Tag Archives: Nature

Pushing the Limits

It was very early morning when we spotted this young lion. He has been through some territorial fights – see the scars. The sun had not risen and I was not sure if I could get a decent image. Captured with the Panasonic Lumix S1R and the S Pro 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens. I had the ISO on “auto”, and I set the shutter speed to 1/160 sec (i wanted to be as close to one over the focal length I was at). The focal length was at 130mm. The aperture was set at f/2.8 and the camera set the ISO to 16000. Typically I set the limit at ISO 6400 but there would be no image at that sensitivity.

The image a direct conversion from RAW to JPG – no adjustments at all except a crop for composition. The noise reduction is at 0, sharpening at 0. Image processed using Capture One 12.

Please do click on the image to view it larger.

IMPRESSIVE!!!

Posted in Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Lumix S Pro 70-200 f/2.8 hand-held

Zebra Family at Sunset

One of the greatest features of Lumix cameras, the G and the S series is the incredibly good image stabilization. On the S1R was rated at 6 stops. With firmware version v1.1, the in-body IS system will reduce shake by an additional 1/2-stop, for a total of 6 stops with non-stabilized lenses and 6.5 stops with Dual IS-compatible glass. With the new S Pro 70-200 f/2.8, the stabilization is rated at 7 stops.

This image was captured hand-held with the S1R and the S Pro 70-200 and a 2X Teleconverter. The combined focal length was 400mm. Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 800.

Click on the image to view a larger rendition.

Posted in Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Lilac Breasted Roller

Lilac Breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)

This bird is one of my absolute favorites. This avian lives in acacia country where there are well-spaced trees, bushy game lands, riverside areas, and cultivated lands. However, they do not associate with human habitation. They are about 14 in. long.

The Lilac Breasted Roller is also referred to as the Fork Tailed Roller or Mosilikatze’s Roller. They typically perch at high points of trees, poles, etc. so the can spot thir prey close to ground level. they will swoop down to grab insects, scorpions, lizards and even small birds.

This specimen was photographed with the Panasonic G9, the Leica 50-200 lens with the 2X tele-adaptor. Exposure triad: f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 250.

Posted in Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My impressions of the new 70-200 mm L mount zoom lens – LUMIX S PRO 70-200 O.I.S (S-E70200)

I had the pleasure of using two of these lenses, albeit pre-production, with two Lumix S1R bodies while on my trip to Tanzania. I used these with and without the 1.4X and 2X teleconverters in order to extend the reach as needed. With the high resolution of the S1R cropping is a viable option.

The Pro S 70-200 has one of the best image quality performance I have seen in a zoom lens in the range. The lens surely must meet or exceed certain stringent standards to be certified by Leica.

Color rendition
Leopard resting
Exposure triad f/63, 1/500 sec, ISO 2000

Tech details: 22 elements in 17 groups, the use of 2 UED (Ultra Extra-low Dispersion) lenses, 3 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses. Magnification .21X with a close focus distance of .95m. Focus range switchable from Full to .95m-5m and 5m to Limit. The lens is 208.6mm (8.2 in) long with a max diameter of 94.4 mm (3.72 in)and weighs 1,570 gm (3.46 lb). Filter diameter 82mm. It is dust and splash resistant and has a working temperature range of -10 C to 40 C (14 F to 104 F). The focus speed is rated at 0.12 sec. at the extended focal length of 200 mm. It has a focus clutch to allow manual – autofocus switching and the lens barrel has three programmable focus buttons. Dual IS – when coupled with a Dual IS2 body the overall image stabilization is rated at 7 stops. The provided lens collar has an Arca Swiss compatible foot.

Superb detail and dynamic range
African Elephant and Calf
Exposure triad f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 500

I found that the lens had exceptional focusing speed and now understand why. The lens uses a double focus system. A large linear motor is used for long-throw adjustments and a stepper motor is used for small incremental strokes. All focusing is internal and the focusing lenses are light so as to allow rapid movement during focusing. The focus frame rate is 480 FPS and the lens tracks subjects incredibly well. This combination clearly has the fastest focusing I have experienced in the Lumix lens line-up. The close focus distance is .95m or about 3 feet. Even at this close range, there is no visible distortion. in-fact the has little to no distortion over its entire zoom range even wide open at f/2.8.

