Dueling Rufous 2

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


I borrowed a 600mm prime and was fortunate that the same two birds posed for me a second time. I think the detail in this one is better than the similar image I posted a few days ago that was taken with a Sigma 150-600 zoom.

Specific Feedback

Interested in NPN members opinion regarding detail, sharpness

Technical Details

Z8, 600mm 6.3VR, 1/2500, f/7, ISO5400. Denoise and sharpened in LRC

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This is definitely sharper, Daniel. I’m not sure if that’s the lens or just the circumstances. A prime is likely to be a little sharper, but I never noticed a significant difference. The sharpest plumage is looking just a hair oversharpened to my eye, so you might back off on that just a tiny bit. Amazing that you caught them on the same perch again.

I second Fennis’s critique–slightly over sharpened and some noise in the OOF wings on the RH hummer. Image quality is much better with enhanced micro-contrast present I’d like to see a little more room on the bottom as the comp is very narrow longitudinally. Good job getting the hummingbirds up to their usual tricks…Jim

Wonderful – needs to be seen big to be appreciated!! And a great job of getting the pose with both in focus. Good points by @Dennis_Plank and @Jim_Zablotny about noise and sharpening. It looks a little irregular across different areas, which has been an issue with some denoise algorithms. I’m so pleased with Topaz (used as a plugin filter in PS) that I’ve hardly used the new one in LR so can’t comment on it.

The newer lens is probably sharper – there will be bench test results somewhere, but might be hard to find for the older zoom. A basic way to know is some controlled comparisons on still targets and on a sturdy tripod. Then factor in “practical” sharpness issues like hand-holdability, minimum aperture (for allowing higher SS and lower ISO) and pairing with in-camera stabilization. There is too much variability is real-world nature shooting and processing.

Thanks. All good advice.

Another great catch Daniel. Amazing to get these birds on the same perches again with terrific interaction. I don’t have much to add to the advice given above. Just a fine capture and unique image.