These were taken from my blind with E-5, 300/2.8 & 2X tc, tripod, cropped.

In the last few weeks, I paid several visits to the nest of Red-tailed Hawks, thereby showing some of growth stages and activity in the nest. The second shot shows a youngster trying to swallow a vole "whole"; it hadn't yet learned how to "slice & dice." The next to the last photo shows one of the birds that has moved a bit away from the nest and is ready to try its wings. (The young ones will hang around within a couple hundred yards of the nest and the adults will continue to feed them for some time.) As always, I am struck by the rapid growth of birds from hatch to fledge.

All pics, except the last, taken from a blind (great to see what wildlife does when they have no idea you are there), with the E-5, 300/2.8, EC-20 2X teleconverter, tripod & cable release. Sizeable crops.

Took the first one (with the "landing-gear" down) with the E-5, 300/2.8 lens & EC-20 (2X) teleconverter, swinging on tripod. That one is of a male. The other one, a female, was with the 150/2.0, the 2X tc, and hand-held, IS1. Both pics had sizeable crops.

Looks like Olympus has applied for a new patent for a 500mm f/4 IS lens for m4/3

The specs are:

  • Focal length f = 499.265 325.022mm
  • Fno. 4.059 2.630
  • Angle of view 2ω = 2.6 °
  • Image height Y = 11.15mm
  • FB 66.633mm
  • Total length 337.887mm

I wonder if its a pipe dream, or something that may be reality in a couple of years? Anyway, for those of us living in less exotic countries where animals are small this kind of range would be a godsend and would make things very interesting indeed

Nicaraguan Rally Documented...

by Robert Watcher

... then I was spotted and included in the event.

The Waiting Game

by Robert Watcher

The Waiting Game - Rivas, Nicaragua

I have an Olympus E300. Sure, it's a decade old now, but it still produces really great photos. Recently I've been given the opportunity to take some real estate interior shots for the agent that my wife works for, so I jumped right in. Prior to this I just had the standard zoom lenses plus a nifty 25mm prime pancake (which I adore, incidentally), but I knew these wouldn't cut it for wide angle shots. So I invested in a Samyang 14mm f2.8 manual lens (also goes by the brand name Rockinon). I'm really happy with this lens, even if I do have to post process my RAW images through PT Lens to correct converging verticals, but other than that the images are pin sharp! The trouble is that it's just not wide enough. The agent is happy enough with my shots but has directed my attention to the professional ones that have done which look to have about another 20 degrees viewing angle. I think I was misinformed by the sales assistant on the Samyang about the viewport angle. Even with my research it's difficult to determine what I actually have here. I initially thought this lens would give me about 100 degrees. I based this on the E300 being a full frame sensor. But the link that I just found, and posted above, seems to indicate I've only got 76.24 degrees.

So if I want to get into this game properly it looks like I'm up for another lens. There are budget constraints though. I'd like to get out of this for about $500 if possible. What's a good quality truly wide-angle lens within my budget for the Olympus four-thirds (not micro 4/3) mount? I don't mind fully manual lenses like the Samyang, in fact I'm quickly discovering that I actually prefer them.

Thanks, least, I couldn't help making that connection with the imgage of these young Great Horned Owls in the nest. (Thought I was done posting owls, but I forgot I had this shot, so here it is.)
E-5, 300/2.8 & EC-20, tripod, cable release.

[FONT=book antiqua]So yesterday was a beautiful day in the Flathead Valley of Montana. I was driving on highway 35 a little east of Kalispell and passed by the McWennegar Slough of the Flathead River. According to the Audubon Society, it's "home

to 20 species of mammals and 170 species of birds, including Trumpeter Swans, Soras, Virginia Rails, Great Horned Owls, as well as river otters and beavers." So I spotted this crane-type bird (sorry, I know nothing about birds) foraging within about 200 yards of the parking area. I pulled in, set up my tripod, and attached my mirror lens (OM 500mm f.8) to my E5. Windy conditions, too, so getting a good focus (all manual) at this distance proved to be a real challenge. I can't say I did well, but at least got somewhat usable results. All adju


[FONT=Open Sans][FONT=book antiqua]stments made to the raw files in LR 6. I have the TC2 & 50-200, so I could have used that combo, but I know from past experience that it couldn't provide the reach needed to do this shot. This is one of the situations where I wish I owned the Sigmonster 300mm-800mm lens.[/FONT]


[FONT=Open Sans].[/FONT]


These are from two different nests. Everything has "flown the coup/nest" now. One thing stands out from all the owl shooting I've done the last two springs: there is a huge difference among the adults in terms of their tolerating people. Most will take off almost on sight, but others, including the one in the close-up shots here, are quite relaxed and don't seem to mind the human presence, even without a blind. That variation no doubt contributes to the owl's adapting to various circumstances and to its being the most widespread --throughout both North and South America.
Shot with the E-5. The close-ups were taken in bright light with the sun high (thus, difficult to get light in the eyes), first one with the 150mm F2 and the other with the 300/2.8, both hand-held. Last shot (of the youngster in the nest) with the 300/2.8 & 2X tc. All cropped, of course.