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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 18 Jul 2011 (Monday) 20:07
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Am I expecting too much?

 
Chas ­ G
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Jul 18, 2011 20:07 |  #1

Let me start by saying that I do not expect to match some of the amazing photos that can seen on this forum. But take a look at the photos and let me know if I should be expecting more from the Bigmos.

The first is the original converted to JPEG, no PP. The second is cropped original no PP. I am disappointed in the sharpness. Now I am no post processing guru. In fact, I pretty bad. I guess my question is, is there something to work with here? Or should I can it. Also do you feel based upon the data the eagle should have been sharper?

ISO 400
500mm
60D
Ai Servo
Center point
f8.0
1/3200

Comments much appreciated.


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S.Horton
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Jul 18, 2011 20:10 |  #2

Your subject is underexposed. If the bird is dark and the sky is bright, my rule of thumb is go up two stops or three from the sky.

I do not own that lens. I cannot really tell from these photos what you are getting.

Are you sure you are not seeing camera shake? What support system do you have? Are you hand holding?


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Chas ­ G
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Jul 18, 2011 21:21 as a reply to  @ S.Horton's post |  #3

Handheld and Av mode.

So in Av mode i would meter the bright sky and adjust the exposure compensation a couple of stops.

In M mode I could just adjust to a slower shutter speed to properly expose the subject right?




  
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S.Horton
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Jul 18, 2011 21:25 |  #4

You can use EC to get a feel for it. I rarely have the time to meter the sky and guess which bird might be flying by, so I do. I just quick roll the dial when I know that dark bird is coming by, and roll it the other way for, something white.

Your problem is camera shake. Hand holding is tough. That is a heavy lens. If you practice a lot, you may get sharp results most of the time.

Consider real support for the camera and lens. It will cost a surprising amount of money, but you will be happier.

By the way, from the samples I recall from that lens, there is no reason why you should not expect great results, on par with the best here.


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Snydremark
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Jul 18, 2011 22:09 |  #5

You're not expecting too much for the lens to produce great images, but you'll need to learn how to work with it first. As the others mentioned, it's quite underexposed and it looks a bit OOF; most likely from the angle you were holding it at to get this shot. It's quite difficult to hold long lenses steady when you're holding at such a high angle.

Angle and quality of light has as much to do with how the image turns out as amount of light does. As you've seen here, even though there is plenty of light it isn't hitting at a very good angle compared to where you are viewing from. You'll want to try and get angles where you are shooting at a shallower angle and toward the lit side of your subject to really get good shots. Early or late light also helps by being softer and often 'warmer' than the harsh lights of mid day.

Another thing that being at a shallower angle will help with is that you can support the lens with your stance much better than when holding up at extreme angles.

It sounds like you certainly have the right idea for settings (AI Servo,single AF point); you just need to keep practicing!

Take a look through the Bird image board and check out the angles of light (where it's hitting the subject in relation to the shooter, etc) to get some ideas of what I mean here. And most importantly, DON'T GET DISCOURAGED! :) Birds are a lot of fun and a great past time...just need some trial/error.


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Jeff ­ Dyck
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Jul 18, 2011 23:23 |  #6

You should have lots of depth of field at f8 and at 1/3200s, even hand-held, the periphery of the bird should be tack sharp (albiet, under exposed).

Which 500mm lens are you using?

Just a thought --> the 60D has focus micro-adjustment --> have you taken the time to calibrate the focus of your camera and lens combination? It is possible that your images are looking soft because they are actually a hair out-of-focus.

This might be of interest:
This lens is soft and other myths... (external link)




  
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Muteki
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Jul 19, 2011 00:07 |  #7

I know it can be difficult, but try filling at least 1/3 of the frame with your subject. I find that the camera exposes better if you use one of the semi-auto modes like Av, TV, or P, and you also get better bird details and sharpness. With your subject quite small compare to the rest of the bright sky, it's not a surprise that your camera is not exposing your subject correctly. Another word, the metering is off. Shooting in manual mode will also help on the exposure consistency.


