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Old Dec 24, 2004, 6:16 PM   #1
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I just received a new Canon 300 f4L IS today. Within 15 minutes I had it on my 20D and was out in my backyard taking shots of some of the overwintering birds. It's a typical Oregon day today, perhaps a little worse than typical - very gray and dark, and as a result I wasn't able to get the shutter speeds I was really wanting. Still... these shots are literally the first pictures I took and I think they are not too bad for my first time with the 300!

Here's a male Dark-Eyed (Oregon) Junco. Av mode, 1/320 @ f4 and 300mm, ISO 800, -1/3 EC,handheld with IS on. In PSCS I cropped, did NR with NI for the BG, USM at 100/.5/0.


Song Sparrow #1. Av mode, 1/250 @ f4 and 300mm, ISO 800, -1/3 EC, handheld with IS on. In PSCS I cropped, did NR with NI for the BG, USM at 100/.5/0. Hmm - guess I wasn't exactly focusing on the eye...


Song Sparrow #2. Av mode, 1/250 @ f4 and 300mm, ISO 800, -1/3 EC, handheld with IS on. In PSCS I cropped, did NR with NI for the BG, USM at 100/.5/0. Hmm - that's better, got the center AF on the eye this time!


I also received the Canon 1.4x TC but I haven't tried that out yet. All in good time...

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Old Dec 24, 2004, 7:11 PM   #2
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Lens looks like it is working well, even set at its widest
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 7:30 PM   #3
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Ok, yes the second photo of the song sparrow was focused on the eye but that's the clearest, most perfectly focused butt shot in the first Song Sparrow I've ever seen. Lol.

Wonderful clarity and detail in all. Have fun with the new toys. Maybe I should say more fun.



Suzan
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 7:37 PM   #4
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Thanks, Suzan and Peter! I've never had a camera with a lens that could reach this far. I can't even imagine having the 500 and 600mm lenses like so many of these other bird photographers have! I'm just really happy with this lens now and it really is a bargain at its price compared to what those longer lenses cost. And it's relatively light and compact too!

I thought some people would appreciate that butt shot, especially Norm... :blah:

Next week will hopefully see me posting lots more pictures taken with this lens...
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 9:47 PM   #5
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I like them a lot, well done. I often find the pattern on the back of the bird more interesting than the front. But most pictures aren't from that "angle".


Isn't the freedome of handholding really nice? I miss it some days.

Eric
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 10:06 PM   #6
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Thanks, Eric! I wanted some pictures of these birds facing towards me but they just wouldn't pose for me. It seems that because I was only 10-12 feet from them that they were being bashful...

One of the reasons that I opted for the slower but lighter lenses (70-200/4 and 300/4) was exactly because I wanted the freedom of taking handheld pictures. The 70-200 is half the weight of the 70-200/2.8 Sigma that I returned, and the 300/4 is about 1/2 lb less than the Sigma or the Canon 70-200/2.8. You can really tell the difference when they're hanging around your neck.

I've still got to practice technique. All too often I am taking the picture before I've really steadied the lens/body and the result is just too soft. It's me, not the lens/body, I am convinced.
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 11:29 PM   #7
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alrighty geoff, you've shown me why i wanted you to get a dSLR

gorgeous first shots...not perfect ...but you'll get better (lol, you're WAAAYY past me already )

the third one is very nice focus if great, DOF is a bit small, but sounds like it was a dark...cloudy-ish day..(i've been to Oregon, so i know what it's like )

well, use winter to get your technique down (hmm..do photographers ever get it down? i guess eventually...EJ and Alan murphy might've )

and get some amazing shots in the spring!

being a birder already will help you for sure!, and if you haven't already seen it, check out the stalking thread at NSN...it's got some great tips in there!

Vito


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Old Dec 25, 2004, 3:21 AM   #8
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Some really nice shots. If you don't mind, could you post a 100% crop
around the juncos head w/o noise reduction. The reason I ask, I'm
teetering on the edge of getting 20D. I have a couple photos of
slate-colored juncos that have a similar background @ 800 and would
like to compare the noise and initial capture quality.

Also, I'll shoot 4 or 5 shots of a bird, and when I get home and process
them, I usually find that the technically perfect shot will be a butt shot.
Just a comment I had to make.
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Old Dec 25, 2004, 12:03 PM   #9
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Congrats on some very nice shots, Geoff. I'm sure that you are really going to enjoy that lens. It's light and works nicely with a 1.4x as well. Those Juncos are really neat looking birds as well, love the fuzzy blackhead.
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Old Dec 26, 2004, 10:05 AM   #10
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Here in Oregon we've got a lot of flat winter light - suggest that you order a "Better Beamer" which will help your exposure in so many ways.
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