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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 20 Feb 2014 (Thursday) 17:47
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How Far is too Far with a 100-400mm w/1.4x

 
Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 31, 2017 11:52 |  #31

Larry Johnson wrote in post #16781861 (external link)
Tom,
One unexpected problem that I ran into in getting so close to the subject (profiled bird swimming left or right) and using the center focus point on it's head/eye, was cutting off it's tail, while the other half of the frame was empty. In situations like this I'm either zooming out and/or trying to select different AF points to use as much of the frame as possible, but it doesn't always work well. I haven't tried locking the focus and moving the camera on a slow moving subject to take advantage of the entire frame, but I suspect it wouldn't work very well. Any thoughts or advice?

Larry,

I am so sorry that i didn't respond to this a few years ago when you posted it. . I just didn't see it.

Yes, if you are close enough to the subject, there will be many times when, if you use the center focus point on the bird's eye, the tail will be cut off. . The thing to do is to use a different focus point. . If the bird is swimming (or flying) from left to right, then you want to select a focus point that lies on the right part of the frame.

Of course, you'll want to be in AI Servo focus mode, and have the back button activated and the shutter button de-activated from focusing duties. . When I am shooting in these types of situations, the fingers of my right hand are continually moving as they work the joystick to change the active focus point. . Every time a duck turns its head slightly, or swims another couple of feet, or another duck enters the frame, then you'll have to rapidly change the focus point so that it best fits the new composition.

And of course, all the while, as one is trying to keep up with the bird's continually changing position by changing the active focus point, one will also be zooming in and out, so as to best compose the shot in the camera to avoid cropping later. . And you'll also be keeping a close eye on the background to make sure that there isn't any little thing behind the bird that will be distracting. . So there is a whole lot of stuff that your fingers and hands and eyes and brain are doing all at once whenever the subject is close enough for good images.

This kind of bird photography is not relaxing at all ...... in fact, it is quite stressful because you are trying to do so many things so quickly, and if you do anything just a little bit wrong you are missing shots. . But the results are worth all of the stress and hard work.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Larry ­ Johnson
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Dec 31, 2017 13:47 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #32

No worries, Tom. I've come a long way since then. I'm now shooting a 7D2 with 400 f/5.6 prime. The results are so much sharper than with the 60D and an original 100-400. I've tried using the teleconverter, but still didn't like the results.

As far as focusing somewhere other than at the counterpoint, I've got that all figured out now. It's much easier with the 7D2 than it was with the 60D. Happy New Year!


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Shooting 7D2 with Canon 400mm, f/5.6.
60D, canon 18-135 EFS, and 1.4 extender in the bag.
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How Far is too Far with a 100-400mm w/1.4x
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
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