Lock and Dam 14: Iowa

JeffroJeffro I'd rather be shooting...Posts: 1,909Registered Users Major grins
edited February 16, 2019 in Wildlife

I haven't spent as much time with my camera, for the last few years actually, as I should. Over the last few months I've been trying to get back into taking "photo safaris' on my day off. I purchased a Canon 1.4x Extender a few weeks ago, to give my Canon 300L IS f4 a little more reach. I have a 2x that I use on my Canon 70-200L IS f2.8, but it's no on the 300.

Today I went to lock and dam 14 in Iowa, for the first time. There were at least 2 dozen bald eagles visible at all times, but they weren't really cooperating, when it came to getting fishing shots. The sun was also back lighting them if and when they did fly over the river. The birds flying in and out of the trees, behind the parking lot, were in great light, with blue skies. I did what I could to practice with the new extender. As the hours passed, the clouds moved in. It was quite cold today as well. 10 degrees was the highest I saw....yesterday was in the low 40's......ah, you gotta love winter in Illinois / Iowa.

I'd really like to replace my old, battered and bruised, Canon 7D. Maybe the 7D Mark III will be released soon.

Canon 7D
Canon 300L f4
Canon 1.4x Extender

Always lurking, sometimes participating. :D

Comments

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,497Registered Users Major grins

    Superb!

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,383Super Moderators moderator

    Well done! Get a 7D Mk II - its a great body for wildlife w Canon lenses. I've been waiting to hear about a 7D Mk III too, but no love yet. Maybe later this year yet, we can hope!

    My spouse and I were at Lock 18 in February 10 years ago and we need to go back. Ww had a great time, seeing trees full of hundreds of eagles, and eagles floating down the river on ice floes.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • JeffroJeffro I'd rather be shooting... Posts: 1,909Registered Users Major grins

    @pathfinder said:
    Well done! Get a 7D Mk II - its a great body for wildlife w Canon lenses. I've been waiting to hear about a 7D Mk III too, but no love yet. Maybe later this year yet, we can hope!

    My spouse and I were at Lock 18 in February 10 years ago and we need to go back. Ww had a great time, seeing trees full of hundreds of eagles, and eagles floating down the river on ice floes.

    I've been thinking about upgrading to the 7D Mk II, but I fear the Mk III would come out right after I buy it....lol.

    Always lurking, sometimes participating. :D
  • JeffroJeffro I'd rather be shooting... Posts: 1,909Registered Users Major grins

    I ventured back over to lock and dam 14 yesterday, but struck out. There weren't any bald eagles in the area. I decided to drive up The Great River Road to Savanna IL, stopping along the way to see what I could shoot. I found a few bald eagles along the way, but only two that were close enough to photograph.

    Here are a few shots I took, not cropped. These are screen grabs, so they may not look as good as a direct link to the photos....which I don't seem to be able to do.

    I'm still learning this new set up, so I tried a few different settings throughout the day. These birds are quick, which makes tracking them quite interesting.

    Always lurking, sometimes participating. :D
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,383Super Moderators moderator
    edited February 23, 2019

    I think these are superb captures for a 7D. I especially like #3.

    I appreciate your concern that purchasing a 7D Mk II might get upstaged, shortly, by the introduction of a 7D MK III - but I think you will find the upgrade to the 7D Mk II is a really big step up from the 7D - the files are nicer and the AF is significantly better. I'm pretty sure you could find used 7D Mk IIs pretty reasonable while waiting for the Mk III too.

    Don't get me wrong the 7 D is a fine body and takes nice images but its AF system is a major step beneath the Mk II's AF. For many purposes that would not matter, but for birds in flight, I think you would appreciate the much faster acquisition of AF. Just sayin'.

    You seem to be doing pretty darn good with the tools you have, and that's what really counts. Here are some of mine from a decade ago when was first starting to chase birds flight, with a 50D and a 5D Mk II - neither of which I would recommend for wildlife today - https://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Animals/Locke-18-Burlington-Iowa-February-2009/

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • JeffroJeffro I'd rather be shooting... Posts: 1,909Registered Users Major grins

    @pathfinder said:
    I think these are superb captures for a 7D. I especially like #3.

