WOLD RANGER RAILWAYS - Railway photography around Yorkshire and the UK

Friday, 6 December 2013

A cold winter's day in the garden

After testing my father's camera on Wednesday (see Stormy winds and testing the Nikon D7100) I felt a need to get out and compare it to my Canon gear, and with gorgeously clear winter skies today I set myself up in my new mini hide and enjoyed an hour or so of watching the birds come and go from the feeders which hang approximately eight metres away from my hidden position. A still brisk and very cold wind from the NW blew straight in at me and made my eyes water but despite the discomfort I couldn't have been happier watching the Tits, Robins and Finches come and go :-)

Robin on one of the seed feeders (Canon 7D / 400mm f5.6L)

Blue Tit

A pair of Blue Tits

A Blue Tit perched deep within cover

Initially I had hesitated about doing such a camera gear comparison, fearful that such a test might make me regret my decision to switch over to Canon this year, but after a few photos my fears soon became dispelled and the twin combination of the 7D and the 400mm f5.6L performed faultlessly with any dodgy pics being entirely down to me rather than the camera itself. Though I still prefer the ease of changing camera settings on Nikon cameras I have nevertheless slowly begun to adapt to Canon's slightly awkward ergonomics and the test revealed just how much better and faster the 7D's autofocus is compared to the slightly hesitant system in the D7100, while the burst rate and buffer size were also significantly better despite the fact I was shooting in RAW (I used Jpeg the other day with the D7100).

Great Tit

Apologies for all the Blue Tit pics but they are the most common visitors to the bird feeders

Grey Squirrel

An alert Squirrel descending a tree

With a day of train photography planned for tomorrow (as well as maybe some snow up on the Moors) I also took the opportunity to test out one of my father's ancient Canon lenses from his SLR days, the Canon 70-210mm f4, mainly in the hope that it would make a useful zoom lens when photographing various railway scenes. The lens has quite a good reputation but sadly my dad's lens had previously suffered a pretty hard fall and this has undoubtedly compromised it with image quality being pretty poor away from the image center. However fitted to my 1D it performed reasonably well this afternoon, with autofocus being pretty quick for such an old lens (though it is quite noisy) but whether I feel confident enough to use it tomorrow is another matter and I think I'll be using my tried and tested D90 & the 70-300mm combo instead.

Despite the cold weather today autumn hues can still be found here and there
(Canon 1D Mk.IIN / 70-210mm f4)

More rich autumn colours

A pot of heather outside the front door enjoying the cold but pleasant sunshine today

Apologies for the two posts today and all the camera stuff but I know some people do find this info useful, maybe.... :-) Besides I expect I'll be able to bore you all over again with some trains instead by the end of the weekend !!!