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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

 
winterstar
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Mar 27, 2009 12:30 |  #1

I'm wondering as I see all the beautiful images of little birds, how do you get them?

What camera, lense? Do you use zoom or macro usually?


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davebreal
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Mar 28, 2009 09:00 |  #2

feeders are often a good way to get close to birds. i'm sure 90% are using our main long lens for 90% of our birding shots, it's just a matter of the camera focusing closer or further depending on the situations that come up.

for example, this was taken with my typical 500mm f/4 lens in a forest. i did crop it a decent amount here though:

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BradM
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Mar 28, 2009 09:40 as a reply to  @ davebreal's post |  #3

The best technique is to be like the butler in Adam Sandler's movie Mr. Deeds; very very sneaky.

Actually sneaking up on a subject is rarely effective but if one is still, quiet and waiting in the right place the subject will come to them. Backyard, beach or backwoods it works. Some use blinds, some camo or ghillie suits, or some like me just go out and sit on our little stools and watch the incredible varied life move past us.

But what gear will work is entirely up to you and the subject, the longer the better is the rule. But the body doesn't make any real difference to a quality shot. Some older and a couple recent examples.

30D, 100-400mm @ 390mm. Sitting in the field.

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30D, 100-400mm @ 400mm Sitting in the marsh.

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As above, except sitting in the woodlands.

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40D, 100-400mm @ 390mm lying on a dock.

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50D, 500mm f/4 sitting in the car

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40D, 500mm f/4 w/ 1.4x (700mm) lying on a dock

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1D3, 500mm sitting in the car

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1D3, 500mm w/1.4x (700mm) sitting in the backyard

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JimTx
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Mar 28, 2009 11:48 |  #4

Brad .. you need to sit more often .. very nice shots.


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jgrussell
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Mar 28, 2009 12:03 |  #5

Brad! Beautiful series! More!


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artyman
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Mar 28, 2009 17:18 |  #6

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.


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BradM
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Mar 28, 2009 18:39 |  #7

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 would have to disagree, I have a blind, a ghillie suit, camo drapes in 3 different colors and patterns but for my backyard I use none of them. Rough guess of the species I have had in yard without checking the book it is in the 70's range.

And while some are "flighty" most are not if one spends time there and the more time one spends less wary the birds become. If this only going to be an occasional pursuit for one then maybe a blind or something is in order. But I try to spend time in yard doing the normal tasks, or just sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee or doing the same with the camera. Time spent is time rewared.


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Mar 30, 2009 19:37 |  #8

I have a blind too, but the problem I've always found is it obscures the view so much. Half the fun for me is just watching what's around. If you sit still and aren't perceived as a threat, you'd be surprised how close the birds will come.


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Hawkman
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Mar 31, 2009 21:25 |  #9

Just walk up to em sometimes :-) All of these were walk-ups. Some shot with 500mm plus extension tubes (so you can get closer than the minimum focusing distance) and some with teleconverter. 10d (1.6x crop body):

Cheers - Gene
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500mm + extension tubes
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extreme close-ups with 58mm of extensiuon tubes on 50-0mm:

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A barnswallow chick is quite small:

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Walk softly and carry a big lens!

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badams
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Apr 01, 2009 11:07 |  #10

What does that bring the focusing distance down to (by using 58mm of tubes)? Those are fantastic.


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Hawkman
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Apr 01, 2009 12:34 |  #11

badams wrote in post #7644482 (external link)
What does that bring the focusing distance down to (by using 58mm of tubes)? Those are fantastic.

Sorry, 68mm of tubes. around 7 feet I reckon.

- Gene


- Gene
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Walk softly and carry a big lens!

1D Mark III, 1D Mark IIN, 500/4L, 400/5.6L, 135/2L,, 35/1.4L, 50/1.8, EF 1.4X II, Gitzo 1325, AS-B1, sidekick, 420EX, Kenko extenders

  
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superdiver
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Apr 01, 2009 12:48 |  #12

I was wondering how you focus when so close as I cant get closer then 8-10 feet with my 1-400 (if that close).

So its the tubes, didnt think of that. Kinda like macro then?


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Hawkman
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Apr 01, 2009 16:55 |  #13

superdiver wrote in post #7645214 (external link)
I was wondering how you focus when so close as I cant get closer then 8-10 feet with my 1-400 (if that close).

So its the tubes, didnt think of that. Kinda like macro then?

Yes. And the image quality doesn't suffer except the Depth Of Field is very shallow that close. Typical macro style issue. Here is a 100% crop wit the 10D + 500/4L + extension tubes. Some might fine detail from a 500mm macro :lol:

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IMAGE NOT FOUND
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- Gene
http://hawkman.smugmug​.com (external link)

Walk softly and carry a big lens!

1D Mark III, 1D Mark IIN, 500/4L, 400/5.6L, 135/2L,, 35/1.4L, 50/1.8, EF 1.4X II, Gitzo 1325, AS-B1, sidekick, 420EX, Kenko extenders

  
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Methodical
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Apr 01, 2009 19:01 |  #14

Hawkman wrote in post #7645116 (external link)
Sorry, 68mm of tubes. around 7 feet I reckon.

- Gene

You've just convinced me. I was on the fence about the tubes but I just fell over. What make of tubes are you using and reason for these specific tubes. Also what is the normal focus distant for the 500mm without the tube?

Thanks


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Hawkman
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Apr 01, 2009 19:15 |  #15

Methodical wrote in post #7647636 (external link)
You've just convinced me. I was on the fence about the tubes but I just fell over. What make of tubes are you using and reason for these specific tubes. Also what is the normal focus distant for the 500mm without the tube?

Thanks

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


- Gene
http://hawkman.smugmug​.com (external link)

Walk softly and carry a big lens!

1D Mark III, 1D Mark IIN, 500/4L, 400/5.6L, 135/2L,, 35/1.4L, 50/1.8, EF 1.4X II, Gitzo 1325, AS-B1, sidekick, 420EX, Kenko extenders

  
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close ups of birds
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