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Old May 24, 2004, 10:42 AM   #11
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Ohh I see Vito, I'll go take a look. There's work-arounds about noise though, any camera. If you can force the camera to meter to the right (not center), just slightly, by lowering the level of lights of the background (OOF always have the highest level of noise) layer in PS would cut the noise level quite a lot. I do this constantly. That's why even my ISO 800 image looks noiseless, apart feather details up close will still show.

I hate using auto-program to cut off the noise, it also cut-off the details, I do it manually, it's a much longer process (sometime I can work an image easily over an hour), but its worth it. There's no real secret about this, just takes a lot of work and time.

F/8 is ok, lower F/stop willraise the DOF big time too. If you're up close, this is not always desirable. Many times I wish I could shoot at F/10 or F/11 just to get the entire bird inside the DOF. Again this is all dependant of the distance of the subject, also dependant of the camera sensor size. The bigger the sensor, the shallower the DOF. P/S camera have tiny sensors, so the DOF is deep.



Hope this helps.
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Old May 24, 2004, 10:48 AM   #12
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well....my G2 "was" the highest end "prosumer" (i think that's wat they call it...lol) camera....it's not an SLR but more a point and shoot...but it has a full manual....you can control everything...except the arperture at high shutters

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"oh yeah..to my point lol....i'm pretty sure the sensor is small...i should look up how small....but i think i'll play around wednesday with it...switching between the higher iso and 1/1000 f8.0 and 1/800 f4.5 or something like that....see wat happens....
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Old May 24, 2004, 7:17 PM   #13
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First a few comments to Vito....

I like that landscape picture. The color of that light is very nice. I would find that level of noise too much, but its a personal thing. Noisy and captured is better than no grain and blurry (too low a shutter speed.) My suggestion would be to take a few pictures in the park at each of the different ISO values. Look at the results and the settings it gives you.

There is often a sweet spot for apeture where the problems at the wide open end are gone, but the problems at the most stopped down end haven't appeared yet. If you really only have out to f8, that doesn't give you a lot of choise. I would try f5.6 or so and see if that doesn't give you something good. Unfortunately, for shutter speed reasons that might not be fast enough and you'll have to reduce it. Oh, a quick look at Steve's review of the G2 makes me think that you might want f4.5 instead (since the max aperture is f2.5 at the long end.) These are all just guesses... your gonna have to try things out and see the results.

For "quality of light" reasons 9am is almost always going to be getter than 11am. The lower sun should give more interesting shadows and might give more contrast. The higher sun can wash out shadows in some places, and give odd harsh ones in other directions (like if the heron is preening the beak might cast a shadow across the birds body. That can be good, but is often bad.)

Eric CAN

I like detailed replies. That is how I learn! And I certainly have a lot to learn.

I wasn't trying to suggest that warbler pictures were easy. They certainly are not. I was just noting how it seemed even harder on the island because of how they behaved. How I literally went an entire day without having anything beyond a yellow warbler fly out of the bushes. They didn't make a sound, they only hopped around deep in the poison ivy bushes (yes, it grows into bushes on the island. Eek!) I was hoping to catch a few shots that rival yours and found that it was... well, basically impossible due to their feeding-only situation. The banding station was reporting them as having 0 body fat about 90% of the time... burnt it all on the flight there.

You were talking about them setting up territories (and I agree, they are very territorial) but even that didn't apply. The only thing they though of was food.

I have spend much time shooting both chickadees and warblers and I'd agree that warblers move more. A few of them nest down where I live, and they are a bit easier because they are trying to be noticed... so they perch near the tops of trees to sing some times. That never happened on the island.

I agree with you about having a wider dynamic range. I think that will become the big thing, once the MP wars are over. But only in the higher end cameras. Mostaverage peopledon'tcare about that. I think the Fuji S3 Pro will be the first shot in that area. I sure hope it sells well, as I'd like to see more cameras do what its doing. I've heard arguments that the lower end DSLRs have about 5 stops of range, and that the 1Ds has about 9. The 9 was from Lin Evens (I think) and I believe him. The 5 I'm not so sure on, as I think I've seen more than that. But that person was using the D100, which is older tech.

19 feet isn't bad for warbler distance. The reason most people crop a birdshot is not to make it look like you were closer. Its to improve composition or to make the details visible.I feel I can see a lot more detail if I crop to a more reasonable resolution and then downsize. I'm using only a 400mm, so your birds are 25% larger than mine at the same distance.

I agree with you on the tripod. I use one about 90% of the time. Even with warblers, although some times I'm fighting the tripod (avoiding the legs, dealing with an odd angle of the eye piece) to get the bird in the view. But its the only way to go for quality shots. That indigo bunting shot was at 640mm and I shot at 1/45th. Not possible with out a tripod.

You should definitely be at 1/640 at 500mm, that only makes sense. I wish I could have had a better shutter speed on the bunting.

Interesting... you can blow hilights easier at higher ISOs? This is the first I've heard that. I'll have to try it and see. That is very good to know.

I also use the histogram the way you do. displaying only the image is kinda pointless to me, really. I know what it looked like, and have a feel for it (and you learn to "know" when you've missed it too.)

You've talked about this before, but I didn't understand it then. What is your method for removing noise? Those 800ISO shots are amazing, considering you aren't using neatimage, noiseninja, or the like.

