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Old Jul 23, 2002, 1:37 PM   #1
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Default Egret and Little Ringed Plover seeking advice

Two ends of the scale with - the egret at 1600mm with speed 1/500 and ISO 200 in good light gives good quality.
However, the little ringed plover in late evening at 3200mm at 1/60 f7.6 and ISO400 struggles to give clarity of image- this picture has been cropped.
I am not sure how to regularly get the pictures of the little birds from a reasonable distance- FOV seems to beat the C5000 all the time. Even the previously posted Sedge Warbler is 1-2 cm out of focus - a lot with a small bird.

May be I am asking a lot of digiscoping - but I do not think so. Suggestions!!

C5000, SW 65HD and LCE adaptor
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Old Jul 23, 2002, 2:09 PM   #2
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Hi Chris,
Two things seem to be working against you on the smaller bird. First, the shutter speed of 1/60th is way slow unless the tripod is absolutely "rock solid" and there was absolutely "zilch" shake. At that focal length, you need a minimum of 1/200th or faster if possible. Better to underexpose and bring up levels in PhotoShop than to snap it a 1/60th. Second, it appears that you may have slightly "missed" the focus since the ripples in the water seem sharper in front of the intended focal plane. The DOF is pretty shallow at that focal length and the reflection from the water may have thrown off the autofocus a bit.

I don't remember whether or not the 5000 has focus confirmation and best shot selection - but if it does, try both. I suspect slight camera movement was your enemy on the second shot.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old Jul 23, 2002, 3:14 PM   #3
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Certainly looks like camera-shake is the main culprit, AF hitting low and in front of the bird is secondary. 1/60 isn't exceptionally slow at 3200mm, remember this is England, Lin.
What focus mode are you using? Area zone in manual/auto or just traditional auto? Whatever you choose...the camera still loves to lock onto anything closer given half a chance.
Little Egret is a nice shot.
Regards,
Andy B
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Old Jul 27, 2002, 2:49 AM   #4
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Default Camera shake and AF questions?

Shooting at 1/60is not unusual in this country - I agree. Hence, camera shake does affect the picture. However, following a fast moving small bird which occasionally stops, at 3000mm, is more an art than a science.

Good advice on under exposure, I will tend to in future - I tend to operate in Shutter priority to manage the speed to faster setting.

If anyone has any further suggestions on reducing camera shake in these conditions I would appreciate them. The SW65 light transmission is good, so an alternative scope is not an option. At least until SW bring bring out an equivalent 85.

I have tended to use the C5000 in auto AF mode. Thus uses 5 spot areas and auto chooses the closest point of focus. The camera gives feedback, if only optical zoom is selected, to show which of the 5 areas is selected and this can be held if half pressing the release. In some instances to avoid vignetting I move into the digital zoom slightly, the feedback is not provided a limitation of the camera.
There are also two further AF modes , manual to user select AF spot area and off which uses the centre only. I will investigate both - anybody there with experience of these modes or suggestions on focus.
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Old Jul 27, 2002, 9:13 AM   #5
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There's only so much you can do to reduce camera-shake/tripod vibration. Worth considering that the Nikon remote is connected to your camera and can transmit vibration via the cable to the set-up from a shaky hand. Typical stabilisation ploys are lowering the tripod to it's very minimum working height (handy if your's has adjustable leg angles and splittable centre column). Stone bag or some form of extra weight hanging underneath the tripod also helps.

As for focus modes...I generally use area zone in manual (combined with area zone metering), as there always seems plenty of AF distracting features in my shots (especially ground or water based birds, where the foreground can often distract)

Regards,
Andy B,
London
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Old Jul 28, 2002, 2:58 PM   #6
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Thanks, I have purchased the Jessops Cable release , this reduces camera shake considerably

I am also using manual AF select from the range of 5 offered. This seems to operate best except when there is the odd twig in front. Latest pics at UK rarities
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