NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
zackiedawg
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NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
Mar 27, 2013

Had another chance this weekend to get out birding with the NEX - I started Saturday with my DSLR in the morning to about 1pm - and as it had been approaching 90 degrees with summer-like humidity, I switched to the lighter and more portable NEX-5N with 55-210mm lens and DH1758 extender for the remainder of the day.  I went one more round at Green Cay Wetlands with the NEX, the same grounds I had just covered with the DSLR, then drove to the nearby Wakodahatchee Wetlands and made the rounds there with the NEX...this day, most of my shooting ended up being with the NEX, about 740 shots to about 170 with the DSLR.  The local birds are nesting, some waders are getting ready to leave, and the spring migrating birds have arrived from the Caribbean and are passing through...always a nice time for birding down here in Florida.  Here's what I got:

A lovely pair of ducks in flight passing by me - I tried to keep a slightly slower shutter speed to get some background motion blur as I panned with them

I had to 'thread the needle' with the AF through the reeds to catch this 'so ugly it's cute' moorhen chick

This younger 'teenage' purple gallinule is just starting to get his vivid bold colors that these birds are known for

A female red-winged blackbird hanging out in the shadows of the cypress forest - they're usually out in the swamps hanging off the reeds low by the water!

A least bittern walks down a reed to stay just above the water's surface, so he can hunt for fish without being noticed by the fish below

When he spots a fish, that neck starts to stretch, and the head hovers out over the point of attack

Works almost every time - you rarely see these guys miss!

Red-bellied woodpecker lurking up the side of a tree trunk in the shadows, looking for grubs in the bark

Another sneaky shadow bird - the female painted bunting loves to stay in the shadows, as you can tell by the ISO3200 required to shoot this little gal!

Red-bellied woodpecker gets a...hey, wait a minute! That's a sunflower seed!  Those don't hide in tree bark! Another bird had likely visited a feeder and come there to eat, and left behind a morsel

Comments, questions, critique welcomed as always.

Hope you enjoyed some more Florida birding, NEX style!

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Justin
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randyh360
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Re: NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

These are some great shots. I recently purchased a SEL55210 almost entirely because of the other excellent photos you've posted on here. So far it's been great, now I just need the snow to melt and to find a deal on a DH1758. 

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jack scholl
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Re: NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

Justin,

Really nice stuff.  Great variety and wonderful images.

Jack

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zackiedawg
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Thanks Randy!...
In reply to randyh360, Mar 27, 2013

Hopefully your weather can thaw a bit so you can get out there and enjoy the lens!

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zackiedawg
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Thank you Jack! [nt]
In reply to jack scholl, Mar 27, 2013
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shaolin95
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Re: Thank you Jack! [nt]
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

As always, fantastic images and the reason I got the same combo lens adapter

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Sonyshine
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Re: NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

Wonderful series, such beautiful shots, colourful birds and great light! I'm envious!

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KingCharles
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Re: NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

I looked up that ID for the converter and it looks like a 58mm thread converter for a non-nex system...

I assume you are using a step up ring, and mounting it on the 55-210? It looks pretty sharp. I had been looking at getting a cheap f/8 500mm reflex lens, but this may be a better solution since I use the 55-210 on my nature walks more than anything else.

Got some more info on this setup and where I can get the converter?

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RonFrank
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Re: NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

Really like the BIF shot, outstanding!   The slightly blurred in motion background provides for lovely separation.  The remainder are very good but the first is worthy of hanging!

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S3ZAi
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Re: NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
In reply to RonFrank, Mar 27, 2013

Very nice pictures as always. Lovely birds and inspiring shots.

Would the DH1758 also fit the 18200LE, so I might join the que of people looking for that add-on? Wish sony would make a new version of it with decent quality and not too expensive...

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nzmacro
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Great to see
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

Theres that Bitten again. Gorgeous one Justin. Heck the ducks mate, I've been trying to get decent in flight shots of Ducks lately, all planned, they are not as easy as I thought Very nicely done. Love seeing woodies, something I wish we had also. Amazing behaviour they show.

Excellent shots as always and also a good read Justin. Very enjoyable I find your posts and I learn something new every time mate.

All the best Justin, excellent again.

Danny.

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zackiedawg
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Thank you [nt]
In reply to shaolin95, Mar 27, 2013
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zackiedawg
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Thank you very much [nt]
In reply to Sonyshine, Mar 27, 2013
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zackiedawg
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Charles,
In reply to KingCharles, Mar 27, 2013

KingCharles wrote:

I looked up that ID for the converter and it looks like a 58mm thread converter for a non-nex system...

Indeed - it's a 58mm threaded screw on adapter, made originally for the Sony H2 and H5 superzoom cameras.  A 49mm to 58mm step up ring does the trick for the 55-210...and the results are surprisingly good.  There may be slight variance with the other types of teleextenders out there - some have proven to give very good results, others mixed results.  The Sony Dh1758 model seems to be fairly widely accepted as one of the best of this type of extender, and also one that compliments the 55-210mm lens nicely in size and weight.

