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Thread: Frustration: What I Learned on Saturday

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    Scott, you know what would be interesting? If you cropped the 500+tc by like 50% or something and cropped the non TC to the same size. I'm curious if you picked up more detail with the TC or not?
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    SM4HIM, i can relate to your frustration. You just need to get closer to your subjects. There are lots of good resources to show you how to get closer. I bought the Sigma 150-500 and am in love with it. Still i want more!! LOL... I am now working on getting my subjects closer to the lense and i've been too close for my that lense and have had to throttle back to the 70-200. I've set up blinds, branches and water features to lure them in and have portable blinds to hid near rookeries, kayaked in the marshes and done what i can to get closer to the widllife. I will be happy to post some of my recent ones if you are interested. Arthur

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    Quote Originally Posted by coastalconn View Post
    Scott, you know what would be interesting? If you cropped the 500+tc by like 50% or something and cropped the non TC to the same size. I'm curious if you picked up more detail with the TC or not?
    Kris, up close they really aren't that good. Sixty meters is a pretty long shot, and even though I used a tripod they are a little soft. But, as requested:

    Sigma 500mm alone


    Sigma 500mm plus Kenko 1.4 TC for 700mm
    Scott Craig - Nashville, TN - Nikon D7100, D7000, D90, D60
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    Thanks, That's pretty much the results I had gotten also, If you can absorb the stop in shutter speed, the image is maybe marginally better. If you have to eat the stop in ISO results are downgraded a bit because of noise. I sure wish someone would just donate a 500 (or 600) F4 to me
    May the sun be at your back and the birds be in your face!

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    I use a "Pop-Up " blind . Around $80 at wallie world (Walmart) .take a chair ,food ,tripod and a i-pad or smart phone ,with bird calls loaded . Toss some Bait out for the intended subjects ,play the sound tract ,take the shot . regardless how you do it , make the subject come to you . more than once I have had a 70-300 mm and needed LESS reach . The real key (In my opinion ) is to allow them to come to you ,and not chase a nervous subject .

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    Quote Originally Posted by coastalconn View Post
    Oh, on the auto-iso thing. It only works with Nikons, btw. But lately I set min shutter to 1/2000th and max iso to 400 if I am trying to catch an eagle or hawk that is far away and expecting it to fly. I shoot that way most of the time unless the light is poor than I will up the iso up to ISO 1600 on my "antique" D300...
    I still need to experiment more. I think I also need to recognize that some days, it's just not really worth it--if the weather is just not going to allow me to get the ISO and shutter speed I want, I'm just going to end up frustrated. It's just that lately, the only days I've had available to shoot, it's been really crummy weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCraig View Post

    I know you were, sorry. My comment came out more terse than I intended.

    A 500 does give more reach, no question of that, but it really isn't as much as you think. The first shot below is with my 150-500 at 500mm. The second is with the same lens and a 1.4 TC, for 700mm or a difference of 200 (same as a 300 to 500). They were both shot at 60 meters and are uncropped

    My TC is a Kenko PRO 300 AF 1.4X DGX converter and it does work pretty well. Those aren't the best shots I've taken with it, they are just the only two I could think of that had roughly the same shot with and without the TC. To be honest it works a lot better on my Nikkor 70-300 than on my Sigma 150-500. On the 70-300 there is very little loss of IQ, but it does cost one stop of exposure. Unlike some cheaper teleconverters it does properly report the aperture to the camera.

    If you want to play with them, come to Nashville and we'll go to the zoo or the duck park and you can shoot both to your heart's content
    Be careful what you offer--I just might really take you up on that you know. I have a friend who lives in Antioch, and my son lives in Murfreesboro, so I'm over that way once or twice a year at least. Maybe once e.rose gets moved and settled in, we can have a meetup somewhere out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by coastalconn View Post
    Thanks, That's pretty much the results I had gotten also, If you can absorb the stop in shutter speed, the image is maybe marginally better. If you have to eat the stop in ISO results are downgraded a bit because of noise. I sure wish someone would just donate a 500 (or 600) F4 to me
    When they do, you can just hand down that Tammy to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCraig View Post
    I shoot birds with a 500, and sometimes a 500 with a 1.4 TC on it. It's never enough. The keys to getting good bird shots are patience and more patience, not necessarily more lens.

    YOU have to get closer to THEM, and they don't want you to do that. One very slow step at a time with a pause in between. The pause is where I normally take a shot since I'm getting closer all the time and the shots should be better. If they don't fly off you should eventually get close enough, but you have to be patient.
    you've got some awesome shots, I dig the hawk in flight, more reach is the never ending quest of birding. I'm new at it too, but I've been using my 300 + 1.7TC (for ~520mm), and I'm looking into the 2x TC...Scott is right about learning to get closer to them, someone in another thread recommended reading about bow hunting techniques since they are also transferrable to what we're doing with photography, I thought that was a good idea...
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastalconn View Post
    Thanks, That's pretty much the results I had gotten also, If you can absorb the stop in shutter speed, the image is maybe marginally better. If you have to eat the stop in ISO results are downgraded a bit because of noise. I sure wish someone would just donate a 500 (or 600) F4 to me
    Agreed. As long as I can keep a decent shutter speed and aperture and stay away from high ISO it works pretty well. With that lens and a 1.4 TC my maximum aperture is f/7.1 though so it needs a lot of light.
    Scott Craig - Nashville, TN - Nikon D7100, D7000, D90, D60
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm4him View Post
    Be careful what you offer--I just might really take you up on that you know. I have a friend who lives in Antioch, and my son lives in Murfreesboro, so I'm over that way once or twice a year at least. Maybe once e.rose gets moved and settled in, we can have a meetup somewhere out there.
    I don't make idle offers It's here whenever you want to use it.

