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  1. #1

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    Anahinga Nikon blues.

    I was just out shooting on the Anahinga trail this weekend with a buddy. The weather for those that care to know was just perfect being around 80 deg with low humidity and there were NO mosquito's! If you've never been on the Anahinga in the Florida Everglades, known for the amount and variety of birds in the winter dry season, well the mosquito's can be unbelievably bad if you don't spray, no make that soak, yourself down, so yesterday was actually a pretty special day down there. Now I've never been a bird shooter per se', in fact this was only my second time down to the Anahinga, but this time out it was more fun then I thought it would be. In fact I'm thinking that it's more fun then street shooting, especially since you never need to get a signed release to sell a picture and your not being accosted by some dumb ass security guard telling you what you can't shoot. The only downside for me tho, was that my Nikon 70-210 was just too short. Unfortunate in that there were baby birds to shoot and I just didn't have enough reach, but will have to crop the 35mm frame down. Other problem is that the N80 I have only allows metering with teleconverters for the AFS and AFI lenses, of course the really expensive ones. So, I need a suggestion to either trade over to another brand, maybe with a standard cheaper body, or 2, get something in a later model Nikon that would allow me to use my lens and buy a teleconverter, or 3. a lens suggestion for the N80 body that won't break the bank. I also have an old FTBn FD body and a K1000 if need be, but I'd prefer a newer body. I guess another Nikon body would be a way to go, but I'm not particular to them. I only need a body and long lens, or a body, long lens and teleconverter to satisfy my needs. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Hi Wayne,

    Photographing birds can be fun and a great way to spend some time. The general rule is to use at least a 300mm lens and a 1.4X extender. Preferably a 400mm or longer lens if you are to shoot birds with any consistency. I am not sure what lens or lenses to suggest, but those are the focal length ranges to consider.

    You may wish to see the photo of the Anhinga taken on the Anhinga trail that I took with the Leica 800mm f 5.6 modular lens (loaned to me by Leica USA, no I am not suggesting you get one). This is in my gallery:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...0&ppuser=11550

    The bird was down an embankment when I took the photo.

    Good luck, have a great time and good hunting.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  3. #3

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    Wayne,
    Have you seen Doug Herr's bird photos? They are really outstanding and done mainly with ancient Leica reflex cameras and lenses. Up until recently he used SL and SL2's with 400mm and 560mm Telyts. I don't know if this equipment is in your price range, but might be worth checking out. His website is: http://www.wildlightphoto.com/

    Richard Waserman

  4. #4
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disfromage
    Wayne,
    Have you seen Doug Herr's bird photos? They are really outstanding and done mainly with ancient Leica reflex cameras and lenses. Up until recently he used SL and SL2's with 400mm and 560mm Telyts. I don't know if this equipment is in your price range, but might be worth checking out. His website is: http://www.wildlightphoto.com/

    Richard Waserman
    Wayne,

    I also have the Leica f6.8 560mm Telyt lens. Both the 400mm and the 560mm lenses are designed as high quality Achromats. They are a simple design with the two elements at the front of the lens cemented together. They are designed as a hand held follow focus lens (use a trombone type focus). Both use the same rear lens segment that screws together with the front lens heads (so if you are carrying the pair but not using both at the same time [as 2 cameras], you could carry one rear portion and 2 focusing heads). They tend to be quite sharp in the middle but sharpness drops off a bit toward the edges due to curvature which can be used to your benefit. They tend to be very front heavy. But, I designed a mounting plate that rebalances the lenses for use on a tripod or on a shoulder stock. I can get you information on the redesigned mounting plate which I then load onto an Arca type QR. Leica USA liked what we had done for rebalancing the lens, but unfortunately the tools and dies had been destroyed and they could not utilize the design. These lenses are very light and are long focus lenses, not true telephoto lenses. They are not nearly as sharp as the modular 800mm lens that I mentioned above. These lenses are known for producing slightly to somewhat warm colors on transparency material.

    If you have any other questions about the f6.8 560 Leitz Telyt lens let me know. The f6.8 400mm Leitz Telyt should be lighter, with about the same performance. There was also a pair of f5.6 400 and 560 Leitz Telyts that were made prior to and replaced by the f6.8 lenses.

