Trip to the Brig & First shots with Sig 500/4.5

Discussion in 'Birds' started by MMarz, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Picked up the lens, and didn't take it out of the case until I got to my shooting location at the E. Forsythe NWR

    First impression is that it is big..and heavy. It has a good bit of length and girth over my 300/2.8 even with a TC on it.

    Since I have been shooting with the 300 combined with the 1.4x & 2.0x TC's I have been very careful to use excellent long lens technique and this carried over to the 500 making my first experience a pretty good on [read: I am very happy].

    I immediately mounted the 500 on my D2X and then in the Sidekick mounted in a Markins M20, over a Gitzo 1325. The first thing I notice is that with the foot on the 500 being as tall as it is, the lens is positioned out past the center plumb line of the ball head and tripod. So while the Sidekick/M20 combination is still real usable, I may be adding a Full wim or a Jobu just for security sake. Second thing I noticed is that my RRS B87 flash bracket doesn't clear the barrel of the 500..so I'll need to replace that as well. If any one is interested in the bracket let me know. As is always the case, one purchase spins off into two or three subsequent purchases, so the already expensive 500 is now going to cost close to a grande more after the gimbal and flash bracket.

    Anyway.. the focus is brutally quick, especially when compared to the 300 with the TC's. Again, my experience with the 300/2.0x TC made target acquisition less of an issue witht he 500 than I thought it might be. I did mount the 1.4x TC on the 500 after modifying it to allow for AF and it is fine..though I opted not to use it for this shoot. Below are my first test images...some with the D2X and some with the D300. All shot raw and converted in Lightroom and resized for the web..(looks like I might have over-sharpened a bit.. still getting used to Lightroom v2.0)



    1) D300
    F-Number: F/9
    Exposure Time: 1/800
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    Compensation: -0.3
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    2) D300
    F-Number: F/9
    Exposure Time: 1/800
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    3)This is my first sighting of Tri-Color Heron. Unfortunately, I thought I was above the reeds along the shore line. I was kneeling to keep out of sight, but a few of the reeds blew into the frame. I'm inclined to leave them there, and learn from my mistake.
    D300
    F-Number: F/5.6
    Exposure Time: 1/1000
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    Compensation: 0.3
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    4) D300
    F-Number: F/5.6
    Exposure Time: 1/1000
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    Compensation: 0.3
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    5) Definintely over-sharpened this..and it's an aggressive crop.. The north leg of Forsythe often has an abundance of Snowy's. This trip I saw about a dozen Glossy Ibis near these, but distance was too great..
    D2X
    F-Number: F/6.7
    Exposure Time: 1/1250
    Metering Mode: Multi-segment
    Compensation: -1.7
    ISO Speed: 250
    [​IMG]

    6) Once the sun was high in the sky, I needed to take a break. The green flies were absolutely carnivorous, though not so for this green dragon fly. Shot from about 8 feet away..
    D2X
    F-Number: F/10
    Exposure Time: 1/400
    Metering Mode: Multi-segment
    ISO Speed: 250
    [​IMG]

    Aside from the unexpected additional items I'll have to address, I am quite happy..results will only improve from this point.. I've got a long way to go, but I have a lot of inspiration. Now I just need more energy and some closer shooting locations so I can exploit the early light better. C&C encouraged.
     
  2. Mike, congrats on the new lens and the trip to Brigantine. It's a really cool place (except for the green-headed flies).
     
  3. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks.. too bad it's so far from Mid-Long Island.. The Oceanside Marine & Nature Study Area is just minutes from me and with the exception of the Tri-Color, and the Cattle Egrets, all the same suspects can be found, but it opens at 9:00AM and closes at 5:00PM.....the light is always working against you there.

    A quick application of Off kept the flies at bay, but they still went for my eyes and hair which is just annoying.
     
  4. Mike,
    Man o man I am so happy for you, I cannot wait to pick one of those up. I was so impressed with the 120-300 I've seen results with this 500 that are incredible!
    Congrats, and the shots are excellent you have taken.
    Kevin P.
    ps have you ever come across a business that rents a 500 sigma?
     
  5. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Kevin, it was a big step, and one that I bailed on a few times convincing myself that the 300 + TC's were good enough. Now that it's done, I am looking forward to putting it through it's paces and improving my IQ.

    I have 10 links to lens/camera rental sites and none offer the Sigma.
     
  6. michael,
    congrats on the lens
    the images are AWESOME... even better than i expected
    i can't wait to see more

    thanks for sharing
     
  7. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Funny thing.. me too! Thanks
     
  8. Mike - nice outing with the new lens. I haven't seen too many tri's north of Florida. Perhaps I am just not looking carefully enough.

    Dragonfly kind of neat also - that green is sensational.

    Just be careful with the "Off". DEET can wreak havoc with plastic - as in lcd screens, lens and body parts, etc. Need to wash your hands really well and watch how you apply it to your face. Leaning your DEET coverd cheek against the plastic lcd cover on the D2X can cause you some grief. I ruined a cheap Timex watch when I inadvertently sprayed some bug repellant on the crystal.
     
  9. Nice shots Mike. I was just looking at that lens on B&H...seeing your pics, I'm writing that letter to Santa now! :wink:
     
  10. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Rick I was with a few fellow cafe members. Rena, aka "sewwhatsports" spotted the Tri.. I was looking right at it but just couldn't see it! One of those "where? I don't see it?" "THERE, you idiot, RIGHT THERE!!" moments. I just wish I was more attentive to the reeds in front of me..

    Funny thing about the Off. I wrecked the plastic crystal on a Timex last trip!! So I was very careful and wash my hands well and avoided applying to my face entirely. I gave Rena one of the Off wipes, and after applying it she did the good conservationist thing and tucked the wipe in her pocket...where her lens cap was. You know the rest of the story. Seeing what it does to plastic makes you think twice about what it might be doing to your skin!!

    Thom, thanks. I waffled on this purchase three times with my hand on my cash ready to buy. In the end I am happy I did. Now I just have to figure out how to transport it more easily!!
     
  11. I guess we'll see you and the new lens at Conowingo Dam later this year????
     
  12. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    For sure.. I have two dates set already. The eagles were part of my incentive to purchase this lens!
     
  13. bradNYC

    bradNYC

    Mar 28, 2008
    NYC
    Mike, congrats, these pics are awesome. Can I borrow that on our next outing?:eek: 
     
  14. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    If you let me use the 17-55..

    But this puppy isn't for landscapes!!
     
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