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Olympus OM-D E-M5 mounted with Pentax F 50mm 1.7 (Cowbird in Flight)
Lens: Pentax F 50MM 1.7 Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Photo Location: Porter, IN ISO: 1250 Shutter Speed: 1/4000s Aperture: F2 
Posted By: Lmcfarrin, 08-11-2018, 04:12 PM

Olympus OM-D E-M5 mounted with Pentax F 50mm 1.7 (Cowbird in Flight)

Last edited by Lmcfarrin; 06-19-2019 at 07:30 PM.
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08-12-2018, 01:29 AM   #2
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Interesting picture! Would you mind sharing your technique for capturing these I assume using manual focus?
08-12-2018, 04:40 AM   #3
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Yes, I'm using manual focus. In regards technique, it took me two years to develop this shooting style and since I now have an e-book worth of technique I will be vanilla with it;

1. Learn the birds habits, and by doing you can react to their movements using anticipation (too fast, too small, and too unpredictable using auto focus). Approach the photo capture process like a hunter.

2. To get these unique rarely to never seen perspectives I recommend lenses no wider than 50MM to 300MM. For the most uniqueness 50MM to approximately 135MM. The closer you get your camera to the birds the wider the lens needs to be, and the need for faster frames per second. The farther away you get, the more megapixels you'll need to UNAVOIDABLE heavy cropping (birds are so small).

3. Accept the fact that what is considered a good photo in regards to contemporary bird photography is not going to be the same as this style (bird not moving = high feather detail, and more control over camera settings). I compare the shooting style differences as sniper style shooting vs. assault rifle style shooting. I'm more interested in the action of the unforeseen than the usual evaluations of whats a "good photo" - My pics usually display more noise because of high iso, fast shutter speeds (unavoidable because their is a minimum shutter speed necessary to freeze these birds motions - birds travel at about 14 to 20 feet per second and even to go from sunny to cloud cover will affect iso).

4. Use a Hide

5. Tripods and wireless triggers

6. Be willing to sit patiently from the hide from dawn to dusk.

7. Dont under estimate any camera's photographic abilities. I prefer cameras 24mp, 8 fps and above. Once you use the camera's manual focus ALL lenses come into play. As of my current camera line up, the best performer with the highest keeper rate is the Sony RX10 III. I just bought an A6000 to add to the mix. K-5 believe it or not takes better resolved pictures than the K-3 II and handles noise better, but K-5 has a slower processor. Olympus E-M5 takes outstanding photos, but the 16mp during crop can become an issue. At some point I'll obtain Pen F, and successor to RX10 III. The days of the negative stereotypes about the point and shoot/ 1 inch sensor is over. The RX10 III is alot better than it is given credit. I would say M 4/3 is the most versatile interchangeable lens system. Because of the 2 times crop and use of adapters you can actually create your own focal zoom lengths.

8. Highly recommend camera with tilt/fully articulating screen.

9. Most important, create your own definition of a good photo and you free yourself from becoming a "fanboy" - it's the end result that matters, and you'll realize it's ok to use different camera brands.

I'm a Pentaxian by heart, but Sony is winning. I think the KP and the K-3 III can/ put Pentax as better comparable performer. I dont have a KP, but my research of it makes believe it it would out perform the K-5 and K-3 II for my style of birding.

MY GOAL = "Be the Leader of the Pack to bring Manual Focus back."


Lawrence McFarrin of Lawrence -M- Action Photography

Last edited by Lmcfarrin; 08-12-2018 at 04:56 AM.
08-12-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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It looks like a wild dance move. Great capture!


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