Sunny at Marazion again

Well two-three hours at Drift and Sancreed produced zero images! but I was rewarded with the sighting of an otter at Drift.  With zero images I headed to Marazion on the way back, nothing unusual here either but the light was very good. So I spent a little time photographing the local residents.

 

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Brew and Marazion

Another quick post tonight; started of the morning at Brew, no Glossy Ibis after wading through mud/fields for about one hour. Eventually found them in a field further South of Brew Pool than expected. These were quite distant shots also the birds were not playing for the camera’s.  All shots with Nikon D4, 2x converter and 500mm f4, so in all not bad proves the AF focus system at F8, and image quality is acceptable.  Ok onto todays images:

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Marazion

A quiet morning at Marazion but did sight Sparrowhawk and Bittern, pictures in the gallery below

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Loe Pool, Carminowe Creek and Degibna

Hi, a long walk to Loe Bar in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Main objective was t check out the d800 on whatever photo opportunities came my way. Quite a few images here, all I have done is crop resize and adjust levels (although looks like my monitor may need recalibrating at present) No sharpening has been applied to any of the images in the post.  So this is the first batch from the D800 and one or two included from the D4!

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Sunny Day on The Lizard

Well a good day weather wise on The Lizard, this gave me the opportunity to check out a few bits of kit.  Namely the fisheye lens and the combination of 300mm f2.8 with x2 converter. Quite please with the results and with a bit more practice with the fisheye could be some great landscapes in the future?  Ok onto the images:

Grey Seal

Housel Bay on The Lizard

Housel Bay on The Lizard

Lizard Point

Red Backed Shrike

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Nikon D4 with 500mm f4/1.4x hand held

Hi, ok I haven’t managed to get a full review of my D4/D800 camera’s as promised. Computer snags, illness and weather all contributing to get in the way of photography, but I have managed to get the D4 out and about for a short time.

I used the D4 hand held in combination with a 500mm f4 and 1.4 converter for all these images. All pictures taken from a walk around Marazion and the Lizard. The camera’s AF performed well as expected, so no surprises there. Is the AF better than the D3s system, yes it is much faster and it also seems to have more ability to keep the subject in focus even on confusing backgrounds.

One gripe I have does appear when using the above camera/lens combination, there is no way you can change the amount of active focus points when hand holding a camera/large lens, unless your Inspector gadget/Edward scissor hands etc. The reason for this Nikon have moved the AF zone selector from the rear to the left hand front of the camera. (more easily explained in pictures) They do say pressing the central button on the multi selector will reset to the centre focus point which I think it does, but it doesn’t change the amount of focus points. (unless someone knows something I have missed)

Nikon D4 pushing the centre button in conjunction with the front command dial will enable selection of required amount of focus points/zones.

A firmware update to move the function to enable the amount of focus points/zone selection to this central multi selector push button in conjunction with the front command dial would be most useful especially when using the camera with a long lens.

Ok that’s the minor gripe explained, now I am still tweaking my custom settings to find out what in my opinion is best for wildlife shooting so you will have to wait for that, but I will say the auto-iso setting is doing a really good job; one setting that I have never trusted before. Here are some pictures taken recently with the D4/500mm 1.4x  combo some with tripod/some without.

This is a large crop of the Turnstone in flight, I was impressed the AF system picked out this target as it was so small in the frame.

I spotted this Vole whilst looking for something else, first one I have seen in the wild.

What seems like a rare picture these days of a blue sky in Cornwall lol, with a Grey Heron also!

