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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:33 PM   #1
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so, i found this osprey's nest over the weekend, and tried my hand at some in-flight shots. these are the best of the lot, but still not up to what i want, or what i believe the camera can do... FZ20, shot from a monopod at f4-5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 & 1/320 sec. respectively, using a lens hood and polarizer. shot at 9-12x,manual focus on the nest, with the OIS on, in mode 2; Panasonic recommends turning it off when using a tripod, but i didn't think a monopod would be stable enough to warrant that... i see pics like the incredible shots Normcar puts up, and i wonder what i gotta do - short of blowing a month's pay on a DSLR - to get shots like that. any tips?




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Old Jun 22, 2005, 12:38 AM   #2
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Thanks for the nice word, I'm real pleased that you are enjoying some of my shots. I think that your shots here are pretty darned fine and my only suggestion would be to try to boost your shutter speed if you can. Perhaps you can increase your iso just a touch or, even better, open up your aperture more so you can increase shutter. When shooting at such large focal lengths you can open up your aperture more than if shooting closer subjects. Some pros shoot wide open at longer focal lengths. Your FZ20 has a focal length of 430mm, which is pretty good, so open up the aperture, increase the iso, and shoot a higher shutter. Then use noise reduction software to get rid of any excess noise. Make high shutter your priority.

On my monitor it appears that you might consider boosting the contrast just a touch as well. But that blur in the last shot is definitely coming from a shutter that it too slow and not from your focus, which appears to be smack on IMO.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 4:12 AM   #3
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Hey squirl - nothing to add to Norm's advice, other than - Take it - that advice comes from someone who used the predecessor to your camera [FZ10]to take some pretty good flight shots.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 8:26 AM   #4
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thanks for the tips, guys, i'll trya faster shutter and a larger aperturenext time out. i guess i thought theoverall imageshould've been clearer, regardless of shutter speed, even if the birds weren't perfect. i was focused on the nest, and at 1/320, i would've thought the shutter would be fast enough to freeze the nest!:?i know the FZ'z are capable of getting clear shots of this kind of subject, but these are nowhere near clear enough to print in anything bigger than perhaps a 4x6, and i had really been looking for a shot i could print up to 8x10 at least...
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 9:53 AM   #5
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These are fine shots!

To truly freeze a bird on the wing, you need at least a thousand.

With my equipment this is not possible so I try for the next best thing, track the bird and freeze the body. A birds body has no lateral motion no matter how fast the bird is beating its wings.

You were focusing on the nest, but in your pleasure of the moment, also tracked the bird.

This is a question of experience. The more often you do this the more you will be able to approach the problem without giving way to excitement.

So instead of a split second decision, try to determine in advance exactly how you will approach each individual opportunity.

dave
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 10:20 AM   #6
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My first suggestion would be to turn off "Manual Focus". Use AF, as your subject is clear in these shots. And using spot focus, focus on the bird, not the nest. Use f2.8 to get higher shutter speed like normcar mentioned. The shots seem somewhat over-exposed on my LCD display. I would suggest using some -EV, like -1/3 or -2/3. Almost all panasonic ones need it for outdoor shots. Also you can try high speed burst mode for flight shots.

Main problem I had with my FZ1 and now FZ5 for flight shots is the EVF lag and shutter lag. I have tried high speed focus mode on my FZ5 but I get blank sky most of the time. Also these cameras don't focus track the subject when subject is in motion. But with practice you can over-come some of these issues.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 10:23 AM   #7
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DBB wrote:
Quote:
These are fine shots!

To truly freeze a bird on the wing, you need at least a thousand.

With my equipment this is not possible so I try for the next best thing, track the bird and freeze the body. A birds body has no lateral motion no matter how fast the bird is beating its wings.

You were focusing on the nest, but in your pleasure of the moment, also tracked the bird.

This is a question of experience. The more often you do this the more you will be able to approach the problem without giving way to excitement.

So instead of a split second decision, try to determine in advance exactly how you will approach each individual opportunity.

dave
i don't think 'excitement' or split-second decisions had much to do with it... :roll:i focused on the nest so that when the bird approached it would also be in focus due to the depth of field. my camera cannot auto-focus fast enough to keep up with a flying subject, unless it's moving straight across my field of view. in my experience, 1/500 is more than sufficient to freeze aircraft propellers (at least it was 20 years ago when i was shooting airshows with a Pentax ME Super...), so a bird in flight should be no problem at that shutter speed. these were shot at between 1/125 (too slow, obviously) and 1/320 (which was clearly fast enough to freeze the motion). i'm beginning to suspect my problem may have been caused by having the OIS turned on. next time out, i'll turn it off, open up the lens, and set the shutter for 1/500 or better, and see how that comes out...
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 1:41 PM   #8
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1000 is the minimum speed. This is not just talking from my experience (which confirms this) but from other professional photographers.

I just posted a series on the Willet. Take a good look. They were shot at 500 or 640, the maximum my very odd equipment allows. If you look you will see that the wings are blurry but the body is sharp. The closest I get to no blur is one shot where the bird was gliding...:lol:

I know of what I speak....

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Old Jun 22, 2005, 5:54 PM   #9
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i'll take your word for it, Dave.how far does a bird's wing move in 2 milliseconds, anyway? :? are digital sensorsso much more sensitive to motion that shutter speeds that froze motion perfectly with film are not fast enough to do the same thing with digital?

seriously, next time out, i'll definitely push the shutter speed as high as i can,and see how that works out. any tips on getting around the FZ'z slow AF functions? i tried focusing on the nest, and shooting when the birds were right above it... would i be better off trying to track the birds and hoping the AF could keep up? or should i just rely on hyperfocal distance to keep the whole thing moderately clear?
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 6:14 PM   #10
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squirl033 wrote:
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i'll take your word for it, Dave.how far does a bird's wing move in 2 milliseconds, anyway? :? are digital sensorsso much more sensitive to motion that shutter speeds that froze motion perfectly with film are not fast enough to do the same thing with digital?

seriously, next time out, i'll definitely push the shutter speed as high as i can,and see how that works out. any tips on getting around the FZ'z slow AF functions? i tried focusing on the nest, and shooting when the birds were right above it... would i be better off trying to track the birds and hoping the AF could keep up? or should i just rely on hyperfocal distance to keep the whole thing moderately clear?
This is nothing to do with digital sensors. The wingtips of birds move fast, I mean real fast. 1/125sec (your first shot) and 1/360 are too slow for birds in flight.

Here are couple of shots I took with 10D. Look at the blurred wing tips in both. First one is at 1/760sec.



Second one is at 1/1000sec.



Iread your original post again and I think your idea of focusing on the nest makes sense, but I would still suggest toyou to use AF rather than manual focus.Use focus lock button on your FZ to lock focus on the nest and shoot a 4 shot burst when the bird comes into view.

Manual focus is tough thing to do withEVF (IMHO).




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