As part of my field work for my upcoming hands-on review of the 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 lens, I spent some time at Bird Kingdom today. What follows are some sample images taken hand-held at the facility with my Nikon 1 V2.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I started off in the Explorer’s Base Camp and took a few images such as the Burmese Python above, and a few of the perched birds which include macaws, cockatoos, and parrots.
Knowing that the 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 has a fairly short minimum focusing distance I was intrigued to see how it would perform in the Small Bird Aviary.
I decided to change my shooting approach and ended up holding the camera with my arm fully extended and composing one-handed from the rear screen.
This necessitated using faster shutter speeds than I would typically use but the technique proved quite successful.
I remained as motionless as possible, positioned very close to some of the small trees and shrubs frequented by the small birds.
After the birds returned to the shrubs I would slowly raise my arm and extend it through the branches.
Since most of my body wasn’t moving the birds did not flit away quite as quickly as was the case in the past.
This allowed me to get some close-up framing without having to use extension tubes.
I had more success in the Small Bird Aviary today than with any other camera/lens combination that I have ever used in the past.
And that includes using both full frame and cropped sensor Nikon DSLRs.
Some of the birds were somewhat inquisitive when they noticed my white V2 slowly approaching them.
Like the Blue-Grey Tanager in the above image.
Before leaving the Small Bird Aviary I noticed some wonderful, high contrast lighting on the turtle in the small waterfall pond and captured the following image.
Next I visited the Night Jungle display area and tried to capture some images of the bats.
While these images are very marginal in terms of quality they were the best I’ve ever managed to capture. The one above was shot hand-held at 1/8 second, f/5.6 at ISO-6400.
I ended my visit in the main aviary, capturing a range of images.
For many of the images I continued using my ‘arm fully extended’ technique and found that I could get my V2 quite close to many of the larger birds.
At times I was likely getting close to ‘pecking distance’ which was a bit unnerving on occasion!
Being able to partially conceal myself behind plants and shoot with my arm outstretched helped capture some images of birds that tend to be quite skittish.
I have visited Bird Kingdom numerous times in the past and somehow never noticed a lizard that is on display in the main aviary. Perhaps it was recently moved to this location. Never-the-less I was able to get the image below, again using my ‘one arm extended’ technique.
Overall I was quite surprised with the performance of the 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 lens. While it is not the sharpest 1 Nikon lens I’ve used, it more than makes up for that by providing users with a ton of flexibility. I really like the comparatively short minimum focusing distance of this lens.
I’ll be wrapping up my field work within the next couple of days and will post my hands-on review within the next week.
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Article and all images Copyright Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication of any kind, or adaptation is allowed without written consent.