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Thread: Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

  1. #1
    risingwolf's Avatar
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    Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Two birds I saw today. The Wren flits around so fast it is hard to get a good picture. The YHBB has one of the strangest calls. They arrive after the Red Winged Blackbirds and take over their selected areas. The Wrens are always chattering.

    Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

  2. #2

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    Wendy

    Re: Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Hi Dave: I really like the second one. Great pose with the open mouth, and nice background. The frame provided by the reeds is also nice. Wrens are soooo small - Nice job

    Wendy

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Good series Dave,

    I agree with Wendy, #2 is best, #3 and #4 would be better without the grass/reeds disecting the subject, but I soooo appreciate that's beyond your control 'out there'.
    Is there a reason why the first one lacks the full tonal range and is a different CT from the rest?

    Could I ask what were these shot with?

    I'm still undecided on my next telephoto and unsure whether to go the cheap, quick and simple 70 - 300 f5.6 or 300/f4 and 1.4TC to get me to 420mm where I'd like to be, but can't afford in Nikon glass.

    Thanks,

  4. #4
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Kit, aka Slimtla

    Re: Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I'm still undecided on my next telephoto and unsure whether to go the cheap, quick and simple 70 - 300 f5.6 or 300/f4 and 1.4TC to get me to 420mm where I'd like to be, but can't afford in Nikon glass.
    Dave, for what it's worth, I got the Nik 70-300G without the VR and immediately regretted it. It was soft and slow. I have since upgraded to the VR version and it is much better, but still needs good light. I still get a lot of "misses" for the number of hits, but that could be my newbie technique. I'm going to do some specific tripoded front/back focus tests on it very soon and can post results here, if you are interested.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    Dave, for what it's worth, I got the Nik 70-300G without the VR and immediately regretted it. It was soft and slow. I have since upgraded to the VR version and it is much better, but still needs good light. I still get a lot of "misses" for the number of hits, but that could be my newbie technique. I'm going to do some specific tripoded front/back focus tests on it very soon and can post results here, if you are interested.
    I would be interested, just be objective and factual if posting here, we don't want to get CiC in trouble
    You might find this interesting, sorry it's a bit of a jumble, PM me with any queries, but I have 'moved on' now, using the following knowledge to get the best from Nikon AF on my 18-200.

    I find Nikon AF is quite biassed to focusing on the furthest thing within a given single focus point; so if the subject is small and there's a bit of background in the square, it'll likely choose that if you're shooting say, a bird on grass or a flat subject obliquely.

    For best AF success, you need (within the focus point):
    a) something perpendicular to the sensor
    b) a reasonable contrast difference
    c) no close background

    This means it can take a while to lock, or get it wrong, if the subect is all one colour, or if you try to focus on the edge of it, when the background is too close, but it's not a problem against more distant backgrounds or with a bird in the sky (keeping the focus point on the darn critter is much harder).

    If you can't do a) to c), try manual focusing, or focusing on grass in front of the birdie.

    That said, I may order the Nikon AF-S 70-300G IF-ED VR today anyway, something coming next weekend where it might be useful. I feel I have agonised enough and once it is ordered, I can 'move on' again, or I'll procrastinate forever.

    As I tend to be a walkabout, opportunistic wildlife photographer, the lighter zoom will be much more useful to me than if I were the sort of photographer that sits in hides for hours on end with the camera + lens on a tripod and a limited range of shooting. To them, the weight and lack of zoom is not an issue, nor is the lack of VR on the 300/f4.

    Thanks, that's decided!!!!!!!!!!!

    EDIT ... and ordered, along with Nikkor AF-S 105mm f2.8 VR Macro

    My answer to "needs good light" is "use high iso and Neat Image"
    (I'm used to f5.6 at 200mm anyway)

    Thanks,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 16th May 2010 at 11:47 AM. Reason: add "EDIT"

  6. #6
    risingwolf's Avatar
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    Re: Marsh Wren and Yellow headed blackbird

    I used a Canon 7D and Sigma 150-500mm lens. The marsh wren was in the open and then in the reeds making it tough but fun shooting. Still learning about the Sigma. I need to try some of the ideas Dave H gives. Old eyes and new lens make a very interesting photo session.

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