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Old Dec 23, 2007, 8:18 PM   #11
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killdeer0007 wrote:
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Hi Norm - great shots once again. I have a question about the distance you are shooting from and the F stop you use. I'm still trying to get my new 500 dialed in and any information you could offer would be much appreciated. How does that new body work for flight shots?

Thanks

Jim
Thanks for having a look, Jim. I haven't been focusing much on flight action with the chickadees but shots I have taken of birds in flight have not caused me any trouble that I can see. Below are a few I've taken, the first being one of the first shots taken with the new camera.



Here are a couple of chickadee action shots taken this week, I didn't post them because I believe that they have some composition issues even though the bird is relatively in focus considering the speed of these birds.

I'm usually about 10 feet away from these birds and prefer to use the 300/4 IS for closer shooting because of the great minimum focus of that lens (1.5 meters). I usually shoot wide open with this lens as well as the 100-400/5.6 (the lens used for the hawk shot above) Most of my chickadee shots lately have been almost full frame, including the action shots above, so I'm not unhappy with the way the camera performs in the area of action. I cannot imagine having a huge problem with herons and such but I haven't seen too many of those lately :-)

Anyhoo, here are the chickadees, hope I answered some of your questions effectively.







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Old Dec 23, 2007, 8:56 PM   #12
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Thanks Norm. My best shots so far at 20-25 feet with the 500 were at 5.6. Should I be able to use F4? If so, I think I will need to have the lens calibrated.

Jim
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 9:13 PM   #13
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Jim, I think you need to talk to someone who knows more than myself about depth of focus as related to various telephoto lengths, I'm not much at mathematics. However, I am next to certain that you would have less DOF with 500mm's than 300. Most of my 300mm shots don't focus the entire bird unless I plan it with a shot that is parallel to my lens attitude, then I need not worry about DOF lengths. Personally, I like the shallow softness of a bird as long as the eyes are in focus and the bill is "relatively" in focus, because a slight touch of selective sharpening will bring it into sharpness equitable with the eyes. My major focus is always the eyes on any subject, unless I have reasons to sway from that general rule of shooting for myself.

You may not have a calibration problem at all, you can get much closer with the 500 and I'm sure that will cause the DOF to get less. Since I'm not a really mathmatical guy I usually shoot and chimp in order to see what individual lenses will do at different distances. I'm a bit of a visual learner. :G

PS - that top shot shows the entire bird in focus not because of aperture but because of the parallel attitude of the bird, a good example of what I mean by shooting when the subject is in the appropriate attitude if you don't have the light to stop down aperture.
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 8:50 PM   #14
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Fantastic photos, very beautiful.
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 10:08 PM   #15
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flutelady wrote:
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Fantastic photos, very beautiful.
Thanks for the generous compliment!
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