Sunday 24 July 2016

The new micro 4/3s Panasonic 100-400mm with The Olympus EM-1 and Black Hole Marsh

Its been a lovely week weatherwise with plenty of birds to enjoy even if not in large numbers.  There have been a few little ring plovers on Black Hole Marsh along with the usual black tailed godwits, redshanks, dunlin, lapwings and a large numbers of little egrets (38 being present at one time).    There were up to 11 common sandpipers and 3 green sandpipers earlier this week though the greens had gone the next morning.  The Oyster catchers continue to feed their young although they're growing fast now and a stunning marsh harrier with a striking cream coloured head has been present in the area for the last couple of days.   

Now, I've finally got my hands on the new panasonic 100-400mm lens which many of you will know comes out as a 200-800mm on the micro 4/3 system.  I've waited a long time for this lens which  arrived monday and I immediately paired it up with my Olympus EM-1 and left the nikon behind.  I know many are wondering how well it will work with an Olympus just like I was and it works exceptionally well.  Using only the in lens stabilisation it gives great results.  Here it is next to my nikon with latest 300mm plus 1.4 converter which I thought was small but look at the size of this little Panasonic lens!

What follows is a sample of the images obtained with this new combination.  This very tame robin likes to sit on peoples head!

It had to focus fast to get this active reed warbler in the shade and it didn't fair to badly considering.

One of the little ring plovers

A linnet always rather nice to see

The next 3 pictures were fairly distant and I would probably not have bothered to take them with my nikon set up.   This is the smaller of the 2 oyster catcher chicks with one of the parents.

This egret was across the river and half way up from the tower towards the bend.

and the cormorant too though not quite so far.

Ok so far so good but what about birds in flight.   As we know there is always a trade of between any systems and CSCs do not fair too well at this.  I was actually pleasantly surprised.  I averaged 
50-60% success rate at this though always in good light I must say.  Here are a few examples.

I even managed a swallow difficult at the best of times.

Pretty impressive and can only get better.  In poor light it won't fair so well but then neither does my nikon set up as I don't own any really fast lenses, and to be honest not many of us want to take photos in poor light anyway.  So, I'm impressed and have had a lot of fun with this little set up this week.  I have always found the Olympus a joy to use and as it is nearly 3 years old now I am eagerly awaiting the Olympus EM-1 mark 2, rumoured to be much faster focusing amongst other things and hopefully out later this year.  

Thursday 14 July 2016

Martins, Swifts And An Update.

For the last week or so Black hole Marsh has seen hundreds of young sand martins passing through.   With them a few house martins and swifts.

There has been a little bit of wader movement on the wetlands over the last week with increasing numbers of the usual black tailed godwits, curlew and redshank.  I've seen up to 6 lapwing though there's probably more and a distant greenshank.  The 2 oyster catcher chicks are doing well though one is quite a bit bigger than the other.  Mediterranean gulls are being seen on the river and there have been up to 4 little ring plovers on Black Hole Marsh. 

There have been and still are plenty of common sandpipers.

The shelduck have done well with plenty of young some of which are still quite small unlike these 2

And finally a not very good picture of 2 distant dunlin on the marsh today.