Ye Bee-eaters of Merrie England

AlanF

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Now, for those who thought it was a typo and were hoping to see photos of those guardians of the Tower of London, I am afraid you will be disappointed. The European Bee-eater is an extremely rare visitor to the UK but this summer a flock of 8 has taken up residence in Norfolk and are breeding in two nests. So my wife and I have just stayed for 3 days there and have taken a 1000 or more images. They were mainly about 80m away, sometimes as close as 60m and as far as about 120m. These are smallish birds, about 27-30cm long and so were a challenge and opportunity to test the R5 and R7 with the RF 100-500mm and RF 800 f/11 with TCs. I even packed a Gitzo Traveller tripod, which is very rare for me. I was not expecting any great images - I have many shots of close-ups of Bee-eaters in Asia and Africa - but it was for the record of seeing them here, albeit at a great distance. As far as gear goes, the R7 coupled to the RF 800 f/11 hand held proved the most useful kit.
 
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AlanF

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The first day started with R7/800mm giving images of single birds perched on wire 60m away and a group in the far distance at 120m. The single bird has been upresolved 2x. The third image is from the next day, not upresolved, 3R3A7175-DxO_beeeater_800mm_60m-ls-s-2_00x.jpg 3R3A7194-DxO_5_beeeaters_800mm_120m-lssm_SH.jpg 3R3A7290-DxO_Beeeater_800_60m-ls-sm.jpg
 
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AlanF

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I also had a couple of lucky shots in flight. Both are again upresolved 2x using Topaz Gigapixel, the first at 60m, the second at 80m
3R3A7266-DxO_beeeater_800mm_60m_flying-ls-sm_Aut-2_00x.jpg 3R3A7321-DxO_Beeeater_flying_wings_in_800mm_80m-lsmaut-2_00x.jpg
 
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AlanF

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The third day gave what I thought were some remarkable images from the R7/800 f/11 - a Bee-eater toying with a Southern Hawker Dragonfly that could be identified at 80m! again x2 with Gigapixel.

3R3A7491-DxO_Beeeater+southern_hawker_dragonfly_800mm_80m-ls-sh_2_00x.jpg 3R3A7497-DxO_Beeeater+southern_hawker_dragonfly_800mm_80m-ls-sh-2_00x.jpg 3R3A7499-DxO_Beeeater+southern_hawker_dragonfly_800mm_80m-ls-sh-M-2_00x.jpg
 
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AlanF

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Here are two shots at 60m with the R5 for comparison. The first is with the RF100-500m + RF2x at 1000mm, which is bested by the second shot using the RF 800 + 2x TC.

309A4978-DxO_beeeater_1000mm_60m-lsm.jpg 309A5142-DxO_beeeater_1600mm_60m-ls-sm.jpg
 
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AlanF

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I liked the 800mm at 1600mm with the TC on the R5. Here is a bumblebee at at 80m and then a close up at 50m of an insect in beak.

309A5189-DxO_beeeater+bumblebee_1600mm_80m-lssm_AutSh.jpg 309A5227-DxO_beeeater+insect_1600mm_50m-ls-shm.jpg
 
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AlanF

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Just for comparison two shots of the Southern Hawker in the beak at 80m with the RF 100-500mm at 1000mm on the R5 to show it's bested by the RF 800 on the R7.

309A5490-DxO_Beeeater+southern_hawker_dragonfly_1000mm_80m-ls-sh-2_00x.jpg 309A5510-DxO_Beeeater+southern_hawker_dragonfly-1000mm_80m_ls_vg-sh-2_00x.jpg
 
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stevelee

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Now, for those who thought it was a typo and were hoping to see photos of those guardians of the Tower of London, I am afraid you will be disappointed. The European Bee-eater is an extremely rare visitor to the UK but this summer a flock of 8 has taken up residence in Norfolk and are breeding in two nests. So my wife and I have just stayed for 3 days there and have taken a 1000 or more images. They were mainly about 80m away, sometimes as close as 60m and as far as about 120m. These are smallish birds, about 27-30cm long and so were a challenge and opportunity to test the R5 and R7 with the RF 100-500mm and RF 800 f/11 with TCs. I even packed a Gitzo Traveller tripod, which is very rare for me. I was not expecting any great images - I have many shots of close-ups of Bee-eaters in Asia and Africa - but it was for the record of seeing them here, albeit at a great distance. As far as gear goes, the R7 coupled to the RF 800 f/11 hand held proved the most useful kit.
There was an episode of the British comedy “To the Manor Born” that centered around a nesting pair of bee eaters on the estate.

A high school classmate turned in a paper about England that referred to the Bee Feeders at the Tower.
 
