Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/29

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Subject: Re: [Leica] More playing Doug Herr...
From: Doug Herr <>
Date: 29 Mar 2001 08:45:17 -0800

On Wed, 28 March 2001, "Ken Iisaka" wrote:

> A couple of weekends ago, I went on a stroll on the path that runs through a
> marsh in Richardson Bay, between Mill Valley and Sausalito.  Armed with a
> Leicaflex SL2 MOT (no motor, though) and a Telyt-R 1:6,8/400mm lens, I shot
> a roll of more birds.  I uploaded some of them to my Yahoo photo album at:
> Getting close to the birds is the biggest problem.  With the bright
> afternoon sunlight with a slight amount of haze, the lighting was easier to
> cope with, allowing me to use a shutter speed of 1/250" most of the time,
> with ISO100/21 Fujichrome Provia F.
> The good old mallard allowed me to get as close as 5m or so, allowing me to
> fill the frame with his profile.  When I stood up, it and its female
> companion flew away, proving that they were watching me very closely.  More
> timid waterbirds such as American avocet and snowy egrets were quite
> problematic.  I feel there is a lot more to be gained through improving my
> behaviour than a longer (560? 800?) lens.
> Learning still continues (and will for decades...)
> -----
> Ken Iisaka <first name at last name dot org>
> Still lost in Mill Valley, Marin County, CA.


You're getting there!  You've got the steadiness thing worked out, and as you wrote, getting close is the next trick.  That mallard looks great.

Learing to get close is important whether you're using a 400, a 560 or an 800 and IMHO the 400 is as close to a universal wildlife lens as you can find.  If I were limited to one lens, the 400 would be it.

BTW, the ??? bird is a Western Grebe.  When you find one almost like that one, but with more white on the face so that the eye is surrounded by white, you've got a Clark's Grebe.

Doug Herr
Birdman of Sacramento
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