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Old May 30, 2005, 5:14 PM   #11
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Thanks zoomn, I also got some black terns chasing after dragon-flies that I'll post sometime this week. I used the Bigma for those and it works really nice because you can wide-angle to see the bird then zoom in while tracking. It's a real advantage when going after the faster ones. The HSM is fast enough to do the job too. Love that lens, I'm using it more and more as time goes on. Here's a tern shot with the Bigma:


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Old May 30, 2005, 5:19 PM   #12
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Nice work :!:

I tried to get some shots of geese slowly walking by me and missed. :blah:

Peter
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Old May 30, 2005, 6:33 PM   #13
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PeterP wrote:
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Nice work :!:

I tried to get some shots of geese slowly walking by me and missed. :blah:

Peter
Same thing happened to me, Peter. Then I realized that the 400mm's minimum focus is more than 10 feet :-) I appreciate the humorous comment.
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Old May 31, 2005, 9:38 AM   #14
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Norm, you're banned from posting any more pics that are that nice!!!!! unless, you tell us your secrets about how to do it!!!:blah::blah::blah:. Great shots!!!

dennis
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Old May 31, 2005, 11:22 AM   #15
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Norm, these are terrific. I surely don't know how you do it. Most of the time I can't even find the bird in the viewer let alone get a focus lock. I do better zoomed out to 100mm but I usually lose him when I zoom back to 400. You are truly amazing.

Houston
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Old May 31, 2005, 12:00 PM   #16
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Dennis and Houston, thanks for the real nice compliments. Houston, you might try getting your eye away from the viewfinder for a second to spot the bird's direction and then go down on it when you see one coming in. It's fun to try even if success isn't always the case.
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Old Jun 1, 2005, 3:49 AM   #17
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Great in flight captures Norm, as usual. These guys are just so fun to watch.
You have really great eye/hand coordination to get work like this. I wish I
was only half as coordinated.
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Old Jun 1, 2005, 10:29 AM   #18
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Norm, I still have trouble capturing any decent shots of inflight swallows using the technique you mentioned.

I'm thinking that one way to maximize success would be to go to an area with a large concentration of swallows, take shots at a particular focus point as they all swoop and dive around, and your chances of getting some in focus among the group you are photographing s/b realized. I'll have to try this soon...
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Old Jun 1, 2005, 1:01 PM   #19
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woodmeister wrote:
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Great in flight captures Norm, as usual. These guys are just so fun to watch.
You have really great eye/hand coordination to get work like this. I wish I
was only half as coordinated.

Thanks WM, I've been practicing this sort of photography for a year now which I'm sure helpswith success rates but one huge factor is the fast 200/1.8 lens that I use. If I didn't have that lens for these shots I'd probably be using the fastest prime that I had in my kit, such as the 135/2 (which I have also used with success)or a 200/2.8 (don't have that one but would like to some day just for this sort of stuff as it's lighter and not terribly expensive). Long telephotos with a 4 or more F limit are much more difficult for this stufffor three reasons IMO: focal length, darker viewfinder, and speed of focus.
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Old Jun 1, 2005, 1:05 PM   #20
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geoffs wrote:
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Norm, I still have trouble capturing any decent shots of inflight swallows using the technique you mentioned.

I'm thinking that one way to maximize success would be to go to an area with a large concentration of swallows, take shots at a particular focus point as they all swoop and dive around, and your chances of getting some in focus among the group you are photographing s/b realized. I'll have to try this soon...

I've tried zone focus and it's a good way, and the only way with most lenses on these fast subjects. However, the F/1.8 can keep up with them and that's why it's a great lens for this sort of thing. Also, the focal length is reasonable, not too long or too short. I love the 200 for this sort of shooting when I run into a batch of swallows or terns because they do come in close from time to time and that's when the shot can be made. The faster the lens, the better the chances. Unfortunately a 50mm or 85mm is usually too short but a 135 is comingclose to being useful and it can hold a 1.4x extender very well. The 200/2.8 prime is an excellent choice for this sort of thing. Otherwise, it's really a matter of luck.
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