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Well-Known Member
My SD14/1250mm fl 90mm Ø Maksutov Cassegrain combo has been a challenge, especially at night, but it's turning out to be wonderful for wild life.

Here is a Hummingbird shot at:

Exposure Mode: Manual Exposure
ISO Setting: 100
White Balance Setting: Sunlight
Shutter Speed: 1/100s
Aperture Value: F13.9
Focus Setting: Manual Focus
Drive Mode: Mirror Lock-up (Essential)


I've finally achieved the characteristic SD14 look. :)

Now I just need to find Hummingbirds who understand English so they can follow my instructions on where to hover and land. ;)


Well-Known Member
I tried that and they completely lost all idea where I needed them to be. :rofl:

My goal was to try for a hover show with nothing, but a pure blue sky background.

I have a bunch of feeders to keep the the hummer's around and I'll be trying again.


Well-Known Member
Hi Steaphany,

Nice shot of the hummer! I hung up my feeder last week-end and am anxiously awaiting the return of those jeweled wings.

good luck with your hovering shots!



Well-Known Member
Excellent shot Steaphany,
I love the bold solid colors.
Maybe if you put an impediment on the perch? Something that wouldn't allow them to land?

I just saw what lens you used! Awesome!


Nice shot...!

You might want to clean your sensor a bit though...There are pretty much dust speckles visible due to the "high" apperturenumber... ;)


Well-Known Member
Steaphany, I read a trick some people have used....put a hamster water bottle filled with the Hummingbird food...hide it in the mits of a few flowers...and haning it from a branch...

By the way great shot....I love the green and red contrast...

Good Luck..

Tony C.


Well-Known Member
The photo I posted here was just one of several that I shot during that session. I have four Hummingbird feeders around the house and even with me standing within 15 feet, I had, just yesterday, five fighting over just one of the feeders. The problem photographically was overcast sky with flat light.

Another issue shooting wildlife with my 1250mm fl 90mm Ø Maksutov Cassegrain is aiming. A manual tripod is too coarse, so I use my TeleTrack Altitude Azimuth mount and tripod. Aiming and framing is better, but there is an obvious lag time and Hummies just move too quickly. Mirror up mode doesn't help much since I press my RF shutter release to raise the mirror and then hope that the Hummie is still there when I take the exposure.

I did capture some hovering, but the feeder or house was in view of the frame. My ideal is to get them in a purely natural setting.

Another thing that I'm planning to try, time, lighting, and weather permitting, is to shoot the Hummies while they are perched in the live oaks and willow trees in my front yard. Of course, I need to clean the imager too.

Now that I've run the high ISO experiment, I'm looking forward to seeing just how fast a shutter I could achieve, I'm expecting that a 1/1000th could be possible which would freeze motion, potentially permit standard versus mirror up shooting, and even allow using my manual tripod for faster aiming.


Well-Known Member
I have a hummingbird feeder, but have yet to see any hummingbirds to photograph :(

You can also try using an off-camera flash located near the feeder in order to stop the action and get more light. Unfortunately due to the focal plane shutter on the SD14 it's only possible to get up to 1/250 before getting unlit portions of the frame.

I know it won't help with your telescope, but using a normal lens you could use a small aperture to block ambient light, and then use a flash close to the subject on low power to get the quickest flash pulse.


Well-Known Member
High and ultra high speed flash photography is not an issue and will be something that I plan on doing when I can save up and purchase the equipment:

Cognisys Inc. produces and sells the STOP SHOT which can be set up to sense a triggering event while controlling both camera and strobe.

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Do check out the gallery on their web site.


Well-Known Member
wow, that is an expensive piece of gear. If you are any good with DIY you can make one of those for a fraction of the price :) I'll be making my own soon for a little photo project I want to do (so much work for just one photo, lol)