October 20, 2014, 11:00:48 PM

Author Topic: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm  (Read 10454 times)

CarlTN

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 03:45:01 AM »
Hello Carl

Quote
Btw, does your name refer to a '67 muscle car or something?
  You are perceptive.  To clarify, the moniker comes from an 80s psychobilly band called the Revillos (aka Rezillos) a track called "Revup" and indeed I had a 1967 GTO for 24 years (ragtop) and the car is featured in an MTV video with Samantha Fox called "Naughty Girls Need Love Too" (youtube) or go here for images:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/51683260@N05/4849678607/#in/photolist-8oxSup-8oxSwD and http://www.flickr.com/photos/revup67/4849678737/#in/photolist-8oxSup-8oxSwD/

Thanks for the offer on editing.  Been doing photo editing since 1992 when I got one of the first scanner by Umax.  $1200 at the time.  Currently using Lightroom 5, Photoshop and ACDSee.  I try not to alter any colors with birding images especially for newbies who can get easily confused on a Bird ID with overly saturated shots

With birding its not so much the subject such as a Great Blue Heron - they are ubiquitous.  But its more of the capture itself such as this one: 
"Hung Out To Dry, then Eaten" Great Blue Heron with Ground Squirrel by Revup67, on Flickr[/img] and this one
Great Blue Heron with Squirrel In Flight (Pt. 2) by Revup67, on Flickr .  A savage scene for sure.

Thanks for all the kind words..feel free to drop me a note with your images / links.  PS when you say there are no birds here..where is here?
Anthony

Great car, impressive that it got in a music video too!  I'm in Tennessee.  Here's one of my heron shots.  The colors aren't that far off I don't think.  This was just with a 50D and 135 f/2 + 2.0x TC ii, about 3 years ago.

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 03:45:01 AM »

revup67

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 11:31:57 PM »
Hi CarlTN

Ahh now the TN makes sense..thanks for that.

Quote
Great car, impressive that it got in a music video too!  I'm in Tennessee.  Here's one of my heron shots.  The colors aren't that far off I don't think.  This was just with a 50D and 135 f/2 + 2.0x TC ii, about 3 years ago.

Colors and Bird plumage can vary quite a bit.  Take a leucistic Yellow-rumped Warbler.  We've over a 100,000 currently but I shot one about a month ago that an expert so. cal field birder (pver 50 years experience) stated he's only seen 3 in 35 years.  My photos of the GBHE (great blue heron) are perhaps standard.  Yours may be unique and even a hybrid of another heron (doubtful but possible)..hard to say.  I've learned (takes much practice) one should consider time of year, regional location, breeding or non-breeding cycle, male or female, life cycle (meaning juvenile or adult which in some cases you can tell by primaries, secondaries ,coverts, etc) and other varying degrees of plumage in determining accuracy of a bird species/sub species.  Leucistic (albino like) may also be a factor in some cases.  In your image the bright daylight may have affected its natural colors as well. 

Happy birding!
Rev
Thanks
Rev
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CarlTN

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2013, 03:39:04 AM »
Hi CarlTN

Ahh now the TN makes sense..thanks for that.

Quote
Great car, impressive that it got in a music video too!  I'm in Tennessee.  Here's one of my heron shots.  The colors aren't that far off I don't think.  This was just with a 50D and 135 f/2 + 2.0x TC ii, about 3 years ago.

Colors and Bird plumage can vary quite a bit.  Take a leucistic Yellow-rumped Warbler.  We've over a 100,000 currently but I shot one about a month ago that an expert so. cal field birder (pver 50 years experience) stated he's only seen 3 in 35 years.  My photos of the GBHE (great blue heron) are perhaps standard.  Yours may be unique and even a hybrid of another heron (doubtful but possible)..hard to say.  I've learned (takes much practice) one should consider time of year, regional location, breeding or non-breeding cycle, male or female, life cycle (meaning juvenile or adult which in some cases you can tell by primaries, secondaries ,coverts, etc) and other varying degrees of plumage in determining accuracy of a bird species/sub species.  Leucistic (albino like) may also be a factor in some cases.  In your image the bright daylight may have affected its natural colors as well. 

