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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 16 Jan 2013 (Wednesday) 04:17
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5d3 + 70-200mm 2.8 is II = not good enough?

 
Doc ­ Fluty
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Jan 16, 2013 04:17 |  #1

Of coarse they are good enough, the problem is with me. I just wanted that title to get your attention :)

My problem is my shots are not up to the level "I" think they should be and wanted to get some of your guys thoughts.

I'm especially concerned with the sharpness... I think these shots should be in much better shape from my own backyard.

This is a shot I took in my yard yesterday of a new visitor on a overcast morning. Shot in RAW, it was viewed at 100% in acr and cropped.. no editing has been applied.

It wasn't resized, linear curve and no sharpness was added by me.

f/2.8 - 1/2000 - ISO 500

IMAGE: http://i47.tinypic.com/4rvk39.jpg

here is the original shot non-cropped but resized to fit the forum

IMAGE: http://i48.tinypic.com/9puxso.jpg

It seems most of my shots of birds are not really sharp and I was wondering what I am doing wrong... is it just me pixel peeping?

This is another shot from the other day of a pelican... again, not as sharp as I would expect.

this one is from a 100% crop as well, but was resized from about 110 px to 1024 for the forum

So your thoughts as to what Im doing wrong?

these are just some examples... but a lot of my shots are coming out like this.

maybe I am setting unrealistic expectations.. I have been dumbfounded by this http://www.naturescape​s.net …iewtopic.php?f=​3&t=215558 (external link) lol

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Jan 16, 2013 04:42 |  #2

I'm no expert but first thought is at 2.8 you have a very shallow depth of field. The first pic looks like the focus point is on the wooden feeder, hence the bird being oof?




  
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Doc ­ Fluty
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Jan 16, 2013 05:10 |  #3

That feeder is well over 30 feet away from the spot I usually shoot from.. I think the DOF almost a foot by then. that should be enough for the bird and feeder... but when I use my single autofocus box, I always aim for the bird.

And the Pelican in the water was much further...

I tried using different autofocus points...including single box, group and others


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jan 16, 2013 05:29 |  #4

I find it to be an awesome combination, with your first pic what area of the right hand side of the picture is sharp? Is the focal plane in front of the feeder?

ISO 1600, 1/2500, F5.6

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 403 | MIME changed to 'text/plain'


In fact this one was a massive crop shot (probably about 1/40 of the original image) using the 70-200 IS L MKII on a 60D. At F3.5 you can see the reflection in the little girl's eye.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 403 | MIME changed to 'text/plain'

Peter

  
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Doc ­ Fluty
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Jan 16, 2013 05:44 |  #5

Yes, your shots look incredibly sharp.

Typically when shooting birds from my back porch, I will use a single box focus point.

I will move the selected box to the point in the frame I wish to use, say lower left as in this shot... and then move the camera to fit that box over a bird... then take the pic.

I try my best to focus on the bird, not the feeder.


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hollis_f
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Jan 16, 2013 07:54 |  #6

Doc Fluty wrote in post #15494997 (external link)
It seems most of my shots of birds are not really sharp and I was wondering what I am doing wrong...

Well, the shot of the woodpecker on the feeder is far too distant for your gear. You need to do one or more of...

  • Get closer
  • Get a longer lens
  • Get an APS-C camera (to get more pixels on the bird)

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Doc ­ Fluty
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Jan 16, 2013 08:09 |  #7

Thats come across my mind the more I think about it.

I guess im just pixel peeping.

Just thought that with a $5,000 combo at 200mm I should be able to get halfway across my yard with better results....figured I was doing something wrong.

maybe the 1.4 or 2.0 extender would help.


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Jan 16, 2013 08:57 as a reply to  @ Doc Fluty's post |  #8

Do a really quick and easy test, set up your camera with that same lens and shoot from a tripod.
That will tell you what you need to know. I would leave it set up and then after a few shots I'd remove the card and check the shots on your computer. You should see what you need, and if you want to do more tests, you have the camera still in the same spot.
Have the lens focused on an inanimate object, (I know, it's not as fun) and keep going back to check it until you figure out what is wrong.

You might want to also try to use Live View too, that may be of some help.

We can tell you all day long how things are, but only you can satisfy your own curiosity by doing these tests.

Also, I hope that you are not shooting through a window. :)

EDIT: I really like your website!

Randy


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Allan.L
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Jan 16, 2013 08:59 |  #9

*sigh*


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dfbovey
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Jan 16, 2013 10:03 |  #10

You need a longer lens if you're going to be that far back or at the very least an extender to use with your current lens. No way around it unless you can get closer to your subjects. Seems like you are expecting 400mm results out of your 200mm lens.

Also looks like you were shooting on a cloudy day, you'll get sharper results and more captured detail with good lighting.

Shooting at f/2.8 also doesn't help. I shoot at f/8 100% of the time for bird and wildlife photography to maximize clarity.


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skycolt
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Jan 16, 2013 12:25 |  #11

seem to me both are close focusing


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Duane ­ N
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Jan 16, 2013 13:22 as a reply to  @ skycolt's post |  #12

f/8 wouldn't have made a difference in this situation...actually it would have made it worse because of the slower shutter speed.

You have some great advice thus far...my only question is were these taken using a tripod or was the camera/lens supported on something? AI Servo mode or One Shot?

Despite the severe crop I would expect more sharpness myself and it really looks like it focused on something else like the feeder.

Is there any way to overlay where the focus point was on the first image by taking a screen shot in your RAW conversion program?


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Doc ­ Fluty
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Jan 16, 2013 15:22 |  #13

Thanks recrisp... I will try out your recommendations when I get time.. maybe in the morning. Thanks for the compliment on my site as well.. i havent updated it in forever.

Duane N wrote in post #15496597 (external link)
Is there any way to overlay where the focus point was on the first image by taking a screen shot in your RAW conversion program?

All shots are hand held on one shot mode... typically me quietly opening my back door and peaking the lens around a corner so I dont scare them away.

here is a shot I cropped from 100% and also a screen grab from DPP showing my focus point.

IMAGE: http://i47.tinypic.com/2j6749w.jpg

and the fous point

IMAGE: http://i47.tinypic.com/i77nz8.jpg

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Jan 16, 2013 15:32 as a reply to  @ Doc Fluty's post |  #14

I would do some tests as Randy suggested in his earlier post. Trying to figure out what is wrong with your gear (if there is anything wrong in the first place) without using a tripod or at least supporting the camera/lens in some way is no way to test.

If all else fails send it to Canon and have the lens and camera body calibrated. When I first started out in bird photography I was in the same situation as you and question myself and my technique....it turned out my 40D was way out of spec and once I got it back from Canon it was a night and day difference in sharpness but do not rely on crops like this....this is too much in my opinion even with gear that is perfect. ;)


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Jan 16, 2013 21:40 as a reply to  @ Duane N's post |  #15

If this weee me I would rent a 2xIII TC.
Theyre cheap to rent. Try it on the combo
Keep your shutter speed above 1/400th for testing
Even if that means 3200 Iso.
Shoot at f 5.6 -8 if possible.

I had shots like this when I got my t1i and figured out I didnt use the
camera right. I learned it and bought a 60d. I got blurry pics again.
Then I figured out I needed faster shutter speeds. Problem solved.

It's probably just technique coupled with over cropping. Try adding some
sharpness in post too.



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5d3 + 70-200mm 2.8 is II = not good enough?
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