Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sharpening up my act

I swithered for a long time about an SLR camera and lens. I'm delighted with the Canon 300mm f2.8, and by and large the 400D has coped well, especially given that the majority of shots are taken with a 2x converter in place. However as my recent bearded tit pictures showed the autofocus can struggle when there are sharp edges near the centre of the shot. Look sharp in viewfinder, but just a bit 'processed' at a larger size.

The wetlands have a lot of reed warblers in the reeds, and sedge warblers in the .... well in the reeds. I got a few more shots of both, but have taken probably 10 shots for every one that is sharp enough. The others are just slightly out, but don't look right. Anyway here are a few of the slightly better ones.

The whitethroat are also pretty evident and this juvenile posed quite well, if not quite near enough.
How do I know it's a juvenile? Here's how.
Sadly this shot is also unsharp, although just about acceptable at this size! The bramble branch above is sharp. Bugger.
A juvenile blue tit was still trying to learn some balance control, and that you can't eat through your tail - again not really sharp, but this was a tricky focus.
Despite the wind I fared better with my new macro lens however. Cinnabar moth caterpillars, bonking beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) and six spot burnet moth. I found a six spot caterpillar last year, but this was the first time I'd seen the adults at the wetlands.

Despite my recent comments the beardies were conspicuous by their absence on this occasion.

As always some of the pictures can be seen in better quality
in the photo gallery - follow the top link to the right

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