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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 27 Mar 2009 (Friday) 12:30
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close ups of birds

 
Methodical
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Apr 01, 2009 22:19 |  #16

Hawkman wrote in post #7647706 (external link)
Kenko set of three. Their price. Well worth the $120 or so. They are constructed sturdy enough for a Mark IIN off of a 500/4.

The normal minimum focusing distance for a 500 is ~15 feet. So it is about 1/2 with 68mm of tubes. The real measure is the maximum magnification @ MFD of all of the superteles (400/5.6, 500, 600) is about 0.11 - this about doubles that.

- Gene

Thanks for the info. One more ? I forgot to ask. What affect does it have on auto focus, if any.

Thanks


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artyman
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Apr 02, 2009 03:53 |  #17

What are the maximum distances with the various extension tubes.


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Hawkman
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Apr 02, 2009 08:21 |  #18

artyman wrote in post #7649974 (external link)
What are the maximum distances with the various extension tubes.

AF is fine but you do loose focus at infinity. I don't know exactly what the far limit is, but it is more than ample for shooting close ups. However if you are using them to shoot a close up, and see something of interest some distance away, you are out of luck.

Gene


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artyman
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Apr 02, 2009 10:32 |  #19

Hence my question, what was the range.


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canonloader
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Apr 02, 2009 11:37 |  #20

I just put my hand out and the little suckers just drop into it.

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Apr 02, 2009 12:39 |  #21

canonloader wrote in post #7652086 (external link)
I just put my hand out and the little suckers just drop into it.

Show off!:) Those are soooo cool. I don't have the software to just glide over a pic and see the exif on my mac, so which lens took the hand pics? I'm guessing the macro.


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canonloader
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Apr 02, 2009 14:59 |  #22

The first two are the Macro, last two with the Tokina UWA. :)

I like to post the hand shots though, cause most people have no idea what these birds are capable of, given a little love. ;)


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winterstar
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Apr 03, 2009 21:59 |  #23

oh wow... I'm going to have to dig for my feeding birds... I wish mine where like yours!


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Nighthound
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Apr 04, 2009 21:26 |  #24

I've tried just about every approach to get close. Sometimes the chase works but many times it doesn't. I look at it with a much more tactical approach these days. As many here may know I'm a big proponent of the stake out which requires patience but even more importantly a plan. It's far more satisfying to me when I get "the" shot after really thinking through a plan and making every effort to understand my subjects habits and behavior. I fully understand that wild animals are not ever completely predictable but they are creatures of habit which presents opportunity. I enjoy shooting under camo for the obvious reason of stealth but even more so because it's as close to being invisible as I'm going to get which allows me to see my subjects behaving more naturally.

I don't always shoot under camo because in many locations that I shoot it just isn't practical or it's just not an effective option. While in Florida I had my first one-on-one close encounter with Scrub Jays. I have to admit it was an amazing feeling having wild birds land on me without fear. Unfortunately most of the birds where I live aren't so accommodating so I try to work on a plan that can yield results and I'm having a lot of fun in the process.

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Methodical
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Apr 05, 2009 20:25 |  #25

Nighthound wrote in post #7668545 (external link)
I've tried just about every approach to get close. Sometimes the chase works but many times it doesn't. I look at it with a much more tactical approach these days. As many here may know I'm a big proponent of the stake out which requires patience but even more importantly a plan. It's far more satisfying to me when I get "the" shot after really thinking through a plan and making every effort to understand my subjects habits and behavior. I fully understand that wild animals are not ever completely predictable but they are creatures of habit which presents opportunity. I enjoy shooting under camo for the obvious reason of stealth but even more so because it's as close to being invisible as I'm going to get which allows me to see my subjects behaving more naturally.

I don't always shoot under camo because in many locations that I shoot it just isn't practical or it's just not an effective option. While in Florida I had my first one-on-one close encounter with Scrub Jays. I have to admit it was an amazing feeling having wild birds land on me without fear. Unfortunately most of the birds where I live aren't so accommodating so I try to work on a plan that can yield results and I'm having a lot of fun in the process...

What are the plans? Really nice shots too.


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Apr 06, 2009 11:55 as a reply to  @ Methodical's post |  #26

Below is an example of a plan. It could apply to any species that is skittish and effective for just about any situation where mobile cover gives the advantage. Years of observing the Belted Kingfisher gave me a solid understanding of their behavior/habits which is always at the top of my list for gaining an edge and getting better shots.

