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  #31  
Old August 11th, 2018, 10:11 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
What about getting a longer lens for that 7D, then? Canon has a 400mm F/4.0 DO IS which is comparatively compact and can be had second hand for not too much money.
Yes, that’s a great idea. I am seriously thinking of that. One thing most folk don’t realize is that as soon as one decides on long lenses of 4.0 and better, lens weight is far more significant than the relative small Weight-savings using an A6300 Sony mirrorless.

I need to study the used market for Sony and Canon 400 mm 4.0 lenses.

Asher
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  #32  
Old August 11th, 2018, 11:19 AM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
lens weight is far more significant than the relative small Weight-savings using an A6300 Sony mirrorless.
Warning!
Weight is the friend of long focal photography, on a tripod it helps to prevent from vibrations due to the wind, handheld, weight (due to the inertia of the mass) prevents from unwanted movements…
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  #33  
Old August 11th, 2018, 12:14 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Claris View Post
Warning!
Weight is the friend of long focal photography, on a tripod it helps to prevent from vibrations due to the wind, handheld, weight (due to the inertia of the mass) prevents from unwanted movements…
Weight is really just the price for getting enough light to get low noise wildlife images at dusk. The small apertures of the 100-400 zoom lenses are fine for photographing birds in flight or an aerial show of fighter planes in good daylight. The reality in, for example photographing in the Costa Rica jungle from a flat boat, (able to go into the shallow water), is that the birds one wants are often in flying between the overhanging trees and really poor lighting is the challenge. For stationary birds on the river banks and on trees stuck by sandbars in the center of the river, one can, of course, use a much slower shutter speed, but to track a bird in flight, first DSLRs are generally far better and then the pro DSLR lenses can be gotten with apertures of f4.0 or better and that makes a difference.

I doubt that my GFX with a Techart auto adapter for Canon lenses could track as efficiently as any pro level Canon body and if one has spent real $ on getting to the wildlife destination, renting such a camera seems wise.

Still, for around my home area and parks, either a 7 D or a Sony 6 series with some used 400 mm f 4.0 lens would get obmver 50% keeper rate.

The micro 4/3 system with the wonderful Leica 100-400, (i.e., 200-400 mm reach in 35 mm full frame terms), would be lighter and luxuriously versatile but with a smaller aperture at the longest reach.

I have to try out combinations and find out which turns out to be best suited to my pocket and shooting style and abilities!

Asher
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  #34  
Old August 11th, 2018, 12:17 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Claris View Post
Warning!
Weight is the friend of long focal photography, on a tripod it helps to prevent from vibrations due to the wind, handheld, weight (due to the inertia of the mass) prevents from unwanted movements…
This is very true. However being that you are referring to bird photography recommendations in your decision making Asher, I am not in agreement with the many recommendations here that you will be using a tripod.

Working off a tripod is actually a hinderence to capturing birds. It is restrictive. They are very elusive and flittery and so tracking them requires some freedom off movement. Often there is not the luxury of shooting straight on - which will then require the contortions of working around the mounted camera that may require being aimed up high or leaning over things or working on uneven ground.

As well the movement of birds will be compounded with a long focal length lens. They can be hard to find at 600m let alone 800mm or more. And if it is birds in flight you are after, it will be next to impossible to track them using a tripod. That is the value of smaller handholdable setups in my view. Also the value of image stabilization for using longer lenses on more static birds without a tripod, inducing movement or blurring backgrounds while following the animals, while keeping them in focus - and I really benefit from the option of having a stabilized image in the viewfinder when using a long focal length and trying to find objects or follow them.

To the point of whether IS is necessary - all the above stated - it is a moot point if you are using a tripod. IS needs to be turned off or non-existent when a camera is attached to a tripod.

———
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  #35  
Old August 11th, 2018, 01:03 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Thanks for your experience and the value you find in IS handheld, over using a tripod.

I think for an African Safari, dedicated to photographers, the land rover is setup for Arca Swiss type mounts to be attached, (see http://reallyrightstuff.com) and the most ambitious long lenses.

For the dense jungle canopies in South America, at least in my limited experience, (and I am no expert wildlife photographer), balancing an excellent, even sturdy tripod on a moving boat is quite risky. More than a few times I was in danger of losing the tripod and rentead camera as the boat suddenly swerved to avoid a low lying rock or crocodile!

I could have easily brought sandbags to stabilize the tripod and heavy lens, (or paid the fellow sufficient to allow me to screw a bracket into the deck), LOL!

So the by far lighter MFT system with a 100-400 lens band great IS becomes competitive.

Real experts would indeed have the tripod fixed to the boat but also have not just a side-mounted gimbal, (to swing and track the heavy telephoto lens at will), but also Better Beamer fitting to strobes, to project the light needed to illuminate Deep into the canopy.

