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Seal Photos from this morning

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Ridley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ridley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Seal Photos from this morning
    Posted: 05 January 2013 at 15:59


So, I'm looking for some advice.

This is the spot where I go to watch seals by my house. The sandbar looks to be about 400 feet from shore this year. Obviously, this is the challenge.

Here's some quick shots i took this morning and I'm wondering if there really is a practical solution to getting better shots short of getting closer to the seals or spending $12,000 USD on a lens

I used my a65 and 70-300G handheld, but using a rock to balance the camera on. Will try tripod next time when I have more time. All are at 300mm.

#1 (uncropped)


#2 ( Some cropping to remove unwanted areas)


#3 (about 60% crop)


#4 (about 80% crop)
 



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rovhazman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 19:28
It looks nice, especially #2. The last 2 are also nice, but I can see why you want more reach. Tripod can help a little making the crops look better, but it will not give you better reach...
You can get yourself Minolta 600/4 - it is only ~$6000...

More seriously, the Minolta 300/2.8 + 1.4xTC can do better, and that you can find at ~$2500.
A 'cheapo' solution will be to get the 500/8 mirror lens. It is special lens and I saw some that can get great results with it.
But the most realistic solution is to sell your 70-300 and get the 70-400 - better reach than your 70-300 and better results with cropping.
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mgjsmith View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mgjsmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 21:34
How deep is the water? Martin
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Ridley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ridley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 21:49
It's about 40 feet deep, that's why the seals feel safe there.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ridley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 21:52
Originally posted by rovhazman rovhazman wrote:

It looks nice, especially #2. The last 2 are also nice, but I can see why you want more reach. Tripod can help a little making the crops look better, but it will not give you better reach...
You can get yourself Minolta 600/4 - it is only ~$6000...

More seriously, the Minolta 300/2.8 + 1.4xTC can do better, and that you can find at ~$2500.
A 'cheapo' solution will be to get the 500/8 mirror lens. It is special lens and I saw some that can get great results with it.
But the most realistic solution is to sell your 70-300 and get the 70-400 - better reach than your 70-300 and better results with cropping.


I'm going to try with the 1.4 TC that I have tomorrow and see where that puts me with the 70300G. I really can't justify selling it for a loss and then spending more on the 70400G. I'm going to see if I can return the 70300 for store credit and then add to it to buy the 70400..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 4GibMe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 21:56
For half the cost of the 70-400 and 100mm more reach you could get the Tamron 200 - 500mm,, or a used copy of the older Sigma's take's on the 500mm Zooms.

Another thing you have to factor in is air distortion from high humidity. I can see it in the back ground of your photos. At anything 500mm it's going to play on your sharpness. You will have good days and bad days, depending on the humidity levels.

The 70-300mm G is a nice lens, but I agree with the others, it's a little too short for what your trying to do.


Edited by 4GibMe - 05 January 2013 at 22:00
 



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maewpa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maewpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:02
I was goign to say some things you just have to let go, and having 400mm is only going to be a little better. But on relection #3 isn't bad at all and the extra 100mm is probably all you need to make it good.
Paul aka maewpa
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Ridley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ridley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:12
Originally posted by 4GibMe 4GibMe wrote:

For half the cost of the 70-400 and 100mm more reach you could get the Tamron 200 - 500mm,, or a used copy of the older Sigma's take's on the 500mm Zooms.

Another thing you have to factor in is air distortion from high humidity. I can see it in the back ground of your photos. At anything 500mm it's going to play on your sharpness. You will have good days and bad days, depending on the humidity levels.

The 70-300mm G is a nice lens, but I agree with the others, it's a little too short for what your trying to do.


Are the newer Sigmas not good? I love my Sigma 18-50 2.8

I bought the 70300g to replace a Tamron 70-300, couldn't take the CA with that lens anymore.

you are right about the atmospherics, today was pretty low humidity and very cold, the sun was up for only an hour when i took these I'm hoping to have more time tomorrow and see if i can get more definition with a little higher angle. They just look real flat to me. But of course there's not much contrast between the seals and the sand.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 4GibMe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:25
Originally posted by Ridley Ridley wrote:

Originally posted by 4GibMe 4GibMe wrote:

For half the cost of the 70-400 and 100mm more reach you could get the Tamron 200 - 500mm,, or a used copy of the older Sigma's take's on the 500mm Zooms.

Another thing you have to factor in is air distortion from high humidity. I can see it in the back ground of your photos. At anything 500mm it's going to play on your sharpness. You will have good days and bad days, depending on the humidity levels.

The 70-300mm G is a nice lens, but I agree with the others, it's a little too short for what your trying to do.


Are the newer Sigmas not good? I love my Sigma 18-50 2.8

I bought the 70300g to replace a Tamron 70-300, couldn't take the CA with that lens anymore.

you are right about the atmospherics, today was pretty low humidity and very cold, the sun was up for only an hour when i took these I'm hoping to have more time tomorrow and see if i can get more definition with a little higher angle. They just look real flat to me. But of course there's not much contrast between the seals and the sand.



Nothing wrong with the New Sigma's IQ wise. It's the fact that they all have Image Stabilization. Which in turn has sent the price through the ceiling.

I have read mixed reviews regarding the Tamron 70 - 300mm, never used one so I can't pass judgment on it.

Regarding the Tamron 200 - 500mm, I do some birding now and then, so I wanted something that did the job well, but wasn't over the top in price. I ended up with the Tamron 200 - 500mm. Even up against the Sony 70-400mm it holds it's own very well.

But in any discussion, the final choices are up to you. It's your money, it's your photography stile, etc, etc.

A77 + Tamron 200 - 500mm




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Ridley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ridley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:30
That's a really nice shot Paul, nice bokeh as well.

Thanks for posting that so I can see another option.
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Basil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Basil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:34
Have you thought about a kayak?
To see is to enjoy. To see beyond is to rejoice.

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Ridley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ridley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:39
Originally posted by Basil Basil wrote:

Have you thought about a kayak?


the water is near freezing, not willing to risk my gear or me to get closer. Plus there are laws regarding such adventures around seals and the seals will typically roll into the water at the first sign of irritation.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jenik.nk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:46
Nice shots, yes. Cropping the 24 Mpx is very useful, isn't is?
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Ridley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ridley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 22:50
Originally posted by jenik.nk jenik.nk wrote:

Nice shots, yes. Cropping the 24 Mpx is very useful, isn't is?


somewhat better than my old a100 crops.
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