or the camera is losing track of the birds somehow.

    One of those crazy pelican shots from Saturday at SJWC with Helmet (Brett)

    You missed to Brett the Pelicans from the other pond flew into the pond we were at around sunset... Nice golden light on them as they circled around to land... :biggrin:

    I know there is a single hot spot on the bird, but it did not show up as blown highlights on the LCD... Still working on my PP techniqies.

    I ordered RR E-Book on Digital capture so I will have something to read...

    Comments and critiques welcome

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  2. this one is very nice Eric.
  3. Thanks Dave, For some reason i can easily track 400mph airplanes, but BIF seem to be a different story..

  4. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Looks good to me Eric!
    You coming to the Dam tomorrow? If you do maybe we can work on your BIF's if you want.
  5. Eric I have a question: do your images with the 70-200 without a TC appear sharp? Maybe it's the 300/4 you use (older non AF-S)
  6. Well Brett with both the 70-200 with and without a TC and the 300/4 I can get sharp images.. with the 300/4 it is difficult to get sharp images of BIF though.

    I have been looking at upgrading the older 300/4 to something like the 200-44/4 VR lens.

    I read a review somewhere about the older 300/4 I have and its use in flight shots and the slower focus. I think that is part of the problem the slower focus of the lens itself..

  7. That's what I was getting at ;)  The 200-400 VR seems like an interesting option...
  8. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hey Eric -

    Nice shot. Focus looks pretty good to me, but you are really pushing the limits using a Kenko TC on the old 300/ which was already focus-challenged.

    I have the 200-400VR and love its combination of image quality and framing flexibility. But...there are times when I miss the reach of the 500/4, and while it will focus with a TC (preferably Nikon) much better than your kit, it runs into its own limits in low light. Finally, it can't be handheld by anyone who isn't in the NFL.

    If you are considering the 200-400VR, I would suggest you also look at the 300/2.8VR and the 500/4.The first is handholdable (almost as heavy as the 200-400VR but the more compact package helps), fast enough to focus with or without TC in very low light and tack sharp even wide open. (According to RR, the 200-400VR has to be closed down to 5.6 to get the same sharpness which, with a TC, can cause low light focusing problems. The 500/4 is also tack sharp but has to be used with a tripod. Also rumors are beginning to float about a 500/4VR, which Nikon has to produce to try to any hope of Canon.

    I thought all that through and ended up with the 200-400/VR and am delighted with it.

    One final comment. The blinkies on the LCD are not very reliable on picking up all blown highlings. To prevent blowing any highlights, in tough lighting conditions I think am in the very small minority by shooting to the left (underexposing) and then dealing with any unacceptable noise or hidden detail later in PP. Most people and all the books will tell you to shoot to the right so as not to lose detail in the shadows. But you can recover detail from shadows, but not detail from blown areas.


  9. Thanks Gordon.. I figured I might be pushing the limits of the older 300/4 with a Kenko TC on it but I have gotten sharp images before... But then again it was from non moving subjects at the zoo and stuff like that

    Considered the 300/2.8AFS-VR lens but I would want the extra reach if i change lenses from the old 300/4.. THought about the 500/4 but not sure Iwant to be locked into a single focal length lens you know?
    I have been looking at this for a long time... When the older 200-400 was out but could not decide, but now the 200-400 has VR it is more temptiong you know?
    The 500/4 cannot be handheld either right? I think it is heavier than the 200-400?
  10. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    Hi Eric,

    Nice shot. I agree with Gordon about exposing to the left a tad to avoid blown highlights normally. Thta's especially true with white birds.

    You can't go wrong with either the 300/2.8, the 200-400/4 or the 500/4. Each one is a fine hunk of glass and will cost ya lots of $.

    The 300 weighs 6.3lbs, the 200-400, the 200-400 7.2lbs, and the 500 7.6 lbs. The 200-400 has a minimum focusing distance of 6'5", the 300 7'2" and the 500 16'.

    I love my 500mm but its a bear to carry around. I can handhold it if I keep my shutter speed up for 2-3 shots but you definitely need support when you shoot with it. I can't see handholding with any of these 3 for any extended period.
  11. Thanks harry, It did not look thatblown out onthe LCD and the istogram seemed in the right spot..I guess Iwill have to review it again and seeabout correcting that single hot spot...
  12. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I agree with the idea of exposing white birds to the left. I usually try for 1/3 to 1/2 stops under, depending on how much white is on the bird. I know it shouldn't be that way, but I've found that if I just use the histogram straight up, or depend on minimal blinkies, that I get hot spots.

    Another thing to consider is the angle of the sun to the bird. If you have areas that are perpendicular to bright sunlight, I'd go for at least 1/2 stops under. I can still recall RR saying in his classes that he often goes for about 1/3 under, just to protect against this problem. Since I don't have Ron's excellent eye for luminosity, I usually cheat a little lower (i.e., under by 1/3 to 1/2 stops).

    Hope this helps.
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