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04-02-2009, 04:03 PM   #16
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One consideration I'd note is that most medium to large sized dogs have long faces. I've found you can get nice portrait-y shots with a longer lens, which flattens the face a bit. With shorter lenses you can get different shots that show off that depth a bit better.

Another tough decision is aperture. Especially with shorter lenses when you are close up, having the eyes in focus and the nose out of focus can be distracting. When I'm close, I try to stop down a bit or shoot profile if I'm wide open.

Here's one from today with my voigtlander 90! My sister surprised us by coming to our place and giving him a bath while we were at work, so he's about as clean as he can get. It won't last long.




Last edited by ILoveVerdi; 04-02-2009 at 04:04 PM. Reason: downsized the photo
04-02-2009, 04:06 PM   #17
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Looks like you went with the FA77. The one thing I meant to tell you was to shoot with the focus confirmation beep on. They hear the beep and react to it by looking at the camera. At least this works on puppies.

BTW, #3 is a great candid shot.
04-02-2009, 04:28 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by ILoveVerdi Quote
One consideration I'd note is that most medium to large sized dogs have long faces. I've found you can get nice portrait-y shots with a longer lens, which flattens the face a bit. With shorter lenses you can get different shots that show off that depth a bit better.

Another tough decision is aperture. Especially with shorter lenses when you are close up, having the eyes in focus and the nose out of focus can be distracting. When I'm close, I try to stop down a bit or shoot profile if I'm wide open.

Here's one from today with my voigtlander 90! My sister surprised us by coming to our place and giving him a bath while we were at work, so he's about as clean as he can get. It won't last long.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3400/3407403747_9c85eef1f3.jpg
Thank you for the valuable inputs, you have a clean and beautiful shot. I missed most of the nose in many of my shots, especially the big dogs. I have to remember to stop-down but then, I also ran into a slower shutter speed that are prone to movement. I wonder if auto-bracketing by a bigger step will help for the situation.

Last edited by hinman; 04-02-2009 at 07:41 PM.
04-02-2009, 04:32 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
Looks like you went with the FA77. The one thing I meant to tell you was to shoot with the focus confirmation beep on. They hear the beep and react to it by looking at the camera. At least this works on puppies.

BTW, #3 is a great candid shot.
Alan, it is not fair to ask you to guess. I used the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 again due to the fact that the puppies are moving in three different directions in the lawn and I would have a hard time going after them. I don't know if FA 77 or my Tamron 28-75 zoom would focus faster as I really wound up having my most difficult time in AF and I found AF.C not working for the shoot, I need to shoot more to gain the experience in knowing how and when to use AF.C and when to switch off all the AF thing and go to manual focus.

Thanks again for your help and comment,
Hin

04-02-2009, 05:16 PM   #20
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Hin, I'm no expert on portraits, and I know I'll get abuse from everyone who's hardcore for suggesting this, but next time experiment with with using the Auto Focus Point mode with AF.C for chasing the moving puppies. The problem with single point focus with fast moving targets using AF.C is the tendency for the point to momentarily slip off the subject onto the background, and since your camera doesn't know any better, it immediately starts adjusting the focus for the background, and then when you get the subject back in your sights, there's the delay while the focus is moved back to the subject. I don't know the exact logic used to prioritize focus points in this mode, but I think it might weight having multiple points in focus, and might be somewhat center weighted, and it likely also prioritizes subjects which are closer to the camera over more distant ones.

No matter the logic it uses, I've found the Auto Point mode to work well for chasing my son and dog around when I've experimented with it. This mode works well in the type of setting you were working in, a strong subject with a nice uncluttered background. Since you won't be choosing a specific point, stop down somewhat, say at least f/5.6 or maybe f/8 so if focus is close, it ought to be good enough.

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman:
I have to remember to stop-down but then, I also ran into a slower shutter speed that are prone to movement. I wonder if auto-bracketing by a bigger step will help for the situation.
Don't be afraid to increase your ISO in these situations, those bird shots you've been seeing me post from my new Tammy are all at least ISO 400, sometimes up to 800, just to keep the shutter speeds up. Assuming you're using ISO 100, 400 would give you a two stop advantage, and while the added noise would be slightly visible in pixel peeping, I don't think it'd hurt even fairly large prints (though I'm no expert on prints either).
04-02-2009, 07:39 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Hin, I'm no expert on portraits, and I know I'll get abuse from everyone who's hardcore for suggesting this, but next time experiment with with using the Auto Focus Point mode with AF.C for chasing the moving puppies. The problem with single point focus with fast moving targets using AF.C is the tendency for the point to momentarily slip off the subject onto the background, and since your camera doesn't know any better, it immediately starts adjusting the focus for the background, and then when you get the subject back in your sights, there's the delay while the focus is moved back to the subject. I don't know the exact logic used to prioritize focus points in this mode, but I think it might weight having multiple points in focus, and might be somewhat center weighted, and it likely also prioritizes subjects which are closer to the camera over more distant ones.

No matter the logic it uses, I've found the Auto Point mode to work well for chasing my son and dog around when I've experimented with it. This mode works well in the type of setting you were working in, a strong subject with a nice uncluttered background. Since you won't be choosing a specific point, stop down somewhat, say at least f/5.6 or maybe f/8 so if focus is close, it ought to be good enough.


Don't be afraid to increase your ISO in these situations, those bird shots you've been seeing me post from my new Tammy are all at least ISO 400, sometimes up to 800, just to keep the shutter speeds up. Assuming you're using ISO 100, 400 would give you a two stop advantage, and while the added noise would be slightly visible in pixel peeping, I don't think it'd hurt even fairly large prints (though I'm no expert on prints either).
The advice and tips are right on. I used AF.C in the shooting along with the Auto Focal Point hoping that the AF detect changes around the movement and pick the best. But most come out not as good as I desire. You are right on the use of higher ISO as I used in between 200 and 250 an later changed to 400, and due to some shades from surrounding trees, my aperture is mostly at f/5.0 to get to roughly 1/80 to 1/250 shutter. Many of the still shots, I turn back to my select focal center and AF.S. I am reviewing my mistakes and I hope to improve on AF.C and auto focal point. If you are shooting flying birds, would you use the AF.C and the auto Focal point.

Thank you for the suggestions.

Hin
04-02-2009, 07:56 PM   #22
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Get out of the sun?

Shooting in direct sun gives harsh shadows. If this is what you want, fine.
I recommend you try moving under a tree or to the N side of a building to get some shade. A bit of fill flash can give you highlights.
04-02-2009, 09:10 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman:
If you are shooting flying birds, would you use the AF.C and the auto Focal point.
Well, yes and no. If the bird fills a lot of the viewfinder (either because it's quite large or really really close), this will work, and if the bird is alone in the blue sky and fills a fair amount of the viewfinder (maybe 10-15%?), this works for me as well, but as soon as there are either clouds or tree limbs or really anything else in the view, I find the camera often gets confused and goes focus hunting. The real problem with the lens hunting for focus is that while it's way out of focus, you can't track the bird, so you're basically guaranteed to not get focus back. Consequently, I tend to always shoot birds in flight using manual focus (even with AF lenses) - with MF, I might be off on focus, but I'm still close enough to see the bird and follow it while hoping for a moment of clarity. I've experimented with using trap focus on BIF, and had decent results, but I'm not sure they're spot on with focus... I need to do more testing with that.

04-02-2009, 11:59 PM   #24
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Really interesting thread since I have a black labrador and I use to find the same problems on sunny days and black dogs.
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