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It's All Happening At The Zoo


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#1 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 07 2009 - 02:01 AM

Last weekend, we went to the Detroit Zoo. I tried showing a few shots in the thread (my first time trying to post images directly in the new fourm). The rest can be found at http://smerryfield.s...583876523_PQoG2

A wolverine. Go Blue!

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#2 of 177 Sam Posten

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Posted July 07 2009 - 06:15 AM

Fun shots!  What were you shooting with?  Last time I was at a zoon I left the DSLR home and shot stills with my camcorder.  Convenient but frustrating.  Not sure what I will bring next time I go to a zoo.

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#3 of 177 DavidJ

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Posted July 07 2009 - 06:38 AM

I really like the shot of the snake, but I cant figure out what the polar bear has in its mouth.  The Wolverine is one mean looking animal.  Too bad it doesn't have the speed of the southeastern and Californian members of the weasel family like the sea otter and black-footed ferret.  I hear that's why it always loses in bowl games. :)



#4 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 07 2009 - 07:13 AM

Sam,

I was shooting with my Canon 40D dSLR. Most of the shots were with my 70-200mm f/4 IS lens (a few also had a 1.4x TC attached for extra reach). The indoor polar bear shots were with a 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, and the penguin and reptile house shots were with a 85mm f/1.8 lens. I have a Lowepro FlipSide backpack that works very well for a three lens + accessories travel kit.

David, the polar bear had some sort of toy that looked like a large bone in his mouth. This was the first time we saw the bears swimming while we were in the tube -- last year they never came into the water when we were there. It was a great viewpoint to watch them.

The wolverine was a first for us, too. It was sleeping in its cave last year -- just like the football team. /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif Hopefully his active demeanor this time is a good omen for this football season. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif


#5 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 07 2009 - 01:31 PM

David,

Here is a better shot of the polar bear with the toy bone in his mouth.

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#6 of 177 DavidJ

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Posted July 07 2009 - 02:42 PM

Cool.  I can now see that it's a bone.  I haven't been to the Detroit Zoo in a long, long time.  I'm guessing it has changed a lot since then.



#7 of 177 pamela12

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Posted July 07 2009 - 08:36 PM

ohh wow some great shots of photography friends! can anyone show me a shot of Dolphin?


#8 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 07 2009 - 11:39 PM

David,

The new Arctic exhibit is very cool. There is an underwater tube that allows you to view the polar bears and seals swimming. It's similar to some aquariums that have such tubes for sharks, etc.

Sorry, Pamela, but there were no dolphins. Here is a seal, though.

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#9 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted May 31 2011 - 04:45 AM

Instead of starting a new thread, I decided to just use this existing one. We made another visit to the Detroit Zoo over the holiday weekend, and it was my first opportunity to try the combination of my Canon 7D, 100-400L IS lens and Manfrotto carbon fiber monopod. I wanted to practice some before our Yellowstone trip this summer, so this was a good opportunity.


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#10 of 177 Carlo Medina

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Posted June 01 2011 - 07:15 AM

Great shots and congratulations on your 7D! I love mine.


I'm currently agonizing whether to buy the EF 70-200 f/4 L IS USM for my trip to France in the fall. Part of me wants the glass. Part of me wants to travel light since I'll have roughly 2 weeks split between Paris and the Riviera. My walkaround lens is the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM which is heavy enough (some call it nearly L-lens quality) for every day shooting and low light museum shooting. I'm trying to figure out how often I would be using the 70-200 while traveling, and if it's enough to justify purchasing it and lugging it around. My girlfriend and I love to walk - last time we were in France we walked maybe 4-5 miles a day - and having another pound or so on my body (to what is already a 4-5 lbs camera+lens) would start to weigh on me.


Any advice would be welcome.



#11 of 177 Sam Posten

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Posted June 01 2011 - 09:21 AM

My advice would be to buy a D7000 and the nikon 70-300 to go with it =p  Terrific image quality, low cost, and ultra low weight for the range.


Anywho, major Posted Image to Scott's shots.  It's hard to make zoo shots look natural but you nailed these.


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#12 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted June 01 2011 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Sam. I was pleased with how several of the shots turned out. The practice should help for our Yellowstone trip, and we are planning another zoo visit before then (we bought an annual membership).


Carlo, if you are worried about weight, I've read decent reviews on the EF-S 55-250 lens. While it certainly doesn't compare to the 70-200 f/4 IS, it's quite inexpensive, small and light weight. If you do not think you will be using a telephoto much, it may suit your needs.


That being said, I would never get rid of my 70-200 f/4 IS. It's an incredible lens, and the size / weight do not bother me at all (it's smaller and lighter than my 100-400L). I use a telephoto quite a lot when we travel, though -- hence why I own both the 70-200 and 100-400. The 70-200's constant f/4 maximum aperture matches up very well with the excellent high ISO performance of the 7D, so you can use the combo in some lower light situations that used to require faster telephoto. I even used mine for some indoor ice hockey. The shot below was f/4, 1/1000sec and ISO 6400. I never could have done this with my old 40D -- I had to use my 85mm f/1.8 at the hockey games with that body.


