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04-15-2009, 02:51 PM   #1
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bif images from A300mmF4

Once it starts (see earlier thread) , the rest is easier now



Just taken a couple hours ago in Durham region or Ontario . Lens used was a Pentax A*300mmF4. All manual exposure & focus. I usually shoot in burst and adjust the focus on the fly. (re the first 2) I normally take these type of shots faster than 1/1500s to deal with the camera shake issue. Shake reduction had to be off as well as I was panning









































For the heron shots, I positioned myself on their flight path and I did some relatively close up shots filling 1/4 of the frame



Daniel

04-15-2009, 05:36 PM   #2
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Great photos Daniel! Its really tough to shoot birds manually and you nailed a good couple there! All I got are robins and starlings lol.
04-15-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
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Daniel:

Very nice pictures. I've commented on some of your action shots before. You mentioned turning off shake reduction when panning. I had never thought to try that, although it does make sense to do so. Have you confirmed in your own mind that it helps? Also, it would seem to me that shooting birds in flight would be the one place where using AF-C and multi-point focusing would work. Have you tried and discarded that approach? Thanks for your reply.

CN
04-15-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
Daniel:

Very nice pictures. I've commented on some of your action shots before. You mentioned turning off shake reduction when panning. I had never thought to try that, although it does make sense to do so. Have you confirmed in your own mind that it helps? Also, it would seem to me that shooting birds in flight would be the one place where using AF-C and multi-point focusing would work. Have you tried and discarded that approach? Thanks for your reply.

CN
I have the similar question to learn from Daniel valuable experience in the field. I would have thought SR is important in panning unless I get some sort of stable support like a bean bag.

I lack experience in BIF shooting, but I thought AF.C to be somewhat useful in some cases when bird fills up large part of the frame and that there are not much distracting objects for the AF.C to work (such as tree branches in the bird's flight path), I learn this in discussion with Heliphoto. I am unsure on the auto focal point as I get mixed results in initial trial with lots of focusing errors. It may depend on situation that Auto Focal point may help in some cases, but my few trials seem to have more errors than I would like to admit. I usually use AF.C just with center select focal point. With AF.C, you can't recompose shot but I usually pan to middle and I use AF.C frequently in panning.

I wish I can get fantastic shots like Daniel, my salute to you in manual focusing without SR, please share your logic in not using SR.

Thanks,
Hin

04-15-2009, 06:20 PM   #5
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Nice shots Daniel!
Must be nest building time
04-15-2009, 06:24 PM   #6
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Hin, I don't use SR often either.

SR can help in some situations but be a hindrance in others. I'll let Daniel speak for himself but in my practice, I don't turn on SR until I start to blur (typically in the < 1/50th sec range for longer telephoto).

I have this notion (not tested objectively) that the SR can overcompensate a shot sometimes and blur your photo. It would be a loss if that happened in perfectly handholdable shutter speeds so I leave it off. On the otherhand, if I'm already blurring the shot with handshake, then I have nothing to lose by turning on SR.

Just my experiences using lenses usually 135mm and longer.
04-15-2009, 07:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Great photos Daniel! Its really tough to shoot birds manually and you nailed a good couple there! All I got are robins and starlings lol.
Robins and starlings are difficult. Try some in flight shots, Mine are a lot a lot bigger and easier than that.




QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I have the similar question to learn from Daniel valuable experience in the field. I would have thought SR is important in panning unless I get some sort of stable support like a bean bag.

I lack experience in BIF shooting, but I thought AF.C to be somewhat useful in some cases when bird fills up large part of the frame and that there are not much distracting objects for the AF.C to work (such as tree branches in the bird's flight path), I learn this in discussion with Heliphoto. I am unsure on the auto focal point as I get mixed results in initial trial with lots of focusing errors. It may depend on situation that Auto Focal point may help in some cases, but my few trials seem to have more errors than I would like to admit. I usually use AF.C just with center select focal point. With AF.C, you can't recompose shot but I usually pan to middle and I use AF.C frequently in panning.

I wish I can get fantastic shots like Daniel, my salute to you in manual focusing without SR, please share your logic in not using SR.

Thanks,
Hin
I did use AF-C (yes center focus) and the SDM lens (DA200mm) in this thread

Actions shots DA200mm - Photo.net Pentax Forum

And I was pleasantly surprised by its result.

But BIF is a lot faster and keeping just the subject in the frame was difficult already. My manual focus method also takes care of the minor motion of pressing the shutter (vibration) as I usually waste the first second of shooting (blank and off focus). In the 2nd seconds I have to get the subject in focus. Otherwise the shots are wasted.
The camera shooting in MF will be firing non-stop regardless anyway

As you see. I turned off SR for fast panning shots (at 1/3000s iso 1600) as it definitely may misinterpret my motion and under or overcompensate .

