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Birding Resources e.g. Forums suggestions?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 rexowner

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Posted 20 December 2020 - 12:12 PM

Wasn't sure where to post this, as this forum's description says "This forum is to discuss birding

and other daytime or indoor terrestrial usage of optics, and related equipment; e.g. microscopes."

but most of the discussion seems to be about microscopes, which I'm also interested in, but

my question is about birding.

 

I live near San Francisco Bay, where we get some fantastic shore birds.  I went there last

week, and took some pictures with my TV-85, which was a tremendous amount of fun.

 

So, I'm interested in discussions about which lenses, cameras and stuff I don't know

about for avian photography.

 

There clearly seems to be overlap between folks interested in astronomy, microscopy

and birdwatching, but I'm not sure where to look.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thank you.

 

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#2 Gastrol

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 03:57 AM

Birdforum has a pretty active photography, digiscoping, spotting scopes, and binocular sub-forums.    


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#3 NGC 2419

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 12:01 AM

Since my Canon T6i and Tamron 100-400mm is usually mounted on my Skyguider Pro, the Canon SX-50 is my go-to camera for birds.0_Baby Hawk Cropped.jpg



#4 PatrickVt

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 12:38 PM

Of course, this activity can be discussed in this sub-forum but, as you have noticed, there is very little in the way of wildlife photography here.  I would suggest any of the very many photography forums available online if you would like to find discussions about gear for bird photography.  Birdforum was mentioned, above, but I've found that Birdforum seems to be a better resource for discussing birds not necessarily the gear for capturing bird photos.  Just about all the photography forums I have visited over the years have a good share of wildlife and bird photographers and many of these forums are more about the gear than the subjects.  Another option is to go to Flickr and search for photos shot with your camera...  ie, 'Canon Rebel birds' or 'Sony a6000 birds' or whatever camera you want to research...  then, when you see a photo of interest, check to see what lens was used. 

 

Generally speaking, impressive bird photography is highly dependent on distance to subject, focal length of lens, the quality of light, the direction of light, a steady hand or tripod, and the photographer's ability to focus quickly.  Most wildlife shooters use lenses in the 400-600mm range.  The closer you can get to the birds, the better, regardless of lens focal length.  Always be aware of the light, light direction, the background and keeping the shutter speed as fast as possible.

 

You mentioned the San Francisco Bay area.  I visited San Francisco a couple of years ago and that truly is a photographer's playground.  I could have spent weeks just shooting all types of photography.  Unfortunately, I had only an hour or two of actual photography at each of our destinations.  I captured quite a few bird photos at the Palace of Fine Arts and I could easily have spent a lot more time there. 

 

I'll add a strip of some of my bird photography.  The gear I used has changed over the years.  The cameras went from Olympus to Panasonic to Sony.  The lenses were in the 400-600mm equivalent range.  For the most part, today, I use my Sony a6000 camera body with a Canon L 400mm f5.6 lens, although, I used my Sony FE 200mm f4 lens in San Francisco because that Canon lens is large and I packed relatively lightly for that cross-country trip. 

 

Patrick

 

 

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#5 RocketScientist

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 05:39 PM

I have done some observing of birds with a short tube 80mm f5 bought for astronomy, but was a but disappointed in the views. I think that a well-corrected apochromat may be needed to make the birds look as crisp and beautiful look as they could be.

I know many birders use spotting scopes, and I doubt they are apos, do maybe I'm just being too particular. :-)

Most of my birding is done with simple 7x35 or 8x30 binoculars. I haven't tried photography, which would be challenging.

#6 RocketScientist

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 05:39 PM

I have done some observing of birds with a short tube 80mm f5 bought for astronomy, but was a bit disappointed in the views. I think that a well-corrected apochromat may be needed to make the birds look as crisp and beautiful look as they could be.

I know many birders use spotting scopes, and I doubt they are apos, so maybe I'm just being too particular. :-)

Most of my birding is done with simple 7x35 or 8x30 binoculars. I haven't tried photography, which would be challenging.


Edited by RocketScientist, 22 May 2021 - 09:41 AM.


#7 ntph

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 06:08 PM

Nice shoveller! I too use an ST 80 and am reasonably happy with it for relatively stationary targets (as much as birds ever are--mostly use it for waterfowl). Digital images tend to be a bit soft; I find it hard to get a crisp focus, but still get some decent images with proper light direction and exposure. 

 

Birding spotting scopes can run into astronomical prices--no pun intended. Same for hunting scopes. Not sure why; often it just seems to be the name on the outside, IMHO. 

 

A friend uses a catadioptric 500 mm f/5.6 with some impressive results--selected as a National Geographic YourShot winner with one of his images, so there's something to think about. 



#8 jprideaux

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Posted 23 May 2021 - 06:02 PM

I use a 92mm F5.5 APO refractor with a linear binoviewer for general terrestrial viewing.  I was watching cardinals and woodpeckers yesterday.  Today, I added extension tubes and was watching close-by frogs with my set-up.  This is a picture using eyepiece projection with my iPhone using a bracket of one of the frogs I was viewing from about 12 feet away.
 

3D1C154A-B391-4170-9B0B-F88B10776556.jpeg


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#9 dixonlau

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Posted 10 July 2021 - 09:32 PM

Late reply. Hope it will still help.

 

Checkout dpreview forum. Very active members there. However, there is only 1 section for astrophotography. But you still can try ask in widllife or specific brand of camera gears there. You might be surprise some folks' experiences.

 

I currently only own wildlife photographic gears. Sony A7Riii, FE 200-600mm and Tamron 17-28mm. Waiting for my first telescope to arrive. Will try it out to shoot wildlife too in later days.

 

Good luck.




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