Kestrel hunting at Marazion

 

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Nikon D4 test at Screech Owl Scantuary

Well with no replacement to the D300s from Nikon I took the decision to upgrade my camera’s to the higher end models. I now have a Nikon D4 and D800 as my main cameras. D4 for sports/wildlife action and D800 fro studio/portrait/macro. First camera to get an outing was the D4.  Build quality is superb, it really would take some breaking. Some newly placed buttons, the focus area selection is now made by pushing a button front left of the camera and rotating one of the command dials, and selecting AF (S) and AF (C) is selected by pressing the same button and using the only command dial. Why, so you can do this without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. (may take some getting used to) The other thing that stood out for me is the option to reverse the polarity of the +/- exposure compensation read out (buried in the menu system) I now select + compensation by turning the command dial to the right and opposite for left (just like Canons!) A plus for me as coming from canon a couple of years ago I never got used to that =/- being a–e about face, lol. AF I haven’t fully tested the AF as I arrived at screech late as the flying display was finishing, but initial impressions are it is fast and accurate. I had a 1dMK111 which I thought was fast, but no, this D4 AF is really fast. It was my first outing so I gave the camera a bit of control selecting the Auto ISO function on between ISO 400 and 10000 asa   and left the camera to work out the correct exposure. Took a mixture of shots from being in bright sunlight to dark shaded area’s all of which the camera’s exposure system seemed to get correct. Over the next few weeks I will be giving more thorough field tests and adjusting my custom settings too, which I will give out once I am happy with everything. I am just posting the pictures for now, meta data will follow in future posts. The D800 will also get tested, post the computer upgrade to cope with the files. So busy here with hardly anytime for pictures!! Ok pictures from my first outing with the D4.

Unimpressed with my new camera gear!

A heavy crop, still lots of nice detail

I like this effect in photoshop, just keeping the eye colour and making the rest black and white.

Meerkat “lookout”, think he is safe so long as the Eagle Owls don’t escape

This one taken through bars in one of the aviaries dark corners, so came out rather better than expected

I like the way the camera AF has picked out the owl from the background and not got confused by it.

Tawny Owl in flight last one for today

So although it didn’t get a thorough workout the D4 has impressed so far.

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D600 announced by Nikon

Like many Nikon users, I have been waiting for an upgrade to the D300 with the announcement of the D600 I am not sure this will happen.

Nikon claim the D600 is a wildlife camera, well with an unknown AF system, lowish frame rate, and no visible wildlife action shots in their press release (a static snowy owl doesn’t count in my book) 24mp pixels is welcome so long as there is no issues with noise. Pretty sure the AF points/zone selection is on the front of the camera in conjunction with one of the command dials as the D4/D7000 (massive backward step much preferred flicking the selection lever on the rear of the camera for AF point selection)

Also at a RRP of £1955 UK why would you rush out any buy one? Used D3x and new D800′s are around for just over £2200

Hopefully they will follow up with a D400s to sit under the D4 with say 16-18mp, 7fps, same AF system as the D4, FF sensor, AF selection zone lever on the rear, two CF or SD card slots and no over priced additional battery pack!

For those who want to read all the tech speak on the camera the link is here: http://www.nikon.com/news/2012/0913_dslr_01.htm or like me you can wait for feedback from someone who uses in it fields conditions for wildlife action photography!

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Windmill Farm (more shots from The Lizard)

Well despite being mid September the sun was out, and amazingly it is still muddy under foot in a Lot of places at Windmill Farm.  Breeze tended to wreck the macro photography, but I persevered for a few hours for very little. The Emperors and Damsels are a big ask to get in flight but again persevered on that one.  Well as I am knackered I will get onto the pictures, lol.

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Marazion and Drift

Well an early start saw me at Marazion, sat still on on the beach waiting patiently for the waders to come by; all of a sudden all hell broke loose every bird on the beach was in flight! Just as I was looking to blame the dog walkers I spotted a peregrine overhead, managed a grab shot but didn’t get focus on it with the D7000. So a longer wait on the beach but the waders duly came back. Did that then off to the marsh area to find the spotted crake. Managed to get it but it appeared and the disappeared for 90 minutes, so a long wait. The reed beds this year are incredibly over grown, due to our wet summer making photography even harder(for once I wish the RSPB would do some reed cutting) Next it was off to Drift where I am trying to get a photograph of the Kingfisher as it flies passed a certain spot, failed again! Some nice shots of a swan bathing though! Now the pictures:

Mute Swan bathing

Peregrine Falcon

Ringed Plover

Spotted Crake

Grey Heron fishing

Wagtail

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