    For many years, photographers had had the Leitz Telyt lens mounts modified for use on manual focus F series Canon and Nikon cameras because they were fast to focus (but a bit unusual to use for focus) and they were sharp.

    Here is a second photo taken with the f5.6 800mm Apo Telyt (not to consider for purchase but for focal length) that is in my gallery:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...0&ppuser=11550

    Here are two photos in my gallery taken with the f6.8 560mm Telyt (the longer of the 2 f 6.8 Telyt lenses mentioned above):

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...0&ppuser=11550

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...0&ppuser=11550

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    If you go to my website at http://www.echonyc.com/~goldfarb/photo enter and click on the mute swan, you can find my bird gallery (much in need of an update). All those except for the landscape at the top of the list were done with Canon FD equipment--mostly the FD 400/4.5 SSC and 600/4.5 and 1.4x and 2x extenders. It's all pretty affordable stuff these days.

    Since you're a Nikon user, I'd recommend getting an older Nikon manual focus lens and body that can meter with it if the body you have can't, but on the other hand, since the lens is the major expense, it's not unreasonable to shift brands and have a body dedicated to it.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6

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    Hi Wayne

    The one trip I made to the Anhinga Trail when I lived in SW Florida, I was shooting a Nikon N90s with the Sigma 400 APO Macro f5.6 with a Tokina 1.5 Tele-Plus. Metering worked fine but you did have to focus manually. If fact at times with just the lens, I had to back up to get a Great Blue Heron in the frame. N90s's are going for a song now. You might just want to pick up one and keep using the lenses you have. The N90s is a great camera and if I was still shooting 35mm I'd still have mine.

    Brian

  7. #7

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    Great pictures guy's so thanks for the links.

    I was thinking maybe a 300mm with a 1.4 or 2x teleconverter. I could get a 300L Canon for the FTB or maybe something for the Pentax. The Nikon glass is very competitive online and I'm a little tired of Nikon right now anyways. If I went for a Telyt, what body?

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    If you go for a Canon 300, then you'll want the 300/2.8L, since you'll almost always be using it with extenders for birds. I have the 300/4L, and it's a fine lens, but I wouldn't want to have it as my only bird lens. Here's one with the 300/4L--



    The Tamron SP 300/2.8 is a pretty good deal right now, and usually comes with 1.4x and 2x matched extenders, and there are some pros who have used it. Adaptall II mounts are available for most manual camera bodies.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider
    Great pictures guy's so thanks for the links.

    I was thinking maybe a 300mm with a 1.4 or 2x teleconverter. I could get a 300L Canon for the FTB or maybe something for the Pentax. The Nikon glass is very competitive online and I'm a little tired of Nikon right now anyways. If I went for a Telyt, what body?
    Hi Wayne,

    If you stay with the Canon lenses, I like many others are partial to the old Breech Lock mount. Like many others, pros and amateurs, we dumped the Canon system when they came out with the true bayonet. I had the Canon system for quite a number of years. It used to be eery to watch as the mount would actually start to turn without any assistance. The mount can only get tighter, it can not loosen. I switched to the Leica R system in 1984.

    As I mentioned, at least in the past a lot of the Canon and Nikon shooters had the Leitz/Leica Telyt lens mounts modified for use with their F series cameras. I am sure that SK Grimes and many other machine shops could do this. If you do go this route, be aware that these lenses are a pre-set type- they work at the actual aperture and are not automatic. I happen to like mine very much. If you should decide to get an R Leica body (and they have become quite affordable) as are the 2 f6.8 400mm and 560mm Telyt lenses, I would consider the following cameras: R4SP (no TTL), R5, R6 or R6.2 (both without auto exposure), or the R7 (the latest and greatest of the R cameras based upon the same chasis as the Minoltas, but they are not a Minolta body).

    If you need additional help let me know.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  10. #10
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Hi Wayne,

    Also, from my transparencies viewed on my light box, I usually thought that the exposures from my f6.8 560mm Leitz Telyt looked like the lens appeared to be a bit faster than rated. It appears that this may be due to more light passing through the glass due to the small number of elements. It seems that my lens is somewhere closer to a true f5.6 rather than f6.8. As an example, I would frequently rate a ISO 100 film shot with other lenses to be closer to ISO 125 on this lens.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

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