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  • New Kid on the block

    A couple of days ago I was wandering around in the early evening (about 6.30 pm) and looked up to see two galahs roosting way up in one of the massive old Marri trees near the house. But was that a third head I could see appearing briefly, or just my imagination? It was WAY up in a huge old tree so I couldn't tell with the unaided eye.

    Some quick snaps through a 300mm lens showed that it was indeed a third bird. I’ve not seen one of those burls (or burrs if you like) get hollowed out like that before. Normally they're pretty dense and solid, but this one seems to have quite a deep hollow in it and a handy verandah out the front as well!

    Even though it's only a few metres from the house, I would never have spotted that it was a potential nest site if the little chap hadn't popped his (or her) head up at the exact moment I happened to be looking up.

    It's very high in the air and you have to be in the right spot even to see the burr. It turns out that the baby puts in an appearance in the early cool hours, and again in the early evening. During the middle parts of the day birds generally don't do as much and junior keeps his head well down. Probably likes a good long nap like me….

    ​I'm looking forward to tracking its progress.

    Cheers,

    Chris



    01 Yes, I think that's another bird's head…
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    02 Mum really gets in there when she does the Mum stuff like feeding and doing a bit of nest tidying.

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    03 And about 7.15 pm as the light was fading … Hello there!
    It's a bit dim, bit I liked the feeling of “Whoopee! Mum’'s nodded off - it's Party Time!


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    04 Smile for the camera. Is this my best side?….
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    Last edited by ChrisC333; 21-12-2017, 10:47 PM.

  • #2
    Excellent find.. and what a little cutey it is!

    You're getting great crop definition with that camera/lens combination what ever it is. ( I don't have a data reader).
    It's the little things!

    Cheers, Greg C.

    Comment


    • Isac
      Isac commented
      Editing a comment
      Greg, Faststone Image Viewer reads data very easily. I like to look at a lot of image's exif data (helps me learn) so I just drag the image to my desktop, double click it and it opens with Faststone (my default image viewer) where I just move my cursor to the right edge of my monitor and the exif just pops up. It's a powerful program I think everybody should at least try - it's a freebie.

  • #3
    Thanks Greg. It feels like a real privilege to have so much delightful wild-life on our block. At the moment it’s very noisy in the morning with several new magpies - who always seem far too big and grown up looking to still be shrieking to be fed. But as long as the other birds oblige….

    And there’s at least one baby 28 (ringneck parrot) which also looks a pretty decent size but cries for a good long time in the morning. I would show you the terrific shots that I took of it being fed….... except… .... in my hurry to get outside I’d left the SD card sticking out the back of the computer and so didn’t capture a single thing! Why don’t modern camera have an Idiot Alarm instead of letting you click away with no way to store the result!! I’'ve only recently started reading just the card instead of connecting the whole camera up, so am still making newbie errors - like forgetting to reformat once the card goes back into the camera. Starting with a 70% full card has its problems too. Card Full! What? Already?? Oh…..

    Ah, senility, what fun it is!!

    The gear? Well here’s the full story. I don’t usually mention equipment much on forums because a) if you’ve got something good it sounds like showing off if you bang on about it and b) you never know who might think “Hmm, that could be worth a few bob at Cash Converters…", and work out where you are…. Probably not, but who knows?

    Back to the gear. My wife goes on holiday to Bali every year with two girlfriends for about a week. So this year while we were organising the money for the Bali trip, she said “You never go on holiday, so why don’t you buy a really good camera instead?” And you don’t pass up opportunities like that! She might change her mind! So I did.

    When I was in my sixties I still felt 50, but once I hit the 70s it felt more like 80. The creaking years have begun. My Use-By date is a lot closer than it used to be, and you can’t take it with you. And I had always admired the Canon 5D (two friends used them in their photography business and a colleagues had one too). But I never thought I could justify owning one.

    Nevertheless, I steeled myself, brushed the moths out of the wallet and bought one. It’s a 5D Mark 4 and it’s a brilliant camera, expecially when the light levels go down and the ISO goes up. Many types of photography never need to test the higher end of ISO but I am trying to capture birds (among other things) in relatively poor and patchy morning light. I need fast shutter speeds when they fly and a half way decent aperture to get the detail. So that inevitably pushes you into the higher ISO range. And this thing does a much better job than my older cameras when it heads for the high numbers. And the lens is a 70-300mm L series, which seems to deliver the goods too.

    ​[Edit: the lens on the first shot was probably the 300mm Canon Lens, hand held in hurry. And just to confuse things it could have been a 1.6 crop factor camera not the 5D anyway. The next ones were taken the following day on a tripod with a longer Sigma lens combo. Possibly.... I was experimenting with a few combinations of lens and body. None of them were a phone cam though. I do remember that! I'll check it out.]


    Cheers,

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisC333; 21-12-2017, 10:43 PM.

    Comment


    • #4
      Love the cheeky little bloke in the last picture. ​Keep telling myself I don't need full frame but all things keep pointing to superior results. Recently purchased a 70-200 F2.8 but only take it with me when I don't have to carry it around all day. It should come in it's own when I go on safari next year.You are fortunate in having the wonderful models around you.
      Better a full bottle in front of me
      than a full frontal lobotomy.
      Hans

      Comment


      • #5
        Yes. 'My bad' as they say! The first picture 01 was taken with a 70-300mm lens on a 7D body (1.6 crop factor). Zoomed to 155mm ISO 250. 6.30 in the evening.

