Collin J Örthner – Photographer

February 23, 2011

Black-Capped Chickadee

Filed under: Birds, Nature, Winter — collin j örthner @ 5:19 am

We spent the weekend up at my in-laws again this past weekend as Alexander was playing in a soccer tournament in St. Albert, Just before we left last night I mnaged to grab a few images of the chickadees coming to feed from the seed that Elmer puts out for them. I prefocused on the branch here hoping that one would land before my arms gave out holding the camera up. Sure enough, one shows up and I was ready to blast off a salvo capturing this little guy. I was playing with the new Canon 70-300mmL IS lens and am quite impressed. It would lose focus and hunt sometimes, but all lenses will.It is very sharp throughout it’s range due to a floating focusing mechanism and the speed really isn’t too much of a problem as you can simply turn up the ISO if need be a stop or two. the only drawback to the slower apertures is the loss of shallow depth of field, but for the images I was taking there is plenty of separation between the background and the subject allowing it to really pop off the background. The lens is almost the same diameter as the Canon 100-400mm but is 46mm shorter in length and 330 grams lighter, so it makes a for a nice carry around size. Keep in mind it does not come with a tripod mount which would account for some difference in weight. You can however purchase a tripod mount for it. This lens is also fully weatherproofed and has the latest Image Stabilization from Canon which claims usability at four stops. They’ve also incorporated a Flourine coating which resists smears and fingerprints and really makes it a breeze to clean the front element. Rain and dust just don’t like sticking to Flourine either.

[Canon 7D, Canon 70-300mmL IS]



  1. Beautiful! I love photographing chickadees. They are so bold. The angle of the light in this photo is perfect. It adds life to the bird’s eye and fluff to his feathers. I feed them to get them close enough to photograph, and I’ve never gotten a photo this good with them standing three inches from my lens! Beautiful job!

    Comment by literarychicks78 — February 23, 2011 @ 7:22 am

  2. Thanks for the comments.The sun was just about below the horizon, so the chickadee couldn’t have timed things better!

    Comment by collin orthner — February 24, 2011 @ 1:54 am

  3. Great photo. I’m going to have to take that lens for a test drive sometime. How does it compare to the 100-400 for size and weight?

    Comment by Dwight Arthur — February 27, 2011 @ 3:54 am

    • Hey Dwight, I edited the text for the blog post, updating it a bit in order to answer you questions. Let me know when you want to try it out, I think you’ll be impressed.

      Comment by collin orthner — February 27, 2011 @ 4:07 am

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