Beginner Baby Blackbird for comments please

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Steve France
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Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to look and thanks in advance for your comments... ( I think the focus is slightly off (shutter speed ?), needs smaller aperture & lighting on left is over exposed)

600mm ISO 1600 f9 1/1000

baby blackbird.jpg
 
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Gil
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A nice image of a female blackbird. I would have shot at a wider aperture in order to lower your ISO and maybe blur the background a little. I don't see any focus issues, looks nice and sharp to me
 
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Gil
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Assuming you are using a zoom - one other thing you could do, particularly if the bird was filling the frame, would be to use a slightly shorter focal length as long lenses typically don't perform as well at the long end.
 
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Looks ok to me Steve, subject is well exposed, maybe just a tad sharper on the back rather than eye, have you checked where the focus point was.

1/1000th is fine for a perched Blackbird @600mm handheld. Its too close to the back ground for it to be blurred out even wide open at f6.3 , f9 has probably help you here,giving a greater dof and putting more of the bird in focus. The only thing you would have gained is a stop of light on the ISO but at the expense of a shallower dof.

Assuming you are using a zoom - one other thing you could do, particularly if the bird was filling the frame, would be to use a slightly shorter focal length as long lenses typically don't perform as well at the long end.
Sorry Gil but I have to totally disagree, if my zoom didn't perform as well at 600mm it would be going back to Sigma. As it is, its pin sharp right through the focal length
 
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Gil
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Sorry Gil but I have to totally disagree, if my zoom didn't perform as well at 600mm it would be going back to Sigma. As it is, its pin sharp right through the focal length
and for the records - my 200-600mm Sony G lens performs exceptionally well at 600mm

Les :)
It’s quite common for zooms which have more elements to perform differently throughout their range. It’s well documented that extreme ends are not as good - with AF calibration normally benifiting a particular focal length and not the full range of the lens. That’s one of the main benefits of a prime - less elements. Perhaps you both have particularly good copies of your lenses but of all the super telephotos I’ve had, they’ve always been pretty soft and the extreme long end.

Your experiences may vary but it’s a valid recommendation, particularly for optimal results and when a bird is filling the frame to come away from the extreme end of the focal range of your lens
 
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It’s quite common for zooms which have more elements to perform differently throughout their range. It’s well documented that extreme ends are not as good
Any evidence to back that up Gil? and I don't mean links to forum threads ;)

with AF calibration normally benifiting a particular focal length and not the full range of the lens.
Isn't that what the Sigma dock is for, calibrating the lens at different focal lengths and distances? Although saying that, mines been pin sharp out of the box at all focal lengths, I've never had to calibrate it

Perhaps you both have particularly good copies of your lenses but of all the super telephotos I’ve had, they’ve always been pretty soft and the extreme long end.
Either that or we both have a good understanding of the equipment we use and get the very best from it ;)

Besides, you've missed the point Gil, your advice is to not shoot @ 600mm because the lens may not be sharp

My advice, if its not sharp then send it back because it owt to be. Why live with something your not happy with?
 
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Gil
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Any evidence to back that up Gil? and I don't mean links to forum threads ;)



Isn't that what the Sigma dock is for, calibrating the lens at different focal lengths and distances? Although saying that, mines been pin sharp out of the box at all focal lengths, I've never had to calibrate it



Either that or we both have a good understanding of the equipment we use and get the very best from it ;)

Besides, you've missed the point Gil, your advice is to not shoot @ 600mm because the lens may not be sharp

My advice, if its not sharp then send it back because it owt to be. Why live with something your not happy with?
Don’t want to takeover this thread with a debate about optimal focal lengths on zoom lenses, but DXOMark is one example of a place where best focal lengths and apertures are shown for zoom lenses. Certainly I could post examples of birds I’ve taken at 150 and at 600 and there was a noticeable difference on both of my Tamron 150-600s. Likewise at 200 and 500 on my Nikon 200-500 when looking zoomed in at 100 percent. Perhaps the Sigma is more consistent and I had poor copies so I’m just speaking from experience. Likewise on my Nikon 16-80mm results weren’t great at the long end
 
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Don’t want to takeover this thread with a debate about optimal focal lengths on zoom lenses, but DXOMark is one example of a place where best focal lengths and apertures are shown for zoom lenses. Certainly I could post examples of birds I’ve taken at 150 and at 600 and there was a noticeable difference on both of my Tamron 150-600s. Likewise at 200 and 500 on my Nikon 200-500 when looking zoomed in at 100 percent. Perhaps the Sigma is more consistent and I had poor copies so I’m just speaking from experience. Likewise on my Nikon 16-80mm results weren’t great at the long end
Its definitely not a thread takeover, its discussing your advice not to shoot at the longest focal length of a zoom lens. Surely it's got to be in the OP's interest to see evidence to back that up.

You posting examples proves nothing, how do we know its not user error? I regularly post 'examples' of birds shot at 600mm that proves your theory wrong.
 
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Gil
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Its definitely not a thread takeover, its discussing your advice not to shoot at the longest focal length of a zoom lens. Surely it's got to be in the OP's interest to see evidence to back that up.

You posting examples proves nothing, how do we know its not user error? I regularly post 'examples' of birds shot at 600mm that proves your theory wrong.
I think probably best to agree to disagree and let the OP make a decision on what advice he wants to take.... I've illustrated that DXOMark who are in the business of testing lenses show the optimum focal length for zoom lenses, I don't know what more I can say, and it seems further discussion around the subject is pointless as neither of us will change our minds!! You can get the final word in, but I'm done on the subject now.
 
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Compuwight
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92
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Steve France
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Thanks for all the comments. As ever I seek to improve by practice and advice for others. Focus appears to be a particular issue for me as I suffer from astigmatism in both eyes so need to wear my glasses which sometimes gives me a false impression of what is in focus.

As for the discussion on lens performance, I did read a lot of reviews regarding this lens prior to purchase and a fair few talked about soft focus at the 600mmm end, however, given my level of experience and budget (would love a Nikon 600 f4 prime) I considered it to be a cost/performance trade-off. That being said, I cannot see much evidence of an issue in the pictures I am taking at the moment. !
 
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Steve, the discussion was more about the advice you were given, why buy a 150-600 lens and have to shoot at a 'slightly shorter focal length to get sharp images' as advised by Gil

I appreciate they're a cheap lens, lets be honest, they're the cheapest but that still doesn't mean it shouldn't be sharp at 600mm.

Obviously this isn't aimed at you as you seem happy with yours at 600mm but, as I advised above, if its not sharp at 600mm, send it back, don't just put up with it.

There's plenty of us own these lenses, including the 200-500 Nikon and get perfectly acceptable IQ through the whole focal lengths.
 
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