Yesterday I thought I would try my hand at photographing the hummingbirds that frequent our yard. This first attempt was kind of a half baked attempt at it but the results were interesting. The set up was my Canon 5D Mk3 with the Canon 300 F2.8 L with the Canon 1.4 extender on a Gitzo tripod with the Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. The lens and the extender are vintage Canon being almost 20 years old and were purchased with with my original EOS 1 set up back in 1995.
I started shooting late in subdued light which was the first problem. This operation really takes bight sunlight as I was shooting at 1/8000 sec. wide open at ISO 12,800. So I was trying to see what the camera could do more than capture the birds. I was surprised to see that for the most part the resolution held up at 12,800 (still grainy) even after some post processing in Lightroom. It's alright for the screen but not so much for printing.
I moved the focus area to the left and down a bit to give myself a better chance of focusing with the bird to the left in the frame. It's a good thing the Hummingbird hovered for a split second so I could nail the focus. It was a challenge. Next time it will be about the bird not the camera. I will do it in the late afternoon with tons of light coming through my yard and set up some perches and flowers for them to make it look somewhat real. In bright sunlight the colors on the bird will be much more vibrant. Stay tuned for more.