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Steve Foss

Black-capped chickadee: The never-fail (pics included)

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I was reviewing files and realized there were enough good ones for a bit of a photo essay on the black-capped chickadee, the true north for bird photographers, the species that comes around and stays around when none else does.

These are for those of you who like uncluttered backgrounds with the subject isolated. Taken at a single feeding station over the course of three days. The birds are perched on elements that were already there and not rearranged.

All with the Canon 1D Mark2n, Canon 400 f2.8L (non-IS), Canon 1.4 TC, Gitzo tripod, studioball head, iso200 at f4, various shutter speeds.

chickadee-cocked.jpg

chickadee-antler.jpg

chickadee-on-spruce.jpg

chick-sideways.jpg

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Very cool pictures Steve. Crappie Tom had one land on his ice rod while fishing. grin.gif They would come in and pick up waxies laying on the ice. Some got really close too.

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That's the way I like them, not too busy where you can concentrate on the subject. I like something about that first one the most.

Steve, did you go out and buy a new camera and lens?

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Quote:

Steve, did you go out and buy a new camera and lens?


I wish!! That's over $10,000 in equipment, new, and not much less than that used. frown.gif

Free Canon Professional Services loan. grin.gif

I had this combo when I was on the wolf shoot last year, and my photog buddies and I each shot several thousand frames of feeder birds at the cabin where we stayed. Every once in awhile I go back through those and take a fresh look. Interesting how my perspective has changed on some of them after only a year.

And as much as I preach about how it's the eye of the photographer that's much more important to the art than the equipment is, it's also interesting to note that images shot with this lens, one of Canon's top primes, are noticeably sharper than with any of the zooms, as well as the wonderful buttery bokeh you can get with those shallow DOFs. And an 8.5 max fps burst rate and larger buffer DO allow you more confidence that you're capturing a perfect image among a burst series of so-so ones.

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Sell ten of that sweet wolf print at $1,000 a piece and waa laa! grin.gif

I know, I know... easier said than done. I'm going to be doing a Wolf shoot myself in less than a month up your way and will using the Nikon 300mm F2.8 mainly... It will be my first experience with this lens and hope it's all that.

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Buzz, Canon's 300 f2.8 is its sharpest telephoto prime, and I'm sure the Nikon version is all that, too. Not being able to afford either the 300 or the 400 f2.8, I'm still looking at a way to pair the 300 f2.8 with the 1.4 TC. Same reach as my 100-400, one stop faster at f4, and there's no noticeable image degradation with the 1.4, so they'll be as sharp as that 400 f2.8.

You going to the wildlife center in Sandstone? The 300mm should be plenty, especially with the 1.5 crop factor. If I remember what other shooters who have dropped the coin to go there have said, you are pretty close to the animals.

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Yeah, thats what I was told. I spoke with four other guys I know that will be attending the same shoot and they said 300mm is perfect. I guess we will see.

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Well, you'll have your 80-400 zoom too, right? Never know when you'll need the flexibility. Did YOU go out and buy a new lens? grin.gif

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Steve & Dan, Nope, I'm leasing it from West photo, it's only $55.00 for the weekend... you pick it up after 3:00 PM on a Friday and return it by noon the following Monday and they consider it one day as they are closed on Sundays. I'm working on the wifey poo for the 500mm F4... she likes to monitor my spending naturally. blush.gif That's probably a good thing.

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My personal choice is the 1st...like the green lichen contrast too...early Winter? Finaly got the Manfrotto monopod to go along with the ballhead/tripod-bracket today from Canoga. Experimentation leads me to believe that the mono will help, but I am still adjusting to the fact that camera movement will be a factor, especially at 400mm (my first time using a mono). Unfortunately, the boss is inquiring about 100-400L and I have to deliver...tommorrow? He is going to Martinique in couple weeks and was wondering about the lens...me, sure I'll bring it ritht on in...man, what some people will do to keep a job! He asked about waterproof camera/lens covers (SCUBA) that might work, and I told him that this lens is not appropriate...which I actually think is accurate. grin.gif I will probably stall with the lens over the weekend so I can use the Manfrotto. Maybe get some shots of Chickadees (there, see, didn't hyjack the theme).

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