Shorter focal lengthsMy 500mm lens is currently under repair because of some cosmetic damage it got from when I dropped it on a concrete pavement some time ago. My next longest lens is a 70-200/4, quite a gap in milimeters!

When I found two immature kingfishers near my home, I decided to give it a try with the 70-200/4 coupled to a 2x extender. I have to say you need lots of light when you are forced to shoot at F8. Also, the birds should not be too shy, as the hide needs to be placed a lot closer than with a 500mm (with an extender).

Last friday, the birds cooperated very well and I got many nice shots. Although I already had lots of similar kingfisher images, these really add something to my archive. Because of the shorter focal length, the background is less compressed, meaning more of it is recorded in the image.

In the image above, the kingfisher is not doing anything interesting, other than being the focal point in the photo. It is the colorful background that completes this image and sets it apart from the solid color background shots that I already had. So if you ever find a very confiding bird, give it a try and shoot with a shorter focal length for completely different backgrounds in your images.

Common Kingfisher; Canon 1D Mark III w. 70-200/4 L and EF 2x II; 1/80s at F8, ISO 800; Gitzo tripod with Markins ballhead from hide.