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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 14 Jan 2014 (Tuesday) 05:54
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markisclueless
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Jan 14, 2014 05:54 |  #1

I am an Avian shooter and just bought a Canon 10-22mm lens to be used on my Canon 70D crop body for landscape photography. I need to change my mindset of Spot Focus on eye of bird with my 400mm prime, so I have read numerous threads and would like to summarise my learnings for the experts :oops:

Let me describe the scene as I scouted the location last weekend.

Dam with "dead" tree at +- 8 metres from waters edge, sandy beach and mountains in the distance behind the tree (+- 5 km away so infinity)

I would like to shoot at 20mm at f11 and ISO 100 (Canon 70D), now the focus point. According to DOF calculator,
near limit is 1.51 metres
in front of subjest 6.5 metres
hyperfocal distance 1.88 metres

I normally use spot focus, is this okay ?

Now, with the readings above, do I focus directly on the tree which means that 6.5 metres before the tree will be in focus and beind will be infinite (ie 1.5 metres closest to me will be out of focus)

What would be the best tips (increasing/decreasing aperture etc) in approving the overall sharpness of the image as I personally HATE "soft/washed out" images.

Thanks for helping a clueless wonder (refer to my username) :rolleyes:


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MalVeauX
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Jan 14, 2014 06:30 |  #2

Heya,

I would suggest a few of these tips:

1) You already have a tripod. Good to go there.
2) Shutter release, or timer. Your choice.

3) Focus to infinity, or hyperfocal distance. You shouldn't have to focus on anything specific unless you're being creative with a wide aperture and longer lens. With an ultrawide, stopped down, and focused to infinity, you don't need to focus on anything at all. You just frame up.

4) Light is a different game for landscape, compared to birding. You'll find best light to be early morning and late evening. Basically as the sun creeps lowest to horizon. To remove the big contrasting, bleaching light. Unlike birding in super bright light where you're shooting at 1/1000s+. On this subject, you may want to explore filters a little too. CPL filters are very helpful and also help stop down some light so you can expose a bit longer, to get a bit more to your image. You can also start looking into neutral density and gradual neutral density filters, for very creative and interesting long exposure photos in direct sunlight. Watch for light sources, that may cause flare. Angle changes can minimize and eliminate flare if you encounter some hard flare (even the moon can cause this).

Completely different from birding.
You'll be stopping down, F11, and sometimes further.
You may be exposing longer. Not uncommon to nab a 2+ second image.
You'll be looking for overcast, uniform light instead of bright blinding days.
You'll be standing back with a tripod, instead of panning.

Very best,


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markisclueless
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Jan 14, 2014 09:13 |  #3

MalVeauX wrote in post #16604184 (external link)
Heya,

I would suggest a few of these tips:

1) You already have a tripod. Good to go there.
2) Shutter release, or timer. Your choice.

3) Focus to infinity, or hyperfocal distance. You shouldn't have to focus on anything specific unless you're being creative with a wide aperture and longer lens. With an ultrawide, stopped down, and focused to infinity, you don't need to focus on anything at all. You just frame up.

4) Light is a different game for landscape, compared to birding. You'll find best light to be early morning and late evening. Basically as the sun creeps lowest to horizon. To remove the big contrasting, bleaching light. Unlike birding in super bright light where you're shooting at 1/1000s+. On this subject, you may want to explore filters a little too. CPL filters are very helpful and also help stop down some light so you can expose a bit longer, to get a bit more to your image. You can also start looking into neutral density and gradual neutral density filters, for very creative and interesting long exposure photos in direct sunlight. Watch for light sources, that may cause flare. Angle changes can minimize and eliminate flare if you encounter some hard flare (even the moon can cause this).

Completely different from birding.
You'll be stopping down, F11, and sometimes further.
You may be exposing longer. Not uncommon to nab a 2+ second image.
You'll be looking for overcast, uniform light instead of bright blinding days.
You'll be standing back with a tripod, instead of panning.

Very best,

Awesome - thanks
When you state "focus to infinity" or hyperfocal focus, do you mean that I should set my AF points to all points instead of spot/centre focus point and to then focus at +- 1/3 of the way into the frame?


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MalVeauX
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Jan 14, 2014 09:28 |  #4

Heya,

Nope. Manual focus. You won't be using autofocus hardly at all. Has nothing to do with the AF points.

Very best,


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Eddie
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Jan 14, 2014 09:45 |  #5

As above use manual focus. I use manual focus for 99% of my landscapes (not just because my TSE lens doesnt have AF). Normally I focus at hyperfocal distance at f/8 or f/11 to maximise DOF. Dont get too tied up with the hyperfocal distance though just focus at something that you can judge to be slightly further than hyperfocal i.e. for your example 20mm at f/11 hyperfocal is 1.2m so instead of trying to get it exactly at 1.2m just focus on something at say 1.5m or 2m (something you know to be beyond hyperfocal but still relatively close).

