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Old Feb 1, 2009, 10:48 PM   #1
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I've spent the last few days messing around with the E-510 and 50-200mm combo trying to shoot finches at the feeder. My success rate has improved somewhat, I now am getting about 5 keepers out of 100 shots:?

In order to get any chance at catching the finches in flight, I've found that I need to operate in full manual mode, have ISO set at least to 400 with 800 more typical. Otherwise, the shutter speed is simply too slow to freeze the flight of the bird. I was shooting wide open but the dof just gets too thin. so, I've been having a bit more success @ISO800 1/400 or 1/500 shutter speed, with an arpeture set around f3.2.

This has actually been a great exercise, as I've learned a fair amount about the use of the 50-200mm lens. As an example; I tend to get a better percentage of keepers manually focusing the lens to a specific spot on the feeder. Then, depending on light conditions,adjusting tothe highest f-stop that will still give me about a 1/500 shutter speed. BTW, the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Also have determined that if I'm going to continue doing this, I need an EC-14 teleconverter. I miss the extra focal length of the 70-300mm

Here are a couple more shots:








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Old Feb 2, 2009, 12:59 AM   #2
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Bird photography is not easy. I truly admire any good shot of birds as I have never had a lot of luck trying it the time or two I did make an effort.

While the 300mm reach is missed, losing the faster f2.8-3.5aperture of the 50-200 would work against you in another way, whilethe 1.4TC will get you back to 280mm,it will also make that 280mm setting a maximum aperture of f5, so instead of ISO 800 and 1/500 second, you'd be at ISO 800 and 1/320 or 1/400second instead.You might bebetter off just cropping down to the captured area you want to keep.

The images you have posted hereare very nice. Congratulations, and don't get discouraged about your hit rate. I would not doubt it if someone told memany of the better birdshooters toss many more images than they actually keep due to the nature of the subject.

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Old Feb 2, 2009, 6:40 AM   #3
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Hi Greg,

Thanks for the kind words and your thoughts on the EC14. I know I've a long way to go before I'm satisfied with the results. In the meantime, I'm having some fun in the dead of winter when there aren't a lot of other photo opps. around here.


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Old Feb 2, 2009, 5:26 PM   #4
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............I think these are just really good and I would strut quite smartly if they were mine. I have never yet made a file of a bird that was worth the time it took to delete the file but for one exception. This one I did with the 50-200 but then the buzzard was just sitting on air floating around, maybe it qualifies as a BIF (Bird Is Floating).



Good work Zig and thanks for the explanation too.

BTW, I hope you recv'd a PM from me.......
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Old Feb 2, 2009, 7:39 PM   #5
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Hi Bob,

Technically, I guess what I'm doing can be catagorized as birds in flight. However, I know that I'm cheating quite a bit, in that, using the bird feeder as the attraction- I know where the birds are going-within a few inches.

I've triedcapturing terns in flight, using the 70-300mm lensthis past summerand have had a devil of a time with AF speed. The lens is slow to react and with the longer focal length just seems to hunt more. The 50-200 snaps into focus quite readily even with the E-510. I can't wait to try it. Although, I readily admit that I need to read a few tutorials on the subject of shooting shore birds.

Ithink your shot of the vulture is great regardless if it's just riding on air.

BTW, got your PM






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Old Feb 7, 2009, 7:03 PM   #6
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Hi zig: I like your shots, keep up the good work.


Okay, you've got me out in the backyard shooting bird shots again; and making me wish I could afford the 50-200mm. Anyway, here is one of my backyard birds shot with the 40-150 with spot metering to darken the background. Just reduced the size to post to the forum.

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Old Feb 7, 2009, 7:46 PM   #7
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Whoa!! That's a seriously nice capture Steven. More so impressive being done with the 40-150 lens

FWIW, KEH.com has 3 50-200mm lenses currently being offered at 599.00/ea. After using both the 40-150mm and the 70-300mm I have to confess that I reallyappreciate the 50-200mm and can understand why it's so highly rated. Mine is the older version

Are you warming up down there yet? Spoke to a buddy of mine in the Keys. It was 43 earlier this week.

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Old Feb 8, 2009, 12:01 AM   #8
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Hi zig: Thanks. I get by with the 40-150 because the pond in my back yard attracks lots of big birds, so they get pretty close to me. However, I could really use a bigger lens when I'm out and about.

(After 2-3 weeks of way below normal temps, we have finally warmed back up to normal. However, the past weeks have killed allmy flowers, and even my grass. But we're going to be in the mid 70's all next week. I know that you are used to cold winters, but the older I get, the less I can tolerate the cold.)

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Old Feb 8, 2009, 12:27 AM   #9
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I'd say good work.

I've wasted more frames shooting (or trying to shoot) birds than anything else. If its not focus, its movement. If not that, then I blow the exposure in a high contrat situation. Normally you need to be close... Real close.

Since folks are showing their work, I'll join with the 50-200/EC-14













THERE!!!!

Three bird pics from about 3500 shutter actuations:-(

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Old Feb 8, 2009, 9:50 AM   #10
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Hi Greg,

Those 3 are definitely keepers with the last being my favorite. I don't generally see Orioles, at least that's what I think the last bird is. Very pretty bird.

As for the success rate. I find it amazing, humorous quite frankly as to how many shots of birds that I've taken and think to myself, gee, I think I've just gotten a great shot. Only to load the shots into the PC, look at them and groan as most are either out of focus, depth of field is too narrow, or wings are terribly blurred.

Makes it all the more satisfying when I finally end up with a keeper. Glad this isn't film photography. Yikes!!!

I keep thinking about that EC-14 teleconverter

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