May 3, 2019 at 6:55 am #3591504
Recently I bought a new body , a Sony A68, for it’s better sensor and a faster AF than what I had . In theory right from the start I should have had better results than with the other camera , the very entry level Sony A37.
At first I thought I had a faulty camera, the results were terrible. Than doing some research I found out that I had to Micro Focus the two lenses I was using, sort of fine tuning the camera to them.
Odd because those two lenses worked well enough with the other one.
Anyway after fiddling with it for a few days I finally got something decent.
from this afternoon :
Spoonbills (Royal and Yellow) with cormorants and ducks
and Bert the kestrel
all look better full sized. (1 MB limit here)May 3, 2019 at 7:28 am #3591507
A larger version of the heron photo
So if anyone has problems, particularly with longer lenses, see if your camera has a Micro Focus adjustment.May 7, 2019 at 2:27 am #3591892Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Very nice photos.
BTW I have no idea what microfocus means. Is this some means to fine tune the AF. I personally use MF assisted AF to make sure the part of the bird I want in focus, is indeed in focus. i can do an initial focus with AF then adjust the focus manually with the focus ring.
BruceMay 7, 2019 at 5:11 am #3591907
I am an active member at DPReview where people discuss photo gear.
For the last few years I have seen discussions about Micro Focusing (there are different terms for it) but never took much notice till I bought this new camera and realised the photos from it were much worse than with the other one.
It’s rather complicated but essentially you tell the camera how to adjust its AF to match the way your lenses work.
Without it there is a good chance the photos look soft, nothing really in focus and just plain crappy.
Most entry level cameras cope without it, the higher the specs the more likely you need to do it.
To fine tune it you can use kits like this :
You focus your lens at the widest aperture on that target then you check the sharpest point in your photo.
You then dial in a + or _ value on your camera , take more shots till the sharpest point is the O in red ( or similar with other charts)
I should have called this thread Micro Focusing because I suspect there are a lot of people out there that could take sharper photos if they knew about it.May 7, 2019 at 5:37 am #3591908
Some more bird shots from todayMay 13, 2019 at 6:07 am #3592780
Some photos from today.
I walk around that area every few days. about 1 KM from my place.
I am satisfied now that the lens is fine tuned to the camera, I have a longer lens on it’s way so I will probably need to do the same with that one too.May 14, 2019 at 6:58 am #3592931
The new lens arrived 3 days sooner than expected.
I did some quick tests, it did not need any fine tuning .
This is my first shot of Bert that is not cropped.
Taken hand held at around the maximum magnification (about 600mm)May 14, 2019 at 8:44 pm #3593006Gary DunckelBPL Member
Franco, Bert looks like it’s eyeing your cat as a possible quick meal. They’re beautiful birds though, aren’t they?
I’m becoming a sort of wannabe birder myself. 30 years ago I scoffed at bird watchers, thinking that was for old farts. I felt that to be truly manly, one had to rock climb, kayak, backpack, ski and snowshoe, and go camping during the winter. Then, about 2 years ago I looked into the mirror, and I came to realize that I AM an old fart now. I’ve been striding around in my nearby ponds for 20 years, and I’ve come to appreciate birders. They are the most kind and gentle people I see out there, always willing to take the time to teach me about the fun birds we see. Then, guess what, I actually bought not one, but two bird ID books (one with the standard drawings and one with just photos). I now pretend that I am a birder!
This is spring here in Colorado, and a lot of species are coming here to nest and mate, while others are passing through on their way to Montana or Canada. Baby Canada geese are prancing about, everybody is having offspring, and the ponds are alive with activity.
In the past week I’ve seen my first mink, a muskrat, and the season’s first bull snake. Then there are now maybe 30-40 pelicans (its cool to watch 10-15 of them form their circle, then close it tightly to trap the tiny fish that swim close to the surface. Then – WHAM – a feeding frenzy). Yesterday I spotted a pair of yellow warblers, my first of the season. Every day there’s something to thrill me – maybe a bald eagle, a kestrel, red-tailed hawk, the nesting osprey couple, a coyote, or various types of turtles. At times the critters all look like they are about to eat somebody else. Fun stuff, Franco.May 14, 2019 at 9:51 pm #3593011
“30 years ago I scoffed at bird watchers, thinking that was for old farts”.
but I am an old fart …
BTW, I am in a city suburb now but happens to be by the beach with a coastal reserve (park) and given that I don’t have the vines,fruit trees,extensive gardens and wood to cut as I used to I needed something to do.
I am waiting today for a “bridge ” camera (the type with a long zoom built in) to arrive so that my wife can take some shots too.
I took this yesterday
We have the key to a large reserve about 40 minutes away by car. Over 330 birds have been spotted there. When I was there last week I met a guy with about 15k of camera gear.
From that reserve, pelicans feedingMay 16, 2019 at 2:30 am #3593190KarenBPL Member
That little blue songbird is gorgeous! What a great place to be, with so many birds.May 16, 2019 at 3:21 am #3593199
That is a superb fairywren, common around here.
The male (as in the photo) has several females , often six or seven.
At the moment Bert ( a kestrel) is my favourite bird :
but another wren for you :
the place we had last year had a couple of types of wrens and 3 types of robin (red,yellow and orange) nesting there. now i need to leave the house to take photos (just down by the beach, a few minutes walking)May 16, 2019 at 5:27 am #3593211
We went out today to try my wife’s new camera.
