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11-12-2009, 06:21 PM   #16
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I have to disagree with what some people say, shutter speed and cropping down are only a part of the process.

You can shoot at very low shutter speeds and get very close if you are patient.

here is a clip out of a shot taken with my K7 and SMC-300mm F4 plus 1.7x AF TC. shutter speed was 1/40th.



and now the full frame (resized to uplad)

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11-12-2009, 07:20 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
Even at F4 and with decent light it is difficult to get 1/500th shutter at iso 100 or 200. There are many limitations to shooting with telephoto. Consider hiking for hours and then hand holding........shutter speed is the essential element, but it is very difficult to achieve those.
That's why I shoot at ISO 400-800, even higher on occasion.
11-12-2009, 09:55 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by apisto Quote
I would add breath control to this list. Shoot at the end of an exhale. I would not say hold your breath because that implies tension. Instead, anticipate a second or two before you need to shoot if you can. Then let your breath flow out, do not force it out. The goal is a very relaxed and very still state. With practice, most people can maintain this relaxed state between exhale and inhale for 10 seconds with no problem, some people much longer.

Then as mentioned above gently use only the minimum force required to trigger the shutter.
Good point! I left it out inadvertently. I was taught a slightly different technique by my Dad, a rifle teacher and gunsmith in WWII, inhale, let it out half way and release. Same idea, I think. Again, a good point.
11-12-2009, 10:29 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Yep ... tripod, head, 400mm, teleconverter, camera body - it only weighs around 11lbs. I just throw it over my shoulder and run around (and watch the animals run away from me - I need to work on those approach techniques that Canada_Rockies has been teaching us (great stuff)). I often shoot 680mm at 1/100 or less (i've gotten sharp photos at 1/8 with this combo) if needed and get clear shots - tripods and long lens technique are the thing!
Sheesh. My tripod and head weigh about 10 pounds. That doesn't leave all that much for the K10, grip, extender and M 400, does it? You must be rich enough to own one of those modern fancy carbon fibre 'pods.

11-12-2009, 11:42 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have to disagree with what some people say, shutter speed and cropping down are only a part of the process.

You can shoot at very low shutter speeds and get very close if you are patient...
This has been a good discussion. Animals and birds get used to new things in their environment. And i think they also get used to specific humans. I used to visit a park that had a lot of herons. This one heron eventually seemed to get used to my visits, as long as i didn't move too quickly and seemed to be occupied with my own stuff. And as others have said, try to avoid approaching directly or staring too much. A coupla times i was about 15' feet away and this could go on for 1/2 hour or more. If you act relaxed, they seem to sense that. Eventually i got tired of taking heron pictures.
11-13-2009, 06:12 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
I've been looking at many pictures with telephoto zooms and primes and the thing that amazes me is the many shots that are taken with these zooms that would possibly require fast movement of the hand and even feet when using primes to get the composure right then snap away.

I used to have a DA* 50-135 and although I can hold the lens still, at 135mm it's still shakier than when I am shooting at shorter focal lengths. I'm a young guy at only 20 years old and I can hold things pretty still but yet I'm still amazed by some things.

The thing is also with primes, how can one compose so quickly with a prime telephoto, is it just shoot away at anything and then crop? Because I've seen some pictures of things that will require fast composure before it's gone and yet at the same time, with the distance and the focal length of the lens itself, sometimes I think it would be impossible to hold it that still after composing. I would probably accidently add some motion blur to the picture by moving it that fast then trying to hold it dead still for a split second shutter button press.

Even at higher F-stops such as F8 and F11, yet it's so still. Do you guys run around with these big heavy lenses and a tripod with your feet to compose, then quickly set it down to snap the picture or something? I mean jeeze, here are some examples I speak of.




SOURCE: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/754863-post26.html
In addition to the excellent info from Canada Rockies, grab copies of Understanding Exposure and Understanding Shutter speed by Bryan Peterson. Often one needs to up the shutter speed on, among other shots, a long tele shot to get proper exposure AND stop movement. Until reading those books, I never got it and tried to shoot everything at ISO100 since it was what I learned way back when as I was first learning photography. Shooting at ISO400 using 100 film was something that never worked well for me...but after those two books, I have no prob going to those lofty shutter speeds and higher ISO settings. The nice thing is there is always a way to get the same shot with different settings so everyone can shoot in their own comfort zone. But as I learned it works better if we learn to move outside that comfort zone.

Nothing drove it home as much as when I had my Sigma Bigmos (150-500) which needs a LOT of light. But when shooting critters you need the faster shitter speed. So a shutter speed on the long end often had to be at least 1/1250...but to get the right exposure on a SUNNY day I needed ISO800 or more. Took a long time to trust those settings. Now I don't even give it a second thought which is where I always screw up and forget something. hahaha....
11-13-2009, 06:27 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Good point! I left it out inadvertently. I was taught a slightly different technique by my Dad, a rifle teacher and gunsmith in WWII, inhale, let it out half way and release. Same idea, I think. Again, a good point.
Yes, this variation may work better for most people. Certainly it comes from a more qualified source.
11-13-2009, 08:57 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Good point! I left it out inadvertently. I was taught a slightly different technique by my Dad, a rifle teacher and gunsmith in WWII, inhale, let it out half way and release. Same idea, I think. Again, a good point.
I think one point to note, is that I have often found it is easier to shoot ssomething with a gun, than a camera

but from a technique point of view I agree 100%,

11-13-2009, 10:01 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I think one point to note, is that I have often found it is easier to shoot ssomething with a gun, than a camera

but from a technique point of view I agree 100%,
With eyes like mine, nothing is easy.
11-13-2009, 02:03 PM   #25
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As Canada Rockies advised, get to know your subject extremely well. It will make the chances of a good photo go up tremendously. I go after big bucks every fall. And I always get the big ones. You have to almost think like they do.
11-14-2009, 02:44 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
...
don't walk directly toward the subject. Zig and zag. Don't look the animal in the eye, ever. That's challenge to them. Move slowly, as if you are just looking around for a nice comfy log to sit on. ..
good tips. that's how i landed my wife.
11-14-2009, 03:23 AM   #27
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Some really good advice and pointers in this thread.
I'm just getting into long-tele shooting aswell.

Like Canada_Rockies I have an M400, which I use with a monopod. So far, I seem to get my best results if I kneel on the ground, with the weight of the camera supported by the monopod.
Still find that I need a lot of shutter speed!

I would say to the OP, it's very challenging but also very rewarding.
I also find that in order to get any sort of decent shot, I need to be patient but also persistent. Like I need to try very hard and put 100% effort in, to just have a chance of getting a shot that I'm happy with.
Not too sure if I'm getting my point accross very well there - good thread anyway.
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