Friday, 30 December 2011

Coal Tit (Periparus ater)

After lots of fabulous family time over Christmas, I got into the garden today and managed an hour's photography before the grey clouds came over. I've posted this shot because I like the the shallow depth of field, the subtle tonal values and the bird's fierce eyes.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM, 1/250th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 640

6 comments:

  1. It's a beautiful shot alright Tim, I do like the background tones.

    Tim, out of 10, for wildlife photography, what would you give the 100-400m lens? It's a potential purchase for me at some stage in the new year. You get great results but I'm wondering if i'd be better with a prime lens.

    Many thanks

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  2. He does look fierce! Nicely captured Tim.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  3. Special Coal Tit photo. Happy New Year.

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  4. You did well to get it to stay still Tim! They are speedy little chaps ;-)

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  5. Hi all. Happy New Year – have a really good one. Tim

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  6. Hi Christian
    Re the 100-400mm IS from Canon. To keep it short, I'll do the pros and cons...
    PROs: It's versatile (once you get used to the push-pull zoom), relatively fast at 100mm and the IS is excellent. DoF and bokeh throughout are wonderful, it's nicely balanced even at 400mm, solidly made and packed with quality glass. Get the focus right and images will be pin-sharp and colour rendition is very accurate.
    CONs: That push-pull zoom can be tricky. Extended to 400mm it's a big lens and can be unwieldy. Focus is not the quickest and it can sometimes search for its subject. It is a heavy lens and, on a big camera body like the 1Ds, the arms notice the weight at the end of a long day. At 400mm on a wide aperture setting the focal plane is tiny, meaning one can miss a lot of shots. A x2 extender means manual focus only.
    SUMMARY: I went for the 100-400mm because I don't only shoot wildlife and the lens is a great portrait/news/general purpose lens. I needed that flexibility. Get everything right and the 100-400mm can deliver outstanding images of a very high quality. The Canon prime 400mm will in theory do even better – it being a faster lens with even better optics. When I tested it, however, I could only see myself using it mounted on a tripod; it seemed to me to be a lens for 'planned' photography, such as in a hide. I couldn't see myself using it the way I do most of my work – walking around and photographing what I come across.
    Anyway, hope that helps. In short, it's flexibility versus superlative optical quality, but neither lens will let you down.
    Cheers, Tim

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