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Old Apr 3, 2008, 11:19 PM   #1
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Hi All,

It was a dark and dreary day, so I thought I'd try a new spot -- it's near my place, so it was quick, and they're renovating the Center, so I thought they might have put up some new feeders. I've never gotten any good pics there, so I thought it would be worth checking out for future use.

I stood by the feeders for about a half hour, letting the birds get used to me. I saw about 10 different species, so I set up the K20 with the Tam SP300/2.8 and the 1.7x AFA ( 510mm f4.8 ) on the tripod down low, took a seat on the ground and waited again.

Song Sparrow (?)


White Throated Sparrow, about a 50% crop


Male Dark-Eyed Junco. These are about the best shots I've gotten of this little guy -- they're not uncommon, but I can't ever seem to get very close to one, and they're one of my favorites, even though they're not very exotic.


Female Dark-Eyed Junco. My first good opportunity at one of these.


Here's what happens a lot when shooting little birds in bad light -- 1/80 sec -- a pretty interesting effect.


Scott
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Old Apr 3, 2008, 11:30 PM   #2
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The last one is certainly ... interesting! Actually, it's far better than my blowing wildflowers from a week ago. And all of your other ones are very good!
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 12:35 AM   #3
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Those are very nice and film like.

Tom
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 1:24 AM   #4
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Nicely done...I even like the last one!

Dawg
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 5:15 AM   #5
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nr2 wins for me, the last one is a real strange effect, something I not yet experienced.

great job, Ronny
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 5:21 AM   #6
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snostorm wrote:
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Hi All,

It was a dark and dreary day, so I thought I'd try a new spot -- it's near my place, so it was quick, and they're renovating the Center, so I thought they might have put up some new feeders. I've never gotten any good pics there, so I thought it would be worth checking out for future use.

I stood by the feeders for about a half hour, letting the birds get used to me. I saw about 10 different species, so I set up the K20 with the Tam SP300/2.8 and the 1.7x AFA ( 510mm f4.8 ) on the tripod down low, took a seat on the ground and waited again.

Here's what happens a lot when shooting little birds in bad light -- 1/80 sec -- a pretty interesting effect.


Scott

Scott

Sharp images of common smaller birds. The last one has cool effect. You used to have double TC. Do you find it has sharper effect with one TC?

Great ground work indeed

Daniel
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 11:27 AM   #7
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Hi Harriet, Tom, Dawg, Ronny, and Daniel,

Thanks All for looking and the comments.

Harriet -- on the last one -- It just struck me as strange that the bird could apparently rotate its head, keeping the eye central and seemingly still, while the rest of the head was blurred by the motion.

Tom -- "film-like" is what I pretty much strive for in PP

Daniel -- It was so dreary, I figured that I needed the f4.8 more than the reach, so I removed the 1.4x TC to get an extra stop of Av. As you can see, the DOF is tiny, so rather than shoot wide open @ 714mm, I could at least stop down a bit @ 510mm to try to get more DOF.

The cool thing is that these shots show that this combo is front focusing a bit (I focused on their chests, and those feathers are at the far end of the in-focus plane,while their feet are OOF. With the K20, I can adjust this to move the focus plane back to include more of the bird, and less of the foreground. Unfortunately, there is no way to automatically save and use this setting for this lens combo, but I can make note of it and manually set the focus point farther back when I use it. Since I have to pretty much rely on AF, this is a major feature for me.

Scott
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 1:42 PM   #8
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Scott, the texture of the feathers - particularly on the heads - of the first two Juncos doesn't look natural to me -- much too grainy. If I understand the difference correctly, the CMOS sensor should give a smoother image than a CCD, so is this some sort of postprocessing artifact - oversharpening perhaps? Otherwise they are great.
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 2:54 PM   #9
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penolta wrote:
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Scott, the texture of the feathers - particularly on the heads - of the first two Juncos doesn't look natural to me -- much too grainy.** If I understand the difference correctly, the CMOS sensor should give a smoother image than a CCD, so is this some sort of postprocessing artifact - oversharpening perhaps?* Otherwise they are great.
Hi penolta,

You are correct that this is a result of the PP. I've found that trying to downsize a 14MP image with minute detail (like feathers) to about .5MP is a challenge without destroying all of that detail -- certainly harder than either 6 or even 10 MP shots for me.

The CMOS sensor appears considerably cleaner than the previous CCDs -- more a function of processing on the chip as opposed to the nature of the two technologies. From what I've read, the noise characteristics are very close to the K10's sensor, but it appears more like fine grain because of the increased resolution. IMO, it's significantly cleaner, with virtually no noise concerns up to ISO 400, I'm just going by what I see. . .

The K20 PP for posting workflow is still a work in progress for me, but I generally am finding that taking a higher res image that is oversharpened for printing, and resizing it down to @ 800x600 in multiple steps still gives a reasonably close approximation of the appearance of the original detail. I usually end up touching up edges and other areas of the shot with a very light touch of PSP's Softening Brush to keep the look more natural, but I can apparently go stronger on some of this.

Thanks for taking the time to call my attention to this. I need objective input from other eyes to adjust my PP workflow -- One of the many benefits of posting pics in a forum like this.

Scott
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Old Apr 4, 2008, 6:57 PM   #10
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That's an interesting observation - I haven't really tried to pp anything yet. I will say that it was great fun today to take pictures in jpg (the K20's jpgs are very nice!) with a K10 and a K20, then put them up side by side on two30 inch monitors. Then look at them either to fit the screen, 50% reduction or 100%. The K20 makes me appreciate the DA*50-135 even more than before - the amount of detail it captures is amazing! And the pictures look really good at 100%, without any pp at all. Thanks for the suggestions about re-sizing, I'll have to work on that next.
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