Trying to improve, CC & bird ID

Aloicious

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
452
Location
UT
Website
www.photographywild.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
So I scored one of my dream lenses from a local sale recently (got insanely lucky, after selling some stuff and saving up for a while, and good timing with the classifieds), a nikon 300 f2.8G VR1...although I purchased it mainly for work with motorsports, I enjoy wildlife and am trying to hone my supertele technique with birds and such...(since cars aren't very hard to sneak up on :lol:)...so since I now have something that is in a much more usable wildlife focal length (IMO, compared to ~200mm previously) I'm hoping to improve with it and share some good images. I know these aren't the best, but C&C for these is appreciated. This is my first REAL test of the lens since getting it on monday. I'll give my C&C on these at the end...I also SUCK at bird IDs too, so any help identifying these would be appreciated.

here's the lens just for kicks, no need for C&C on this one.
300_zpsb27cf39b.jpg


Here's a raptor (Hawk, maybe cooper's hawk?). sometime someone once said on here about looking for 'footballs' in the trees when searching for owls helped find them, although these aren't owls in trees, seeing 'footballs' on the telephone poles allowed me to notice them where I wouldn't before and approach with caution.

raptor3_zps7e1144f9.jpg


raptor1_zps263d9912.jpg


100% crop of the above shot, this is one of the cleaner shots I got.
raptor2_zps381dc935.jpg


then there were a bunch of these little black birds up on the telephone wires I was able to get moderately close to...
(too much sharpening on this one? I didn't add much but I don't necissarily like how it turned out, I might re-edit this one since I like the 'bad hair day' look heh)
wire2_zps284414c0.jpg


wire1_zpsa43757ea.jpg


anyways, all of them were taken with the D800 and 300mm + 1.7x TC = 510mm @ f5.6, 1/500s, VR on normal, and roughly ISO 300-700ish, handheld either from the car out the window (raptors), or standing/crouching outside in the cold...
I think I need to stop down just a little more, wide open would have been f4.8 with the TC, so I was only .5 stop less, maybe f8 or something and raise the iso a little since I was using the TC...the lens did very well with the 1.7x on it (at least in comparison to my 70-200 with it which I've never been fully happy with that combo)...however I think I may need to fine tune the AF adjustment with the TC, although it did well, I think there is still room for a little improvement with it.

Air quality this morning was TERRIBLE too, which likely contributed...

the small birds were a fairly heavy crop, I already mentioned the possible oversharpening on one of them, but overall I think they turned out fairly well all due considering...

just for reference, this is my 200 + 1.7x attempt at birding in summer...I'd consider this okay to mediocre at best....
Hawk-1.jpg
 

coastalconn

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
3,594
Reaction score
3,635
Location
Old Saybrook, CT
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hmmm. Footballs, yup I said it, lol! Anyways sickenly sharp to the point of lens envy. Looks more like a red tail judging by the size and the brown eyes. The smaller dark bird is a starling. Looks like you are off to a great start. I personally try not to shoot them on man made type objects, but sometimes you have no choice. Try to always keep the sun to your back so you can capture the catchlight in their eyes!
 

shefjr

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
1,595
Reaction score
418
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Congrats on the lens score! I'm jealous both of the glass and the great images. They are so sharp!
 

dxqcanada

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
7,674
Reaction score
1,574
Location
Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Nice lens. Looks like very good IQ

Them black birds look like European Starlings
 
OP
Aloicious

Aloicious

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
452
Location
UT
Website
www.photographywild.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hmmm. Footballs, yup I said it, lol! Anyways sickenly sharp to the point of lens envy. Looks more like a red tail judging by the size and the brown eyes. The smaller dark bird is a starling. Looks like you are off to a great start. I personally try not to shoot them on man made type objects, but sometimes you have no choice. Try to always keep the sun to your back so you can capture the catchlight in their eyes!

ah, I thought it might be you, but I wasn't for sure. Your description really did help out alot, I was driving down the road trying to look for any wildlife to shoot (was actually looking for Bison that I knew lived in the area), and thought, what is that football doing up on the telephone pole? and remembered your description of the owls...

thanks, I've been saving up and selling un-needed stuff for a while for some long and fast glass, I own a automotive journalism small business and cover a lot of events, and my 70-200 wasn't cutting it on length for some stuff like land speed racing out on the salt flats, and several other yearly events I'm at...so I've been planning on getting something like it for a while, I just lucked out with it coming on the used market locally at the right time for a great price...so it was mostly a business purchase, the fact that I've been enjoying wildlife stuff recently is just a bonus :D

I'm guessing I'll have alot of man made stuff in my shots, I live in the desert, so trees and natural stuff other than sagebrush and tumbleweeds are less common than telephone poles and fencing, but I would like to work on getting more of the natural wild feel into it, I'll have to look for some good places to shoot at, I know there are a few wildlife preserves close by I'd like to visit.