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becceric

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Now, for those who thought it was a typo and were hoping to see photos of those guardians of the Tower of London, I am afraid you will be disappointed. The European Bee-eater is an extremely rare visitor to the UK but this summer a flock of 8 has taken up residence in Norfolk and are breeding in two nests. So my wife and I have just stayed for 3 days there and have taken a 1000 or more images. They were mainly about 80m away, sometimes as close as 60m and as far as about 120m. These are smallish birds, about 27-30cm long and so were a challenge and opportunity to test the R5 and R7 with the RF 100-500mm and RF 800 f/11 with TCs. I even packed a Gitzo Traveller tripod, which is very rare for me. I was not expecting any great images - I have many shots of close-ups of Bee-eaters in Asia and Africa - but it was for the record of seeing them here, albeit at a great distance. As far as gear goes, the R7 coupled to the RF 800 f/11 hand held proved the most useful kit.
Thanks for the photos, comparisons, and details. A great looking bird with a diet my allergy would me exclude from.
 

Maximilian

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Just for comparison two shots of the Southern Hawker in the beak at 80m with the RF 100-500mm at 1000mm on the R5 to show it's bested by the RF 800 on the R7.
Hi Alan! And thank you for the comparison!

Question:
Which pic is from which combo?

To me, the first one looks sharper, esp. when looking at the wing feather details and at the wire the bird is sitting on.
And I see a more heat turbulences in the second pic, esp. on the wire. That makes a comparison difficult, IMO.

When I read your text, I understand that the first one is the one from the R5 and the second from the R7+RF800.

What did I misunderstand?
 

AlanF

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Hi Alan! And thank you for the comparison!

Question:
Which pic is from which combo?

To me, the first one looks sharper, esp. when looking at the wing feather details and at the wire the bird is sitting on.
And I see a more heat turbulences in the second pic, esp. on the wire. That makes a comparison difficult, IMO.

When I read your text, I understand that the first one is the one from the R5 and the second from the R7+RF800.

What did I misunderstand?
Both of these are with the R5/1000mm. The previous and better ones are with the R7/800. The R5+100-500mm+2xTC were on a tripod, the R7+RF800 hand held. The RF 800mm f/5.6 would have been useful here!
 
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Maximilian

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Both of these are with the R5/1000mm. The previous and better ones are with the R7/800. The R5+100-500mm+2xTC were on a tripod, the R7+RF800 hand held. The RF 800mm f/5.6 would have been useful here!
I understand! Thank you for correcting my thoughts.
Now I am with you in terms of IQ of the two different combos.
 
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I trust that those reading/viewing this thread (initiated by AlanF) value it, and savor it, as much as I do.

It is why CR is superior.

It is the combination of experience, expertise and observational/writing skills that are demonstrated in this thread...that make it so valuable.

And the images themselves...the old saying...'A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words?' is so applicable here, as far as R5/R7 comparisons for birding/wildlife etc. are concerned.

AlanF:

A question (which undoubtedly has been addressed elsewhere): the autofocusing 'magic' possessed by the R5...is that same 'magic' also contained within the R7?

Which sort of begs another question: for birding/wildlife, are there any downsides to the R7...other than diminished light-gathering ability associated with its smaller sensor?
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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I trust that those reading/viewing this thread (initiated by AlanF) value it, and savor it, as much as I do.

It is why CR is superior.

It is the combination of experience, expertise and observational/writing skills that are demonstrated in this thread...that make it so valuable.

And the images themselves...the old saying...'A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words?' is so applicable here, as far as R5/R7 comparisons for birding/wildlife etc. are concerned.

AlanF:

A question (which undoubtedly has been addressed elsewhere): the autofocusing 'magic' possessed by the R5...is that same 'magic' also contained within the R7?

Which sort of begs another question: for birding/wildlife, are there any downsides to the R7...other than diminished light-gathering ability associated with its smaller sensor?
In a nutshell, for static subjects when the light is reasonable, the R7 outguns the R5 for reach, and even when it gets darker, it is no worse when viewed at the same size in cm x cm or inches. When it comes to AF and tracking, the R5 wins. The RF acquires AF faster and tracks against a background better. I have been unable to get some dragonflies in flight with the R7 that I could with the R5, and the R5 picks up small or far birds against a busy background and sticks on them better. The R5 also better at focussing on near subjects with point focus. If you are shooting mainly perched birds and relatively easy in flight ones, then the R7 is for you. If the subjects are demanding, then you need the R5. For what most people shoot for 99% of the time and for me 90%, the R7 is a brilliant performer. I am really happy to have both.
 
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Jul 12, 2013
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In a nutshell, for static subjects when the light is reasonable, the R7 outguns the R5 for reach, and even when it gets darker, it is no worse when viewed at the same size in cm x cm or inches. When it comes to AF and tracking, the R5 wins. The RF acquires AF faster and tracks against a background better. I have been unable to get some dragonflies in flight with the R7 that I could with the R5, and the R5 picks up small or far birds against a busy background and sticks on them better. The R5 also better at focussing on near subjects with point focus. If you are shooting mainly perched birds and relatively easy in flight ones, then the R7 is for you. If the subjects are demanding, then you need the R5. For what most people shoot for 99% of the time and for me 90%, the R7 is a brilliant performer. I am really happy to have both.

As stated previously, the pics in this thread are sublime.

Furthermore, the supplied explanation above is informative on several levels, and full of specificity...and PITHY!

I suspect many of those who post here will agree.:cool:(y)
 
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