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A couple of chickadees
Lens: A-400 Camera: K-3 Photo Location: My back yard ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/125s Aperture: F5.6 
Posted By: normhead, 01-09-2015, 02:16 PM

K-3, A-400, ƒ5.6 1/125s and 1/160s, ISO 400 cross posted everywhere (A club, K-3 images, show us your bokeh etc.)

It's been -30 here the last few nights, so I have to go out and feed the birds every day. You don't want to let your little feathered friends down when the weather gets brutal. I try and spend some time out there taking a few image. My hands froze real quick. But the birds seem enthusiastic....




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01-09-2015, 05:52 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Very nice shots normhead!

I went to my parents home in Romania this winter for about 3 weeks and it was a very similar situation. -20 Celsius during night and I fed the little birds every day. They indeed seem pretty enthusiastic but I am reading a book right now called "Winter World" by Bernd Heinrich in which he describes how different animals survive the winter ranging from hibernation with -2 Celsius body temperature, or hypercooling in some frogs to -10 -15 Celsius in some frogs. In any case, the trick that these little birds do to survive are that during the day they accumulate fat - a few grams, but enough for them to resist for the night. And they do this by enthusiastically foraging all day long. Also, chickadees are very flexible with the sleeping spot so they find all sort of enclosed spaces to spend the night in. I personally watched them feeding and I noticed that they cache most of the seeds they take from the feeder which I would call as another trick - with long term benefit. I am pretty amazed by how they can put their body to such fattening-defattening (correct english?) cycles and even more amazed at how such tiny creatures can remember many caches.

I never get tired of wathing them, even if they are probably the bird I see the most.

This holiday was quite a prolific one for me: I managed to get shots of chickadees, jays, woodpeckers and some seed-eaters(fringillidae) mainly from my window, the rest from my garden.

How happy are you with the A400?

---------- Post added 01-10-15 at 01:55 AM ----------

One more thing: they burn fat and produce body heat by shivering when body temperature gets too low. Obviously it's uncontrolled but that's they way it works for them. Must be tough to get through the night like that...!
01-09-2015, 07:30 PM   #3
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That's lots of good information, I'll put up the pictures, you write the books.....
The A-400 is problematic. It's a consumer grade lens, it's 5.6, it purple fringes, but I got mine for about $500 and where are you going to get a 400mm lens for $500? It leaves the $1100 Sigma 120-400 I owned a couple copies of in the dust. It is not an A*, it's not pro-grade, but it is a prime and probably better than any consumer zoom. Because it's manual focus it's also quite light and very portable. It's what you'd expect from a consumer prime, if anyone made consumer primes anymore. It's not a DA*, but pretty darn good. And there is no DA*400.
01-09-2015, 10:44 PM   #4
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Great photos, and great info.

01-10-2015, 07:52 AM   #5
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Fantastic second shot Norm. Warm up will ya!
01-10-2015, 08:01 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Fantastic second shot Norm. Warm up will ya!
A friend of ours just got back from Cuba.... I'm guessing that's what it would take to warm up.
01-10-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That's lots of good information, I'll put up the pictures, you write the books.....
The A-400 is problematic. It's a consumer grade lens, it's 5.6, it purple fringes, but I got mine for about $500 and where are you going to get a 400mm lens for $500? It leaves the $1100 Sigma 120-400 I owned a couple copies of in the dust. It is not an A*, it's not pro-grade, but it is a prime and probably better than any consumer zoom. Because it's manual focus it's also quite light and very portable. It's what you'd expect from a consumer prime, if anyone made consumer primes anymore. It's not a DA*, but pretty darn good. And there is no DA*400.
I found one because of Norm's work with his. Two other points are a long focus throw which develops a prefocus positioning skill and a decent balance for hand held shots with K3/5/7 as Norm alluded to. Old school feel and build…..love it.
01-10-2015, 08:18 AM   #8
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Aw heck, I love your bird shots. And you're a bit colder than we are.

01-10-2015, 08:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukulele Quote
I found one because of Norm's work with his. Two other points are a long focus throw which develops a prefocus positioning skill and a decent balance for hand held shots with K3/5/7 as Norm alluded to. Old school feel and build…..love it.
The use of using an manual focus lens, actually designed to be manually focused is very different than using manual focus on a lens designed to be automatically focused. The short rotation of an AF lens makes it impossible to focus no matter what focus screen etc. you use. The manual focus lens is easy to focus on APS-c even though it wa designed to be used on 35mm film.


QuoteOriginally posted by jac Quote
Aw heck, I love your bird shots. And you're a bit colder than we are.
I suppose that makes you happy...
Well at least my misery is keeping some folks in good spirits... there had to be an upside somewhere.
01-10-2015, 08:58 AM   #10
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Nice shots! I'm sure the appreciate the food during these cold months!
01-10-2015, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Gotzy Quote
Nice shots! I'm sure the appreciate the food during these cold months!
They are very appreciative. I take out a small bowl of chopped nuts and seed every day and refill the small feeders, some of these guys land on my hat whileI'm working out there. within minutes of putting out the "treat" there will be 15 birds out there chirping merrily and scooting back and forth.
01-10-2015, 09:31 AM   #12
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The 2nd shot is really excellent! Great job.
01-10-2015, 09:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
The 2nd shot is really excellent! Great job.
That guys is just above the feeder on a branch checking out the "other bird" situation at the feeder. I think I like that one, because He's clearly engaged in some kind of thought process, as opposed to the more 'la , la, la" look of the top image. But, I like the DOF better on the top one. I never really go for that "one eye in focus" thing.
01-10-2015, 10:19 AM   #14
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Love those Norm! I can never get their eyes, they are just so dark that I always miss them. They are one of my favorite little birdies, always so active and vibrant!
I appreciate that you feed them....I spend a ton on feeding the birds here...and squirrels. I came in this morning from feeding and was complaining about the cold out there....34F......then I read this and feel ashamed...but not much, I hate any cold!

Otis is insisting that I mention the need to feed the poor little "starving" squirrels too. I told him I think you do already, but he wanted to make certain.

Regards!
01-10-2015, 10:30 AM   #15
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The squirrels seem to be happy vacuuming up what the chickadees toss on the ground, and you'd be surprised how fast you acclimatize to cold.
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