…morning light is magic…

Avocets with New 7D II

Made a trip back to Bolivar Flats last weekend working as a guide, which gave me a chance to try out my new Canon 7D mark II camera.

From a guide perspective, it turned out to be a good trip with Newton.  It was very low tide and we found a large flock of Avocets not too far off shore before sunrise.  Got some decent shots and moved on to several other locations shooting Willets, Long Billed Curlews, Marbled Godwits, a Yellowlegs and several smaller shorebirds.  Ended up working our way around the bend and found a Reddish Egret and then a flock of Avocets worked their way towards us, as I predicted.  What appeared to be a lucky guess was actually an accurate prediction based on several similar encounters at that location.  Ended up being a very good morning.

From a testing out the new camera perspective, it was also a good outing.  I’m a little too spoiled with my 1DX but the new 7D II worked well.  It’s obviously not as good with high ISO as the 1DX but it’s much improved over my old 7D.   Looks like it will be a good back-up camera.  It’s also very light compared to the 1DX.

Ended up getting the new camera as I recently experience problems with my 1DX.  Made a trip during the week of Thankgiving and found that my 1DX wouldn’t focus on my 500mm lens.   Experienced issues with the contacts as the mounts were bent up from a previous crash/burn from my kitchen table.  Got my lens repaired from a local repair shop in Houston but have to send my camera to Canon as they wouldn’t sell him (or me) a replacement ring mount.  Took my old 7D to the Santa Clara ranch a few weeks ago as a back-up but would have had major issues with the low light levels.  That convinced me that that I needed a newer back-up camera and getting $500 off during black Friday week also helped my cause.

These photos were taken with Canon 7D II with Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head.

Aperture priority, 1/1250 sec @ F5, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm

This photo was a little dull due to being taken before sunrise so I increased the exposure in Photoshop to make it more of a “high key” image which worked better.

002_Bolivar Flats_12052015-3

Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F5, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm

Taken after the sun came up

024_Bolivar Flats_12052015-3

8 responses

  1. Glad the new camera is working out for you by the evidence of these photos. Kind of ironic that a lens gets dragged all over the place and gets “injured” on a kitchen table.

    December 8, 2015 at 6:43 am

    • Thanks Lyle. So far, so good. Will see how it does on an upcoming whale watching trip in California. I’ve never dropped my camera in the field but it did a nice tumble off of the old kitchen table. Made a lovely crashing sound. Also cracked the lens hood but that’s too pricy to replace.

      December 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm

  2. Rick

    Tim, Thanks for your blogs which I enjoy and learn from. As a nature photographer (I think thats the best description) I have a 5D mk 3, primary camera, and a 7D as both a back up and for fast action shots. Both excellent condition. Is it in your view worth upgrading to the 7D mk 2? Main lens are 16-35 f4, 28-105 f4, 50mm f1.4, 70-200 f2.8 II, 500mm f4 II.

    December 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    • Rick, thanks for checking out my blog. I can’t comment on your 5D as I’ve never shot with one but the lower frame rate would be challenging for me. From my limited experience shooting with the new 7D II, it’s a good upgrade from the original 7D. It works much better at higher ISO and the auto focus is good. Using my old 7D, I didn’t like the grain with >ISO 400. With the new 7D, ISO 1600 is no problem. It needs some noise reduction but it cleans up nicely. Keep in mind that I’ve only shot with it a few times so far. I got my 7D II on sale for $1300 so it was a no brainer for me.

      December 19, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      • Rick

        Thanks Tim

        December 20, 2015 at 1:27 am

      • Rick

        Thanks Tim. I’m reliable informed that Father Christmas has one in his sack. Happy holidays.

        December 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

  3. That would be a might fine back up camera. Then again I might tend to use it more on certain occasions.

    December 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    • Rick

      Absolutely – with that AF system its no longer a question of which to use for wild life & bird photography. Happy Christmas!

      December 25, 2015 at 3:37 am

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