Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-11-2019, 04:02 PM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 6
Photographing wildlife on the move

Looking forward to photographing wildlife on our upcoming visit to Glacier National Park. Last year I upgraded my K5 and DA 60-250 by adding the DFA 150-450 and DA 1.4 rear converter and a very sturdy tripod. Discovering that the Bears didnít care to stand still long enough for me to set up the tripod, I tried to take the pictures without one. I upped the shutter speed and ISO but that often required that I leave the apertures wide open and wasnít particularly pleased with the results.

Iíd appreciate any suggestions for obtaining sharper pictures.

RWutch

08-11-2019, 04:32 PM   #2
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,459
Why did you up the shutter speed? A major advantage of Pentax is the built-in image stabilization.

Of course, if the animal is moving quickly, then neither tripod nor IBIS can prevent motion blur. Then it becomes a choice of whether to: 1) get frozen but grainy or soft image; 2) slow the shutter more and let intentional motion blur create some drama or 3) or follow the critter until it stops.

P.S. Some people leave the camera attached to the tripod and carry the whole thing over there shoulder -- it's fast but not comfortable.
08-11-2019, 04:58 PM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 431
no doubt the 60-250 and the 150-450 should be very sharp wide open. if yours are not, something is wrong! upgrading to a k-3 will give you a little more cropping ability in post, and focusing will be better. i went from k-5 to k-3, and i felt the k-3 was better in every way. even after getting a k-1, i went and got another k-3 after selling my first one (to pay for k-1)... right around $300 on ebay. i stopped using teleconverters and started going places where i could get closer to the wildlife. before i could afford great lenses, i went to gnp... the only grizzlies i saw were 100 yards away, and there was about 30 cars pulled over, and a ranger there to warn everyone when they needed to get back in their cars. as far as iso/shutter speed... not sure what to say, because i routinely use the 450 at 1/60-1/250sec wide open to keep the iso as low as possible, and that works for me... but i usually have something to lean on. good luck, and be patient! take lots of pictures! make sure sr is on!
08-11-2019, 05:15 PM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,612
You can use the appropriate shutter speed for the subject itself according to the movement pace, for example, 250 or 320 for a walking animal, 800 for a running animal or slowly flying bird, 1000 or 1200 for a more quickly moving bird and so on. The depth of field is a necessity in keeping deep enough field of view to included the subject detail in a shot, for example a heron flying may require an f stop of f10 to f13 or more to include its activity during movement. If I was you I would most likely use TAV mode and set the shutter speed and f stop yourself, and let the camera decide the appropriate ISO, unless you have the knowledge to master it yourself in Manual mode, which may be difficult in different lighting and movement situations.

Exaggerating your shutter speed and ISO will not aid you in getting shots, you have to regulate the use of them, which will allow you to apply the most appropriate ISO, or like I mentioned, just use TAV mode on your camera.

Sometimes you may want to allow a little room around your subject when shooting instead of just zooming in as close as you can get. That way when you shoot it gives you a bit of room to be able to track your subject and keep it well within the field of view.

Staying at a low number f stop such as F 2.8 will not give you the depth to attain detail of your subject in most cases, so as I mentioned above, use a higher number f stop. You may want to start with F8 for example, and if you find you need more depth for detail, use a higher F stop number. I would also recommend that you use "Spot" mode for your focus area setting, to allow for specific tracking of your subject(s).

You should have no problem getting nice shots without a tripod if shooting wildlife or other moving subjects. A 150-450 is capable of giving you nice shots without a tripod.


Last edited by C_Jones; 08-11-2019 at 05:23 PM.
08-11-2019, 05:29 PM   #5
dms
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,867
It does not sound right?
ó Asume a sunny day and iso 400. That means 1/1600 sec at f/8.
ó Even overcast, it is 1/400s at f/8.

A bear can run fast (although not likely, unless spooked), so maybe the overcast day means uping the iso to 1600, which IMO is fine for a K-5óor simply underexpose 2 stops and fix in pp (helps to use raw).

BTW it would help to show a picture w/ the exif info, or you saying what iso/f-stop/shutter speed, and also what was the weather (sunny, overcast, etc.).
08-11-2019, 07:01 PM - 1 Like   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
onlineflyer's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ohio
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,443
Some very good information here, already. I'd suggest a monopod with a simple tilt head. It's not as good as a tripod but better than hand held if your struggling to get sharp pictures. If you go that route, check out some Youtube videos for technique and practice before you visit the park.

