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Old Jun 17, 2004, 11:54 PM   #11
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Eric, of course I'm very sorry to hear about the Warblers you have been tracking. They are a wonderful bird indeed and it's a negative that you have lost a good chance to record them. Regarding my little story above, your comment, Strange that with all the calls the parents never been seen, is also the major thingthat bothered me, until I realized that I was looking at things from a human perspective rather than from a "natural" one. I said to myself a number of times, "Come on mama, where are you? Come and get your baby." It was difficult, butI'm learning to deal with this sort of thing slowly, as I'm learning to deal with lostphotographs and things that don't work out the way I'd hoped. For some reason I thought that wildlife photography would be easy...not! But it "is" exhilarating, satisfying, intriguing, personal, exciting, boring, defeating, humbling...and so on. As well, my running shoes are very very dirty indeed.

Thanks for taking care of those little yellow warblers so well. I'm sure they will tell all of their friends about you, and how kind and compassionate you were.

I
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Old Jun 18, 2004, 11:41 AM   #12
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Wonderful and nice series.
Only a shame the focus is not perfect, but I love them.

Greetings,
Frank
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Old Jun 18, 2004, 8:51 PM   #13
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Normcar wrote:
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Eric, of course I'm very sorry to hear about the Warblers you have been tracking. They are a wonderful bird indeed and it's a negative that you have lost a good chance to record them. Regarding my little story above, your comment, Strange that with all the calls the parents never been seen, is also the major thingthat bothered me, until I realized that I was looking at things from a human perspective rather than from a "natural" one. I said to myself a number of times, "Come on mama, where are you? Come and get your baby." It was difficult, butI'm learning to deal with this sort of thing slowly, as I'm learning to deal with lostphotographs and things that don't work out the way I'd hoped. For some reason I thought that wildlife photography would be easy...not! But it "is" exhilarating, satisfying, intriguing, personal, exciting, boring, defeating, humbling...and so on. As well, my running shoes are very very dirty indeed.

Thanks for taking care of those little yellow warblers so well. I'm sure they will tell all of their friends about you, and how kind and compassionate you were.

I

We share the same experience about birding Norm, last Tuesday when I discovered the lost of the baby warbler, I went to another area and was intrigued by some different bird song, found 2 species of Wren and decided to stay there to catch them with the camera. The Wren are like the Chikadee, they jump from one branch to the next constantly. I found a man made wooden nest which one of them elected house.

He or she was constantly bringing little branches to fill the bird house, preparing for the days to come to lay the eggs. I got a good position to catch him or her everytime he/she would come to bring another branch. But lighting condition was bad to say the least ; too dark area, bright background and the bird is brownish. So here I was down to 1/320 ISO800 trying to catch that bird... I even changed location to get a darker background, yet it was terrible. I couldnt go lower shutter speed, that bird is too quick, my time response was in less than a second to catch a shot. Very frustrating indeed. Finally I spent 4 hours there, got 8 shots off the camera. I was not expecting much, saw the shots in C1 and it was awefull.

At ISO800 with our cams, if its not exposed to the right, forget about it. Noise will be bad indeed. Irrecuperable to say the least. I have a 'base ceiling' in what I will or not post-process, this one was very bad indeed. Now I'll have to go back, but will have to catch him/her more in the open, where there's a good ammount of light and hope I'll be at the right location to catch him/her up close. These are the time when birding is very difficult and frustrating. We need a fair ammount of of patience when this happens.

The more it goes, the more I think I should get membership in either groups like Ducks Unlimited or other similar organisation. There's something develloping in me that makes me think I'm getting more and more concernedabout theecology of our planet. There's this level of awareness rising in me, looks its like a path I need to go further in.



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Old Jun 18, 2004, 11:48 PM   #14
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Eric, since you and I are both using the same lens it's very easy for me to follow your chat about light and frustration in the field. I checked out a 120-300 2.8 Sigma and tested it alongside the 50-500 in order to compare sharpness. I didn't buy the 120-300 because it couldn't measure up to the 50-500 standard that I have become used to now. It's nice to havethe 50-500lens and the variety of focal lengths that can be used immediately without exchanging lenses. Because of this I can tolerate some of the frustration that both you and I experience in the deeper and darker woods and on those days when the light just isn't there. It's nice to hear another account of similar "light" experiences, thanks.

I don't think that anyone could spend as much time as we spend with these animals without becoming personally involved. I'm experiencing the same growth of compassion and concern in an area that I was already a bit concerned about, but not nearly as much as now, and the concern I'm sure will continue to grow as I spend more time with these wonderful critters.

