Thursday, April 18, 2013

Photographing Eastern Wild Turkey With The 5D MK III and The GH3

Mature Eastern Wild Turkey Gobbler: Canon 5D MKIII-300mm f2.8 L IS+2x Extender ISO 400-1/500 sec. f8
Eastern Wild Turkey courtship has picked up somewhat recently, but it is still lackluster compared to the best  years I have recorded.  Encounters such as this are all too rare this year.  In this case a mature gobbler was with several hens in a remote mountain meadow and periodically strutted and went through the courtship ritual.

I seldom use either my 1.4x or 2x extenders with my 500mm F4, as it seems the sharpness just isn't there--even when the lens is micro-adjusted with each one.  I do use the 1.4x quite often on the 300mm f2.8, but seldom use the 2x.  Several of us have been discussing the extenders lately and are not sure whether one actually gets better results at long range by using them, or by not using them and cropping the image more severely. (for the record, the image above is cropped substantially even with using the 2X extender.)  At some point I am going to have to get serious and shoot some detailed tests under controlled circumstances and come up with a definitive answer to this question. At any rate I did use the 2X extensively in this encounter and was quite pleased with the results.

I did quite a bit of the shooting in this encounter with the Panasonic GH3 and the Canon 500mm F4.  The GH3 has a 2X crop factor compared to the 5D MK III, so the lens has a 1,000mm equivalent focal length  on this camera, compared to the 600mm focal length of the 300mm+2X extender on the MK III.

Eastern Wild Turkey Gobbler and Hens: Panasonic GH3-Canon 500mm f4L IS-ISO 200-1/1000 sec. f?

This photo is cropped only a small amount, compared to the significant crop on the first one. Based on my limited amount of use so far it seems that the GH3 compares favorably to the Canon 7D  for still photography, when similar quality lenses are used, while the 5D MK III does somewhat better--especially at the higher ISO settings.  In most cases, I do prefer the GH3 over either when it comes to taking video and I will try to go into this in depth in a future post.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Lindsjö taxar said...

Wow they are Amazing. We only have them in farms for meat produktion.
Love your post with informativ information about the camera settings

Linda G. said...

One thing I like about the Olympus cameras I own is the 2x crop factor. Great camera / lens combinations for photographing birds and other wildlife.