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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 22 May 2013 (Wednesday) 13:06
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400mm 5.6L settings for depth of field

 
markisclueless
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May 22, 2013 13:06 |  #1

Hi, just bought a new Canon 400mm 5.6l (also taking my 100-400 for variable reach) and normally shoot Avian. For birds I use spot metering and use Tv to set my SS at 1/1000 - 1/2000.
I am off on Safari and hope to photograph big wildlife (lions etc), searched the forum and found that the following are popular settings for decent light

Av @ 5.6
Auto ISO

This will hopefully result in SS of 1/1000 upwards - with aperture of 5.6 will it result in shallow depth of field resulting in the lions body being out of focus...

Basically what I want to achieve is for the entire lion (or at least most part of it) being in focus with enough SS to counter any camera shake... And not unmanageably high ISO resulting in noise...

Thanks for any advise as I am running out of time (leave in less than 2 days)!


Canon 7D mk2 | Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II | Canon 400mm DO IS II

  
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MCAsan
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May 22, 2013 14:53 |  #2

We go to Kruger,Tsukudu lodge, and Mala Mala lodge every time we get the chance. We usually rent 500 in country from Wild 4 Photographic Safaris in Nelspruit. We bring our 100-400 and several other lenses and 2 bodies.

We program our custom settings as follows:
C1: for landscape, Av, mirror lockup, 2 sec timer, single shot, 100 ISO......etc
C2: for wild life, Av, center point AF, AI Servo, high speed, f8, ISO 800...etc
C3: for fast wild wildlife and BIF, same as C2 except ISO is 1600

Have fun!!!




  
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CamFan01
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May 22, 2013 15:42 as a reply to  @ MCAsan's post |  #3

The short answer to your question Mark is yes, at f5.6 there will be some of any creature OOF unless the camera to subject distance is say 4-5x MFD. I don't have any magic formula to share, but I shoot a lot of birds between 1-3x MFD (some with that exact lens with MFD of 11.5') and have yet to see one completely in focus head to tail. I should also add I typically shoot Av and try to keep the aperture between 8 & 11.
It has been stated that the DOF at a given aperture is the same at whatever distance the camera may be to the subject. That may be true, but it seems to me the further away the subject is from the camera at any given aperture the more likely there will be more of the subject in focus front-to-back. Of course you lose details too at greater distance so it may just be an illusion that the subject is "more in focus".
If I've managed to confuse you, well good because I think I'm more confused than when I started this reply :)
Go have fun and take plenty of flash memory!


Steve
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300 f2.8L IS II, 400 f2.8G ED VR, 500 f4L IS, 600 f4L IS II, 600 f4G ED VR....and a few others.

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tomj
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May 22, 2013 20:46 |  #4

"Av @ 5.6
Auto ISO
This will hopefully result in SS of 1/1000 upwards"

My experience with a 400/5.6 and a 7d using auto ISO is that I usually get a shutter speed of 1/500, too slow for me. I've only used this ocassionally when the light is dim and changing (like a heavily wooded area) and I'm trying to keep the ISO from going too high. I now just go for the higher ISO, and get better results.

FWIW, I shoot mostly birds, either in manual or AV at 5.6, ISO high enough for a shutter speed fo 1/1000 or faster, AI Servo, evaluative metering. I never use spot metering, it just isn't meant for this sort of thing, although apparently some get good results with it.

For DOF, the closer you are to the subject the shallower it will be. With a long focal length lens like a 400, even f/11 will be pretty shallow. You should be able to find a DOF chart online that will tell you exactly what you're dealing with.


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markisclueless
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May 23, 2013 00:31 |  #5

thanks all, much appreciated - will take all tips into account and hopefully I will end up with some keepers!


Canon 7D mk2 | Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II | Canon 400mm DO IS II

  
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res
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May 23, 2013 16:31 as a reply to  @ markisclueless's post |  #6

I have DOF calc right on my phone. I do not spend a ton of time with it but it is nice when getting into an area to check my settings and see what I will have for DOF. Per their calculations at 5.6, if you are 100 feet from your subject, you will have about 4' DOF. I personally consider it much closer at about 33% less to be sure not to push the edges if I want a sharp subject front to back. Drop the distance to 60 ft, and you will have 1.44 ft DOF. To get the same 4' DOF at 60' requires approximately f/16. It is a nice tool. It is not a cure all but it does help when trying to set something up. Familiarizing yourself in reference to your situation before shooting can be quite helpful. So if you will be on a land rover and shooting a pride of lions, you can do some quick settings and find out basically where the DOF becomes usable at 5.6 on the whole lion looking at you. Less then that, you need to open it up. Again, it is a handy tool for me.




  
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400mm 5.6L settings for depth of field
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
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x 1600
y 1600

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