        The next three were taken the next day with a 5D body and a 120-400 Sigma lens with a 1.4 Sigma extender. All three at 560mm full stretch. On a tripod and using manual focus. You can't use autofocus with that combo, but some people prefer manual for set shots anyway (I believe). IS turned off. At that angle with my old eyes manual focus is not 100% reliable, but it was good enough for a first attempt. Shots still cropped a lot. The sensor can stand a hefty crop.

        First time I'd ever tried doing set bird shots on a tripod as I usually only do walk around hand held. The Sigma lens was good for the price, but a bit unwieldy for hand held walk around. The Sigma extender was a lot more affordable at the time than the Canon versions were. The 70-300mm Canon lens is quite compact.

        It was actually quite relaxing. I sat in a camp chair reading and intermittentently checking upwards with binoculars for appearances by junior. When it looked promising I'd keep an eye on things with the binoculars in one hand and the shutter release cable in the other. Felt just like I was playing at being a proper birder!

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        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by HansE View Post
          Love the cheeky little bloke in the last picture. ​Keep telling myself I don't need full frame but all things keep pointing to superior results. Recently purchased a 70-200 F2.8 but only take it with me when I don't have to carry it around all day. It should come in it's own when I go on safari next year.You are fortunate in having the wonderful models around you.
          Good choice of lens you have there Hans. Two of the best pro photographers I know (who each have very expensive 1DX Canons) told me that their 70-200mm F2.8s were the best lenses they have ever owned and they wouldn't be without them. They also said that they rarely ever used IS which surprised me. Some years back, I bought a 70-200mm Canon lens but it was the 4.0 non IS which was a whole lot cheaper than their version. Still good though.

          I'd never owned a full frame camera before and a lot of wildlife enthusiasts like the crop factor of less expensive Canons because you get the equivalent of a lens that's 1.6 times as long. But is it really equivalent or not? In my experience it depends entirely on the circumstances and the type of shooting you do. Sometimes it's pretty much as good but sometime it's not.

          Here's a video by a wildlife guy who tested out the Canon 7D Mk2 against the Canon 5D Mk4 to see which one he would want to replace his original 7D. It's not in English but there are good subtitles. I've used all 3 cameras and I totally agree with what he says. For many type of shooting any of the three would do just fine. All great cameras. But when the light gets bad and you head up into the high ISO then the 5D is just that cut above the others (as it should be - it's not cheap!). The degree to which you can keep cropping is just amazing. On the kookaburra thread I posted a very heavy crop of one with a mouse in its beak. Any sensor that can clearly show mouse balls half way up a large tree has to get some serious respect from me!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkkZCxEDd90

          Cheers,

          Chris

          PS I'll look forward to seeing some shots from your safari. Lucky man!
          Last edited by ChrisC333; 22-12-2017, 12:22 AM.

          Comment


          • #7
            All great shots Chris. I have the 7D also and am very impressed with it. Well I have to be, it's all I have - and will have for a long time to come.
            IShootACanon

            Web: isacimages.com.au
            "Don't touch". Must be the scariest thing to read in braille!

            My Gear
            Proudly supporting Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre

            Comment


            • ChrisC333
              ChrisC333 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Isac. In my experience, the 7Ds are great cameras. It's mostly when things get darker, or really tight crops are needed, that the 5D pulls ahead. How are you going with your big Tamron lens? I found the Sigma a bit heavy for me to use for walk around, and I would have needed to crank the speed very high to cope with the magnification of every tiny wobble (which I do a lot of!) but it seems to do a fine job on a tripod.

          • #8
            Hey Chris. The Tammy is no problem to cart around it's feels really solid and weighs only 705 grams (24.9oz). Out to 640mm equivalent on my crop sensor. The price is dropping every day, which is not uncommon with this type of gear. I have a 72mm CPL which I got for my Tammy 17-50 so it's the same fit.
            Click image for larger version

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            IShootACanon

            Web: isacimages.com.au
            "Don't touch". Must be the scariest thing to read in braille!

            My Gear
            Proudly supporting Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre

            Comment


            • ChrisC333
              ChrisC333 commented
              Editing a comment
              Looks good. No wonder you find it easier to cart around than I do - it's nearly a kilo lighter than the old Sigma, which is bit of a tank...!

            • Isac
              Isac commented
              Editing a comment
              My siggy BIGMA 150-500 is 3.92 lb (1780 g) which is rather cumbersome and huge compared to the Tammy. I think I'll be selling the Bigma on Gumtree (along with a few others).

          • #9
            good to have this around home for sure.
            I think exif is a good learning too. I remember back ages ago, you see all the world class bird pix and you wonder how they did it. exif told you the combo used, but it told you more.
            it told you the time etc. this let you know when you should be out looking etc, percentage crop is useful too cos it lets people know how close you may bave been.
            after a while you start thinking, well they got that, if I got at that time, I have a reasonable chance also.
            I like to put equipment used in my posts to help too. (in case no exif viewer etc) it lets people know how much lens you may need or again how close.
            some people of course think you only got a particular shot cos you have good gear or something but it isnt about that. ultimately you try to get some info off someone who may have been there before or had some experience in a particular genre.
            Stephen Davey. Nikon Shooter

            Comment

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