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RT Hawk in flight w/ 70-300 VR + Kenko 1.4

Discussion in 'Birds' started by JohnK, May 1, 2007.

  1. JohnK


    Aug 6, 2006
    Pacific NW
    These were taken with the 70-300 VR + Kenko 1.4 TC, as many have stated it's not an ideal combination even with great lighting. On this day the light was Ok, but the sky was about 90% clouds, a poor background for birds on any day. I saw this one land on the light pole and hand time to park across the street to try some shots. These are about a 50% crop, then sized down another roughly 50% for the web:

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    While the inflight shot is far from great I felt lucky it came out as well as it did. With the TC on it took forever for the focus to lock, I only managed one shot before it flew behind a tree.

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    Other than removing the teleconverter (I'll save that until I get a better lens to try it on) are there any tips for taking shots against a cloudy sky like this?

    Camera Model: NIKON D80
    Image Date: 2007:04:25 11:43:45
    Flash Used: No
    Focal Length: 300.0mm (35mm equivalent: 450mm)
    Exposure Time: 0.0013 s (1/800)
    Aperture: f/5.6
    ISO equiv: 320
    Exposure Bias: -0.33
    White Balance: Auto
    Metering Mode: Matrix
    Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Expose for the bird and let the sky blow.
    Looks like you speed was to low.

    I will try the combo and see what I get.
  3. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA

    Unfortunately when the day is cloudly like this I'm still at a loss as to how some of the people on this forum get good shots of their subjects, especially the birds (not to mention the bird in flight shots). With the aperture of the 70-300 VR at 5.6 @ 300mm adding a 1.4 TC to it makes it a bit too slow for shots of birds. These are good attempts though. I think in this case though you will have to intensify the pictures with some post processing. I tinkered with your first shot and bit (hope you don't mind).

    I lightened it up a bit to get rid of some of the shadows around the face. I then boosted the color a bit, added a touch of sharpening and then added in some blue to the sky behind the hawk. I also cropped the shot a bit more so the hawk is in the center of the frame.
  4. JohnK


    Aug 6, 2006
    Pacific NW
    Thanks Gale, ok, so spot metering next time, ditch the TC :smile: and bump the shutter speed a bit more, which shouldn't be a problem without the Kenko.

    I don't mind at all Dave, that's a nice improvement. I had actually already increased the brightness and added a bit of sharpening but obviously there was room for more. I have the raw image of that, I'll have to see about getting something to work with that (my Lightroom trial expired) and have another go at it.

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