Show your Bird Portraits

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
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I was a very early adopter of the 90D and had to wait a few months until DxO PL was updated to recognise it. I reviewed it here favourably, using dng converted files and then PhotoNinja and was very impressed. But, when DxO became compatible, I became disappointed with the noisy images. Eventually, I discovered the lens sharpness tool in DxO was the cause of the problem so I now use DxO without sharpening and then sharpen with Topaz. The 90D gives very nice detailed images and focuses on what you point it at - that's not a joke, the centre AF spot is very good and great for static shots. For BIF, the centre 9 points are reasonable but not outstanding for AF.
 
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AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
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I took out the 90D with the Sigma 150-600mm C to compare it with the 100-400mm II. The Little Grebes were further away than yesterday and needed the 600mm. The keeper rate with the chick catching a fish was very low as it was difficult to hold the tiny target in the centre spot and the focus wandered off to the waves. This is where EyeAF would have been very useful. The quality of the images that were in focus isn't bad. I'm really intrigued to try out the R5. These are excessive crops of 1000px wide or so of the birds. The Sigma IQ is much better than its reputation.

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tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
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Thanks for the info Cog. Although I do have the specific combo I haven't tested it EOS R like this since my 5DsR and 5DIV work fine with 500mmII + 2XII for ... equally static subjects. And removing the 2XIII makes them capable for BIF photos (to tell the truth I use 5DsR for that). EOS 5DIV has taken some very nice shots at 1000mm but that's all. Lately I use mostly 5DsR +1000mm for static shots of birds that are far away when I have all my equipment in car and D850/D500+500mmPF for BIF. If I have to take one combo in an excursion it's the later to be covered for BIF.

P.S 5DsR and D500/D850+500mmPf combo were actually suggestions made by Alan - Many Thanks for that!
 
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AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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Out of curiosity, I tried my 100-400 II with a 1.4 extender on a Canon R. I liked the AF on birds, but BIF experience disappointed me. AF was VERY slow.
Some plovers lurking among mangrove sprouts.
I've used the 100-400mm II + 1.4xTCIII on the 5DIV and it's fine for BIF - within the usual limitations of the 5DIV. I've also got some very good BIF on the 5DSR using the centre point+4 helpers. There is a fredmranda thread about the combo on the R5 and one guy has even picked up dragonflies. The R has had a poor reputation for BIF, but the R5 is a great leap forward.
 
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tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
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I wonder how R5 would behave when trying to shoot swallows and swifts.
These are "crazy" BIF situations. I had success with D500 when shooting swallows in distance and lower success rate (but with some good shots) when shooting swifts with D850 in closer distance. I know I am comparing apples to orranges but birds do not give us options!

I had made many experiments with D850. I didn't notice a setting affecting the success rate significantly!
Always set on AF-C. Priority either Release or Focus. The later resulted very slow frame rate (of course!).
Subjects set to erratic or not. Frames per sec tested: 6, 7, 9. (Buffer shockingly less than D500 with the exact same card: Sony G series XQD 240GB and quality set to maximum for both cameras: RAW 14bit). I also made some other tests with no different result but right now I do not have the camera with me. It involved how fast camera keeps or changes focus I think but the exact term escapes me. It is in the same "page' where we chose if subjects are erratic or not.

But anyway I took more than 1000 shots so I got some good ones (Success was not determined by correct focus only, but with distance and lighting too which are not camera's fault of course!)
 
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Cog

EOS RP
Dec 6, 2013
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I've used the 100-400mm II + 1.4xTCIII on the 5DIV and it's fine for BIF - within the usual limitations of the 5DIV....The R has had a poor reputation for BIF, but the R5 is a great leap forward.
100-400mm II (+ 1.4xTCIII) + 5DIV is what I use for BIF, too. No complains. Just wanted to see how Canon mirrorless camera copes with it. I've had bad luck with Olympus om-d1 m2 + 300mm when I shoot BIF, but I love this combo for static birds. I guess Canon R is kind of the same story. And I'm also curious about R5.
 

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
1,183
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Kentucky, USA
Out of curiosity, I tried my 100-400 II with a 1.4 extender on a Canon R. I liked the AF on birds, but BIF experience disappointed me. AF was VERY slow.
Some plovers lurking among mangrove sprouts.


Beautiful photos, Cog! The mangrove spikes would be really hard on the AF to follow the bird. Did you use with animal eye servo AF, or MF for it?
 

Cog

EOS RP
Dec 6, 2013
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Beautiful photos, Cog! The mangrove spikes would be really hard on the AF to follow the bird. Did you use with animal eye servo AF, or MF for it?
Thank you! I don't often use this camera, I just rent it from time time from a friend of mine. I'm not sure if Canon R has animal eye AF. I thought it was the R5 feature. So it was regular one point Servo AF because the bird was constantly moving.
 
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ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
CR Pro
Apr 30, 2017
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We got here the first migratory birds with 2-3 interesting (I mean rare for the Islands) guests. My first encounter with the Lesser Yellowlegs! Not very good photos but the bird was keeping a distance over that warm swamp. These are coming here almost every year but in small numbers (usually as 1-3) and don't stay for long.
Anyway - these are my first photos of the species!
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ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
CR Pro
Apr 30, 2017
1,417
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Beautiful series, ISv.
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Thanks Click! You are supportive as always but I would like to get better photos of this one (and few others that come time to time to that place). There are many technical problems to get closer to the birds there (and maybe it's the reason why they love that place:)), and practically impossible to change the angle of shooting. I was not able to follow the bird after taking off because the brush left of me (but it was doing +/- good hide before that). With the heat haze from the water it's also hard - these birds are not necessarily staying there during the "winter" season (August and usually the first half of September are the hottest here)...
Anyway after a few months I got something new for me - like fresh air in the cave!!!
 
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