I assume you are using a step up ring, and mounting it on the 55-210? It looks pretty sharp. I had been looking at getting a cheap f/8 500mm reflex lens, but this may be a better solution since I use the 55-210 on my nature walks more than anything else.

For me, the key selling feature for this combo is that it maintains small size and lightness, while still reaping the benefit of autofocus and stabilization.  Other solutions may work very well - a 500mm reflex on the LA-EA2 adapter would get autofocus capability but not stabilization - in good light that should still be fine.  Other EA2 adapter options from the Alpha line would be great, but heavy and expensive.  I really wanted a second camera body that could be very light and easy to walk around with, so I could shoot strictly handheld and very 'improv' style - I don't necessarily set up my shots, but walk around and shoot birding opportunities as they occur, spur-of-the-moment...so light, fast, and autofocus are definitely big attributes for me.

Got some more info on this setup and where I can get the converter?

This is the biggest problem - only because the extenders are no longer in production, and after I and a few others started shooting with them adapted to our NEXes, there was a big run on them from all the usual used internet sites...they went from $80 or so up over $200 or so as they dwindled and the remaining sellers saw an opportunity to gouge.  I'd be hard pressed to recommend anyone pay more than $150 for them, which would be the max fair trade price I'd think they're worth.

Here's a pic of the converter attached to the 55-210mm lens, to get an idea of the look and how it fits:

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zackiedawg
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Thank you Ron...
In reply to RonFrank, Mar 27, 2013

Very kind words.  I do like to shoot BIF a lot, and when I get the chance to shoot them against a landscape, I like to keep it very out of focus with shallow DOF when possible, and/or with some motion blur to show the speed.  These ducks fly very fast, so motion blur was easy enough by keeping the shutter speed under 1/500 - and just panning with them as they buzzed by!

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zackiedawg
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Re: NEX Birding - Spring Migration (55-210+DH1758)
In reply to S3ZAi, Mar 27, 2013

S3ZAi wrote:

Very nice pictures as always. Lovely birds and inspiring shots.

Would the DH1758 also fit the 18200LE, so I might join the que of people looking for that add-on? Wish sony would make a new version of it with decent quality and not too expensive...

I would love to say yes, but sadly I don't think it would do as well on the 18-200LE as on the 55-210.  The thread size on your lens is 62mm, which is fairly large - the extender is 58mm, so you'd need a step down ring to mount it.  The problem would be that you'd have severe vignetting at least in the wider end - I'm not sure if it would stop vignetting once you zoom all the way to 200mm, but it might.  The reason is pairs well with the 55-210 is because of the narrower 49mm thread size - even on the 55-210mm you get some vignetting at the wider end, up to about 70-75mm or so.

If you had the opportunity to test out the extender, then you could determine if you get any vignetting at full zoom - or maybe take a measure of the inside element of the DH1758 and create a paper cutout to place over your lens - see if the paper with the cut-out hole stops vignetting at 200mm.

Good luck, and thank you for the kind comments!

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zackiedawg
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Danny,
In reply to nzmacro, Mar 27, 2013

Thank you very kindly on all accounts.  Indeed those bitterns are funny little guys - I always enjoy watching them.  They've got to be one of the best fishing birds - I see herons, egrets, and others miss regularly when they strike for a fish - the bitterns seem to be batting about 90% success rate!

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KingCharles
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Re: Charles,
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2013

Thanks for all of the info! I will keep an eye out for a good deal

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Charles

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zackiedawg
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A few more birds - incl. the beautiful painted bunting
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 28, 2013

Wanted to throw in a few more, that weren't worth starting a new thread for...these were taken in extremely dark, shadow conditions - the birds were hiding deep under many layers of branches, low on the ground in a cypress marsh - so they all required very high ISO and some very pinpoint autofocus threading through a lot of clutter (good example of AF accuracy with the NEX when using spot focus point!!)...but these birds are so beautiful to photograph and almost always the only opportunity you get of them is on a feeder - so seeing them completely in the wild was great...

The male painted bunting is the more colorful - here he's thinking about having a bath in the marsh waters below

The female is much less gaudy...she's pretty much all green, but still pretty.

The male decided to go ahead and have himself a bath

All clean, in that nice, muddy swamp water!

And one more shot of a black-necked stilt, hanging out in the reflective waters in the distance

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capt bob
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Re: A few more birds - incl. the beautiful painted bunting
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 28, 2013

Justin Very nice Outing you make it look easy , Knowing full well home much work is involved

in getting the shots and processing Job well done , You Danny and Jack sure keep us well

educated in the water fowl Thanks .  Oh Great Colors in this lot too.

This little Fellow stopped by for a Swim Yesterday I was wondering why my Dog was going nuts by the back door

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