Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Wildlife Photos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 2, 2005, 10:44 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,748
Default

The first and third are beauts, eric. I particularly like the third one because of the dynamics in color and the interesting body shape, almost like a large owlish looking hummingbird. Great time for a nice blue sky backdrop.
Normcar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 4:16 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
woodmeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 838
Default

You lucky dog. What a weekend!!! I like the third one as well. In addition to
what Norm said, the capture on the eyes is really hypnotic!!!
woodmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 9:16 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

I showed that 3rd shot to the group of people I went with and they/we were all amazed that it came out that well. There was another guy with the 10D on the trip and he did the same thing (we just switched camera bodies) and his came out fairly well too. I think the amazingly bright day saved us. On a dark day that would have been 1/8 or some other slow shutter speed and that would have been all she wrote.

I truly don't know how far away that bird was.... distances like that are hard to estimate... several hundred feet up? The bird is 14-18" long. Which I guess isn't that small, but next to the Great Gray it look tiny.

If you all like the eyes in these shots, I should post one of the Great Gray when they stare at you. I'll see what I can dig up!

Houston
I have no problem commenting on heads.
There are two types of heads that I would consider (I own them both.) Either a ball head (like you said) or a gimbal-style head.

For your lens, you probably don't need the gimbal head, but Wimberley, Kirk, Bogen (? I think.) and probably others make them. For longer lenses, (like mine) they are basically a requirement. I know someone who uses one with the 100-400, but I think that is also preparation for his buying a longer lens in the future.

For ball heads, there are several things to look into. How you attach the camera to the head, how you "use" the head, how sturdy it is.

How you attach the camera/lens should be with a plate and hopefully is "quick release". Being able to remove it quickly lets you setup fast and remove it and chase the subject quickly. It's also just easier on you.

How you use it is very important. I prefer heads with only one control. For example:

http://www.adorama.com/BG488RC2.html

This is similar to the one I know someone else has, but his had a hex-shaped plate. I don't specifically recommend this one (I don't know it from a hole in the wall) but notice how this has two controls? The lever "unlocks" the head so you can move it in any direction, the knob tightens down only the up/down to help with pano shots. This type of "one-lever for most use" will make your life easier and let you switch from subject to subject and still lock down easily. Personally, I don't know if this lever lets you lock down slightly or if it's an all-or-nothing kinda thing.

Another thing that matters is the size of the ball and the size of the "neck" between the ball and the plate where you connect the camera. The example I gave above isn't very good because the ball is fairly small and the neck isn't very thick. Will it work? Sure, of course it will. Would something better do better? It all depends on how picky you are, but for me... yes.

Then there is a different "class" of head. They cost a lot more and are better. (enough better for the cost? Maybe not, that is a personal decision.)
For example:
http://www.adorama.com/AWMB1N.html
I have the larger version of this one. I wouldn't have purchased it, except that I got it used for a very good price. Notice how the ball is much larger, the neck is short and thick and the plate is much larger too. It just connects your camera to the tripod in a better way. It also has only one control knob that offers progressive tension so you can lock it down tight or down slightly for some play but still not be "loose".) (Some models have a second small knob for left/right pano-shots.)

There are several ball heads in this style. Kirk and Arca Swiss are the two big names, but a few new ones have come in the last year or two.

This type of head is really a "pro" head. Not because anyone would like one but because of the cost and incremental improvement. They are better, but how much? And for $150-300 more? The plates for them are also very expensive (but better as they are usually custom made to fit the lens and are bigger for a better connection to the tripod.)

Does that help?

I was told that the day before (when we were with the great grays) the boreal was out in the open sitting in the sun. I would have died. That is such a rare thing with that owl. Oh well. I still had good looks.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 9:37 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 13
Default

I assume that this was either a bird watching or photo tour. Can you tell who your guide was and how to contact them?

Those really are great photos.
Turkalope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 9:46 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

Turkalope
Glad you liked the photos.

Actually, it wasn't a tour.

I was out shooting with a friend who is a Pro (shooting bald eagles and short eared owls) when we bumped into another photographer he knew. We got talking and those owls came up. One of us said "why don't we just go up to Montreal and photograph those owls?" And it went from there. We checked the internet to find out where they were, printed out loads of directions, and went.

Look around on www.massbird.org, specifically the archives of the recent sightings. I'm sure people have posted directions and such.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 6:54 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,366
Default

eric s wrote:
Quote:
Houston
I have no problem commenting on heads.
There are two types of heads that I would consider (I own them both.) Either a ball head (like you said) or a gimbal-style head.

For your lens, you probably don't need the gimbal head, but Wimberley, Kirk, Bogen (? I think.) and probably others make them. For longer lenses, (like mine) they are basically a requirement. I know someone who uses one with the 100-400, but I think that is also preparation for his buying a longer lens in the future.

