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Budget birding?

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TomV View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TomV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Budget birding?
    Posted: 02 July 2020 at 14:44
Originally posted by SnowFella SnowFella wrote:



Once went through the MFA headache with my Sigma 150-500 as it felt soft for anything further out. Dialed it in for 30+ meter subjects and then found it was back focusing something mad at close in shots.


This is why I sold off a couple of my previous Tamron zooms, the need for different MFA values at various conditions.
My 70-200 would never change its performance on the a77ii regardless of the setting. I think a Tamron/Sony communication issue.
My 18-270 (an APC PZ lens) had a knee at about 70 mm for the MFA that allowed for a single value from 70 to 300 but dropped by 5 units from 70 to 18.
My 150-600 G2 has the Tap-in console that allows for different values for focal length and distance (7 ft, the MFD, 60 ft and infinity for 1/2 dozen focal lengths from min to max). I need a value of -2 at the short end and use -7 at 60 ft and infinity. I tested at 30 ft and needed -4, so if the lens software works as expected it would interpolate a value of about -4 by using the 7 ft and 60 ft values. If not for the Tap-in console I would not have bought this lens.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2020 at 08:34
In my experience MFA is needed with lenses with a shallow DOF, a long lens up close would fit into that bracket nicely. And the need for MFA will vary from camera to camera, my SAL50F14 was near un-usable on my old A350, good on the A77 after MFA adjustment but spot on on the A99ii without any adjustments.

Once went through the MFA headache with my Sigma 150-500 as it felt soft for anything further out. Dialed it in for 30+ meter subjects and then found it was back focusing something mad at close in shots.
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TomV View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TomV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2020 at 05:51
A camera with MFA is necessary for the longer lenses. I also suggest a lens with a focus limiter on the short end. The 55-300 is nice but too slow (no focus limiter). I upgraded to the 70-400 and also have the G2. The G2 is even faster AF-wise. I also have the 70-300 G2. The IQ is not as good as the 70-400.
The 500 reflex is too limited in its capabilities for birding. No aperture adjustment and a rough bokeh
The Minolta 600 is nice but requires a tripod/gimbal. Also a lot of purple fringe.
The Minolta 400 is a very nice lens that can be hand-held but also is good on a tripod.
I have recently purchased a Tamron 150-600 G2 that I highly recommend if you can get a Tap-in console. The close-in distances require a different MFA value than the further ones. However, if you are shooting typically at further distances (> 60 ft) then a single value should cover the range. The quality of the optics rivals my Sony 500 f/4 and the AF, using focus limiting, as almost as fast.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 14:01
Pootina?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 11:46
Originally posted by SnowFella SnowFella wrote:

Can't imagine the sales pitch of "perfect glass but some poo stuck on the barrel" to go down very well on the ebay circuit somehow!

I believe in the trade it's called 'Patina'
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 10:49
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:

Johan,
Very funny reportage, but probably not so much when you were on the spot. Presumably the lens survived OK.

Umm, to this day there's still some literal poo stuck in the raised lettering. Does little for it's optical quality though I'm not sure what it would do inregards to it's secondhand value if I ever tried selling it.
Can't imagine the sales pitch of "perfect glass but some poo stuck on the barrel" to go down very well on the ebay circuit somehow!
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 16:15
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:

Johan,
Very funny reportage, but probably not so much when you were on the spot. Presumably the lens survived OK.
Reminds me of the anecdote concerning the legendary British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham relating to a performance of Verdi's spectacular ancient Egyptian opera Aida that included an elephant processing on the stage during the Triumphal March. The elephant defecated while on stage leading to Beecham remarking - "Appalling manners .... but what a critic!"

Sir Thomas was a truly brilliant conductor, but he had a wicked tongue at times. He is said to have remarked to a lady cellist whose playing did not match his expectation, "You have between your legs something that could give pleasure to thousands, yet you just sit there and scratch it."
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 08:45
Johan,
Very funny reportage, but probably not so much when you were on the spot. Presumably the lens survived OK.
Reminds me of the anecdote concerning the legendary British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham relating to a performance of Verdi's spectacular ancient Egyptian opera Aida that included an elephant processing on the stage during the Triumphal March. The elephant defecated while on stage leading to Beecham remarking - "Appalling manners .... but what a critic!"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 08:22
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:


Bring a macro for birding Reminds me of pictures by Gustav Kiburg (a.k.a. IJsvogel) of Kingfishers on (Sony) lenses!


