There’s nothing better than good glass…
…except for even better glass!
I was able to dodge the rain at times over this past weekend to use the new 100-400 mm lens more, and all I can say is that I wish that every lens that I own worked as good as it does!
I’m sorry for posting so many photos of great blue herons again, but I found a rare heron that seems to like posing for photos.
It may only be a juvenile great blue heron, but at least it will let me approach it and shoot many photos of it as it goes about its business. As skittish as that species normally is, I’ll take any chance that I can get to test out the new lens. The same goes for this great egret. I saw it on Sunday when the light wasn’t very good…
…standing about 50 feet from the road, and it just stood there preening and stretching as I shot away. Of course it wouldn’t stretch the wing towards me out for a great photo. On Monday, when the light was a little better, I found it in the exact same spot later in the day, and it allowed me to test the new lens with the 2 X tele-converter behind it.
The new lens is so sharp that even though the images shot with the 2 X extender are a little softer, they’re still very good, even when I crop the images a little!
I fought poor conditions for photography most of the weekend, I wish that I had better light and a better background for these.
Staying with raptors a bit longer…
…I shot that one on Sunday. Then, on Monday, I found what I think was the same falcon engaged in what I think is peculiar behavior for a falcon…
…the falcon was walking around on the floor of one of the aeration cells that’s shut down for repairs at the Muskegon wastewater facility. Every once in a while, it would pounce as if it were trying to catch something in the slime, but it missed whatever it was after every time.
Finally, the falcon flew off to go back to harassing the gulls.
That new 100-400 mm lens also works very well for birds in flight. I shot this one on Saturday at home.
Just a short time later, a red-tailed hawk, one of a pair, circled over my head, and when it got as close to me as I thought was my best chance to get close-ups, I simply pressed the shutter release, and let the 7 D shoot in high-speed mode until the buffer was filled.
Those there are culled from the 30 or so that I shot before the 7 D began to slow to a crawl as far as how quickly that it could write to the memory card. I’m happy to report that all the images were in sharp focus.
This one was also shot on Saturday around home.
This one is from Saturday also.
Except for the last two, I’ve chosen the images for this post based on the wow factor of the larger birds, and how well that I’m able to catch them in action with the new lens. It does as well or better on smaller birds too!
I’m weird, I have many better images of small birds that I shot over the weekend while I had better light, but I think that the photo of the nuthatch shows how well the new lens works when conditions are terrible for good images. Low light, a quick little bird that wouldn’t sit still for any length of time, and yet I was able to get a decent photo of the nuthatch.
I even shot a short movie of the northern shovelers feeding.
Despite the trying conditions at times, I had a great weekend! I spent too much time outside, I’m still trying to add keywords and ratings to the photos that I shot. I’m also suffering from a lack of sleep. Hopefully, the people here to repair the crack in the foundation wall of my apartment will finish before it’s my bedtime.
It was odd that I came across both a great blue heron and a great egret that were willing to stand and pose for me the way that they did, it made trying out the new lens much easier than if I had taken a shot here, and a shot there. It’s not as rare for eagles to pose, but it is odd for the falcon to stick around as close to me as it did before it finally flew off. There’s no award winners in those photos but they do show how well that the new lens does, including good images of the falcon hopping around on the ground. At the angle that I was shooting at, they wouldn’t have shown the falcon as well if I had been using either of my other birding set-ups.
Where you’ll really be able to see how sharp the new lens is, and how much detail that it captures, is in the images of the smaller birds that will be in my next post.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!