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Messages - steven kessel

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61
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. 

62
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.

63
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.

64
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

65
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.

66
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

67
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: March 03, 2014, 09:42:18 AM »
I haven't posted for a while so here goes.  This is a Burrowing Owl in flight.  I've been trying for this shot for months.  These birds are extremely difficult to catch in the air because they fly without warning, they fly erratically, and invariably, they fly low to the ground.   Canon 5Diii, 100-400 f4-5.6L, ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1,600.

68
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: February 27, 2014, 09:48:40 AM »
I just purchased a Canon 180mm f3.5 Macro L and have had great fun with it.  This is a Hoverfly, less than 1/4" long in real life.  Photograph made hand held in natural light, ISO 200, f7.1 @ 1/500.

69
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: February 18, 2014, 08:23:40 PM »
Conventional wisdom is you've got to show the bird's eyes and preferably with a catch light in 'em or the photo is a failure.  In this case, I beg to differ.

70
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: February 12, 2014, 03:31:50 PM »
As long as we're on the subject of waterfowl -- Pied-billed Grebe having fun, 5Diii, ISO 320, 400DO, f7.1 @ 1/1600.

71
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: February 05, 2014, 09:34:17 PM »
Wow, that towhee shot is just super!

72
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: February 01, 2014, 09:09:30 PM »
I realized I'd left out the data on that rufous Red Tail.   5Diii, 400 DO, shot at ISO 320, 1/1600 at f7.1, M setting, central focus points only.  Here's another image of the same bird.

73
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: February 01, 2014, 10:04:50 AM »
Love that male cardinal!  And, while we're on the subject of red birds, here's a so-called "rufous morph" Red-tailed Hawk.


74
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 20, 2014, 11:05:41 PM »
Sturm und Drang, Part II.  No, this juvenile Red Tail is not pursuing this blackbird.  They were both perched and took off simultaneously with a resulting near-collision in flight.

5Diii, 400DO, ISO 400, M Mode, f6.3 @ 1/1250

75
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 20, 2014, 11:03:11 PM »
Sturm und Drang.  Went out to look for hawks today and found this very athletic Red Tail doing an aerobatic maneuver.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 500, M mode, 1/1250 @ f6.3.


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