I Got A New Camera ... Almost (Part II)

May 17, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The first test of the D500 (Part 1) using the large flag as a subject was good ... The quality of the images was good, Colors good, Dynamic range good, and focus acquisition speed was excellent.  But, it was a big, bright subject ... and even though it was quite windy, most modern "focusing" systems would likely handle that blowing-in-the-wind flag.

My second test needed to be more demanding. But first, two easy shots:

I noticed the light shining through the leaves of my neighbor's Japanese Elm. Click! 



A day earlier, I had been on my way to a camera store to find an accessory for the camera.  I spotted a bunch  of Sunflowers growing on a plot of  ground next to a commercial lot on a busy street in Los Angeles.  The flowers were past their peak  ... and, of course, I had to include the Sun in the sunflower image.  Click!


Capturing small birds in flight is, without a doubt, the most challenging subject I photograph.  So, off I went to my favorite spot to shoot Forester Terns. This particular species is about the size of a Robin but with longer wings.  Their diet consists of tiny fish which they capture by plunge diving into the water. Their flight path is usually quite erratic.   And since they are so small, a long telephoto lens is needed in order to get an appropriate sized picture of them ... they would be just a dot in the frame using a small lens.  

But, a longer telephoto lens means it is much more difficult to pick up the bird in the viewfinder as the angle of view becomes narrower and narrower. There are some additional complicating factors so lets just say this is a most difficult test.

Here's a Tern hovering in place for a few seconds looking for fish in the water:


And another from a different angle:


And a close up of a Tern as it approaches a landing:


And my favorite ... one foot down as it completes its landing on a fence pole:


Today's digital camera is really a computer built around a lens so there are a lot of technical issues involved in all this ... and some human issues, too!  I made some good photos using the new camera, but I missed many too.  No doubt, more practice with this camera would have increased my "keeper" rate.   I really liked this camera but I decided that its big brother the D5 would do a better job for the kind of photographs I want to capture.  I returned the D500 and ordered the upgrade to the D5.

I'm awaiting its arrival.  :-)





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