Jeff USN Photog 72-76 wrote in post #19402002
I know how tough swallows are to capture! I get about a 2% hit rate if I am lucky! Are you using BBF or SBF?
They're fast birds, yes. I love shooting them. I do it every summer. I always used BBF on my 1D cameras, but after buying the R6, I put the AF back on the shutter button. I think it's faster and gives me more options with the back buttons. I just don't see a reason for BBF any longer. Not now the entire sensor is basically one giant focus point.
I saw you mentioning shooting swallows with your 600/11. That will be extremely difficult. These are fast, erratic flying birds and the FOV on a 600mm is way too narrow. I understand the idea behind it, but it doesn't work well. I too started out, 10, 11 years ago with longer focal lengths, with my 400/5.6L and the 1.4xTC. That didn't work well. What I have learned over the years is that shooting them from up close with shorter glass is much more effective. So for years I used the bare 400mm. Or my 300/4L even. These barn swallows nest mostly in human made structures , at least here they do, in barns (ha!), under roofs or bridges. When I go to the fields, they're hard to miss, so I position myself close to their nesting place. There's a dairy farm with a big barn where I go to every year. The owners know me and I'm allowed on the premises, which is very nice. So I'm close to the birds and they're fine with that as they're very comfortable with people. They literally fly around my head when I'm out there. Long glass won't do any good there. Shorter glass is better. I never had a zoom lens and that was a whole different experience today, because now I could zoom out to around 200mm or so, find a bird that came my way, lock onto him, track him, zoom in and start shooting him. That worked pretty well.
Here's another shot. I processed the raw file but out of my element with new apps and a different workflow.
It was a day with ever changing weather and light. From sunny to clouded and dark. Difficult conditions.
EDIT: I've changed the pic. The other one looked awful on my iPad. I think, I hope, this one looks better. I desperately need a new monitor!
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