November 21, 2014, 07:17:58 PM

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Messages - steven kessel

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61
As I understand it both my old 100mm f.28 non-L and my 180mm f3.5L produce 1:1 images.  The difference is that I must get much closer to my subject with the 100 in order to get 1:1 image size than with the 180. 

I do mostly wildlife photography and I find the 180 to be ideal for that purpose.  Being able to back off a bit means that my subjects -- often insects -- are made less uptight and tend not to be so skittish as when I'm photographing with the 100.  The 180 also functions as a superb short/medium telephoto.  I've made a whole series of hummingbirds in flight shots using the 180 in lieu of my 70-200 f4 L and the difference in sharpness is astonishing.  The 180 is simply a MUCH better lens for that type of work.

I love my 180 and I was surprised to read somewhere recently that Canon is going to discontinue it.  I probably take more pictures with that lens than with all of my other L lenses combined.

62
Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: April 29, 2014, 10:37:51 PM »
Great Blue Heron touchdown.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 320, "M" setting f7.1 @ 1/1600

63
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Birds in Flight tips
« on: April 18, 2014, 10:47:50 AM »
Sure, I'll share my "secret" settings.   ;D  For birds against a blue sky I use the center focusing point plus the four auxiliary points.  For birds with trees or other items in the mid-ground I use center point only. 

A couple of other tips.  I always use H1 Servo  and I have the autofocus set to "quick mode."  I also configure the autofocus to "continue to track objects, ignoring possible obstacles."

One more tip.  Be sure to set the limiter switch on your telephoto for the appropriate distance.  Setting for the closer setting means that the lens will "hunt" to find focus and take longer to lock on.

With all of this, it's still a hit or miss affair much of the time.  It's a lot easier on a sunny day, with a blue sky for a background.  It becomes really difficult to capture birds in flight when it's overcast and/or when the background is cluttered.

64
Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: April 17, 2014, 03:35:15 PM »
Here's one of my favorites.

65
Canon General / Anyone still shoot with an FTb?
« on: April 14, 2014, 10:05:24 PM »
I'm not even sure that this is the right forum but I can't find anywhere else this fits.

My first Canon was an FTb that I purchased back in about 1973.  I loved that camera and took a lot of pictures with it, mostly transparencies and Tri-X B & W negatives.  A few weeks ago I was rummaging around in a closet and discovered the camera, neatly stored away.  It's in flawless condition and I still have the lenses that I purchased for it including my personal favorite, a Bell & Howell/Canon FD 24 mm f2.8 (yes, Canon was briefly a subsidiary of Bell & Howell, back in the 70's).

The camera is in flawless condition.  It probably needs a tuneup, a thorough cleaning and the shutter should be retensioned, but aside from that it's absolutely good to go.  I really got excited for a while thinking about taking some pictures with it.  But then, I was hit with the practical considerations.  Do they even make transparency films?  And, if so, what do I do with the images? 

So, I'm wondering.  Does anyone out there still shoot pictures with this old warhorse?  What do you shoot?  What do you do with the images?  I'm intrigued with the idea of going back into transparency shooting just for the sheer hell of it, but I'm daunted by the fact that this is apparently an extinct technology.  Your thoughts?

66
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: April 03, 2014, 12:01:32 PM »
As long as we're on the subject of hummers . . . .

Canon 5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens, ISO 200

67
It depends on what you like to photograph.  But, as a Tucson resident whose passion is wildlife photography, let me add my two cents.

1.  Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.  The grounds are a large desert preserve and there is plenty of wildlife, both on exhibit and roaming free.  The highlight of the day (until April 19) is Raptor Free Flight at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  The two shows are different and they afford the opportunity to get fantastic closeups of birds of prey in flight and perched.  A must!

2.  Sabino Canyon.  A great place to photograph lizards and, possibly, a snake or two.  It is a well known location for seeing Gila Monsters in the wild this time of year.  No guarantees, but your chances there are better than in most places.  The area around Sabino Dam is a hot spot for wildlife watching.

3.  Sweetwater Wetlands.  This is a man-made marsh on Tucson's west side.  Take Interstate 10 to the Ruthrauf Road exit, then take the west frontage road south for one mile, turn right on Sweetwater drive, go about 200 yards and it's on your left.  The ponds and swamps there attract lots of birds, including some fairly exotic species like Soras.

4.  Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park.  A great place for photographing Great Blue Herons.  Also take the Ruthrauf Road exit on I-10, head west one mile, turn left on Silverbell, go south about 1/2 mile and it will be on your left.

68
Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: March 30, 2014, 12:59:27 AM »
I should have noted that both of these photos are at least 50% crops from the originals.

69
Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: March 30, 2014, 12:56:46 AM »
And, here's another recent shot of a nonmoving subject that really shows how sharp this lens is.  As with the case of all of my wildlife shots, this photo was hand held.

70
Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: March 30, 2014, 12:51:04 AM »
I own a Canon 400DO and it is my principal wildlife lens.  I love it for its relatively compact size and its sharpness.  All of my shots with this lens are hand held and I find the results to be excellent as long as I keep the shutter speed at about 1/400 or above. 

The lens sort of got a bad reputation back in 2003 when it was first issued.  But, if it had bugs they've long since been ironed out.  I would recommend this lens unhesitatingly to anyone who wants a fairly compact 400 for field use.

One aspect of the lens that I don't like.  It comes equipped with a monstrous lens hood that is nearly as long as the lens itself.  Apparently it's the same hood that Canon supplies with the 300 f2.8.  My suspicion is that this is overkill and its enormous bulk works against the lens' compact size.  I've been scouring the photographic equipment sites for something more compact but have found nothing yet.

Here's a recent image that gives a pretty good idea of this lens' sharpness. 

71
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: March 23, 2014, 09:35:20 PM »
Not the best photo I've ever taken, by a long shot, but how many of you have ever seen an Elegant Trogon?  These birds are extremely rare in the U.S., living in only a few isolated canyons in southeastern Arizona.  I got this male this morning alongside a stream right on the Mexican border.

72
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: March 18, 2014, 12:22:30 AM »
Something new for me, a Yellow-eyed Junco.  These little birds are found only at higher elevations in southern Arizona and in Mexico.  I spotted this one at 8,000 feet on Mt. Lemmon near Tucson.  Canon 5Diii, 400DO, ISO 800, aperture preferred, f5.6 @ 1/500.

73
Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: March 13, 2014, 12:22:32 AM »
Here's a little something (pun intended).  5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro, ISO 200, f6.3 @ 1,1250

74
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: March 09, 2014, 03:29:54 PM »
I've been wanting to get a decent photo of a Vermillion Flycatcher for a long time.  These birds are fairly common in our area (southeastern Arizona) but are the devil to shoot.  They never sit still long enough to get a decent shot, or the light is wrong, or there are intervening branches and twigs.  It's always something with these birds.  This morning, however, everything worked out.  We are experiencing high winds today with peak gusts of more than 30mph.  This little guy was hanging on to his perch for dear life, not wanting to fly.  That gave me the opportunity to set up a shot.  5Diii, 400DO, "M" setting, 1/640 @ f7.1, ISO 250.

75
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: March 05, 2014, 09:17:05 PM »
I caught this large lady doing a little housekeeping.  5Diii, ISO 320, 400DO, f7.1 @ 1/1600

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