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Old Oct 20, 2005, 9:20 PM   #1
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I've been shooting a lot of pictures in the forest lately and have been having trouble with the low light between branches so I bought a Canon 580EX to go with my Rebel XT. I'm using a Canon 300 F4 with a 1.4 extender in manual mode. My pictures are either overexposed or still shooting at 1/60th of a second or less. This leads to blurry pictures - mind you my target birds are only 3 inches at best and very fast.

Can anyone suggest what camera settings I should use and how to setup the flash?

Here's a sample of my frustrations - and I have lots of them!

Thanks for your help.

//jim


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Old Oct 21, 2005, 11:05 PM   #2
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Jim,

Maybe shoot a minimum shutter speed of 1/250th.

Leave your aperture wide open, 'cause you don't have the fastest lens in the world (not an F2.8) PLUS your using a tele extender.

If your having trouble getting the shot bright enough at 1/250th, then crank up the ISO a little.

I'm surprised your flash is even reaching a bird, which I'm assuming is at least 50 yards away.

You can always use one or two stops of exposure compensation to compensate for the extra light your flash is adding to the scene.

I don't know if your using an automatic or manual flash setting.

I'm sure after a while you will find your formula.

But one thing is for sure, you have to keep a minimum shutter speed to eliminate shake. Obviously using a tripod would help.

-- Terry


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Old Oct 27, 2005, 4:28 PM   #3
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Leave the flash on auto. Start out with ISO 200 and set the camera to manual mode. Start with the aperture wide open and try around 125 shutter if you are using a tripod. Check your exposure meter and make sure that its not overexposed at this setting. Chances are it will not be but if it is you can decrease ISO, increase shutter or close aperture. Take the shot and watch the flash immediately after the shot for two things... 1. Did it dump a complete charge. 2. Did it return a correct exposure signal (green light). If it did not dump a complete charge and gave a correct exposure you have room to play with higher shutter or closing the aperture. If it dumped a complete charge and gave a good exposure then you are at the flashes limit for that setting. What you are wanting is for the flash not to dump a complete charge and return a correct exposure. You will end up with less flashy shots this way and more ambient light.

If you find that the flash is dumping a complete charge on the above, do not hesitate to increase to 400 ISO. The noise level is practically a mute point at 400. 800 is where it starts becoming a concern.

Terry I don't think that bird is near 50 yards off. I use to shoot 500mm with 2x and larger birds would not even fill the frame that much at that distance.
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