All I know is that, honestly, I didn’t have the skill and setup, last time around to handle my big lens tripod setup because of limitations in movement and inherent instability. I know enough now to overcome these shortcomings but feel that a lot more tryouts of competing setups is advisable before that expensive wildlife trip!

Asher
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  #36  
Old August 11th, 2018, 02:34 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is online now
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OK here is some of my experience with examples to help illustrate my reasonings. These images were taken with the four thirds version of the 70-300 (140-600) Olympus lens mounted on 10MP camera bodies where 800ISO was about as high as I would want to go, and more realistically 400ISO.

All images are hand held dealing with situations I would come across where I had no control over the environment. As well I am NOT a dedicated nature or bird photographer, and so my experience may be closer to what you would have and what realistic experiences would be for most shooters:

600mm is not very long

This is a two edge sword. Firstly unless you have full control over the environment such as at a zoo, aviary or expedition, a 600mm or equivalent focal length lens will not often fill the frame with the small subjects such as birds. There may be cropping still required. The other side is that 600mm can be very difficult to frame or even find the subject when looking through the viewfinder. It takes special skills to handle such long focal lengths well - something that only lots of practice and adjustment of shooting style can provide.

These three images show how even when just shooting into the tops of trees at 600mm , there is still a lot of space around the birds. For the duck-billed heron, I was very fortunate to see him perched in a tree and not too nervous. The trees that I was shooting through, hid me from him to some degree and allowed me to get close enough for this shot. But he was also a larger bird. I could never have set up a tripod in any of these jungle circumstances. The framing of the birds is centered so that I could use the most accurate Center focusing sensor - knowing I would have to crop after anyway and could rovide the proper composition at that time.



70-300 @ 300mm (600)mm) - 1/250@f5.6 - 250ISO



70-300 @ 300mm (600mm) - 1/320@f6.3 - 800ISO



70-300 @ 215mm (430mm) - 1/250@f5.6 - 500ISO



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  #37  
Old August 11th, 2018, 02:44 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is online now
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No Tripod for me

This is an example of how tripods get in the way of capturing images of flighty and fast moving animals such as birds or little geckos like this guy that over the course of several minutes - moved in close enough that I could capture his little body with some detail. Still shooting at near 600mm focal length, he wasn’t that close to me. As well I was sitting in the early morning on craggy rocks along the ocean edge. First shot was as I noticed him and then gradually he came a little closer and then a little more closer



70-300 @ 277mm (554mm) - 1/250@f5.6 -125ISO



70-300 @ 300mm (600mm) - 1/320@f5.6 - 100ISO



70-300 @ 263mm (526mm) - 1/320@f5.6 - 160ISO



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  #38  
Old August 11th, 2018, 02:52 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is online now
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A couple other shots where the 70-300mm lens was very useful - even if not the sharpest and best resolution images (not full frame hi Rez body or thousands of dollar pro lens) - they all suit my needs well. I don’t need to analyze close up for hours on end trying to identify flaws or weaknesses in my pics. After all they are for my enjoyment. I would have no problem creating suitably sized prints to frame on the walls of my home or those who liked the images and wanted a print:




70-300 @ 300mm (600mm) - 1/320@f5.6 - 800ISO



70-300 @ 215mm (430mm) - 1/1,000@f8 - 400ISO



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  #39  
Old August 11th, 2018, 03:03 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is online now
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The Reason I prefer a Zoom over Single Focal Length

I like versality and efficiency when I am shooting. I don’t want to be switching lenses if possible. While I would love to own the Olympus 300mm f4 - and am sure it would provide stunning image quality - I am positive that it would not receive much usage. It is too niche a focal length for me. By using a broad range zoom such as the 70-300 (75-300 for micro 4/3) - I get much more variety out of my shooting experience, and when situations change quickly that require a different focal length I can adjust and capture it. These example are where I am restricted to my seat in the audience:



70-300 @ 263mm (526mm) - 1/250@f5.6 - 800ISO



70-300 @ 179mm (358mm) - 1/250@f5.6 - 800ISO



70-300 @ 81mm (162mm) - 1/160@f6.3 - 800ISO



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  #40  
Old August 11th, 2018, 03:10 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is online now
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Especially do I want zoom lenses when out with my grandchildren or family days. This day (12:00 noon) we were going to a park so the girls could see the baby geese. I wanted to be able to shoot their interactions from a distance, but also capture some closeups of the birds as well. The 70-300 worked well on this day with the open spaces and was the only lens/body I needed to have with me.




70-300 @ 70mm (140mm) - 1/4,000@f4 - 400ISO




70-300 @ 252mm (504mm) - 1/2,500@f5.5 - 400ISO


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