I spent much of the day using the new Fujinon 200 mm f/2 lens with the included 1.4x teleconverter shooting the birds (house finch, blue jay, red-bellied woodpecker, common grackle, black-crested tufted titmouse, and junco) and other critters (cat, grey squirrel, and deer). in my backyard.
I woke up early, and could see some interesting dawn colors developing. I set up a Fuji X-T3 camera and a brand new Fujion 8-16 mm f/2.8 lens to take a series of images for a time-lapse video. I also brought out a Leica T camera with a 11-23 mm lens for some dawn panorama images. I had forgotten how ornery the Leica T camera is in cold weather. It was a little below freezing (26°F, -3°C). I had a hard time changing the camera settings, so did the best I could. I’ve said this before, it is difficult to believe that a German designed and built camera doesn’t work well at temperatures below freezing. When I asked Leica about this their response was the working temperature specifications for the camera only went down to 0°C. Doesn’t it ever get colder than that in Germany??? In addition to the dawn panorama images, I’ve included some showing a swarm of Turkey Vultures starting to soar just before sunrise.
Turkey Vultures Soaring at Dawn. As soon as the sun rises, the committee (group of vultures in trees) that spent the night in the neighborhood (conifer trees and some roofs) take off to hunt for food. Recently, the number of vultures in the neighborhood has increased to several dozen. The kettle (group of vultures soaring together) start looking for thermals to carry them on their daily hunt for carrion (mainly road-killed deer).
The black squirrel returned. I took a sequence of images of it eating a nut on my patio. It then jumped up onto the bird feeder. Time to electrify again! After chasing the squirrel away, the birds came back. Including a shy female Northern Cardinal. Later in the afternoon, the Turkey Vultures started showing up. They are spending the nights in the neighborhood. Some in the conifer trees, and some on the roofs of homes. So far they have not tried to roost on my solar panels. The first set of vulture images were taken using a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 lens. The image quality is degraded since they were shot from inside through a double pained insulated window. The other Turkey Vulture images were taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera using a brand new Fujicon 200 mm f/2 lens. The Fuji 200 mm f/2 lens is heavy, but not as heavy as the Nikon 200 mm f/2 lens. The Fuji lens is white (to keep it cool when in the sun?), and includes a lens mount that fits onto Arca-Swiss tripod mounts. The Turkey Vulture images taken with the Fuji lens look sharp (all were taken hand-held). I look forward to going out and using this lens some more. It also includes a 1.4x teleconverter that I will need to test.
Dawn to Sunrise full sky time-lapse video. Images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/4, various). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the time-lapse video created with PhotoShop CC.