A classic old lens


Someone has very kindly lent me his old 400 f5.6 lens and I tried it out at the weekend. I’d always wondered about this ‘classic’ old birding lens.

6 species of waders near Yakumo but the 400 wasn’t quite long enough for any decent shots.


But in this hot weather it was a relief not to be carrying one of the big whites.

And this Osprey was close enough at least……………


The quietest of quietest months


July is always a quiet month in south Hokkaido and for various reasons July 2021 has been even quieter than usual.

It’s been really really hot too. Last Sunday it was foggy in the morning which provided temporary relief. Not great for photos but juvenile Ospreys were practicing fishing and the first of the ‘autumn’ waders were passing through.

Sanderling, Red-necked Stint

Too late


As we pulled into a beachside car park there were 2 Ospreys fishing inshore very close. I grabbed my camera and didn’t really have time to adjust the settings.


Not too bad but the shutter speed was too slow and I was in crop mode. If I had been waiting for a while in this spot I may have been ready. Next time, next time.

Getting hot


It was pretty hot yesterday. The Chinese Pond Heron was still around but flew off before I could try to get any pics. Otherwise not much about: lots of Ospreys, some Pacific Swift, several species of duck braving a Hokkaido summer, Sand Martin and Black-crowned Night Heron.

Camera issues

Siberian Meadow Bunting

So my 7DM2 has seen better days. The main dial on top has broken and other bits are loose or stiff or falling off: but nothing major I thought. I could just about manage to get by using the dial on the grip and the Q screen for a few months but as July is generally a birding lull I sent it off to Canon expecting them to do some minor repairs for between $100 and $200.

I still have my 7D Mark 1 so these photos and the last post were taken with that 11-year-old antique. For perched birds at 700mm, it’s still OK .

It was lousy for BIFs with the T/C attached but otherwise didn’t seem so bad. This Osprey on the way home was in better light and without the T/C.


When we got back Canon had been in touch. They want about $700 to fix the camera. The shutter count is so high apparently they want to replace the mirror and shutter as well as the other bits and pieces I had sent it in for. $700 to fix for a 6-year-old camera no longer in production? No way. Especially one as idiosyncratic as the 7DM2. We asked them how much it would be to just fix the top dial but they haven’t got back to me yet.

I’m not really in the position to buy a new camera for a while. The New Canon R bodies look very interesting but are way out of my price range at the moment. I guess the unrepaired 7DM2 will come back and I’ll use it until it dies but then what?