Jelly, jelly so fine

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Skunked, not sprayed

I am sure that after all this time watching me dial in camera equipment is like watching sausage getting made; not an altogether pleasant experience watching me fumble around. But it is necessary, these sorts of fine tools don't come perfectly matched out of the box and you sometimes have to mess around a little bit and see what works. And even adjust your technique once in a while.

For the first time yesterday I matched the nikkor 400mm 2.8 E fl up with the new D850. Drove up to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area for the shakedown cruise. It was lovely out there, didn't see another human all afternoon except for one guy next door on a tractor.

They are draining the ponds so the heyday might be over for the year but I still managed to shoot a few things. Unfortunately the camera lens combination was front focusing.  I didn't know it until I processed this morning but I got very little usable material. I did however figure out what was happening and think I have it fixed.

Mentor Ken and I recalibrated the lens with a focus target and yardstick this morning and I think we are good to go after making some fine micro adjustments. Here are two front focused pictures from yesterday I offer you as an example of the ff phenomenon.

Do you see how the proper focus plane is right in front of the birds? A little bit is all it takes to screw things up.

I still managed to enjoy myself and get some shots I like. Like this northern harrier.

And hawks are always good.

The sun began to set behind the mountain and I got to see how the camera and lens would perform in low light.


Steve Perry recommends shooting bif (birds in flight) at super high speed with this camera. I usually shoot at 1600 to 2500, I upped it to 3200 for this shoot. Pretty much wide open aperture all day long, which also narrowed my focal plane and depth of field.

female red winged blackbirds
I must say that I am very stoked with the potential. Looking forward to so much more shooting!

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