Happy birding!
Rev

Thanks for the advice, I am in no way a serious birder!  I don't think the color is off on my image, though.  You kind of remind me of that birding movie with Steve Martin, that was insane haha!  I don't think I've ever been that obsessed with any of my hobbies before, and I got too obsessed with one or two of them in the past.

revup67

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2013, 01:40:06 AM »
Quote
Thanks for the advice, I am in no way a serious birder!  I don't think the color is off on my image, though.  You kind of remind me of that birding movie with Steve Martin, that was insane haha!  I don't think I've ever been that obsessed with any of my hobbies before, and I got too obsessed with one or two of them in the past.

Birding is unique - its one of those things and it bores a log of people quickly.  I didn't know jack squat about 1.5 years ago.  That 400mm brought things into close perspective and got tired of saying this was a "blue bird" or a black colored bird.  4 hours at a time was too long to figure out what was in the image that's when a pursuit ensued to increase my knowledge base and fast.  PS that was a great movie a bit fictitious here and there such as that cabin scene in Alaska.  The location they name is not where it was filmed.  However the birds they are after all do exist.  Cheers..Rev
Thanks
Rev
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2014, 09:36:59 PM »
I have not purchased the 600mm F4 IS II, only borrowed from Canon at this point still undecided.  So many great things of course but a few concerns. 

So it's been a couple of months, have you changed your mind and decided to join The 700 600 Club?   ;)

I loved the shot of the heron with the squirrel. 
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2014, 09:54:03 PM »
Here's one of my heron shots.  The colors aren't that far off I don't think.  This was just with a 50D and 135 f/2 + 2.0x TC ii, about 3 years ago.



I like the composition, but overall the image is extremely soft, and I find the purple spot near the bottom to be very distracting.
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CarlTN

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2014, 06:53:12 AM »
Here's one of my heron shots.  The colors aren't that far off I don't think.  This was just with a 50D and 135 f/2 + 2.0x TC ii, about 3 years ago.



I like the composition, but overall the image is extremely soft, and I find the purple spot near the bottom to be very distracting.

The purple spot is a defocused flower, one of the few my mom planted there, and I wanted to get it in and add some color.  If it looks bad to you, so be it.  It looks fine to me.  Nothing is perfect, at least it's not "faked".  It's soft because I didn't want to show a hi-rez version.  This is a 16x20 print, it's quite sharp.  If I had shown the high rez version, you would have been happy to still criticize it for not having the kind of sharpness that people in Massachusetts expect to have in their photos. 

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2014, 06:53:12 AM »

revup67

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2014, 04:55:38 PM »
Hi Neuro - sorry for that long delay to your question - ultimately I chose the Canon 500mm F4 IS II.  The MTF charts showed slightly better than the 600 and also thought the 600 was too much reach to have as a constant focal length.  Grabbed the Canon 1.4 III tele for the extra reach when needed.

Got the 500mm for just under 8600.00 - new and from a Canon Authorized dealer vs. the 11,799 for the 600.  For 3k+ in savings it made a bit more sense.  With the savings I grabbed the 1.4 tele for $425 and a 600AW II trekker for about $150 and gave the balance to the wife :)

Here's a photo from a few days ago with the 500mm straight - no tele


"Coming To A Dinner Table Near You" - Turkey Vulture (Bust shot) (13171) by Revup67, on Flickr

Thanks
Rev
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NancyP

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2014, 05:48:11 PM »
Thanks for the review. Does the cone grip help you keep your elbow against your body? Yes, the description of your fitness is very pertinent. I too shoot with the 400mm f/5.6L hand held, which is like a toy lens compared with one of the f/4 or f/2.8 lenses. One of my concerns is not being able to hand hold the 600mm lens, and I am indeed working with dumbbells to increase arm and upper core strength. I am guessing that I am going to need to get to at least 15# in endurance style sets, but what do I know? At any rate, once I get to my desired fitness level,  I am going to rent first the 600mm and then if that's too heavy the 500mm.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2014, 06:59:03 PM »
Hi Neuro - sorry for that long delay to your question - ultimately I chose the Canon 500mm F4 IS II.  The MTF charts showed slightly better than the 600 and also thought the 600 was too much reach to have as a constant focal length.  Grabbed the Canon 1.4 III tele for the extra reach when needed.

It's a tough choice to decide between the 500 II and 600 II.  The cost difference pays for both extenders and another decent lens...or better yet, the tripod and gimbal for the lens. 

I went with the 600 because I mainly shoot birds.  I've never had it be too long, and there was only once it was sort of too long at 840mm, a red tail flying low directly overhead, I lost about 50% of shots to clipped wingtips.  I use it with the 2x and don't find it too long.

