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Old Jun 20, 2004, 10:12 PM   #1
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I went out to try to find the female hummingbird, but to no avail. However, I did get one of my favorite shots of the male with the2x Sigma converter on my 50-500 lens. My goal was to get a full frame of the hummingbird if possible without the subject being too soft.

"Upon entering the campground area I spotted a Flicker that frequents this campground.

I guess the female hummingbird is busy because I didn't see it, just two males. These birds seem to be curious and habitual in the way they perch on exactly the same branches and have no qualms about sitting above the photographer watching him stumble, cuss, and drop things. I'm beginning to wonder just who is being entertained, me or the bird.

"The first is my very favorite "full framed" photo using the 2x on the 50-500, which makes it 1000mm (6.3 megapixels whennot reduced). Icouldn't getproper exposure on this tinybird and had to overexpose the sky to even come close to getting detail; even then I had to try a number of different settings. Unfortunately, I was forced to use a fill flash, but it didn't appear that the bird was bothered by it. I think that some are bothered (yellow warbler) and some are not (chickadee and this guy). Or am I simply making excuses?



Woops, the above photo wasn't full frame, the one belowis. A portion has been cut away from the original at the same size to demonstrate actual size of photo. Sorry bout that





"Flicker on the grass



I don't like teleconverters or extenders, they just never work right. No matter how much I try I cannot get them to work. The sharpness and contrast and color just suffers terribly. The above photos were done with a Sigma 2x extender, The one below was done with a Lumix 1.5 FZ10 extender taped to the end of my 50-500. It "almost" did the job and retained autofocus as it is a 2.8 extender. I'm going to play with it more and figure out a way that it doesn't need to be "taped" to the end. Panasonic reversed the threads so you can't use a normal stepdown ring and so that it can only be used with the FZ10. Nice try Panasonic, I have a plan that will work using their own lens lid where I can slip it on and off my 50-500 in an instant, without even screwing it off and on. At least with this extender the color and contrast don't suffer. Sharpness does a touch but I think it shows promise. Of course the extender is priced high because it does retain a 2.8, which is demonstrated by the fact that I still have autofocus, and quick, on my 50-500. In fact, the autofocus speed isn't reduced a bit with this extender.

With the Panasonic extender at full 500mm + 1.5 extension, about 750mm in all and retaining autofocus as well as adding no stop down of light.





Here's one more with the Panasonic extender at full 500mm to demonstrate the retention of color and contrast. This photo was cropped andUSM'd once, no more.




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Old Jun 21, 2004, 9:32 AM   #2
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That's a good Flicker shot, Norm, she's a real beauty. Your Ruby-throated Hummingbird shots are interesting because you have caught him preening and bill wiping. Except in flight, hummers are not such difficult subjects as warblers and many other small birds. That is because hummingbirds spend much of their life sitting in one place to digest the food they take in. Their small size and high metabolism requires that they feed several times an hour and processing that food is best done at rest.

BTW, hummers are promiscuous and do not share nesting duties, only the female builds the nest and tends the young. So, you would not necessarily expect to see a female in proximity of a male unless she is seeking to mate or using his feeding territory.

I'm curious if you would now make a different decision on purchasing the Panasonic teleconverter given the hefty price and the fact that the threads presents it from being normally used on other cameras. I have had one on order since April but don't believe they are available in the USA. I'm considering not spending the $500+ on one even if they are released here.

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Old Jun 21, 2004, 1:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info hummer, interesting stuff and it will help alot in my quest for the hummingbird.

Regarding the 1.5x converter, I don't regret it a bit and would trade in my 2x Sigma immediately if I had to give one up. At the moment I've worked out a mount out of a roll of masking tape, the FZ10 lens cap, andelectrician's tape that works great. When I wish to put the converter on I just slip it nicely into the masking tape mouth and it fits snug and can be attached and removed faster than if I were to screw it. As well, holding on to the converter and pulling or pushing I can zoom in and out very quickly and comfortably (like the push pull zooms). In fact, the arrangement works so nicely I'm not too worried about finding a more permanent solution.

Now don't laugh when you see the photos below.

Camera with 50-500 full extension + 1.5 converter with lens hood taped to snuggly fit into the masking tape hole. It's very snug and secure in there, believe it or not. To remove it all one does is pull it out of the masking tape roll.



A view of the "mount" Good ad for scotch brand.



Again, the camera retains autofocus and no loss of light is apparent.
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 2:17 PM   #4
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Norm, that is some serious glass hung off that body! Yikes!

How much does that setup tip the scales at?
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 2:31 PM   #5
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Not near as much as it may look; the 50-500 is about 4 pounds and the other stuff is probably a few pounds. The "length" is so much because the 50-500 zoom tube extends.
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 6:51 PM   #6
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You're right, not as much weight as it seems. Nevertheless, 6 lbs is still a whole lot more than I'm used to carrying around (my camera with measly 28-140mm zoom is perhaps a pound and a half).
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 12:07 AM   #7
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wow dude! look at that rigging! haha! very cool!

nice shots too

the warbler is very nice

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Old Jun 22, 2004, 1:16 AM   #8
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I really like the tan colored bird in the third photo, nice looking bird.
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