iamascientist wrote in post #16548909
I know that you shoot wildlife and the standard requirements seem to be advanced autofocus and long lenses. I'm curious though, what is it that's holding you back with something like a 7d or 1dx and any long L lens?
When I can handhold, I can get into positions very quickly, compared to how long it takes to re-set all 3 of the tripod legs for each new position. Unfortunately, today's DSLRs and IS lenses do not allow absolutely tack-sharp results when handholding, say, 800mm at 1/60th of a second, especially when one is out of breath from running up a hill and must shoot without anything to set the lens on for support. Or when one must hold the camera as high as one can in order to shoot over the foreground vegetation. One cannot always employ the "proper technique" of elbows on chest . . . especially when one is standing on tip-toes in order to get the camera high enough. Just try shooting 800mm at 1/60th of a second from your tip-toes after dashing about the terrain to get into position quickly. The results are not sharp at all, and if one needs every hair on a deer's face to be sharply and distinctively resolved, your will never be able to achieve such results at slow shutter speeds without a tripod or other support. I've been talking about 1/60th of a second - heck, there are times when my meter tells me I need 1/2 of a second to get the right exposure, even at high ISOs. If a deer, or bird, or whatever, is still, then I want to be able to capture an excellent image of it at such shutter speeds. And I want to be able to do it handheld, unsupported, at 600mm and beyond. If I can't do this, I will miss some of the shots I want.
Much of what happens in the wildlife world happens in very low light, at dawn and at dusk. And it often happens fast - if you have to take an extra half second (literally) to get into position or to steady the camera, you have missed the shot. Hence, many wildlife photos are of the more static, "portrait" variety, when what we all really want to capture are the action images.
Another severe limitation with my wildlife photography is depth of field. Often, I want as much of the frame to be in sharp focus as possible. Long lenses have an incredibly shallow depth of field. So, if shooting at 700mm, I want the main subject to be in perfect focus, and it is 25 feet away, it is almost impossible to make the secondary subject reasonably sharp if it is 45 feet away. Even f32 doesn't give acceptable results at all. It would be awesome if cameras would have almost unlimited ability to stop down. If it takes f450 to get everything sharp that I want sharp, then all lenses should have f450.
Another problem with today's DSLRs, and every other camera available, is the lack of mobility. You basically need to physically be in touch with your camera to use it. Even with the new DSLRs being compatible with smart phones for adjustments and so forth, one has to initially set the camera in position you want it to be in. Wouldn't it be so much better if cameras were able to be put anywhere, instantly, via remote control?
If I see a flock of ducks flying high overhead, I often know exactly what type of image I would like to capture. I want a photo taken from slightly above the ducks, showing the earth underneath them. I would like the camera to be roughly 2 feet in front of (and slightly above) the lead duck. I would like this duck to be large in the frame, and for all of the other ducks in formation to be successively smaller, but still in perfect, sharp focus. I then want the background (in this case, the wetland habitat far underneath them) to be in focus. Mind you, the duck's head is about 2 feet from the lens' front element, the further ducks will be 15 to 200 feet behind the lead duck, and the wetland habitat will be about 1,500 feet below the flock. Yet I want it all in focus.
To get an image like I just described, I would need to be able to (very quickly) get my camera way up in the air right in front of the duck, without hitting the duck. And without spooking the duck. And I would need the camera, once in place, to remain a constant 2 feet from the duck's head, no matter what type of acrobatic manoeuvres he performs while in flight. I would also be able to see exactly what the camera is seeing in real time, via an iPad or other such device. That way, if I saw that the composition would be a little better if I moved the camera about an inch and a half to the right, I would be able to do so via remote control.
If I am out photographing deer, and I see a buck enter a clear, fast, two-foot-deep creek to walk across it, I think, "Wow - it'd be great if I could instantly send my camera down into the creek, with the lens half in the water and half out of the water - and get the camera right out in front of him for head-onn shots. If I could shoot at, say, 100mm, with the camera about 15 feet in front of the buck, a half-under, half-above water image of him, as he walks thru the 2-foot-deep water, would be awesome!"
Think of how cool the resultant image would be! The bottom half of the image would show his legs under the water, as his hooves feel for solid footing on the slippery, uneven creek bottom. The top half of the image would show the part of him that was above water, his head and bust. It would capture his facial expressions as he feels his way thru the fast, powerful current. One would see the concentration in his eyes as he feels for solid footing amidst the forceful flow of the water.
To make this image, the camera and lens would have to be waterproof. And it would have to have a very advanced tracking system. If I find that 15 feet at 100mm is the right distance for framing the buck the way I want to, then the camera would have to be able to maintain that 15-foot distance as the buck walks toward it. This means that the camera would need to be able to compensate for the changing currents it encounters as it makes its was across the creek in front of the buck. It would have to remain aimed right at the buck at all times, so that no frames are lost as it gets swept around by the current. And it would have to maintain a constant depth, so that the lens is always 50% above the water and 50% below the water. Unless I choose to make it 42% above and 58% below, or 46% above and, well, you know what I mean. All of that would be completely adjustable, and within my control at all times.
Can you even imagine the technology that would be necessary for such photography to be possible, and affordable to someone such as myself? We are no where near such things, and have a long, long, long way to go before cameras will be good enough to enable us to take every image we want to take.
I really do not like having to work within the limitations of my gear - it would be much better if all of my gear was able to be used to capture my vision, the way I want to capture it. Everything I ever see, that I think would make a good photo, I want to be able to capture, and capture in a quality way. The gear we now have doesn't even allow me to take 1% of what I see in my mind's eye. I really hope we haven't hit a plateau . . . I need much better gear if I am ever going to take all of these awesome images I keep "seeing" on a daily basis.
You asked what is holding me back with a 1Dx or a 7D. Can you see how these bodies would be entirely incapable of doing the things I just described? I mean, they are not even in the ballpark.
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"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".