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Old Aug 19, 2008, 1:24 AM   #1
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Hi All,

Went out today to try to find some birds -- not much luck, except for the Grey Catbirds. They're the only interesting ones that seem to be around. I used the iPod unsuccessfully for some other species, but four different Catbirds were the only ones to show up, and though they didn't sit still for very long, I was able to get some shots.

The last time I got some shots of these guys, one of them burped up an intact berry, showed it to me, then swallowed it back down. I posted this sequence here last week:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...47&forum_id=80

What looked like the same guy showed up (I think -- it was missing some feathers on the throat and just under the right eye). I was searching the bushes and trees, waiting to sight some birds, and then glanced down and spotted this one standing on the ground about 8 ft away. It apparently had been there some time, listening to the bird songs and watching me. I slowly turned the camera its way, and started shooting, and actually had to lean back quite a bit to get the lens to focus, so these were taken while I was standing there in a very awkward position.

This time, it spit up a berry pit, showed it to me, then swallowed it back down, and flew off. When the seed appeared, I mashed the shutter down and got some shots in continuous, so these are every other frame, instead of consecutive. Here's the sequence shot with the K20, EX 300/2.8 + Tam 1.4x AF TC, f4.5, 1/200, ISO 1000, handheld:

"Wanna see something cool?"


"Urp!"


"Here's a better look"


". . .gulp -- but it's mine, and you can't have it. . ."


I don't know if this is common behavior for these guys, but I was doubly freaked out -- that I got to see it twice (and close up), . . . and that all the shots turned out both times. Call me a little strange :-), but this kind of stuff really makes my day. . .

Scott

BTW, these were just cropped to 5x7 and resized in 4 steps, no other PP or noise reduction applied. Whatever noise that was present disappeared with the downsizing. I've been using Auto ISO with the range set to 100-1250, and this is working very well for me. . .
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 2:16 AM   #2
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Great shots, so sharp and good focus on the eyes.
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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Rodney9 wrote:
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Great shots, so sharp and good focus on the eyes.
Hi Rodney,

Thanks! This guy was actually a little bit too close, and the DOF is obviously very thin, with very little margin for error, so I was a bit surprised that these came out as well as they did.

I was also worried about camera shake since I was hand holding from a very strained position, and with the TC, the SR system was optimized for 300mm instead of the actual 420mm.

The camera and lens performed beyond expectations here -- the rest was pretty much luck.

Scott
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 3:13 PM   #4
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As always I'm amazed at how close you get to those small birds and what an outstanding IQ you get even with stacked converters.

Kjell
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 6:34 PM   #5
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Scott,
Your pics blow me away. You get better results at 3200 than I do at 800!
I wish I had been there to take a picture of you shooting him. The visual in my head is quite funny..
GW .

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