Last edited by onlineflyer; 08-11-2019 at 07:07 PM.
08-11-2019, 08:14 PM   #7
Junior Member




Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 44
QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
Some very good information here, already. I'd suggest a monopod with a simple tilt head. It's not as good as a tripod but better than hand held if your struggling to get sharp pictures. If you go that route, check out some Youtube videos for technique and practice before you visit the park.
I second this recommendation. I started using this exact setup with my K70, DA*300mm, and 1.4x teleconverter and it has significantly helped me obtain much sharper images when setting up a tripod may not be practical. Definitely way better than hand held. Also, it is much less tiring by allowing the monopod to support the weight.
08-11-2019, 09:02 PM - 1 Like   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nelson B.C.
Posts: 3,700
Get a bean bag equivalent for shooting from the vehicle. I picked up one from the gun shop and filled it with styrofoam beads. I can then shoot reliably from an open car window.

If the bears are running away you are trying to get too close. Stop as soon as you see them, then wait. They will either go away or get comfortable with your presence, and then you can get some decent shots. I like to stay behind a vehicle if I'm out of it, they bears find me less threatening. I can use a bean bag on the hood of the car for stability.

The key is stability. A distant subject with the 150-450 handheld won't be very good unless you are about 1/1600. With a tripod you want mirror up and delay.

The best shots are when the bear either doesn't know you are there or does know and doesn't care. Otherwise they are usually great shots of a huge rear end disappearing into the bush.

08-12-2019, 01:24 AM - 2 Likes   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 13,224
+1 to the monopod. Have one section already extended so it's only two back and forth twists to deploy full length.

Get some pictures at very long range, RWutch, then move closer at an angle rather than directly at the wildlife, and click some more. Keep doing this until they flee.

You should at least have some pictures of an encounter, instead of gambling on sneaking up closely enough for the perfect shot.
08-12-2019, 04:08 AM   #10
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 14,152
QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Get a bean bag equivalent for shooting from the vehicle. . . I can use a bean bag on the hood of the car for stability.

The key is stability. A distant subject with the 150-450 handheld won't be very good unless you are about 1/1600. With a tripod you want mirror up and delay.

The best shots are when the bear either doesn't know you are there or does know and doesn't care. Otherwise they are usually great shots of a huge rear end disappearing into the bush.
I agree but fill the bean bag at your destination

you can even find one with a mounting plate for a tripod or gimbal -

https://photographylife.com/wildlife-photography-tips-use-a-bean-bag

in a pinch, a back pack, pillow or wadded up jacket or sweater could work

I recently used this

Moman Mini Tripod - Greatest $30 Purchase in Last 5 Years! - Page 4 - PentaxForums.com

in addition to a bean bag to photograph animals in Tanzania


be sure that the engine of the vehicle is turned off when you are using the camera.
08-12-2019, 10:49 AM   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 6
Original Poster
Thank you for all the thoughtful input. Iím looking forward to trying out many of these ideas before we head out. Being a novice at all this, and this being the one time of year I photograph wildlife, I realize that I would do better by practicing with these suggestions before we go.

Thanks again!

RWutch
08-12-2019, 10:12 PM   #12
Junior Member




Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 44
A great place to practice wildlife photography technique is a nearby zoo. Your 150-450mm with teleconverter may be over kill for a zoo, but at the 150mm end with the teleconverter it should work ok. After all your are trying to perfect your technique and not necessarily trying to create a work of art. I have even shot across or thru exhibits to another just to practice long distance shots of animals. Most zoos have some of the species you will find in GNP or at least similar like some species of bear, deer, antelope, etc. If you are anywhere close the Memphis, TN, Zoo has a great, open, 4 acre Teton Trek exhibit with grizzlies, wolves, elk, and swans. It even has a huge waterfall, a water feature that resembles Old Faithfull, erupting ever 15 min, and an events center patterned after the the Old Faithful lodge. Meerkats are great to practice on because the are always moving. This will also give you some idea of exposure information you might encounter. Many zoos have daily birds in flight presentations. Most importantly it trains you to be patient and quick at the same time. Another place I find good to practice is driving some of the rural roads and stop to shoot cattle, sheep, goats, and horses in pastures. Just stay on the road right of way so you don't trespass. These are just some ideas that have helped me and made practicing fun and realistic,

