Most of the summer I have been trying to get photos of the humming birds that have taken up residence at our house. I’m using the Olympus OMD EM-5 with a 40 to 150mm 4/3 lens (80 to 300mm equivalent on a 35mm camera) with the micro 4/3 adapter. A hummingbird flies at an average speed of 25-30 miles per hour and can do a fast dive at up to 60 miles per hour, which makes them a bit hard to catch. In addition to their speed they are easily scared off by movement. Their wings flap 12–80 times per second, and at just 3 inches long, even with the lens zoomed all the way in they don’t fill up much of a 16 megapixel shot.
All of the shots here, were taken with the camera on a tripod on 15 to 20 feet from the subject. I’ve been setting the camera up on a tripod and then using a cable release so I won’t scare them off. The problem is the zoom lens is pretty slow, and while it’s a good lens, it’s not a great lens. I’m getting some OK shots, but the reality is I need to get closer with a better lens. This is where my new wireless release comes in. With a range of up to 80 meters, the RFN-4 Wireless release is going to allow me to tripod mount the camera with the very fast 45mm f 1.4 lens right by their favorite flowers.
The 45mm lens will give me enough light when wide open to be able to crank the shutter speed way up and freeze the action (something that has been hard to do with the 40 to 150mm at f5.6 ). The wireless release will let me pre-focus the camera, then hide out inside waiting for the hummingbirds to show up.