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jhayesvw
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Jul 19, 2011 00:35 |  #8

Jeff Dyck wrote in post #12783269 (external link)
Just a thought --> the 60D has focus micro-adjustment --> have you taken the time to calibrate the focus of your camera and lens combination? It is possible that your images are looking soft because they are actually a hair out-of-focus.

I dont think the 60d has micro adjustment.

keep practicing. Birds in flight are so hard. its unbelievable.
I have yet to get a really good shot. Ive been trying for a couple months.



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Duane ­ N
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Jul 19, 2011 04:46 as a reply to  @ jhayesvw's post |  #9

I have cropped my images this much with good results. I think it's a combination of lack of post processing (sharpening), the light angle and the exposure. Exposing for Bald Eagles is difficult even with the correct light angle....white head, dark body you're asking for trouble.

With what you had to work with I would consider this image "not bad" for the conditions. I personally would have passed on the attempt but I can afford to do that with the Eagles I photograph on a regular basis.


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megapixelsoffun
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Jul 19, 2011 05:07 |  #10

Are you shooting in RAW? Because if you are then you MUST post process the image in what ever RAW software you have, it is the only way to take this from a digital negative to the image you want. Leaving a RAW file untouched is a little like taking half the picture. Settings for your exposure and colour are key but also you need to adjust the CLARITY slider to make the image sharper, the camera will not have done anything to assist that and with RAW files it is a must.


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Jeff ­ Dyck
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Jul 19, 2011 09:12 |  #11

jhayesvw wrote in post #12783612 (external link)
I dont think the 60d has micro adjustment.

I just had a look at the specs and right you are. I know the 50D had the feature so I assumed the 60D did also - quite amazing that it does not!




  
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johnasc
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Jul 19, 2011 17:32 |  #12

This is well underexposed (by about 1-2 stops) and f/8 is unnecessary at this distance. You can shoot wide open safely when the bird is this distant. 1/3,200 is more than enough to freeze motion - I advocate 1/2,000th sec for BIF beginners.

Av is NOT the right way forward IMO. Shoot in manual (M) and learn to expose correctly in different lighting conditions. If you abdicate responsibility for the exposure to your camera, you won't get consistently good results and you won't be in control of them either.

I don't know the lens, sorry, so I cannot advise you on the likely results.




  
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Chas ­ G
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Jul 19, 2011 20:38 as a reply to  @ johnasc's post |  #13

Good stuff everyone. Much appreciated. I guess I was so concerned about the sharpness that I never paid attention the exposure that much. I still have a lot to learn. It is not everyday that I have an oppurtunity to capture an eagle so I was frustrated with the reults. But now I have some things to work on. Like I mentioned, my post work leaves a lot to be desired.
I attached a link of an attempt I made but I am not thrilled with it.

http://www.flickr.com …5948706637/in/p​hotostream (external link)

Thanks again for the advice. Definatley looking for forward to the weekend to get back to the river and have another go at it.




  
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Evan
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Jul 21, 2011 01:33 |  #14

I am very picky about getting FF shots. Personally, I would throw this image out from the camera LCD (completely me) because it doesn't cover a 1/4 of the frame. This is purely my opinion on my shooting. I have found that I do not get the quality that I am looking for from cropping an image that has the subject in less than 1/4 of the frame.

I have seen some amazing shots from the Bigmos.


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Methodical
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Jul 21, 2011 01:43 |  #15

If you do shoot BIF in Av mode, start by setting EC to +1. In Av mode, if you see 1/3000, 1/4000 SS most likely you will be underexposed. I don't normally shoot BIF in Av mode, but sometimes I may be shooting static shots and a bird is coming over and I don't have time to adjust, I quickly add +1 EC and shoot. If I am specifically shooting BIF, then it's manual all the way.


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Am I expecting too much?
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