Birds in Flight, A6000, Wetlands...AF-C (55-210, DH1758)

Started Apr 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 29,270

Doug Aiien wrote:

Thank you for post. I've also looked at your posts in other forums and your wonderful photos in an effort to get up to speed on this subject.

Thank you kindly, Doug.

I love nature photography and would love to take better pictures of birds and insects in flight. I've been reading reviews of the A6000, but the absence of any long telephoto E-mount lens was the deal breaker or so I thoght. Your post alerted me to the possibility of using the VCL-DH1758 (if I can find one) with the E55-210. Ten weeks ago I upgraded from a Canon SX-40 bridge camera to an Olympus OMD-E5 and a 75-300 (150-600 equivalent) lens. Although I was getting good shots with the SX-40, the E5 is certainly an improvement, but not for BIF. I've been undecided about upgrading to the Olympus E1 which would be an improvement for BIF, but doesn't optimize use of the phase based focus and tracking. From all reports, the A6000 is better which you confirm suggesting it's 90% as good as the better SLRs for BIF.

Indeed - the A6000 about matches the performance of a good entry DSLR for me...while it doesn't have quite the lens selection, the DH1758 is one of the few ways to get good reach with stabilization and autofocus.  Just remember a few things:  BIF is still something that gets easier, and you get better at, the longer you do it and the more you shoot - even with a good BIF camera, don't expect to rattle off an 80% keeper rate right out of the box!  And also, one note on the DH1758 and 55-210mm combo - it works beautifully and many here have discovered how usable it is when you need longer reach in a compact package...but it will always work better when you have a good amount of light.  The lens at F6.3 max aperture at 210mm is not super-fast, so I'd expect this combo to work better for daylight shooters, on good sunny days.  If you live in a grey, rainy, dull weather place, you're probably going to struggle a bit more when shooting distant birds, as the lens doesn't keep up as well when the light falls off - even though the camera can push to ISO3200+ and still be solid, the lens and teleextender itself wants more light and contrast to resolve details well.  It's never been a problem for me as I live in sunny Florida, and have oodles of light all the time.  I never hesitate to recommend the 55-210 and DH combo, but I worry a little that someone in Scotland is going to get one and find themselves in low contrast, grey overcast light and ISO6400 all day long, wondering why their results aren't as good!

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