White-Tailed Kites

Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve been trying for weeks to get a decent shot of a Kite that lives in Moss Landing without success. That Kite likes to perch on a tree out in a Marsh which is too far for my longest lens. Here’s the best I’ve been able to get. It’s soft, and there isn’t much detail.

I hoped by renting the Nikkor 300mm f4 I would have better luck. I took the rental lens with me
last Sat. while on the way to Merced National Wildlife Refuge with my friend Rainey. We made a detour to try and find some birds at another park and along the way we spotted this Kite perched on the branch. I was busy taking continuous shots of it then I noticed it opened its beak, then I heard it call then in came this other Kite! While this photo isn’t as sharp as I would like it to be I’m thrilled it’s decent. You can see a little more detail, but it’s still too far away for this lens plus extender. Also when using an Extender there is generaly a loss of sharpness. My Aperture was open all the way so the Kite flying in isn’t in focus since I wasn’t expecting him I was focused on the perched one.
One thing I’ll do differently the next time is stop the lens down to f8. I expect the clarity will improve a bit.

This is the 3rd time I’ve rented the Nikkor 300mm f4 lens. Each time I rent it I want one of my own! It’s a great lens. It produces wonderful colors and details if you can get a bit closer, and the Bokeh is yummy. I do wish it had image stablization though. Hand-holding this lens isn’t easy so I’m using a tripod, or a pillow when I am shooting out of the car window.

I do love the thrill of the chase so, I’ll continue to look for Kites maybe the next time they’ll be a bit closer.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm + Tamron 1.4x extender | f5.6| 1/2000 sec| ISO 500| Manual Mode| Hand-held

A penny for your thoughts...

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