This shot of mine has both the male and female wren , BTW a bit smaller than a sparrowMay 17, 2019 at 6:23 am #3593377
From Gary :
I’ve been striding around in my nearby ponds for 20 years, and I’ve come to appreciate birders. They are the most kind and gentle people I see out there, always willing to take the time to teach me about the fun birds we see.
I used to think that twitchers in particular are an odd bunch but you are right about the typical bird watcher wanting to share their knowledge and generally being really easy to talk to. Today We went back to a coastal reserve closed to the public . (you apply for a permit and get the key to the many gates) It is a large area with huge ponds . We spotted 3 cars within the reserve and only met one birder but ended up spending about 20 minutes learning from him.
Just one shot from today , Pink Eared Duck :May 18, 2019 at 6:57 am #3593488
This afternoon I spotted and took photos of three types of raptors within about 300 m.
This is a black shouldered kite (with a rat at his feet)
I saw him hunting and catching the rat. There was another kite on a tree nearby.May 18, 2019 at 9:53 pm #3593565
Bert huntingJun 7, 2019 at 12:45 pm #3596628Michael KBPL Member
What bridge camera did your wife get for birding?Jun 7, 2019 at 1:37 pm #3596635Steofan MBPL Member
@simauliusLocale: Bohemian Alps
Your picture of the Pin Eared Ducks reminded me of what an old, rumple-clothed man told me of his hobby of bird photography. He called it “the only true example of serenity from pixels.”
Can I get your permission to make a print to hang on my wall?Jun 11, 2019 at 7:23 am #3597165
Sorry I did not see your comment before.
Send me a PM with an EMail adress and I’ll send you a larger file. That is too small to print past maybe 5×7″
Some photos from this afternoon
A black shouldered kite (there are 3 around that spot) N3 kestrel and a Pacific Gull. I took several of a brown falcon but it was windy and the feathers never looked right or the head was turned away. Still it was fun. Bumped into one of the most prolific bird photographers here and exchanged notes. She was taking shots of that kite but from further away. Yesterday another birder kept us entartained for well over half an hour. Learned a lot about birds around another spot close to us (walking distance) .Jun 11, 2019 at 10:30 pm #3597253obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
That wren is a real circus bird! Thanks!
We have a lot of Kestrels here for the winter and they were/are called “Kitty Hawks” for some reason. Hence the name of the coastal village where the Wright Brothers first succeeded in powered flight, though that actual spot is now in the town of Kill Devil Hills. Go figure.
The males @ here have distinctive blue/grey feathers along the front edge of the wings and are a little deeper russet @ the breast. Could Bert be Roberta?Jun 11, 2019 at 10:41 pm #3597256
Yes, both Kestrel N1 and 3 are females. Not sure of N 2, I need to take better photos of it but it seldom is there and does not let me get as close as the other two.
The top of the head and the end of the tail on the male is slightly grey. A bit smaller too.
There are 3 lites flying around the area were N2 kestrel is. The one I posted yesterday I think is the same as the one that was eating a mouse (previous post I think…) the other two are a pair but I can’t tell the difference as yet. With raptors I find that its easier to get close to the female than the male.Jun 11, 2019 at 11:11 pm #3597263
from Michael :
“What bridge camera did your wife get for birding?’
I bought for her a Panasonic FZ 300. 12MP, 25-600mm lens(equivalent…)
There is a cheaper but with a longer lens version (FZ80) , not as good detail from it and the better (larger sensor) but more expensive FZ1000 i/II and 2000 but heavier and with a shorter zoom.
See my thread on the bridge camera. (sorry I had missed that comment too…)
I am a strong Sony fan , i like the brand. At work i bought over 2 million dollars of Sony products a year for a few years before retiring , so I loved them and Sony loved me. I had product managers and designers coming to see me when visiting Melbourne.
BUT in bridge cameras I prefer Panasonic . (another brand I used to buy for the shop)Jun 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm #3597265
For Steofan, more pink ducks…
In that pond about a month ago a duck that had not been seen before in Australia landed and remained there for a few days. The local birders went nuts . Me , well I see one duck , I see them all.Jun 11, 2019 at 11:57 pm #3597275obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Hope you’ll keep some of these photos coming. They’re really nice. Where generally speaking are you located? Lot’s of birds I’ve never seen, and we get a lot through here as a major layover spot for the eastern flyway and sometimes even branches off the central as they pause before another big stretch of shortcut both north and south over the Atlantic.Jun 12, 2019 at 12:12 am #3597277
I am now in Altona, across the bridge from Melbourne.
We have several reserves within walking distance but we also have the keys to an 18 km stretch of the Melbourne Water Treatment plant. About 300 birds visit that area, a guy the other day was disappointed he only saw 70 types that morning.
I see ducks,sparrows, gulls , long legged things… but I am learning (very slowly)
This is about 300m from my door , Melbourne in the backgrouns
I called that “The Melbourne Swans”. It’s a joke because the Swans are a Team from Perth. (the other end of the world). One day I counted 330 swans around that area.
Some pretty birds for you (rainbow lorikets)
these two are in love . The male is telling me to go away. So I did.Jun 12, 2019 at 1:26 am #3597293
I did ask kestrel N3 yesterday if it is a boy or a girl . She demonstrated that she indeed is a girl ( that was an hawkward moment)
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