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Thread: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    I was pottering about/doodling/chilling out (delete according to culture and age) in my garden today (we actually had, at last, something approaching a spring-like day. The snow is almost gone).

    I had a notion to capture something that would allow me to further road-test the package of NIK software that Google has now bundled. So, I used Viveza, then Colour Efex Pro and then Sharpener, all to see what I could turn out.

    I'm always in awe of those folks on here who consistently produce the highest quality bird images. It's so hard to do.

    But what also struck me as worth mentioning was, what I think is, the excellent performance of the Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS. As you can see from the images below, the final product is a severe crop from what came out of the camera. And given the detail I managed to get in the feathers, I thought the lens performed very well. Be interested to hear what you think.

    Anyway, something different from me for, hopefully, your pleasure.

    The finished product

    A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!
    40D, Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS @ 400mm. ISO 400. 1/750@f5.6.

    Out-of-Camera

    A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    Blue Tits are particularly difficult!

    So small round and fluffy they present a poor target for auto focus, and never seem to stay still long enough for me to manually focus. And over exposure is so easy to do with those colours.

    Which makes this a really good shot.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    So small round and fluffy they present a poor target for auto focus,
    Geoff - Thanks for commenting.

    That's something else I should've said about the lens. Doing my usual landscape stuff I never take notice of how fast and accurate (or not) auto focus is. But doing this made me realise that this lens was nailing it very quickly. I use back-button focusing. So It was a case of nailing the bird in the centre of the viewfinder, quickly recompose and fire the shutter.

    Like you say, these things don't sit around for long so I was pleased with what I managed to do.

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    I think it's a wonderful image Donald and I like what you've done with the color. Light in the eye, sharp focus and pretty colors all make this a great shot. Your color blindness didn't seem to hamper you at all.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    Not bad Donald,

    Perhaps half a stop less exposure would have been better, but the PP is good.

    Cheers,

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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    Excellent effort Donald, this is a great feat of patience and determination I am sure!

    You didn't blow any highlights in that orignal I hope

    I too am fairly impressed by the detail especially given the aggressive crop.

    Actually, I really like the original composition too. You have placed the bird exactly where I would have placed it but was wondering if a central placement might be better if you intend to crop so you can take advantage of the optical sweet spot?

    Cheers

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    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    Nice work Donald. Are you going to focus your attention on birds now?

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    I think it's a wonderful image Donald and I like what you've done with the color. Light in the eye, sharp focus and pretty colors all make this a great shot. Your color blindness didn't seem to hamper you at all.
    A WhiBal card and trust in DxO Optics & Colour Efex Pro to deliver, counters such human imperfections!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Excellent effort Donald, this is a great feat of patience and determination I am sure!
    That's what I admire in all the wildlife shooters on here. I like taking my time composing a landscape and watching the light develop (or not, as the case maybe!) into what I am seeking. But this hanging around waiting for a bird to arrive in the right place and then, once there, to do the right thing ..............! Not sure I have the patience.

    Quote Originally Posted by plumcrak View Post
    Nice work Donald. Are you going to focus your attention on birds now?
    See answer above !!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by Donald; 6th April 2013 at 08:22 AM.

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    AndyB1975's Avatar
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    That turned out great Donald, as said above Blue Tits are not the easiest birds to get a good picture of.

    I look forward to seeing many more colourfull bird pictures from you now

  10. #10
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    Hello Donald, nice image of a small bird. The colors of our jays here. Regarding the performance of your Sigma 100-400mm, I find the equipment of today to be far superior to what I used many years ago. One suggestion if you shoot small birds in the future. Most likely the image will be cropped so using the center focus point (putting the bird in the center of the image) rather than at the third mark as you did here will allow more accurate focusing and sharpness. Then in post processing crop for composition as you did in your image. The center point is normally the most accurate and the quickest to focus and a small bird normally allows more than enough room for a pleasing composition when initially placed in the center.

  11. #11
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    Re: A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    what a lovely shot, so used to seeing them on a feeder rather than their habitat

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