In Pursuit of the Belted Kingfisher

For years I tried the chase technique with these birds and failed at every pursuit. Even trying drive up shots in my truck left me driving away grumbling. So it was time for a plan.

First I had to do some scouting and locate perches that were frequented by the birds. Then decide the best set up spot with the best light and cleanest backgrounds.

Next I needed to go under cover. I picked up a section of camo fabric from Bass Pro Shop for $25(4.5 ft. x 11 ft.). I like the dangling leaf cut out style because it provides peak holes and ventilation when it's warm. I'm only 5 ft. 10" tall so if you're less vertically challenged you may want to look for a longer section of fabric.

I drape the fabric at the half way mark of the length across the lens/camera/tripod. Then I use a mini bungee(multi pack-WalMart) to wrap the just behind the lens hood and hook underneath. Next take 3 spring clips and close up the front seam(below lens front). Now you simply climb in the back open seam and you're ready to go. I arrive before sunrise and assemble this by my truck, then carry the whole rig to my set up spot to allow me to quickly get out of sight.

It's a good idea to get into and out of the blind when there are no birds around to avoid the association of humans to the funny looking bush with the large glass eye. When arriving this doesn't always work out, there are times when the bird is already there and will fly off. I quickly get under the camo and many times the bird will return a short while later. This is a sign that the bird is very fond of this area for feeding. Returning with my blind in place shows the bird is willing to tolerate an intruder to make use of the perches that are proven for feeding.

Once in position, there's most often a lot of waiting time which I spend metering periodically, doing test exposures and of course listening for that familiar incoming chatter. Once a bird arrives there's an overwhelming instinct to swing the lens over and start shooting. But it's important to remember that you're disguised, not invisible, and these feisty birds are every bit as smart as they are skittish. When they arrive they always take long looks at me, so I wait and stay still. When the bird becomes less concerned about me it will either begin looking for fish below or start preening and that's when I VERY slowly pan over, pause to see the bird's reaction and take a shot as a test of the birds tolerance. If you are concentrating on only one perch when the bird arrives then there's no need to swing the lens around and of course that's a plus. It's more likely that the bird will have a few landing perches near its fishing perches and from my experience there's no telling which one will be favored each day.

As I mentioned when it's time to leave try to wait for the birds to leave first if possible. I've waited almost an hour in the past while a KF perched nearby on an obstructed perch. The more you visit a site and shoot, the less alarmed the bird will be when it spots the blind. It'll still be wary but less likely to do a fly-by-and "see ya" and actually land. Like always it's a good idea to have a spare battery and all needed items pocketed so you don't have to leave the blind and return. And don't forget to pack plenty of patience, it does require a good quantity. Don't be discouraged if you don't have success the first time out or even off and on for no apparent reason. Some days they show and some days they don't, but when they do it's a blast. Good luck everyone and I hope this helps in some way.


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Apr 06, 2009 17:03 |  #27

fantastic guide Steve, I've never implemented a strategic plan like this yet but it seems to be working very well for you. Very insightful, and I may give it a whirl eventually.


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Apr 06, 2009 19:58 |  #28

That's nice. I've been thinking about getting the blind that drapes over you and your camera gear with a chair. I forget the name of the blind but I saw it in a thread here about blinds. I just may go for it and try it out in my back yard.


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Apr 06, 2009 20:11 |  #29

Thanks Dave and Al. I hope it helps you get some awesome shots.

Al, I have the Ameristep Chair blind and an Ameristep Outhouse-style blind as well for the backyard. The Chair blind is more portable but when I cart the 500L on a hike I can't carry much else and that's where the fabric approach really helps. I used the chair blind in the yard on Sunday, it's comfortable but in the summer you'll want to set up in the shade, it's toasty in there.


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Apr 07, 2009 00:15 |  #30

artyman wrote in post #7618624 (external link)
A long lense is the most useful tool in the bird shooters armoury, that and patience, sometimes sitting concealed for a couple of hours can help results. The easiest closeups are probably from a hide(blind) pointing at your garden feeder.

I agree with the reccomendation about a blind. I like to shoot game species that are often hunted, so they have learned not to allow people to walk up. They won't come close to you once they get used to you being around. Game species that are shot at frequently simply require a blind, and a good one at that. Little tweety birds are often a different story, and often are much easier to photograph.


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