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Under Water, Over Land
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Old November 1st, 2007, 12:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Yaad, Galilee
Posts: 117
Shooting with a 500mm lens

Hi all,
Recently I bought a used Canon FD 500/4.5 lens.
This lens is a joy to use, very solid and steady on windy conditions, more than my other lens (sigma 50-500).
Results are very sharp and resolution is better than the zoom lens.
Focusing is very good. I mention focusing because almost on all occasions I alter the focus while filming. BTW the sigma zoom is also excellent with focusing.
High magnification shooting is possible only on adequate atmospheric conditions.
Obviously this is not a lens for general use, though I took it with me on all my birding trips just to get used to it.

Here are a few links to my footage.
The videos are stored at 'STAGE 6' video hosting site.
I recommend it ,as there is no limit to the size of the files and the resolution
is not altered as on other sites.
If you don't have divx codec installed you'll be prompt to download one.
I recommend downloading the video to your computer (smaller arrow) as playing will be smoother.

First clip is of Sandgrouse http://stage6.divx.com/user/sasi_yaa...5/SANDGROUSE-2
Those birds can fly for 1-2 hours just to get to the drinking spot.
You can see that some of them tend to dip their bellies in the water, this behavior is of much importance on the breeding season were the males carry water soaked in their chest feathers back to the fledgelings.
I used a small hide for this video.

Second is a Purple swamp-hen
http://stage6.divx.com/user/sasi_yaa...PLE-GALINULE-2
Usually it is difficult to locate those birds and we have only 1-3 records a year of those beautiful birds . Nearest population is in the Egyptian Nile.
But on recent years (maybe 2) a pair managed to breed on a little swamp at the edge of the desert.
Here again I used a hide and the 500mm lens.

Later on I will post a video of Sooty falcons.

Cheers,
Sassi
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Old November 1st, 2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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Location: Kent UK
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Nice footage I'm very suprised your pans were as smooth as they looked at that focal length. I'm assuming this lens is on a 7.2x form factor camera. What tripod/support setup are you using?

Also why not add a reveiw to my Long lens thread !? - although I have to say for me that baby is just too long....and tooooooo expensive !
Mat Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 1st, 2007, 03:56 PM   #3
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
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There are several clips of yours on that site, Sassi, that I enjoyed a lot.

The sandgrouse for the plumage colours, the gulls for the flight, the buntings for their vigilance but above all the common terns ... how did you get so close and so tight that all we see are the terns on damp sand with a metre of tide ebbing behind them, and yet the birds seem to be within a few metres of the lens and at perfect eye-level? The behaviour of the parents waiting for the chicks to turn up for a feed while other chicks pass by knowing that this or that sardine is not for them is amazingly detailed. How deep a hole in the sand did you dig to get that close? What cam did you use and did you use any stabilizer? Was any or all of that HD footage?

There are lots of your clips I have not seen yet. Stage 6 is an impressive site allowing the biggest picture size (& presumably biggest file size) I've seen at very high quality. Not having to compress is a great help, yet the download is quite quick by just double-clicking on each thumbnail on the site. Is this your private site? (next I'll want to know what you had for breakfast!) Well done, keep at it, and thank your god for the good light.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 05:09 PM   #4
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I must mention that your editing on the fidgeting Purple Guillenaule is a delight to watch and then you edit cleverly again using the opposite almost stationery behaviour of the Bridled Tern as a foil to the other action (including the closest shot of a turnstone I've ever seen). What editing programme do you use?
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 05:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat Thompson View Post
. What tripod/support setup are you using?
Mat, here is a link to show you my tripod. It was on its way to the garbage but I modified it a bit and it works great.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=95885
The camera is a Canon xl1s.
Thank you for kind words about the pans. I am no expert but from what I learnt on this forum I think you need a decent video head (more important than the legs) and a common plate to balance the setup properly.
After that it goes for basic technique.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat Thompson View Post
Also why not add a review to my Long lens thread !? - although I have to say for me that baby is just too long....and tooooooo expensive !
I have a little experience with lenses and I don't know if I can give a review as opposed to impressions. If you like i can add my impressions and thoughts to your thread.
Btw this lens is a used manual focus canon lens and it was for sale for about 4 years , I got it with original 1.4x and 2x canon converters for $900.
Brenden! from now on I will make a habit to show you each new clip as I need some compliments from time to time.
I would compare the footage shot with the zoom to be equal to the view on a birding scope (magnification).
So the footage is a 'mirror' of my birding. All the footage (except the two I introduced earlier ) are not preplanned , meaning I go birding some location and shoot whatever I see.
The Common Terns where on the beach 20m from me and were easy to shoot. The bridled Tern on the other hand (30m-60m) is only the third bird appearing on the Mediterranean cost this decade and i had it only for a few minutes. So I had to be very quick (it was shot with the converter 700mm!).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell View Post
Well done, keep at it, and thank your god for the good light.
Most of the time the light is good for growing vegetables in the garden not videoing nature. Sassi.
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