Sunday, February 24, 2019

Hike on 1-1-19 with lots of birds

This was my second outing with the Nikon D800e.  One person wrote me that he also had an 800e, had it for a long time and was planning to upgrade to the D850 – the most advanced Nikon full-frame camera short of the Pro D5.  Maybe one day I’ll want a D850 as well, but for now the D800e suits me.  I like the way it handles.  I’m sure I’ll like it even better once I learn what all the buttons and dials do.  A manual for the D800e was waiting for me when I got home (not the Nikon manual, but one intended to be of use to the user . . . maybe I should say “of more use,” but just barely). 

The lens I used today, the 70-300 is considered a good lightweight lens for the hiker.  It’s only flaw was (I read) soft edges at 300mm, but I discovered that only my left edges were a bit soft, and then not always. 

I took a lot of shots of birds, especially at 300mm and especially birds in flight.  I would think I should be able to do everything I did with the D800e with my full-frame Pentax K1ii, but the shots I got of birds at 300mm seem sharper than anything I’ve managed with my Pentax gear.   And the D800e isn’t supposed to be quite as good as the crop (AFSC) D500 which I have yet to take out on its second outing.  It has been sitting on a shelf for more than a week,  so long in fact that my nephew thought I might want to sell it.  No, no, no!  I will get to it shortly.  I know the D500 will do well.  I wasn’t sure about the older D800e, however, and since I had more questions about the D800e, I wanted to try it first.

Starting with shot 146, I took several shots of ducks in a rather foul-looking pond.   I would certainly not want to spend any time in one of these ponds, but the birds don’t mind.  I've seen them in these ponds every years.  My D800e shutter seemed extremely loud.  In the first two you can see the duck in the foreground watching me.  As we moved along and I took more, the ducks swam further away.  The shutter on my Pentax K1ii isn’t nearly as loud, but at least the ducks didn’t fly off.  A few years ago I was using a camera that made a sort of beep when a shot was in focus, and as soon as the birds heard it they flew up in a huge chaotic panicky-seeming cluster.  I later noticed that the beep sounded very much like the sound a red-tailed hawk makes.    But we didn’t beep today.  In shot 163 and subsequent you can see one of those very hawks.   It wasn’t ducks who flew off after hearing the hawk-sounding beep, but the small white sea-birds you can see in a pond further along.

The dogs nibbled on some of the farming leftovers on the fringes of the fields.  In shot number 173 Ben has something the seems  to be extremely bad-tasting. 

Shot number 183 is a genuine BIF (bird in flight) at 300 mm – not a great picture perhaps but it is fairly sharp, and the bird is flying.  

Shot 191 and subsequent shows three ducks in flight at 300mm.  They weren’t close enough to get great shots, but they too appear to be in focus and sharp. 

Shot 238 is the cute-shot of the day.  Why Jessica likes to rest with her tongue hanging out, I don’t know.

Shot 256 and following shows a three shot rabbit chase – although it could have been a squirrel.  I didn’t actually see what they were chasing. 

The last three shots, 275, 276 and 277, are of a tent containing a young woman and a small dog.  You can see her looking at me through her window in shot 276.  In the right edge you can see my Jeep.  We didn’t see her tent when we started our hike because we went straight down to the river from where my Jeep is.  Although now that I think of it perhaps the dogs saw her then.  I took a bit of time to get my gear on and I don’t know what they were doing while I was doing that.   The woman had a small dog that caused my dogs to run toward the tent, but she called her dog inside before mine got there --- no harm done . . . other than the fact that she is living there; which strikes me as rather harmful thing to be doing.

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