Great portrait of the vulture, Rev!
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CarlTN

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2014, 08:47:27 PM »
Hi Neuro - sorry for that long delay to your question - ultimately I chose the Canon 500mm F4 IS II.  The MTF charts showed slightly better than the 600 and also thought the 600 was too much reach to have as a constant focal length.  Grabbed the Canon 1.4 III tele for the extra reach when needed.

Got the 500mm for just under 8600.00 - new and from a Canon Authorized dealer vs. the 11,799 for the 600.  For 3k+ in savings it made a bit more sense.  With the savings I grabbed the 1.4 tele for $425 and a 600AW II trekker for about $150 and gave the balance to the wife :)

Here's a photo from a few days ago with the 500mm straight - no tele


"Coming To A Dinner Table Near You" - Turkey Vulture (Bust shot) (13171) by Revup67, on Flickr

I agree with all of your decisions completely and would have done the same, up until the part where you gave the balance to the wife...hahaha!

Um, I want to say "nice shot", but that vulture is well, I don't think even his mother loves that face!

revup67

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2014, 04:47:52 PM »
Thanks Carl and Neuro.

@Nancy wrote: 
Quote
Thanks for the review. Does the cone grip help you keep your elbow against your body? Yes, the description of your fitness is very pertinent. I too shoot with the 400mm f/5.6L hand held, which is like a toy lens compared with one of the f/4 or f/2.8 lenses. One of my concerns is not being able to hand hold the 600mm lens, and I am indeed working with dumbbells to increase arm and upper core strength. I am guessing that I am going to need to get to at least 15# in endurance style sets, but what do I know? At any rate, once I get to my desired fitness level,  I am going to rent first the 600mm and then if that's too heavy the 500mm.

Nancy - yes that cone does help either against the belly or free holding (ps don't by the camera grip by Cinevate.  Got that as a replacement / upgrade for the plastic one I have and had issues with it)  Try searching or even calling B and H for a camera grip 1/4" that threads into that lens foot.  I also wrapped the lens foot base with black foam that you see around A/C central air units piping. 
Thanks for agreeing on the fitness.  I shoot with a friend that opts not to workout and he does carry a tripod and gimbal around.  We're all different and find whatever works best for each of our needs.  I applaud your strategy and think that is an excellent way to go.  The hardest part of all this (I shoot almost exclusively birds) is juggling binoculars and a cell phone for bird ID and tracking along with the camera gear.  The Samsung Note II goes in the back pocket but when the need to log a species is evident (frequent of course) that juggling aspect of phone and camera gear can be a bit daunting.  I find I am best suited with the camera gear and phone only (no binos though I wish) as its simply overwhelming at that point.
Thanks
Rev
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johnf3f

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2014, 05:13:18 PM »
Congratulations on the 500 Mk2! I have had the opportunity to try one and was very impressed, especially as it is only a little heavier than my 300 F2.8 IS Mk1.
I shoot mainly the smaller bird species so the 800 is more appropriate for my needs but the 500 Mk2 is a fine lens and it won't break your back! My normal Birding load is the 800 F5.6 IS, the 300 F2.8 IS + a 1 series body - not too bad for weight. However when you add on the necessary extras like a tripod, head, spare battery, backpack, flask of tea (essential - I am British!) etc etc... it is around 50 lbs so I am not going too far with that lot!
The 500 Mk2 makes seriously long lenses very portable - you will be happy!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 05:17:33 PM by johnf3f »

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2014, 05:13:18 PM »

Dylan777

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2014, 05:24:07 PM »
Hi Rev,
I went to http://bolsachica.org/ to test out my 400mm. The water there is calm. It's on Warner and Pacific Coast Highway ;)

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revup67

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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2014, 08:30:08 PM »
@johnf3f - you are a brave soul to carry all that gear.   the 800 is one fine lens so a congrats back to you as well!  I think with shooter larger birds, the 600 was too much reach as I've cut off wings and other body parts on birds like Pelicans.  it is as you as portray a top notch lens for smaller birds.  if you have a link on flickr would like to see your work.

@Dylan - Bolsa Chica is fabulous isn't it?  Don't get up there as often as I would like but noted there is also a Flickr group dedicated to just Bolsa Chica.  I've been at the Pacific Coast Highway entrance and also the entrance off Bolsa Chica Street (prefer this entrance especially) to see the Northern Harrier's, White-tailed Kites, Osprey and other raptors.  Wonderful photo by the way.
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Rev
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Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2014, 08:30:08 PM »