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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 22 May 2016 (Sunday) 12:47
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70-200 f/2.8 mk1 -vs- 100-400 mk1 for trip?

 
Snydremark
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Jun 02, 2016 12:52 |  #16

I've, classically, shot the 100-400 MkI around 1/640 to 1/1250, f/5.6 and whatever ISO necessary to maintain those. Occasionally dipping down just under 1/400. Anything up to ISO 3200 should be just fine for you, as long as you expose slightly to the right and pull things down in post rather than pushing up your shadows.

If you're noticing front focus issues at 400mm, I would certainly MFA that puppy. I had to MFA my MkI on all of my bodies (that support it) to get the best performance out of it anyway.

As far as AF goes, you need to be close enough that the subject fills at least your primary AF point; if you're any farther away you're going to get wildly differing results, as there isn't enough of your subject there for the camera to focus on, reliably, or to be recorded by a reasonable number of pixels. I have a number of heavy crops, but virtually none of them from so far out that the subject was encircled by the primary AF point.

Especially with birds, you are going to find that you do need to crop fairly often, even at 400mm on a crop sensor; at least, I do. It's just a fact of life shooting these subjects at these focal lengths.

The sample images you supplied though look like you're doing alright.

This was, easily, my absolute worst-case shooting situation while I was up there in 2013. We were on a harbor cruise out of Seward, on a tour boat in a rolling bay, heavy gray conditions with rain...so dark and moving.

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Any better conditions and you should be just fine.

- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Jun 02, 2016 13:22 |  #17

jamsomito wrote in post #18026897 (external link)
Unfortunately a monopod is going to be out of the budget, at least for this trip. I have a Joby Gorillapod though. LOL (not intended for this lens)

Where there is a will....if you think you would get good use out of it and it won't compromise packing space, you are welcome to borrow my monopod. It's not anything special but does seem to be sturdy and take a beating. PM me if you are interested. My Mom lives close-ish to GR so I make the trip to the west side here and there. At the very worst we could meet up along I-96.


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Jun 02, 2016 13:38 |  #18

FlannelPJ wrote in post #18026970 (external link)
Where there is a will....if you think you would get good use out of it and it won't compromise packing space, you are welcome to borrow my monopod. It's not anything special but does seem to be sturdy and take a beating. PM me if you are interested. My Mom lives close-ish to GR so I make the trip to the west side here and there. At the very worst we could meet up along I-96.

Very generous of you, thanks. I'll pass this time though. I'll already be carrying a lot of stuff between my camera gear and stuff for my wife and kid. I'm already learning a lens too, so one thing at a time.




  
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Jun 02, 2016 16:35 as a reply to  @ jamsomito's post |  #19

No problem - Have a great trip!


T2i | 6D | 40 2.8 | 70-200 f/4L | Sigma 17-50 2.8 and more stuff I'm trying on for size

  
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Jun 04, 2016 11:22 |  #20

When it comes to shooting anything against the sky or a rapidly changing background then using Manual exposure mode is usually a great help. Unless you are in a situation where the sun is going in and out behind clouds very rapidly, the light falling on the subject is usually very constant. As long as you are in the same light as the subject you have some easy options for managing the exposure. Personally I really like to use a hand held incident lightmeter for this, but there are ways of getting the same results using the cameras built in reflective metering system. Possibly the easiest is to have an 18% grey card to meter from. I have a fold up one that is like a small bottle top reflector. If I'm using a long lens I can put it on the ground, with something to weigh it down so it doesn't blow away, and simply meter from that. The other option is to use the palm of your hand to meter from, most palms are quite close to 18%, and as it's yours it's not that hard to "calibrate" it so that you know where to set the meter to. Many folks will also use a patch of grass, which is again generally a good midtone if it is green. In all of these examples you would have the camera set for spot metering. Once you have the metering set you probably won't need to change it again for several hours, unless you are within a couple of hours of sun rise/set. When you are shooting you then simply ignore the metering indication. It will change rapidly as the background tonality changes, but since the subject is in constant lighting the necessary exposure will be constant. If you were shooting in Av or Tv mode you would theoretically be needing to constantly change the EC control to keep the exposure setting constant as the background brightness changes, so in this situation using manual is actually better.

