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  #1  
Old 4th August 2011
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Barn Swallow in flight

Today I tested the Bigma on a challenging task - Barn Swallows in flight.

The outcome of the test was not that great, but I was not expecting a major success.

The sheer angular velocity these birds are moving at, along with a quite erratic behavior makes it quite difficult to frame them. 500 mm is simply a too narrow angle, the likelihood of managing to point at the bird is just too low. From a practical point of view I found that something like 200mm gives a fair chance to locate the subject at the first (and only) opportunity I was given.

Then comes next challenge, getting and keeping the bird in focus. In that aspect the Sigma lens is unfortunately not that great. The AF system has a tendency to unlock and hunt again and usually ends up in the shortest focus range. At a few occasions it did lock and I managed one half-decent shot at reasonable distance.

1. Bigma @200 mm, F7.1, 1/1250 s, half crop

Not the greatest of shots. For some reason the wings look quite sharp but the body does not. Could it be motion blur and that in some way the motion of the wings must have compensated for the poor subject tracking from my side?

Eventually I conceded, I was not going to get that many more keepers. Before calling it a day I mounted the 50-200 SWD lens to get a reference. This lens made the task much easier, the fast AF SWD system helped a lot.

2. 50-200 SWD @200 mm, F5.6, 1/2500 s, quarter crop

I believe this one is quite OK. Even though the picture is magnified twice compared to the previous one sharpness is much better.


Thanks for looking
/Tord
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Old 5th August 2011
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Re: Barn Swallow in flight

The second picture isn't showing up, intersting to see the comparison!
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Old 5th August 2011
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Re: Barn Swallow in flight

The second picture isn't showing up, would be interesting to see the comparison!
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Old 5th August 2011
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Re: Barn Swallow in flight

And there the image was, with my edited post as a double... Must be my iPhone, I think the apple has rotted
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Old 5th August 2011
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Re: Barn Swallow in flight

Hi,

Strange, both show up on my computers. How does the post look like on yours?

/Tord
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Old 7th August 2011
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Re: Barn Swallow in flight

It showed up in the end, great shot! I'm impressed you caught swallows in flight!
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Old 7th August 2011
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Re: Barn Swallow in flight

Thanks,

It took some luck get a decent picture; spotting the bird, framing in viewfinder, following the trajectory, having focus rougly set... I would say half an hour per picture - and knowing there were so many swallows around...

/Tord
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Old 7th August 2011
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Re: Barn Swallow in flight

Haha, glad to hear it was hard work.

Still impressed. They are hard to frame!
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