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Twitchers Thread

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7 hours ago, HectorHughMunro said:

Grinny Bird
 

Probably, not many of you twitchers are using 18mm lenses as I did in this instance!

Very nice, I like the mono processing a lot. 600mm is my go to. 18mm would be a dream!

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Mark Smith with 600 GMaster F4. Astounding.

Kidney sale coming right up...

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3 hours ago, Bolts said:

Mark Smith with 600 GMaster F4. Astounding.

Kidney sale coming right up...

I used to lust over than Canon 600mm f/4. Now it's this. Stunning lens.

I didn't like the A7r IV camera when I tried it though. The ergonomics are improved but the focus was much slower than the A9 and the viewfinder blackout when shooting birds in flight was horrible. The blackout free viewfinder of the Sony A9 has spoiled me and I don't know if I could ever go back. 

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Interesting Keith, I too was wondering about that - Smith has an A9 I believe and I’m not quite sure why he is now shooting this lens with the IV and he hasn’t really used it for BIF 🤔And his last vid, eagles in flight,  he used the D850🤔...I suspect he’s on some sort of deal from Sony, he ain’t no millionaire and that lens is $12k.

That aside, he gets superb images with all the cameras and lenses he uses. And those G master shots are absolutely marvellous, each one is a full-size poster waiting to happen.

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I think he does have an A9 as well. I don't doubt the A7r IV can capture great BIF shots - the hit rate will just be lower. On the plus side when it does hit the image quality is as good as it gets, especially with that lens attached to it :22:

He takes a lot of fantastic photos. Mind you the birds in Florida are unbelievably tame compared to here and that helps... a lot! Not that I'm jealous or anything :P

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Can I ask all you experts a quick question. Looking on flickr most biird pics seem to be at or near the max focal length for the lens being used. That being the case how much do you end up cropping to get the subject at a reasonable size with the pic? A sample of before and after cropping would help to give me some perspective.

I ask because not having had a camera for a few years I've decided to try again and living very close (1 mile) to 4 reservoirs I thought I would try out the local hides with my new camera.

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36 minutes ago, alphatoner said:

Can I ask all you experts a quick question. Looking on flickr most biird pics seem to be at or near the max focal length for the lens being used. That being the case how much do you end up cropping to get the subject at a reasonable size with the pic? A sample of before and after cropping would help to give me some perspective.

I ask because not having had a camera for a few years I've decided to try again and living very close (1 mile) to 4 reservoirs I thought I would try out the local hides with my new camera.

Congrats on the new camera/lens. What did you get? 

I shoot with a 600mm lens on full frame and usually still have to crop a lot. 

My original files are 6000 x 4000 pixels. Here are the cropped dimensions for the last 6 photos I uploaded to Flickr.

3947 x 2632
[49380044678_4a4ff73ba0_w.jpg

4930 x 2773
49332960896_a0097eee73_w.jpg

2994 x 1996 - this is about the most I'll crop ~50% 
49305700188_569d222b17_w.jpg

3366 x 2244
49306402462_4153399eb6_w.jpg

3153 x 1774
49238869491_88feb521b1_w.jpg

3407 x 2271
49222664218_f6c46b13f4_w.jpg

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I expect mine will be similar to Keith’s, will check

alternatively...

Martin pêcheur d'Europe juvénile ( Alcedo atthis - Common Kingfisher )
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11 hours ago, alphatoner said:

Can I ask all you experts a quick question. Looking on flickr most biird pics seem to be at or near the max focal length for the lens being used. That being the case how much do you end up cropping to get the subject at a reasonable size with the pic? A sample of before and after cropping would help to give me some perspective.

I ask because not having had a camera for a few years I've decided to try again and living very close (1 mile) to 4 reservoirs I thought I would try out the local hides with my new camera.

I use a 400mm on a full frame and, like Keith, still have to crop a lot. 

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6 minutes ago, tkimages said:

I use a 400mm on a full frame and, like Keith, still have to crop a lot. 

One of the local boat operators runs sea eagle spotting trips in the tourist season - they take a load of mackerel with them and throw fish for the birds to take from the water, so they get very close in to the boat. Awesome sight. Some of the guys that had come with very long fixed tele lenses were having trouble getting far enough back in the boat.

For example (these are cropped to about 50%, Nikon DX body with 70-300 zoom):

DSC_4463a.jpg

DSC_4464a.jpg

DSC_4465a.jpg

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Thanks guys, that's really helpful, interesting that you use full frame, which I guess means less cropping (maybe?). As a starter I've gone for a NIkon P900. In terms of sensor it's way below your level, but with the obvious zoom advantage. It may be good enough to get me hooked in which case I could always upgrade to a larger format later on.

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40 minutes ago, alphatoner said:

interesting that you use full frame, which I guess means less cropping (maybe?).

Actually the other way around - less cropping with a DX sensor (my camera is Nikon D7200, which is DX format - 1.5 crop factor).

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1 hour ago, alphatoner said:

Thanks guys, that's really helpful, interesting that you use full frame, which I guess means less cropping (maybe?). As a starter I've gone for a NIkon P900. In terms of sensor it's way below your level, but with the obvious zoom advantage. It may be good enough to get me hooked in which case I could always upgrade to a larger format later on.

Well you definitely shouldn't be needing to crop often with the Nikon P900 - it has a 2000mm equivalent focal length! I've met a lot of birders using Nikon superzooms and I have seen a lot of great photos taken by them so I think you made a good choice. 

A crop sensor or very high megapixel full frame can be an advantage for birding when you need to crop your photos.

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3 hours ago, unintended1 said:

Well you definitely shouldn't be needing to crop often with the Nikon P900 - it has a 2000mm equivalent focal length! I've met a lot of birders using Nikon superzooms and I have seen a lot of great photos taken by them so I think you made a good choice. 

A crop sensor or very high megapixel full frame can be an advantage for birding when you need to crop your photos.

That's good to know I made a half decent choice. Hopefully the weather is ok tomorrow and I can get out and give it a try.

I was thinking aperture priority and f2.8, would that be a good starting point?

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13 minutes ago, alphatoner said:

That's good to know I made a half decent choice. Hopefully the weather is ok tomorrow and I can get out and give it a try.

I was thinking aperture priority and f2.8, would that be a good starting point?

I think you'll probably find that your widest aperture is slower once you zoom to a long focal length. 

Aperture priority will be fine - set your aperture wide open and make sure you have got your ISO high enough to get a shutter speed around 1/500 for static birds or 1/1000 for birds swimming on the water. You may be able to get away with slower speeds, with image stabilisation on, but those are good starting points. For flight shots 1/2000 or faster is best as a starting point.

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