Eric
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Old May 24, 2004, 8:50 PM   #14
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Eric, I won't quote you this time, the page will become ever-longish, lol

To remove the noise, its a long process in PS, you have to make duplicate layers of the original to start with. Then with that dup layer, you use the blur tool. Go very small with the tool and make a contour of lets say the birds and some in focus branch. Then increase the size of the blur tool, be carefull not to blur the bird or branches and go on. I do this on the original full size image (TIFF).

Then there's a boundary where you have to make decision, what to blur else ? I normally blur all of the background and OOF objects. If you look carefully of any image with noise present. You'll notice that everything in OOF has noise. Sometimes you have to play with the opacity of the blur tool for slightly out of focus 'object' so the 'grade' is not too drastic. I mean the difference is more gradual between in focus object and those slightly off. Again the more its out of focus, the more noise you'll see.

This is trial and error when playing with this, eventually with practice it will become 2nd nature and will part of your post-processing habit for wildlife shots. For scenery, totally different story, for example I use this Sigma 12-24, which I love. But since I'm shooting WA, my shutter speed can be quite low and I'll use exclusively ISO 100, so noise is not an issue, as long as its exposed to the right.

Eric, something struck me in your previous reply. I know you have a 10D. I read on another forum (DPReview) of the 1D/1DS guys that many of them had 10D before they made the switch to a 1D Mark II. The concensus was that many of them had focus issue with their favorite lens (17-40 L, 70-200 L, 100-400L and so on) with the 10D and when they got the 1D Mark II, by magic all these issue were gone. Backfocus was the most common problem with the 10D. There was even one guy who sent his 10D and 100-400L glass to fix the backfocus issue. What Canon did was to calibrate both (lens and body). When he bought his 1D Mark II, the 100-400 L was totally useless ! Can you imagine ! Now he has to sent the lens back to calibrate to factory spec.

So, don't throw that 100-400 L yet. If you have the money for a 600 L, you could maybe think about the 1D Mark II instead ( I am). Cause if ur body have some backfocusing issue (there's a trend about 10D, it seems) then the 600 L won't do anything much better than your 100-400L. That's how I see this, a friendly advise.

Cheers
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Old May 24, 2004, 10:09 PM   #15
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wow.....long time to read them

thanks for your tips eric(s)...i'm thinking of going wednesday...so i'm gonna go early....like 8 or 9 and just sit in the same spot with good lighting until he get's used to me being there....which i think is a much better way to take pictures then chasing them around...lol....and maybe bring a slice of bread or something and try to get some ducks while i'm waiting....

i think a tone dynamicincrease in theCCD/CMOSwould do very well....but only to the people that are actually buying a camera for serious photography...and not just taking pictures of their families on vacations or soccer games or something ....i mean....most people buying the little point and shoot digitals and film wouldn't even know wat a tonal range or the dynamic range actually is! But for the people that do know wat it is, they would definetely be interested...i know i would!

thanks for all your help guys!

Vito
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Old May 26, 2004, 12:52 PM   #16
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I just don't feel I can justify the 1D Mark II. It can do so much and I would only use a small fraction of it (the big features) that I just can't bring myself to get one. I want one, of course, and I could afford to get it. But it doesn't seem like a wise investment at this time. Where as I know I'll use a 600mm lens and it will last me a life time (or until I'm unable to carry it from old age :-).) What would I really, really get from the Mark II? The faster AF & metering, full weather proofing, the higher resolution, its faster flushing of buffers, better subject placement in the DOF. I would some times use its burst shooting ability (I only rarely fill the buffer on the 10D, but maybe that is because I've adjust my shooting style?) But it does so much more than those things, and I'd be paying for those features... and not using them. Just my penny pinching ways. I'm willing to spend the money if I feel it fits my needs and is a good choice.

Maybe one day, when I get better and feel I've out grown the 10D. But now... the lens seem a better choice. (Maybe I feel this way 'cause I'm at 400mm, so the leap to 600 means 50% more reach... that sounds like a lot. And it will take a 1.4x TC with almost no loss in image quality.) If I was at 500mm I might not feel that way.

The testing I've done on my 10D shows that it doesn't seem to have a focusing issue (or at least its so small that I didn't notice it in my less-than-perfect testing.) So I don't think that isn't the issue. My problems are more around slow focusing and how it hunts before locking focus. It is a spectacular camera, though, and any serious photographer would love one.

I won't get rid of my 100-400. Its light enough to hike with even when I'm not specifically going shooting. The 600mm is a "photo-trip" only lens.

Vito, I'm interested in your results today. Tell us how it went (and post something!)

Eric


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Old May 26, 2004, 1:12 PM   #17
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thanks for asking...but it rained....so i wasn't able to go

i need the sun out to shoot lol
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Old May 26, 2004, 4:47 PM   #18
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So do I, darn it! Its been dark and raining on occasion up here too.

I'm holding out hope for this weekend... lets see. sunny and in the 70's. Lets hope they are right!

Eric
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Old May 26, 2004, 5:11 PM   #19
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i myself would rather use my homeschooling priveleges and go while everyone is at work and school.....save me some confrontations or problems i can avoid...next week is looking dark though!

maaaaaan...
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Old May 26, 2004, 10:53 PM   #20
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Ya, that is why I go out early during the week some days. The downside is that I have to go to bed early... I'm not normally a morning person, so going to bed at 8-9pm so I can get up at 5am'ish is difficult. There is a nice National Wildlife Refuge near me that I often see Herons in. During the week is easy access, on the weekend its parked up.

So many things I want to do, so little time.

Eric
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