My first posting to this forum, and my first bird action shots (BIFs?)

Started Sep 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Skaarungen Junior Member • Posts: 40
My first posting to this forum, and my first bird action shots (BIFs?)

After following this forum as a "guest only" for a while, having seen the many excellent "BIFs", bird stills, it is a kind of scary thing for me to post these shots

First a little background about myself:

Started my photo career as a kid with a Kodak Brownie 2C ( )

which I bought at a flea market, stepped up to a Kodak 126 cartridge camera and then later borrowed my mother’s Voigtländer.

One summer holiday in the early seventies, I delivered three rounds of morning newspapers (up at 2:30 AM) before going to my day-time job at a restaurant in a department store. After six weeks of 17-18 hours working days, I finally had enough money to buy an Olympus OM-1 with a 50mm and a “huge” Sun zoom. After all that effort, no wonder I am still in love ;-). A pity though, my OM-1 was stolen the next year.

After this major set-back, I had to settle with a variety of cheap film cameras. In 2001 I entered the digital age in photography, Canon Powershot, Panasonic Lumix etc.

In 2007, on my 50th birthday, I got the Olympus E-510 dual kit-lens package. My wife was employed by Canon (not the photo division) for many years, and my step-daughter is currently employed, but my old love for Oly was strong enough to overrule their reasoning.

Last autumn, I aquired the Zuiko 70-300 in Gibraltar, having read some good reviews, but it did not live up to my expectations.

This autumn, I felt the need to step up from the E-510. To my astonishment I realised that Olympys had stopped the production of DSLRs, but for the E-5. Having tried my step-daughter’s 600D, I was impressed by the high ISO performance, but was appalled by the plastic feeeling (and shutter sound). Considered the new Lumix DMC-G3, since it would mount my FT lenses, but didn’t like the EVF and the lack of IBIS. One late evening I finally decided to go for the E-5 and orderered it from the web-shop of a local store (no store had it on their shelves). The web-store stated a two week delivery time, but nothing had happened after three weeks. Cancelled the order and placed an order at B&H in NY instead. In addition to the body, I also ordered the 50mm f2. The upside is that this package cost me less than the body from my local supplier, the downside is that locally (in Norway) I would get a 2 year warranty plus an extra 3 year of “right of complaint”, i.e. anything that is designed to last for more than two years has to be repaired by the manufacturer or their representative (importer, local subsidiary).

I was amazed by the IQ of the E-5, especially with the 50mm f2, but also the old kit lenses really shined. After a mountain trip with drizzle all the weekend, I got to appreciate the wheater sealing of the E-5 and the 50mm. Being on a shopping spree, I decided to buy the 12-60mm if I was able to sell the E-510 and kit lenses for a decent price. After one week, the kit was sold and an Olympus refurbished 12-60mm was ordered from B&H.

Am I happy with my current gear? Yes, certainly!
Is it heavy? Compared to the OM-1 and E-510, yes, but I need the work-out

Last Friday, I did an auto-focus test of my lenses, and found that the 50mm and 12-60mm had no focusing issues, but the 70-300 was front focusing at the wide end. Had to dial in +5 at wide and 0 at tele.

Now to my photo shoot:

On Sunday afternoon we went for a walk to our local beach (Hvervenbukta) with our three year old grand son. I had the 12-60mm mounted and the other lenses in my bag. The light was kind of strange. Partly overcast, but we still needed sun glasses to feel comfortable.

The plan was to capture some of autums colour displays

and maybe some “action shots” when our grand son fed the birds at the beach.

By this time I had switched from the 12-60mm to the 70-300mm as I wanted to check out the dialed in correction at the wide end. It appears that the corrrection was OK.

Now the feeding frenzy started:

No wonder why a few of them went off drying their wings:

Then I noticed one of the young Gulls figuring it all out:

All of these shots whas taken with C-AF and burst mode. I was so surprised by the action that I forgot that I had a zoom (testing at wide), but the soon-to-be-uploaded (to my gallery) sequence shows that the E-5 70-300 combo is able to keep C-AF-track, at least over an even backdrop.

Got a couple of half-decent BIFs at the end:

The pictures shown are ever so lightly PPed in LightZone, cropped and (regional) sharpened just a tad, but the exposure seems to be way off (compare with the origs in my gallery). Can anyone explain why the AE was so way offin these conditions?

Happy shooting,


 Skaarungen's gear list:Skaarungen's gear list
Olympus E-5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6
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