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What’s your bird photography setup?


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On 3/29/2021 at 3:59 PM, Avery said:

I currently have the fz1000. Definitely set it up so you have optical zoom and digital zoom, giving you more reach. When I first started using it, I was dissapointed about the lack of zoom, then realized I just hadn't enabled the digitals yet. Also, I would suggest using Aperture priority ("A" on the dial) over "P", or even better, use Manual. It's super quick and easy to fiddle with F and Shutter speed with the thumb wheel. Just click down on the wheel to switch between them. And @Clip, as for the image stabilizer, I've only ever used this camera and a smaller CoolPix, I wouldn't really know, though I seem to get more in focus pictures than I used to.

@Avery, I have it on “ M” and I read the manual and it won’t change the shutter speed. I will try again later, but I can’t get the shutter speed to change. It does change by itself, but want to be able to chose the shutter speed, as it’s not always the one I want. Thanks so much!

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2 hours ago, IKLland said:

@Avery, I have it on “ M” and I read the manual and it won’t change the shutter speed. I will try again later, but I can’t get the shutter speed to change. It does change by itself, but want to be able to chose the shutter speed, as it’s not always the one I want. Thanks so much!

I found this. It’s focused on ISO, but mentions setting shutter speed using the jog dial. https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4003480

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On 3/29/2021 at 6:49 AM, lonestranger said:

I had the same setup as @Connor Cochrane and @Aaron, Canon 7Dii with the 100-400ii and extender and if I was shopping for a good setup, that's exactly what I would buy again. I had over extended my spending at the time and had to let my good gear go for a while. I thought it was a great setup for birding and wildlife photography in general. One advantage the 100-400ii has over the 400mm F/5.6 prime lens that I used to have is the closer minimum focus distance. You can zoom to 400mm and focus from approximately 3 feet away, which is great for shooting insects and any birds that might land closer than 12 feet away, which is the 400mm prime lens's minimum focus distance. 

When I started looking for a replacement camera a year or so later, I came across a used full frame Canon 5Diii with a 24-105 F/4 L lens, flashes and other accessories that I was going to pair with another 100-400ii when funds allowed. Well, I came across what I considered to be a deal on a 300mm F/2.8 lens and put a 1.4iii extender on it to give me 420mm of reach at f/4. I'm quite happy with my current setup but I honestly think I'd trade it for my old setup, mostly for the extra reach of the longer lens and crop factor. The 100-400mm and 1.4 extender is 560mm with a 1.6 crop factor giving a focal length of 896mm in 35mm equivalent for my old setup compared to my current setup's 420mm focal length.

Canon 5D Mark iii with 300mm f/2.8 L prime lens and 1.4x Mark iii extender is my current setup.

Canon 7Dii with 100-400mm Mark ii, with or without the 1.4x Mark iii extender, would be my recommended setup.

 

Is the 420 mm enough reach for you? 

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21 minutes ago, IKLland said:

Is the 420 mm enough reach for you? 

:classic_laugh::classic_laugh::classic_laugh: I'm not sure there is such a thing as enough reach. :classic_laugh::classic_laugh::classic_laugh:  My P900 has 2000mm at maximum zoom and I still end up using the digital zoom to boost it up to as much as 8000mm at times. My current DSLR set up is much shorter in focal range than I'd like and I do find myself yearning for a longer lens on a crop body camera like I used to have. What I have now can take some great photos but I am often pushing it beyond it's focal reach and then trying to salvage an extremely cropped photo. So that'd be a big NO, 420mm is not enough reach for me, but I have the P900 as a long lens alternative for now.

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2 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Take a 'rat patrol' Humvee.  Remove the .50 caliber machine gun from the pintle mounting on the roof ring.  Now you have the perfect platform for that sucker.  Portable, off road, camouflaged, and several feet above the ground.  At 36 pounds, the body and lens weigh less than the original bullet-launcher; you'll be able to slew that thing around like nobody's business.  Coaxially mount a spotting scope, align the two, and you're good to go.

Easy-peasy.

image.png.f320e61f21418850bceb6466455a89bf.png

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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On 3/29/2021 at 6:49 AM, lonestranger said:

Canon 5D Mark iii with 300mm f/2.8 L prime lens and 1.4x Mark iii extender is my current setup.

Wouldn’t that lens work well with a 2x extender? You’d be shooting at 600mm f/5.6. 

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41 minutes ago, IKLland said:

Wouldn’t that lens work well with a 2x extender? You’d be shooting at 600mm f/5.6. 

Yes, I could put a 2x extender on the 300mm f/2.8 for a 600mm f/5.6 lens, and/or, I could put a 2x and 1.4 extender with the 300mm for a 840mm f/8 combo. I could also use a crop body to increase the focal length another 1.6x.  There's lots of options I could work with but I'd rather work with the 100-400mm mark ii lens. 😉

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I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS I USM  upgrade - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.  The VII is so much faster than my old VI lens.  I'm glad I made the switch.  I also have the 1.4X extender.

 

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