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Old May 12, 2004, 10:35 PM   #1
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Yellow Headed Blackbirds: I spend an hour or so todayfocusing on these noisy little fellows. They are interesting to watch but tend to get extremely vocal. I find it very difficult to getdetailon those black feathers while not over exposing the sky. I also blew a few shots of what I think may have been a Killdeer and a Sandpiper because I forgot I'd increased the ISO setting. I've posted some smaller photos of these higher ISO'sbelow and would appreciate it if anyone could either confirm or correct theidentify these birds for me.

Yellow Headed Blackbirds:













Is this a Killdeer?



Sandpiper? If so, what kind?




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Old May 13, 2004, 12:04 AM   #2
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Getting detail on black birds is very hard. I think you did a very good job. I like that third picture a lot. I would probably have put more space on the left of the second one, but I like the pose of the animal. I've started to take fewer pictures and try to time them with bird activity. For example, the Black Crowned Night heron is one of my better examples of waiting for something to happen and not getting to enchanted with the subject.

That is definitely a killdeer. They are odd (to me) because the seem like they should be shore birds, but you can find them in fields and parking lots as well.

I assume that last one is the same bird in your previous post (on the post.) It looks like a willet again. This one seem to have a longer neck, which fits better.

Eric
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Old May 13, 2004, 11:56 AM   #3
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I'm saving up my money to buy this lens. It is a much better lens than the other options in my opinion. You are getting very sharp photos with the entire subject in the frame. Very nice. Where did you buy the lens BTW?

Can you tell me exactly what model of monopod you bought and the ball joint that you have on it ?
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Old May 13, 2004, 10:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input, Eric. I spent a few minutes working out where to crop that middle shot. My decision had alot to do with the reed to it's right, which I decided to keep in. However, I think I now know what needs to be done. If the bird could be mirrored so that it was pointing in the other direction then the pose might work better. I agree with you, something is amiss on that one.

Yes, I've had 4 confirmations on Willet on that bird now, from another forum and also from individuals who have supplied other books on the matter. I'm pretty well sure that it is a Willet now.

SoOregon,I appreciate your comments. I'm very happy with the FZ10 and converter when enough light exists and the ISO is kept at 50. If I shoot with this camera in low light it is usually only for practice because I don't expect to get anything worthwhile (much too grainy). However, when I have enough light it's a different question altogether and this is one of the major reasons why I wouldn't be happy with the FZ10 as my "only" camera. I'm extremely pleased with the image stabalization and the quality of image in good to average light at ISO 50. The above photos were all taken hand-held at ISO 50as I decided to leave my monopod in the car that day. The last two were taken atISO 100, and are too grainyfull size.

The monopod I use is an inexpensive OPUS, model 0T-S10M ($30 Canadian). I use a manfrotto 484RC2 mini-ball head ($75 Canadian). I purchase the lens through a camera store in Canada who ordered it direct from Panasonic Canada. It's not cheap, but then again it also seems to do a nice job with color and even with sharpness when all things are set properly.
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Old May 14, 2004, 8:21 AM   #5
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Another thing I've noticed is that many of the people using this camera aren't really familiar with a long telephoto lens. I mean, that is neat, the FZ10 gives them an opportunity to learn how to use one, but they have a learning curve. Most of the time the problem is that the subject was never in focus.

I've taken my own FZ10, no extra telephoto lens, and shot indoor concerts with crappy light at 2.8 and very slow speeds. I get about 60% of my pictures. They do have to go through Neat Image. A lot of concert pictures I've seen taken by more expensive digital and film cameras don't look any better- lots of grain.

I have bird friends and I want to go out where I live which is a good birding area and do some photography. As you know it is very hard to get close enough even with a powerful telephoto. It is hard to get the action and be conscious of what is going on in the background which affects the composition *and* exposure/grain or illusion of sharpness. This is where the skill and practice is that has nothing to do with the camera.

I've gone around PBase looking at "high end" bird shots and one thing that does make them look better is a fine-grained background. I don't always get this with the FZ10 even at ISO 50. That I'm guessing is the function of the sensor on the FZ10. On the other hand ... I get the shot and lots of times what I see on my screen at home has nothing to do with the quality of print that I get. If I don't have enough value separation betweeen the subject and background I'll do some digital voodoo by selecting either background or subject and changing saturation, sharpness and my best trick yet for long telephoto shots a miniscule amount of lens distortion correction. The difference can be amazing.

Thanks for the tripod info.
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Old May 14, 2004, 9:32 AM   #6
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Wow, those blackbirds are beautiful. We only have the red-wing and regular variety here. Are thos as much of a pest as the normal ones we have here can be? Such beautiful animals, and nice pictures.


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Old May 14, 2004, 11:31 PM   #7
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SoOregon, great post with loads of good thoughts. I'm quite happy with the FZ10 and what it can do. I can fully accept it's limits and also it's excellence. It's a tool that needs to be worked with in order to get the best from it. And I've personally found that it can give some fine images if it's limitations are respected. I personally believe that it's credits are much greater than it's limits and am personally willing to accept and live within the boundaries that the camera demands.I honestly don't think you will be disappointed with the extender lens offered by Panasonic. I'm actually looking forward to trying to get it to sit on the end of my Sigma 70-200 2.8.

I'm also aching to get my DSLR back so I can get some low light shots.

"Guitarman, I agree, they are very cool birds, and the more I watch them the more I respect them, as all other wildlife. PS - I'd guess that if you watch really hard you will also see the Yellowheaded blackbird, since I've read that they like to congregate together and are very social animals within their "blackbird" domain. Just a guess, though, since I'm a beginner at this stuff.

"Thanks for the input
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