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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lens Testing

I met up with Hugh and Tricia. I had been aiming to meet with Hugh to try his 80-400vr lens. I've been a bit disappointed with some of my distance photos and wanted to see if VR would make a difference.

The first photo is just to show a Moorhen with a yellow beak. It isn't one I'd publish normally.

Right little poser!!

I do like this Moorhen sequence.

So what do I think? I still found some of this distance shots disappointing BUT I got more keepers than normal and I think that generally this batch is a bit better than normal.

I would appreciate your opinions. I'm not my own best critic I always think everyone elses photos are better than mine.

Thanks to both for a good mornings birding. Highlights? Siskin, Stonechat and Pintail i guess. There were loads of Ducks and Gulls. We had 4 Little Grebes together at one time and there were a lot of Great Crested's as well.


Jan said...

The two photos I like best are the first one of the Coot, and the first one of the male Mallard. Why? Just my personal preference, as I have a thing about an object being smack dead centre of the photo, I am like it with all objects though, stuff has to be balanced, else I just feel uncomfortable with it. (Like pictures on the wall, have to be perfectly symetrical, equal distances etc.) I am weird though, so it's probably not the kind of critique you were looking for!

oldcrow61 said...


digibirder said...

Some nice photos. I couldn't really see a great deal of difference from your previous shots, but I was of the same opinion about my photos when I borrowed John's lens. Some were probably a little better, but my hands are fairly shaky anyway. Like you say, there were probably more keepers than normal.

But the main problem is distance, whatever lens you have. Any telephoto will magnify even the slightest movement. If anything, the colours look more natural, as was also the case with John's lens, but that could be down to the light in which the photos were taken.

The Moorhen sequence is great.

Tricia said...

This pictures are great and I especially like the depth of colour of the robin. And as for the Egyptian Flying goose - that is great!

Pete said...

jan - curiously I'm often told off for dead centring a picture!!

oc - thanks.

Tricia - the first two in flight shots I've felt worth posting!!

Digi - my thoughts exactly. I don't think the Robins are better than the ones i took last week BUT I got more keepers than I'd normally get.

If I want to improve the distance shot I need to use a tripod and I don't really want to.

digibirder said...

Just typed a long comment and it didn't save. If this is the second one, just cancel.

If you're using a tripod it doesn't necessarily mean you will get a better photo. I usually use one for my bird photos and have had some crap ones, but it all still depends on the distance and, to some extent, the weather (e.g. heat haze, too bright, low light). If you touch the camera in any way with a slow shutter speed and long telephoto, every movement will be magnified tenfold.

The matter of not centering a subject in a photo (horizontally and/or vertically) is one of these photography 'rules' that a lot of people adhere to for no good reason, in my opinion. If a subject has eyes, it is supposed to be looking 'into' the frame, but I have seen a lot of photos where a centred subject or horizon looks perfectly acceptable. Don't worry about it and do what you think suits the situation.

Mo said...

I like the duck ones. I think the colours are really bright.

I find it's hard to get good bird photos (especially small birds) at this time of year because: they keep on the move so you need a fast shutter speed. Low levels of light then mean you need a higher ASA which makes them seem grainy.

I can see the grainy bits in the robin one (I took similar shots last week but mine were even grainier and I didn't use them). But the ducks are great. Really colourful.

Have as good a Christmas as possible in the circumstances this year. Will be thinking of you and your mum and dad.

Chris said...

Great photos! I especially like the robin :-)