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Thread: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

  1. #1
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    ...making me buy this lens

    Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    LOL! You will have fun.

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    I suspect there will be many Canon users noticing an envy green caste to this image. Enjoy.

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    You certainly will. I am still stuck at 300 max.

    Stack on a 1.4 and you will have close to 600.

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Haha thanks guys! On the 1.6 crop sensor of my 7D it is "equivalent" to 640mm. I'm new to long lenses so I was surprised by how difficult it was to handhold it, in regard to both the weight, and also how visible the shaking is. I'm reading up on long lens technique, birding technique, etc so I will be out practicing a lot soon. I'm super excited out of my mind!

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    The 400/5.6 is a stellar lens, but does not have IS. You can initially use a monopod to help until person shake is overcome through practice. Some people I know prefer to attach a shoulder brace to the tripod ring and that gives then excellent stability.

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    And it makes for a lovely closeup lense.........at 15'!!!!!

    Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Sigma 400mm f/5.6
    Nikon D90
    ISO 1600
    f/16
    1/800 sec

    I suggest testing your new lens at a more controlled environment. A zoo or backyard bird feeder is ideal. I find that a monopod is mandatory with my lens.

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    with that sort of lens (I use a 200-500mm), I find a stable tripod is pretty much essential, AND the focus point is absolutely critical. The brighter the light the better too..

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Matt, practice will be your friend and ISO will be a good friend as well. As you know I shoot my 400mm handheld most {98%} of the time. Granted...I shoot Sony and have in camera IS. It is not that I don't like a tripod or mono. There are two reasons.....My tripod is nicely sterdy for my smaller lenses but reaches it's limit when the 400 is mounted. I am looking at lager pods but with them comes another expence....a gimble head, something I can swing and adjust quickly. That is the other reason fast and easy target location. Things with birds happen fast.

    When things are slow and I am watching a bird, a tripod can be great as it gives you a rest and is always at the ready. When things are moving around I make more shots than my tripod mounted buds. The long prime they use does not help that % when the bird/animals come in to close.

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Enjoy Matt!!! The first I would suggest is to watch your shutter speed. The lens is 400mm, that would dictate a shutter speed of 400 x your crop sensor which is 1.6. So I would suggest a shutter speed of 1/640 or higher light permitting. I try not to rely on VR or IS unless needed. Then only lowering the shutter speed if light requires it.

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Matt,

    Congratulations on the 400 f5.6. I have one also and you'll find it's a wonderful lens, fast focusing and sharp. Not having IS is a limitation when the light is not very good unless you can shoot from a tripod or monopod. Just crank up the ISO and don't underexpose. It's light enough to carry around and handhold for long periods without wearing you out.

    It's my favorite air show lens although I'm looking forward to using the 500 this summer on individual acts. The 400 is perfect for large aircraft and formations like the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels. Good luck and have fun!

    Paul S

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Be careful of your new lens. When you open the images you shoot with this lens, they are so sharp that they might cut you

    Yes, lack of IS might be a bit of a problem in lower light levels but, the fact that this lens delivers equally oustanding IQ wide open somewhat mitigates that problem.

    Additionally, using a camera support such as the Bush Master can help stabilize the camera/lens. I fabricated a shoulder mount out of about ten U.S. dollars worth of materials available at any home improvement store. This was done with simple hand tools and works quite well. I modeled my rig somewhat after this eBay model.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Redrock-Micr...item3a7df9271a

    However, I like my dual shoulder supports better...

    Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Instructions and material listing available at:

    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Photograp...2948&k=477SCcC

    I have tried a video shoulder pod like this one.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hand-Free-Sh...item484bb332d3

    It works O.K. to stabilize my camera/lens but I can follow a moving aircraft easier with my fabricated pod.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 5th February 2013 at 05:32 PM.

  13. #13
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Wow, thank you all for your extremely helpful advice and information! I'll take all of this into consideration when practicing and learning. I am hoping to fit in a good shoot this weekend.

    Richard, that's a pretty cool device you built there! I may build one some time, and/or I may also try something similar but maybe just a shoulder stock. We shall see. I've bookmarked your instructions.

    I attached a quick release plate to the lens collar foot so I can attach it to my ballhead. For now I'll probably rest it on the pod with the clamp half shut, then pull it off if things start moving around.

    I look forward to sharing my first photos with you all!

    BTW I am going to put a new thread in with some questions about telephotos and aperture...

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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post
    Haha thanks guys! On the 1.6 crop sensor of my 7D it is "equivalent" to 640mm. I'm new to long lenses so I was surprised by how difficult it was to handhold it, in regard to both the weight, and also how visible the shaking is. I'm reading up on long lens technique, birding technique, etc so I will be out practicing a lot soon. I'm super excited out of my mind!
    Just wait until you try an overhead moon shot and you will make a great subject for any nearby photographers.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    BTW Matt, the 400mm f/5.6L is not only good for birds and wildlife, its fast focusing makes it great for any moving subject - such as this hydroplane...

    Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Other hydroplane shots with the 400L are at:
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Sports/TH...8016&k=pmbf79N

  16. #16
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Thank you all for the additional tips and comments. Richard, those are some very cool hydroplane shots. I look forward to experimenting with my new lens.

  17. #17
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    Re: Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...

    Also good for planes, although the non-zooming might drive you a little nuts.

    Birders (Bobo, Paul, Joe, et al), I blame you for...
    Prowler & Growler.
    50D. EF 400mm f/5.6L USM. iso 400, f/8, 1/800s.

    I love my 400/5.6L. I curse it madly at the zoo, though--it keeps making me run backwards and then I keep thinking WHY didn't I get the 100-400L instead? And then I go shoot wildlife/birds with it, and I'm all happy again.

    I usually shoot handheld without any additional support--I'll only use my monopod at the zoo for shaded aviary use. As the Great Whites go, the 400/5.6L is one of the smallest and lightest and you're not sacrificing much sharpness shooting wide open. Just keep your shutter speed up, the sun at your back, and the rest will follow. 'Course, those pesky birds on the wing love being backlit so they can see you....

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