I would also agree with the others that say that you would want to open up the aperture, and slow down the shutter, and to also expose to the right a bit. The 100-400 is very nice at f/5.6 although it is probably at it's best at f/8. I would not worry too much as long as you can keep your shutter over 1/500 the IS in mode 2 will let you shoot keepers all day long at that speed. I now have the Sigma 150-600C, but used to regularly rent the 100-400L and I shot the majority of my shots with it at 1/160 hand held while panning, so to me 1/500 would feel like luxury. Oh and I would also regularly crop by at least 1.5×, actually I still crop by that much very often when shooting at 600mm! I am shooting an APS-C sized sensor too, in my case a 50D. Don't forget to expose to the right, and pull it down in post.

Alan


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Snydremark
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Jun 04, 2016 11:55 |  #21

BigAl007 wrote in post #18028929 (external link)
When it comes to shooting anything against the sky or a rapidly changing background then using Manual exposure mode is usually a great help. Unless you are in a situation where the sun is going in and out behind clouds very rapidly, the light falling on the subject is usually very constant. As long as you are in the same light as the subject you have some easy options for managing the exposure. Personally I really like to use a hand held incident lightmeter for this, but there are ways of getting the same results using the cameras built in reflective metering system. Possibly the easiest is to have an 18% grey card to meter from. I have a fold up one that is like a small bottle top reflector. If I'm using a long lens I can put it on the ground, with something to weigh it down so it doesn't blow away, and simply meter from that. The other option is to use the palm of your hand to meter from, most palms are quite close to 18%, and as it's yours it's not that hard to "calibrate" it so that you know where to set the meter to. Many folks will also use a patch of grass, which is again generally a good midtone if it is green. In all of these examples you would have the camera set for spot metering. Once you have the metering set you probably won't need to change it again for several hours, unless you are within a couple of hours of sun rise/set. When you are shooting you then simply ignore the metering indication. It will change rapidly as the background tonality changes, but since the subject is in constant lighting the necessary exposure will be constant. If you were shooting in Av or Tv mode you would theoretically be needing to constantly change the EC control to keep the exposure setting constant as the background brightness changes, so in this situation using manual is actually better.

I would also agree with the others that say that you would want to open up the aperture, and slow down the shutter, and to also expose to the right a bit. The 100-400 is very nice at f/5.6 although it is probably at it's best at f/8. I would not worry too much as long as you can keep your shutter over 1/500 the IS in mode 2 will let you shoot keepers all day long at that speed. I now have the Sigma 150-600C, but used to regularly rent the 100-400L and I shot the majority of my shots with it at 1/160 hand held while panning, so to me 1/500 would feel like luxury. Oh and I would also regularly crop by at least 1.5×, actually I still crop by that much very often when shooting at 600mm! I am shooting an APS-C sized sensor too, in my case a 50D. Don't forget to expose to the right, and pull it down in post.

Alan

This is exactly how I have shot with that lens for several years. The addition that I'd make is after getting your initial metering for your primary light, spin around and meter for a shot in the opposite direction; then mentally mark how many 'clicks' of a dial different the two exposures are. Then, if you have to do any quick framing changes you can adjust as you move the camera


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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Jun 04, 2016 18:52 |  #22

Thanks again very much. These are exactly the tips I was looking for.

I have heard of others metering off the grass for a starting point. I don't have a grey card so I'll try that. Question on this method though - wouldn't the exposure be different between a subject in the shade vs one in the sun? Changing between these is usually what gets me, but maybe I'm over thinking it. Either way, I'll need to practice it!

Sounds like I could definitely get by with a slower shutter too.




  
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Jun 08, 2016 01:48 |  #23

Yes the subject has to be in the same light, either as you, if you are using an external incident lightmeter; or your substitue target if using the cameras built in meter. If the subject is rapidly moving from one lighting condition to another you will face a challenge. It's a situation that will be challenging using one of the camera's semi automatic modes too, as that is usually one of the times you would be needing to adjust the EC.

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Jun 14, 2016 08:48 |  #24

If you have a subject that is moving between shade and sun a lot, then you should probably switch to spot metering and use exposure compensation depending on how light/dark the subject is. It can be hard to keep the subject on the center spot at 400mm though.

Remember, the IS on this lens gives you about 2 stops of handholding benefit, so even 1/500 on crop is a pretty decent shutter speed, especially if the subject isn't moving much. If the subject is moving quickly, then keep the faster shutter speed (and make sure IS is set to mode 2 for panning).

