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Old Sep 10, 2005, 7:41 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 11

Eric, you asked for a bit more info on the equipment I am using and what settings I use but first, I must say that the little experimenting I did today, using mirror lockup appears to have corrected my camera shake problem. Now it seems that the Sigma 70-300 DG lens does not consistently focus accurately each time. I manually turned the focus ring one way or the other and then let the camera focus again on the same object. However, I may not have had a real good target and will run some more tests next week.

I am almost embarrassed to say that I use an old Samsonite tripod. I have had it for several years. It is very heavy and solid as a rock. I never liked the head so I removed it and adapted a Manfrotto 390RC head which I think does a pretty good job.

I have always tried to use a shutter speed of at least 1/125s along with a remote shutter release to reduce camera shake which I now might be able to reduce using mirror lockup. I prefer using ISO 200 but, with the slow lens speed of only 5.6 at full zoom, I do occasionally go up to ISO 400 in order to maintain faster shutter speed. My Nikon 5700 produced very poor results at 400 but the 20D seems to do quite well.

There seems to be one factor very often missing when giving info on an image. The person usually gives the camera settings used but rarely do we find out the distance between the camera and the subject. Your owl picture is great! I would like to know how far you were from the bird. It seems I read someplace that to capture good bird pictures, the bird should fill or very closely fill the frame. Is this true? If it is, it would appear to me that camera to bird distance would have to be less that 20 feet with my 300mm lens (converted to 480mm with this camera). That takes a lot of patience - something I don't always have a lot of :-)

Thanks, Peter, for the link to bird pictures. We are on a very slow dialup connection (26.4) so, when I have some time, I will visit that site.

Thanks to everyone for your great assistance.

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