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  • Writer's pictureChicken or The Egg

Snowy Owls, Canon 90D and Crop Factor - What does this all mean?

Today I woke up with a mission.

The quick title, "If Looks Could Kill, Whatchu Talkin Bout Willis?" series from today.

To rent a 150-600mm lens, attach that bad boy to my Canon 90D (important reason) and get myself some badass crop factor so I could be up close and personal with the snowy's again. Thankfully my local shop (Camera Corner/Connecting Point) has them in rental stock, and always gives me a great discount on rentals. One day I will own one of those lenses, it's a dream lens and the last one really on my "bucket list" of general lenses to have for my gear bag.

I am sure many of you here understand the Full vs. Crop sensor, and the crop factor science behind it.

For anyone who doesn't understand crop factor, it all comes down to sensor sizes, and on my canon it has roughly a 1.6x, so you take 600 x 1.62 = "972mm" lens, when in reality it's just changing the field of view simply by a lack of sensor to capture with. That said, it can make a great view better. Also to be noted, the different manufactures have different X factors. Anyways, it's very much worth a read if you don't understand it, and want to. Crop factor can be of assistance in the right settings. It's not right for everything, but then you start getting into the weeds...the science...the math...the stuff that can make photography..."boring." Read more about Crop Factor here:

Frankly as a nature/event shooter this is one reason I did go back to a crop-sensor camera, crop factor, also because the newer 90D model has better resolution than my full frame. I did get flack from some of my friends for this, but whatever, to each their own. I like the camera as it suits me on the go, especially with the high speed shutter. OK I promise this isn't an ad for Canon.....apologies. Hearing from Susan Goldberg the editor of National Geographic comment that some of the photos in Nat Geo are done with cell phones when in situations that bringing a camera would not be the best, really also solidifies that fact that type of camera doesn't make or break a shot.

Also, the not-close shot is a rough representation of how close I was to bird. It was one lazy bird today. I was within 20-30 ft by my estimates for the most part. The birds have been there for at least a couple weeks, and have seen plenty of people, so they are no stranger to humans being around. But still, give them space, be curious, but courteous.

Here in the states we have a project with Cornell University via eBirds where users can document all kinds of birds. Keeping tabs on them is essential to research and following their patterns teaches us about their ways. It's one way of keeping an eye on the species and making sure they can find issues and where they may lie when and if they happen.

RESOURCE LINKS (I do not get paid for these, they are for your use) 1) What is Crop Factor - 2) Wisconsin DNR Snowy Owls - 3) Cornell Lab of Ornithology - 4) eBirds - Note: you need an account to use the site and log birds.

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