"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A Successful Sparrowhawk

I glanced out of a house window this morning to see a male sparrowhawk on the lawn plucking a small bird. It stayed for several minutes before flying off with its prey held in its talons. I see a sparrowhawk in the garden several times a week but its rare to see it actually be successful in its hunting.

I did manage to get a photo - but please bear in mind this was taken through glass, at a distance of about 25/30 feet, with a 14-42 mm lens with flash and has been heavily cropped so its a very poor record shot!!

The rubbishy photo above has reminded me of a decision I need to make soon (my birthday and Christmas are rapidly approaching!!) concerning an addition to my photographic equipment. I really would like to be able to take some photos of birds and experiment with macro photography but my camera an olmpus e-420 digital slr does not have image stabilisation. I am, therefore trying to decide whether its worth spending several hundred pounds on an olympus 70 -300 mm zoom or possibly an 18-180 mm zoom or would lack of IS make these lens a waste of time. Alternatively, I could forget the zoom lens for now and buy a macro lens for insect, moth and butterfly photography.

I have also been looking at cameras such as the Panasonic Lumic FZ-45 or Fujifilm Finepix HS10 which seem to offer really good zoom lens and macro mode down to 1 cm. Would I be better buying one of these for possibly less money than just one olympus lens?

Decisions! Decisions! Any comments would be gratefully accepted.


Pete said...

tough call.

I do think you'll find some form of stabilisation useful. the problem is Olympus doesn#t make lens with stabilisation.

for any longish lens I'd like stabilsiation unless you can get shutter speeds of 1/500 and above.

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks so much for the advice re: stabilisation,Pete. As you say, its a tough call. I'll spend a few more weeks doing research, reading reviews and checking out prices, I think.

Dean said...

I use Finepix (S5700 & S8100) both of which have macro mode of 1cm. Although the latter`s telephoto result in very grainy photos. So i only use the macro on that one for the tiny micro moths.

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks very much for that information, Dean. The close up photos of birds and insects you take are really brilliant and I would be over the moon to take images like that. Must admit I like the Fuji Finepix cameras - we have a really old version the S304. The zoom and macro aren't very good on as its so old but it does take nice pictures.

Its going to be a hard decision!

Pete said...

as dean says the superzooms do well with macro. the panny fz30/fz50 did well as i remember. and seen some good shots with fuji

buy the best you can i'd say. compromise and regret it. easy tho to say with someone elses money!!

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks again Pete. The more I look into it the harder the decision. I will let you know what I eventually decide!