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Old Jan 23, 2006, 1:17 PM   #1
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Greetings all. When I purchased my Pany FZ5 in Nov-05, it was with the specific purpose to eventually capture some photos of the nesting pairs of BE at a local mountain lake here in SoCal (Silverwood Lake). A few years ago, the wife and I were watching National Geographic and an episode about BE. She commented at the time that was one of her life's goals - to see a BE in real life. Since it was February, I had her join me and we drove up to the local lake. As luck would have it, we were able to experience a pair of BE flying low overhead and even had them playing with each other in mid-flight directly above us with the audible sound of their wings swooshing through the air.

Since obtaining my FZ5, I've marveled at the BE photos taken by others in the wild, especially by the members on this forum. Its your level of quality that I'm aspiring to!

Going out Sunday on my second attempt (I was skunked on my first visit), I was afforded a great opportunity but under extremely difficult circumstances. I happened to spy what appeared to be a lone BE on a high perch that I'd estimate was at least a 1/4-mile away and uphill. The distance wasn't the only issue as the low winter sun was behind and off to its left and I had forgot my quick adapter for mounting the camera to the tripod, as well. The distance and shadows also had to do with a pleasant surprise when I got home as I later found out there was a second BE in a lot of my photos blending in with the tree trunk/branches.



Photo were taken w/ a FZ5 at 12X plus a TCON17 1.7X Teleconverter for a 35-mm eq. of 734mm lens. 1/1000-sec; f/5.6 and -66/100 EV bias.

I was able to get a lot of photos with one sequence of 3 that I'm extremely proud of - not for the quality, neccessarily, but the sequenced capture as the below middle photo reflects. I've posted the original, unedited sequence at: http://iciclelanding.com/aperture?al...amp;view=album

I'll be posting a request for post processing assistance on retouching forums asking for those with more experience (and the inclination) to hopefully bring out as much detail as the extreme distance and conditions will allow from the photos.

In the meantime, I thought that my minimal results would be somewhat of an inspiration to other newbies, such as myself. Any and all comments by my 'mentors' on this forum are greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 3:07 PM   #2
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Very good photos having in mind the problems that you had with the enviorment. only one comment - maybe if you have used F8 there will be better results because (1/1000s will be redused to 1/500 but it must be enought). What image stabilization mode you have used - 1 or 2?

Sorry for my bad endglish
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 3:16 PM   #3
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sunstorage wrote:
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Very good photos having in mind the problems that you had with the enviorment. only one comment - maybe if you have used F8 there will be better results because (1/1000s will be redused to 1/500 but it must be enought). What image stabilization mode you have used - 1 or 2?

Sorry for my bad endglish

Actually, not bad english overall...!

I tried a number of different settings realizing the problematic lighting conditions along with the distance issues. For this photo, I was in 'A' mode with IS2; () metering mode; Spot-H AF mode and this was the middle of 3 in an EV autobracketing burst. This was at -66/100 EV bias. I had forgotten my adapter to mount the camera to my tripod so I had the camera propped on the top of the tripod to try and stabilize the shot, somewhat.

I'm sure the f/5.6 apeture had some to do with the DOF and soft focus but, then too, I think the long distance and TCON17 teleconverter had as much or more to do with it.

Thanks for commenting and suggesting alternatives for possibly improving my next attempts!
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 3:25 PM   #4
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I have some problems when focusing with mode 2 and I think the mode 1 is better because in this mode the stabilization works when the camera focusing at the subject too and the camera can focus better when the object is small and a spot mode is used. Maybe F 5.6 is not bad at all because the great distanse you are focusing. My comment about the focus are becaus at this speed 1/1000 is very hard to create a blurry image if the focus is correct.

Sorry again for my english.
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 3:33 PM   #5
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sunstorage wrote:
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I have some problems when focusing with mode 2 and I think the mode 1 is better because in this mode the stabilization works when the camera focusing at the subject too and the camera can focus better when the object is small and a spot mode is used. Maybe F 5.6 is not bad at all because the great distanse you are focusing. My comment about the focus are becaus at this speed 1/1000 is very hard to create a blurry image if the focus is correct.

Sorry again for my english.
I'll have to try that. I was using A-mode at f/5.6 mostly because of indications from others that BIF seem to be better at this apeture. As to the IS-mode-1, I was trying to be concious of using a half-depress before firing the shutter. Who knows, that's one setting that I didn't think to try as an alternative but with propping on the tripod, aiming at full 20X telephoto zoom and thinking of the back lighting issues et al I never though of it.

Since I was in A-mode and using EV bracketing, the camera adjusted the shutter to 1/1000. The previous photo was at 1/640-second...

As an indication of the distance and problems with trying to get closer, the following is the perch in the distance with the FZ5 at no zoom (6-mm) looking across the highway, up the hill side...
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 9:57 PM   #6
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I know the pain. I have seen some fairly decent bird shots with the FZ's but mysuccess with birds with my FZ20 has been pretty slim (to my satisfaction)

It's a combination of factors, some of which lie with my abilityI am sure. I also decided to make it a priority to TRY and get some decent Bald Eagle pics, there is a lake near me that has a decent winter population and after several trips I began to find where they are. I will post a few of what I got.

I have not used mode 1 but thought I had experimented with everything else I thought would improve the outcome on birds.
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