It was a dark and stormy day ...

December 30, 2016

... not much of a day for photo opportunities. A good day to stay inside and play (practice??) with our photo gear.

 

I has just finished reading the latest users experiences with auto focusing of Birds In Flight on DPReview.com by the Micro 4/3 guys playing with the new Olympus E-M1 Mark II camera and their super telephoto lens. Most were seeing a big improvement over the older OM-D bodies including my E-M5 Mark I and Mark II cameras.

 

I dug out my cameras and looked out the window for moving targets. But it was as I said a dark and stormy day. Temperatures in the mid 30s with heavy overcast and blustery winds after a morning of early rain. The few birds I saw were hunkered down in the distant trees limbs trying to stay out of the wind and rain. The joys of a cold dreary winter day. Looking out the picture window in my office I spotted a squirrel spending the morning on the base of large limb in a nearby tree. The lighting conditions sucked but hey a squirrel in bad light is still better than no squirrel in good light. Consider this opportunity a practice session for focusing.

 

My first attempts were using my E-M5 Mark II with a 14-150 mm Olympus zoom lens. I shot this image handheld at 1/15 sec at f 5.6 and ISO 200 and about 120 mm of zoom (that's 240 mm equivalent focal length on a full frame sensor). Fortunately the squirrel wasn't moving but the tree was swaying in the gusty winds. I hoped to get a few shots before the  squirrel got nervous. He usually doesn't tolerate me pointing a large lens at him through an open window so I decide to just shoot through double panes of glass.

 

After a few minutes I switched to my E-M5 Mark I camera with my Olympus 75-300 mm zoom lens.

I also took the time to set up the camera on a tripod and took the below two images. For the image on the lower left I used 1/80 sec at f 6.7 and ISO 800 at 300 mm and for the image on the lower right I used 1/20 sec at f 6.7 and ISO 200 at 300 mm. In all I shot over 200 images over a 30 minute period. I experimented with all of the focusing modes on both cameras as well as the different focusing patterns.

 

By the end of my practice session the squirrel was totally ignoring me and getting ready to take a nap.

 

 

 

 

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