I look forward to your next great shot, which I know will eventually arrive!
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 6:18 AM   #15
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Norm, there's this dilemna... A lens with bigger aperture to start with has one negative side of it. Since we want to get crisp / sharp pictures of smallish birds, we need to be close right ? Being close with lets say an aperture of F/5.6 will lead to get too often part of the bird outside of DOF. So to increase DOF at F/5.6 we'll need to get further away of the bird, thus it will be smallish and will have less details.

The super lens Eric s bought is an awesome lens, he could easily run this at F/4 with super crisp / sharp results, but this lens on smallish birds will show shot of the head in focus and gradually the rest will be OOF. One main advantage he has is this Canon L lens resolves more resolution than any Sigma lens, so he could "cheat" by being further from the bird. But still at that focal lenght, he'll find that its better to stop down the lens to get smallish birds entirely in focus. His lens will do much much better at more distance on bigger birds like Egrets, Heron, Vultures, Hawks and so on. This is where he has an impressive advantage with that class of L lens over any Sigma lens.

Now if you want to take shots of 2 birds together, again the small ones, you'll need to stop down even further, since both birds won't be at the exact equal distance from the lens. An example of this taken at F/11 :





Now look carefully, this one was taken at F/8 :



Another example, depending on the position of the bird, it could be almost entirely in focus :



Or because of the bird position, only the head then gradually the rest is OOF :





From the last image, the dilemna is quite apparent, this was taken at F/8, ISO800, 1/320 sec, the better solution would have been F/11 to get the bird more in focus, but I was at the limit because of ISO 800, and couldn't go slower shutter.

To conclude, L glass like the EF 500 F/4 and EF 600 F/4 are incredible lens, awesome resolution, but to get the advantage of the bigger aperture, you'll need to change shooting style ; get further away of the bird but shoot bigger birds. What we need in the long run is hopefully CMOS technology will show less noise at higher ISO, thus we can stop down the lens to get close shots in focus of small birds. This already started with the 1D Mark II, but I believe in a few year from now, Canon R&D will do even better. I'm a big believer in Canon CMOS technology, they have the money and research team to improve things up, contrary to CCD's of Sony which sells that to other camera manufacturer.

And for last, the more resolution we need, the lessnumber of elementsinside each lens is needed, that's why prime lens are better than zooms. I say this from my experience in astronomy telescopes (especially high priced super-APO refractor, which has only 3 or 4 glass inside). Eventhe current primes from Canon with 17 elements can't get near the resolution of Super-Apo (or better fluorite) Refractors, but part of this comes from the fact that to get AF, you need groups of elements to move inside the lens, thus the number of elements is naturally increased. Zooms like the Sigma 50-500 has 20 elements.



Cheers




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Old Jun 19, 2004, 8:55 AM   #16
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Tree swallows, bc chickadee, yellowthroat, oh my!

Sure, Eric CAN, I understand and agree with what you are saying about DOF. Regardless of how the photos you posted exhibited various degrees of DOF, I think the shots are wonderful. I love how you've captured the behavior between a tree swallow pair. What a portfolio you are amassing...
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 8:19 PM   #17
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geoffs wrote:
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Tree swallows, bc chickadee, yellowthroat, oh my!

Sure, Eric CAN, I understand and agree with what you are saying about DOF. Regardless of how the photos you posted exhibited various degrees of DOF, I think the shots are wonderful. I love how you've captured the behavior between a tree swallow pair. What a portfolio you are amassing...

Thanks very much Geoff, but the object of my reply was not to show-off my birds :lol:

Look at my new thread, more of the idea was tried today :-)

Cheers
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 8:36 PM   #18
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Great post, Eric, and it seems to be a voice in support of what I am possibly going to do in the near future. I may, rather than purchase a wider lens, purchase the Mark II, primarily because I will be able to use the 50-500 on it at higher ISO, since this camera seems to rock, even at 1600 and has acceptable results at 3200. Instead of stopping up, I ISO up because it's possible.

In any event, this is a distinct possibility for me and I have approached my camera guy about it. Unfortunately if I choose to go this direction, rather than get a faster lens, I may need to wait a few months before getting the camera.

PS, this has been immensely helpful to me, thank you.

Today I ran that "girl" face on Steve's review of this camera through neat image, the one that was posted at 3200 ISO, and it toned down miraculously. I was amazed. That was my test (hehe, not very scientific) If this isn't legal I apologize to Steve and hope that he can understand why I'm posting this photo.

Here's the face, at 3200 ISO and passed once through neat image then of course reduced to be posted in forum. I'll tell you what, I don't think that I would have guessed that this photo was taken at 3200 ISO. Who needs a fast lens if you have this stuff...








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Old Jun 26, 2004, 1:15 PM   #19
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yea! if you mean the girl! sure is a nice stuff!
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Old Jun 26, 2004, 10:30 PM   #20
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Nasser, are you trying to be cool? If so, I would suggest that you need more practice.
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