Congrats on the lens score! I'm jealous both of the glass and the great images. They are so sharp!

Thanks, I'm really enjoying the wildlife stuff, its really rewarding for me, almost therapeutic...
 
OP
Aloicious

Aloicious

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
452
Location
UT
Website
www.photographywild.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Nice lens. Looks like very good IQ

Them black birds look like European Starlings

thanks, I think you're right...is there a good place to research identification of different species...I've been looking at 'allaboutbirds.org', but sometimes it's a bit lacking.
 
OP
Aloicious

Aloicious

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
452
Location
UT
Website
www.photographywild.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Birdwatching group sites are good to look at ... since they are regional

Utah Birds

nice, I'll have to check that out. I've read a few local bird photographer's sites, but most of them are just showcasing their work rather than informational (rightfully so).
 
OP
Aloicious

Aloicious

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
452
Location
UT
Website
www.photographywild.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit

matthewo

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,445
Reaction score
645
Location
the south
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
very nice man. its addicting. I find myself trying to go everyday in search of some wildlife to shoot, ends up mostly being waterfowl cause I know where to find them. nice score on the Vr1. I know we talked, but I think im going to spend a little less and get the AFS-II its lighter and the same optically, just minus VR, and a bit cheaper... are you going to try for the tc20e III, I hear its better IQ then the tc17ii with more reach. right now I only have the tc14e, and I think im going to go out tomarrow with just my little old 70-200 with the tc14e on it for some birding, man Im already missing my 500mm manual focus...
 
OP
Aloicious

Aloicious

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
452
Location
UT
Website
www.photographywild.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
very nice man. its addicting. I find myself trying to go everyday in search of some wildlife to shoot, ends up mostly being waterfowl cause I know where to find them. nice score on the Vr1. I know we talked, but I think im going to spend a little less and get the AFS-II its lighter and the same optically, just minus VR, and a bit cheaper... are you going to try for the tc20e III, I hear its better IQ then the tc17ii with more reach. right now I only have the tc14e, and I think im going to go out tomarrow with just my little old 70-200 with the tc14e on it for some birding, man Im already missing my 500mm manual focus...

did you sell the 500 already?

yeah I've been eyeing the tc20eIII, it'll have to wait a few weeks till I can grab it, I've heard the optics on it are a great step up on the old tc20eII (which is the same type of optic setup in the 17eII which I have).

I don't blame you on the AFS-II, I was looking for one of those too, even considering the AFI and AFS-I as well, but this VR1 ended up being about the same price as a AFSII so I couldn't let that pass, and the VR does help out a good bit, I just have to make sure not to rely on it too much and let my handholding technique get sloppy....and the AF on this thing is INCREDIBLY fast, I'm not good enough for quality BIF quite yet, but with some practice perhaps. you'll dig it when you find the right one.
 

matthewo

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,445
Reaction score
645
Location
the south
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
yes sold the 500. yeah vr would be nice, but I cannot find one less then 4, so I can get a afs ii for about 1k less. anything has to be a step up from 500mm manual focus or 800mm with semi autofocus. still got some good photos from both combos, and was able to get a few BIF even with the manual lens with the very limited autofocus. really improved me long lens technique, should make my feel spoiled with the 300mm af-s. the 500mm was making me think the 70-200 was amazing lightning fast AF, but from what I heard the 300 is even faster AF. problems with birds is your never close enough, when using it for wildlife you will never take a TC of some sort off the lens, then when you do and use the bare 300mm you will be amazed again lol. I cannot wait to blow a few heads of with it as a portrait lens.... I got an af-s ii im about to get tonight hopefully...
 
Last edited:
OP
Aloicious

Aloicious

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
452
Location
UT
Website
www.photographywild.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
yeah the 300 AF is noticeably faster than the 70-200 IMO.
 

tevo

Recovering TPF Junkie
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
2,507
Reaction score
440
Location
San Jose, CA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
:drool:That's a tasty lens.
 

Most reactions

Top