Enjoying the Sun!

The bright sun on Friday, March 21, 2014 at Ridgefield NWR allowed me to take some shots with my f8–1000mm (500 II + 2x III) set up.  This was my first opportunity to use my 500mm lens since my daughter, Kimi, and I spent time calibrating the Auto Focus using the LensAlign MkII target over at her house.  (I’ll get into more details about the actual testing in a future blog post).

We calibrated the lens bare at 500mm, and also with both the 1.4x and 2x extenders separately attached.  The actual lens micro-adjustment was made in the camera, which memorizes and utilizes the new adjustments settings depending upon which lens set up is attached to the camera.

This shot of the Ring-necked Duck was made at a distance of about 100-120 feet, a distance I’d never attempt with the bare 500 on this size of bird.  While I wasn’t crazy about the harsh bright sunlight from an image standpoint (I’d rather have some lightly diffused light for this color of duck), it gave me a good amount of light to enable me to test the f8-1000mm set up in action conditions.

A tip about photographing waterfowl behavior:  If you see a duck “taking a bath” in the water, i.e., splashing around and ducking its head under water to get water on its back, there’s a very good chance that soon it will do this standing up/wing flap movement captured here in this shot.  So have your camera set with a fast shutter speed, focus, and be ready to shoot bursts.

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 800, 1000 mm.

 

The bright sun on Friday, March 21, 2014 at Ridgefield NWR allowed me to take some shots with my f8–1000mm (500 II + 2x III) set up.  This was my first opportunity to use my 500mm lens since my daughter, Kimi, and I spent time calibrating the Auto Focus using the LensAlign MkII target over at her house.  (I’ll get into more details about the actual testing in a future blog post).

We calibrated the lens bare at 500mm, and also with both the 1.4x and 2x extenders separately attached.  The actual lens micro-adjustment was made in the camera, which memorizes and utilizes the new adjustments settings depending upon which lens set up is attached to the camera.

This shot of the Ring-necked Duck was made at a distance of about 100-120 feet, a distance I’d never attempt with the bare 500 on this size of bird.  While I wasn’t crazy about the harsh bright sunlight from an image standpoint (I’d rather have some lightly diffused light for this color of duck), it gave me a good amount of light to enable me to test the f8-1000mm set up in action conditions.

A tip about photographing waterfowl behavior:  If you see a duck “taking a bath” in the water, i.e., splashing around and ducking its head under water to get water on its back, there’s a very good chance that soon it will do this standing up/wing flap movement captured here in this shot.  So have your camera set with a fast shutter speed, focus, and be ready to shoot bursts.

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 800, 1000 mm.

 

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My Gear:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV & Grip
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EF 500mm f4L IS II
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f4L
  • Canon EF 50mm f1.8
  • Canon 1.4X III Extender
  • Canon 2x III Extender
  • Canon 580EX Flash
  • Zoom H1 Recorder
  • Better Beamer
  • Manfrotto tripod/monopod
  • Manfrotto Gimbal Head
  • Sandisk Compact Flash Cards
  • The Molar Bean Bag by Vertex
  • Joby Gorillapod Focus & Ballhead
  • Canon EG200 Backpack
  • Storm Jacket Camera Cover
  • Kinesis Safari Sack
  • Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition

Software:

  • Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic
  • Nik Color EFEX Pro 4
  • Nik Sharpener 3
  • Nik Dfine 2.0
  • Nik Viveza 2
  • Nik HDR Efex Pro 2
  • Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
  • Nik Analog Efex Pro