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My recent attempts

Discussion in 'Birds' started by leifw, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. leifw


    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Feel free to correct any of my identifications

    Female common goldeneye:

    Female yellow headed black bird:

    Female red wing black bird:
  2. Lovely subjects, but a bit out of focus. Were you handholding or using a tripod? What were your shutter speeds? I do not think the last one is a red-winged black bird.

  3. leifw


    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Thanks, Nancy.

    I'd really like to figure out if
    1) They're out of focus because of the lens
    2) They're out of focus because of the body
    3) They're soft because of the lens
    4) They're soft because I'm not using the techniques I need to.

    The duck images were taken from a canoe, so they were some rolling there. The last image was taken with a improvised monopod. The shutter speeds on the images were between 1/320 and 1/800. The apertures were between f/6.3 and f/8. The ISO was between 400 and 1000.

    All were taken with a D80 and Sigma 150-500 OS.
  4. cre8foru


    Dec 1, 2007
    Atlanta GA
    Last two look focused to me and I think you got all identified correctly. Not sure why the first few are soft. Id check the shutter speed 1st.
  5. With anything other than a tripod and lots of practice, you would want at least a shutter speed of 1/1000, and lots of practice, especially if you are using the lens at 500. The practice thing is a must OS or not. The female red winged black birds have black beak, eyes and feet.

  6. genera


    Oct 6, 2005
    I agree on your ID's. Nancy, I think the light is playing some tricks here. The RWBB's right foot seems black to me and, though I can't really see the bill very well, from what I can see it doesn't seem that much different than the bird above it which also normally has a black bill.
  7. leifw


    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    I'm afraid you're right. It seems like I get the best opportunities for shots in low light, which means I'm relegated to shooting at ISO 800-1600 to get 1/500-1/1000. So far, I haven't been terribly happy with the result on my D80 when I take the ISO up that far. Shooting RAW, converting in CNX, then reducing noise with NoiseWare helps, but the result still seems to lack a lot of detail and dynamic range.

    I think I've just concluded that shooting birds well is expensive. :)  Having to stop down to f/8 and not being able to take the ISO over 200 very well is pretty darn limiting.

    Thanks for all your comments.

    As for the identification, the feet are black. There's a blade of cattail between me and the bird just out of the frame that caused a loss of contrast toward the bottom of the frame, causing the foot to look not so black.
  8. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Pretty good set Leif, especially considering hand held from a canoe. :smile:
  9. leifw


    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Thanks, Frank.
  10. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    expensive is right.they make those super sweet 400mm 2.8 and 500 and 600 mm glass if you have enough cash.
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