.
Goldfinches on a Feeder
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Dropping in for a Bite ( let's pretend the focus was done on purpose here, for its... uh... “artistic impact”. Yeah, that's it ) -- Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dropping in for a Bite
( let's pretend the focus was done on purpose here, for its... uh... “artistic impact”. Yeah, that's it )

A big part of the experience of visiting my folks' in Ohio is feeding the birds on the back porch, and for me, trying to photograph them (such as reported with varying degrees of success here, here, here, and here). Usually I just run out for a quick picture, but the other day I sat down with a cup of coffee and a big lens and tried spending just a bit more effort on it...

Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500 mm — 1/500 sec, f/9, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos

I started out using the Voigtländer 125mm, but for the goldfinches on the feeder that I intended to concentrate on, it required me to be too close to have a bird fill the frame. (Unlike the chickadees that will land on your laptop while you're using it; the goldfinches are more skittish.)

So, I switched to the Sigma Bigma 50-500mm zoom, which at 500mm has enough reach to put me far enough away from the birds. Its image stabilization helped a lot, too.

The Scene with the Sigma at 50mm -- Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50 mm — 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
The Scene
with the Sigma at 50mm

My sister snapped a picture of me while I was at it:

Photo by Marci Kreta taken through a window covered with netting, as seen here -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2010 Marci Kreta
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo by Marci Kreta
taken through a window covered with netting, as seen here

My results were “okay”, but nothing exciting...

Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500 mm — 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos

Even at f/13, at 500mm the depth of field was pretty thin. In the picture above, I think I got the focus pretty close to his eye, but even then, his near shoulder is already out of focus...

With a sideways crop, the bird fills the frame a bit more, so maybe the 500mm really wasn't enough...

Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
D700 + Sigma “Bigma” @ 500 mm, cropped — 1/500 sec, f/9, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
D700 + Sigma “Bigma” @ 500 mm, cropped — 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos

I could try with the Sigma 2× TC to give me 1,000mm, but as I demonstrated once, the combination is really soft.

The Bigma's zoom was useful to open up to get this shot of a tree not far away.... there's a goldfinch in it. Can you find it?

Find the Goldfinch he's sitting in the tree -- Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 95 mm — 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Find the Goldfinch
he's sitting in the tree

Often when I look out the window from the house, I'll see a dozen or more birds all crowded on the feeder, but while I was there (perhaps because I was there), there weren't many. Early on there was a minor traffic jam with four birds...

Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 116 mm — 1/500 sec, f/9, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos

... but for the most part, it seems that action moved to a feeder down at the end of the veranda:

Farther Away -- Rootstown, OH, USA -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340 mm — 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Farther Away

At least its lighting was nicer.


Comments so far....

I wondered how these photo had turned out. In the second photo, I looked VERY closely and zoomed in on the female goldfinch who is only partly in the photo. I *think* I can see your reflection in her eye.

— comment by Marcina, USA on August 16th, 2010 at 9:45pm JST (3 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

A friend of mine, who does a lot of wildlife, always uses a flash when shooting birds. Does a lot for the colors and shadows and puts a nice catchlight in the eyes. Depending on the distance, he may use a “Better Beamer”

— comment by John on August 16th, 2010 at 10:38pm JST (3 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

More or less plain text — see below for allowed markup

You can use the following tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe without commenting