Lens Choice Makes a Difference in Background

Lens Choice Makes a Difference

Bajadreamer continues to wow us with birds I’ve never seen before from Ecuador.  Recently he shared two pictures of a Toucan Barbet.  Here’s the first one he shared – note the wide aspect of the crop (click the pic to read why):


In his description of the second image he wrote, “The previous image I posted of this same bird was taken with a 100-500 mm lens at f/7.1 (wide open for this lens). This lens has a minimum focusing distance (MFD) of about 1 meter and this bird was about 5 meters away.  This second image is the same bird on a different perch, but was taken with a 600 mm f/4.0 lens at f/5.6. Virtually the same background. This lens has a MFD about 5 meters and this bird was located only a short distance beyond that.  Background looks totally different.

I prefer the first picture’s background as you see the orange flowers in the background better; the flowers contribute to the varied coloring of the bird.  The orange flowers are there in the second picture but they are so blurred you can barely see them.  Note that the first picture was taken with a smaller aperture (7.1) than the second one (5.6).  The smaller aperture allows a larger depth-of-field, so the orange flowers are more defined.  I’m not sure what the MFD (minimal focusing distance) of the lens has to do with the images – perhaps someone could inform us about that.

Both are splendid pictures – I would hang either one of them on the wall in my home.  Thanks for sharing your pics and photographic insights with us Bajadreamer!

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