Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lens Test

A few years ago in the woods near my house, I found an what was left of old post. One side and the middle had rotted away, leaving a semicircle. I dragged it home, set it up in my garden, and screwed a tuna can to the inside. I filled the can with seeds, and I had a posing post for the birds.

That's why a lot of my Backyard Habitat photos feature the same post. Cracked corn works well for attracting blue jays, and the jays provide a good subject for my 500mm lens tests. The only trouble is sometimes they sit on the edge of the hidden can rather than the post.


The corn also attracts the squirrels, which I consider a nuisance most of the time. However, they do provide good test subjects for the 500. From the side with the tail up in the air, a squirrel more than fills the viewfinder at 16 feet (five meters in that silly metric system). This pose was more interesting.

My cracked corn!

Every once in a while something comes along that I've never seen before. My Sibley bird book suggests that this is a Winter Wren, and today was the first time one flew into range of my lens. Very brown!


For just a few shots today, I tried the 2x extender, which converts the 500mm f4 to a 1000mm f8. The result was OK, but not worth posting. I'll have to do more tests with the 1.4x and 2x to see how well they work, but my research indicates they are well worth using. With this new capability, my attempts at digiscoping have come to an end for the most part.

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