As already mentioned, try doing the MF adjustment if you are noticing focusing misses at 400mm. That's when the depth of field is at a minimum, so if you get that dialed in, you should be even better at 250mm. Even doing a rough MF adjustment helps. Find a picket fence, get around 50 ft away, focus on a single post and take a shot at f5.6. If the post you aimed toward isn't the one in focus in the photo, then adjust the MF by 5 or so and try again. After you get within 5 points, then try dialing it by 2 points, then 1 point. On my 7D II, I was able to do MF adjustment at both the long focal length and the short focal length of the lens. The 70D is similar, so you might be able to take advantage of that as well.

Don't worry too much about ISO 3200 and noise, especially if you are making prints. A noisy print looks a lot better than a blurry print (I realize this contradicts my IS comment above, it's all a balance as you know). Maybe start at f6.3 or f7.1, ISO 3200. If you have 1/1250 or faster shutter, then bump down the ISO until shutter speeds get in the 1/500-1/1000 range (depending on how much your subject is moving). And don't forget you have a little extra leeway with the aperture. I would rather be at f5.6 and ISO 1600 than f8 and ISO 3200 (especially if MF adjusted and focusing on the eyes). After that, you're set.


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Jun 26, 2016 18:27 |  #25

Thanks for all the tips, guys. I tried Manual a few times and just couldn't adjust fast enough, so I stuck with Aperture priority and exposure comp for now. I didn't have time (or will) to do the microadjust on my trip, so I stuck with manual focus for the most part because it was generally more sharp, especially at the long end, but when moving animals got involved, there is just no way around using AF. IMHO, the 70D's AI Servo focus system is really good anyway. Got a few lucky shots!

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Juyj​oG  (external link) IMG_3547 (external link) by J Horton (external link), on Flickr

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/JxAg​F4  (external link) IMG_3537 (external link) by J Horton (external link), on Flickr

As for the lens, I'm glad I took the 100-400 or these shots (among many others I haven't gotten to yet) wouldn't have been possible. However, the gap between 55 and 100mm was sorely missed on my crop body for some landscape shots. I ended up taking countless "panoramas" to stitch together in post for the landscape shots I wanted which is going to make a lot of work for me ahead (and some possible stitching issues), but this was the only way to get it all while only carrying one lens. I guess that's just the way it goes.

Still have myself a lot of learning to do, but I greatly appreciate all your tips to preemptively salvage some of my shots from this trip! I'll be posting more throughout the photo sharing forums as I get through the editing. As always, comments and critiques are very welcome. Thanks again.



  
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Jun 27, 2016 01:28 |  #26

jamsomito wrote in post #18050789 (external link)
Thanks for all the tips, guys. I tried Manual a few times and just couldn't adjust fast enough, so I stuck with Aperture priority and exposure comp for now. .


The whole point of using manual is so that you don't have to keep adjusting a control. If the light falling on the subject is constant, as it would seem to be in those two great eagle pictures you posted, then what is causing the metering to change in manual mode is the amount of light coming from the background. This could be as much as two or even three stops as you go from having the sky as a background, to having the darkest rocks of the cliffs. In this situation, in Av or Tv modes you would need to be constantly adjusting the EC to keep the exposure of the subject, the bird, constant.

If you shoot manual exposure on the other hand, using as substitute metering target as I suggested in my last post, the exposure of the subject will remain constant, which is what you want. The brightness of the background will change, the sky will be bright, the cliffs darker, but this would be correct in relation to your actual subject.

Shooting in manual exposure mode will also make your PP easier. The subject brightness will be constant from frame to frame, so you won't need to keep adusting the exposure control to make up for your uncorrected reflected metering errors between frames where the background brightness changed.

With very small subjects, sometimes even using Spotmetering in Av/Tv modes can be afftected by the background, if it doesn't fill the metering spot. It also means that you must always place the subject in the exact center of the frame, unless you are using a 1 series camera with the metering spot linked to the AF point.

Remember that all of this is simply down to the single biggest problem facing reflected light metering. If you were to place a piece of glossy white photo paper, a piece of black velvet, and an 18% grey card all in the same light, and fill the frame with each in turn, with EC at zero in Av or Tv, then all three photos will look to be mid grey. Because that is what your meter expects to see, a scene that averages out to be mid grey, or a spot in the frame that is the same shade. If you then switch to M, and center the meter using only the grey card, your images would turn out , white, black, and mid grey, as you would want them to, because you metered from something that was the tonal value the metering system expected.

Oh and the palm of your (or anyone elses) hand should be midtone plus one stop, regardless of ethnicity. Which is why it makes a good substitute target for metering, just set the exposure at center plus one stop.

