My 100-300 first impressions & images

DesertRose

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My 100-300 arrived today and I got in a few bird shots first thing. I normally shoot bird images with a Canon (7D and 1D3) with an older 500L. I took my images on a bean bag using a cable release to maximize sharpness since I'm a hopeless pixel peeper. I got a lot of non-keeper quality shots, birds not being easy subjects anyway. At first I would have thrown the whole batch of them away as they looked terrible at first glance. However, after picking a few to process, I think the lens basically lacks contrast, and the files benefit from pushing contrast more than I usually do. Sharpness looks OK, not stellar, but there is enough feather detail that I will not box the lens up & return it just yet :smile: (did I mention, I'm picky?).

These were shot on GH1 at ISO 400, f/6.3, shutter was around 1/1000. I shot a set with OIS off and a set with it on, and having it on looked better to me, but I need to do more investigation of this.

Here are the three I would keep out of ~30 that I took.

Full image just for giggles (I know it's not level and I was shooting square format) - whites were a little blown on the WP.

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Heavy crop

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Heavy crop

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Comments welcome. :smile:
 

deckitout

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Well it's not my field, but these look pretty good to me, I am considering this lens so this is of interest, were these at 300 maxed out
 

DesertRose

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Another one, taken at ~250mm, 800 ISO, f/6.3, 1/640 shutter speed. Again, a little hot on the highlights, and the bokeh is busy, but otherwise, I like this image & it's reasonably peepable at the pixel level.

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m1pui

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Sunderland, UK
What kind of distance from the birds were you? I've been thinking about maybe looking into this lens to use to shoot Sunday league football/soccer matches, although I'm not toilet certain it'll be fast enough. I hired a Canon 70-200mm L 2.8 for a weekend late last year to do it, but the matches were cancelled so it turned into £100-odd wasted :-(

Did you do any handheld shots with it?

I think they're fantastic photos by the way!
 

DesertRose

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What kind of distance from the birds were you? I've been thinking about maybe looking into this lens to use to shoot Sunday league football/soccer matches, although I'm not toilet certain it'll be fast enough. I hired a Canon 70-200mm L 2.8 for a weekend late last year to do it, but the matches were cancelled so it turned into £100-odd wasted :-(

Did you do any handheld shots with it?

I think they're fantastic photos by the way!
Hmmm, distance was about 20', so pretty close?

I have not taken any handheld shots yet... Definitely will take some this weekend. OIS helps visibly even using the beanbag, so I am sure it will help me with my handheld shooting.

Don't know if it will be fast enough for sports, but it does grab focus pretty fast if it's already close. I didn't have much trouble with missing shots because it was hunting or slow to focus.
 

DesertRose

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One with issues. This is ISO 400. I hit the black clipping point AND white clipping point, so not enough DR to push this image around much in post. Lost some detail in the black feathers, but there's enough detail to keep it from being total mush. The camera did a good job grabbing focus on a black bird & the pose and expression make it a 'keep'.

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scott

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I don't think you've got anything to worry about there--these are looking really good. About how are away were you? (I can rarely get woodpeckers that close!)
 

DesertRose

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I don't think you've got anything to worry about there--these are looking really good. About how are away were you? (I can rarely get woodpeckers that close!)
Scott, I have a small dead tree trunk planted in a pot about 20' away from my window. I can just shoot out the window. :smile: The window has a piece of foamboard over it with a small portal cut in it to stick the lens out, so the birds don't see me and I can just toss a small towel over the lens and seal cold air out. The woodpecker tree has a few holes drilled in it, and a suet feeder. I fill the holes with peanutbutter, they are hooked. :biggrin: It's cheap winter entertainment, they are a lot of fun to watch.
 

brnmatsumoto

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Los Angeles, CA
Glad you got the 100-300 mm

Those are all fantastic shots. The birds are not very visible in backyard, yet. It is windy in LA and they are staying hidden. But your shots make me want to go out and go looking for shots.

Brian
 

penfan2010

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Desert Rose you must have seriously stringent standards if your initially thought none of the shots were good. These are fantastic! Were you shooting from some sort of blind or from indoors? Also, how do you find the balance of the lens on your micro 4/3 (assume you are a Panny user)?
 

DesertRose

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Desert Rose you must have seriously stringent standards if your initially thought none of the shots were good. These are fantastic! Were you shooting from some sort of blind or from indoors? Also, how do you find the balance of the lens on your micro 4/3 (assume you are a Panny user)?
When I imported the raw files, they just looked unsalvagably flat and awful. But they took processing much better than I expected... GH1 files do seem to take more processing than my G1 could take.

I was shooting the bird images from the comfort of my house, but the window is open, so not shooting through glass. :)

The lens balances nicely on the GH1, but keep in mind I am comparing it to big Canon glass.

I am working on processing a handheld image that I took this morning and will post it on the thread later.
 

DesertRose

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A couple of handheld samples... Pixel level looks great on these two. The lens seems like it will be a very good performer in good light. The comp is experimental meaning I was just out playing around, not real serious shooting, I will definitely be reshooting the swing.

1. farmland fog

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2. morning light canyon tree swing (three images stitched, I took 3 pano format images of the tree and stuck them together in PS - TONS of crispy sharp detail in the original and I think you could print it very big)

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DesertRose

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Sure, why not. Here's a single image of the tree swing.

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DesertRose

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Torture test in low light. ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/25 shutter speed, handheld. Not pretty, lots of NR, but the image is as sharp as I'd hope for (high ISO noise looks to be the limiting factor on this shot). Lens seems sharp and OIS did a good job.

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Glenn S

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Here are a few from my first proper outing with the 100-300, all at 300mm

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Glenn S

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So Glen, what do you think? Happy so far?
Yes I'm happy, these were taken in pretty overcast conditions, so on a bright day it should perform even better. Considering my Canon 100-400 L cost £1100 and this was £440, I'm pleased with the results.
 

DesertRose

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Uno mas. Don't know if I'll still like it in the morning. :) 5 image HDR, selectively desaturated. Took 5 shots with the camera on a beanbag and using bracketing and a cable release. The original is very sharp, and there are lots of pixels for a big print if desired. The sun was setting, and single exposures would have lost all the foreground details.

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daveproctor

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May 27, 2010
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I got my 100-300 last week and am very pleased with it. I haven't had a chance to test it thoroughly yet but initial tests (including last night's full moon) look very promising with decent IQ and being very light and compact for its range.

The bast thing is that in one small bag I can easily carry my GH2 with three lenses relatively small and light lenses covering 18mm through to 600mm - I certainly couldn't do this with my previous Canon outfit :)
 

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