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Old Mar 12, 2005, 7:03 PM   #1
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I just bought this lens and my first outing with it was bitter-sweet. I had my exposure set too low for most of the shots and lost some really nice moments. However, overall I'm happy with the sharpness and performance of the 400/5.6L in relatively low light. It was not a nice day today, very grey with moments of sunlight peeking through now and again. In any event, here are a few samples:

Siskin (I think)



RED BREASTED NUTHATCH 1



Siskin 2



NUTHATCH 2



NUTHATCH 3



This was really a test day as I can still return the lens for 4 more days. I wish that it had been a better day and the forcast isn't inviting either. However, it's nice as well to see how the lens will perform in less than ideal situations.
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 9:05 PM   #2
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Wow Norm!
If you are getting results like that in less than ideal conditions I would say the lens has no ware to go but up. Those an incredible shots. What's that in the Red Polls beak? It reminds me of those dogs that balance a hotdog on their nose until their master gives the command and then they snap their head around and eat the dog.
I'd say there is darn good color and detail in those test shots. I'd be inclined to keep the lens. Post more if the whether improves.

Nice going,
smac
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 9:39 PM   #3
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Thanks smac, your comments will be helpful in me making an ultimate decision. I was hoping to get feedback to help me make a final decision. Seven day return upon receipt of lens, which leaves me a few more days to play, test, and decide. So far I'm quite happy with it but want to do some bird tracking in flight as well. I'd like a decently lit day to give it a fair chance.

That stuff on the beak is probably a hunk of suet since these birds are feeding on suet seed cakes. Either that or it's some strange, alien growth from germssent over via wind-mail from North Korea.

Cheers, and thanks for the help in making a decision. I'm haven't yet completely decided, but I'm well on my way
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 10:11 PM   #4
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Actually, it now reminds me of a tiny birdie air-bag.

I say again, those a pretty darn nice for less than perfect conditions. Is your camera or the lens image stabilized for flight shots or do you pan on a tripod? Just curious.
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 4:02 AM   #5
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I think you may have a keeper here Norm. Looks like this lens has good
contrast and does a good job at extracting detail under less than great conditions.
I really like the first nuthatch shot. Everthing just seems to lead me to the
moment that was captured. The scarfing down of a tasty morsel!
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 7:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Is your camera or the lens image stabilized for flight shots or do you pan on a tripod?
Smac, none of the above in these cases. I rarely use a tripod because I don't particularly like to haul it around. I have a monopod that I may put to use later with the 400 but all of my recent shooting has been handholding at fast shutter speeds. And that's how I deal with shake, by increasing shutter and practicing good handholding techniques such as a smooth sliding action on the shutter rather than a press.

I have yet to purchase a stabilized lens but wouldn't mind having one for those rare times when I'm shooting in low light at slow shutter speeds. For me this type of shooting is almost never. I can't even recall the last time that I did it.

Thanks woodmeister, I liked that one myself very much. I was drawn by the expression on it's face. He looks like he's having a good time or perhaps he's swooning, being upside down for too long and all.:-)
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