Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mrs. Hummingbird... Test Model

I'm so jealous of those people in the videos and pictures online, you know, the ones with a dozen hummingbirds flitting around their multiple feeders. Or the one where the guy opens his window and the hummingbird comes into his kitchen. Or the one where the lady holds nectar in her palm and the hummingbird eats right out of her hand.

Mrs. Hummer appears to be our only hummingbird visitor this spring, and she stops by about every 10 minutes or so in the mornings, less often later in the day. I saw Mr. Hummer once a couple weeks ago, but he didn't show up at all this morning.

The only thing I can figure is that there are so many hummingbird feeders here in the Philadelphia suburbs that they don't need to all come to ours. I've also read that they can be territorial, and in past years I've seen a male chase others away. The only time we get more than one every once in a while is later in the year, when the babies are on their own, but apparently still enough of a family not to chase each other away.

Today I tested out my camera at different levels of zoom, using Mrs. Hummer as my model. My zoom lens came in a package with the camera and it's a Canon EF 75-300mm. Not the best lens in the world, and I've been a little disappointed with the clarity of my pictures so far. I finally brought down my tripod and set it up, so I know the clarity or lack thereof isn't due to my shaky hands.

First I sat on the deck, about 25' from the feeder, and took pics at 300mm zoom. Here's my best one:

Not quite as clear as I'd like. So then I moved closer, about 20' away, still at 300mm.

A little more clear. Then I moved even closer, about 15' from the feeder, and adjusted my zoom to 200mm.

Better, eh? And one more at that level:

Finally, I moved to within 6' of the feeder and decreased the zoom to 100mm. This created a bit of a problem for Mrs. Hummer. She was nervous, and the first two times she approached, she just hovered for a moment and then left.

Finally she took a chance, in spite of that big lens with the crazy lady behind it.

And one final shot...

My conclusion after all that... The closer the better! And even up pretty close, I don't think the lens gives me the clarity at 300mm that it does at 100 or 200.

So you learn something every day, right?

Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 75-300mm zoom lens. Tests at 300, 200 and 100mm, spot metering. Cropped but otherwise uncorrected.

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