Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: more practice, feedback requested

  1. #1
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    more practice, feedback requested

    more practice, feedback requested

    What I prefer to call a cfw (confusing fall warbler)- what I see is a small amount of motion blur

    more practice, feedback requested

    Blacked capped Chickadee - other than a small turf war, both birds blend into background. Strangely, I kind of like this, as this is their nature.

    more practice, feedback requested

    Hairy Woodpecker - not bad, but again...the motion blur


    I am seriously considering adding a rifle stock to help stabilize this lens as I don't see the practicality of a tripod

    more practice, feedback requested

    Egret and Canada Goose

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bucharest,Romania
    Posts
    1,323

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    For me no.4 is good.No.1 must clean and sharp on the subject I presume to be the bird
    more practice, feedback requested
    Of course,in 1,2,and 3 is a big squash too-in my opinion.
    Thanks
    Radu

  3. #3
    GrahamS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    431
    Real Name
    Graham Serretta

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Randy - I can appreciate that a lot of effort has gone into capturing these shots, and that you know your subject. However, there is both subject movement as well as camera shake, indicating too slow a shutter speed. What equipment did you use, and what were the exposure settings?

  4. #4
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamS View Post
    Randy - I can appreciate that a lot of effort has gone into capturing these shots, and that you know your subject. However, there is both subject movement as well as camera shake, indicating too slow a shutter speed. What equipment did you use, and what were the exposure settings?
    Nikon D90, 1/500 sec, ISO 800, F8, Sigma 400 f5.6 telemacro.

  5. #5
    GrahamS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    431
    Real Name
    Graham Serretta

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    The 400mm lens is the equivalent of a 600mm on the D90, and Without any image stabilization (IS or VR) a tripod is mandatory. 1/500th sec shutter speed just isn't enough for a hand held shot. iso 800 is about as high as you would want to go on the D90 for this type of subject, therefore I suggest that you invest in a tripod or a monopod. Radu has demonstrated how much your images can be improved with a little tweaking, but you still need more DOF and sharpness.

  6. #6
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    This is a whole new ballgame for me. I do have and use a tripod for the majority of my shooting. My problem is how to follow flitting, small subjects while anchored to a tripod. My conclusions at this stage are use a tripod where practicable, I must try to get much closer, shooting in shaded conditions will always be a crapshoot. I have been researching technique and have picked up a few pointers; rest left hand on top of lens body above tripod head to reduce vibration from shutter, bracing body against face, rolling shutter release, and practice, practice, practice. I will try to implement improved technique and we will see what happens!!

  7. #7
    GrahamS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    431
    Real Name
    Graham Serretta

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Randy - Please keep us informed on how you get on, Good luck

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,353

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Randy. You should be able to hand hold a 400 mm lens at 1/500 without camera shake, at least in theory.

    But the heavier your equipment the more difficult that becomes; so yes, a tripod/monopod will always help.

    However, in these shots there appears to be areas which are sharper than the birds. Did you auto focus? Autofocus often prefers to focus on a sharp edged part of the background instead of a soft edged bird.

    I find manual focus to be most reliable. But the problem is that many (most) birds move faster than I can manually focus.

  9. #9
    Cantab's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Canada (west coast)
    Posts
    1,151
    Real Name
    Bruce

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    I face the issues as Randy when shooting birds. Most of the time I use centre point auto focus which works well if the bird stays still long enough to actually target the centre point on it. Have people had much luck with any of the stabilizers/supports/braces to help hold heavy telephotos when even a monopod is not feasible?

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,455
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    I don't know about the Sigma 400mm f/5.6 lens but, I had a Tamron 400mm f/5.6 ATX and now have a Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens. I frequently used the Tamron wide open and almost always use the Canon lens wide open at f/5.6. The difference between f/5.6 and f/8 will enable you to double the shutter speed...

    The Tamron provided pretty decent IQ, even wide open but, the auto-focus was not fast enough nor accurate enough to lock onto birds in flight. However, at that time my best focusing camera was a Canon 30D. I wonder how the Tamron would work with my Canon 7D? However, when shooting birds that have alighted on a branch or tree, exceptionally fast focus may not be required.

    I will also frequently use the 400mm f/5.6 lens on a monopod with a Kirk MPA-1 swivel mount. I keep the MPA-1 fairly loose. That way it allows me to frame my subjects quickly but, still steadies my hold...

