Fuji GFX for Bird Photography?
The CI office is in a three story brick building in downtown Atlanta, about a 1/4 mile from the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Visitors often remark how nice it must be to work here, and it is. Our office is a comfortable two story loft with a full kitchen and a dedicated demonstration area for trying out various cameras, lighting, etc. Outside our office, there’s a nice narrow courtyard with interesting walls for outdoor shooting.
I headed to an appointment a few days ago and as I walked to my car, my eye caught some motion above my head to the left and I saw a bird nest with a Robin feeding some chicks. It was just plunked in the middle of some industrial pipes against the wall. It had no cover, and at that time of day was in full sun. The next day, I walked by and saw the Robin at the nest just sitting there, looking rather flustered, and a chick with its eyes closed.
I wondered if the chick had expired from the sun. I went back later, and this time I grabbed a Fuji GFX 100s with the GF 250mm lens. The adult Robin was gone and I saw no movement. I worried. I sat and waited. Then I saw the Robin perched at the top of the building with a mouthful or worms.
I waited some more and the Robin flew over to the nest and fed the babies. They all still seemed alive. But what an odd place to have the nest. I continued to shoot with the GFX 100s with the GF 250mm lens, using a shutter speed in the 160th of a second range. All the images were tack sharp. The IBIS – this is not a lightweight kit – does an amazing job.
Now, this may gross you out. But – what you actually see in Momma/Daddy Robin’s mouth is not food. Well, at least, not any more. Think of a bird nest as a baby nursery. Food is brought to babies. But babies are not wearing diapers. So it is up to Mommy/Daddy to remove the poop. Yes, that’s right. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
Less than 6 days after I photographed this series, I noticed I wasn’t seeing any Robins at all, no adults, no babies. I spent a lot of time each day checking back and ….nothing. Did you know that many baby birds – including Robins – start flying and leave the nest in only 2 weeks from birth? That is insane. That little gangly thing that can barely be seen in the above picture, that creature was flying less than 6 days from the date of this photograph. Amazing.
So – does this mean the Fuji GFX 100s would be my # 1 camera of choice when it comes to photographing birds? If I am shooting medium format, then the answer is yes – for now. It has IBIS that works amazingly well, it has reasonable auto focus performance, it offers super high resolution and outstanding image quality.
And even right now, when supply is still constrained, we have ample quantity of Fuji GFX bodies and even GF lenses sitting right on our shelf.
from Steve Hendrix & the Medium Format Experts