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Snydremark
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Jun 27, 2016 09:59 |  #27

To add on to what's been said around shooting M; do not "chase the needle" and think that because you're seeing it bounce around that you need to adjust anything. the needle on the meter will jump all over the place as you move your camera around due to differing amounts of light/dark tones in the background. This *does not mean that you need to adjust anything further* once you have your metering set; set your meter once and stop looking at it unless the light hitting your subject changes.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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Jun 28, 2016 10:00 |  #28

Ok, I understand that pretty well now, I think it's just a confidence and practice thing. Seeing the meter indicator jump around was admittedly a bit unsettling, but I'm with you now. It does sound way easier.

I think part of the issue is that I wasn't just out there exclusively for wildlife shooting. I would go from a bright white glacier in the sun to an eagle that flew by, back to a cloud covered mountain scene, back to an eagle against the darker mountain scene, back to the snow covered mountains in the distance etc. I was waiting to reply to post some examples, but I just haven't gotten to editing them yet (I'll post soon)*. That's what I meant by not being able to adjust fast enough - when wildlife appeared, I only had a couple seconds to get back to my known manual exposure for the bird and I'd usually miss the moment. So, I'd stick in Av mode, quick flip to the ISO and aperture I knew would work, and make a split second decision about the general light level to pick an exposure comp that I thought would work and start firing away (oh yeah, focus in there somewhere too). Although now that I think about it, maybe all of these would have called for the same exposure too with the exception being sunlight vs cloud cover, not sure. I think the close-up eagle shot I managed to switch to spot metering so it was more accurate, but the one against the dark background was full scene metering (didn't have time to switch). Maybe this is more complicated than it would have to be, but it's just habit and familiar, so that's what worked. I do want to keep working on my technique though, so I will for sure try out what you're suggesting. I just didn't want to try something new and miss more shots on a trip I may never take again. Or call me chicken :).

*speaking of, I have lots of travel / landscape / wildlife / bird shots I'd like to share and hopefully get some feedback. This thread is pretty off topic now (doesn't bother me, but it might others). Excuse my being new, but where would be the best place to post some of these? Make my own thread in the right category under "photo sharing & visual enjoyment" forum?




  
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Snydremark
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Jun 28, 2016 10:12 |  #29

jamsomito wrote in post #18052248 (external link)
Ok, I understand that pretty well now, I think it's just a confidence and practice thing. Seeing the meter indicator jump around was admittedly a bit unsettling, but I'm with you now.

I think part of the issue is that I wasn't just out there exclusively for wildlife shooting. I would go from a bright white glacier in the sun to an eagle that flew by, back to a cloud covered mountain scene, back to an eagle against the darker mountain scene, back to the snow covered mountains in the distance etc. I was waiting to reply to post some examples, but I just haven't gotten to editing them yet (I'll post soon)*. That's what I meant by not being able to adjust fast enough - when wildlife appeared, I only had a couple seconds to get back to my known manual exposure for the bird and I'd usually miss the moment. So, I'd stick in Av mode, quick flip to the ISO and aperture I knew would work, and make a split second decision about the general light level to pick an exposure comp that I thought would work and start firing away (oh yeah, focus in there somewhere too). I think the close-up eagle shot I managed to switch to spot metering so it was more accurate, but the one against the dark background was full scene metering (didn't have time to switch). Maybe this is more complicated than it would have to be, but it's just habit and familiar, so that's what worked. I do want to keep working on my technique though, so I will for sure try out what you're suggesting. I just didn't want to try something new and miss more shots on a trip I may never take again.

*speaking of, I have lots of travel / landscape / wildlife / bird shots I'd like to share and hopefully get some feedback. This thread is pretty off topic now (doesn't bother me, but it might others). Excuse my being new, but where would be the best place to post some of these? Make my own thread in the right category under "photo sharing & visual enjoyment" forum?

Just keep working at it; it'll make a lot more sense with time and practice. As far as feedback on images, if you have ones that you really want direct feedback on, make some posts over in the Critique section; and if you have images you're already reasonably happy with from your own standpoint, make your own posts in the respective photo sharing sections. People will still offer up some opinions and critiques there (especially if you note "C&C welcome" in your post or in your signature; but you're more likely to get directed feedback in the Critique Corner.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Jun 28, 2016 11:59 |  #30

jamsomito wrote in post #18050789 (external link)
I didn't have time (or will) to do the microadjust on my trip, so I stuck with manual focus for the most part because it was generally more sharp, especially at the long end, but when moving animals got involved, there is just no way around using AF.

The MA takes all of 15 min if you have a tripod and use DotTune method. You can do it even in the field.


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