Heading out in a humid morning, I was hoping to be able to find some birds to photograph at a local park name Patuxent Ponds Park.
Arriving, the small and quiet pond greeted me, but not a feather was to be seen or heard. Part of the objective this morning was not only to do some birding, but to also practice with my Canon 5D Mark III, the telephoto Canon 500mm L IS lens, and the newly added Canon 1.4X EF Extender III .
Watching many amazing bird and wildlife photographers, many use this setup of the 500mm Lens with the Canon 1.4x EF Extender. As it is new to me, I wondered how accurate it would be with focus and how it handles light.
My preferred F-stop when shooting birds is f/7.1. Although, in low light conditions, I may drop it to f/5 to help bring in some light. Although there were no birds, the butterflies were plentiful. Seems our area has been popping with butterflies the past two weeks.
About 99% of the time now, I keep my camera and lens on an old Gitzo tripod with a Wimberley Gimbal head. Here is the first shot to demonstrate the focus capabilities of this setup. With the new 700mm reach of this kit, I had to back up from the butterfly bush and nearly filled the frame with this swallowtail butterfly. I absolutely LOVE how the eyes and antennas are in focus, but with this close of a range, clearly f/7.1 is not enough to bring more of the butterfly into focus.
There are times when I’ll take my camera off of the tripod when my subject is hard to reach. Either too low, or too high in the trees. Couldn’t resist this frog sitting in the muddy water. Check out his nose – what wonderful focus! Not bad for handholding 14 pounds of equipment.
On my way out, I had already placed my big camera in the car when this butterfly captured my eye. Luckily I had my small point and shoot Canon G12 and grabbed it to try to capture a shot. It was quite hard as the butterfly kept flying away from me. I’m sure passersby wondered what this crazy woman was doing in a parking lot chasing what seemed to be nothing.
Life is short..see it like a child.