    I'm on the same side of town, about a mile off I-24 at the Harding Place exit. The zoo is about 2 miles from me which is why I'm there so much. Once they start staying open until 6pm in March (they close at 4 from October to March) I stop there a lot after work just to walk a while and clear my head a bit.
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    Sharon, If someone donates a 500 F4, I will fedex the Tammy to you

    Scott, I may be wrong, but the Siggy is a F6.3 like my Tamron at 500? I think one full stop makes it a F9 with the TC? F5.6-8 is one stop, I think, so if you add a third it goes F6.3-9?
    May the sun be at your back and the birds be in your face!

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    Quote Originally Posted by coastalconn View Post
    Scott, I may be wrong, but the Siggy is a F6.3 like my Tamron at 500? I think one full stop makes it a F9 with the TC? F5.6-8 is one stop, I think, so if you add a third it goes F6.3-9?
    Nope, you are absolutely right. At 500mm the maximum aperture is f/9. But at 150mm mine is at f/5 so the maximum I can get with that lens at any focal length is 7.1 with a 1.4 TC, and that's what I was referring to. I just didn't make it clear enough.
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    Everything I've shot birdwise over the last three or four days has been with a Nikkor 70-200 2.8 and the Nikkor 1.7 Tele-converter. Even though they were "used" lenses, neither was cheap but I'd had it with cheap lenses and mediocre quality. Shop ebay and Amazon and save your pennies until you can get good glass and buy the ghillie suit while you save.
    If life is a bowl of cherries, I want Bing's.

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    Oh, and in the last egret shot I posted today, I was less than 30 feet from the bird...slowly I crept, step by step, inch by inch...though honestly, I was hoping he'd take off as I was tired of shooting static birds.
    If life is a bowl of cherries, I want Bing's.

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    Thanks everyone. Scott and Kris, thanks for all the specifics about what you lose with the TC--especially the pictorial examples, that was VERY helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by ceeboy14 View Post
    Everything I've shot birdwise over the last three or four days has been with a Nikkor 70-200 2.8 and the Nikkor 1.7 Tele-converter. Even though they were "used" lenses, neither was cheap but I'd had it with cheap lenses and mediocre quality. Shop ebay and Amazon and save your pennies until you can get good glass and buy the ghillie suit while you save.
    Quote Originally Posted by ceeboy14 View Post
    Oh, and in the last egret shot I posted today, I was less than 30 feet from the bird...slowly I crept, step by step, inch by inch...though honestly, I was hoping he'd take off as I was tired of shooting static birds.
    I'm definitely impressed with your shots! I DO plan to get a 70-200 f/2.8 or 70-300 f/2.8 sometime this year. Like you, I think I'm just done buying lenses that are sub-par. In the meantime, I am going to be renting the 70-200 f/2.8 a few times for some of my niece's soccer games so I can just rent it a little longer and get some other use out of it too.

    That ghillie suit...that thing is just TOO cool! I can just see myself in that thing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloicious View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SCraig View Post
    I shoot birds with a 500, and sometimes a 500 with a 1.4 TC on it. It's never enough. The keys to getting good bird shots are patience and more patience, not necessarily more lens.

    YOU have to get closer to THEM, and they don't want you to do that. One very slow step at a time with a pause in between. The pause is where I normally take a shot since I'm getting closer all the time and the shots should be better. If they don't fly off you should eventually get close enough, but you have to be patient.
    you've got some awesome shots, I dig the hawk in flight, more reach is the never ending quest of birding. I'm new at it too, but I've been using my 300 + 1.7TC (for ~520mm), and I'm looking into the 2x TC...Scott is right about learning to get closer to them, someone in another thread recommended reading about bow hunting techniques since they are also transferrable to what we're doing with photography, I thought that was a good idea...

    One thing I need to do is find some places where I CAN get a little closer to them. Many of the spots I've found so far are prohibitive in terms of getting closer than what I've been able to get. In the case of those egrets, I COULD have gotten closer, but only by backtracking several hundred feet up the river bank, then down the trail another 100 yards to a different place where I could access the river bank. I was actually headed to do that, when they took off.

    One of my very favorite local places, in terms of the variety of birds, is a wildlife refuge close to me. It's not a really "popular" spot--very few kids because all there is to do is wander around and look at wildlife and nature--so it's nice and quiet most of the time. But for the most part you can't really get a good shot of anything at the river because there is a thick tree line that butts right up to the edge of the river bank, and then a big dropoff straight into the river. I haven't explored the entire length of it though, so I'm hoping there's somewhere I can get down closer.

    Researching bow-hunting techniques is a good idea. I've already looked at some general hunting sites but hadn't really thought about bow-hunting in specific.

 

 
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