    Another possibility is using a tripod with a fluid pan head, such as the Manfrotto 128LP.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=REG&A=details

    This is a lightweight head that is built for following moving subjects with a video or movie camera. However, it works great with a DSLR and long lens. I tape my corded remote release to the pan handle and attach a sportsfinder to the camera hotshoe.

    The fluid head dampens the panning and up and down movment. I got my Manfrotto head used for less than $50 USD....
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 3rd October 2012 at 08:17 PM.

  11. #11
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    more practice, feedback requested

    Very Sharp scrubby stick with turkey background, maybe auto focus wasn't such a good idea. Manual focus from this point forward

    more practice, feedback requested

    Maybe a little better

    F8, 1/250 sec, iso 200
    Last edited by rtbaum; 3rd October 2012 at 10:52 PM.

  12. #12
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Found a sweetheart deal, Used Manfrotto 3218 monopod with simple, but very secure tilting head for 50 bucks. Heavy as lead and studier than Gilbraltar.

    more practice, feedback requested

    Works good

  13. #13
    graynomad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    nr Bundaberg, Australia
    Posts
    112
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    My rig of choice for birds is a 400 + 1.4 on a 1D, making an effective FL of 728mm. I can't stand tripods and always use it hand-held but the lens has IS and is sharp wide open so my shutter speeds are manageable.

    That said it gets pretty heavy and after 1-2 minutes holding it above my head I have to rest.

    Here's an example

    more practice, feedback requested

    1/90th (1/350th without IS), 728mm effective, at dusk.

    I would also suggest that your shots are too loose, most of the time you want to fill the frame, for example

    more practice, feedback requested

    I know it's difficult with small birds but it's something to work for.

    Used properly auto focus is just fine and ever since going digital that's what I use, but manual has advantages as well.
    Last edited by graynomad; 5th October 2012 at 01:06 AM.

  14. #14
    orlcam88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    277
    Real Name
    Orlando

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Small birds are hard to shoot with a tripod as they move too fast. I found them to be basically useless. Unless you want to focus on one spot for hours waiting for a bird to appear! Or you have a bird feeder.
    The larger ones are better to shoot with a tripod/monopod.

  15. #15
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    I am finding that long lenses are a whole other animal from macro with which I am a little more comfortable. The monopod seems to be a big improvement. This lens does not offer the luxury of image stabilisation, but I am of the generation of polaroid and instamatic. I really am able to live quite happily without it and just use good technique. I have not really been in a situation where I have been able to approach wildlife since picking up the lens. I agree that that is certainly part of the problem. In the meantime, I will work on technique for when the moment avails. The bird house was not coincedental, you will likely see it again come Spring. I actually tried to approach the egrets today; the cattails are about 7 - 8 feet tall and I really can get no closer. That same marsh holds a pair of nesting trumpeter swans, they have been tantalizing me all summer!
    Last edited by rtbaum; 5th October 2012 at 01:50 AM.

  16. #16
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Quote Originally Posted by orlcam88 View Post
    Small birds are hard to shoot with a tripod as they move too fast. I found them to be basically useless. Unless you want to focus on one spot for hours waiting for a bird to appear! Or you have a bird feeder.
    The larger ones are better to shoot with a tripod/monopod.
    Strangely enough, I think I can lick that problem. Years ago I became somewhat proficient at following small birds with a cheap telescope mounted on wooden cutout shaped like a rifle stock. I think I can do the same with a monopod, but I agree a tripod is a lesson in futility in this situation.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Annapolis, MD USA
    Posts
    87
    Real Name
    Sean Fitzpatrick

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Have you tried a decent ballhead on a tripod? I use the Acratech GP (not cheap, but rocks) with my 60d + 100-400 f4.5 - 5.6 L IS and get pretty decent shots with practice on the moving critters. These are all with this combo, practicing in the backyard:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/flyfitz...7629804114253/

    Autofocus with single point is also the way to go, as others have mentioned.

    Sean Fitz

  18. #18
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,521
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: more practice, feedback requested

    Just a few today, probably coulda used a teleconverter on the first two, I also attempted my first BIF on these using monopod for stability

    more practice, feedback requested
    Comin' in!!

    more practice, feedback requested
    Preparing to go South

    The trumpeter swans in Mn are an example of waterfowl management gone right. 30 years ago, trumpeter swans were nonexistant in Minnesota. The Minnestota DNR, US fish and wildlife, and Hennepin County Park Reserve collaborated in establishment in several parks for captive breeding. They are now a fairly frequent sight on many local marsh lands.

    more practice, feedback requested
    An extra bonus and in my opinion the shot of the day

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •