Saturday, April 16, 2011
Rain or shine, they come to dine...
These two shots were taken standing under the tree, getting as close as I could before they'd see me and fly off, and with the lens at full extension (135mm). Despite this, these are still heavy crops from the center of the shots, with experimental contrast+fill-light boosting to account for overcast backlighting combined with a limited max-aperature + highish shutter speeds to eliminate the chance of motion blur from the quick movements of these little guys.
All these shots were taken from the comfort (and dryness) of a window, looking out across the lawn. Once again it was overcast (and raining too this time). Hence, once again, for lack of a longer lens, it was cropping time...
I've been pondering for a while now about what longer telephoto to get at some point over the next year. One of the sticking points for me has been length vs speed:
- will a 70-200 2.8 really be that much of an improvement over the stubby 135mm maximum (i.e. 18-135) I've got now? I'm guessing not really, given the extent to which I've been cropping (5k x 3k images down to 1k x 1k or 2k x 1k)
- but then, the 2.8 constant aperature would presumably be much better than the variable 3.5-5.6 for the 100-400 (and also for the 18-135) given the lighting conditions these birds usually show up under (i.e. shady areas, cloudy/overcast days especially when it's getting darker), reducing the amount of "light boosting" I'd need to do in PP as a result of needing to keep the shutter-speed up to avoid motion blur which can't be removed (I've seen it ruining enough shots previously to never want to see it showing up again for a long time)
- there are some primes out there with such large aperatures, but they're most certainly too expensive IMO (> $10k; $5k be the limit of what I'd be willing to fork out for a piece of gear, though < $3k would be ideal given other eventual equipment upgrades I've got pending)