    I appreciate your concern that purchasing a 7D Mk II might get upstaged, shortly, by the introduction of a 7D MK III - but I think you will find the upgrade to the 7D Mk II is a really big step up from the 7D - the files are nicer and the AF is significantly better. I'm pretty sure you could find used 7D Mk IIs pretty reasonable while waiting for the Mk III too.

    Don't get me wrong the 7 D is a fine body and takes nice images but its AF system is a major step beneath the Mk II's AF. For many purposes that would not matter, but for birds in flight, I think you would appreciate the much faster acquisition of AF. Just sayin'.

    You seem to be doing pretty darn good with the tools you have, and that's what really counts.

    Thanks for the feed back. The faster / better AF with the 7D Mk II is one of the things that keeps tugging at me. Everything I read / watch about the Mk II says "buy one!". I don't currently have a good second body so the 7D would make a good second body, so it wouldn't get tossed aside either. I would however love to have a full frame too.......choices......

    Always lurking, sometimes participating. :D
  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Major grins MauiPosts: 822Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 24, 2019

    @Jeffro said:

    @pathfinder said:
    I think these are superb captures for a 7D. I especially like #3.

    I appreciate your concern that purchasing a 7D Mk II might get upstaged, shortly, by the introduction of a 7D MK III - but I think you will find the upgrade to the 7D Mk II is a really big step up from the 7D - the files are nicer and the AF is significantly better. I'm pretty sure you could find used 7D Mk IIs pretty reasonable while waiting for the Mk III too.

    Don't get me wrong the 7 D is a fine body and takes nice images but its AF system is a major step beneath the Mk II's AF. For many purposes that would not matter, but for birds in flight, I think you would appreciate the much faster acquisition of AF. Just sayin'.

    You seem to be doing pretty darn good with the tools you have, and that's what really counts.

    Thanks for the feed back. The faster / better AF with the 7D Mk II is one of the things that keeps tugging at me. Everything I read / watch about the Mk II says "buy one!". I don't currently have a good second body so the 7D would make a good second body, so it wouldn't get tossed aside either. I would however love to have a full frame too.......choices......

    Firstly, these images you've created are fabulous! Thank you for spending time on yourself, and then sharing it with the rest of us. Truly gorgeous captures, and you're definitely squeezing that 7D for all it's worth. Great work!

    Now, about the camera stuff...

    I'll lead with the awkward part - I have a 7Dmk2 posted for sale in the Canon section, and I'll make you a great deal on it. But that's not the main point of what I'm about to say. In fact, its not the point at all for this next part.

    Definitely upgrade to something newer. Pick up a 7Dmk2, or even an 80D. I personally recommend the 7Dmk2 as it's a much more robust camera, with great weather sealing & a strong magnesium body, whereas the 80D is plastic. But either way, you won't regret it. I shot on a 7D for a while, then upgraded after a few years to 7Dmk2 and it was night & day difference in image quality & low light performance. And if you're shooting long glass through a converter, you're gonna want all the low light cleanliness you can get, for those cloudy dark days and dark backgrounds.

    As for fearing that Canon will release a 7Dmk3 sometime, I just don't see it happening. They're working their mirrorless game right now in preparation for the masses who will inevitably jump to that platform, a number which is growing every day.

  • JeffroJeffro I'd rather be shooting... Posts: 1,909Registered Users Major grins

    I did manage to get over to the dam one more time, and got lucky to find a few eagles still in the area.

    I wanted to get a "catch" shot, but I saw this eagle flying towards me from far off. I could tell it had dinner in it's talons. The crazy bird darn near flew right over me....way too close for the set up I had.

    Spring is in the air, the eagles are on the move, but there are still some around, so hopefully I'm not finished with them for the year. I can almost guarantee that I'll have a new camera by next winter.

    Always lurking, sometimes participating. :D
  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,497Registered Users Major grins

    Good stuff!

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