This is hypothetical: if your panning motion is perfect, do you think you need the camera to compensate for your motion? If your motion follows 100% the motion of the bird or fast car , do u need SR to compensate? And if you need to compensate, how would you think the camera should counteract?

The SR is designed in such a way to compensate for the hand vibration of a normal shooter (like a P&S person holding a camera 2 feet away). It is definitely a P&S shooter creates more vibration (holding a camera 2 feet away) than my panning action.


QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
Daniel:

Very nice pictures. I've commented on some of your action shots before. You mentioned turning off shake reduction when panning. I had never thought to try that, although it does make sense to do so. Have you confirmed in your own mind that it helps? Also, it would seem to me that shooting birds in flight would be the one place where using AF-C and multi-point focusing would work. Have you tried and discarded that approach? Thanks for your reply.

CN
Clem
Thanks. See my reply to Hin Man above. I am happy with the AFC+ SDM of DA200mm. Somehow I am more used to my manual method for longer lens like
A300mm. If I get a DA*300mm I will try the Canon/Nikon way ie . pointing in the direction of the subject and fire in burst. In the ideal scenario, all will be good shots. But my answer is that it is not happening yet even for the best of Canon/Nikon gears.



QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
Nice shots Daniel!
Must be nest building time

Best time to get them as I know where their rookeries are now. So all I need was to position myself along flight path. Because of my short lens (300mm) I need to be at least 50 ft or closer.


QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Hin, I don't use SR often either.

SR can help in some situations but be a hindrance in others. I'll let Daniel speak for himself but in my practice, I don't turn on SR until I start to blur (typically in the < 1/50th sec range for longer telephoto).
Yes. Same argument like I said to Hin Man. SR is not needed for fast shutter shots



Daniel

Last edited by danielchtong; 04-15-2009 at 08:19 PM.
04-15-2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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Great wing shots Daniel! I stalk the Herons and Egrets around my house but am no where near getting that level of wing shot. I would also like to steal your 300mm f4 . Keep it up and keep posting those pics to inspire the rest of us.

04-17-2009, 04:01 AM   #9
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That's great MF technique Daniel. You are setting the bar pretty high for the rest of us.

Tom G
04-17-2009, 12:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
That's great MF technique Daniel. You are setting the bar pretty high for the rest of us.

Tom G
Tom

Let me say that I am within a few months before reaching 60 and I need to squeeze every ounce of resolution from a 20 yrs lens

QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Great wing shots Daniel! I stalk the Herons and Egrets around my house but am no where near getting that level of wing shot. I would also like to steal your 300mm f4 . Keep it up and keep posting those pics to inspire the rest of us.
Thanks. Today I went back to the same flight path as they are finalizing nest building. They are about done. And I got this one with better light and pose I believe.







Daniel

Last edited by danielchtong; 04-17-2009 at 02:00 PM.
04-17-2009, 01:24 PM   #11
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Magnificent. Thats the kind of shot that got me interested enough to spend all my $$ on SLR gear. Now if I can only put it to use like that. Thanks for the inspiration.
04-17-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
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Daniel, those are some fabulous BIF's. I've been using SR while panning but now I'll try it without. I have a hell of a time using MF while panning. I used to do it all the time with my SV but I'm a lot older now and more feeble (minded).
04-17-2009, 03:02 PM   #13
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I checked a resource on the SR and my book (eBook actually) by Yvon Bourque that covers the K20d from head to toe recommends turning SR off for panning shots. k10dbook home Check Yvon's web site and blog PENTAX DSLRs
So I just ran outside and tried a few sea gulls with it off. I was impressed at how sharp the results where with a very fast shutter. Maybe as stated earlier the shutter speed is all the difference anyway. Here the pic i just took with SR off for a change and ISO 800, f/8, 1/3000, 300mm with no PP sharpening.


Last edited by imtheguy; 04-17-2009 at 03:21 PM. Reason: add img
04-17-2009, 05:47 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
wtlwdwgn : I have a hell of a time using MF while panning. I used to do it all the time with my SV
imtheguy just did it.



QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Wow Bingo . You have picked that up real fast and proved that it is just not as difficult as people say.

2 yrs ago I had the same experience after jacking up the shutter speed and bought a fast card which was pricey that time. Also F8 helps as its slightly larger dof allows some out of focus tolerance. Also for a zoom (part. of large range) , try to back off a bit from the extreme end by using their 200-260mm range. It is better to stay within the zoom's sweeter spot by forgoing small advantage in cropping.


Daniel

Last edited by danielchtong; 04-17-2009 at 06:06 PM.
04-17-2009, 07:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielchtong Quote
imtheguy just did it.

Daniel
Uh...sorry to disappoint but I am not capable of using MF fast enough along with the zoom to have captured that pic. It was AF.C all the way baby!
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