Last edited by DWS1; 08-12-2019 at 10:14 PM. Reason: grammer correction
08-13-2019, 04:14 AM   #13
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,733
QuoteOriginally posted by RWutch Quote
Looking forward to photographing wildlife on our upcoming visit to Glacier National Park. Last year I upgraded my K5 and DA 60-250 by adding the DFA 150-450 and DA 1.4 rear converter and a very sturdy tripod. Discovering that the Bears didnít care to stand still long enough for me to set up the tripod, I tried to take the pictures without one. I upped the shutter speed and ISO but that often required that I leave the apertures wide open and wasnít particularly pleased with the results.

Iíd appreciate any suggestions for obtaining sharper pictures.

RWutch
I would like to know what shutter speeds and ISO you are using, I routinely shoot with a lens at or above 400mm hand held, and have shot (and posted here to show) what IS could do with a shot at 1/40th of a second hand held with a 500mm lens. Moving images , on the other hand are different, you really need to up the ISO, and I am not talking of going up to 800, I normally set my K5 to TAV and let the ISO go as high as 6400 to get the shutter speed I want, while being stopped down 1-2 stops, to allow just a little DOF for focus errors

If you have the 150-450 set at 450 and letís say stopped down to F8 hand held while tracking a moving image you need to consider shooting at at least 1/800 to get a reasonably sharp image. This requires in most situations a much higher ISO than you might normally think.

You have freedom to select any 2 of the 3 variables, shutter speed, aperture, and iso, but by selecting 2, the third is dictated by the available light, for me, I prefer to give up a little in terms of noise, for the shutter and aperture I believe the lens I am shooting with needs for the sharpness I want
08-13-2019, 04:33 AM   #14
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 14,152
I wonder if the OP could find " targets " locally to practice on?

we have " dog parks " where owners can let their dogs run inside a fenced area.

something similar could give a chance for trial and experimentation
08-18-2019, 01:49 AM   #15
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 68
QuoteOriginally posted by RWutch Quote
Looking forward to photographing wildlife on our upcoming visit to Glacier National Park. Last year I upgraded my K5 and DA 60-250 by adding the DFA 150-450 and DA 1.4 rear converter and a very sturdy tripod. Discovering that the Bears didn’t care to stand still long enough for me to set up the tripod, I tried to take the pictures without one. I upped the shutter speed and ISO but that often required that I leave the apertures wide open and wasn’t particularly pleased with the results.

I’d appreciate any suggestions for obtaining sharper pictures.

RWutch
I won't go into much detail about the proper techniques for shooting with a long telephoto lens as much of that has already been covered here. But let me make two points.
Firstly, it is very important that you calibrate your AF fine focusing with that lens. Do that and you will be able to nail those difficult shots at wide open apertures with a lot more confidence. Secondly. I also have a K5 which I have long stopped pairing with the DFA 150-450mm. That's because the K5 is very slow in AF when combined with that particular lens. You might be able to use it for relatively still subjects but find it very limiting when attempting birds in flight. I believe the K5 does not have the neccessary firmware updates or algorithms to support that lens. Even the more budget oriented KS-2 is streets faster than it with the DFA 150-450mm. If my memory serves me right, most later Pentax DSLRs do not have that issue with that lens. You might consider getting a more recent DSLR body or like me, await the new Pentax APSC flagship (which unfortunately, seems to be taking forever to emerge).
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, da, photography, pictures, technique, tripod, wildlife
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Photographing water fowl Rnovo Photographic Technique 12 08-31-2018 06:56 PM
Photographing wildlife redlionbass Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 7 08-10-2018 03:29 AM
another request for assistance photographing prairie chickens aslyfox Photographic Technique 11 04-24-2018 04:10 PM
4 Wheels move the body; 2 wheels move the soul! Heinno Monthly Photo Contests 0 11-10-2015 10:44 AM
move move houtahassan Monthly Photo Contests 0 11-02-2015 03:33 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:30 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top