Tag Archives: Birds

Tanzania – October 2019

My Tanzania photo safari was truly one of the best wildlife photography experiences. I took a pair of Panasonic Lumix S1R full-frame cameras and the Lumix G9 micro four-thirds camera. Various lenses, a tripod, and ball-head that were never used. However, I did mount a Platypod Ultra with a ball-head to the armrest of the Land Cruiser. This provided all the mounting and support I ever needed for both camera systems. Yes I was over the weight allowance but was prepared and prepurchased excess baggage coverage.

The following are a few images captured with the Lumix G9, the Leica 50-200 mm lens and a 2X Tele-extender.

African Elephants protecting a sleeping calf.
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/400sec at ISO 640.

I spent the entire time at the Nasikia KasKaz Mara Camp in Northern Tanzania. The camp is a 45-minute drive from the Kogatendi airstrip. My superb guide Moodie is both a bird and leopard expert and a great photographer too.

This next image was captured at one of the many vast grasslands of the Serengeti. These Cheetahs are brothers who stay and hunt together and rarely stray beyond their marked territory.

Cheetah Brothers
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/1000 sec at ISO 640.

Northern Serengeti has an abundance of bird species. It is truly a birder’s paradise. The African Fish Eagle fishing is a fairly common sight along the Mara River. Here I am not sure who is eying who.

Yellow-billed Stork and African Fish Eagle.
The pink flush on the stork indicates breeding status.
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/640 sec at ISO 200 EV -0.3.

It was late afternoon when I spotted this Little Green Bee Eater. It grabbed what you see in this beak, swallowed it and then realizing it was not what it thought it was – spat it out with a vengeance.

Little Green Bee Eater.
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/800 sec at ISO 1000.

The last image for this post is of a pair of Nubian Woodpeckers. It is most interesting to hear the pair call in unison.

Nubian Woodpecker Pair
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/640 sec at ISO 320 EV+1.3.

Stay tuned for a lot more from this trip.

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Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-f/4 on the G9 with 2X Tele-extender

This is a crop from the image below.  I wanted to see how well the Leica 50-200 mm performed when used with 2X tele-extender.  The image was shot at ISO 16000 and as you can see the noise performance is great.  The cropped image has a small amount of Lightroom noise reduction applied.  Though the flash did fire the distance to the bird was beyond the flash units reach.

Lumix G9, Leica 50-200mm, 2X Tele-extender and Lumix DMW-FL360L. flash. Exposure triad: f/8, 1/2000 sec at ISO 16000

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More from SW Florida

Great Egret in Flight. Pansonic G9 with the Leica f/2.8 200mm lens and 1.4X teleconverter. Exposure triad: f/5.6, 1/2500 sec, ISO 320

Even though the copy of the Leica f/2.8 200mm lens is a pre-production unit I foun it performing exceptionally well.  It focuses fast and the camera and lens combination have no problems following birds in flight.  

The Learn to Swallow Large Fish. Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400mm. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200.

This was a very active nest.  The adult had brought 5 or 6 fish and regurgitated them multiple times. 

Green Heron Sky-Pointing – Corkscrew Swamp. Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400mm. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/500 sec, ISO 640.

This was the first time I witnessed a Green Heron Sky-Pointing which is a very common mating behavior with Great Blue Herons and various Egrets.

Three American White Pelican flying after the sun had set. Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400mm. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400.

Ding Darling NWR was a big disappointment.  The birds were sparse with the exception of Pelicans, Willets, Dowitchers and Dunlins.  As the sun set, these Pelicans started departing the sand-bar they were on, probably to roost elsewhere.

 

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Anhingas can look good too

Really wanted to see the G9’s performance with dynamic range and the ability to capture good shadow detail.  I was very pleased with the performance as you will see from these images.

Just Checking. Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 640

 

What’s Next. Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/640 sec, ISO 400

 

Anhinga in Flight. Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200

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Kingfishers of Keoladeo National Park

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis – Lumix G9 and Leica 100 – 400 mm. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/400 sec, ISO 200

On this very short visit to India, my wife and I spent three days in Bharatpur, Rajasthan at the Keoladeo National Park to photograph wildlife.  These three images are of the three species of Kingfisher that can be found in the region this time of year.  The Stork-billed and Black-capped are known to be around but I have not been lucky to ever see or photograph them.  Of the three, the Common Kingfisher is the most elusive and least common.  The White-throated is easy to find and easy to photograph.  The Pied kingfisher can be seen at many locations but is very elusive for photography.  It hovers with a very rapid wing beat so requires high very shutter speed.

For these three days, I used the Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100 – 400mm lens and the Leica 200 mm f/2.8 and the 1.4X tele-extender.  I can not say enough about how much I enjoyed this kit and its performance truly excels.

White Throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnens – Lumix G9 and Leica 100 – 400 mm. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

 

A hovering Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis – Lumix G9 and Leica 100 – 400 mm. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/1000 sec, ISO 200

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The GH5 continues to excel

With the exception of the last three years we typically go to Damariscotta Maine to photograph the Osprey fishing for alewives.  The main reason for not going was the decline in activity.  However we did spend this past weekend in a lovely B&B – The Mill Pond Inn in Nobleboro.  It is a great place and has two of the finest hosts.

My main purpose was to test out the GH5 for its tracking capability and the Dual IS 2 function.  Both these images were shot with the GH5  and the Leica 100 – 400 lens, hand-held.  Exposure was set to “Manual” and the ISO was set on Auto.  The focus was set to 1 Area and reduced to its smallest size.  All images processed using Capture One Pro, version 10

I intentionally left the shutter speed slow so as to get a lot of motion in the wings and to have the water droplets streak.  I panned this shot keeping the 1 Area on the bird’s eye.

Exposure Triad: f/6.3, 1/200 sec, ISO 200. 800 mm (FF equivalent)

As we waited for more action (that never happened) a Bald Eagle flew by in the distance and finally landed on a tree on the far bank.  I knew that the bird was just to far to get a decent shot but I wanted to see what I could get irrespective.  Once again this was hand held.  I did increase the shutter speed to 1/1600 sec and the lens was out at 800 mm (FF equivalent).

This next image is the un-cropped version.

No Crop applied. Exposure Triad: f/6.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 500. 800 mm (FF equivalent)

The next image is a crop at 1400 by 1050 pixels:

Cropped version. Exposure Triad: f/6.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 500. 800 mm (FF equivalent)

#LumixLounge #wherelumixgoes #lumixusa #lumixGH5 #gh5 #birdphotography#birds #africa #wildlifephotography

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Ruffled Feathers

A few more images from Ding Darling NWR.  Wading birds in breeding plumage just look wonderful when they have their feathers ruffled.

 

Reddish Egret at Sunset – Lumix G85 with the Leica 100 – 400mm lens. Exposure triad: ISO 400; f/6.3; 1/250 sec.

 

Great Blue Heron – Lumix G85 with the Leica 100 – 400. Exposure triad: ISO 400, f/6.3; 1/1600 sec.

 

Roseate Spoonbill Preening. Exposure triad: ISO 400, f/6.3; 1/3200 sec.

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Reddish Egret at Ding Darling NWR

Managed a little time at the Ding Darling NWR on Sanibel Island.  The Reddish were very active but because of the water levels remained at a distance.  These two images were captured using the Panasonic Lumix G85 and the Leica 100 – 400 mm lens.  It is nice to have an 800 mm equivalence.  

Reddish Egret Hunting – Lumix G85, Leica 100 – 400 mm at F/6.3; ISO 200; 1/1000 sec

 

Reddish Egret with Needle Fish – Lumix G85, Leica 100 – 400 mm at F/6.3; ISO 200; 1/1000 sec

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Lumix G85 4K Photo

On my visit to Ft. Myers I wanted to test the 4K Photo Mode capability of the Panasonic Lumix G85.  The image shown was captured in 4K photo mode on March 14, 2017. The entire sequence was imported as a video file.  I did not want to select and save a JPEG file in camera. Saving a JPEG is the suggested method for 4K Photos.  The video frames were exported at individual TIFF files with a frame resolution of 3328 by 2496 pixels (an 8Mb file)  this was processed in Capture One ver. 10 and exported as a JPEG for web display.  The camera was mounted with the Leica 100 – 400 mm lens, hand-held using “Dual IS”.  For reference purposes the scene’s exposure triad was ISO 800, f6.3, 1/250 sec.

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100 – 400mm F/4 – 6.3 lens

_1010975-800 mm-1-2000 sec at f - 7.1-ISO 800

400 mm, Exposure Triad 1/2000 sec at f /7.1, ISO 800

Last week at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival I had the opportunity to briefly try out a pre-production unit.  The lens was one of the first pre-production units and a lot has changed since it’s manufacture.  The final units will be way better in image quality, performance and handling.  With that said, I will say I was truly impressed with the way the lens performed.

The Leica 100-400mm is an f/4-6.3 telephoto zoom lens that gives the equivalent of 200-800mm in 35mm equivalence.

The lens has a lockable zoom pull feature, so you can pull the end of the zoom to set the zoom position, or when it is locked, you need to rotate the zoom ring to vary the focal length. The lens has Power Optical Image Stabilization, and high-speed 240fps AF drive, which makes it incredibly fast in focusing performance. It is also, splash and dust proof.

A feature I found most useful was the lens collar and foot that also rotates all the lens function switches. This allows you to easily access these in any orientation, landscape or portrait.

In thumbnail view, hover over the thumbnail to see the focal length and exposure details.  To see a larger rendition of this slide show please click here

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