For ball heads, there are several things to look into. How you attach the camera to the head, how you "use" the head, how sturdy it is.

How you attach the camera/lens should be with a plate and hopefully is "quick release". Being able to remove it quickly lets you setup fast and remove it and chase the subject quickly. It's also just easier on you.

How you use it is very important. I prefer heads with only one control. For example:

http://www.adorama.com/BG488RC2.html

This is similar to the one I know someone else has, but his had a hex-shaped plate. I don't specifically recommend this one (I don't know it from a hole in the wall) but notice how this has two controls? The lever "unlocks" the head so you can move it in any direction, the knob tightens down only the up/down to help with pano shots. This type of "one-lever for most use" will make your life easier and let you switch from subject to subject and still lock down easily. Personally, I don't know if this lever lets you lock down slightly or if it's an all-or-nothing kinda thing.

Another thing that matters is the size of the ball and the size of the "neck" between the ball and the plate where you connect the camera. The example I gave above isn't very good because the ball is fairly small and the neck isn't very thick. Will it work? Sure, of course it will. Would something better do better? It all depends on how picky you are, but for me... yes.

Then there is a different "class" of head. They cost a lot more and are better. (enough better for the cost? Maybe not, that is a personal decision.)
For example:
http://www.adorama.com/AWMB1N.html
I have the larger version of this one. I wouldn't have purchased it, except that I got it used for a very good price. Notice how the ball is much larger, the neck is short and thick and the plate is much larger too. It just connects your camera to the tripod in a better way. It also has only one control knob that offers progressive tension so you can lock it down tight or down slightly for some play but still not be "loose".) (Some models have a second small knob for left/right pano-shots.)

There are several ball heads in this style. Kirk and Arca Swiss are the two big names, but a few new ones have come in the last year or two.

This type of head is really a "pro" head. Not because anyone would like one but because of the cost and incremental improvement. They are better, but how much? And for $150-300 more? The plates for them are also very expensive (but better as they are usually custom made to fit the lens and are bigger for a better connection to the tripod.)

Does that help? Are you kidding. Eric I really wasn't expecting all this and I don't know how to adequately thank you for it. You have covered it extremely well and have brought things to my attention that I really needed to know and didn't. Normcar suggested I ask you as you were the leading tripod expert around. I have followed the linksd you sent and looked at all of the ones on those sites. With your information to help I think I have decided on this one. http://www.adorama.com/BG468RC2.html...&item_no=1 I think it pretty much fits the requirements that you gave. Take a look and tell me if you think it is suitable.
Quote:
Houston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 8:11 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
geoffs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,025
Default

Hey, Eric!, I'm back from my week long trip to Tennessee (for the birth of my first grandchild) and I come back to see that you've posted this great series of owl shots. The Hawk Owl is wonderful and I'm amazed at the quality you got given the number of TC's that were stacked.

BTW, I read on NSN of the controversy that arose during the time you took these shots. People can be something else, eh?
geoffs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 9:28 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

Houston, your comments didn't appear.

Geoffs,
Glad you like the shots.

I was moving the car at the time the actual event happened. But I drove up during the second bating just in time to see the owl fly over to them. What a pair.

My conclusion is one of two things. They were afraid that we wouldn't want them to bait it (no one in the group cared. We don't do it, but we can't prevent others from doing it.) Or they didn't want to give us the opportunity to get a flight shot. They wanted the shot and at the same time to not let anyone else get one because they sell their images.

Either way, I hope they get Karmicly(sp?) smacked upside the head some day soon. They could have had friends for life and instead chose to make enemies.

On the other hand, I met someone on the other end of the spectrum (Chris Dodds.) Shot with him for over an hour, a really nice guy in every way those other two weren't.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2005, 9:54 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,366
Default

Eric I put my comment in a quote at the bottom of your reply. Here it is again.

Houston



Eric I really wasn't expecting all this and I don't know how to adequately thank you for it. You have covered it extremely well and have brought things to my attention that I really needed to know and didn't. Normcar suggested I ask you as you were the leading tripod expert around. I have followed the linksd you sent and looked at all of the ones on those sites. With your information to help I think I have decided on this one.

http://www.adorama.com/BG468RC2.html?searchinfo=BG468RC2&item_no=1

I think it pretty much fits the requirements that you gave. Take a look and tell me if you think it is suitable.
Houston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 2005, 12:31 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

Ah, there is it. I missed it mixed in with my quoted text.

Yes, that is a "knock off" of the Arca-Swiss type of ball head. Slighty different in controls and size, but effectively the same. Bogen generally makes good products, so that is a plus.

That is cheaper than the other knock-off's that I've seen (Markins's is around $330 & the RRS is $415 (ouch!))

Yes, at least visually, it looks like it should fit the bill nicely. If you have access to a store that carries it locally I'd go look at it for the final test. But I see nothing wrong with it.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:08 PM.