D4 + 500MM f4 + TC20E III bird photos

Started Jul 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
michaeleclark
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Re: D4 + 500MM f4 + TC20E III bird photos
In reply to lightmagic, Jul 27, 2012

Well, the TC20E III way exceeded my expectations on this lens. It yields much better images on the 500 than on my 200-400. In fact, despite the problems in image size/shooting distance comparisons, I prefer it to either my TC 1.4 or 1.7 with the 500. I see more degradation with those TCs than with the 20E III.

Of course, the problem is the limited DOF. This is particularly an issue when photographing relatively big birds on the move, where one usually wants the DOF to extend all the way from the tip of the bill to the rear tail feathers, but where one also has to freeze the action using high shutter speeds to minimize motion blur. This was my first learning session with this combo, and what it taught me was that I needed even more DOF and a touch more speed to have everything in perfect focus. So next time I shoot feeding Reddish Egrets, I will expose at 1/1250 @ f11.

The great thing about the D4 is that if the light is decent, the higher ISO I will have to shoot at to maintain this exposure combination is not going to matter much! It is a wonderful camera. And the images are MUCH cleaner than those I shot during the same session with my D800. Will need many more "learning sessions" with that body to have anywhere near as much confidence as I have in the D4.

Michael E. Clark

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