There's inherent "dangers" with the up close and personal birding aswell.
Mere minutes after this shot was taken.

DSC06237-Edit by Johan Olsson, on Flickr

This happened.

26196085_10210877100783572_6828328294071961768_n by Johan Olsson, on Flickr
Never noticed that the cormorant who's wing is poking into the first shot circled around and landed in a tree above me. Lucky I tend to do my birding wearing a cap as the brim protected the camera and my head from splatter.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rastapartaman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 06:26
I started with the A100 and the sigma 70-300 APO. Very slow combination for AF speed. But still managed to get amazing pictures.
Learn more about bird behaviour, best times and locations. That will allow to get closer.
That said, nothing beats more range. A longer lens is the way to go but get used to the weight. It's not easy to carry a big lens all day long.
I now got the A68 with the Tamron 150-600 and it's a good combo. The A77II is better in FPS and buffer and I regret not buying it.
Compact lenses wise the Minolta 100-300APO and the Sony 55-300 are good choices to go lightweight.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 02:52
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:



BIF is more difficult. It is the most difficult thing to photograph IMHO. A better system might help, but still, nothing can replace experience I belief. And don't be afraid to crop.


I still can't help thinking location and luck come into it quite a bit. I would love to shoot many species that would have to be escapees from a zoo or lost to be in my neck of the woods; and the AF works fine enough for BIF when they're flying across the sky or away from you; toward you is another story. It would also be nice if they took direction; "back up and try it again, this time with the beak closed and looking this way".   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 June 2020 at 18:39
Originally posted by Almazar80 Almazar80 wrote:

The A6100 and the 70-350 APS-C zoom is a lightweight combination.
And the combinations is sharp enough to crop. But if you find 600mm on APS-C to short, the 70-350G will also be too short

However, if you do birding, you need to crop. This is with the A6400 and 70-350G:


But it is a crop of this:


The next one is an even bigger crop. It was taken with the 100-300 APO (D) (you know, the lens that is not sharp ) on the A99m2 in APS-C mode at 300mm (450mm equivelent) and I cropped the 18mpx to 9mpx:


I think it is a decent picture And it illustrates the point that you do not need anything really fancy to get a picture of a bird sitting on a pole/roof/whatever.

BIF is more difficult. It is the most difficult thing to photograph IMHO. The picture above is simply luck and a camera with exceptional AF..... But still, I take credit. But like you, always I struggle with it, simply not enough experience. A better system might help, but still, nothing can replace experience I belief. And don't be afraid to crop.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Almazar80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 June 2020 at 14:06
I used the Tamron 150-600 for while and it is a good lens. I would pair with with an A77II though. Or an A68. The faster focusing is going to be handy. The A99 would be great paired with the lens though. May not have the same equivalent reach, but it would make for a great pair.

I am now using the 200-600 zoom with the A6600. It's a truly great combination. I am surprised by how many people in my area, who are into bird photography, own this lens. It's a lot better than the Tamron, which is no slouch (as far as being lighter and the optics are an improvement). Although I find the A6100 to be a really nice camera. The A6100 and the 70-350 APS-C zoom is a lightweight combination. And the new 100-400mm Sigma is getting good reviews.

Although, for a lightweight, capable camera, the RX10IV is hard to beat. Nice ergonomics, nice lens, focuses quickly (I sold my A77II and the Tamron and replaced it with the RX10IV until the birding bug and gear envy hit hard). If I could only have one camera to carry around all day, it would still be the RX10IV.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 June 2020 at 12:26
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Originally posted by SnowFella SnowFella wrote:

Ninja skills and possibly a hide will help for the first type and a good MFD will help for the second, sometimes nothing will help like the Lorikeet I had the other day who got so interested in it's reflection that he hopped onto my lenshood and looked in.

Bring a macro for birding Reminds me of pictures by Gustav Kiburg (a.k.a. IJsvogel) of Kingfishers on (Sony) lenses!

Laugh if you wish, but I've lost count of the number of times I've missed good bird shots because the bird came too close for the lens MFD. I reckon a 50mm macro lens is a pretty good choice for picnic sites!

I do most of my birding now at places with lots of people, and some of them are quite tame (the birds too). On my local lake the Canada geese will let you walk right up to their chicks, and you can get decent pics with a mobile phone! We now have three herons that live by the lake and are happy to be stared at but I haven't yet managed to get all three in one pic (I may cheat ... )

Edited by Miranda F - 29 June 2020 at 12:35
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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