On other occassions you will want to actually focus on a specific subject, so in your example this might be the tree. In that case you would focus on the tree using AF or MF (if using autofocus focus first then switch to MF so that it doesnt change). This scenario would be if the tree was the most important thing to nail focus on and the foreground didnt matter if there was some out of focus, but generally I find myself wanting to maximise DOF for landscapes so I use the hyperfocal technique.

You will read lots on the internet and this forum from people saying that although hyperfocal technique gives you "acceptable focus" to infinity that it is in fact not that sharp in the distance and that you cant use hyperfocal distance charts as they are designed for holding an 8x10 print at arms length etc etc etc. In real world use of this method though it does just fine so try it out and you should find that it gives you what you are after.

In addition to this - A sturdy tripod / mirror lockup / remote cable release / Filters

Eddie


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MNUplander
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Jan 14, 2014 11:42 |  #6

^^^

Sage advice from xpfloyd, check out his gallery and posts on the forum...I'd say he knows a thing or two about it.


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Jan 14, 2014 12:40 |  #7

MNUplander wrote in post #16604864 (external link)
^^^

Sage advice from xpfloyd, check out his gallery and posts on the forum...I'd say he knows a thing or two about it.

thank you good sir ;)


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markisclueless
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Jan 14, 2014 13:48 |  #8

xpfloyd wrote in post #16604575 (external link)
As above use manual focus. I use manual focus for 99% of my landscapes (not just because my TSE lens doesnt have AF). Normally I focus at hyperfocal distance at f/8 or f/11 to maximise DOF. Dont get too tied up with the hyperfocal distance though just focus at something that you can judge to be slightly further than hyperfocal i.e. for your example 20mm at f/11 hyperfocal is 1.2m so instead of trying to get it exactly at 1.2m just focus on something at say 1.5m or 2m (something you know to be beyond hyperfocal but still relatively close).

On other occassions you will want to actually focus on a specific subject, so in your example this might be the tree. In that case you would focus on the tree using AF or MF (if using autofocus focus first then switch to MF so that it doesnt change). This scenario would be if the tree was the most important thing to nail focus on and the foreground didnt matter if there was some out of focus, but generally I find myself wanting to maximise DOF for landscapes so I use the hyperfocal technique.

You will read lots on the internet and this forum from people saying that although hyperfocal technique gives you "acceptable focus" to infinity that it is in fact not that sharp in the distance and that you cant use hyperfocal distance charts as they are designed for holding an 8x10 print at arms length etc etc etc. In real world use of this method though it does just fine so try it out and you should find that it gives you what you are after.

In addition to this - A sturdy tripod / mirror lockup / remote cable release / Filters

Eddie

Great advise and explanation :lol:


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markisclueless
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Jan 14, 2014 13:48 |  #9

MalVeauX wrote in post #16604530 (external link)
Heya,

Nope. Manual focus. You won't be using autofocus hardly at all. Has nothing to do with the AF points.

Very best,

Thanks again, just got back from shooting a lighthouse and tried and few of the tips, downloading now


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Jan 14, 2014 19:41 as a reply to  @ markisclueless's post |  #10

? What about something to sit down for hours / camp :lol::lol::lol:


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markisclueless
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Jan 14, 2014 23:28 |  #11

Okay, a vast improvement on my previous attempt so thanks to all for the pointers. I now need to look into some filters and remote shutter release, I am off camping (the tree/dam location mentioned in post 1) this weekend, so hopefully loads of sunrise & sunset photo opportunities (combined with some birding as well)!


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markisclueless
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Jan 14, 2014 23:41 |  #12

Wow Eddie, just checked your landscape work out on your website - awesome!!
If one day I am 1000th as good as those I will be a VERY happy man!


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Jan 15, 2014 02:23 |  #13

markisclueless wrote in post #16606689 (external link)
Wow Eddie, just checked your landscape work out on your website - awesome!!
If one day I am 1000th as good as those I will be a VERY happy man!

wow thankyou!! much appreciated. Be lucky if my head fits out the door now :D. I learned everything I know on this forum.


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Sirrith
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Jan 15, 2014 07:39 |  #14

I don't think I saw this in the replies above, so a small tip specific to the 10-22 at around 10-12mm:
To get virtually everything in focus, set the aperture to f11 or f13 (or f16 if you have something REALLY close to the camera and something REALLY far away), then turn the MF ring so that the marker on the distance scale is just between the last number (I think it was 1m?) and the horizontal "L" shaped line that is in front of the infinity symbol.


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Jan 15, 2014 08:20 |  #15

If it's any help - I had to look up what hyperfocal distance was for this thread. I've seen it mentioned various times on the forum, but decided to look it up this time. Here's a quick and simple explanation of what it represents:
http://www.dofmaster.c​om/hyperfocal.html (external link)

Here's a link to a generic hyperfocal chart for 15 to 80mm on an SLR:
http://www.dofmaster.c​om/files/charts/sample​charts.pdf (external link)

I learned something great from this thread to start practicing on my landscapes too- Great info!


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