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#13 of 177 Carlo Medina

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Posted June 01 2011 - 01:24 PM

Hi Scott - I do have the 55-250 and it is "decent". I was looking at the 70-200 f/4L IS because it's stellar. I looked at my last trip to France in 2006 with my point and shoot and my biggest regret was not coming back with better pics (the low light pics from the P&S were atrocious). That's why on this trip back I'll be bringing my 7D and the 17-55 f/2.8. I've been practicing around local churches and museums for the last year or so, perfecting my low light, indoor, no flash capabilities.


And maybe I won't have the need for a great telephoto zoom on this trip. I can see the benefits of the L zoom for indoor sports like hockey or basketball, or zoo photography when you need to get zoom in close to the subject. My photography in Paris and Nice will mostly be building exteriors, which will likely be towards the 17mm range, and low-light indoor museums and churches (ahh the St. Chapelle stained glass!), which would again be in the 17-55 range utilizing the f/2.8 and the IS. I don't plan on going to any zoos or indoor sporting events, and my telephoto needs will likely be limited (as I think through it) so perhaps my existing 55-250 will suffice. It takes good pictures but you can tell it's lacking that "tack sharpness" that the 70-200L is capable of.


Maybe when I get home I'll look through the 900+ photos I took in 2006 and see how many of them would have benefited from a 70-200 zoom. I'm going to guess not many, and so I may have my answer right there...



#14 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted June 02 2011 - 01:47 AM



Originally Posted by Carlo Medina 


Maybe when I get home I'll look through the 900+ photos I took in 2006 and see how many of them would have benefited from a 70-200 zoom. I'm going to guess not many, and so I may have my answer right there...



That is probably the best way to go about making a decision. A telephoto can also be a great tool for landscape shots as well as wildlife, sports, etc., but only if that is how you like to shoot. If you tend towards the wide end of your focal ranges for most of your compositions, then spending $1,000 on a telephoto may not be the best way to invest in your kit.


If you decide you want to upgrade your 55-250mm, though, the 70-200 f/4L IS is a terrific general purpose telephoto.  It's not really long enough for serious wildlife shots, but does take a 1.4x teleconvertor very well to get you some additional reach. I take this lens and maybe a 1.4x TC when I do not think I'll need the extra reach, and the 100-400L instead for wildlife-focused outings and trips. The 70-200 beats the 100-400L in all aspects except for focal length.



#15 of 177 Carlo Medina

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Posted June 02 2011 - 03:59 AM

Hi Scott - thanks again for the advice. I am familiar with how telephotos can also achieve landscape, but as you say, I think my personal shooting tendencies go towards wide vista type shots. Since I won't be seeing much wildlife or sports, or taking portrait type shots (something the 70-200L excels at based on shots I've seen) I think I will likely just pack my 17-55 since we're efforting to travel as light as possible. As I said, my primary targets are going to be historic buildings, churches, landmarks, museums, and lowlight/indoor/flash-prohibited works of art and architecture.



#16 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted June 02 2011 - 06:55 AM

If you are going to be taking some interior architecture shots, you may want to consider the other side of the focal range of your 17-55mm. An ultra-wide angle lens can be handy for some of those shots, and they are a lot smaller and lighter to pack than a nice telephoto. Personally, my Canon 10-22mm doesn't get a lot of use, but there are times that it's the only lens in my bag to get certain shots. I'll usually pack it "just in case".



#17 of 177 Carlo Medina

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Posted June 02 2011 - 07:26 AM

Yeah I'd like a wider lens, but most of my indoor shots are also low light handheld (won't be traveling with a tripod, might buy a gorillapod style since it's smaller and lighter...) so the 10-22 at f/3.5-5.6 might prove to be a challenge to get sharp, low light, fast shutter speed shots, especially since it doesn't have IS and I don't have the world's steadiest hands.


I have to be selective with my purchases, I will at some point want to get the 70-200 f/4L and also a speedlite 530ex ii.



#18 of 177 Scott Merryfield

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Posted June 02 2011 - 07:52 AM

Tokina makes a 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, if you are looking for a fast, low light ultra wide lens.


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#19 of 177 Patrick_S

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Posted June 02 2011 - 07:10 PM

Those are some really nice zoo pictures.


Those make me want to go to the Zoo next week to look as some animals. Of course the best zoo closets to me as a bad rep for letting the tigers eat people. (Just kidding, besides those losers deserved their fate.)





#20 of 177 Bob Graz

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Posted June 04 2011 - 01:46 AM

HJhttp://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


My son lives in Cincinnati. We made our first trip to visit him about a month ago and went to the Cincinnati Zoo. It was a beautiful sunny 75 degree day. You've got to love the zoo...We also visited the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton. It's a must see if you have interest in military or aviation history. Thanks Scott for starting a zoo post...








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