This article features a selection of images of small birds-in-flight captured handheld with an M.Zuiko MC-14 Teleconverter at Grimsby Wetlands. These photographs were taken earlier in the spring during a particularly productive visit to Grimsby Wetlands (also referred to locally as Biggar Lagoons Wetlands).
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
When I decided to move over to the Olympus M4/3 system back in June 2019 I didn’t initially buy the M.Zuiko MC-14 Teleconverter. I opted for the MC-20 instead as I was using it with the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom as my primary birding set-up.
That combination performed extremely well, allowing me to shoot at f/5.6 with a focal length of 300 mm (efov 600 mm). Since I was accustomed to the Nikon 1 system and using the wonderful Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6, I did miss the reduction in overall reach.
I ordered the M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS shortly after it was announced in the fall of 2020…, and purchased the M.Zuiko MC-14 Teleconverter at that time. I thought this would be an ideal combination for me to expand my bird photography.
Over the past three years this set-up has proven its worth time and time again. As long as I’m shooting in decent light I always use the MC-14 with the 100-400 mm. It gives me the added reach that I need… with a one stop penalty in light. This is a trade-off that I’m more than happy to make as the optical performance of the MC-14 is excellent.
Being able to successfully capture a small bird like the barn swallow above taking flight from 18 metres (~59 feet) away is a testament to the flexibility and capability of Olympus/OM System gear for bird photography.
Whenever I’m in the field with my outdoor kit, both the MC-14 and MC-20 are in my camera bag, with the MC-14 being the workhorse of the two.
I regularly find that I am successful capturing images of small birds taking flight using the MC-14, that other photographers proximate to me don’t even bother to attempt.
Having 100% confidence in one’s camera gear when out in the field is a critical success component. That inner feeling of confidence allows us to push ourselves and our equipment that little bit extra. And, we’re often rewarded with photographs we wouldn’t have otherwise captured.
Using the MC-14 at Grimsby Wetlands on that morning back in May proved to be one of my best outings so far this year.
During the spring 2023 birding season I only had one opportunity to photograph a Baltimore Oriole taking flight.
The M.Zuiko MC-14 Teleconverter provided the additional reach I needed to help successfully capitalize on that photographic opportunity.
The M.Zuiko MC-14 and MC-20 Teleconverters are compatible with four M.Zuiko zoom lenses (PRO 40-150 f/2.8, PRO 300 f/4 IS, 100-400 f/5-6.3 IS, and PRO 150-400 f/4.5 IS) as well as the new PRO 90 mm f/3.5 macro lens.
It isn’t my place to tell another photographer what they should, or shouldn’t buy as we all have our own specific needs. Some folks don’t want to lose a stop or two of light as they often shoot under low light conditions. That makes using a 1.4X or 2X teleconverter problematic for them. Others may feel that teleconverters erode image quality.
All of the images featured in this article were captured during a three hour visit to Grimsby Wetlands. The additional reach provided by the MC-14 teleconverter was instrumental in me being able to create the majority of these photographs.
For my style of bird photography, I wouldn’t leave home without the M.Zuiko MC-14 Teleconverter in my camera bag. Only you can decide if using the MC-14 would make sense for your photography.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. I used my standard Pro Capture H settings for all of the images in this article. I shot at 60 frames-per-second using a single, small auto-focus point. My Pre-Shutter Frames and Frame Limiter were both set to 15. This is the 1,315 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
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