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Old Dec 19, 2012, 3:22 PM   #21
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Incredible shots. I guess you could call it the "Feathery Fifty" lens -- which version is it?

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Originally Posted by mole View Post
This juvenile Sharp Shinned Hawk was nice enough to "pose" for some portraits. One of my favorite birds, but rarely get the chance to photograph them.

PS - If you check the exif data on these shots, you may be surprised to see which lens was used. This was an injured bird, photos taken while bird was in my hand. just prior to release.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 6:21 PM   #22
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MacBook - Glad you enjoyed the birds - our titmice are also very frequent bird feeder visitors. And yes, the Tokina is a fine little lens.

Hans - Maybe the birds are telling you to head south before the really cold weather moves in!

D/D - Thanks so much. Of course, I had an unfair advantage - your eagles, BH Sheep, etc. don't let you hold them in your hand for personal portraits!

MtnMan - Thanks for your kind words! Despite the length and rather close focusing, that Tokina is pretty fast to lock focus.

MacBook - "feathery fifty!!!!" Too funny!
It's an FA 50 macro - lately my favorite "default" lens - great color and sharpness, and very useful focal length.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 12:48 PM   #23
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Well I for one was not at all bored with all the bird shots (as I expect you may have guessed)

The first heron flying into the mist shot is superb - a simply wonderful shot.

Coots - interesting that they are rather confiding for you. they are as nervous as the grebes over here !

I love all the hawk shots, it is exceedingly rare for me to shoot a hawk/buzzard/falcon/eagle that is not in flight and about 50 yards away !
Juvenile Sharp Shinned Hawk - exceptional portraits. Red Tailed Hawk - lovely 'au naturelle' shots. Both are wonderful hawks !

Kingfisher - love these birds and this one looks a cracker !

Blue Jays - well not great shots as you say, however what I've found with shots like this is that they are very satisfying for the tog as (s)he knows how difficult it was to make the shot in the first place ! I have a few like that but no-one except myself ever likes them (hope you don't mind I've attached a sample I like but nobody else does - a Plain Prinia) !

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Old Dec 23, 2012, 5:24 PM   #24
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Mole it is just another amazing bunch of bird pictures highlighting your photographic prowess.

Itís amazing how downright silly these juvenile hawks are. In a few more months they will be fleeing the moment you approach them but as juveniles I find they actually like people attention.

I like the Tokina lenses. My 80-400mm is not as sharp as your dedicated 400mm. For what itís worth I found that mine works well with the Tamron 1.4 Pz-AF TC, If you could locate one.

Lou
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 7:05 PM   #25
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Wonderful shots as always, mole. I can't even pick a favorite. You are the master

Patty
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 3:04 PM   #26
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Great shots.
Would you mind sharing your technique? I tried some bird shots with K7 and Tamron 70-200 at local park but without much succes. I know this lens is not the best focusing one but most photos were blurry or OOF and correctly focused had loads of subject movement.

Thanks

Greg
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 6:56 PM   #27
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Kevin - Glad you weren't bored, even though your example of a "bad" shot is better than most of my good ones (my wife told me to be sure to tell you she liked it a lot!). Thanks for all your kind and specific comments!

Lou - Thanks for your kind words, and also for the tip about the TC - perhaps will find one for sale sometime...

Patty - Thanks so much! Definitely not the "master," but sure do enjoy seeing some of the Master's feathered handiwork!

Greg - Glad you enjoyed these. Will be glad to share a few tips, and hope that some who know more will add their suggestions too.
First, your 70-200 might not be the best birding lens. If you are very patient (much more patient than I), you might be able to stalk up close enough to get some good bird photos at 200 mm. I've had some success with bird feeder birds with an old A 70-210, but usually find this lens to be too short. For me, for most birding shots, 400 mm seems to be a minimum effective focal length. Keep in mind that you'll need both a fast shutter speed and a relatively small Aperture, to stop the action and to have more of the bird in focus. That's why my best shots are usually on very bright sunny mornings - plenty of good light helps with the camera settings, and also brings out more detail in feathers. I usually don't use a tripod with the 400 mm, but try to practice very stable hand-holding. And what seems to help me most is spending time noticing bird behavior patterns. If I can guess what the bird is probably going to do next, I can be better prepared for the next shot.
Hope that helps a bit!
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 4:50 AM   #28
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Thanks mole.

I know it's on the short side but I was walking with ducks and geese around my feet and still couldn't get anything decent. Are you using cont focus or single? How about camera mode? From exif it looks like auto ISO with manual aperture and shutter speed and some exp correction. Is that right?
Guess I have to go to that lake in sunny weather without my wife and kid so I can sit in one place for an hour just trying.

Greg
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 9:08 AM   #29
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Great head shots of the hawk. Looks like he kept his eye on you, but stayed for a while.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 6:35 PM   #30
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Greg - Sorry to be slow in answering - have been away from electronics for about a week. Will certainly agree that 200mm should be plenty long enough for waterfowl right around your feet! (I got some good shots of a pair of coots with a 100mm lens the other day). As you know, even "ordinary" ducks and geese that are very close are still in constant motion, so fast shutter speed will certainly help. I usually use AF-S (K20D seems to be slower with continuous focus). Of course, when I use the 135-600 or the A* 300, it's all manual focus. Camera mode is usually Aperture Priority (Tokina 400 seems sharpest between f 8 and 11), and EV usually + 0.3 (sometimes higher if necessary). Hope that helps!

Bob - He sure was keeping an eye on me!
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