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Tullio Apr 27, 2006 11:25 PM

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Here's one taken on a cloudy you can see, no sun shinning on the bird. I could crop some..

Tullio Apr 28, 2006 12:28 AM

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Another one taken in the shade...

mchnz Apr 28, 2006 12:51 AM

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Light is the key for me too. If there is enough light there are normally no worries. Unfortunately all the small native birds here are used to living in dense bush and forest - where light is at a premium. The native birds are on the way out - up until 1000 years ago this country had no mammals except for bats - it was bird land. Now the only small birds commonly visible in good light are the introduced ones.

Focus isn't normally a problem if the light is good, as can be seen in the attached image. But spot-focus and faster focus would help, so the H1 would be better here (the S2 only has spot metering). Shade is OK too - but dense bush or true forest canopy is another story - I didn't choose to use 1/30 second in the previous example - it was the only option.

One of the main points I'm trying to make in previous posts is that if you leave the house today with the intention of getting many good images of small active birds that inhabit dense forest and bush, then I'm not sure you're going to return home with what you're seeking. If you're happy to get the odd snap on the odd day when a bird appears in good light, then fine.

And by good I mean looks reasonably noise free at 1280x1024 - if noise doesn't bug you, then higher ISO will make life much easier.

The attached image was cropped a bit and reduced in size with some USM.

Tullio wrote:

As long as it's not too dark,

Tullio Apr 28, 2006 1:53 AM

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You've posted some very good shots, mchnz. I can not get anything this good with my S2. I have much better success with the H1, even when the object's focal point is in the shade (see example below, the sun is shinning on the opposite side of the bird, which is about 70ft away from me).Yes, noise bugs the heck out of me, reason why I set the H1ISO to64 and occasionally 100. Higher than that, only if I really have to. I find birds the most difficult animal to photograph because they don't stop and they are extremely unpredictable. By the time you pre-focus and lock it, they're gone or moved just enough to screw your focal point. And obviously, the less DOF you have the worse it gets.

mchnz Apr 28, 2006 7:24 PM

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Remember, for small birds I try to get within 4 metres, otherwise I normally don't bother - this may be the difference. I've attached a 6m (20 foot) image of a very small bird as a comparison:
ExposureTime: 1/320
ApertureValue: f/4.0
ExposureBiasValue: -1/3
ISO: 100
ExposureMode: Av-priority
FocalLength: 432mm (35mm equiv.)
SubjectDistance: 6.36m

Tullio wrote:

You've posted some very good shots, mchnz. I can not get anything this good with my S2. ..

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