deep dive

Monday, September 2, 2013

Santee Lakes

65mm 1/640th f10 iso 500
Ken and I were planning on shooting at the heron rookery in Oceanside sunday morning but we had a last minute change of plans. We decided to drive down to Santee Lakes instead, a series of seven lakes teeming with waterfowl. Tom Shearer joined us on our early morning run.

210mm 1/8000th f9 iso 1000
We paid our five bucks and entered the beautiful preserve.

There were countless egrets and ducks ever-present but the scene was dominated by a large osprey in a tree, the stately sea eagle the apparent king of the entire domain.

500mm 1/400th f10, iso 800
I took a lot of shots and put the Sigma 50-500mm through all of its paces.

Here I show a bit of old school grain - 95mm, 1/2000 f10 iso 800
I had heard that you need to shoot five hundred or so shots before you figure out this lens. I think that is about right, although I far exceeded that. Starting to get the hang of it.

Because the Bigma is a full frame lens on the APS sensor on my Nikon d-7000dx rig, all millimeter focal ranges actually increase by fifty percent so 500mm is in reality 750mm.

500mm 1/400th f8 iso 800

The lens likes light, lots of it. I pushed the iso and the shutter speed. I usually shoot aperture priority but found that shutter priority was better for this lens, anything as slow as 1/250th had problems.

High speed means noise but there are ways of dealing with noise. This lens is a F4.5, the last version was 4.0, but I have to assume that there was a good reason for the switch.

Watched Casey here catch and release a nice five lb. plus bass.

I have always enjoyed long legged birds and I took a lot of shots that I am very pleased with. The reflections were wonderful!

380mm, 1/400th f8, iso 800
270mm 1/2000 f8 iso - 1000
The lens was sharper than I expected once I dialed it in. I think that it is going to be a valuable tool as I learn to use it. I have a lot of good material to process already. I hope that you enjoy the shots.

280mm, 1/1250th f8 - iso 640 

380mm 1/4000th F7.1 iso 1000

240mm 1/4000th f7.1 iso 1000

I shot handheld all day, The lens is heavy as hell. But the optical stablilization doesn't work optimally on a monopod or tripod so I kept it in hand.  Thanks Wild Bill for loaning me the sling!


barbara and nancy said...

Those are some gorgeous photographs. Each one an award winner.

Anonymous said...

Your lens looks like a nice one. Seems Sigma did themselves proud on it. Nice bird shots too, so the lens operator must be pretty good. When you reach the limits of hand held stuff you can turn the optical stabilization off and go to a tripod. Yahoo!! Must be fun I think!

Anonymous said...

Love the bird photos elegant beauty for the eyes


Noreen said...

Wonderful photographs, Robert!!! Love Santee Lakes. I have no idea what you were saying about lenses, etc., but the outcome of whatever you did to get these magnificent photos ... worth it.

NYSTAN said...


Sanoguy said...

Nice shots, Blur Heron!

Anonymous said...

Robert, If you like long legged birds you guys should check out the San Jacinto Wildlife Area just east of lake Perris. A birder out there just listed 10 Avocets and 40 Black necked stilts among others. Also a Peregrin Falcon is usually seen. Beth

Blue Heron said...

Let's go, Beth!

Anonymous said...

Mighty fine