C&C First "serious" attempt at birding at nature reserve centre

ibd

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Looking for C&C.
Camera was E-M1 II, lens was Panasonic 100-300mm II.

Thanks for looking!

Raw files are here if you want to play around with them:
neeracherried_raws.zip

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ibd

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retiredfromlife

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Some very nice images. I like the first one in both sets the most, they are different to a lot of bird shots. Hard to get different shots to the normal I see, to me at least.
 

ibd

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Thank you both!

I can't really compare FW3.0 to the older one, as I also just recently got the camera. I didn't do a lot of shooting with the older FW.
FWIW, It seems like the camera was keeping up OK in comparison to my friend's D500. So I really think blurry photos are my own limitation, not the camera's.
Only wish that ProCapL were available for any lens. I think this is an artificial limit by Olympus that we'll have to hack around. ;)

I tried to highlight the "synchronicity" of the first shot by cropping to a square aspect ratio (1:1). Maybe that's why you find it unique. Not as sharp as some of the other shots though.
 
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It looks like you are getting some good practice in with the 100-300 lens. IMO that lens punches well above it's price range and "kit" lens reputation. In decent light, and with good technique it can give outstanding results.

#1: I really love this composition, it is a great capture. Too bad that focus wasn't quite there, or maybe there was just too much movement to be crisp. That being said, I think a small crop to remove the vegetation tops at the bottom of the frame would be nice. I also would give an attempt at a BW version. I think it would look nice in monochrome.
#2: Nice documentary photo.
#3: Great capture, again it seems like focus is not quite sharp. It could be from movement, though.
#4: Another great timing shot. I would try to see if there is a decent crop that removes or minimizes that tree in the back left. It is distracting to the main subject.
#5: Fun capture. This image, I think, is a good example of showing the limitations of this lens and/or mft. I am sure that was shot in tough light and the shadows look like they were brought up quite a bit.
#6-7: Good action shots. I prefer the last one, too bad that twig obscured the foot. Also, I wonder what it would have been like with a horizontal frame. I think it would have been more dynamic with more of the OOF background to the right of the bird.
#8: Similar to #3.
#9: This is something that I never try for. It is just too hard for me. I applaud the effort.

I see that all of these images where shot at 300mm. Something to be aware of with the 100-300, at 300mm it can be a little soft. This might be why some of the above images are not tack sharp. I suggest keeping the lens at no more than 280-290mm. You don't lose much in actual length there, but you do gain in sharpness and slightly in aperture.
 

ibd

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Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback @TNcasual.
I think in general I was pushing the shutter speed and aperture a bit too much. Could probably have gotten away with a combination that gives 1-2 stops lower ISO in some cases. That would have resulted in higher dynamic range and more fine detail.

Indeed focus was slightly off for many of these dynamic subjects.
Also some strong colored fringing in many of the shots, which I did not fully remove in post processing.

I'll test the 100-300mm by only going to 280mm to see what can be gained.
In the heat of the moment, it would be difficult to carefully stop there instead of banging the lens to 300mm though!
 
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I have the first version. My technique is usually to rack the lens all the way out, then back it off just slightly. It really is only a few millimeters of turn on my lens. The newer version may be dampened differently.
 

wjiang

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Is the soft at 300mm thing really an issue?

I say this because at 300mm wide open it can resolve like this when viewing at 100% crop:
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Is the soft at 300mm thing really an issue?

I say this because at 300mm wide open it can resolve like this when viewing at 100% crop:
View attachment 761726
It can be when you don't have ample light. I have found that in most situations a shot at 286mm is sharper than one at 300mm. Now with light like in your example, it may not be an issue. Also, this is with my example. A different lens and/or the newer version could be better.
 

wjiang

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It can be when you don't have ample light. I have found that in most situations a shot at 286mm is sharper than one at 300mm. Now with light like in your example, it may not be an issue. Also, this is with my example. A different lens and/or the newer version could be better.
It might come down to the body as well. I've found that on my old E-M1 (and still to some extent with the Mk2) it often seems to ever so slightly miss focus when zoomed all the way out in not so great light. Sometimes I get one in a burst that is spot on like that last one while the rest are close but not quite.
 
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ibd

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Is the soft at 300mm thing really an issue?

I say this because at 300mm wide open it can resolve like this when viewing at 100% crop:
View attachment 761726
I would say the differences between the shot you showed and my shots are:
- Lighting conditions
- Distance between camera and bird (All shots above are cropped, some to as little as 4MP)
- My skill level not being as high
 

wjiang

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I would say the differences between the shot you showed and my shots are:
- Lighting conditions
- Distance between camera and bird (All shots above are cropped, some to as little as 4MP)
- My skill level not being as high
Wasn't trying to compare, sorry if it came across badly - I was just posting a resolution example for the lens to follow-up on the discussion point. You got some great action shots - it's not easy getting super sharp shots of fast moving subjects!
 

ibd

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Wasn't trying to compare, sorry if it came across badly - I was just posting a resolution example for the lens to follow-up on the discussion point. You got some great action shots - it's not easy getting super sharp shots of fast moving subjects!
No, it didn't come across badly! No problem at all. In fact I agree with you, generally the 100-300mm has served me well at 300mm, up to reasonable sharpness at least. I just tried to formulate my theory for why there's a difference. :)
 
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