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Old Apr 4, 2007, 1:39 PM   #1
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Hi All,

. . . except that today it's 31 degrees and flurrying snow here in Chicago. . . after 70 degrees yesterday. . .

But the point is that i've been seeing a lot more diversity in bird species in the past few days. Here are some of the results with the DS and the Tamron SP 300/2.8 with the stacked Tamron 1.4x AII and the Pentax F1.7x AFA. All were handheld.

A White-breasted Nuthatch -- hard to capture with the long lens as they are constantly moving

A Brown Creeper -- my first acceptable capture of this little guy -- also a tough one

Two of the Carolina Chickadee on a feeder (which is cheating, but they're pretty good)

A Brown Thrasher

Two Downy WPs, one natural, one on a feeder (but the closest I've been able to get to one)

And last, but certainly not least, a significant crop of shot of
a Belted Kingfisher -- a very tough catch -- I see them rarely, and it's almost impossible to get close. I chased this guy around a little lake for about 2 hrs before getting only a coupld of shots.

It's nice to shoot something other than sparrows, gulls, starlings, and geese. . .

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Old Apr 4, 2007, 2:46 PM   #2
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The last 4 are phenomenal. Your combo proves its value. I had some closer shots (very close with FA135mm). But I would love to have the reach you got there. How does the wt of yours compared with that of Bigma? Roger (Hotel) has one and he always sets the sort of yardstick for birdie shots in here.

Daniel , Toronto
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 5:01 PM   #3
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Scott, I'm with Daniel. Those shots are really nice. While it must be a bit of a pain to put the whole system together, the results are sure worth the effort!


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Old Apr 4, 2007, 5:54 PM   #4
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Hi Daniel and Glenn,

Thanks for taking a look, and for the comments.

Daniel -- The lens combo is heavy -- I just weighed it and it came in at over 6 lbs with the converters and hood (a surprise to me -- I'd thought it to be @ 4.75 lbs with converters). The lens by itself without the hood is 4.75 lbs despite what the specs for it say (4.5 lbs). Up until the time I decided to get one, I steadfastly said that I would never lug around a lens of this weight, but now I've been playing with it significantly, I find myself liking the light gathering ability and the reach with the stacked TCs (not to mention the upper body workout:-)).

An AF 714mm f 6.7 with both TCs spoils you with the reach, IMO (after using this combo almost exclusively for only about a week) This is close to the ideal birding FL. Leave off the Tamron AII 1.4x, and you've still got an AF 510mm f4.8, and, of course, alone it's a MF 300 f2.8. With the palm rest installed on the tripod collar, it balances well for handholding, and your left hand is automatically positioned for easy manual focusing. Another neat feature is an adjustable focus detent, so if you're mainly shooting at one distance, you can set the detent for that -- then if you spot something else to shoot, you can adjust for that shot, and then immediately return to your preset focus setting.

The downsides are weight and some PF and CA despite the two LD elements, but I'm used to that and can easily correct for either in PP -- with film it would be a serious problem, but the nature of these aberrations with this lens (not really destructive of edge details -- unlike some other lenses I've used) allows for some pretty easy correction with PSPXI -- at least with the DS (I'll be shooting it with the K10 later this week).

Glenn -- I definitely agree that the results are worth any PIA it might be. I'm very please with this combo, even if it means that I'll be carrying this monster more than I had anticipated.


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Old Apr 4, 2007, 6:22 PM   #5
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It looks to me like the extra weight you are talking about is worth your effort. Very nice series.

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Old Apr 4, 2007, 11:47 PM   #6
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Very impressing! Talk of 3:rd degree! The close-up of the chickadee is talking to you!

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Old Apr 5, 2007, 12:08 AM   #7
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Wow! They are wonderful - its hard to believe you can get such clear shots of birds that aren't exactly friendly. It's great to see them.
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 1:40 AM   #8
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So sharp and clear. That lens is so worth the money! (Together with your talent!)

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