Smooth focus fall-off.
Impala Stag
Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400
Another example of smooth focus fall-off
Cheetah Yawn
Exposure triad f/8, 1/1300 sec, ISO 3200
Fast action capture
Wildebeast Migration
Exposure triad f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 250
Tracking performance with fast-moving subjects
Wildebeast (Connochaetes gnou)
Tracking performance
Impala on the run (one of the fastest four-legged animals)
Exposure triad f/6.3, 1/800 sec, ISO 320
Tracking performance.
Juvenile African Fish Eagle  (Haliaeetus vocifer).
Exposure triad f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO400
Low Light Detail
Lion Family on Kill
Exposure triad f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 2500
Low light longer exposure.
Serval Cat (Leptailurus serval)- 2x teleconverter used. Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/200 sec, ISO12800

For the duration of the Tanzania safari, I never mounted either S1R on a tripod or any other clamp or mount. All images were captured hand-held and the image stabilization was amazing even at slow shutter speeds.

Note: Some images have been cropped and some have a vignette applied for presentation purposes.

Posted in Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Barred Owl – Corkscrew Swamp

The barred owl, also known as northern barred owl or hoot owl, at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida this afternoon. The swamp has way too much water and as a result, the number of birds is minimum. This owl remained with its eyes closed for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, when the park staff came by to say we had to leave, I stopped by to get this image.

Panasonic Lumix G9 and the Leica 100-400 mm lens – hand-held.  Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/60 sec, ISO 500.
Posted in Lumix Leica 100-400 mm, Panasonic, Photographs, Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

MINWR Field Workshop

January 25, 2019 – 7:00 AM field trip to Merrit Island National WIldlife Refuge, Black Point Drive yielded some decent images once the clouds dissipated and we got some good light. The day prior was a washout because of the storm that came through the area – high winds, heavy rains and reports of tornados.

Reddish Egret fishing – Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400 mm lens. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/800 sec, ISO 500

This year the number of Glossy Ibis in the reserve is exceptional. I have never seen so many flocks of 20 Ibis or more.

Glossy Ibis stepping into the water – Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400 mm lens. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/1000 sec, ISO 640

On the other hand, the Roseate Spoonbills are not as abundant as in past years.

Roseate Spoonbill with a Great Egret keeping a watchful eye – Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400 mm lens. Exposure triad: f/7.1, 1/1300 sec, ISO 200
Posted in 7D, Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Focus Bracketed – Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid- Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Lumix 30mm macro lens. Exposure triad: f/8, 1/6 sec, ISO 200.

One of the greatest features of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 is “bracketing”. Yes, like most cameras the G9 can bracket exposure.  However, the G9 can bracket aperture, white balance and focus.  While in camera focus stacking is possible using the “Post Focus” function, the individual images are JPEG as is the final stacked image.  For RAW images and high-resolution stacks, it is best to use focus bracketing.  With focus bracketing, you set the stepping distance and the number of images that need to be captured.  You can also set the sequencing for how the images are captured, similar to exposure bracketing – 0/-/+ or 0/+.  I prefer the second as I always start my stack from the front of the subject and work the focus away from the camera.

Posted in Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

SW Florida Workshop – Day 0

An early morning uneventful but bumpy flight to Fort Myers got us in on time.  We collected our bags, rented the car and off to Fort Myers Beach.  The workshop included a trip to Cape Coral for burrowing owls so day zero required a scouting trip to the area.  The typical locations were devoid of owls but the vacant lots yielded some active burrows.

Here are some images from this scouting trip:

Burrowing Owl Stare

Should I Fly?

No Closer Please

Posted in Photographs, Photography, Workshops Also tagged , , , , , |

ALASKA – Lake Clark

Have been so busy with the workshops and collecting entries for the PSA International that I have had barely any time to review and process the images from the Alaska Tour.  Blogging for each day may not be feasible so I will cover the trip in short individual blogs interspersed with all my other crazy activities.  Part one of the tour was Lake Clark a relatively small area Southwest of Anchorage.  Lake Clark is at the junction of three mountain ranges with two volcanoes Iliama and Redoubt.  The east coast has rain forests while the West is is tundra and lakes.  There are no roads to the park so we flew in from Anchorage in small planes that landed on the beach.

Day one, as we approached the the lodge, high in the pines we sighted our first Bald Eagle.

 

Bald Eagle – Day 1

After a quick instructional lecture we headed off to vast areas of  sedges and beach.  The later part of June is too early for salmon runs so the Coastal Brown Bear feed on sedge grass and will also go the the beach to hunt for clams.  the following are a few Coastal Brown Bears from Day 1.

Coastal Brown Bear eating sedge

Coastal Brown Bear Searching for Clams

Sow and First Year Cub Playing in Sedges

Day two to follow soon……………..

 

Posted in Photographs, Workshops Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |